“A secluded, utterly beautiful lakeside guesthouse, with heaps of contemporary designer flair; perfect for R&R”
Santa Catarina’s 6 bedrooms and the enormous Suite reflect an architect’s eye in their division of space, and, like the living room, are infused with light and colour. The bedrooms lie to either side of a long corridor, which cuts back from the main living area – half overlook the courtyard, half the lake (given the choice, we’d opt for the latter).
All-white walls and polished cement floors provide a plain canvas for chalky-blue shuttered windows and painted wardrobe doors. Stucco bathrooms have zinc sinks and enormous vanity mirrors, heated towel rails, and liquid soaps in chunky glass bottles. Beds are dreamily comfortable with linen sheets and mattresses decked out with an extra soft topper: you’re guaranteed a perfect night’s sleep.
A rooms are high-ceilinged doubles with sunken bathtub and mezzanine levels. C rooms are slightly smaller with rain showers rather than baths, whilst the B rooms have the largest footprint and come with walk-in rain showers.
The enormous second-floor Suite has an all-glass, east-facing frontage. Reached by spiral staircase there’s space aplenty for a four-poster, sofa and coffee table. The bathroom has a sunken bath as well as a shower. The only downside is that the car parking area lies between you and that heavenly view out east.
Although you’ll want to breakfast on the deck when the weather permits, the vast main space holds a lovely light-filled dining area where a continental buffet is laid up: bread, homemade jams, Alentejo cheese and ham, freshly squeezed orange juice as well as percolated coffee. You may also be treated to Isabel’s homemade pastries or her delicious bizcocho (a rich sponge cake).
If you want to kayak across to a neighbouring island, request one of the lunch hampers to take with you. Though a little expensive, they’re tasty and make for a great overall experience. Expect bread, cheese, olives, little pies, fruit and wine. Similarly, João can prepare you an evening Tábua Regional (Alentejo cheese, chorizo, olives and bread) to eat on the deck as the sun sets. Outside caterers can be called in if you book the house as a group.
Otherwise, when it comes to lunch or dinner, you’ll need to jump in your car and drive for 15-30 minutes. Try Pateo do Pompilio in Sao Vicente (15 minutes' drive), Taberna do Adro in Elvas (25 minutes' drive), or simply ask the team for their latest recommendations.
Children over 8 are welcome but parents should take into account the proximity of the water and that there are no facilities, as such, for kids. It's also a very quiet place. The wall ladders that lead up to the mezzanine levels in rooms 1 and 2 are only suitable for sure-footed teenagers.
Teens (over 12)
Rooms 1 & 2 have mezzanine sleeping levels with a single bed