When most people envision Portugal’s Algarve coast, they see dramatic cliffs leading down to sandy beaches dotted with striped umbrellas and sun bathers. That’s an accurate picture to be fair, but there’s another side to the Algarve that seems to have remained a bit of a secret — one that I was lucky enough to be in on last summer thanks to The Perfect Hideaway. I’m talking about one of the best boutique hotels in Algarve, Portugal, Fazenda Nova Country House, which rather than sitting right on the coast is tucked away into the countryside in Santo Estevao.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Algarve, Portugal that’s a bit off the beaten track, this 15 suite hideaway will be your haven. It’s the exact opposite vibe of the tourist chaos you’ll find in the summer months in Portugal that pack into the beach towns like literal sardines.
In the Eastern Algarve just 15 minutes outside of Tavira, Fazenda Nova Country House, is one of the best Algarve Portugal hotels for those that would rather take a couple days of peaceful calm, cozying up with a book in a pool lounger, without the soundtrack of screaming children. The family-run property is a true oasis of peace and calm, with the only sounds to greet you being the breeze rustling through the trees.
But don’t worry, it’s still plenty close to the hubbub of the Algarve’s best beaches when you’re craving that salty ocean smell. In fact, it’s a great base to explore the Eastern side of the Algarve. Here are all the details.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY
Fazenda Nova Country House still feels like a secret, so now is the best time to go. But even with a full house you won’t feel surrounded by other guests at all times. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to hide out throughout this Algarve hotel, but all have one common thread: they’re built for ultimate relaxation. This isn’t the place to take business calls while you sunbathe. It’s a place where you go to completely unplug and dive head first into that true vacation spirit.
The fact that the small boutique hotel is family run also gives it an especially welcoming vibe. British owners and partners, Hallie and Tim Robinson, relocated to the area over a decade ago from the UK and have infused every inch of the property with their own quirky and globally-infused mix of personal taste; Portuguese, Balinese and even Morocco influences can be felt throughout.
Each of the boutique hotel’s 15 suites have their own unique layout and flair, with most featuring a private garden or patio. Many of the rooms are designed with Balinese style beds, quirky and colorful artwork and brushed concrete bathrooms for a perfect balance of traditional farmhouse aesthetics with a modern touch. It’s easy to see how each thoughtfully designed space is a reflection of the owners’ varied tastes and finds from their personal travels are Europe, South Africa and Asia.
The best part — all bathrooms come outfitted in luxurious REN amenities (pretty sure I still have my face wash in my cabinet at home), large rain showers and cushy bathrobes that really lend a hand to that whole ‘never leave the hotel’ sort of vibe that Fazenda Nova has perfected to a tee.
One of the things that makes this Algarve hotel so different from the rest is its location set on 10 hectares of farm land that has been used for almost 200 years. Olive, almond and carob trees from the original home built in 1836 still dot the property and are lovingly maintained, while other beautiful flowers and types of plants grow throughout the garden.
During my stay, I was struck by how many cool hideaways I would stumble upon throughout the property. The main pool and dining area are an obvious choice for guests to convene, but four-poster day beds, hidden seating areas and private garden firepits give guests easy destinations for separating themselves off from other guests when they need a bit of extra R&R.
Breakfast was definitely my favorite time of day at Fazenda Nova and still remains one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve had to date. While the selection wasn’t overwhelming, it was highly curated with the best pastries, meats, cheeses and fruits that made for a first meal fit for queens.
Diners gather in the outdoor communal seating area featuring beautiful shaded wooden tables that line the way to the property’s 200 year old bread oven, which I unfortunately didn’t get to witness in action.
For dinner, daily menus are presented on a chalk board and often feature local fish dishes from the area as well as seasonal organic items straight from the kitchen garden. And while Fazenda Nova’s food is absolutely worth trying, the local town of Tavira provides a slew of great restaurant and cafes options for guests itching to get off property for the evening.
Just 15 minutes away from the charming town of Tavira and 30 from Faro, there’s plenty of places to explore during a stay at Fazenda Nova. The best fish market in the Algarve also happens to be located in Olhão, a 20 minute drive away.
FAVORITE FEATURES OF THE HOTEL
- The beautiful vinyl library upstairs is hidden away, but includes over 1,500 records curated by the Robinson family themselves.
- Quirky knick knacks throughout the communal areas of the property give this Algarve boutique hotel a lot of unique character — not to mention a good way to pass the time, checking out all the cool items Hallie and Tim have brought back from their travels.
- Fazenda Nova’s pool setting has a special energy that beckons visitors to curl up all day with a great book. I was happy to oblige!
A FEW HELPFUL HINTS
- It’s best to rent a car in Portugal if you want to make the most of your stay
- The hotel bottles their own olive oil from the farm, so make sure to snag a few bottles as gifts for friends back home
- Ask about Fazenda Nova’s food tour which includes visits to a local fishing village and olive oil tasting to get a taste of the local gastronomy
Rooms at the Fazenda Nova Country House start at about $259 per night. Book now.
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Live Like It’s the Weekend was graciously invited as a guest of Fazenda Nova Country House and The Perfect Hideaway, but as always, all my opinions are my own and I would never promote anything I don’t freaking love.