16 May 2019

Casa Modesta, Algarve, Portugal


Imagine a roof terrace ontop of a beautiful modern whitewashed house. In front of you—an almost uninterrupted panoramic views of the protected wetlands of Ria Formosa Natural Park and the ocean. Above your head—perfectly blue skies of the Algarve, which boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. Downstairs—a refreshing swimming pool and a table in the shade of tall trees with a meal rich in organic products straight from the farm. Rural tourism at its best. Casa Modesta is this—and so much more. 

Original family portraits hand-drawn by grandfather Joaquim Modesto are proudly hanged in the reception room, welcoming guests to this stunning hideaway and unveiling a piece of history. Because the house, located in Quatrim do Sul at the outskirts of Olhão, is a family-owned property full of life, warmth and childhood memories. Before opening the doors of this little retreat in 2015, Modesto’s granddaughter, an architect at PAr atelier, together with her colleagues transformed it into an extraordinary nine-room hotel and an award-winning architectural piece. A hotel that supports local communities, promotes local crafts, incorporates sustainable design, and is a meeting point of neighbours and tourists alike. 

Casa Modesta consists of two buildings with a couple of common areas for guests to enjoy. One of them is a vast kitchen with two huge transparent sliding doors that open to the garden. You can feel at home there: grab whatever you crave for—pour yourself a glass of organic wine from the Algarve, stir some gin and tonic or make a refreshing lemonade with freshly hand-picked lemons. Don’t forget to admire an original wood-fired oven, which is used to make bread to this day, and take a peek inside the impressive underground wine cellar. 

I’m inclined to think that architecture and art lovers will be especially thrilled to stay at Casa Modesta. It’s so fascinating to watch how light plays with the angles, curves and lines of this phenomenal design throughout the day. The rooms are ultra minimalist and clean, feature custom-made materials from the region such as brass, local cork, and red clay tiles. Our double room wasn’t big but it didn’t feel cramped thanks to very high ceilings and the omnipresent whiteness. All rooms have patios and perfect views. A clay bottle with water and a couple of dried figs from the garden were waiting for us when we checked in—for a sweet beginning of our stay.

Breakfasts are served in a pleasantly cool, beautiful dining room with vaulted brick ceilings and a long wooden common table in the center where guests meet in the morning. It’s abundantly set with local fruits, dried tuna, excellent chouriço, deliciously rich homemade granola, and more. To drink, have coffee, herbal infusion or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Don’t leave without trying handmade jams prepared by Mãe Modesta (the grandmother). The one with pineapple and passion fruit with a bit of black sesame seeds stole my heart—so much that I requested it for lunch, too.

Casa Modesta is located a stone’s throw away from a picturesque cycle lane that can take you even to Tavira (bicycles are free). If you fancy a beach day, I recommend visiting paradisiacal Farol island with its fantastic beach and turquoise water. You can do all this or just lie in a sun lounger with a book in your hand, listen to the millions (or so it seems) of twittering birds and enjoy the tranquility while the house basks in the hot Algarve sun.

Practical info:
  • from 360 EUR for 2 nights (minimum stay) for a double room with breakfast included
  • possibility of ordering lunch and snacks on site, dinner is 45 EUR/person
  • we stayed in: Standard Room
  • location: 25 minutes drive from the nearest international airport (FAO)
  • address: Quatrim do Sul, 8700-128, Olhão, Algarve, Portugal (www)

Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve
Where to stay in Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve
Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

Casa Modesta Algarve

I was welcomed to Casa Modesta as a guest. As always, my opinion is my own.

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29 March 2019

Tatra Glamp. Glamping in Poland with a view of the Tatras


There’s no more than a handful of glamping sites in Poland so when I came across Tatra Glamp, my attention was grabbed immediately. It consists of four beautifully designed spherical tents built on a slope in Bukowina Tatrzańska. This tiny village close to Zakopane is known for outstanding views, modern thermal baths and is a great place to stay for both hiking lovers and winter sports aficionados. And now it became a destination for glamping enthusiasts too!

