Stay: Fazenda Nova Country House

Driving into Portugal’s Algarve region, we are greeted by rolling green hills and fields of colorful wildflowers – a much different scene than the noisy brick streets of Lisbon. Here, the wind blows gusts of salty air and there’s an ethereal emptiness to the untouched landscape. Even more than the colors of the terrain, it’s the overwhelming sweet and delicious scent of orange blossoms that indicate we are nearing the Fazenda Nova Country House.

Turning from one dirt road to another, we follow the signs to park as I gently brush my hand through the tall grass that hugs the driveway. We park the car and head to the main house, pausing briefly on our walk through the garden to take photos.

Inside we are greeted by Hallie and Tim Roberson, former London residents and the owners of the The Fazenda Nova Country House. The property was their vacation child; after coming to the Algarve region for many years together on holiday, it felt only right to purchase a house where their children could enjoy the beautiful landscape and escape from the London city-life. The house was so big that they decided to open it up to guests so that others could experience the stillness and beauty of southern Portugal’s coastline.


The name holds true to its farmhouse charm – the decor is coastal meets curated vintage and global finds with a lobby that feels like home from the moment you step in. There are only 10 bedrooms here, so expect to get cozy with your neighbors, or escape to the sun-soaked salt water swimming pool in the back that overlooks acres of almond and olive orchards.

By day, head to the nearby towns of Tavira or Albufeira. Their moorish architecture, aged charm, winding cobblestone streets and airy scent of orange blossoms will draw you in. Hallie and Tim are experts in the Algarve and are generally on-site to recommend places to eat, shop, or explore.

Retreat from an afternoon in the Portuguese sun and cozy up next to the fireplace at Fazena with a good book and a glass of local vino. The library is stocked with travel books, vintage magazines, art books, and more.

My personal favorite – the music room nestled in the quiet upstairs balcony. Thumb through their record collection spanning rock, jazz, classical, new wave and more, put on a pair of headphones, and tune out for the night.

The stillness of The Fazenda Nova Country House combined with the beauty of the Algarve had a way of silencing even the loudest parts of my mind, if only briefly. The eclectic decor, helpful staff, and array of entertainment makes this the perfect Portuguese getaway for those needing to relax without losing the important comforts of home.

Book your stay via Smith Hotels here.