Casa São Braz

  • Location: Town / Village
    São Brás de Alportel for shops and restaurants: 2 mins by car
    Quiet beaches of the Ria Formosa nature reserve: 30 mins by car
    Famous beaches and most beautiful marina: 30 mins by car
    Faro and Olhao for more restaurants and shops: 20 mins by car
  • Faro International Airport (FAO): 20km (25 mins by car)
    Faro Train Station: 25km (30 mins by car)
    Airport transfer available on request
    Car recommended
    Free parking
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An introduction to Casa São Braz

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.

Plunge pool
Plunge pool and terrace
Terrace
Plunge pool
Plunge pool
Plunge pool
Outside dining
Outside dining
Outside breakfast
Terrace
Outside kitchen
Outside kitchen
Outside kitchen
Living area
Living area
Kitchen
Kitchen and dining area
Kitchen
Living room
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 4
Bedroom 4
Bathroom
Bathroom
Bathroom
Bathroom
Terrace
Garden
Garden
Garden
Exterior
Sunbathing area by night

Casa São Braz rooms & rates

The house is very private, hidden in the most genuine and central countryside, yet very close to all facilities and everything the region has to offer (the airport and dazzling beaches are just a 20 min drive). A true hideaway for holiday breaks, health retreats, private events or even longer rentals.

Staying at the property is a holistic experience, from the peculiar and moderate-sized architecture, where walls and flora are seamlessly connected (reminding the ancient Portuguese lifestyle) to the latest trendy luxury standards.

TV screens are replaced by the chants of birds and stone-spout waterfalls, and all four bedrooms (equipped with luxury bedding) have independent access. An outdoor bed invites the daring ones to rest in the open, just next to our pergola for al-fresco meals. A portable JBL sound system with our own lounge music selection is made available.

When you arrive at the property, you enter through the pool area, which is hidden by a small wall and a lemon tree. From the main pergola, you step inside the living room, which is on the same level as the swimming pool and just five steps away. 

To the left is a bedroom suite overlooking the pool and connected to the living room is the kitchen. This leads to two more bedrooms and a shared bathroom in between, with all of these rooms having independent doors that connect to the dining pergola. There is a lot of light and each bedroom is independent. 

Down a few stairs and connected to the farmhouse is a former barn where the goats were once kept. Here we have created another suite with a bathroom that is completely independent and has a bit more privacy. 

Aside from the swimming pool, we have an alfresco daybed where guests can read or nap. It’s located in a tiled area that we discovered during excavations and where chickens were once kept. Alongside the daybed is a waterfall, so guests can listen to its sound as they relax. 

On the south side of the property, we have a barefoot-luxury sunbathing area and an honesty-bar filled with Portuguese beverages.

Our best kept secret is our Homage-club where we hide our adults-only boutique!

OVERVIEW

Old farmhouse

  • 1 king-size suite with ensuite bathroom
  • 2 king-size bedrooms with shared bathroom

Old barn

  • 1 king-size suite with ensuite bathroom

There is a possibility to convert 2 more rooms to queen-size bedrooms — please request when booking.

  • Casa São Braz for 8 people / 160 m²
    400 / night
    • 4 Double bedrooms
    • 2 Shower rooms (ensuite)
    • 1 Shower room
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Dining room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 2 Other rooms
    • Terrace
    • Balcony
    • Fireplace
    • Air conditioning
Included in the rates
Rates include a concierge to help you with your wishes and needs, a chlorine-free plunge pool (heatable), bed linen, bathroom towels, pool/beach towels (on request), mid-week small cleaning and change of bath towels (for weekly or longer stays) and final cleaning. A welcome drink and a few beverages will be offered.
Optional extras
Available on request: breakfast service, traditional dinner, cooking classes, honesty bar, wine-tastings, wine-cellar, health retreat services (holistic therapies, yoga, massage and healthy meals), extra housekeeping/cleaning, photoshoot sessions, private concerts, private chef, food shopping or laundry service.
Children & Extra beds
Children from 12 years old are welcome to stay.
Minimum stay
3 - 7 nights (check calendar for dates)
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 10:00

Facilities & services

  • WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Concierge service
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Whirlpool/Plunge pool
  • Music system
  • Honesty bar/Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Not suitable for young children
  • Hair dryer

Our plunge pool is 4.5x4.5x1.2 metres (heatable on cold days), and invites guests to celebrate life, enjoy a cocktail and laugh! A beautiful honesty-bar that is available and fully stocked with some surprising Portuguese drinks. Guests serve themselves and at the end of their stay, they pay what they think is fair (there is an indicative price-list).

