Review: Pé no Monte, São Teotónio, Alentejo, Portugal

Pé no Monte, loved by both urban minimalist and country style admirers is located in a rural area near São Teotónio, just a few kilometers from the Alentejo South West Natural Park, Algarve’s Vicentine coast and wild, uninhabited beaches. Retreat in contemporary style while enjoying the simple pleasures of life: peace, great food, sunshine, surf, company.

The USP

Sleek urban minimalism meets rugged country idyll.

The architecture

As friends, Lisbon architects Ivan de Sousa and Ines Antunes (together [i]da arquitectos) where the natural choice to realize the owner’s dream of a casual yet decisevely contemporary country hotel. The original “monte” (a typical Alentejan farmhouse, usually on a hill) -in ruins- was completely transformed into the owner’s accomodation and a new   cutting-edge wing was added below (pé or feet), virtually unrecognizable when entering from the dirt track leading towards the hotel. This is where the rooms located, apart from a self-contained unit in the upper grounds. The Alentejan countryside is framed through large floor-to-ceiling windows and can also be enjoyed from the room’s terraces.

[i]da arquitectos are also responsable for the new addition, with plans including more rooms and apartments plus another swimming pool and restaurant area.

The interiors

As sleek as the exteriors: white and zen. There is an double height lounge with a library of coffee table books upstairs and a sitting area downstairs with grey couches, popping orange banquettes, a red lounger and a fire place hanging from the ceiling.

The rooms

Rooms too are in a similar aesthetic as the architecture and overall design. Mainly decorated in white, they come with faux-wood concrete floors, air conditioning, beds dressed in pure white cotton and a flat-screen TV with limited channels. Pity the wires and decoder where a bit out of place/in sight clashing with the overall design. Wi-Fi was working exceptionally well considering the remonte location of the place. Over all the rooms are very spacious, all having a (not-to-)private terrace with chairs and a hammock and tea/coffee making facilities. Coffee and cakes are also available in the breakfast area during the day. There is one self-contained unit with separate living and bedroom plus a kitchenette.

The bathrooms

Bathrooms with concrete floors have beautiful walk-in rain showers next to a (small) private courtyard devided by a floor-to-ceiling window. The largest room (#6) has an in-room spa bath. Amenities come in the form of eco-friendly dispensers.

The originals

Leaving big-city Lisbon life and international financial careers behind, owners Gonçalo and Helena Marques choose a more simple country life style without having to relent on urban comforts. A success from day one (august 2014), they are now planning an extension with rooms and a restaurant.

The crowd

Couples with and without kids seeking the pleasures of a country or beach getaway from Lisbon (about a two hour drive) and international visitors alike. Weekends, plus July and August are usually packed -reserve well in advance-, during other times you will have the place practically for yourself.

Amenities

There is a huge lawn with swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers and a children’s playground. The fabulous honesty bar is set within a VW Beetle Van “parked” on the terrace next to the lounge. Free bicycles available to explore the surroundings (first come-first serve basis).

Wining & dining

There is no restaurant as such, so you will have to head out to nearby São Teotónio (a 3-minute drive) or slighty further to charming Zambujeira do Mar which has several (fish) restaurants. Breakfast (included in the rate) is plentiful and consists of homemade cakes, regional cheeses and fruits of the season and is served either in the bright breakfast room or out on the terrace.

Location, location, location

Some of Portugal’s finest beaches such as Zambujeira do Mar, Alteirinhos, Alvorião and Carvalhal, are all within 15 km. Faro International Airport is the closest at 106 km, and Lisbon can be reached in a good two-hour drive.
Children

Welcome. There is a playground and some rooms have extra third beds.

Pets

Not allowed – owners have pets.

Eco friendly iniatives

Solar panels for heating the water; card systems to activate electricity in the rooms in order to prevent waste of energy; power supply for electrical cars in the parking area; recycling of garbage.

Booking.com

Leave a Reply