“Fabulous, family-focused rooms, studios and apartments in a leafy valley close to the stunning beaches of the Costa Vicentina”
Vilarinha's rooms, studios and apartments are spread between 3 different houses, each differing slightly in conception. Whichever you choose, you'll have a private terrace with garden furniture and a choice of sun or shade.
The decorative style is similar throughout, with high bamboo-and-beam ceilings, terracotta-tiled floors and furniture made from local cork. All-white walls impart a fresh, light ambiance, whilst shiny black surfaces feel cool and contemporary. Beds come with top-of-the-range mattresses, padded leather headboards, Egyptian cotton sheets and embroidered pillows, and are topped by Indian cotton throws. There are TVs, DVD players and radios, plus shelves and hanging rails for storage; in the bathrooms you'll find snowy-white towels, hairdryers, shower gel and hand-wash.
The nearest house to the pool is Casa da Ribeira, which contains 4 open-plan studios, all with shower bathrooms, sitting areas and their own kitchenettes. A little further up the hill, Casa de Cima is home to 3 larger apartments, each with a double bedroom, a living room with a sofa (which can be made up as a single bed), a kitchen/diner, and a bathroom with a tub.
Just beyond the bread oven and barbecue terrace, Casa do Forno has 3 double rooms. Rooms 1 and 2 have showers only and no cooking facilities; Room 3 has a bathtub and a private kitchen. Casa do Forno makes a great choice for larger families or groups of 3 couples, who can rent the house as a complete unit.
Most rooms and suites have access to snazzy kitchens and kitchenettes with hobs, microwaves, fridges and dishwashers, but no ovens. There’s also a communal barbecue and bread oven - exclusive to Casa do Forno if the building has been booked in for one group. Basic ingredients are provided and you can buy groceries in the village, 2km away. Note that Rooms 1 and 2 in Casa do Forno do not have any self-catering facilities.
Cooking is just one option though, Vilharinha also has a glass-fronted diner by the pool with tables spilling out onto the terrace whenever the weather's good. There’s a healthy buffet breakfast of locally made cheese, juicy tomatoes, homemade jams, fruit salad and freshly squeezed orange juice, plus wonderful freshly baked bread and sweet treats from a renowned Aljezúr bakery. If you have to leave for an early flight, breakfast packs can be delivered to your door in the evening, ready for the next morning.
Lunches and dinners should be requested 48 hours’ in advance. Lunch could be a salad with octopus or shrimp, a mushroom risotto, or pork with Aljezúr sweet potato. On our last visit, we tucked into a 3-course set menu dinner of sea bass and decadent chocolate cake, while our son feasted on spaghetti Bolognese and ice cream.
Groups of 5 or more (team up with fellow guests if you're short) can order a gourmet fish supper, which may feature the famous perceves or gooseneck barnacles from Vila do Bispo.
If you prefer to eat out, there’s a choice of simple restaurants in Carrapateira, 5km down the road - the team are on hand for recommendations.
This is a perfect place for a family holiday, combining rural retreat and proximity to the beach; in fact it's so popular with parents that you're bound to end up with new friends, much like your kids. Vilarinha's guiding ethos is to encourage children to get outside and discover more about nature, and with its playground, lawn, toys for toddlers and welcoming atmosphere, it does that and more.
Two of the rooms in Casa do Forno have space for a rollaway bed, and the studios in Casa da Ribeira have sofabeds that can be made up as single beds. The apartments in Casa de Cima have sofabeds and space for a rollaway bed, and so can sleep up to 4 + a baby. Larger family parties should book all 3 Casa do Forno rooms (sleeping 8 in total), which share a big open-plan kitchen/dining and living room. All units can take a baby cot. Note that the studios in Casa da Ribeira and 2 of the rooms in Casa do Forno have showers only (no bathtubs).
Available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Breakfast is served daily; for other meals, you can self-cater or eat in the poolside diner (kids' options are available on request). Room 1 and 2 in Casa do Forno do not have self-catering facilities. Kitchens have microwaves for heating up baby food. The nearest grocery shop is 2km away.
Kids can run around freely, but there are some steps in and around the buildings. The pool is unfenced so toddlers, as always, need a keen eye on them. The hotel also has a dog which is often off the lead in the gardens.