Algarve, Portugal

Âmago

Price per night from$154.94

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR144.34), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Right as rein

Setting

A foray from Faro

Escape into nature and slow the tempo at Âmago, a rustic, six-bedroom retreat in Arcadian Algarve countryside. At first glance this is the quaintest of quintas, but look behind the blooming botanics that line each room’s private entryway, and you’ll spot etchings of the building’s equestrian past, vintage furnishings and artisanal touches. And interiors aren’t all owners Liz and Alex are skilled in – their enviable local tips will have you exploring Portugal’s quieter side in no time.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of local wine

Facilities

Photos Âmago facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Six, including one suite.

Check–Out

Noon, and check-in is at 3pm. Both are flexible, on request and subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £129.46 (€153), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.50 per person per night on check-in.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast.

Also

Unfortunately, there aren’t any accessible rooms here and the hotel’s uneven terrain makes it challenging for wheelchair users.

At the hotel

Rooftop terrace, private garden with fountains, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: air-conditioning, mini fridge, refillable water bottle, beach towels, hairdryer and organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each of the rooms has a similar contemporary style, with impressive vaulted ceilings and handcrafted furnishings. But it's Room Six that takes our fancy, courtesy of its private terrace and picture-pretty garden views. If you’re looking to stay a while longer, bag Room Four, decked out with a fully equipped kitchen, living area and garden.

Poolside

The lulling saltwater pool, bordered with plush sunloungers, sits peacefully among the hotel’s luscious fruit trees and blooming bushes.

Spa

There’s no spa, but if you’re in need of some de-knotting, a masseur can be called in to set up shop in your room, and knead residual tensions away.

Packing tips

A copy of the Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve to help spot the native flora that colour Âmago’s gardens.

Also

The hotel hosts local creatives with a two-week artist-in-residence programme to help inspire and showcase up-and-coming talent.

Children

Under-ones are welcome in Room Four, which has space for a cot and highchair; otherwise, this stay is for over-13s only.

Sustainability efforts

Âmago sources all of its produce from local suppliers to minimise food miles and help support nearby communities. You’ll also struggle to find any single-use plastic, and rigorous recycling schemes ensure everything (that can) gets a second life.

Food and Drink

Photos Âmago food and drink

Top Table

Take tipples to the rooftop terrace for scene-stealing aperitifs.

Dress Code

Keep things bohemian to blend with Âmago’s visiting beatniks.

Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant here, but every morning a homemade spread of pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt and cereals, will be set up in the living room (and alfresco, in warmer weather).

Hotel bar

There’s a small honesty bar in the living room, that’s stocked with locally made wines and craft beers for your taking. 

Last orders

Breakfast is plated between 8am and 10am.

Location

Photos Âmago location
Address
Âmago
SB58 Caminho Das Alfarrobeiras Sítio do Medronhal Santa Barbara de Nexe
Faro
8005-502
Portugal

Âmago sits inland, a little north of Faro, the Algarve’s capital in southern Portugal.

Planes

Most hubs have direct flights to Faro’s international airport, which is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Private transfers can be arranged for €35 each way; otherwise, there’ll be plenty of taxis waiting at arrivals.

Trains

Faro’s central train station is 15 minutes away by car, and has links to some of Portugal’s popular cities, including Porto, Braga and Coimbra. There’s also a smaller station in Loulé, which is an equal distance from the hotel and has routes around the Algarve. Private transfers from both stations can be arranged from €30 each way.

Automobiles

If you’re planning on venturing outside Âmago’s doors, a car will come in handy. There’s private parking onsite that you’re welcome to use for free, just let staff know you’re coming so they can give you the code.

Worth getting out of bed for

Âmago’s setting, just north of Faro, puts you within a short driving distance of the Algarve’s prettiest southern spots. The capital’s Old Town, marina and sun-drenched beaches (popular for surfing and paddleboarding) never fail; but for something quieter, venture northwest to the small town of Loulé, which charms with traditional markets and Moorish architecture. Centuries-standing fishing village Olhão – to the southeast – has a harbour with frequent boat trips out to the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa’s islands of Armona, Culatra and Farol. Family-owned boutiques and a towering 15th-century church characterise Santa Bárbara de Nexe, the hotel’s closest town, and hikers can take to the walking trails that wrap around the nearby São Brás de Alportel mountains.

Local restaurants

Five minutes down the road, Santa Bárbara de Nexe has plenty of traditional restaurants to pick from, and Mahalo Restaurant & Bar is one of the most loved for its seasonal, locally sourced fare and familial feel. O Bar Bara specialises in flavoursome tapas, pairing them with sommelier-picked wines and sangrias. And along the same street, Marisqueria Arranca serves seafood, sourced fresh from the ocean each morning.

Reviews

Photos Âmago reviews

Anonymous review

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 healing hotel in Portugal and unpacked their sketchbooks and swimwear, a full account of their bucolic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside  mago in the Algarve…

Each year, Brit-born couple Liz and Alex Harvey would head down to his dad’s house for an annual stint in the sun, only to return to a more temperamental English summer at the end of the season. It wasn’t until a while later, after years of working city jobs, that they decided to ditch the suits for something slower. The result: Âmago, a restful quinta in southern Portugal, where days are clocked solely by the sun’s angle over the saltwater pool. You’ll only be a 20-minute drive from the Algarve’s capital of Faro, but this healing hideaway will have you feeling a world away before you can even hit snooze on your emails. Each of its six contemporary rooms match the hotel’s slow-living tone, with natural hues and hand-crafted Portuguese furnishings. There’s no restaurant onsite, though Liz is a fountain of knowledge, so just be sure to catch her during the day and she’ll point you towards all her favourite eateries. She’s also your go-to for trip planning, but whether you saddle up or kick back will be all up to you.

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Price per night from $154.94