Alentejo, Portugal

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova

Rates from (inc tax)$256.85

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Wine and wicker


Bucolic Beja

Home to a working winery, serene spa and remarkable restaurant, Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel is a sense-stimulating experience in the Portuguese countryside. You can sample local wines, go for a dip in the infinity pool or taste creations from the mind of a stellar chef – all with the golden backdrop of Alentejo.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

10 per cent off in the spa and restaurant, and a jar of home-made jam to take home


Photos Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Need to know


10, including three suites.


Between 7am and 12 noon. Earliest check-in, midday.


Double rooms from $256.85 (€236), excluding tax at 6 per cent.

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR250.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast, which is served sociably around one table in the bar.


Relax in the sleek spa: have a Turkish bath, get bubbly in the Jacuzzi, and indulge in a massage – there are wine- and olive oil-based Thalgo treatments.

Hotel closed

12 December 2011 to 16 February 2012.

At the hotel

Spa, gardens, library, selection of CDs and DVDs, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Dux bed, flatscreen TV, iPod dock, Bulgari bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Flower has zingy lime-green styling; it’s also the only room that has direct access to the pool. Families will appreciate the extra leg-room offered by the Junior Suite.


There's an infinity pool set in the vineyards, with dark wooden decking and vivid blue tiles.

Packing tips

Wellington boots for stomping through the vineyards and olive groves; a nail brush to clean your toes post-grape-squashing; riding boots and jodhpurs for exploring the countryside on horseback.


Guests get free bike hire, a wine tour and a tasting, to help them settle in.


This hotel is better suited to couples - leave the children at home!

Food and Drink

Photos Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Top Table

Stake out seats clustered around the glass walled-corner, for the best vineyard views.

Dress Code

Relaxed rustic.

Hotel restaurant

This is the first building guests come to (rooms are set further back, in the thick of the vineyards and cattle fields). The set-up hints at food’s importance here – the chef, Joachim Koerper, has a Michelin star, and his take on typical Alentejo fare – chickpea stew, giblets, game, and delicious chocolate tart – lures in locals too. Decor-wise, the restaurant has a split personality: one half feels rustic, with wooden furniture and a fireplace, the other side is modern, with glass walls and white and emerald wicker chairs.

Hotel bar

There is a little drinking area in the main hotel building with relaxed lounge music and glittering bottles, where wine tastings are conducted and breakfast is served.

Last orders

Last suppers are dished up around 10pm; corks are popped until midnight.

Room service

Items from the restaurant menu can be ordered from 8am until 10pm.


Photos Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel - Alentejo - Portugal
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova


Faro airport is an hour and a half drive, served by Ryanair ( from all across the UK, including Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool and London Stansted. EasyJet ( flights also depart from various UK airports, including Newcastle and London Gatwick. International travellers are likely to need to change in Lisbon, two hours away by car.


Beja station is 22km away, served by Comboios de Portugal (, and with trains to/from Evora, Faro and Lisbon.


From the A2, you'll need to exit and follow signs for Beja; the hotel is a turning to your left. It’s definitely worth having a car, so you can explore your surroundings. Hotel parking won’t cost you a euro.

Worth getting out of bed for

A dynamic duo – Luis and Bruno – are the hotel’s ‘Guest Experiences team’: ask them about grape picking and grape-trampling (pulverising the fruit with your toes) during the August harvest. Try out the Jacuzzi and the Turkish baths in the spa, and indulge in treatments. Have a yoga lesson, go horse riding in the vineyards and countryside, and have a cookery class with the hotel’s Michelin-starred chef. Embark on a boating adventure – the hotel has three man-made lakes (you can go fishing, too). Luis and Bruno can arrange hot-air-balloon rides, canoeing, and day trips to Evora for some sight-seeing: the old town counts mediaeval walls and a Roman temple among its historic lures. Quad biking, target shooting, treasure hunts and orienteering missions will keep older children and teens entertained. Have a guided wine tasting with one of Malhadinha’s expert wine makers – you’ll sample the Monte da Peceguina red, white and rosé, and nibble typical local cheeses.

