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 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 receive guests in my hotels in the same way as I receive friends into my house. We think of our guests as family."Miguel Guedes De Sousa – CEO of Discovery Hotel Management
From the time he was a small boy playing in the halls of his grandfather’s hotel in Lisbon, Miguel Guedes De Sousa knew he would become a hotelier. Since then, he has studied hospitality and culinary arts on both sides of the Atlantic, worked in Thailand, the Philippines and eventually back in his native Portugal, where he slowly built his small empire of beautiful, unique hotels under the Discovery Hotel Management umbrella. Each property, 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.
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