Algarve, Portugal

Vila Monte Farm House

Rates from (ex tax)$253.96

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 (EUR225.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Bright boho finca

Setting

Citrus-scented gardens

Surrounded by citrus trees and bougainvillea, boho Vila Monte Farm House is all whitewashed walls, red tile roofs and natural materials. An inviting fireplace flanked by cushy seating and an honesty bar may tempt you to stay in the lobby, but two local-flavor restaurants, twin swimming pools and nearby beaches await.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos Vila Monte Farm House facilities

Need to know

Rooms

55, including 24 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Luggage storage is available for guests arriving early or leaving late.

Rates

Double rooms from $253.96 (€212), 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 (EUR225.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast (usually €25 for adults and €12 for children) and parking.

Also

Arrange a couple’s massage in a quiet area of the gardens, or take advantage of the tennis court, jogging tracks, hire bikes and fitness classes and fire up those endorphins. In the evening, enjoy an outdoor film screening by the adults-only pool at Cine Paraiso.

At the hotel

Two swimming pools, nearby beach, tennis court, free WiFi throughout, free on-site parking, valet parking, laundry services. In rooms: Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making facilities, TV, Molton Brown bath products, a beach bag and a sun hat.

Our favourite rooms

All rooms are bright and airy, with white walls, nautical blue and white fabrics, and natural decor, such as tree-trunk coffee tables, coconut-husk rugs and hand-carved light fittings. The Junior Suite, with its private outdoor seating, might just take the cake.

Poolside

Family-friendly Tanque das Bicas has Roman steps and pool toys; it’s in the main garden, surrounded by trees and a pool bar that serves fresh juices and salads (little Smiths must be supervised by a parent at all times). The adults-only pool is in a lushly landscaped, quiet area of the grounds; order a cocktail, enjoy a book or just savour the silence.

Packing tips

Leave your straw hats and beach bags behind: they’re laid on by the hotel.

Also

All public areas, including the lobby market and restaurants, are wheelchair accessible; there’s also a dedicated accessible guest room with a larger bathroom.

Pet‐friendly

Small dogs (up to 10kg) are welcomed for €25 a night. Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Algarve.

Children

Are welcome. Big ticket littles swag, from baby cots to bedlinens, bottle sterilisers to bibs, highchairs to baby baths and towels can be provided on request. The hotel also has a family-friendly pool, outdoor play areas and bikes to hire.

Overview

Children of all ages are welcome at Vila Monte Farm House.

Activities

The hotel has a family-friendly pool, outdoor play areas, bikes to hire, an open air cinema, colouring-in accoutrements and child-friendly snacks.

 

Swimming pool

Family-friendly Tanque das Bicas has Roman steps and pool toys; it’s in the main garden, surrounded by trees and a pool bar that serves fresh juices and salads (little Smiths must be supervised by a parent at all times).

Meals

 The restaurants have kids menus, activity packs, family-friendly events, children's cutlery and highchairs; just ask to have baby bottles or food heated for teensy Smiths. 

Babysitting

Give the hotel a week’s notice to arrange babysitters (or nannies) for €15 an hour.

No need to pack

Big ticket littles swag, from baby cots to bedlinens, bottle sterilisers to bibs, highchairs to baby baths and towels can be provided on request.

Eco‐friendly

Ingredients used in the restaurants are locally sourced (some grown on site) and organic; eco-friendly cleaning products, bathroom products and light bulbs are used, too.

Food and Drink

Photos Vila Monte Farm House food and drink

Top Table

For a spot of theatrics with your meal, try to snag the two seats by the large windows to the kitchen and watch the chefs at work. You can’t go wrong with alfresco dining on the terrace, either.

Dress Code

A breezy linen shirt for Mr Smith and a stylish sundress and espadrilles for Mrs Smith will be all the evening-wear finery needed.

Hotel restaurant

Make your way from the atrium to À Terra’s main dining area, a stylishly rustic affair with chunky wooden tables, hanging clay pendant lights and shelves filled with jars of local grains and Portuguese truffles; floor-to-ceiling windows frame the gardens. In the outdoor seating area, you’ll find oversized blue cushions and a canopy with exposed bulbs; it’s particularly charming after dark. À Terra serves up local Portuguese food and mouthwatering Mediterranean meals – order assorted cuts of meat and fish fired up over the Josper grill or pizzas direct from the wood-fired oven. In warmer months, Laranjal Restaurant is open for tapas, seafood and all manner of grilled dishes; ask for the catch of the day. We’re partial to the tuna ceviche salad, too.

