Inside, their long cool white bar and reception edge towards the groovy. Walk across dappled polished concrete floors, gather round a giant central chimney. Then sit back, sip your cocktail and watch the kitchen crew make you something delicious. Movies are played each night, whether outside or inside. From nearby Olhao they'll take you to private beach picnics or explore local markets. Come back to stroll through carob orchards, breathe in the scents of rosemary and bougainvillea and sleep like a log. Pure relaxation.
- Peaceful rural location, away from the Algarve's touristy resorts, yet an easy 30-minute drive from Faro airport
- Beautiful interiors, from the stunning open-plan reception to the crisp all-white bedrooms
- Acres of lawned gardens with two pools (a dedicated one for adults and another for all), tennis court, glowing firepits at night, and plenty of space for privacy
- Delicious farm-to-plate food; breakfast was a daily highlight
- Fabulous experiences on offer: romantic picnics on a deserted beach, snorkelling with sea horses, even time travel in Tavira!
- Expensive. But trust us, worth it. It is a very special hotel
- You need transport to get to the beach and to other restaurants and towns; we recommend hiring a car
- The WiFi in our room was unreliable but worked fine in reception
- Boutique Hotel
- 55 rooms
- Restaurant and bar open daily
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Creche / Kids Club
- Car recommended
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
- Piano in breakfast room
The rooms are set in 3 Moorish styled buildings in the grounds. Casa de Cima is closest to the adults' pool and best for those wanting most privacy; 2-storey Casa Pátio is set round a central atrium filled with bright pink bougainvillea; Laranjal's suites flank a row of orange trees.
Rooms are mostly white, with views of the gardens. They have a light, clean, simple feel with calming rustic touches: sarongs, beach bags and sun hats hang on driftwood pegs, chunky logs are used as stools and soft tie-dyed cushions add splashes of colour. Other thoughtful details include a Nespresso machine, Kitchen Aid kettle, well stocked minibar and homemade cookies at turndown. We enjoyed good lighting and comfy beds. Use their electric black-out blinds at your peril: we overslept spectacularly. Note that Junior Suites have a bath with overhead shower, while the bigger Deluxe Suites have a walk-in power shower but no tub. For the ultimate experience, book three-suite Villa Indigo which comes with its own private pool, big gardens and butler service.
- In room treatments available
- Safe box
À Terra restaurant is fantastic: a light airy room with large wooden tables, pots of aromatic rosemary and views of the gardens and the kitchen hustle. Cuisine is rustic and homely, with plenty of sharing dishes; organic vegetables and herbs from the garden add a delicious, healthy twist.
At breakfast you get jugs of fresh smoothies laced with ingredients to lift your day (maybe pear, dates and spinach, labelled 'good for the digestion'), along with an array of warm pastries and pancakes, homemade jams, granola, local yoghurts and cheeses, fruit and cooked fare. What won us over were the creamy scrambled eggs made to order and served in mini frying pans. We could have grazed all day.
Lunch and dinner offer dishes from land and sea, while the wood-fired oven produces the crispiest pizzas. We ate there all 3 of our evenings and were never disappointed. To start, ask for one of the sharing boards heaped with freshly baked bread, dips, jamon iberico and olives. We relished the succulent Josper-grilled beef tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, and the tender guinea fowl with celeriac and apple puree. Friendly waiters can advise on the best Portuguese wines.
In high season, Laranjal restaurant opens in the evenings for fine dining, with an emphasis on seafood. Bag a table on the terrace for panoramic views all the way out to sea.
- Coffee / tea making
- Room service
- It's easy to spend day after day just at the hotel, lazing on one of their loungers and cooling off in one of the pools. Massages can be arranged in the bijou Casita spa
- Feeling active? There's a well-equipped gym and tennis court, or check if there's a yoga class or cultural hike planned
- Turn your focus inwards, with an aromatherapy workshop, meditation class, auto massage and nutrition workshops or medicinal tea-making. Check to see what's on offer during your stay, as activities can change seasonally
- Pack a picnic from the deli in reception and borrow bikes to pootle down to the local town, Moncarapacho, or continue further to the coast
- Spend a day on one of the stunning island beaches in the protected Ria Formosa National Park; we love Fuseta, Culatra and Armona. In summer, Vila Monte can arrange for you to go to a deserted beach and set up a picnic for you (25 minute minibus shuttle followed by a quick hop on a private boat)
- The Guest Experiences Manager can arrange amazing day trips, too, to help you get under the skin of this beautiful area. We loved the sound of snorkelling with sea horses or spending a day with a traditional goat shepherd
- Foodies will love visiting the local markets with a chef then watching him cook up a storm; you can help him if you want, or just enjoy the private demonstration and lunch! (Plus, there may be a cocktail workshop you can get involved with)
- Tavira (11km) is one of the loveliest towns on the Algarve. It’s river-fronted with a Roman bridge spanning the water for pedestrians and plenty of traditionally tiled buildings
- Settle down with some popcorn and a film at the tea time cinema
- Foodies should head down to Olhao's big fish market on Saturdays
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Best Time to go
Our Top Tips
Vila Monte is a rural hotel on the edge of Sitio dos Calicos, a small village in the eastern Algarve, near Moncarapacho and 30 minutes from Faro airport.
Faro airport is the closest (26km) but you could fly into Lisbon (284km) if you don't mind a longer drive. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.
Take a taxi or hire a car from the airport; see our rental recommendations. There is free parking at the hotel.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Portugal and getting around
- Faro 26.0 km FAR
- Lisbon 284.0 km LIS
- Beach 12.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km