By now, those wishing to escape the crowds of the Amalfi Coast and Greek Islands have discovered the Algarve. This euphoric coastal strip in Portugal’s southernmost region has long been known for its cove-enclaved white sand beaches, charming fishing villages, and its abundance of resorts, restaurants, and bars. But while Lagos and Faro have attracted much of the tourism, driving deeper into the region leaves much to be discovered.
Though Lisbon has been Portugal’s crown jewel for architecture and interiors, more and more, southern Portugal is becoming a hotbed for modern design with accommodations such as renovated farmhouses and remote cubist-style homes doting the coast. While each with its own individual character, what these hotels have in common is their shared ethos fusing modern design with the preservation of rural, bohemian charm and life of the Algarve. Sustainability is also at its core; as most of the farmhouses are still working farms, they use homegrown produce, as well as locally sourced decor, to keep the experience authentic. So before you write off the Algarve as just another beach destination, we urge you to take a closer look. Below, seven stunning design hotels to check out on your next trip to the Algarve.
This rustic farmhouse sits between the historic town of Tavira and the small fishing village of Cacela Velha. Built in 1920 by the Silva Gomes family, it was a wedding present to the owners’ daughter and remained a working farm until 1970. Since then, Atelier Rua took it on as an architectural project with an attempt to preserve its history. The mix of rustic furniture with modern light fixtures and decor creates a blissfully comfortable escape.
The architecture of a family-owned home turned nine-room hotel in the heart of Ria Formosa Natural speaks for itself. The structures and spaces are kept simple with minimal decor to give more life to the home’s surroundings. Each cubist-style room features its own private patio, some with hammocks, while the shared space includes a solarium and garden with organically grown vegetables, and a swimming pool overlooking the farm.
For a larger hotel feel, the bohemian chic Villa Monte Farm House features 24 airy rooms designed by Vera Iachia. Each is swathed in nautical bedding, white walls, raffia rugs, and light fixtures. The property itself, filled with pink bougainvillea flowers and citrus trees, is expansive, with two restaurants serving local fare and two swimming pools.
In one of the Algarve’s most popular towns, Lagos, you’ll find Casa Mãe, a sustainable retreat that focuses on being community driven, socially engaged, and environmentally conscious. The rooms are spread across three buildings with three different atmospheres: minimalist, boho chic, and classic vintage—all with the same bright vibes. The pulse of the property is Orta Restaurant, which serves fresh local fare at all hours.
The restored Farm House of the Palms sits atop the Cerro do Botelho hill with stunning views over the valley. It features five spacious bedrooms, each with its own private terrace and distinct feel. The rooms and common areas are kept primarily white, with touches of wood and natural stone to preserve the history of the 200-year-old monte. Farmhouse of the Palms has many common areas including a garden with a variety of fruit trees and tropical plants, and a tranquil swimming pool overlooking the hill.
Casas Portugal’s Casaluum is an elegant four-room villa designed by Pedro Domingos Arquitectos. The property is anchored by starkly white walls and concrete, though various open spaces—like the rooftop terraces, patios, and enclosed pool, as well as the large windows and doors—open themselves up to the landscape.
Luxury travelers will love Fazenda Nova, a luxury hideaway in the heart of the countryside near the town of Tavira. Unlike its more minimal neighbors, Fazenda Nova Country House features 15 rooms with a wholesome, country feel. Cowhide rugs and upholstered chairs are in abundance, as well as modern furniture, art, and appliances, making it feel like a home away from home.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest