This rural Portuguese retreat ticks a lot of boxes: gorgeous rooms, charming and knowledgeable hosts, a stunning location and impressive eco credentials to boot. Between them, owners Hallie and Tim have crafted a relaxing and utterly beautiful getaway from the centuries-old farmhouse and its stunning 10 hectares of bountiful gardens.
There’s a holistic dimension to a stay at Fazenda Nova: large French doors lead you from the rooms to the gardens, which in turn produce a delicious spread for the breakfast and dinner table. The pretty saltwater pool and commitment to sustainability (there are solar panels and a reed bed to filter grey water) further brings the hotel in touch with its gorgeous natural surroundings.
Rooms: Accommodation is split between 7 Garden Suites, 2 Apartments and a Terrace Suite, all of which are thoughtfully decorated with a characterful minimalism. Balinese teak furniture, South African feathered headdresses and painted Moroccan doors sit alongside Eames chairs and indulgent Ren products – all brilliantly curated to epitomise rustic-chic. High end decadence is also unobtrusively introduced through hypnos mattresses, soft Belgian linen, sleek Artemide lighting and large state-of-the-art bathrooms.
The Garden Suites have little gardens where beanbags sit under carob trees or pod chairs hang from the branches. The Terrace Suite is slightly more private with its own terrace and stair access. The larger Apartments are perfect for a small family (there’s a kingsize bed and a sofabed in the sitting room) or for those who like to be able to cook themselves the odd meal. You’ll find a fully stocked kitchen and one of them also has its own garden.
Food: Thanks to the numerous fruit-laden trees in the gardens, Fazenda Nova’s breakfast table groans under the weight of organic, home-grown produce like apples, plums and pears as well as fresh pomegranate and orange juice. You can also expect crusty homemade bread straight from the renovated 200-year-old oven. The restaurant, A Cozinha, (closed on Saturdays during peak season and Wednesday as well in off-peak months) offers a similar fusion of fresh produce and rustic themes, all enjoyed on the shady outdoor terrace. Expect a small but daily rotating menu of local food such as mackerel, sea bass, or bream alongside sweet roast peppers, courgettes, beans and wholesome salads.
Dining out is easy, too: within 10-15 minutes you can drive to Cafe dos Mestres in Fuseta or Fialho in Pinheiro. The former is a well-priced restaurant serving typical Algarve food and heaving with locals, while the latter serves a not-to-be-missed arroz de marisco (a delicious simmering cauldron of rice and shellfish).
Top Tip: Check the blackboard in the hall for daily suggestions of what to do in the area – Hallie and Tim delight in suggesting where to go and what to buy, without being pushy. Alternatively, take a book to a quiet, secluded spot in the garden – a chair looking out over the orchards, a wooden shelter by the herb garden, or a bench under the olive trees – and soak up the bucolic delights of rural Portugal.
i-escape guest review: “We couldn’t have been happier staying here. Wonderful staff, enthusiastic and charming owners who helped us fill some perfect days in a beautiful place far from crowds. 3 nights was too short this time.” Aidan, United Kingdom (21.10.13)