Villa Extramuros, Arraiolos, Portugal
Portugal's latest boutique hotel, on the outskirts of pretty, whitewashed Arraiolos, breaks the creative mould. Inspired by the pre-Roman fortified farmhouses that once dominated the area, Extramuros has a monastic all-white open-plan kitchen, reception and dining area. Five bedrooms over two floors, designed by Jordi Fornells and Gonçalo Byrne protégé Rolf Heinemann, have recessed angular garden terraces edged by sliding glass doors overlooking acres of olive grove. The local natural cork, with its cool, velvety touch and intense aroma, swathes walls and ceilings and provides thermal and acoustic insulation. Quirky Cubist turrets protrude from the roof garden and maximise the natural light below. You can order breakfast, or even a massage, under ancient olive trees by the infinity pool, or take your Mariage Frères tea with a fresh pastry.
Horta do Chaveiro, Caixa postal 209, 7040-114 Arraiolos. Portugal; Tel: 35.1 266429506; www.villaextramuros.com
Writer: Rupert Eden