Portuguese craftsmanship on display

When it comes to dream getaways, look no further than Casa Mãe in Lagos. The small town on the Western tip of Portugal’s Algarve region has been a hotspot for sun-seekers, surfers, and tourists for ages, but since Caca Mãe’s opening in late 2016, it’s been practically booming.

The hotel was opened by Veronique Polaert, a French expat from Paris who fell in love with Portugal and the Algarve when she visited the country for a vacation, and her two partners. She found a vast abandoned lot within the walls of the ancient city, once owned by the city’s wealthiest family, but long since empty and desolate.

Now, all that has changed. Casa Mãe offers 30 rooms spread out in three different buildings – the main building, an old mansion across the yard, and several small ‘cabanas’ that offer more privacy. There is a gorgeous, casual fine-dining restaurant, a big terrace, an even bigger vegetable garden, and a triangle pool.

The interiors are stunning. Polaert and her team worked almost exclusively with local artisans and craftsmen, creating a sleek, tasteful showcase of modern Portuguese design and crafts. Everything, from the interiors of the rooms to the woven carpets on the walls was commissioned especially for Casa Mãe, and that attention to detail shows. It’s a stunning place.

Loja, the hotel’s concept store right at the entrance of the property, sells lots of those products, as well as fashion by local designers, cool books and magazines, and some great (natural) wines.

Just as special as the hotel’s approach to design is its approach to food. Polaert and her team own an organic farm outside of Lagos, where master farmer Júlio Machado grows their own produce. From here, the chefs pick and choose the freshest ingredients to serve at their casual fine-dining restaurant Orta. The wine list is extensive and features wonderful natural wines.

Polaert and her team are working hard to push the limits of what a regular hotel can provide. They are offering workshops for their guests, teaching participants how to cook, how to arrange flowers, or how to work with ceramics. During the summer, yoga and mindfulness classes are on offer, and the hotel can book you into surf lessons with one of Europe’s best surfers. In the winter, Casa Mãe offer residencies for artists, creatives, and freelancers.

Casa Mãe // R. do Jogo da Bola 41 // Lagos // website