What We Love
- A charming stay on the southern coast of Portugal, with extras and a gourmet-dining optionStaying in one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations, a short stroll from the beach
- Going with the "gastronomic experience" option and enjoying a seven-course dinner
- Being one of the first to stay at a brand-new hotel
What To Know
- The house is just 5-minutes from the beach
- Rooms on the first and second floors of Jogo da Bola have views of either the garden, city, or sea (plus all have terraces)
- Orta, the onsite restaurant, serves a mix of healthy options (and 24/7 breakfast) including fresh smoothies, pressed juices, and farm-to-table dishes
Tucked away behind the old city walls of the charming Algarve town of Lagos, a uniquely special retreat is emerging. Rising with elegance and grace from the ruins of a former 19th-century family estate, new boutique design hotel Casa Mãe has the feel of an exclusive private village, comprising three separate parts and 30 rooms spread across the Jogo de Bola building, Casa Mãe building and Cabanas. It’s a true hideaway you may never feel the need to leave, despite being only minutes away from some breathtaking beaches.
With orange tree, oleander and fig tree scents set to waft through 7,000 square metres of terraced gardens from December 2016 onwards, this property is certainly designed to please on the outside. When it comes to the interiors, owner Veronique let her creative juices flow, with a showcase of some of the very best of contemporary Portuguese design. Bespoke furniture by French designer Martin Blanchard has been specially made for the hotel, accessorised with handmade ceramics and locally woven textiles.
Even in the winter months the secluded terracotta-tiled patio, complete with marble tables and carefully placed planters, is a real suntrap. Head to the serene minimalist surrounds of your room, housed in a brand new dazzling white building, for dreamy siestas in your very own hammock. Throughout the day and evening you can sample super fresh creations (sourced from Casa Mãe’s organic garden and out-of-town farm) in the restaurant. Add to this an alfresco cinema (open in spring and summer), plus on-site yoga and cooking classes, and you have the recipe for a perfectly magical stay.
Good to know
Please note that this is a new property; the five luxury suites in the 19th-century renovated estate house, as well as the three Cabanas, the swimming pool and gardens, are set to open in December 2016.
How to Get There
My husband and I stayed at Casa Mae for three nights during the end of April for our one year anniversary and we are SO glad that we did. For the first two nights we stayed in one of the deluxe cabana rooms and for the last night we stayed in the Horta suite. The hotel staff made our room transition seamless and in general everyone was impossibly friendly and beyond accommodating.
The two rooms we stayed in were completely different styles but both wonderful for different reasons. The cabana had a quaint outdoor space and a very south beach Miami vibe, and the suite had a colonial feel with the same “Casa Mae thematic” and views of the ocean. I preferred the cabana and my husband preferred the suite.
The hotel is beautifully landscaped with apricot and fig trees (and they invite you to enjoy the fresh produce from their garden), they have a great restaurant/bar with all farm fresh food, wonderful outdoor seating to enjoy the sun and a meal, and a great pool with a vine covered trellis.
Three nights was perfect, as it gave us the right amount of time to walk around the city, enjoy the restaurants and some live music, see the famous beaches, and just relax.
To add two quick examples of how accommodating the hotel staff was, when we checked out the night before leaving they asked if we wanted breakfast in the morning. We informed them that our train back to Lisbon was before the restaurant opened, so they took down notes of our breakfast order and had it ready for us the next morning even before the kitchen was open. The concierge made our coffee fresh at 7am and even took the time to froth the homemade almond milk! Before the coffee kicked in we mindlessly left for the train with our room key (which was not an electronic key but rather a large metal key on a beautiful leather chain) and when we called reception to tell them they were so nice about it and picked it up from the reception office at the train station.
Location: impeccable. Less than a five minute walk into town to go to the bars and restaurants, quick walk to the marina, and we walked to all of the beaches we wanted to see (our favorite by far was Praia do Camilo).
Photos below are of the Cabana room, pool, Praia do Camilo and some shots from the hotel.
I don’t know where to start - fantastic, knowledgeable, friendly staff. A room that was to die for - comfy bed too! Beautiful grounds, including their own small farm from which they source items for their restaurant. We were in Portugal for over a week traveling throughout the Algarve, and the best meal we had was at Casa Mae (a surprise). We walked everywhere as well. Highly recommend!
When we arrived at Casa Mae we were surprised by the beautiful location and hotel. It is without a doubt a carefully designed hotel with an eye for detail. And that is also where it goes completely wrong: the main focus is on the look and feel of the hotel and not on the guests. From the moment we arrived we felt like we should be thankful to be there instead of being treated as guests. The food, although tasteful, is way too pricey and when we wanted to drink our coffee at the garden, three staff members just stare at you, while you try to open the door with a pregnant belly and the coffee in the other hand. The place lacks warmth and hospitality, which has everything to do with the owner [-] , who does not care about her guests and let the staff deal with problems. When the main pool was broken and we could not make use of it during our entire stay of four nights, there was no one who informed us about the maintenance and we had to keep coming to the reception ourselves and ask when the pool would be ready. They kept telling us the pool would be finished soon and we could use it for our last two days, but it was not ready at all. We explained that the pool was one of the reasons we booked Casa Mae with our little daughter and that we choose the cabana room for that. Also the maintenance right next to our room was very annoying. We got the feeling the staff ignored our questions and the last morning during check out we’ve got told there was nothing they could do to compensate. The compensation however was not important for us at all actually and the pool itself was, although a dissappointment, not the main problem for us. The main reason is that this place does not have any soul and we never felt welcome or listened to when we raised questions about something important to us. This hotel is doomed to only serve instagram hipsters who come there for the nice pictures: superficial and shallow.
the hotel is very well situated in the old lagos. the room was spacious, very quiet which allowed a very good night sleep and modern elegance. staffs aree very helpful, the breakfast gorgeous with very fresh products of quality
I rarely write reviews but I felt the need to in this case. Casa Mae is a special hotel. We enjoyed everything about our stay. The rooms are simple and wonderful at the same time. Very quiet and lovely. We had breakfast both days and loved every bite. Warm and friendly staff. Loved loved our stay here!