Hotel bar

There’s an honesty bar in the lobby, just to the left of the entrance – it doubles as the check-in counter and is stocked with a variety of liquors. Concoct an afternoon tipple from one of the many gins on the shelf, or simply grab a cold glass of Murganheira (Portuguese sparkling wine) and cosy up by the circular fireplace. You can also order cocktails, spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks from À Terra.

Last orders

Enjoy evening meals at À Terra from 7.30pm to 10.30pm, or at Laranjal from 7.30pm to 11pm (in high season only). Lunch at À Terra is served from 12.30pm to 3pm, and breakfast from 7.30am to 10.30am.

Room service

Full restaurant menus are available during opening hours, and the in-room minibar is stocked with drinks, cookies, crisps and other snacks.

Location

Photos Vila Monte Farm House location
Address
Vila Monte Farm House
Sitio dos Caliços, Moncarapacho, Olhão, Moncarapacho Algarve
Moncarapacho
8700-069
Moncarapacho
Portugal

Planes

Faro Airport is 27km away; with at least two days’ notice, the hotel can organise transfers for €37 a person each way.

Trains

Trains from Lisbon and Oporto pull into Faro station; the hotel can organise transfers for €60 a person each way if requested at least two days before your train pulls into the station.

Automobiles

For those puttering around Portugal, there’s free parking at the hotel. You won’t need a car to enjoy the hotel and nearby beaches, though.

Worth getting out of bed for

Beach lovers are in luck: the white sands of Fuseta Island are about a short drive from Vila Monte Farm House; a shuttle service runs between the hotel and the boat to the island every 15-20 minutes. The hotel’s boat is moored at Fuseta pier and will zip you right over to the beach of Barra Nova, where you can get (temporarily) marooned in style; €20 a person covers one way transport, a water bottle and a beach towel. An umbrella, towels, chairs, drinks and a picnic can be supplied, and the boatman will help you set up for your mini island getaway. Sunbathe, swim and picnic to your heart’s content… and be back at the hotel within 15 minutes.

Vila Monte Farm House can also arrange pottery slinging sessions, horse-riding in the hills, fishing and boating tours in Ria Formosa Natural Park, and bird- and dolphin-watching excursions. Aspiring chefs can chop, stir and sizzle the day away in the hotel’s kitchens or simply go for guided seafood tastings in nearby Ria Formosa. 

For your holiday dose of cobbled streets and squares, head 15 minutes west to Tavira, a traditional Algarve fishing village. The town is intersected by Gilão river and the bridge that crosses over it is allegedly a remnant of the Roman Empire.

Local restaurants

Casa Corvo in Fuseta (1 de Maio +351 914 130 029) is the spot for a lunch of barbecued fish by the sea. Cascas (+351 289 722 221) on Avenida 5 de Outubro in Olhão serves fresh seafood and Portuguese dishes; try the octopus salad or freshly-shucked oysters, or ask the friendly owners for recommendations. Family-run Restaurant Antonio (+351 939 163 759) is on Avenida Maria Lizarda Palermo in the heart of Moncarapacho and serves traditional local fare. In Olhão, get your pizza fix with a view at Italian eatery Pizza e Pedra, which also has quite the enoteca for interested oenophiles. 

Local bars

For laid-back rooftop drinks and tapas, try Bar 62 on Avenida 5 de Outubro, Olhão (289 723 060); it has a wide-ranging drinks list and blankets for when it gets a bit breezy on the roof. Gin- and wine-lovers alike will have no problem finding a tempting tipple at 7 Imeio Wine Bar (+351 965 258 266 Avenida 5 de Outubro), a tapas bar that also serves up freshly prepared sushi in Olhão. Part tapas bar, part beer garden, Terra i Mar (+351 289 714 315) on Avenida 5 de Outubro has a rustic interior and outdoor seating area too. And for black pork and fiery cocktails with a side of local lore, check out Tapas e Lendas (‘tapas and legends’) (+351289706429) on Rua Dr Manuel Arriaga.

