Since I enjoyed my recent trip to India so much, I have been more enthusiastic than ever to visit destinations that I haven’t been to before. Visiting Portugal has been on my list for a while now, so when the weather in Amsterdam got its usual November horrible, I jumped at the invitation to visit Fazenda Nova. Situated in the heart of the Eastern Algarve countryside, this beautiful hideaway is everything I could have asked for.
The Eastern Algarve is nothing like the Algarve I had heard of and dreaded, with touristic places like Albufeira and Portimao. On the contrary: Fazenda Nova is based in the authentic side of southern Portugal, with cute small towns in rolling hills and characteristic fishing ports along the famously stunning coastline. I had originally planned to use Fazenda Nova as the base to explore the entire area, even taking longer trips, like the two hour drive to Sevilla in Spain. But the moment I drove through the gates at Fazenda Nova I loved it so much that I never wanted to leave!
After driving just 30 minutes from Faro airport and parking the car, the first thing I noticed walking up to the main house was the beautifully landscaped garden full of wild flowers around the lovely old olive trees. I learned that Fazenda Nova was originally a family home and farm, that the owners Tim and Hallie spent no less than 7 years on to turn into a carefully created luxury country house.
Fazenda Nova has only 10 spacious suites, that are surrounded by over 400 olive trees, carob trees and almond trees, on a 10 hectare estate. Most suites have their own private yard, although I also enjoyed spending time relaxing around the wonderful pool and the quaint seating area outside the main house.
As you can tell from the pictures, Fazenda Nova has a real personal style and touch, that is exemplified by the detailed decorations in the main house and the suites. I also really loved the fragrance, the delightful scent, that you smell the moment you enter the main house.
Our suite was decorated beautifully, with earth tones colored walls that matched the vibe of the Algarve countryside we could enjoy through the windows. It was also very spacious, with a comfortable bed, lots of closet space (which I always adore!) and a huge bathroom stacked with Ren toiletries, a fantastic brand. Talk about a destination with all the finishing touches!!
Still, the more I travel, the more I realize that the people you meet are at least half the joy of traveling. I have noticed that the best hotels usually employ the nicest staff and in that respect Fazenda Nova really struck a nerve with me: everyone was so genuinely friendly and eager to help out. For example, staff members went out of their way to point us to the nicest restaurants in the nearby coastal towns of Tavira, Santa Luzia and Olhao, going as far as to recommend specific dishes to try, based on our preferences. So definitely visit the Eastern Algarve, check out Fazenda Nova, follow their tips and then have the polvo. It’s Portuguese for octopus and it is heavenly!