The Verride Palácio Santa Catarina Hotel has finally and officially opened last weekend.

Two days of celebration in this restored Palace located atop the Miradouro de Santa Catarina, with so many friends, among them, Gisela João, Mísia, Anne Therèse de Kersmaeker, Jorge Salavisa, Luísa Taveira and Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Medina and Duarte Cordeiro, President and Vice-President of the Municipality of Lisbon, Catarina Vaz Pinto, Councilor for Culture, Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal, Rui Vilar, Chairman of Caixa Geral de Depósitos and also Najib Balala, Kenya’s Minister of Tourism, as well as the ambassadors of Romania, India, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Valadas Coriel & Associados has been involved in the project since its inception, and at the beginning it looked very little auspicious.

In 2003, after Kees Eijrond entered an SPA with Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the Municipality of Lisbon invoked its pre-emption rights over the property, for obscure reasons and using cunning means. Someone other than Kees Eijrond would have dropped the case, faced with the combination of factual powers, behind-the-scenes maneuvers and sheer arrogance lined up against him and this deal, a real roadmap of all the worse that Portugal had to offer at the time.

For ten years, court cases against the Municipality of Lisbon in the Administrative Courts and against Caixa Geral de Depósitos in the Civil Courts, lingered on, but eventually we won successive victories despite the stubborn resistance of the defendants. After numerous volte-face  and change of actors, a global and tripartite agreement was reached. Despite having already won at the First Instance Courts with bullet proof proved facts and the law to match, Kees Eijrond preferred to keep the Palace instead of a substantial compensation, in this process restoring relations with the Lisbon Municipality and Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

Since then, Caixa Geral de Depósitos has become a project’s financier while the Municipality of Lisbon became one of the  project’s “stakeholder” guiding us trough several licensing difficulties inherent to a singular project in a historic area of ​​the capital. So much was emphasized by Kees Eijrond addressing the presidents of the Municipality and Caixa, all seated at his table.

Today, Verride Palácio Santa Catarina is a reality and a success. Valadas Coriel & Associados is proud to have been part of this process and have fought hard to this outcome; either by helping to offer a monumental project of architectural heritage to the city of Lisbon but specially, because Justice has prevailed and a private citizen has stood up and won with resolution and resilience over the administration and the shadowy characters that were manipulating the institutions.