Reviews

Photos Vila Monte Farm House reviews
Martin Dickie

Anonymous review

Vila Monte tops a ripple of the Algarve’s barrocal, a band of arid hills separating the mountains and the sea. At Faro Airport, we’d watched fellow Brits head west towards the tourist-stricken resorts of Praia da Rocha and Lagos. We’d gone east, to Portugal’s Algarve. You’ll find no tacky tourist shops flogging cheap keyrings here. Only the odd crumbling barn slouched in olive groves and terse greenery unfurling to the sea.

Our taxi had pulled off the main road to climb the winding driveway to Vila Monte, through gardens of orchid and tangles of acacia, fig and citrus tree reminiscent of Rousseau’s Tiger in a Tropical Storm – without the storm.

Once inside, the hotel’s spell descended. We stood side by side at the reception desk, fixated on the receptionist’s hands. She recited something about bike hire or breakfast, but her hands: they were pouring steaming honey and lavender tea so deftly from her cast-iron teapot that we were hypnotised. It was like she was filling our ceramic cups with some sort of initiation drink.

We downed it, and thus we were entered into the cult of Vila Monte Farm House.

‘Follow me, please,’ the receptionist said, and we did so as she conjured lawns, vegetable gardens, swimming pools. Soon we came upon a newly-lit fire pit circled by logs – were we to dance around this? – and then to our room, where we found not the white linen uniforms of some certain cults but robes… of the fluffy bathroom variety. And in the minibar? Organic crisps and sparkling wine. We obliged the latter. The hotel’s methods of indoctrination were so far not unpleasant.

We settled into our new life quickly, our first misfortune being the time of day: too late for lunch, not late enough for dinner. A pity. Perhaps they could rustle up some soup? They could. But note: Vila Monte doesn’t do ‘just some soup’. At the restaurant patio, the waitress brought us two cast-iron Chasseur pots of the most fragrant broths (one: an Algarve fish stew; the other: vegetable, made with produce from the garden) plus a breadboard dolloped with garlic-and-thyme butter and goat’s cheese.

‘And could we get an ironing board, please?’ Mrs Smith asked. This was followed by an awkward silence as the waitress and I calculated how she’d have space for it after all this soup. ‘For the room… So I can iron my dress,’ she qualified.

‘I’ll have one sent up,’ came the waitress’s unruffled reply.

Soup duly despatched, it was time for stage two of our inebriation. As we poured more Algarve wine, a cat – her white-and-tabby features sympathetic to the hotel’s distressed trelliswork and whitewashed walls – made its way across the lawn. We addressed her in that strange Scooby-Doo voice reserved exclusively for cats: ‘Hello yooooooou.’

Then we noticed the plumpness of her belly. ‘Are you preggo?’ Mrs Smith asked. ‘No, I can't say that, I hate it when people say that about me.’

No wonder this moggy was enceinte – she was gorgeous. And she knew it. But what do you give a cat when you’re eating soup? Mrs Smith fed her a crouton.

‘You can’t give a cat croutons,’ I announced, not entirely sure under what authority.

‘She’s expecting,’ Mrs Smith said. ‘Women get weird cravings during pregnancy,’ and, on cue, the cat devoured it. ‘See.’

Our new Portuguese overlords were surprisingly lenient with their expectations. We were apparently free to cycle into rustic nearby town, Moncarapacho, and take a taxi to sunbathe on the sandbanks of Fuseta Beach. It was here, at a streetside shack, that we feasted on giant garlic prawns and grilled dorada, laughing manically at each other’s sun-caught faces and wondering – hoping – that staff back at the hotel might never let us leave.

Later that day I found a quiet moment to spread-eagle myself across the king-sized bed in our room. Here was my face, a sun-burnt disc, drunk on near-sleep, set adrift in a white sea of dressing gown, walls, sheets: my very own Enya video.

Cue sharp focus pull to the shower door, with Mrs Smith screaming: ‘Quick, get up!’ I leapt from the bed, landing with an unexpected splash. Water: an inch deep. I stared at it mad-eyed, and then at her.

‘Help me!’ she despaired, lifting a dripping bed curtain and placing it on the bedside table, right onto our passports and check-in folder.

