Vila Monte Farm House

Moncarapacho, Algarve, Portugal Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
Stylish rural hotel, with charming suites set in lush gardens, fabulous restaurant, 2 pools and a swanky living area
We adored staying at Vila Monte Farm House - our favourite discovery for 2016. Just a half hour from Faro, it's a perfect "fly and flop" with pretty landscaped gardens, peaceful pools to chill by and imaginative interiors to refresh our souls. Its 55 rooms are spread out into different nooks, so it preserves a sense of space without losing any of its personality. You never feel crowded: this is not a place you ever need to bag a lounger.

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 musky scents of rosemary 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 2 pools, tennis court, glowing fire-pits at night, and plenty of space for privacy
  • Delicious farm-to-plate food; breakfast was a daily highlight
  • Genuinely helpful staff to help plan trips to local towns and unspoilt beaches


  • You need transport to get to the beach and to other restaurants and towns such as Tavira; we recommend hiring a car
  • The WiFi in our room was unreliable but worked fine in reception
  • The pools are lovely but chilly; there are plans to heat the adults' pool

Best time to go

The best months are April and May (for spring flowers and warm temperatures), and September and October, when it’s still warm and sunny by day, and mild at night. July and August can get quite hot. Winter months are cold at night, and the wind can be chilly, although the sun still shines most days.

Our top tips

  • Try their delicious Passion Fruit Mojito or the Porto Branco Tini
  • Keep some space free in your suitcase - we couldn't resist buying lovely ceramic bowls and local produce from their deli boutique
  • Great for...

    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 55
    • Restaurant and bar
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Tennis Court
    • Bicycles Available
    • Piano in breakfast room


    The 55 rooms are set in 3 Moorish styled buildings in the grounds. Casa de Cima is closest to the adults' pool and perhaps 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.

    We recommend the 20 or so suites, with their spacious living areas and verandahs, especially Superior Suite 57 with its corner terrace and distant ocean views. Note that Junior Suites have a bath with overhead shower, while the bigger Superior Suites have a walk-in power shower but no tub.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Safe box
    • Satellite tv
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet


    À Terra restaurant is now a firm favourite: 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.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children meals
    • Coffee tea making
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurant
    • Room service


    • It's easy to spend the day at the hotel, lazing on one of their loungers and cooling off in one of the pools. There's no spa yet but massages can be arranged
    • Feeling active? There's a well equipped gym, tennis court and adult bikes to borrow - 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)
    • 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.
    • Foodies should head down to Olhao's big fish market on Saturdays

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Horse-riding
    • Sailing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Well being


    This is a quiet retreat, but families are welcome, there's a kids club in summer, and all of the suites have a day bed which can sleep a child. Those in our party (aged 8, 9 and 10) loved the large gardens, tennis court, trips to the beach, pizzas, and films with popcorn. Most families stay in July/August. And watching the terrapins and frogs in the ponds!

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Junior and Superior Suites each have a day bed in the living area which can sleep 1 child up to the age of 12. Families with 2 children can request an extra bed in the Superior Suites. There are some cots available but these need to be requested in advance and are not guaranteed.


    Babysitting can be arranged with advance notice (ideally a week)

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Tanque das Bicas kids swimming pool with pool toys
    • Nightly movies (open air Cine Paraiso in season) with popcorn
    • Tennis court
    • Colouring books & pens
    • Bikes to hire
    • Large gardens

    Families Should Know:

    There are some large ponds and two swimming pools in the grounds which are unfenced. You will need a car to make the most of the area


    • Airport: 30 minutes
    • Shops: 15 minutes (Tavira)
    Kid Friendly:

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