Nestled amidst dunes and rice fields on Portugal’s Alentejo coastline, Comporta Villa is an architecturally designed vacation rental that lies just a stone’s throw from Praia do Pego.
There’s something magnetic and relaxing about the atmosphere...
Casas Caiadas Open House
How would you describe Casas Caiadas Open House in a nutshell?
Casas Caiadas Open House is a home that combines discreet and minimal architecture with the authenticity of its territory. It’s named Open House due to the fact that the property has five doors that lead onto two pedestrian streets, with the building having a great social dynamic with the village.
What was the inspiration and story behind Casas Caiadas?
After winning a Monocle award in 2016 for our boutique home in Sabugueiro, we wanted to take the next step and do something a bit different. There aren’t so many high-quality accommodation options in the villages of Portugal, so we felt that there was an opportunity there.
This building was for sale and it seduced us – it was discreet and somewhat like a maze, with three shops on the ground floor and an owner’s residence above. We loved its complexity and setting, as well as its history as refugee accommodation at the beginning of the 19th century and as the most famous bakery in the region.
So we bought it and started work on renovating it with the same architect we had collaborated with previously. It was a difficult restoration, taking three years to complete and including a lot of small details.
Please describe the atmosphere of Casas Caiadas Open House.
There’s something magnetic and relaxing about the atmosphere because of the paintings and design pieces we have selected which hold a strong connection to the area. I also think the use of wood (which is a peaceful material) invites tranquility, as do the olive trees and dried flowers.
Is Casas Caiadas Open House best for couples or families?
It works well for both and this is something that I’m proud of in the design. We spent a lot of time accommodating the needs of different types of guests, as well as creating technical areas that would support the services of the house.
Casas Caiadas Open House is set across three floors, with the ground floor featuring two social areas (one large and one small) where you can relax. In addition to a sofa and dining table, these areas also feature a lot of local craft and ceramic pieces that were hand-picked for the space. A few stairs lead down to the kitchen where the bakery once was and we invested a lot in reviving it as part of the building’s history.
The first floor is home to a suite with a bathroom and a small living room (with a sofa bed for families), as well as three additional bedrooms. All are decorated with paintings by local artists and design pieces from across Portugal, and one room has a large terrace looking out across Arraiolos.
Above is a spectacular rooftop with a 3x4-metre swimming pool and several seating areas where you can enjoy the views.
We have a concierge service and can offer recommendations about what to see and do in the region, depending on our guests’ interests. Breakfast is included in the rate and dinners are possible on request with our private chef.
We recommend visiting Evora and the Saturday market in Estremoz where you can pick up organic vegetables and antiques — it feels like Alentejo in times gone by. There are also a lot of castles in the region and some unknown villages to visit, not to mention very good wineries just 10 minutes away.
And of course, there is the amazing Comporta Beach, a quiet beach with white sand and turquoise water, which is only a bit more than an hour away. Another perfect day trip is a visit to Lisbon, also approximately one hour away.
We also just started a new project in and around Arraiolos. Together with the e-bike brand brand Riese & Müller we offer 30 e-bikes parked near tourist destinations and restaurants all over the Arraiolos municipality. What we are building in Arraiolos is a pioneer experience from Portugal to the world, i.e.: to all people looking for places that preserve and respect their genuine character and that add elements of modernity such as mobility, design, culture or art. Arraiolos is an ideal place for new nomads looking for exactly this type of experience.
Casas Caiadas Open House is in Arraiolos, which is one of the most spectacular villages in Alentejo. Everyone in Portugal knows it by name because of its eight-centuries-long history of manufacturing rugs. Arraiolos is a typical Alentejo village with a lot of character and well-preserved architecture but also some recent innovations, such as its warm street lights. There are very good restaurants just a couple of minutes' walk from the house and everything you need is in the village. Arraiolos is also home to one of the most impressive circular castles in Europe, which we have perfect views of from our rooftop.
Arraiolos is in the centre of the Alentejo region. It’s just 15 minutes’ drive from Evora and 30 minutes from several interesting villages, as well being only one hour from Lisbon, Comporta Beach and the Spanish border.
For me, it’s wintertime, particularly if you have a glass of red wine and a fireplace (as we do on the rooftop). In winter, Alentejo is lush with greenery and the sun is still shining.
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