São Lourenço do Barrocal hotel - Monsaraz, Portugal
Snugly situated on the shores of the Alentejo´s vast Alqueva lake, just a few miles from the picture perfect whitewashed village of Monsaraz, this five-star farmhouse hideaway blends the ruggedness of an African safari with five-star farmhouse chic.
Designed by the iconic Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto Moura, the village resort is set within a 780-hectare estate that has been in the same family for over 200 years; owner José António Uva comes from an investment banking background and is the eighth generation of the same family to have farmed the wine, olive and cork estate.
Comprising 22 guest rooms, two suites and 16 independent cottages each with private terraces and spectacular view towards Monsaraz castle, no luxury has been spared; guests can expect Egyptian cotton bed linen, down and feather pillows and duvets, Susanne Kaufmann bathroom amenities and underfloor heating in winter. The hotel has its very own chapel, schoolroom and bullring plus a winery, a farm to table restaurant and even a farm shop selling Portuguese contemporary crafts, regional delicacies and the estate’s home grown produce.
A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool while a stable of horses provide scenic treks for up to eight guests at a time. Possessing a unique energy, the farm was once a magnet for megalithic tribes who used the huge granite outcrops - or barrocais - as ceremonial stones.