Octant Vila Monte

Moncarapacho, Algarve, Portugal Book from Book from £136 per night

Exceptional rural hotel, with stylish suites set in lush gardens, fabulous restaurant, 2 pools and unique experiences on offer

We adored staying at Vila Monte, a favourite among our guests. 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 scents of rosemary and bougainvillea and sleep like a log. Pure relaxation.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • 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!

Lows

  • 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

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...

    Beach
    Family
    Foodie
    Romantic
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 55 rooms
    • Restaurant and bar open daily
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Heated 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
    Room:

    Rooms

    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.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Safe box
    • Satellite TV
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    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.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children's meals
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • 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:

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

    Kids

    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 Suites, Deluxe Suites, and some Deluxe and Superior rooms can be set up as triples using sofabeds in their living rooms. There are some cots available but these need to be requested in advance and are not guaranteed. Family Suites are inter-connecting Superiors.

    Babysitting:

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

    Baby equipment:

    • 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

    Creche/Kid's Club:

    Kids club (included in the rates) for children from 5 years old in the garden with pool games every afternoon - summer only

    Children's meals:

    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:

    • 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

    Distances:

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

    Location

    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.

    By Air:
    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

    Airports:

    • Faro 26.0 km FAR
    • Lisbon 284.0 km LIS

    Other:

    • Beach 12.0 km
    • Shops 1.0 km
    • Restaurant 1.0 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    9/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    Staff couldn’t have been more helpful and the breakfasts were fresh and delicious. The grounds and facilities were spacious, well kept and we particularly enjoyed the large pond to watch the wildlife!
    Rooms were great with very comfy beds.
    We only ate once in the hotel as the dinners were very expensive as well as the drinks and meals by the pool. There were good restaurants in Olhao, especially ChaChaCha.
    The weather wasn’t hot enough to visit the beach but you could easily spend days by the pool which we did happily.
    We would definitely recommend this hotel.

    9/10,

    We really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. The room was amazing and the staff were exceptional (thanks Pedro!). Villa Monte is a beautiful building in a lovely setting, with a great atmosphere…we loved the cocktail making, yoga and Pilates and the pond was an endless source of fascination for our 8 year old son. We loved the attention to detail - the chocolates in the room and the home made cakes in the afternoon and the open fires. A special mention for the delightful breakfasts and the home made smoothies. We really wanted a relaxing and easy week and this was perfect for us. In this case the hotel certainly lived up to the hype and we shall be back as soon as we can.

    10/10,

    Honestly the loveliest hotel we have ever stayed in. The room was perfect, we appreciated the little touches like the beach bag, sarong and sun hats.
    The food was beautifully presented, locally sourced and delicious, we had lunch and dinner in the restaurant.
    Even though I think the hotel was nearly fully booked, as everything is well spaced out we had many peaceful moments, whether on the cabana by the adults pool or sitting in the large reception area with bar. I must mention the really short transfer time from Faro airport, no wasted time spent in the hire car. We will definitely be back.

    10/10,

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