‘What are you doing?!’ I squeaked, rushing to their rescue. She stepped back, knocking the ironing board, still with us and leaning against the wall. We both turned and watched it slam into the water, causing a ka-bloom of spray. Within seconds my nap had shifted from Orinoco Flow to Apocalypse Now.

‘You told me to sit down in the shower,’ came her excuse over a nerve-steadying port & tonic while the housekeeper mopped our mess. This was true. I had taken the unorthodox decision to spend my shower sat down. I’ll admit it: shower-sitting is something I enjoy, especially under a rainforest showerhead. And, slightly giddily, I’d chosen this romantic getaway to share this character quirk with Mrs Smith – no secrets and all that. But Mrs Smith, in her wisdom, had sat over the plughole.

Rain that evening meant Braveheart would be shown on the lobby’s flatscreen TV and not the outdoor cinema. We ordered more Algarve wine at the reception bar while other waifs and strays dried by the fireplace or settled in for the film. We were all spared Mel Gibson’s questionable Scottish accent as his tribe were slaughtered in subtitled silence – we could only guess to the reason behind the lobby’s ‘mute’ policy. To maintain that monastic ambiance? However, the mawkish bossa nova covers of Eighties pop hits filling the void instead preserved quietude only as far as the scene with the bottom-baring highlanders. This tickled the barman as much as it did us and, newly endeared to him, we ordered another bottle.

On our final morning we found ourselves nursing coffees for several hours in the vast breakfast atrium: plate-glass doors on two sides, four giant amphorae along the back wall, a grand buffet laid out along another. Stormclouds had returned, swallowing hill after ever-closer hill like the strip lights in a horror-movie corridor. We decided we weren’t going anywhere. When the storm finally hit, it suction-boomed the doors onto their hinges. It was like something out of Rousseau’s Tiger in a Tropical Storm – with the storm. As other guests gawped or filmed the onslaught on their phones, Mrs Smith and I took the opportunity to load up on hangover-soothing custard tarts, and by check-out the rain had passed. The sun shone as we came blinking back into the world. We were now converted disciples, determined to spread the Vila Monte philosophy far and wide. Here are its three core teachings:

  1. Order the pork cheek casserole from the hotel restaurant

  2. Don’t chuckle when the waiter rearranges the word order of your favourite dessert – the ‘pudding bread’ is as good as your grandma’s

  3. Stay for a week at least

 We’ll drink to 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 Vila Monte Farm House’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Villa Monte was absolutely brilliant. The whole hotel is very well designed so that everyone can enjoy their stay regardless of whether they are there with a young family, adults or business. The food was excellent and I particularly loved the local produce and fresh fruit and vegetables from the farm. The rooms were lovely and clean, the beds comfortable and the furnishings stylish. Our children aged 5 and 7 were able to use the kids club (available July and August) which was great for us – they were near us colouring, playing games and having their face painted so we could take our eye off them near the pool, knowing they were safe and having fun. The kids movies with pop corn in the evening was also brilliant as it meant we could finish our dinner while the kids ran off with the new friends they had made, in the safety of the grounds. All the staff were super friendly and very accommodating. We tried the yoga and loved it so much we had another lesson, which was under a fig tree in the gardens. It was heaven! I can definitely recommend this hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Aug 2017

We loved

I could happily spend two weeks here eating my way through the menu at the delightful restaurant. An amazing selection and every dish ordered was sublime! The rooms are super comfortable, bright and elegant and I had a lovely cushioned private chill out area outside my door. Decor was perfect. The evening outdoor cinema was a nice touch!

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet in the communal hotel areas during school holidays – it was absolutely full of families and with little to do in the surrounding areas they all stayed around the hotel all day long. Even the adults-only pool area was subject to visits from little ones and the rule was not strictly enforced. I would recommend coming outside of school holiday time if travelling without children. There also isn't a lot to do in the area around the hotel. It's fine if you want to relax and enjoy the gardens and great food at the resort but if you're wanting this as a base to explore the Algarve it's probably not the best – the close-by beach 'islands' are not what the region is famous for. I can, however, imagine this being a very cosy and peaceful winter break.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jul 2017

We loved

Pretty much everything! The separate pool areas, the peace and quiet, the beautiful rooms and surroundings, and the breakfast.

