A country garden retreat

Inside visits Quinta Aida Boutique B&B and Cottages in Lagoa

Long-term residents Ida and Robert Harris are well known around Carvoeiro for opening Harry’s Bar some years ago. Robert is, in fact, a builder by trade and Ida is anexcellent cook and hostess, so they decided to leave the bar behind them and take on the mammoth task of restoring an old farm and turning it into a boutique holiday accommodation.

The couple had searched for some time before finding what they were looking for: a large, mature plot located in a tranquil, and, more importantly, central location — close enough to the access points of Lagoa and the beaches of Carvoeiro and Benagil, making it an attractive spot for beach lovers and explorers alike. The farm had been neglected, and the buildings were, to the untrained eye, beyond hope. However, the winning combination of the vision and skills of the couple meant they could see beyond what was in front of them.

In March 2019, their offer was accepted, and the work began in June. Robert and his team worked tirelessly rebuilding the outhouses into two charming two-bedroom cottages and six double-occupancy suites. It took them just over a year to complete this little oasis of tranquillity, which is rather remarkable considering the work involved.

The Rose and Orchard Cottages have unique décor. Rose is more of a “traditional country cottage” and Orchard is a little more modern but maintains that rural feeling. The cottages have their own private gardens and are fully equipped for a peaceful, centrally located week’s stay. Ida has taken great care over the décor and finishing touches, making the cottages so cosy, giving them an air of homeliness that is often missing from rental accommodation. The cottages are for rent on a self-catering basis with a minimum stay of seven nights.

Then there are six B&B suites, where each room has been decorated with individual touches and colour themes, giving them their own identity and character. Ida asked local photographer Daniel Clarke to take some photos of the area and enlarged the prints to make original wall art for the rooms, such is her attention to detail. Each room has a double or twin configuration and a lovely en-suite bathroom.

The B&B rooms have a massive communal dining area in front of them in the gorgeous, Algarvean garden. Natural shade is used wherever possible with a vast peppercorn tree in the middle of the parking area. Being B&B, the suites have a kitchen at the end where breakfast is served. Ida takes great pride in providing a substantial, fresh, quality breakfast, which can be eaten in the kitchen or outside under the pergola.

“Obviously, it has been quieter than we had hoped, but all things considered, we are off to a good start and have had some lovely guests,” said Ida. What sticks out about Quinta Aida is that they have managed to get the perfect balance of privacy and tranquillity; it’s a very relaxing place, which is surrounded by a typical orange grove.

The property can accommodate three in Rose Cottage, four in Orchard Cottage and 12 between the B&B rooms, making it ideal for a retreat, wedding or event. “We love to host guests and I have organised many events over the years,” Ida explained. “Our gardens would be an idyllic venue for a wedding, and we can accommodate up to 19 guests at full capacity.”

They’ve had rave reviews from their guests, which is no surprise — it’s a lovely, cosy home away from home with everything within easy reach.

www.quintaaida.com

TEXT Mia Wallace

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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