Alentejo, Portugal

São Lourenço do Barrocal

Rates from (ex tax)$170.55

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 (EUR154.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Flourishing farmstead

Setting

Age-old estate

Owned by the same family for eight generations, refurbished estate São Lourenço do Barrocal is a breath of fresh air in an old-world landscape. Set within 780 hectares of flower-carpeted meadows, olive groves and sun-soaked vineyards, these whitewashed farmhouses have been whipped back into shape, but their brick floors and pinewood furniture ensure they stay faithful to their rural soul. The design is a masterclass in simple, rustic elegance – the perfect pairing for owner José’s heartfelt hospitality, which runs as deep as the roots of the ancient holm oaks on the estate.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Homemade cake and tea in the room on arrival, a glass of wine or cocktail for two in the bar, and a wine tasting with a visit to the winery; guests staying three nights or more will also receive a back massage of up to 25 minutes

Facilities

Photos São Lourenço do Barrocal facilities

Need to know

Rooms

24 rooms, including two suites.

Check–Out

12pm. Earliest check-in is 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $170.55 (€145), 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 (EUR154.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast: a buffet stocked with some of the region’s best local produce, including artisanal bread, seasonal fruits, charcuterie and home-made cakes and jams.

Also

The descendant of family with a longstanding connection to Alentejo, José is passionate about supporting the local community and protecting the land. As a sign of his commitment, the estate has partnered with the Green Globe brand, whose members have to prove that they’re doing something special in the field of sustainable tourism.

At the hotel

The 780-hectare estate has meadows, vineyards, centuries-old olive groves, an orchard and walled gardens. Inside, there’s free WiFi throughout, a Susanne Kaufmann spa, a fitness studio and laundry. In rooms: free WiFi, TV, air-conditioning, a minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making facilities, free bottled water, a digital safe and Susanne Kaufmann bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We like the rooms that were once used to house the estate's farm machinery, tools and brick kiln, as they are slightly bigger than the rest (shhh). If it’s one of the cottages you’re after, we’d pick number 28 or 29 – in our opinion, they’ve got the best views.

Poolside

The family-friendly, 20-metre outdoor pool sits in a patch of fragrant meadow. A four-metre-tall granite rock is built into one corner – a tip of the hat to this ancient landscape. Instead of tiles, the pool has a dark, raw-cement finish, which helps it to blend in more naturally with the surrounding landscape. It’s flanked on one side by sun loungers with smart blue parasols.

Spa

Each treatment room at the hotel’s spa is connected to a long, whitewashed corridor with a vaulted ceiling; inside, the rooms are very minimalist – you’ll find nothing that’ll distract your mind’s eye. There’s a hydrotherapy room with a cedarwood bath tub, seperate dry saunas for men and women, a relaxation room and four treatment rooms. All the spa products are by Susanne Kaufmann. There’s also a fully-equipped fitness studio; during the summer, free fitness, yoga and Pilates classes are held here.

Packing tips

Bring something that you could ride one of the hotel's bikes or horses in. The hot air balloon ride also presents some seriously frame-worthy photo opportunities, so its worth packing your proper camera.

Also

Because of the estate's age, not all of the communal areas are wheelchair-accessible, but several of the ground-floor guest rooms are.

Pet‐friendly

Guests can have up to two pets, each weighing less than 15 kilogrammes, a room. Pets cost £75 a booking, and need be kept on a leash when outside guestrooms. They’re not allowed in the restaurant, pool, shop or spa area. See more pet-friendly hotels in Alentejo.

Children

Very welcome. Extra beds aren’t available, but there are a limited number of cots (free) which are suitable for children up to four years old. These can be added to rooms on request.

Eco‐friendly

Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, owner José is committed to living off the land; the wine, oils, olives and vegetables used at the hotel all come from the estate itself. Other ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible, minimising the hotel’s carbon footprint. São Lourenço also uses recycled products where they can, and recycle their own waste, including waste water.

Food and Drink

Photos São Lourenço do Barrocal food and drink

Top Table

If it's warm, there’s a table outside under the awning, which has a great view (and scent) of the meadow.

Dress Code

Shepherd chic. Ok, we made that one up, but it’s true there’s no need to dress up here – this is a working farm, after all.

Hotel restaurant

The hotel’s restaurant, Alentejo, has a refined rustic look, with stripped-wood tables and a timber-clad bar. On the far side of the room are a series of custom-made shelves displaying all the objects that were found when this building was cleared out – a sort of generational history told through family heirlooms. The food is focused around time-honoured dishes that let the flavours of Alentejo shine; tradition and authenticity are at the root of everything here, but the kitchen isn’t afraid of a little contemporary flair to keep things interesting. We’d recommend the partridge, which is prepared to a recipe that once belonged to José's grandmother; it's not only delicious, but also captures what this hotel is all about: the land and the family’s relationship with it.

Hotel bar

The bar is in the impressive lobby area, which has a sculptured ceiling and arched columns that create a corridor the length of the room. You’ll find the bottles and shakers at the far end of this – the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. Like all the other rooms, it's stripped to the basics: the standout features are the elegant woodwork on the bar front and the contemporary lights that dangle overhead. Tasting the estate's own wines is obligatory, but if you’re looking for something slightly stronger, try the Quince Veltvet a slightly herbal blend of Portuguese brandy and fennel liqueur that’s a true taste of Alentejo.

