Vila Monte Farm House

Moncarapacho, Algarve, Portugal Book from Book from £94 per night

MOST UNFORGETTABLE ACTIVITY MOST UNFORGETTABLE ACTIVITY
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 Farm House - our favourite discovery of late. 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 bougainvillae and sleep like a log. Pure relaxation.

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 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!

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
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    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.

    Parents 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
  • Baby cots and bedlinen
  • Bottle sterilisers
  • High chairs and bibs
  • Baby bath
  • Plastic cutlery

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

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

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

  • Heated swimming pool
  • Nightly movies (open-air Cine Paraiso in season) with popcorn
  • Tennis court
  • Colouring books & pens
  • Bikes to hire
  • Large gardens
  • Beach excursions (private beach is 25 minutes away)
  • Dolphin watching
  • Exploring Tavira

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 55
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • 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.

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

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

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
  • 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 12 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    9/10
    Room
    8/10
    Food
    9/10
    Service
    8/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    The staff were incredible. We came with a 10 month old baby and the chefs cooked fresh soups & casseroles for him everyday which was a godsend!

    8/10,

    We felt food was over priced for the quality in the restaurant but breakfast was great.
    Disliked having to buy bottled water for every meal, but loved the facilities & general ambience/design.

    8/10,

    The food was good but overpriced but a bit mixed - steak overcooked and sent back one time and risotto cold but daughter starving so ate it - octopus delicious. Also it was a pain to have to remember to book all the time as seating is limited. Nearly everyone very helpful and very smiley. I do think it is generally overpriced.
    Loved the tennis and the breakfast and the gym -pool was ok.

    8/10,

    We had an amazing time at Vila Monte. We were a family of 4 (8yr and 9yr) and we all really enjoyed it. The outdoor pool is lovely, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the food is great. Highly recommend it.

    10/10,

    The whole farmhouse vibe was very relaxed and chilled. The food was amazing. We liked the location and the sweet village.Might not be great for older kids (ours were 9 and 11) Great craft kids club but films could have been a bit more mainstream. Great music too! Great water-park and beaches close by.

    9/10,

    Lovely grounds, pool, outdoor cinema.. A car is useful to explore local beaches.

    8/10,

    A beautiful, excellent hotel. Food in La Terra great -- perhaps not so good in the fine dining restaurant. Hotel this good should think about adding a spa. Service overall was charming and exceptional.

    10/10,

    Food good but overpriced. The swimming pool water was too cold.
    But a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

    7/10,

    We had a very relaxing break in this lovely hotel. The rooms and the guest areas were excellent. Breakfast was amazing. There were also lovely extras, such as yoga (daily activity), biscuits on your bed in the evening. All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

    9/10,

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