I almost don’t know where to begin. Have you ever found yourself somewhere you feel right at home and yet absolutely in wonderment at the same time? I have. Right here.
This boutique hotel in the Algarve countryside, just twenty minutes from Faro airport, has been on my bucket list for some time and when the opportunity arose to stay, even just for one night, my heart immediately felt warm. And so we arrived, full of anticipation and, me, with a niggling concern that Vila Monte could not possibly live up to everything I had imagined it to be. But as we wound up the tree lined drive and stepped into that whitewashed reception we were quite simply in awe.
Take a bike ride through the grounds and pause at one of the two pools, have a bite to eat under the tree canopy at A Terra, visit the herb garden and watch the last remaining sliver of sunset disappear over the valley and eventually the hills – both the most understated and yet majestic of views. The staff here are at once unobtrusive and fulfilling your every need; this is a place of contradictions that leaves you filled with the greatest feeling of contentment. In reception you will find a small farm shop to cater for your day to day desires (turns out my desire was a glazed terracotta sardine – I do love an animal themed memento). The interiors are out of this world beautiful and so simple; the polished concrete floor painted abstractly in white gloss for the most beautiful effect imaginable and an abundance of wicker objets… The rooms, ours a suite in Laranjal, the orangery, was a minimalist dream stocked with hammam towels and a woven bag and the most beautiful little fruit platter that just appeared by magic. The food is as incredible as the reviews would lead you to believe – not overly complicated but fresh and beautiful quality and well priced. The adults only pool is a concrete lined dream and we could only be prised away with the lure of cocktails to be enjoyed in the last shaft of evening sun the main pool basked in.
It seems unfair to have any complaints at all about Vila Monte but alas the projector was on the blink and snuggling down to The Little Mermaid at the outdoor cinema was to become one thing to add to the list for a return visit. Honestly, I would add everything again and times it by a couple more days and I am in fact pitching this to the husband for his fortieth birthday trip… Do you think he would be into The Little Mermaid?
With thanks to Vila Monte Farm House for kindly hosting our stay.
in the moment dress – Free People
signature cone heel boots – Next
palma wide fedora – Lack of Color
aviators – Ray-Ban
raffia buckle belt – Mango
nura friendship bracelet – Monica Vinader
skinny torque bangle – Rox
totem cuff – Edge of Ember