As an award-winning blog, we thought it was about time we shared the love (or, more precisely, the awards) with a mini Oscars of our own: Mr & Mrs Smith presents… Hotel of the Week. As the catchy title suggests, there’ll be a weekly accolade awarded to the property du jour (or should that be ‘semaine’?). The vigorously policed judging criteria have already been the cause of much head-scratching and pencil-pointing. We were on our second round of espressos before we deduced that go-now appeal is as dear to us as heroically unsung fabulousness. Expect equal measures of both in the winners featured weekly from here on in…
Style Grand peaches-and-cream farmhouse
Setting Portuguese pastoral paradise
Why this week? In the sun-drenched lull between the June ferias and September grape harvest, now is the time to enjoy people-free views of the cork tree-clad plains, have the long, deep outdoor pool to yourself and canter through the countryside without fear of trampling tourists underfoot. By the time you’ve dined on charcoal-grilled pata negra, developed a vinous fondness for native Cortes de Cima and finished your fourth poolside novel, you’ll be whooping with joy through the wheat fields that you steered clear of the family pile-up that is the Algarve.
Our favourite rooms The Arabic Room is fit for a sensual sultan, with its curling keyhole arch delineated in shades of saffron and pistachio. The Blue Room is a more spacious option, and comes with traditional Portuguese flavour and a bath – highly desirable after a day’s horse riding.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Like a rich truffle buried deep in country soil, Herdade da Chaminé is a hidden burst of lusciousness. Its beautiful backdrop is a blend of rolling plains, purple-flower meadows and verdant vineyards, and its peach- and honey-hued walls, white frosted Moorish turrets and stately grandeur come as unexpected delights. The hotel is a love letter to owner Marta’s passions: history, horses and hunting. The surroundings are a rambler’s fantasy, equestrians will love the resident thoroughbreds, and the vast outdoor pool is the ideal place to cool off afterwards.’
Read our full hotel review.