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Friday, April 1, 2016

The Ultimate Algarve Retreat: Vila Monte Farm House

Located in Moncarapacho, between Olhao and Tavira is beautiful Vila Monte Farm House which was our first stop in Portugal! Vila Monte Farm House is one of the most unique and beautiful places we've had the pleasure in visiting during our travels. Its beautiful location in the countryside between the Algarve mountain range and the ocean which is only 10 minutes away, allows guests to experience all the region truly has to offer. Vila Monte Farm House is a enchanting combination of timeless simplicity, stylish boho-chic lifestyle, a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and as they describe "the perfect re-interpretation of the Algarve Spirit". We were won over immediately by Vila Monte's stylish charm and relaxed atmosphere.



We were in awe of Vila Monte Farm House from the moment we drove through the gates and through the beautiful grounds towards reception. We were greeted warmly by the friendly, helpful staff the moment we stepped through the front door and quickly had our bags whisked from us and they were replaced with a delicious home made welcome tea made from lemongrass, parsley, ginger and mint. The lobby also has a well stocked honesty bar and there is porter and concierge services available. The staff were also more than happy to assist with the booking of activities and taxis during our stay.

The lobby and reception area are a beautiful, bright and open room where guests converge, relax and mingle. The white room was complimented by beautiful beachy and natural tones and materials in the furniture and decor. The main focus of the room is the large vertical flume coming off a large, central firepit which has seating all around it and is a truly magnificent centrepiece to the room.





The À Terra shop is located just off the lobby area and is a small grocery store dedicated to the Algarve and beautiful Mediterranean flavours. The shop sells a variety of foods and products ranging from olive oil, spirits, cheeses, vegetables to knives, crockery and kitchen goods, all of which are very reasonably priced and allow you to take a little part of Vila Monte Farm House and the region home with you to share with others.



We were taken on a tour of the hotel's beautiful grounds and shown all the excellent facilities that we could utilise during our stay. As we strolled through the hotel and its beautiful gardens, buildings and terraces, through the aromatic garden where many ingredients that are used in the restaurant are grown and past the beautiful pool area and gym we continued to fall more and more in love with Vila Monte Farm House and knew we'd chosen the perfect place to spend our first few days in Portugal!







The hotel has 55 rooms and suites that are located in 4 buildings spread out across the hotel grounds. As we walked into our building and strolled past the beautiful orange trees and perfectly manicured gardens we knew we were in heaven!





We were staying in one of the garden suites which was absolutely gorgeous, fresh and relaxed. The room was both simple and stylish. We loved the whitewashed walls, day bed, splashes of colour and natural tones from the materials used in the rugs and lampshades. Our suite contained a separate lounge and bedroom and we felt at home immediately in our comfortable, spacious and incredibly beautiful suite.







Our bedroom was gorgeous and we loved the combination of the whitewashed walls, woven mats, natural furniture and mixture of blue tones in the ceiling, pillows and throw rug. Our king sized bed was dreamily comfortable and we slept perfectly in between the soft linens. We loved the natural lighting in the room and lounge during the day and also the choice of mood lighting in the rooms of an evening. The blackout blinds were very much appreciated and did their job perfectly and anyone visiting during summer will especially appreciate them in the early morning sunshine.

We really enjoyed our gorgeous, private garden terrace which overlooked the gardens and had both a day bed and table and chairs. It was as the perfect place to relax in the morning sun with a cup of tea and we particularly loved that it allowed us to relax in the warmth away from any wind. In addition to the Smart TV in the lounge, our suite also had a Smart TV in our bedroom with international channels. Vila Monte Farm House has internet connection throughout the whole hotel, with each room having internet connected through their television! This is a service we haven't come across in our travels yet and we were very impressed with this modern technology as our internet worked flawlessly during out stay.






We absolutely loved our whitewashed bathroom which had a rainfall shower, beautiful basin, large mirror and luxurious Green Park toiletries. We also had a hair dryer and soft, fluffy towels and bathrobes.





The facilities at Vila Monte Farm House are exceptional and include two swimming pools with sun loungers and towels (one which is reserved for adults only), a tennis court, a very well equipped gym which is open 24 hours a day and beautiful, perfectly landscaped gardens with tables, chairs, deckchairs and lounges scattered throughout the grounds.