Local restaurants

If you manage to tear yourself away from chef Joachim Koerper’s creations, Hotel Vila Gale Clubé de Campo ( at Herdade da Figueirinha, Santa Vitória, has a rustic restaurant with a greed-defying buffet of traditional Portuguese dishes (the cod and veal are particularly tasty). The dining room has wooden beams and a striking central fireplace, and the little bar serves potent cocktails. Pousada de Sao Francisco (+351 284 313 580; is a Portuguese restaurant chain which adapts its menu to highlight local cuisine and specialities. The hotel’s closest branch is at Largo D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, Beja.


Photos Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel - Alentejo - Portugal

Anonymous review

The road was jammed full. No way of getting through. Sheep. Hundreds of them. And more importantly for Mrs Smith, baby lambs. This was our wooly welcoming party to the striking Baixo Alentejo countryside, Portugal’s most agricultural region. A lack of any cars and no one in the local villages speaking any English gave us a lovely feeling that we were in proper Portuguese Portugal, real and unspoiled, unlike much of the anglicised Algarve.

The Herdade da Malhadinha Nova Country House & Spa sits atop a typical Portuguese farming estate in the middle of this rural landscape, surrounded by vineyards. Herdade da Malhadinha is also a working winery. Cue tours and tastings, and a green-and-gold sprawl of vineyards and olive groves. It’s the kind of place where male peacocks and turkeys stroll around side by side, an incongruous but touching companionship.

Overworked and underplayed, Mrs Smith and I arrived exhausted for our out-of-season weekend. We were greeted by Bruno and an attention to service and detail that, in moments, had us relaxed. And in typical British style, despite October gale-force winds, I jumped straight into the infinity pool while Mrs Smith arranged lunch on the terrace. An unheated pool at that time of year was, ahem, ‘refreshing’, but incredible.

With a view devoid of any other signs of human life, the tranquility was uninterrupted and it felt properly secluded. Then, from the pool I spotted some flying salami. Admitting that our alfresco meal was perhaps not the best idea, we settled instead into the main room of the country house. Wooden beams, a huge fireplace, plump sofas and an impressive wine bar where the bottles are back-lit on library-like shelves complete with sliding ladder (thankfully though, unlike a library, you don’t have to give the contents back). Expect to become well acquainted with Alentejo staples here: chickpeas, game, moreish chocolate sweets.

This was the first of a spectacular series of meals at the hotel. Oh-so-tender steak from ‘pureblood’ Alentejo cattle reared right there on the farm. The tenderness according to Bruno is because they are ‘very lazy cows’. So there you go, there is an advantage to being a lazy cow. (And a word on Portuguese tapas – it’s similar to Spanish tapas except you’re eating it in Portugal. I am making this assumption based on the time I asked a Welsh B&B owner what exactly a Welsh breakfast was and received the curt reply that it was ‘exactly the same as an English breakfast but you are in Wales now, boy!’ I was 35 at the time.)

Grapes may vie with guests for attention, but both are tended with care. This is a place with a family feel, more a modern country home than a pay-up-and-go hotel. We’ve heard it’s easy to find yourself doing very little of anything (if you can resist the temptation to have a photography or painting tutorial, stretch out and breathe with a yoga class, or tear up the turf on quad bikes, that is).

Rooms are named with whimsy, and in honour of the owners’ children’s drawings: Grape, Flower, or Bee, for example. Ours, one of only seven, was more minimal than the main sitting room: cool and simple with everything you could want – a massive bed, a massive shower, a massive bath and a telly (oh, and a view of the vineyards). We heard tell too of a spa below, with a large Jacuzzi and massage rooms. Relaxation is clearly paramount.

