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The Desert Island

Vila Monte, Moncarapacho, Portugal

You smell lemon trees, feel soft Algarve sunlight on your face, and walk over the whitewashed decks and landscaped grounds of a sprawling farmhouse estate. You’re shuttled to a private dock and are soon sailing over blue-green waters under a vast, bright expanse of sky. A speck appears on the horizon, then grows to reveal a large bank of powdery sand rising from the waters of Barra Nova. You disembark and walk barefoot over soft sands, hearing only the tide, the wind, and the far-off song of ocean birds flying over the Atlantic. You look around and find yourself, as in a dream, on your own secluded desert island—free, content, and entirely at peace.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Cousteau

THE HOTEL — What if you could have all the upsides of a beach hotel with none of its drawbacks? Vila Monte, set on a serene nine-hectare estate in Portugal’s coastal Algarve region, is a secluded paradise replete with citrus and olive groves, gardens and ponds, swimming pools, and four airy farmhouse-style villas with interiors by famed designer Vera Iachia, who once worked with Andy Warhol. When you feel like a dip in the ocean, the property’s private boat will whisk you past the crowded beaches that line the coast to the tiny untouched island of Armona where you can swim and sunbathe on its soft white sands and enjoy a specially prepared farm-fresh lunch.

I like to cook, I like to pour wine—that one-on-one experience, that’s the type of hotel experience I try to create for my guests. Francisco Moser – MD of Discovery Hotel Management

Francisco Moser was certainly not the first teenager to fantasize about life as a rock star. Playing lead guitar for a garage band that could bang out a fair rendition of Jumping Jack Flash allowed him the thrill of being the center of attention. But it’s behind the scenes, as a hotelier, where this Lisbonian has made his most original ‘music.’ Each of his properties, from Furnas Boutique Hotel, Thermal & Spa in the Azores to Praia Verde Boutique Hotel and Vila Monte, both in the Algarve, are oases of calm that are seamlessly integrated into their stunning natural surroundings.

Vila Monte, Moncarapacho, Portugal

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