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Hotel Highlights

  • Welcoming hosts
  • Rural location (complete with sheep and donkeys)
  • Fascinating historic sites in nearby Unesco-protected Évora
  • The hotel can arrange winery tours and tastings… and they make their own on-site, too
  • Two small swimming pools

Overview

‘Imani’ may be Swahili – it means ‘believe’ – but this intimate country house hotel in the rural Alentejo countryside provides Portuguese hospitality at its most pleasing. The owners who run this seven-bedroom farmhouse know how to mix luxury with laid-back: on-site you’ll find two swimming pools… as well as two donkeys.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Imani Country House with us:

A glass of Porto wine (in winter) or fresh lemonade with mint (in summer) and late check-out, subject to availability

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Imani Country House

Advance purchase: 10% off

Facilities

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Imani Country House hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Need To Know

Rooms

7, including 5 suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Call ahead if you’ll be arriving before 2pm or after 9pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $169.11 (€127), excluding tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast.

Also

Imani runs something of an informal wine school: ask about tastings with award-winning local producer Paulo Laureano, or head out on a guided tour of the region’s top wineries.

At the hotel

Free wifi, DVD library. In rooms: free WiFi, DVD player.

Our favourite rooms

Of Imani’s seven suites, our favourite is number seven: it’s upstairs and very spacious. Both the bedroom and living room are large, and there’s an open fireplace to lounge before. The best views of the surrounding countryside are from the elegant roll-top bath.

Poolside

The hotel has two small unheated pools.

Packing tips

If you’re a city slicker who’s always dreamt of packing it all in and running off to become a shepherd or shepherdess, now’s your chance to try it: pack your sturdiest boots and walk the hotel’s 13 hectares of land until you track down the farm’s very own flock of sheep.

Also

Common areas and one of the Double Rooms are wheelchair accessible.

Children

Extra beds and cots (free for under-2s; €25 for under-12s) can be added to rooms subject to availability.

Food & Drink

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Imani Country House hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Hotel Restaurant

There's no actual restaurant, but the chef at Improvável (the name means ‘improbable’, perhaps in reference to the decor)  can provide a variety of snacks and light meals (think salads, burgers and quesadillas) and heartier evening meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Sample dinners include morcela sausage with apple purée, and cod and prawn paella. For after-hours weekday meals, head out and explore local restaurants.

Hotel Bar

Pour yourself a drink at the honesty bar on the porch: it’s stocked with water, juices, beer and wine.

Last orders

Breakfast is available from 9.30am to the leisurely hour of 12 noon. You can book ahead for light bites until 7pm; dinners are served Fridays and Saturdays 8pm–10pm (snacks only in low season).

Smith Insider

Dress code

Leave the heels at home: aim for farm-house chic.

Top table

The most romantic spot is by the piano, furthest from the entrance.

Local Guide

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Imani Country House hotel - Alentejo - Portugal
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Alentejo is awash with historical sites: mediaeval castles abound, and Roman ruins are rife. It’s also a top wine-producing region, so oenology obsessives will find no shortage of vineyards and wineries to explore.
 
The magnificent monuments in the Évora Unesco World Heritage Site date back to pre-Roman Celtic times, but it’s the architecture from the 15th century – when Portuguese royalty moved in – that’s the star attraction (whc.unesco.org). And, right beside the Roman Temple of Diana, the Museu de Évora has historic and artistic exhibits charting local history (museudevora.imc-ip.pt).

The marvellously macabre walls of Évora's Capela dos Ossos at the Igreja de São Francisco are lined with the bones of long-gone nuns and monks. The spooky inscription at the door reads: ‘Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos’… ‘We, the bones here, await yours’ ((+351) 266 704 521).

The Évora area has historical monuments aplenty but the Almendres Cromlech, just outside town, is one of the most ancient: the site has one of the largest standing stone circles in Europe, thought to have been built as an observatory. There are no information desks or visitor facilities at this tranquil spot… the giant stones and their markings remain mysterious. Guided tours can be arranged in Évora.




 

+ Enlarge
Idyllic hills of Alentejo

Imani Country House

Quinta de Montemuro, Guadalupe 7000 223, Évora, Portugal, 7000 223

Imani Country House is near the small city of Évora, in the central Alentejo region.

Planes

Touch down at Lisbon Portela Airport (www.lisbon-airport.com), roughly an hour’s drive from the hotel, which has regular flights to destinations worldwide, including London, Toronto and Newark.

Trains

The closest train station is Évora (www.cp.pt), 10 minutes from the hotel; trains from Lisbon arrive several times each day.

Automobiles

Get to Alentejo on the fast A6 motorway from Lisbon; take the Évora exit and after 800m turn right towards Guadalupe. Then, follow the big blue signs for ‘Casa de Campo’. On-site parking is free.

Reviews

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Imani Country House hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this farm house hotel in Alentejo and unpacked their bottles of local wine, a full account of their Portugeuese luxury country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Im…
Read more

Imani Country House

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this farm house hotel in Alentejo and unpacked their bottles of local wine, a full account of their Portugeuese luxury country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Imani Country House in the Alentejo…

As if the seemingly endless countryside surrounding secluded Imani Country House might not be enough to impress upon guests that this is a true rural retreat, the first of the hotel’s inhabitants you see on arrival are a pair of donkeys… followed by a small statue of a pig (they’re big on pork in this part of Portugal). Next, you meet the human staff who, though few, are irrepressibly friendly and informal. Even before you’re lead to your room, it’s obvious that you’ve arrived somewhere very special: it’s very much as though you’re visiting friends at their spectacularly situated country home.

The owners – Mariana, a TV producer, and Jose, an actor – have spent three years refreshing and revitalising the whitewashed 100-year-old property in the hills above historic Évora. They’ve lovingly filled it with treasures from their world travels, from violins to neon signs. The key objective here, though, is to relax, which is where the two small swimming pools and handy hammock come in…

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Imani Country House's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the great service and beautiful location.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the isolation.

Don’t expect

The track leading to the hotel is very rough and better suited to a 4x4 vehicle.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the quiet room and the breakfast. I loved the suite but doubles looked very enticing, too.

Don’t expect

It's quite difficult to find.

Rating: 9/10 stars