That evening we were escorted to the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant by Land Rover. Housed on the estate, there we were also treated to a tour of the vinification plant that makes up the rest of the building. I’m not sure how I imagined a wine press to look, but it wasn’t like that. Huge stainless-steel containers and many-buttoned control panels: it looked like it belonged in a Bond film. The director in me couldn’t help thinking that the location would have worked well for a chase scene – plenty of hiding places for baddies to jump out from, chrome casing for bullets to ping off, and wooden barrels to be caught in the crossfire, leaked red wine symbolising the impending bloodshed…

Oops. As you can probably tell, my imagination wandered slightly despite the interesting talk we were being given. Perhaps it was because of Mrs Smith’s incessant questions, a couple of which were either misunderstood or politely ignored. (‘If the person treading on the grapes has cheesy feet, does that affect the taste?’ Oh dear.)

Restaurante Gourmet da Malhadinha, the Michelin-starred restaurant and its chef Joachim Koerper, didn’t let us down, despite stratospheric expectations. And neither did the English menu translations: ‘Shrimp from Algarve Coast, his salad perfumed with gazpacho vinaigrette’. We never found out what Mr Shrimp’s perfumed salad was like, but what we did have was incredible. Despite elaborate listings, food was simple, delicious and very fresh. Mrs Smith was well looked after for wine with tastings generously given. By her own admission she’s no connoisseur but she knows what she likes and she liked the inexpensive Antão Vaz a lot. A bottle of the red Monte da Peceguina was then taken back to the hotel’s sheltered terrace, to enjoy from under a blanket, watching the stars.

From tipples to feathers: another feature of the weekend was spotting the rare elegant birds with elaborate black-on-brown crests and wide white ruffled wings that frequently dropped by. Great busturds, apparently. I smiled to Mrs Smith as we watched another land in Herdade da Malhadinha’s sprawling grounds: ‘Lucky bustards, I’d say.’ And testament to just how relaxing our weekend was, Mrs Smith smiled back. Only two nights and she was even enjoying my puns: what better endorsement that this hotel guarantees good spirits do you need than that?

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 Herdade da Malhadinha Nova’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The beautiful setting and friendly staff. Great restaurant on the estate and very good rooms.

Don’t expect



Stayed on 25 Aug 2016

We loved

The far reaching views over the estate and on to the plains beyond while sipping a fabulous wine from the vineyard. The breakfast is fresh, plentiful and delicious, the restaurant is sublime (being ferried there and back in the Land Rover was a fun addition). Worth stopping at Castro Verde on the way to the hotel, just to see the beautiful blue tiles in the cathedral and grab a coffee in the square. Once you get to the hotel, you won't want to leave.

Don’t expect

Lots of people or lively evenings


Stayed on 20 Jul 2016

We loved

Everything! The staff were exceptional, the food was first class and the wine delicious (we even took some home with us)! We would love to go back! We wish we could have stayed longer; there is nothing we would change about our stay.


Stayed on 20 Nov 2015

We loved

The wine and food (obviously). The setting and the staff, who were attentive and helpful without ever being intrusive. The hotel restaurant is fantastic and we ate there all 4 nights. Try the traditional menu. The hour or so drive to Evora is also well worth it and ask Bruno in guest services for a restaurant recommendation, he will find you an off the beaten track gem, as he did for us. We are already planning coming back with friends. 

Don’t expect

A warm pool! The main one is chilly but refreshing (although there is a heated second pool if you have a look in the lovely gardens).


Stayed on 23 Sep 2015

We loved

Great wines, lazing by the pool, wonderful vistas, delightful dinners, lavish breakfasts and bikes to roam. Grape picking at four in the morning might not sound like a holiday but a great experience.


Stayed on 25 Aug 2015

We loved

Position, wine, food, pool and amazingly helpful staff

Don’t expect

Lots of things to do in the vicinity. This is ideal seclusion.


Stayed on 21 Jul 2015

We loved

The great wines and the tasty food, whether breakfast or the fabulous restaurant that you were driven to each night after your aperitif.

Don’t expect

A large spa menu, mainly massages, but not complaining.


Stayed on 27 Jun 2015