Sublime Comporta, Portugal

Sublime Comporta, Portugal

Tropez in the Seventies, St Barths in the Eighties, Jose
Ignacio in the Nineties – the comparisons have come to
thick and fast. Like other fashionable
beach destinations
, this stretch of coast in southwest Portugal
is frequented by a well-heeled crowd, who come in the summer to see
everybody they know (while also imagining that nobody cares a jot
who they are).

Any semblance of a “scene” however takes place behind closed
doors, and the Comporta experience is, for the average traveller,
about eating well and sleeping well before long days at the beach.
There’s still only one hotel around, and and by god is it getting
it right. A carpet of wild daisies and foxgloves greets guests as
they turn into the gardens of Sublime Comporta. Edging through a
set of peach-coloured doors, a gravel path leads the way past
eucalyptus trees and umbrella pines to the hotel’s heart: an
open-plan lobby and restaurant with an industrial design that nods
to the area’s history as centre of rice farming. Sublime’s infinity

is undoubtedly the hotel’s money shot – it’s settled in
front of a blush-pink spa
and a fire pit which come alight in the evenings.

Sublime was originally a family home and later just happened to
become a hotel – and it shows. There’s a warm and friendly feel to
the place and most visitors stay tucked up in their cabanas during
the day with the communal areas bringing people together when it
counts. Keep an eye out for local residents including Christian
Louboutin and Philippe Starck. Oh, and Madonna recently passed
through and took to the beach on horseback.


Sublime has 34 rooms, including two and three-bedroom cabana
villas which have been inspired by traditional Portuguese fishing
huts. Each of the cabins has its own living area and private
swimming pool, and is tucked away in a pine forest. Polished
concrete floors and walls along with blue and white-striped linen
create a light and airy feel, while much of the furniture has been
been salvaged from a local farmer called Senor Julio, who sells
antique artefacts on the side of the road.

What’s for breakfast?

A buffet spread with fresh fruit, pulpy juices, natural yoghurts
and custard tarts that are unfortunately small enough to be popped
whole into the mouth (when in Portugal). Eggs and more are cooked
to order.

How about lunch and dinner?

A newly planted organic garden forms the basis of the menu at
Sublime’s restaurant, Sem Porta (Without a Door). The Yugoslav and
Portuguese chef Ljubomir Stanisic is at the helm of a menu which
respects the slow and seasonal nature of local produce, giving
precedence to
fisherman and wineries. Guests can feast on dishes
such as migas (a kind of savoury bread pudding) with river mint and
mussel broth, while dining in the restaurant, on the terrace or in
the garden itself.

Is there a bar?

Yes and it’s beautiful, stretching out from the restaurant onto
a terrace that overlooks the forest and swimming pool.


Free wifi, spa, fitness studio, boutique, bicycles to rent.

Things you should know

Comporta is not a quaint village or seaside town; it’s a stretch
of countryside on Portugal’s south west and it’s almost impossible
to navigate without a car. Sublime has begun to host chef events as
well as wellness retreats hosted by Sarah Britton – check out the
website for dates and details.

Within a short walk you can find…

You can pootle down to a reservoir via bicycle, but you’ll need
a car to get beyond the hotel grounds. We’d recommend lunch at Sal
on Pego Beach.

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Nine Beautiful Places to Visit in Portugal (if you’ve done Lisbon and Porto)