Companhia das Culturas is a small boutique hotel and working organic farm in the Algarve.
What was the inspiration/story behind Casa Olhão?
We were on holidays in Portugal and had driven past this beautiful village. One day, we decided to drive into town and stayed a night in one of the guesthouses. Olhão is renowned for its cubism-style houses and is one of the only villages in the Algarve to have been preserved during the 1970s and 1980s when the property developers came through. Today, it’s still a working city of Portuguese people (not a holiday village), so it’s very alive and vibrant throughout the year.
We immediately fell in love with the beautiful old homes (many of which were very neglected) and on our next trip, we bought one. We loved the small windows and green doors but it had been abandoned for around 20 years, so it needed a lot of work. During the restoration, we preserved all the original shutters and doors of the house, which are really charming and are always commented on by guests.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Casa Olhão and what do you love about it?
We love the authenticity — it feels like a traditional old house but with all the comforts of a modern residence. When you step inside, you feel relaxed and there’s a certain flow to the home. It might appear small from the outside but it’s actually incredibly spacious inside.
Is it suitable for families, couples or both?
It is suitable for families, however, parents should be aware that we don’t have protection on the staircase or around the swimming pool, so children must be supervised around these areas (and the house is used at their own risk). But we have tried to design it so that it’s functional and inviting for everyone, particularly in the kitchen. Sometimes mothers get stuck in the kitchen of holiday rentals for hours trying to cook something but not being able to find what they need. We’ve ensured that it’s fully equipped and in a space that invites them to relax also.