A centuries-old family property is reinvented.
Driving to Monsaraz, the dreamy landscape morphs from green flatlands to neat rows of olive trees and finally to expansive golden fields clustered with cork trees. Large barrocais (ceremonial stones) mark the entrance to the former self-sufficient family estate turned minimal-chic hotel.
Renowned Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura and designer Anahory Almeida transformed the former workers quadrants and barns into spaces that have two purposes, either to relax the soul or provide picture perfect vignettes as though the whole place were the conjuring of a talented cinematographer.
Two bedroom, two-storey cottages are homely and comfortable with brick arches and floors, a moss green interior, hipster-friendly Gaggenau and Smeg appliances and Susan Kaufmann bath products in the smart, vintage bathrooms. Outside, dwarf orange trees laden with fruit line cobblestone pathways while toddlers and their parents ride bicycles. A pool, spa and large garden are favourite relaxing spots for guests and wine tastings from the estates own production are also popular.
The true meeting place though is the restaurant where a sumptuous breakfast spread includes fresh bread, pastries, cakes, cheese, frittata, yogurt cold cuts and local fruit and a wooden frame enticingly dripping with fresh honey. Decorated with neat shelves housing relics, photographs and objects from the estate, it is like the wing of a major city’s Natural history museum and a fitting tribute to the family that created it.
This original hotel article first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of City Style and Living Magazine