One of our favourite activities on offer at the hotel was the evening "Cine Paraiso" which is Vila Monte's film sessions held every evening with a new film being shown nightly accompanied by delicious, fresh popcorn! During summer the cinema is held outdoors and during winter it is held in reception around the fireplace.










Vila Monte Farm House is located in Moncarapacho, between Olhao and Tavira, only 10 minutes away from the coast. Vila Monte Farm House's privileged location between the Algarve mountains and the ocean allows guests the wonderful opportunity to experience a unique part of this region encompassing the mountains, countryside and beaches. We organised a transfer prior to our trip with hoppa, who we've used on previous trips and have been fantastic and extremely reliable! They collected us from the airport and very safely drove us the beautiful, scenic thirty minutes to the hotel. If you're looking to book an airport transfer in the Algarve we highly recommend utilising hoppa!

Guests can borrow free bicycles from Vila Monte Farm House and cycle to beautiful destinations in the local area. Highlights include Olhao, a lively fishing town where the lifestyle is centred around the sea, Tavira which is known to be one of the loveliest cities in the Algarve and which still maintains the traditional, typical feel of an Algarve fishing Village and Rio Formosa Nature Reserve which is a beautiful, intricate network of ponds, canals, salt mines and sandy fields which is separated from the ocean by a beautiful group of picture perfect islands.

In addition to free bicycles, the reception staff at Vila Monte Farm House can arrange countless activities for guests including horseback riding, boat tours, fishing and even a horse drawn cart ride to Tavira! They can also arrange for picnic baskets for you to take out during the day and from June to October there is a free shuttle from the hotel to Praia da Fuseta which has a boat waiting to take you to the island. Each room at Vila Monte Farm House also has a beach basket with beach towels, hats and umbrellas for use during your stay. Everything you could possibly want or need during your stay is provided or can be arranged for you. They can even arrange for massages to be held in either the hotel's gardens or in the privacy of your own room.



Vila Monte's restaurant, À Terra is described as being "more than a restaurant, a new concept" and our dining experience during both breakfast and dinner was one of the highlights of our stay. The food served in the restaurant is based on homemade, delicious, healthy and rustic food using the freshest of local produce and ingredients, many of which are grown in Vila Monte's own extensive vegetable and herb gardens. The restaurant is relaxed and we loved the large, open windows which allowed beautiful natural light into the restaurant and allowed us to admire the beautiful surroundings. The food is primarily cooked in a traditional wood oven and a Josper grill and we were lucky enough to dine on incredibly fresh, grilled fish and traditional wood fired pizza accompanied by fresh salad, vegetables and herbs from Vila Monte's garden. We will be posting our review from the restaurant very soon so stay posted for more on our incredible dining experience at À Terra!







Breakfast is also served in À Terra and is a buffet of mouthwateringly good options! There was a wide selection of freshly based breads which are one of the restaurant's key elements and is baked in the traditional wood oven daily ensuring it is as fresh as possible! A wide range of cereals and toppings with yoghurt is available along with fresh fruit, pastries, cheeses and cold meats along with hot breakfast items including scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon. I loved the selection of freshly squeezed juices which included orange, vegetable and fruit juice combinations! Breakfast was a lovely, relaxed dining affair and we had a wonderful morning relaxing in the sunshine enjoying a healthy, delicious meal.








Vila Monte Farm House was our first stop in Portugal and was everything and more that we hoped it would be. The hotel and grounds itself were beautiful, peaceful and relaxing, the food in À Terra was delightful and the service we received throughout our stay was outstanding. We truly could not have asked for a more perfect place to stay in Portugal and would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxed, idyllic retreat in the Algarve! We were sad to be leaving but left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and excited to explore the rest of this gorgeous region over the next few weeks!



Vila Monte Farm House
Sitio dos Caliços
8700-069 Moncarapacho
Portugal
+351 289 790 790
www.vilamonte.com

The Aussie Flashpacker was welcomed to Vila Monte as a guest.
Our opinions are as always, our own.

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