Having about 30 sq. meters, Tatra Glamp’s domes are quite spacious and feature a picturesque panoramic view of the Tatra Mountains. They all are a bit different when it comes to design but are equipped similarly: all have wooden floors, heating (including underfloor heating), air-conditioning, a table with four chairs and a small bathroom built with ecological materials. In the heart of the tent you’ll find a large and extremely comfortable double bed with six pillows and white sheets, above which there’s a mezzanine for a third guest to sleep in. Tatra Glamp also offers bathrobes, free wi-fi and a kitchenette with a microwave, coffee machine, electric kettle, refrigerator, wine glasses, mugs, plates, and cutlery. Although you won’t be able to properly cook there, it’s more than enough to heat a soup in the evening or prepare a small breakfast in the morning. A short walk from the tents, there are four star hotelsBukovina and Harnaśwhere Tatra Glamp’s guests can drop by for a delicious breakfast.

Due to limited availability during our dates, we had a chance to explore two different tents and loved them both! Folk-style Marysieńka features ultra soft carpet, two comfortable armchairs, flowery clothes hangers, and fluffy sheepskin rugs. It’s comfy and cozy, especially thanks to the electric fireplace in the corner, whichtogether with flameless candlescan create a really romantic atmosphere in the evenings. Dziki Bronek on the other hand, has a more masculine feel. With animal horns mounted above the bed and dark brown tones used in the interior, it kind of gives the vibe of a hunter’s hut. Its design is complemented by enamel coffee mugs, dark grey wool blankets and two cowhide butterfly chairs.

Tatra Glamp combines the best of two worlds. On the one hand, it’s located in the center of the villagea supermarket is literally a stone’s throw away as well as souvenir shops and a couple of restaurants. Fantastic thermal baths Bukovina, with various outdoor pools and a SPA, are at a distance of a 15-minute walk. On the other hand, you’ve got the incredible Tatra Mountains all to yourself, with nothing obstructing the panoramic views. Waking up to this is truly extraordinary!

I was perfectly happy with just sitting in our glamping tent in the evening, reading a book while sipping tea and observing the ever-changing sunset colours on the mountain tops. But if you’d like, Tatra Glamp will help fill your schedule with plenty of attractionsone of them being a... helicopter ride. You can also explore the hiking trails in the summer or do some skiing in the winterTatra Glamp is such a fun place to be in any weather. We even regretted it wasn’t raining during our staylying in this cozy little tent while listening to raindrops dripping against the dome would certainly be amazing!

Practical info:

  • 400 PLN per night per tent
  • no restaurant on site, no breakfast included (breakfast at nearby 4* hotels is 50 PLN/person)
  • we stayed at: Marysieńka & Dziki Bronek
  • location: 15 km from Zakopane, 100 km from Cracow
  • nearest airports: Poprad (TAT) in Slovakia and Cracow (KRK) in Poland
  • address: ul. Słoneczna 8, 34-530 Bukowina Tatrzańska, Poland (www)

TIP: Wondering where to eat? For local flavours, try Schronisko Smaków or WIDOK in Bukowina Tatrzańska. If you crave some great Italian food, go to Le Chalet in Murzasichle.

Glamping tents in Poland
Luxury glamping tents Poland
Luxury glamping tents in Poland
Luxurious glamping tents in the TatrasGlamping tents in the Tatras
Luxurious glamping tents in the Tatra Mountains
Glamping tents in Poland
Luxurious glamping in Poland
Glamping in Poland
Luxury glamping in the Tatra Mountains
Luxury glamping in the Tatras
Glamping in the Tatra Mountains
Glamping in the Tatra MountainsLuxurious glamping in Poland

Glamping in Poland

Luxurious glamping tents in Poland
Glamping in Poland
Luxury glamping in Poland
Glamping in Poland
Tatra Glamp BukowinaLuxurious glamping tents in Poland
Glamping tents in Poland
Tatra Glamp Bukowina
Tatra Glamp Bukowina
Tatra Glamp Bukowina
Tatra Glamp Bukowina

Tatra Glamp Bukowina

Tatra Glamp Bukowina

Tatra Glamp Bukowina
Enjoyed this article? Check out other amazing glamping tents I've stayed at in Europe!

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I was welcomed to Tatra Glamp as a guest. As always, my opinion is my own.

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