Given the current climate we are in, which could change any given week in terms of travel restrictions, holidaying is a bit more taxing than it once was. The pre-holiday COVID-tests, the day two test, the passenger locator form, your cycling proficiency test and all the rest of it – with the admin and the extra cost, anxiety levels are easily brought up to breaking point…just get us on that bloody plane. Still, when we looked at photos of the 11-hectares of pristine Portuguese landscape within the UNESCO World Heritage city of Évora, the Evora Farm Hotel looked like an untouched corner of southern Portugal we were more than willing to swirl a cotton bud six times clockwise up each nostril for.

Flying into Lisbon from Stansted we had about an hour and a half drive, around 150km, to reach the very modern white blocks of Evora Farm Hotel where modern living blends with country life. It’s fairly new, having opened in June 2021, and is part of the Discovery Hotel Management portfolio as one of their design hotels. It’s family-friendly with 56 rooms, including three family rooms with bunk beds and private outdoor areas housing swimming pools and gardens, along with five larger (and soon to be ten) exclusive-use villas.

Sustainability is a big part of Evora Farm life and they practice responsible horticulture through the championing of local produce as well as using vegetables, herbs and fruit from their own garden in the hotel restaurant. They recycle water to irrigate the garden and orchard and all food waste is composted where possible too, so it ticks the boxes when it comes to trying have a positive impact on the environment.

Also within the grounds are two big pools just outside the main block, one specifically for kids and another for adults, alongside plenty of sun loungers and an outdoor bar. Further towards the back of the hotel, there are three adult-only contemplation pools, each one its own personal decking area surrounded by more loungers against a backdrop of rolling hills and heat–hazed trees. This is absolutely stunning and what makes this design hotel unique. We did mention the word ‘farm’ and you’re probably wondering when this is going to make sense, as it’s here in the contemplation pools where you might first hear the cluck-cluck of a chicken. Yes, the farm is full of small animals, including Matilda the pony, goats, black pigs and more.

Our room at Evora Farm Hotel was a premium terrace room giving us a prime view over the pool, including a living area with a sofa, table and chairs, a huge 180cm wide double bed and an outdoor decking area with both loungers and comfy chairs and easy access to the pool. The room was beautiful, minimalist with white tones, high ceilings, and plenty of natural materials. As often is the way with these modern design hotels, it’s apartment-style living which you wouldn’t knock if it were your own.

One thing that is high on our list no matter where we are is great food, and the Chef’s Table lunch is something that makes for an extra special experience. It takes place on a private picnic table in the garden of the hotel where several courses are served up using lots of produce taken from the surroundings along with wines from local producers. Think lots of cheeses, cold meats, dips, colourful salads, amazing garlic prawns and melt-in-the-mouth beef. It really was delicious and a unique lunch experience that is perfect for couples and groups.

Don’t know about you, but a spa is a bit of a necessity on our hols too, to help with zoning out and being present in the moment, emails and calls can wait. With a dedicated space for wellness, Evora Farm Hotel has an indoor pool that is heated along with a gym with enough equipment to please the biggest gym bunny plus a sauna and steam room. There are also two treatment rooms and a whole range of massages designed to help you recharge and relax. The relaxation massage was absolutely wonderful with the smell of lavender and rosemary bringing a feeling of tranquility and pure bliss.

With plenty of walks, hikes and biking routes dotted around the surrounds, the Evora Farm Hotel is a place you can comfortably spend quality downtime in, and we absolutely loved this place.

One-night stay at Evora Farm Hotel starts from £130, based on two sharing and inclusive of bed and breakfast.

Herdade do Perdiganito, lt 52, 7005-671 Évora, Portugal