Villa Extramuros is a strikingly beautiful contemporary guesthouse located in the Alentejo, one of the last wild regions in Europe with kilometers and kilometers of nature and wilderness.
Monte da Bela Raposa is for people who appreciate nature and being in a calm environment.
What is the story behind Monte da Bela Raposa, what was your inspiration to create it?
We have been in Portugal for a long time and previously had a B&B in Sintra. It wasn’t strictly a hotel but more of a home away from away, and that was working very well. In Sintra, many of our guests became friends.
But for family reasons and due to the climate in Sintra changing, we sold this property and decided to move to Alentejo where we have more space (60 hectares) and a small lake. We wanted to continue a B&B-style of accommodation but a little more sophisticated.
Everything was built from scratch, with the help of an architect. My husband was an artist and I was an interior designer, so we have a lot of relationships with artists. In addition to a studio, we host masterclasses and cultural programs.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of Monte da Bela Raposa?
It’s one word — harmony. I was inspired by my travels and drew on my experiences as an interior designer to ensure that things were practical and worked well. It’s refined. There is attention to the colours and space, and everything is high-quality, from the beds to the sheets.
Monte da Bela Raposa is like a big country house — it provides the space to feel free and at home. A previous guest said he felt it was an extraordinary place, somewhere he could rest but also work and refresh his brain.
To you personally, what is so special about Monte da Bela Raposa?
The location, the decoration and the atmosphere. Monte da Bela Raposa is for people who appreciate nature and being in a calm environment. Everyone is always surprised that they can work at the property and feel as though they are in another world, then drive 10 minutes in the car and be in the “real world”.
What is your policy regarding children?
Babies are no problem and I have cots available. But with young children, parents need to be responsible, particularly around the swimming pool. While I don’t have a lot of toys for children, there are plenty of things to see and do in the area. It’s another world for children to explore and they won’t get lost.
Monte da Bela Raposa’s main house is designed where you can find the living room, a library and a kitchen/dining area.
Separate from the main house are three bungalows, each with two ensuite bedrooms that measure around 45 square metres. In addition to a large window, they have private terraces with furniture where you can enjoy breakfast. Lots of trees and bamboo create privacy. All of the rooms have a mobile telephone and coffee/tea-making facilities, as well as a small fridge and air-conditioning. I also like to provide fresh flowers and fruit for guests.
Overlooking the valley behind Monte da Bela Raposa, the room’s interior is inspired by Southeast Asian elements and earthy tones. The room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower.
Overlooking the valley behind Monte da Bela Raposa, the room’s interior is inspired by floral elements and grassy tones. The double room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower. The room can host a third person on a single bed.
Overlooking the lush orchard of Monte da Bela Raposa, the room’s interior is inspired by oriental themes and amber tones. The double room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower. The room can be expanded into a family room hosting up to 4 adults through connecting doors with Horta 2 in the same bungalow.
With an undisturbed view of the orchard of Monte da Bela Raposa, the room’s interior is inspired by natural and animal themes. The double room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower. The room can be expanded into a family room hosting up to 4 adults through connecting doors with Horta 1 in the same bungalow.
With a superb view over the lake of Monte da Bela Raposa, the room is held in elegant beige and golden tones. The double room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower. The room can be expanded into a family room hosting up to 4 adults through connecting doors with Lac 2 in the same bungalow.
Overlooking the lake of Monte da Bela Raposa, the green and golden tones of the space radiate a peaceful atmosphere. The double room features a private veranda, an ensuite bathroom and a barrier-free shower. The room can be expanded into a family room hosting up to 4 adults through connecting doors with Lac 1 in the same bungalow.
On arrival, I provide a short introduction about the area and we offer a visit to a nearby winery. We also have a suggested program for exploring the surrounding villages. In addition to cleaning, laundry facilities are also available.
On the grounds is an infinity pool, which is very large but not deep. This is so the water is always warm and it’s not dangerous for swimming. In some places, you can even sit in the water and read a book. The swimming pool is right next the lake and shares its colour. We purposely put it a little way from the house so there is no noise. Adjacent is a pool house with a toilet and a shower, plus a fridge with refreshments. It’s a nice place to have a cocktail at sunset.
Breakfast is provided, although it is almost like a brunch, with lots of products from the area. We don’t usually offer lunch as we find that most guests are out exploring. But I can prepare a salad on request. In the evening, I make a nice dinner (only on request) accompanied by wine or cocktails. The quality of the food is very good as we work with a farm-to-table concept, with most of the ingredients coming from our vegetable garden.
You can rent a car to explore the surrounding vineyards and olive groves and there are lots of little restaurants to dine at. In many of the villages, there are artisan stores and handicrafts or you can learn how to make tapestries. Arraiolos is particularly famed for its handmade carpets and pottery and Evora is set to be the European Capital of Culture in 2027.
It’s also possible to go horse riding and there’s a river nearby where they offer canoeing. We aren’t particularly close to the coast but Comporta and Melides are only 1.5 hours away.
Our village, Pavia, is one of the nicest in Alentejo and is just four kilometres from the property. Here you’ll find two good restaurants and a church where classical music concerts are held. We are 35 minutes’ drive from Evora and near Estremoz, a wonderful, historic city. Vimiero and Arraiolos are also nearby.
Monte da Bela Raposa is around 1 hour and 15 minutes’ drive from Lisbon Airport along a nice road.
I like that it’s wild in terms of its nature - there are no industries on the outskirts of the towns — but it’s also civilised. For me, it’s paradise. There are lots of birds and animals. We even have a little fox that comes each night to have its dinner.
In winter, it is wonderful because the days are beautiful and the nights are cold. We have a fireplace in one of the living rooms and it’s really cosy.
In summer, it is very hot, up to around 40 degrees Celsius. All of the bungalows have air conditioning, so it’s very fresh in summer and well-heated in winter.
The area is beautiful in spring because everything is in flower. It’s a little bit like Provence.
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