— What was your inspiration to open a small luxury hotel in the Algarve?
— Fazenda Nova exterior
— Please tell us a bit about the design of Fazenda Nova.
But the building wouldn’t work if it didn’t have those wonderful historical architectural features. Those were what we fell in love with.
It took six years to finish the project, to restore the buildings, regenerate the land, and resource the materials and the furniture. For example, I had to find 30,000 reclaimed roof tiles. And they’re not easy to find. We also recycle a lot, so it took time to build the infrastructure for that, like for harvesting water. The whole process was very complicated.”
— Algarve beaches
— Please tell us a bit more about the hotel suites and apartments.
We have king size beds with what we perceive to be the best mattresses you can buy. We have silent air conditioning and big, walk-in rain showers with instant hot water and lots of water pressure.
We harvest water, use solar power and LED lighting. We offer a beach bag, umbrellas, and Wi-fi, even in the garden. We’re very conscious of our environment, but at the same time we’re very conscious of how people want to live.”
— What kind of facilities do you offer at Fazenda Nova?
We’re also organic farmers. We produce our own olive oil and a lot of fruit, vegetables and herbs — including almonds, peaches, pears, nectarines, grapes, berries, pomegranates, just a huge variety. What we serve in the restaurant comes fresh from our gardens, or we buy anything we don’t grow locally. And the guests can get involved in that process, helping to harvest, if they want to.”
— Garden suite
— Do you have a restaurant at the hotel as well?
We ask our holiday guests whether they’re going to eat with us at night, but there’s no pressure. We suggest that people go out as well.”
— What are some other services you offer to your holiday guests?
We offer walking tours specific to food or historical sight-seeing, or bird watching. We have a wonderful spa that offers massages. You can do yoga onsite or go into town to a local flea market. We organise horseback riding, jeep safaris and lunches for a boat outing to one of the islands. There are many not well-known beautiful beaches on those islands that aren’t crowded.
What we don’t offer is that white-gloved hovering service. We want people to have the best holiday experience, but to be comfortable. They can walk through reception without getting pounced on.”