Praia Verde Boutique Hotel is an architectural anomaly; the steel structure – shaped like an open bracket – rises from thick pine forest by the Algarve coast. However, its apparent coolness is shot through with Portuguese warmth: the scent drifting from the mod-rustic restaurant where pizzas are pulled from a wood-fired oven; the bustling mercado-style lobby; and a free kids’ club and playroom for little Smiths. The surrounding former campground inspires leafy rambles, but a peaceful stretch of sand is a mere 10-minute walk away; the ideal setting for family beach holidays, you won’t want to close that bracket on.
Get this when you book through us:
A salt pot gift and a bottle of house wine (the first time you dine in the restaurant); GoldSmiths also get a room upgrade (subject to availability)
12.30pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm (4pm for stays from 15 June to 15 September).
Double rooms from £101.74 (€111), including tax at 6 per cent.
Rates usually include a hale and hearty Continental breakfast with fresh-from-the-wood-oven wholegrain bread, home-made butter and jam, selection of cakes and just-squeezed juices.
Free yoga classes are held in the grounds every Thursday and Sunday, from 9am to 10.15am. The ‘destroyer of the universe’ pose feels a lot less stormy when you’re washed in sunshine and surrounded by trees.
At the hotel
Direct access to the public beach, kids’ club, gym, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making kit, minibar, free bottled water, air-conditioning and Molton Brown toiletries. Panoramic and Garden-View Suites each have a balcony and kitchenette with a hob and microwave.
Our favourite rooms
Each room is painted in angelic white to amplify the brilliant Portuguese sunlight. They differ little in decor (with perhaps a change in the odd photograph hanging up, an added wall of trompe l'oeil books, and variable cushion patterns); and suites are kitted out with a kitchenette, making them all the better for families. But, the higher you’re placed, the more magical the view. Panoramic View suites lucked out on their location and the balconies deliver what the name promises.
The hotel’s saltwater pool sits amid mature trees; glide down the Roman steps for laps or just a cooling dip. There are plentiful loungers and parasols placed around the sides, and a small bar and eatery lets you order pizzas and light snacks – or a round of cocktails – after you dry off. There's also a second smaller pool for kids.
Bring activewear for yoga and woodland walks and less-active wear for relaxing on site or by the coast.
Public areas are wheelchair accessible and there’s a dedicated room for guests with mobility issues.
Fidos (up to 20 kilograms) are welcome. For €20 a night, they get a bed, bowl and a toy (and some clean-up bags for owners). Only one furry friend is allowed in each room. See more pet-friendly hotels in Algarve.
Children are very welcome. A free kids’ club holds a programme of events. For families with older kids, Sea-View Rooms interconnect; the Family Suite sleeps up to four; and baby cots can be added to some rooms. Babysitting is available for €25 a night.
The hotel dutifully recycles, watches its water usage and employs earth-kind cleaning products.
In keeping with the hotel’s former life as a campground, dine outdoors – the twinkling lights on the veranda make it feel less mess tin, more modish.
A la fresco.
Dishes at À Terra (meaning ‘the earth’), are deeply rooted in the region’s fertile farmland. Ingredients are wholly organic and local: fish are yanked out of the Atlantic that day (the salt hails from there too), ham is cut and cured from pigs reared in the lush surrounds, and grains for bread travel single-digit kilometres to your table. A rustic fish stew and baby chicken with garden herbs are elegant in their simplicity, but investigate what’s grilling on the josper too. Pizzas are pulled warm from a wood-fired oven; an open kitchen lets you see the ins and outs. The restaurant’s glass walls, high ceilings and wooden benches create an outdoorsy feel, while trad country-kitchen style is nodded to by crockery piled on shelves, fruit-box containers and plants in mini buckets.
There are two, one in the lobby and one handily placed by the pool. In the former, you can pull up a stool to watch guests come and go, or settle on one of the squashy sofas; the latter is more of a ‘sip on your sunlounger’ kinda joint. For both, there’s a dedicated gin menu, with a range of fragrant and fruity drinks that go beyond a G&T. The wine list is equally comprehensive, too.
Breakfast is served from 8am–11am; otherwise dining is flexible throughout the day. À Terra’s menu is available from 8am–10pm (its bar runs after hours till midnight), and the pool bar rustles up cocktails and snacks from 10am–7pm.
Pretty much all the treats from the main menu can be brought to your door, including items from the kids' menu.
Located a 10-minute drive outside the ancient town Castro Marim, the hotel luxuriates in acres of pine forest. The beach is a 10-minute wander away, close enough to be spied from upper-tier rooms.
Faro Airport is the closest to the hotel, just under an hour’s drive away. Direct flights arrive from major cities all over Europe; flights from further afield usually stop over in Lisbon. On request, the Smith24 team can arrange international flights and work with the hotel to organise charged return transfers.
If your holiday starts and ends with the beach, all you’ll need to get around are your trusty flip-flops; however, if you want to explore the historic towns and natural beauties that surround the hotel, a car is essential. The Smith24 team can help with hiring, if needed. To reach the hotel from Faro Airport, take the A22 highway; there’s free parking on site.
Worth getting out of bed for
Hello sunshine, hey trees, olá beachside snoozing: you could easily spend your stay hopping from hotel to coast. The stay has a private staircase leading down to a secluded public beach, a 10-minute walk away, which is serene and soft underfoot, but furnished with a few small cafés and bars. The region’s microclimate ensures clement temperatures on most days. Old-school cinema nights and trips to the market with the hotel’s chef (including a cookery lesson) will keep you busy when you’re roused from your lounger. The hotel has bikes to borrow for riders of all ages to bomb through the grounds on; further afield, pedal to ancient local town Castro Marim (around a 50-minute cycle), where castles, forts and thousands of years of history await. Riverside, 18th-century town Vila Real de Santo António is just a 10-minute drive away, and also worth exploring. Wild encounters – dolphin spotting by boat, bird watching in the marshes, or fishing trips, can be arranged by the hotel, too.
Boards groaning with thick, rough slices of chouriço, beef Wellington drunk on madeira wine, vodka-spiked lemon sorbet: Restaurant Infante in Castro Marim offers decadence set to a DJ-spun soundtrack. On the beach, laidback seafood eatery Pezinhos N’Areia has a wonderful way with fresh catches.
Guarita Terrace, overlooking the beach in Castro Marim, has award-gathering bartenders whose cocktail creations draw punters back – but, the panoramic coastal views and stylish surroundings are probably partly responsible…
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 architecturally intriguing hotel on the Algarve coast and unpacked their bottles of aguardente liqueur and even more fiery piri piri chillies, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Praia Verde Boutique Hotel in Portugal…
Praia Verde Boutique Hotel’s cool, steel swoop of a structure looks like an eyebrow raised in awe towards the coast – fittingly so, as yours will likely do the same on arrival. Set on a former campground, the estate is crowded with mature pine trees, giving its terraces and outdoor pool an at-one-with-nature feel – no nylon folding chairs required. The sociable open-plan lobby and restaurant (with window walls and with picnic-style benches), extends the outdoorsy ambience, while authentic rustic dining shows how deep this modern stay’s roots have dug in. If you prefer sand underfoot over grass, the hotel has a private entrance to the walkway leading to the beach.
It may be encased in sombre, Richard Serra-aping architecture, but within the hotel is all warm smiles and welcomes for guests of all ages; the colourful kids’ club (free to attend) and the scent of freshly wood-fired pizzas being paddled out of the oven all tie in with the Algarve’s hearty largesse – indeed, the owners’ twins can often be seen playing in the halls. And, if you upgrade to a suite, kitchenettes ensure comfortable stays – recommended, because a minibreak is nowhere near long enough to bask in the Algarve’s warmth.