Praia Verde Boutique Hotel is an architectural anomaly; the steel structure – shaped like an open bracket – rises from thick pine forest by the Algarve coast. However, its apparent coolness is shot through with Portuguese warmth: the scent drifting from the mod-rustic restaurant where pizzas are pulled from a wood-fired oven; the bustling mercado-style lobby; and a free kids’ club and playroom for little Smiths. The surrounding former campground inspires leafy rambles, but a peaceful stretch of sand is a mere 10-minute walk away; the ideal setting for family beach holidays, you won’t want to close that bracket on.
Free kids' club
A salt pot gift and a bottle of house wine (the first time you dine in the restaurant); GoldSmiths also get a room upgrade (subject to availability)
In the know
Also need to know:
Public areas are wheelchair accessible and there’s a dedicated room for guests with mobility issues.Free yoga classes are held in the grounds every Thursday and Sunday, from 9am to 10.15am. The ‘destroyer of the universe’ pose feels a lot less stormy when you’re washed in sunshine and surrounded by trees.
Bring activewear for yoga and woodland walks and less-active wear for relaxing on site or by the coast.
A la fresco.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this architecturally intriguing hotel on the Algarve coast and unpacked their bottles of aguardente liqueur and even more fiery piri piri chillies, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Praia Verde Boutique Hotel in Portugal…
Praia Verde Boutique Hotel’s cool, steel swoop of a structure looks like an eyebrow raised in awe towards the coast – fittingly so, as yours will likely do the same on arrival. Set on a former campground, the estate is crowded with mature pine trees, giving its terraces and outdoor pool an at-one-with-nature feel – no nylon folding chairs required. The sociable open-plan lobby and restaurant (with window walls and with picnic-style benches), extends the outdoorsy ambience, while authentic rustic dining shows how deep this modern stay’s roots have dug in. If you prefer sand underfoot over grass, the hotel has a private entrance to the walkway leading to the beach.
It may be encased in sombre, Richard Serra-aping architecture, but within the hotel is all warm smiles and welcomes for guests of all ages; the colourful kids’ club (free to attend) and the scent of freshly wood-fired pizzas being paddled out of the oven all tie in with the Algarve’s hearty largesse – indeed, the owners’ twins can often be seen playing in the halls. And, if you upgrade to a suite, kitchenettes ensure comfortable stays – recommended, because a minibreak is nowhere near long enough to bask in the Algarve’s warmth.
Hotel Praia Verde, Lote B, Praia Verde, Castro Marim, 8950-434
9.9 mi / 15.9 km from city centre
- Aerobics instruction
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- On-Site parking
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Onsite laundry
Dishes at À Terra (meaning ‘the earth’), are deeply rooted in the region’s fertile farmland. Ingredients are wholly organic and local: fish are yanked out of the Atlantic that day (the salt hails from there too), ham is cut and cured from pigs reared in the lush surrounds, and grains for bread travel single-digit kilometres to your table. A rustic fish stew and baby chicken with garden herbs are elegant in their simplicity, but investigate what’s grilling on the josper too. Pizzas are pulled warm from a wood-fired oven; an open kitchen lets you see the ins and outs. The restaurant’s glass walls, high ceilings and wooden benches create an outdoorsy feel, while trad country-kitchen style is nodded to by crockery piled on shelves, fruit-box containers and plants in mini buckets.
In keeping with the hotel’s former life as a campground, dine outdoors – the twinkling lights on the veranda make it feel less mess tin, more modish.
Breakfast is served from 8am–11am; otherwise dining is flexible throughout the day. À Terra’s menu is available from 8am–10pm (its bar runs after hours till midnight), and the pool bar rustles up cocktails and snacks from 10am–7pm.
Pretty much all the treats from the main menu can be brought to your door, including items from the kids' menu.
There are two, one in the lobby and one handily placed by the pool. In the former, you can pull up a stool to watch guests come and go, or settle on one of the squashy sofas; the latter is more of a ‘sip on your sunlounger’ kinda joint. For both, there’s a dedicated gin menu, with a range of fragrant and fruity drinks that go beyond a G&T. The wine list is equally comprehensive, too.
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