Porto de Mós, Portugal

The Nest, by Cooking & Nature

Price per night from$148.44

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 (EUR131.13), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Living off the land

Setting

Symphony of olive-grove sounds

The Nest, by Cooking & Nature cocoons you in pine, stone and other natural materials sourced from local craftsmen. Every twig of this holistic outpost in the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park has been carefully considered – down to the well-stocked honesty bar and the absence of TVs in rooms (who needs Netflix when you have olive grove and valley views such as these). As for the ‘cooking’ part, it high-fives nature by being exclusively vegan, adheres to an impressive zero waste policy and sources much of its ingredients from the forest outside. All in all, this is a hideaway set to nature’s finest score: serenity.

Smith Extra

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Chocolates and sparkling wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Nest, by Cooking & Nature facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10 whimsical wooden rooms, including two apartments.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. There’s no concierge or luggage service, so phone ahead if you’re planning to arrive before check-in.

Prices

Double rooms from £117.93 (€139), including tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates include a picnic-basket breakfast delivered to your door (chosen on check-in); mountain bikes are free to borrow.

Also

Join the cooking school at Cooking & Nature’s sister spot, the Emotional hotel, just down the road. You’ll learn traditional Portuguese recipes from chef Nuno Barros, and sample local wines, cheese, olive oil and Alvados bread.

At the hotel

Barn-style living area, honesty bar, swimming pool, mountain bikes to borrow. In rooms: WiFi, hairdryer, free bottled water, pool towels, toiletries, robes and slippers.

Our favourite rooms

These largely wood-built abodes are bright and fun on the inside. Our favourites are the two eyrie-like apartments, accessed via boardwalks with their own private terrace and kitchenette.

Poolside

The pool and its day beds are well sheltered, perched in the emerald greens of the Nest’s private garden and hundred-year-old fig and olive trees.

Packing tips

You won’t need any books – there are plenty lining the walls of the living area and snug to choose from – but do pack athleisure for trawling the trails of the natural park.

Pet‐friendly

Pups are welcome in this down-with-nature hideaway for an additional €35 a night, per pet. You’ll find a food bowl, water bowl and pooch bags in your room. See more pet-friendly hotels in Porto de Mós.

Children

Apartments have room for two children; babysitting can be arranged with advance notice. There are plenty of activities for families, too, such as horse riding, pottery and a children’s games room.

Sustainability efforts

This is a true eco-hotel – and not just because it was built using natural materials. The Nest encourages eco-travel – activities include local walking trails, mountain biking and horseback riding. It also has a fully vegan restaurant using locally-sourced ingredients and a strict no-waste policy – all meals are ordered in advance, and the chef will only prepare what is needed – keeping food waste to a minimum.

Food and Drink

Photos The Nest, by Cooking & Nature food and drink

Dress Code

Bring the outside in and balance the wooden walls with shades of green.

Hotel restaurant

Three courses of plant-based pleasure await in the Nest’s restaurant. The seasonal menu is exclusively vegan and operates an impressive zero-waste policy – asking diners to reserve their table 48 hours in advance, so that the chef buys only what’s needed from local producers. The menu changes daily, so you might find yourself feasting on a fragrant lentil curry one day and tofu tataki with wakame seaweed the next. Desserts are delightfully decadent: honey-topped blueberry cheesecakes and chocolate nests are regular features. There’s one dish with a local reputation: the grass pea twist with forest flavours was a finalist dish in the Portuguese ‘Seven wonders of the new gastronomy’ competition.

Hotel bar

The wood-flanked honesty bar is well-stocked with juices, wines and spirits. You’re welcome to concoct your own tipples, but staff will also be on hand to help.

Last orders

It's worth noting that there are just two seating sessions at the intimate restaurant, starting at 7pm and then 8.30pm. The honesty bar is in operation until just-gone midnight.

Location

Photos The Nest, by Cooking & Nature location
Address
The Nest, by Cooking & Nature
Rua Asseguia das Lages 181, Alvados
Porto de Mós
2480-032
Portugal

You’ll find the Nest down a sleepy road in the rural hamlet of Alvados, 70 green miles north of Lisbon.

Planes

Lisbon airport is an hour and 15 minutes drive from this eco-hideaway. Contact the hotel to arrange your transfer.

Automobiles

There’s so much walking and cycling to do in the area, you’ll barely have time to be in a car. But if you do drive here, you’ll find free onsite parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Fly the Nest and explore Portugal’s interior. There’s much to see by foot or mountain bike in Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park. Canter through the charming corners of the Serra D’Aire with horseriding provided by the Equestrian Centre of Alcaria, or get your hands dirty at a pottery workshop in the hamlet of Alvados. The Arab-inspired Baths D’Aire are tranquility to a tea. Dip in and out of the three pools, heated to different temperatures, before sipping herbal brews to a backdrop of oak-groves. You’re also close to three Unesco-recognised monasteries – Tomar, Batalha and Alcobaça – and the Alvados caves, an underworld of eerie stalactites and stalagmites.

Local restaurants

Restaurante A Gralha in Alvados serves generous portions of wholesome Portuguese fare. Try the feijoada and bacalhau de natas. Cova de Velha specialise in risotto served with skate wing, prawns or confit duck. Start with a selection of Portuguese cheese, crackers and jams at Casa Platano, and follow with octopus, lamb shank or Iberian pork cheek pie. Just make sure you leave room to try the spiced sweet potato cake with pineapple carpaccio for dessert.

Reviews

Photos The Nest, by Cooking & Nature 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 back-to-nature hotel in the Portuguese valleys and begrudgingly returned to real life, a full account of their hideaway break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Nest in Porto de Mós…

The Nest is a hotel connected umbilically to the terra firma on which it stands: it’s earthy and rustic, cradled in a valley of the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park. The olive grove-cloaked hills are ripe for exploration, and the hotel provides maps for you to do just that – there are six walking trails and 10 bike trails to trample through. You’ll likely work up an appetite, and so a table at the Nest’s restaurant will refuel you with the fruits of the land: the three-course menu is entirely vegan and locally sourced. Little Smith’s will enjoy the sheltered pool, the chance to go horseback riding and the games room. Being at one with nature comes naturally here.

Price per night from $148.44

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