Don’t expect

Food and drinks are a bit pricey.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Apr 2017

We loved

We absolutely loved our stay at Vila Monte. There is always something to fault even in the best places we stayed but we could not find a fault with this hotel. It is beautiful and practical at the same time and every little detail has been looked into and improved to perfection. The suits were extremely spacious with terraces in the front and the back of the rooms so you can catch daily sun at any time of the day. The rooms have plenty of wardrobe space and bathrooms are fantastic with loads of place either side of the sink and strong showers that don't leak or overflow. The bedrooms have electric blinds and the living room wooden shutters making the rooms completely dark and together with extremely comfortable beds and bedding we all had the best ever holiday sleeps. You are woken up by the birds and when you open your windows/doors wonderful plant and flower smells flood in together with the light. That is just the rooms. The hotel buildings and the grounds are amazingly beautiful, peaceful and well kept. Heated pool is a great addition to the family one and I used it for my morning swims completely for myself. The food throughout our stay and particularly breakfasts are delicious, healthy and varied with an amazing service delivered by each member of the staff. There are so many different places to relax and sun bathe in the most peaceful and beautifully smelling surroundings. The service throughout our stay was fantastic, housekeeping, reception, restaurant staff were all friendly, polite and efficient. We stayed for 6 nights leaving very late in the afternoon of the 7th day to drive to Lisbon and the moment we left the hotel gates we missed it! It is definitely place we plan to come back very soon.

Don’t expect

Expect everything good! I can't fault anything in this place

Rating

Stayed on 31 Mar 2017

We loved

Amazing staff, beautiful food.

Don’t expect

To be disappointed.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Mar 2017

We loved

The setting, and rooms as well as the different dining spaces. The markets and seafood at Olhao are a fifteen minute drive away.

Don’t expect

Recognition as a Mr & Mrs Smith client!

Rating

Stayed on 26 Sep 2016

We loved

Decor, food and service. Swimming and boat trips in Fuzeta

Don’t expect

Lively night life or deep swimming pools to swim in!

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2016

We loved

Everything about it. Our room was beautiful - peaceful and calm with our own private terrace. We loved the adult swimming pool that was beautiful to look at and incredibly peaceful. The landscaped gardens and the amount of shady nooks to be quiet and relax in. The beautiful, fresh bread from the wood-fired oven. Watching films outdoors with our cones of popcorn. The amazing array of gins and the beautiful cocktails rustled up by friendly staff. The attention to detail. The aromatic garden. The vegetable garden....

Don’t expect

Feather pillows. The bed was very comfortable but only slightly let down by foam pillows. It would be great to have a couple of feather ones tucked away in the wardrobe for those who prefer them.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Aug 2016

We loved

Everything. From the moment you arrive the staff are amazing. There's an incredible restaurant where you very quickly get to know the waiters and they will happily take your dessert and wine to the outdoor cinema for you to finish in the evening. Very special hotel!

Don’t expect

...lots of noise or unwanted guests.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Jul 2016

We loved

Everything! The staff were great, the room was fantastic, the grounds were beautiful and the food was lovely. As a lone traveller I felt safe and well looked after. Such a relaxing break! 10/10

Don’t expect

An extensive dinner menu

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jul 2016

We loved

The beautiful, expansive suite; the outdoor cinema (with cones of popcorn!); the retreat-like gardens and pools; the very quick and very glamorous-feeling speedboat shuttle to the island; the gorgeous fish, meats and pizzas at A Terra; the orange cookies at turndown; the huge goblets of gin and tonic garnished with gorgeous fruits and aromatics...Obviously get the speedboat to the island off Fuseta! Otherwise it's quite hard to leave the gardens and pools...

Don’t expect

Stumped here really. This beautifully designed place really exceeded our expectations. Lots of little touches that make me smile thinking back on them.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jul 2016

We loved

So much beautiful space around the immaculate grounds to enjoy with the little ones. Fantastic service and ultimately relaxed easy going ambience. A little day trip out to nearby Santa Luxia and Barilla is fun. 10/10

Don’t expect

World wines. Just Portugese! But the draft beer is great.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Jun 2016

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