Quinta da Cebola Vermelha, or literally the 'red onion villa' due to its sandy red colour, is located on the outskirts of the charming inland village of Boliqueime between Olhos de Agua and the brash Vilamoura resort town. A world away from the hustle and bustle one might imagine along the heaving Algarve coast, the quinta is ideal for catching up on much-needed r&r. With gardens, a pool and horses, children would have plenty to keep them entertained, but as a stay here tends to be calm and relaxing, the Quinta da Cebola Vermelha is perfect for couples and quiet families looking to get some quality time together rather than a family destination.
The quinta is located along the N-125 in the village of Boliqueime just after Albufeira and eastwards. The picturesque village built around a white church is up on a slight hill, boasting stunning views of the surrounding countryside and glistening sea in the distance. The village is calm and quiet with a handful of typical local eateries serving fresh fare. The best way of getting around for guests who want to explore the surroundings, is either by bike, which can be rented from the guesthouse or by car.
There isn't much to do in the immediate surroundings so be prepared to rent a car or to get on your bike if you want to explore the area. There is no air-conditioning here, although there is a system based on air-compression. The house is also its own source of energy - by installing solar panels on the roof, the owners of the quinta have been able to start selling small quantities of energy
The small guesthouse, like many of these types of accommodations springing up all over the Algarve, is a converted farm house, whose renovation was no easy task. Ard and his wife, Noor, both originally from The Hague in the Netherlands, embarked on making their dream a reality by putting years of energy into not only renovating but completely rebuilding the house - Ard will be happy to share the story with interested guests. The house was officially opened as a guesthouse in 2003. The result is a beautiful and tasteful project that Ard's sons are continuing - during our visit they were building an outside living room on a wooden platform steps from the pool.
The beautifully-planted gardens are the main asset here. Thick bushes of lavender surround the trees in the front courtyard at the entrance and fragrant white Jasmine pergolas buzz with activity to the side of the main house and gives way to a neat green lawn. To the left of the house are the stables with two beautiful residents; guests can opt for riding if arranged with Ard in advance. The pool area is surrounded by thick hedges to keep the area as private as possible. There is a small gym next to the pool.
The highlight for us, is the bohemian terrace lining the back of the house, where a colour scheme of white and reds add a touch of chic to the otherwise rural guesthouse. With its lanterns and bamboo trellis, the terrace is the perfect place to sit and indulge in a cool glass of Algarvian rosé!
There are six rooms plus a small cottage. All the rooms are different, some have been converted into duplex rooms, making it more comfortable for families. The rooms are basic but comfortable. Two of the rooms have a full bathtub, while the others have shower cabinets. All rooms have toiletries from the French organic Damana range. For guests not able to resist the urge of staying connected while on holiday, Wi-Fi access is complimentary throughout the house. There is also heated flooring for those fresher mornings.
The rooms were decorated by Noor for the most part. They are kited out in reclaimed furniture, giving each room its own distinctive ambience and style. All rooms have a modern rustic charm that goes very well with the general feeling of the house.
Everything served here at the quinta is organic and sourced locally, which is a big focus for Ard and Noor. They make their own olive oil onsite. Although in this type of guesthouse the owners do not always serve meals, the owners enjoy this convivial ritual with their guests. Breakfast is served every morning. Snacks are available for lunch and around three times a week, a gourmet dinner is organised. Most guests tend to opt for a mixture of dinners in-house and outside in the surrounding villages.
The nearest beach is about 15 minutes' drive away towards Olhos de Agua next to Albufeira.
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