Set in the rolling landscapes of The Alentejo, amid ancient holm trees, olive groves and vineyards, São Lourenço do Barrocal is a step back in time that offers a glimpse of authentic Portugal. An ancient monte reimagined as a luxury hotel, understated elegance reigns supreme in 40 tranquil farmhouse guestrooms whilst a farm-to-table approach in the restaurant serves to underline the rich bounty of the region. Blanketed with colourful wildflower meadows that swirl with butterflies and delicate floral scents, this is our favourite rural retreat.
In southern Portugal, the Alentejo is a region of overwhelming size and natural beauty. Home to more sheep than people, you can expect wide-open landscapes, quiet charm and enchanting villages. Flying into Lisbon, it’s just a leisurely two-hour, chauffeur-driven drive down to São Lourenço do Barrocal, through winding olive groves and over undulating hillsides. Looking for the ultimate twin trip? Seville is just a two-hour drive away, so, after enjoying the tranquillity of Barrocal, hop over the border into Spain for a cultural match made in heaven.
Dotted around the estate, you’ll find 40 rooms and cottages – each as charming as the last. Whitewashed walls and understated luxury form a backdrop to vintage Portuguese pieces and contemporary touches such as underfloor heating. Farm room windows open up onto breathtaking views of the Monsaraz foothills whilst rays of sunlight flood in to bathe cottage terraces in afternoon warmth.
Why we like it
Set within a 780-hectare estate, there is a lot of São Lourenço do Barrocal to explore; and so many ways to do it. Each guest room comes with a pair of complimentary bicycles, perfect for getting from the pool to your lunchtime picnic. But you can also saddle up and explore the orchards on horseback – or, for a dose of rural romance, ride up to the hilltop estate of Monsaraz to watch the sunset over Alqueva Lake. Come nightfall, the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve shines overhead with some of the best stargazing in the world, whilst early in the morning, a sunrise hot air balloon ride gives way to mesmerising views over these tranquil landscapes.