Hotel Meira with the current rating of 4 stars began its long journey in the year 1935 by the mother of Simon Pinto Meira and Felisbela Garcia Gomes Brito, married and both born in Vila Praia de Âncora.
Simon Meira was a trade employee and Felisbela, his wife, was the daughter of Abel Brito and Delfina Garcia, owners of the Âncora Pension (pension, coffee and grocery store) located right in the place where the Hotel Meira is located today.
Abel Brito, the famous "Abel of rattles", decided however, with the death of his wife Delfina who was the "soul" of that pension, to shut down the business. Simon and Felisbela had meanwhile established themselves with a modest pension (Meira Pension), renting a private house with a half a dozen of rooms. (Felisbela had been the Delfina's right arm in the kitchen at the Âncora Pension).
And so it was running at various locations in the village and as the fame and the movement grew, they would move their location to get more rooms and more spaces.
However Abel Brito decided to share their belongings and talking to the heirs, agreed that Simon and Felisbela, would get the old house where he had the Ancora Pension. With a rare sight for the time and the area, a remodellation took place, expansion and adaptation, asking for a loan of "80 contos". 400 euros today to a wealthy merchant of Riba de Ancora.
All rooms already had hot and cold running water and some even with full private bath, and the creation of other social spaces, giving the enterprise already a feature of hotel trade, which at the time was considered a model, either by customers or the trade press and with particular emphasis on the Tourism journalist, Daniel Constant of the 1st of January Journal, Severino Costa of the Oporto Trade Office, Mauricio Teixeira from the JN Journal and others.
This remodellation was inaugurated on June 4, 1944.
I will never forget these moments of truth, sincerity and friendship that marked later my professional life. Accuracy, truth, integrity and good employees. And so it was gaining fame, responsibility, a lot of experience and many great friendships.
Indeed Simon and Felisbela Meira, were the living example of family tourism, which was then the National model and faithfully interpreted and touted by SNI and on the ground put into practice by the Pousadas of Portugal. In 1962 and only with 54 years of age, Simon Meira passed away.
Many thought that the Pension would close, because no followers were seen. Contrary to these views, the eldest son, Jorge Meira, student at the Faculty of Economics in Porto, dropped out from his studies, "grabs" the reins of the House, takes his mother Dona Felisbela away from a severe depression that she was suffering with her husband's death, and starts a new phase in his life with this property. After 10 years of th Meira Pension fame consolidation, he resolves to start with a Reclassification and Expansion Project, which he submitted to the DGT, and is approved on June 74 and reopens the establishment with a 2 Star Hotel rating.
And so business runs for another 20 years with some struggle and love for the hospitality business, honoring the name of the Founders. The British market, then in vogue, were the major hotel guests during this period. However, the partner Jorge Meira, bought the property from his mother and brothers, as his mother Felisbela, wanted to retire and the two younger brothers, who had little interest in the industry, saw the sale the best solution.
As the business sale was done, the sole proprietor at the time gave shares of the company to his two children and took off with a New Expansion Project and Reclassification of the Hotel to a 3 star, approved in May 1995.
In 2006, Felisbela Meira died, with the age of 93. May she rest in peace this great Lady.
Hotel Meira continues to renew itself and to modernize and with the new legislation regarding hotel reclassification requirements in 2009, the Hotel was reclassified as a 4 star Hotel. Finally the "cherry" on top of the Birthday Cake, because in 2010, we comemorated 75 years of existence, full of vitality, modernism, good service, great offers and special anniversary prices and of course with one extra Star.
History: prepared by Jorge Fernando Brito Meira