Vila Monte Farm House
Words By Meredyth Gravely-Owen
Photos by Glen & Meredyth Gravely-Owen
When I read about Vila Monte Farm House on Mr & Mrs Smith, I knew its location—close to the beach, yet away from the crowds in the West—would be the perfect hideaway to chill and reflect. After eight days of moving through the winding streets of Lisbon, Sintra and Porto at warp speed, wandering in and out of churches, museums, and castles, we were hoping to slow down before catching our flight back home.
Vila Monte Farm House is a collection of 51 rooms and suites housed in whitewashed buildings. hidden between the mountains and the sea, framed by olive, carob and citrus trees, It is a Setting that doesn’t disappoint.
The idyllic farmhouse is a bucolic retreat where you can indulge in the lost art art of relaxation.
The late Vera Iachia Designed The Interiors, Bringing Her laid-back Comporta Style to the tranquil eastern Algarve.
Her signature is immediately recognized in the reception/living area which is outfitted with comfortable upholstery, straw accents and cool concrete floors. At its center sits a fireplace where guests can mingle over a pre-dinner cocktail. The lively space offers a view of the kitchen, a library, and small general store stocked with Iocal items that bear testament to the flavors of the region. If it’s privacy that you crave, there are plenty of cozy nooks nearby.
Rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light. Simply and stylishly decorated with a modern-rustic beach house vibe. Our suite featured a generous terrace with comfortable spaces for sunning and lounging while gazing out over the sea and mountains beyond.
Don’t worry if you left your sun hat at home.
We found two simple straw Panama hats, each adorned with a single sprig of rosemary, resting at the foot of our comfortable bed. Other thoughtful items included beach bags and woven pareos for use at one the two gleaming pools or one of the many secluded and sandy beaches nearby.
Our meals at the two restaurants on property, À Terra and Laranjal, were delicious. Dishes were prepared with the freshest seafood and local ingredients (many grown in the hotel’s herb and vegetable gardens). After taking one bite of his simply but wonderfully prepared grilled fish, my husband proclaimed, “This is the best sea-bass I’ve ever had in my life!” I too couldn’t stop raving about my risotto, which would have impressed the pickiest nonna. For dinner, choose a table under the stars, in the garden. But be sure to grab a blanket from the nearby basket. When the sun sets and the cool evening breeze rolls across the hilltop property, you’ll want something to keep you warm while you linger over your last glass of wine.
Off the beaten path but close enough to explore the more traditional fishing towns of Olhão and Tavira, the boho-chic farm house is the perfect base to discover the sleepy eastern Algarve — an area which (for now) has managed to avoid mass tourism and retain it’s local charm. Its also a quick thirty minute drive to the marina at Vilamoura. I highly recommend chartering a boat for a day. It’s a great way to avoid the hordes of tourists and explore the stunning, natural beauty of the rugged Algarve coastline.
In the Algarve, There are Still many SecretS To Be Shared. A skilfull Captain will Guide You to caves and Coves Only accessible by sea.
If you tire of sun, sand and lazing around the pool, the staff at Vila Monte can arrange shopping trips to the Olhão market with the chef, tastings at nearby Olive Oil Farms or a visit to the Castro Marim salt ponds, where you can harvest flor de sal, the artisanal salt of Portugal.
There is also a small gym and tennis court on property where you can burn off some of the calories (and not completely lose your waist-line) from the delicious food and wine you had at dinner.
After nearly forty miles of walking in Lisbon, Porto and Sintra, I was content spending my afternoons on a comfortable lounger under the shade of a fig tree.
Vila Monte Farm House
Sitio dos Caliços, Moncarapacho, Olhão, Moncarapacho Algarve