Rural tourism, luxury hotels and even glamping in the middle of nowhere, and at the same time we’re talking about places that are located near everything you need. Alone or in good company, with or without children. Here are eight hotels in Alentejo coast where you can stay.
The best hotels in Alentejo coast
Right next to Aberta Nova beach, with country roads that will lead you there, Uva do Monte is a small vintage rural tourism estate owned by the same people who own The Independente, in Lisbon.
Located only a few kilometres away from Grândola and a few deserted beaches from the coast, “Sobreiras – Alentejo Country Hotel” is one of the coolest and newest rural hotels. It’s right in the middle of the countryside, it’s surrounded by cork oaks (“sobreiros” in Portuguese, which is also the name of the hotel) and everything about it is inviting, whether the possibility of going for a good stroll or a bicycle ride in the country or lying in the sun by the pool all afternoon. The bedrooms are decorated in a simple manner, with nature elements, and all of them have a private terrace.
The grandfather dreams and the work is born. This is how “O Lugar, Guesthouse” came about, which just recently opened in Porto Covo. The story is told by Pedro Martins, who was born there and works as a radiologist, and who now also manages a small six-bedroom house in Pescadores beach, right at the village centre.
When they learnt that the City Hall was going to auction the old elementary school’s building, Maria Santos knew she had found the perfect place to finally go through with her “Cabeça da Cabra” countryside guesthouse project. The typical 50’s classrooms that this building had became two bedrooms and made way for two lofts. The stay includes breakfast made with fresh products, straight from the hotel’s vegetable-garden.
If what you’re looking for is a quiet place in the middle of Alentejo’s countryside where there’s only nature surrounding you, book a stay at “Três Marias”. This is one of those places where there are no evident luxuries, but where you can feel the comfort in every way possible.
This rural tourism place is only eight kilometres away from Vila Nova de Milfontes. If you’re planning on staying at a one-bedroom apartment or a two-bedroom with a kitchenette and a private terrace then choose Natuarte Rio.
Casas da Lupa is one of the prettiest rural tourism projects of South East Alentejo. It opened four years ago and the bedrooms, master suites (each with a private pool), and suites with porches were built with a modern white architecture, but were also decorated with stronger colours. It’s located five minutes away from Zambujeira do Mar, it has several paths that you can take whether by bicycle or by foot in the middle of the countryside, several yoga classes you can take (if requested), a healthy cuisine (if that’s what you going for) and picnics baskets that can take with you when going to the country.
If you always wanted to camp, but with the comfort of a hotel room then choose “A Terra”, a beautiful glamping place located at Zambujeira do Mar.
Algarve’s newest hotels
This is one of those stories that features foreigners that fell in love with Algarve’s coastline, but we’re glad that was the case. Myriam and Mattia moved to the south of Portugal and opened a modest guesthouse in Sagres, with rooms that you can share with your friends. It’s called Casa Biota and they want it to be that home away from home. There are two apartments with room for 4 to 6 people.
They call it “a very special place”, we call it “a place where you can lose your head and from where it’s hard to move someone out”. We’re talking about a huge piece of land with three different buildings that gradually opened to the public. The first to open, in 2016, was “Jogo da Bola”, a very minimalistic place with 22 rooms; the second one opened in February and it has three huts with private patios so you can lie in the sun; and the third one is “Casa Mãe”, which is a 19th century building that was recovered and that opened with five different suites. Then there’s a healthy restaurant that uses local products and has an open kitchen, a big pool, a store that only sells the finest of Portuguese products and a huge garden to stroll around. They say it’s more than just a hotel and we don’t disagree.
It opened in July 2016, but this is the first fully functioning summer of this four star hotel. Let’s get straight to the point: it has 59 rooms, an outdoor pool, a gym (for those who want to stay fit during the summer), a bistro and a tapas bar. It’s located at the centre of Vilamoura – in a 90’s building that was completely remodelled – right next to all Algarve’s greatest summer parties. There are free shuttles to Falésia beach, to Vilamoura’s marina or to contiguous golf courts, in case you intend to shoot some balls.
At Pine Cliffs, this incredible luxury hotel at Falésia beach, in Albufeira, there are new Ocean suites. It has the small luxury, among many others, of having a private panoramic elevator to the beach and to Serenity Spa, which has a massage menu that’ll make you go ballistic. Try the “Sentir o Algarve” treatment, with salt from Ria Formosa. Worth every euro.
It looks like a mirage, but there are still places that have none of that fuss and commotion that the Algarve usually has. Salema Beach Village is located at Salema’s fishing village, next to Salema beach (the British newspaper The Guardian ranked it with an honourable 15th place in the prettiest beaches in the world list), and it has 114 houses for families or friends to spend their vacations. All of these houses have a small garden and a terrace for you to throw your own parties (small parties, that is, because this is no place to mess around) and hold dinners. The beach is located right next to it, but during the summer you won’t have to move a muscle: there’s a shuttle service to take you to the beach. If you rather stay at the pool there’s a pool bar to ensure you have all the snacks and drinks before or after going for a swim.
It was once a perfume factory, but it’s now an agrotourism surrounded by an orange grove, and with a saltwater pool surrounded by fruit trees. Quinta dos Perfumes opened in 2013, with only six rooms equipped with a kitchenette. In 2017 they inaugurated eight new luxury rooms and a rooftop. Bicycles are available for free to go for a ride through the 35 hectares of orange grove. Or you can take them and go to Cabanas de Tavira and eat at one of the best restaurants of traditional Portuguese food, Noelia.
It is the only five-star hotel of the Herdade dos Salgados and its even facing the sea. This is a true luxury enterprise: it has 21 thousand square meters of outdoor space, 260 rooms, three saltwater swimming pools and even a heated one for those who are always cold. Best of all, it is one of those hotels where you don’t have to worry about meals: there are four restaurants with different cuisines. Sunset has some good grilled food, Mamma Mia is Italian, Aji has oriental cuisine and Ocean Buffet runs its buffet tables according to different themes.
The Tivoli Carvoeiro Hotel, a classic in the Algarve, was completely renovated in April and now has a 5-star category. In addition to the 246 rooms, all of which have been renovated in order to be more spacious and with panoramic balconies, the hotel now has a rooftop bar: the Sky Bar Carvoeiro, with the cliffs and caves of Carvoeiro as the backdrop and the sea as far as the eye can see. It also has three new restaurants - Mare Bistro with light meals, Med Food and Wine with buffets and The One Gourmet, a fine dining restaurant - spa, and gym.
The Companhia das Culturas is the perfect escape from the city hustle. It’s at an organic production farm and has nine rooms and four new apartments, perfect for families, a yoga room and a Hamam, the only one in the country faithful to the ritual of the Romans and Arabs. It’s at an adjoining ground and is now in full operation: you can stay in the Turkish bath of hot and humid air, which reduces stress and muscle pain, or make a personalized treatment with the therapist Alexandra Gil. In the end, you can dine at Petiscaria Ideal, a restaurante that serves Algarve’s specialties.