Last orders

The restaurant opens for breakfast from 7.30am to 11am; for lunch from 12.30pm to 3pm; and for dinner from 7pm to 11pm. Wine flows in the bar from 12.30pm all the way through to 1am.

Room service

Room service is available between 11pm and 7.30am. The menu is focused around hearty comfort foods such as soups, sandwiches, traditional sausages and home-made cakes.

Location

Photos São Lourenço do Barrocal location
Address
São Lourenço do Barrocal
Herdade do Barrocal
Monsaraz
7200-177
Monsaraz
Portugal

Planes

The closest airport is Lisbon; there are regular flights from the larger UK airports and closer European destinations. It takes around two hours to reach the hotel by car. Flights and transfers can be arranged with the Smith24 Team; call 24 hours a day.

Trains

Évora is the closest station; trains from Lisbon take around one hour and 45 minutes. The hotel is around 50 kilometres from the station. Transfers can be arranged with the Smith24 Team; call 24 hours a day.

Automobiles

Given the hotel’s rural location and the miles of Alentejo plains to explore, hiring a car makes a lot of sense. Most of the major rental firms are available at Lisbon airport. Car hire can be arranged with the Smith24 team; call 24 hours a day. The hotel has plenty of free, open-air parking spaces.

Worth getting out of bed for

The sprawling estate runs alongside Lake Alqueva, a 250sq kilometre man-made lake with around 440 verdant islands. The hotel has painstakingly identified many of the best walking routes that run alongside it – ask the concierge for one that suits you. Just a few kilometres up the road is the Castelo de Monsaraz; you’ll get a panoramic view from the lake-surveying ramparts. Boat trips and watersports are also available, and can be arranged with the Smith24 Team; call 24 hours a day. Die-hard day-trippers will delight in the news that the estate is only 10 kilometres from Spain. With this region being so famous for Jabugo ham (black-pig ham), a border-hopping trip for tapas seems in order. For something really memorable, book a hot-air balloon ride high over the Alentejo. You’ll take off from the estate at dawn, rising over the monte itself, before crossing the lake and the tree-clad fields of the wider estate. The balloons can take up to 12 people at once; little Smiths aged six and above can come along for the ride.

Local restaurants

Restaurante Sem Fim, which has taken up residence in a historic olive press, is a 10-minute drive. The large pressing machines still stand in the middle of the room, making a great centrepiece. It’s a very traditional place, with dishes that celebrate the region’s flavours. On weekends, the bar and restaurant are abuzz with local chatter, proving this relic of bygone days is still a vital part of the community. Restaurante Taberna Al~Andaluz is another local option, around five minutes away by car. This small, two-room restaurant is owned by José Morgado, a real epicurean and a man ever delighted to share his knowledge of the region’s food and wine. Try the lamb stew, which is a specialty here.

Reviews

Photos São Lourenço do Barrocal 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 rural hotel in Portugal and unpacked their case of the estate’s wine, a full account of their country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside São Lourenço do Barrocal...

At first sight, São Lourenço do Barrocal is modest and unassuming: a huddled group of low-slung farmhouses with clean, whitewashed walls and terracotta-red roofs. A cobbled street runs through the middle of the farm like a pathway to the past. And that’s exactly what you get here: this land is chock-full of ancient history. Roman, Moorish, you name it – this estate serves up a slice of the old world. But inside, the cool, considered rustic style gives you one impression more than the rest: everything is right where it should be. If there were more furniture, or more colour, it would feel overdone. Instead, the hotel has struck the perfect balance; there’s enough modernity to please a millennial, but the property still has a rural heart that beats in time to the land.

Speaking of the land, it’s such a vast and varied space that you’ve hardly left the farmhouse before you feel you've got it all to yourself – the hotel keeps a small army of bicycles for pedal-powered excursions. For something with a bit more brawn, enlist a little horsepower by mounting one of the estate’s chalk-white steeds. Our favourite way to take it all in, however, is still the lazy meandering of a hot-air balloon high over the land. One last thing: this region is a star-gazing destination (no, we didn’t make that up). One of Europe’s last few areas with low light pollution and smog-free air, the Alentejo is a place that people travel to from far and wide to see the constellations in all their glory. Why mention this? Because for romantics, this is good news: the hotel can arrange a dinner for two beneath a dusky ceiling thick with stars.

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 São Lourenço do Barrocal’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The spacious rooms with fabulous views and the coffee machine! Big skies at night to watch with a nice drink on the terrace.

Don’t expect

Noise – except for the birds and the sound of silence.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Oct 2017

We loved

The estate (and the bikes to ride around), the rooms and the restaurant. 

Don’t expect

Lively nights.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Oct 2017

We loved

Peace and quiet. All we could hear were the birds and the leaves. If you are a food enthusiast, you'll find excellent food everywhere from the local tradicional tascas (taverns) of alentejo, to the herdades (farms) that produce olive oil. The hotel gave us a booklet of suggestions outside and they were amazing!!

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jul 2017

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