If guests wish so, we can arrange a private chef, serve continental breakfast or traditional dinner at the house, as an optional extra. Health-services such as massage, yoga, group sessions or healthy meals are also available, as well as grocery shopping service. As a host, I am available as a Concierge to help with anything guests need, organising activities or restaurant bookings. We also provide a guidebook with a list of our favourite things to do in the area.

My family has a history of winemaking and Portugal is home to almost 500 different grape varieties. Wine is therefore part of the DNA of the house and guests can request for Wine-Tasting/pairing events. In the garden, there is a huge rock and around it, we built our Homage-Club, with ideal conditions to become a wine cellar. In addition, the small room holds other secrets such as a photo-art gallery and a small sex shop. It's in a way our secret room to make the experience even more special, and guests (adults only) can have access to it under certain conditions!

OVERVIEW

  • Household essentials, fully equipped kitchen + outdoor plancha
  • On-hand concierge to help you with your wishes and needs
  • Chlorine-free plunge pool (heatable)
  • Sunbathing area
  • Pool and beach towels on request
  • "Al fresco" pergolas for breakfast, dining, napping, reading or massage
  • Indoor & outdoor fireplace
  • Bathroom amenities: local-organic scents by Lousani Luxury Amenities & Árvore de Sabão
  • Coffee & tea station
  • Mid-week small cleaning and change of bath towels (for weekly or longer stays)
  • Hairdryer, safe & parking
  • Library in different languages
  • Social family & friends games
  • Sound system with lounge music
  • Wi-Fi (professional signal in living areas. Very limited signal in sleeping areas).

Things to do in Algarve & São Brás de Alportel

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Night life
  • Wine tastings
  • Cooking classes
  • Wildlife / Animals
  • Massages / Treatments
  • Yoga classes
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Scuba diving
  • Sailing / Kayaking
  • Boat trips
  • Fishing

The Algarve has almost everything — sun all year long, great beaches, beautiful walks, great food and lots of culture.

In the countryside where we are, there are lots of hiking paths and these are signposted by the municipality, so you can easily find them. We also have maps available for guests. You can walk directly from the house to the start of some hikes or take a car further up the hill. The long-distance Via Algarviana extends along the northern end of São Brás de Alportel, so you can walk east or west along it through the entire Algarve. 

In São Brás de Alportel and Loulé, there are a lot of handicraft stores where you can find carpets, hats and lamps created from native palm tree fronds. There’s also a museum where you can learn more about the culture of the region. 

Algarve is also about the beaches and water activities. The city beach of Faro is 20 minutes away and you can also swim in the warm, flat waters of the Ria Formosa. For more of a deserted beach, you can drive 30 minutes east to Tavira or head in the other direction to Vilamoura. It’s much posher, with a big marina and chic restaurants. So there is a lot of variety in terms of beaches and we are right in the middle.

The two most genuine and authentic towns of the region are just around the corner. The picturesque São Brás de Alportel (1.5km away) preserves a truly authentic soul, and the charming Loulé (11km away) hides the most emblematic fish and farmers market in the country. On the coastal side of it, you can find lots of five-star resorts perched atop its seacliffs. But the village itself is still very traditional, with lots of small streets lined with artisan stores and and the beautiful fish market. The Algarve has a very eclectic offering overall.

Our on-hand concierge service will help you with anything you need throughout your stay! We can provide for all meals, grocery shopping, wine tasting, laundry service etc. We can also assist with reservations and holiday tips.

Since we also run our own health clinic, we can organize for different in-house therapies such as different massage types, yoga, life coaching and group sessions).

Trust us: there is no need to go any far to find amazing culinary experiences of all sorts, from the amazing in-house experiences provided by our chef to the most traditional or extravagant restaurants just around the corner!

The location of Casa São Braz

Casa São Braz is just 20 minutes’ drive from Faro Airport and dazzling beaches. I’d recommend hiring a car here as you really need one to get around the Algarve.

The property is located near São Brás de Alportel, which is one of the most beautiful villages in the Algarve countryside. It’s traditional with some very good restaurants that are much cheaper than on the coast. Lots of events are held in São Brás de Alportel and it’s considered the southern European capital of Petanque. One kilometre away is a Lidl supermarket and there are lots of coffee shops nearby.

You can walk into the village from the house or you can head 800 metres uphill for a beautiful view towards the ocean. There’s a bench there where you can read and relax.

When is the best time to visit Algarve?

It depends on your tastes. Late autumn and winter are popular with guests from Canada and the United States and it’s sunny most days. Until a few years ago, many of the boutique hotels used to close at this time of the year, but now they don't. 

The end of April to late October is the best time to visit if you like the outdoors. July and August are the hottest and busiest months, like anywhere else.  

For me, June and September are the best months — it’s not too hot and it’s not too crowded. Everything is open, you can swim in the sea and the daylight hours are long.