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  • Writer's pictureCátia Rodrigues

Meet TheVagar team: the Owners

TheVagar was born from a beautiful love story. Dreamed up by Marta and André's minds, this project comes to life through the promoters' capacity to make it happen. Together, they form a strong and consistent team, in perfect balance. Dreamy and resilient, Marta loves developing projects that make your eyes shine. Rational and persistent, André likes to find new paths and investment possibilities. Business partners, Marta and André have as their most beautiful project, the beautiful family they have built over the years and their harmony with their roots.

TheVagar CountryHouse
TheVagar Team

1. How did you come up with the idea of conceiving TheVagar?

M&A: Serra da Esperança, was offered to us by universe, as a way to unite our family and reconcile the professional and personal side. It also gave us the possibility of fulfilling our dream of having a hospitality business, which is a passion we have in common. In addition, raising our family in a unique and magical place like this, with its unique natural surroundings, was the cherry on top of the cake.

2. What most motivated you to develop this project and why?

M&A: Without a doubt and before anything else, it was the possibility of uniting our family, in addition to the fact that we had the possibility of achieving a series of purposes, so it seemed to us the ideal opportunity to do it and, despite some healthy fear, we didn't hesitate. Here, we would make a dream come true, we would challenge ourselves, we would be happy!

3. What was the biggest challenge you found in projecting TheVagar and how did you overcome it?

M&E: Well, now that TheVagar is a reality, it's easy to look and see how magnificent it is, but in truth, it was a very demanding project that required a lot of resilience. The rehabilitation works were very time-consuming and complex, which required a huge financial challenge. Furthermore, with each process, with each idea that we wanted to implement, we encountered many difficulties, both bureaucratically and due to the doors that were being closed to us. The final result was only possible thanks to a great teamwork between all the professionals involved and the fundamental support of our family, especially the financial one.

4. How do you evaluate the relationship you have established with the various professionals you selected to bring TheVagar to life?

M&A: Perhaps saying that we have established a relationship of great friendship is not an exaggeration. In fact, we have this maxim of respecting and knowing how to listen to all the professionals with whom we have the privilege of working and, for us, there is no difference between bosses and employees. We are all colleagues. So we make a point of explaining the TheVagar spirit and ensure that everyone shares the values that are lived in Serra da Esperança. Here, you have to embrace the dream and by doing so everything flows harmoniously.

5. In which ways has it allowed you, TheVagar, to grow as professionals?

M&A: We both have over twenty years working in hospitality, so we are confident in our natural ability to welcome and pamper others. This is, in fact, the driving force behind this project. Of course it has to be economically viable, but if we could, we wouldn't even look at the numbers, as we do what we do for pleasure. Even so, it is always possible to learn more and better, to do more and better. The six years leading up to opening TheVagar have enabled us to develop our skills of resilience, courage and persistence. Since opening, it has been magnificent to learn from our Guests, every day, every conversation. The motivations of the demand have been changing and we are adjusting our ways of working, with authenticity, competence and professionalism, always focusing on the Guest.

6. What was your biggest concern in developing TheVagar concept and how did you achieve that goal?

M&A: We wanted to distinguish ourselves. Host projects there are many, but TheVagar experience is unique. We achieved this with some very serious market research work, which included skilful learning about our customer, their needs and their problems. After that, it was just figuring out how we could solve those problems and design an honest and true concept. Sustainability, respect for the historical and cultural identity of the space and communion with the natural surroundings were and will always be our main concern.

7. Where do we see you at TheVagar?

M: I am in the details. I've always been very focused on details, because I believe that although they may go unnoticed, they make all the difference when it comes to satisfying the client. My big areas of choice are the Guest reception and the presentation of TheVagar spaces, in addition to the welcome, operation management and communication.

A: I am more down to earth, in the financial part and in the negotiation of this project. As I am the son of entrepreneurs, I have a good know-how in this field, as I grew up with these practices, so experience and background, allow me to be comfortable with them. I focus on the quality and selection of regional products, partnerships and sustainability (water, irrigation, energy), as well as jeep tours of the Serra da Esperança.

8. What is your greatest asset as a team and how was this transferred to TheVagar?

M&A: Besides the aforementioned passion we both have for hospitality, it's also the balance we achieve with each other's characteristics. When one dreams too much, the other puts his feet on the ground. When one feels desperate about a problem, the other calms and comforts him. When one sees only costs, the other explains that it is an investment. When one is afraid, the other gives facts, reassuring and so on.

9. More than TheVagar promoters, do you consider yourselves TheVagar clients?

M&A: Without a doubt. When we were young we took part in some more mass tourism activities and trips, but with maturity and over the years we have identified ourselves more and more with spaces that are cosier, calmer, focused on People and personalised service. In Serra da Esperança we have so many possibilities to develop programs focused on the well being of our Guests, that this becomes a mission that we develop with vivacity, but more importantly to embrace the slow lifestyle and to be honest with our concept in our daily practices.

10. Tell us about the biggest mishap that happened in the projection, rehabilitation and operationalization of TheVagar that you would like to share with us.

M&A: There were many, so many that we can only be very proud and genuinely happy for the result we achieved and, especially, with the feedback we are receiving from our Guests. We have selected a very funny episode to share, which happens quite often at the Serra da Esperança. It is so big and so welcoming, that not infrequently we meet strangers who come to collect fire wood, mushrooms, or go hiking. When we approach them, they reply very honestly that they thought this was a public space, that it belonged to everyone... we smile, explain that it is private and continue on our way.


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