“Exceptional rural hotel, with stylish suites set in lush gardens, fabulous restaurant, 2 pools and unique experiences on offer”
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 bougainvillae 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 heated 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
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar open daily
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- 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 Superior Suites have a walk-in power shower but no tub.
If you're here for romance, splurge on a Suite Collection room: each different, all utterly romantic with spacious, super-private indoor and outdoor areas, and butler service. We especially loved the Secret Suite, with its cute garden and pool.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
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.
- Children's meals
- 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
- 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!
- 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:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- 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!
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. Family Suites are inter-connecting Superior Suites.
Babysitting can be arranged with advance notice (ideally a week)
- Baby cots and bedlinen
- Bottle sterilisers
- High chairs and bibs
- Baby bath
- Plastic cutlery
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids club (included in the rates) for children from 5 years old in the garden with pool games every afternoon - summer only
The breakfast buffet has options for all. Friendly A Terra serves wood-fired pizzas and sharing boards and while L'Aranjal is more of a seafood restaurant, both have kids menus (think home-made fishfingers, steak and salad, chocolate mousse), and activity packs. The seasonal pool bar serves salads and fresh juices. There's a deli boutique selling local food produce, salads and sandwiches - useful for day trips. And picnic baskets are available to order
Kids Activities on site:
- Heated swimming pool
- Nightly movies (open-air Cine Paraiso in season) with popcorn
- Tennis court
- Colouring books & pens
- Bikes to hire
- Large gardens
Kids Activities nearby:
- Beach excursions (private beach is 25 minutes away)
- Dolphin watching
- Exploring Tavira
Families Should Know:
There are some large ponds and 2 swimming pools in the grounds, which are unfenced. You will need a car to make the most of the area
- Airport: 30 minutes (Faro)
- Shops: 15 minutes (Tavira)