Wylde World: Grand House, Algarve

Report by Camilla Hewitt

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The essence of the Eastern Algarve is its authenticity; untouched by mass tourism, the region is truly unspoiled. Located in Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal’s most eastern town, Grand House is a boutique hotel, which opened in January this year. The luxury hotel sits in a prime waterfront position on the Rio Guadiana; the river that divides Portugal from Spain. A reflection of the region’s rich cultural heritage, it occupies a historical building which was built in 1926. Once the Grand Dame of Portuguese hospitality, it was one of the finest hotels in the Algarve.


The hotly anticipated opening has been welcomed by locals, happy to see the neglected hotel restored to its former glory. Featuring 31 rooms and suites, the hotel has been beautifully restored to pay homage to its heritage. Grand House feels like a private members’ club from the Roaring Twenties; each room has been thoughtfully designed with original décor throughout. The colonial inspired rooms retain much of the hotel’s 1920’s charm, with a mix of Art Deco and contemporary furnishings.

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A culinary destination in itself, the hotel has a restaurant & bar, Grand Salon, which serves Algarvian cuisine with a twist. Working with local producers, Executive Chef Jan Stechemesser has sourced the best local and seasonal ingredients, and creates dishes that evoke traditional Portuguese cooking with a modern flair. The hotel’s rooftop bar serves signature cocktails and Portuguese wine with striking vistas across the city.


Opened in July 2018, the hotel’s beach club is the Algarve’s chicest new hangout. Set back from the mouth of the river, it’s only a short distance from the hotel. With stunning waterfront views, there is a large decked terrace with white wooden sun loungers and an infinity pool. Guests can relax poolside while DJs play chillout music until the evening falls. The restaurant interiors are a sophisticated take on rustic chic; the combination of wood, stone and wicker provides a neutral backdrop, that complements the stunning river vistas.


The eastern Algarve is known for its nature reserves, pristine beaches, white-washed fishing villages, wineries and groves of cork and olive trees. Villa Real de Santo António itself is an idyllic town, with pedestrianised streets full of local shops, leading down to beautiful riverside gardens. Local attractions include natural mud baths and salt treatments, the regions famous white flamingos, and local restaurants serving freshly caught lobster and tuna. Only 90 minutes drive from Seville, guests can also easily hop across the border to Spain.


Additional features at the Grand House include a Grand Caffe & Galeries and wellness suite where guests can enjoy Grand signature body treatments.

Grand House Algarve is fast becoming the insider’s Portugese destination of choice; we strongly recommend you check out this slice of heaven before the crowds descend…

A double room at Grand House start from €200 per night based on two people sharing a room.