Alentejo Villa is a beautifully designed holiday home rental with a stunning pool in the heart of unspoiled Alentejo.
What is the story behind Casa São Braz, what was your inspiration to buy it?
I worked for many years in Luxembourg and Brussels as a politician for the EU. During this time, I travelled a lot and preferred to stay in boutique hotels. I found them private and chic and thought creating customised and tailored experiences for guests was something I would like to do one day.
When I got tired of politics, I decided to move back to Portugal (my father is Spanish and my mother is Portuguese) and ended up in the Algarve where I bought this old house. It is 140 years old and was totally abandoned. Over the course of a year, I renovated it myself and added the outdoor spaces. At the same time, I established a mental health clinic that I run with my wife (I have a degree in psychology and she is a psychiatrist).
When I went around the village to learn about the history of the house, I met a 93-year-old woman who is the last person alive from the family that once owned the house. When decorating it, I wanted it to be an homage to the family who once lived here, and to charismatic members of my family. Collecting vintage objects and bringing history forward is something that my family has always done.
How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of Casa São Braz?
I had a soft opening a few weeks ago in October 2023 with eight friends, and one started crying when he stepped inside. It’s an emotional experience. At each step, there is something to wonder: “Where did it come from?” and “Why is it here?”
It's a soothing atmosphere where storytelling objects are paired with a slow luxury lifestyle, privacy and comfort. It’s also a tranquil atmosphere, that invites us to celebrate life and not somewhere to host hard-core events. Because the house is hidden on a dead-end path, it’s very peaceful. It’s a place to chill out and relax, enjoy good food and wine, read and rest. That’s also the reason why we host guests 12 years old or older.