Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara
Azores, Portugal

It all started in 2015: planted right on top of Santa Bárbara beach, the first eco-beach resort in the Azores was opening. The starting point was the passion for that black sand beach, which contrasts almost magically with the blue of the ocean and with the various shades of green of the mountains that serve as a backdrop. However, there are many other passions that come together in this dream: the passion for the art of hospitality, for nature, for the sea and, above all, for the Azores.

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Maximum respect for the land of São Miguel and its unique characteristics led João Reis to think from from scratch a resort that could be integrated into the environment that surrounds him, in a perfect symbiosis. It is therefore not surprising that the materials used, the architecture and the framing of the landscape were the three main concerns of the project.

Sustainability Focuses

  • The construction work was carried out mainly by local companies. Santa Barbara currently hires local companies and employees to carry out the interventions.

Clean Energy
  • Materials used of the exterior coating of buildings, for thermal insulation

  • Adjudication of a photovoltaic farm that will reduce consumption by 60%

  • Gradual replacement of lighting for exclusive use of low consumption lighting

  • Reduction of electricity consumption / reduction of GHG emissions

  • Elaboration and implementation of procedures and installation of equipment for saving electricity in different areas (Housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance and offices)

  • The maintenance team performs a daily cleaning of the waste that is deposited daily on the beach of Santa Bárbara, coming from the Ocean. In 2019, 350 kg of garbage were collected from the beach.
  • Raising awareness of the theme by encouraging good practices throughout the stay. Development of sustainable packages / activities that include walking and / or cycling trips in the surroundings, agricultural activities in the future garden, activities to explain the composting process, beach cleaning, development of nature tourism activities (eg bird watching, terrestrial ecology), through the establishment of partnerships with local associations / NGOs.

Fair Food
  • Agricultural production farm with 2 greenhouses and use of available land with an area of approximately 4,000 m2 for the production of fruits, aromatic herbs and other vegetables to guarantee the quality and exclusivity of the gastronomic experience.
Natural Design
  • The building materials selected are natural and of local or national origin, such as cryptomeria wood, bamboo and cork, enhancing the integration of buildings in the natural surroundings.
  • Santa Barbara’s furniture and decorative pieces were designed and built exclusively for the project. Many of the pieces made it possible to reuse old materials (lamps are oil containers from an abandoned farm, chairs and tables in the restaurant have a structure made from reused iron, covered with vegetable fiber using doormat crafts).
Waste Control
  • Waste separation and waste reduction to landfill by 20%: development of the signage action plan based on the 5 R’s principle: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair. This action plan includes the reevaluation of the LER codes assigned to the waste produced in accordance with the rules of the Portuguese Environment Agency and Regional Secretariat for Energy, Environment and Tourism of the Azores, for waste classification.
  • Part of the organic waste produced will be sent for composting. The compost produced is used in the farm that will supply the resort with fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs.
  • In order to avoid waste, preference for purchasing certified local and national products of sustainable origin and fair trade, elimination of single-use items, use of ecological cleaning products for disinfecting surfaces, among others.
Water Management
  • Rainwater harvesting from the various buildings and its retention in a storage basin built at the Resort. This basin allows water to be stored for the landscaped areas of the Resort.
  • To ensure that the basin has water throughout the year, there is a connection with the natural lake on the property, which pumps whenever necessary.
  • The resort’s hot water distribution network is thermally isolated, helping to reduce running water waste.


14 studios
7 one bedroom villas
9 two bedroom villas


Restaurant & Bar
Beach Club
Swimming Pool


Whale Watching
Scuba Diving
Off-road Tours
Walking Trails
Horseback Riding
Bike Tours
Farm Activities


The property is located in the center of the island, only 20 minutes away by car from Ponta Delgada airport


The climate of the Azores Islands is subtropical oceanic, pleasantly warm in summer yet cool or mild for many months. During the day, the winter temperatures range from 17°C  to 27°C in summer.

Good to Know


We highly recommend to try out the outdoor hut with a privileged view over the beach and the resort’s wide space with the tranquil sound of the sea.

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