In the midst of a 17-acre dune sand area surrounded by umbrella pines and cork trees, lies Sublime Comporta Hotel. Close to the rice fields and small fishing village of Comporta. This is an unspoiled destination and favourite of locals and many – famous – international guests alike. Portugal’s rustic Alentejo region hides its secrets very well. If you wouldn’t know, you will easily drive by the gated entrance.
The atmosphere is relaxed because both staff and buildings radiate a zen calmness. This ethnic, understated chic rural retreat is where interior flows seamlessly into exterior. Nature is the great connector and the consistent use of wood proves that point. Just an hour drive from Lisbon and 1,5 from Algarve.
A variety of accommodation
Spread around the woods are minimalistic villas made of wood and concrete. Done in natural hues, you have to look twice to spot them between the lush natural green surroundings. Most of the villas have private pools with 2 till 5 bedroom cabanas attached to the main building. Inspired by traditional Alentejo farm houses where another cottage is added close to the main house for each adult child.
Another option is to stay in one of the ‘friends’ rooms in the main house, originally the private house of owners Gonçalo and Patricia Pessoa. This terracotta coloured house – with spa on the lower level – is located in line with the outside pool.
Pool villa cabana for the night
We stay in a Sublime Comporta pool villa cabana with large bathroom divided from the bed room by sliding doors. The large egg shape stand alone bath-with-garden-view is a real eye catcher. Totally in love with the amenities by historic – 1887! – Portuguese brands Claus Porto. Natural ingredients, lemon and verbena, wrapped in great packaging.
No need to set the alarm, the birds will let you know when it’s time to rise and shine. Staring into nature from the bed through the open doors, while letting the smell of pine trees sneak in, is almost meditative. Not almost, it is!
The Spa & Yoga at Sublime Comporta
The spa is located in the main house, the first house built on the premises as holiday home for the owners. Now this terracotta coloured building hosts several hotel rooms and the spa. Both the upstairs waiting lounge (with yet another set of impressive antique doors) and downstairs indoor pool lounge are connected with outside through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. With song texts written on them to point out its glass. Isn’t that a Gloria Gaynor song?
After a foot cleansing scrub with organic essential oils and sea salt, I doze off to another dimension under the skilled soft hands of my therapist. So this is the Sublime signature massage…
Check the wellness agenda at reception for a daily shot of zen, as the spa also open for outside guests. Pranayama, silent meditation walks or hatha/vinyasa yoga?
How about the Sublime food?
Well, nomen est omen. Sublime. The proximity between garden and plate is the ultimate sustainable food indicator. At Sublime the fresh organic salad has to travel 10 meters and that is what you taste. Utterly fresh.
The restaurant is called Sem Porta (without doors), floor-to-ceiling glass doors to terrace and garden bring nature inside. New * chef Tiago Santos just joined from London and reigns in the open plan kitchen. The menu consists of seasonal cuisine with use of regional recipes and organic produce.
This is also the place for a lovely buffet style breakfast with green juices, fresh fruit, rustic country breads, regional cheese and more.
In the middle of the organic vegetable garden you’ll find Food Circle. An experiential restaurant where the chef cooks only with fire and uses organic produce.
The restaurant is also open to non-guests but reservation recommended!
Lunch at the beach, Sal Restaurant
The deserted beach is about 10 minutes from the hotel. We went to Praia do Pego for a walk along the sandy dunes and turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Either go by car or grab one of the Sublime bikes.
Reward yourself with a grilled fresh fish lunch at Restaurant Sal. Literally on the beach and everybody’s favourite.
Never change a winning eating eam, which in our case means sharing a portion of clams (Amêijos à Bulhão Pato) for starters. A grilled sea bass – robalo – as main. Apart from the usual vegetables and small garlic potatoes, the fish also comes with grilled sweet potatoes with herbal/garlic butter on top. Say no more.
Well, I do have to say more. I seldom take deserts (try to minimize sugar in my life) but when our friendly waiter elaborated on the lemon cheesecake who am I to decline? Made by an elderly lady from Sétubal who bakes all their famous pies. It even crossed my mind to take another piece. Yes, that good.
This humble luxury country side retreat is a go-to destinations for those who like nature on their doorstep, luxurious sheets, architectural designs and fine organic food. For some extra quiet ambiance you might avoid a stay during children’s school holidays. Or hide at your private pool for some peace and quiet and make room service your best friend. Also an option if you are very famous.
We had a lovely time and are looking forward to our return to Sublime Comporta for more rural luxury. Some words express the same feeling, no matter which language. Sublime, for instance.
Our stay at Sublime Comporta was by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty. We only accept invites that answer positive to the question: “does it match our lifestyle?”. I will not promote anything that I would not wear, eat, sleep or see myself. Authenticity is very important to me. Words, photos and opinions are my own.