Opened in July 2011, Tavira House is a little-known spot in the village that even taxi drivers do not know about, but worth staying at for travellers who like their home comforts with a contemporary edge. The first thing that will hit you as you walk in is the fresh smell of Castelbel diffuser sticks, which can be found in every room. The house is run by Freddy and Serge throughout most of the year, and they really give soul to the place. Serge is a middle-aged Frenchman who is practically local, and Freddy is a young Australian-born Portuguese local. Both speak impeccable English.
Renovating the house was an adventurous project to undertake for the owners as it was a question of rebuilding most of it to present-day norms without compromising too much on the original features - it took over eight years to get the house back into shape. The house belonged to a wealthy colonel in 1860, who bought it for his beloved mistress, Alice - the house's original name is 'Casa de Aliça'. In fact, the house is said to be haunted by Alice's ghost, and although Freddy and Serge tend to joke about this, guests shouldn't be surprised to see lights turn themselves on or off. The ghost is otherwise harmless and guests have never reported spooky sightings other than that.
Up the original late 1800s staircase, to the right, is the large extremely kitsch Victorian-style living room complete with a large fireplace, ceiling paintings and although pleasant, is a little crowded with velvet upholstered furniture and drapery.
Back into the hallway and through to the bar area, which doubles up as reception, is the breakfast room, adjoined. The bar area also leads out onto one of the terraces, which is popular with guests who want to have a cold beer after a long day's sight-seeing while recounting their tales to Freddy and Serge.
The major advantage of Tavira House is that is has lots of nooks for guests to relax. Upstairs from the first terrace is the roof-top 'lounge' area, with lots of smart rattan daybeds and parasols; a great place to come to work on getting a perfect tan when not out exploring the area. Downstairs from the first terrace is an outdoor Moroccan-themed sitting area and a plunge pool.