Boutique chic in the Algarve

Our final destination in Portugal was the Algarve. I have to admit this area of Portugal was not the highest on my ‘to visit’ list but my Hubby loves the sea so we thought we’d give it a go.

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It took us an age to find and book a hotel in the Algarve as practically all the hotels we came across were either really large resorts or just didn’t have rooms for families. I am not going to lie – we spend days, sometimes weeks booking our holidays and increasingly get frustrated that it seems to be assumed that if you have children you no longer have any taste! (Or is it just me being a grump?!)

We were nearly at the stage of giving-up when we found the beautiful family-run Quinta da Cebola Vermelha (or QDCV) near Albufeira.

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What a complete haven this hotel is! Red on the outside, white on the inside (the name translates to “the red onion”) with the most beautiful interiors, a fantastic chill-out playlist alongside great food and company – we couldn’t fault it. The only downside was that the rest of the Algarve we saw paled in comparison, but maybe we just went to the wrong places.

Step through these doors and you won’t want to leave:

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I’m usually keen to get out and about and explore but here the invitation to kick-back and relax was just too good to ignore.

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This actually reminded us of a place we stayed in South Africa. It’s so chic and has a mix of styles that marry so well together. A bit of beach, safari, Dutch heritage and wine-lands all rolled into one.

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We had one of the larger rooms which has a mezzanine with twin beds for the kids (great for our boys but very steep stairs so not suitable for toddlers or quite young children).

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The decor is relaxingly simple with fun, colourful touches.

Amazing breakfasts are served on the terrace with plenty of fresh local produce. We also enjoyed several lunches here – they do fantastic salads and mouthwatering, oozing  toasties (the boys still rave about these!).

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Dinner is served 2 or 3 times a week.  The food and atmosphere is like one great house party – relaxed but grown-up, beautifully candlelit and a delight from start to finish.

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A short meander down from the terrace is the lovely sized pool with a Caribbean feel:

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Then take a glass of something cool to the outside lounge:

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It is so beautiful it’s difficult to leave.

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You do need a car when staying here as you are slightly out in the sticks and the restaurant isn’t open every night. Saying that though we ate in some very simple local restaurants in Boliqueime and the food was really tasty.

We also ventured to the beach which was rugged (as you’d expect from the Atlantic Ocean) and extremely busy.

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We also spent one evening in the small town of Ferragudo which is one of the Algarve’s more traditional fishing towns.

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We had a really enjoyable meal at Casa Grande – a Portuguese tapas restaurant. Their stuffed squid and carob desserts are particularly good.

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I’d be really interested to hear from other people about their experiences of the Algarve. There are obviously some real gems such as this lovely hotel to discover but they’re not easy to find.

We loved our trip to Portugal and would definitely return. For more info or to book this hotel click here.

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