Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Beja, Portugal

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Beja, Portugal

Spread across 450 hectares of golden Alentejan farmland, this working winery-based hotel is the bolthole to book for a remote-as-they-come Portuguese stay.

it is said, is the most Portuguese of all regions in the country. Far
removed from the anglicised Algarve, this stretch of land in the
centre of Portugal is a canvas of earthy tones – all scorched
reds and rugged greens. And, with views often free of any sign of
human life, there’s a genuine sense of tranquillity and seclusion
to the destination.

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova encapsulates this feeling among its
sprawling olive groves and rolling acres of vines. In its fledgling
years, this country estate was just a winery – albeit a
state-of-the-art affair built into a hillside to allow gravity to
help with the winemaking process. A few years later, a gourmet
restaurant was added, and today there are over 30 rooms spread
across nine lodgings – from a 10-bedroom farmhouse to four
exclusive-use villas, as well as four recently added spaceship-like
suites hewn into the caramel landscape.

What makes this hotel extra special, though, is the family feel
that still runs throughout the entire estate – an impressive feat
considering its vast, 450-hectare footprint. It’s a thread that’s
spun delicately across the property – from the wine labels drawn by
the owners’ children to the fact that the family still lives on the
estate – but, most of all, it’s present in the all-embracing
welcome you’ll be greeted with as you make your way down the

Herade da Malhadinha Nova Beja Exterior


At the hotel’s original farmhouse – Monte da Peceguina – you’ll
find seven whitewashed double rooms and three suites, all drenched
in sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows and warmed from the
ground up by toasty terracotta-tiled heated floors. The spacious
communal areas include a big sitting room complete with a yawning
fireplace, rustic wooden dining table and squidgy button-back
sofas, as well as a decked terrace and sparkling infinity pool that
ripples into the deserted horizon.

Then there’s Casa das Pedras – four futuristic-looking suites
that appear as though carved from the very rocks they perch upon.
Made of sand-coloured stone, each private lodge has its own
individual terrace and pool with endless views that spill out to
the beautifully empty plains beyond. Our stay in one was graced
with sweet-smelling Bulgari bathroom products, a two-page pillow
menu (who knew there could be so many?) and silky-soft sheets fit
for a king or queen.

Further afield on the estate are another four exclusive-use
villas, ranging in size, each equipped with its own kitchen and
private pool. All are decorated with the same characteristic
mod-rustic details as the hotel’s other lodgings, although each one
is splashed with a slightly different colour palette – from
cinnamon and ocean blue to mustard yellow and olive green.

What’s for breakfast?

A breakfast of fresh fruit, flaky pastries, regional hams and
eggs cooked to order is served between 8am and 11am in Monte da
Peceguina, or you can revel in the luxury of an in-room breakfast
delivered to your door in a hamper.

How about lunch and dinner?

Lunch is on the table from 12.30pm-3pm, at either the main
farmhouse or the winery restaurant, while dinner is served at the
winery restaurant from 7.30pm-10.30pm. Both can be enjoyed from
your room or villa on request.

Headed up by Michelin-starred chef Joachim Koerper, Malhadinha
restaurant’s menu pays careful homage to regional cuisine, with all
of its fresh produce proudly cultivated on the estate – from the
vineyards to the olive groves and farming pastures. Expect dishes
such as Alentejan chickpea stew, oxtail ravioli and Malhadinha pork
shoulder with sweet potatoes. There’s also a sharp accent on wine
throughout – spot the dash of red in your pre-dinner butter and
bread, then look up through the reception windows to the shining
steel vats of the winery itself.

Herade da Malhadina Nova Beja Bedroom
Herade de Malhadinha Nova Beja Bathroom

Is there a bar?

Yes, there’s a little bar in the main hotel building. It’s the
place to come for relaxing lounge music and even more relaxing
tipples. If it’s an in-room affair you’re after, you’ll find a
well-stocked minibar stashed full of wines from the estate in every

How about amenities?

Where to start? Perhaps in the small but perfectly formed
subterranean spa at Monte da Peceguina, where a Jacuzzi and Turkish
bath take centre stage – or at one of the hotel’s three man-made
lakes, which each offer up watery excursions like boat rides and

Visit in August and you’ll be invited to pick and trample grapes
from the vineyard for the winery’s annual harvest, or ride among
the vines on one of the estate’s thoroughbred Lusitano horses for a
tour of the surrounding landscape.

Guests are also invited on a tour of the winery itself – a metal
expanse of vats and cockpit-like knobs and buttons that look like
they’d be more at home on a Bond film set than on a traditional
Portuguese farm.

What about accessibility?

If you’re happy to charge between the vineyards in an electric
buggy (this was one of the highlights of our trip), then this stay
will get a big tick from you. Accessibility is perhaps not so
great, however, for wheelchairs or those with mobility issues –
although we’re willing to bet the ever-friendly hotel staff would
be happy to organise chauffeured trips to and from villas in one of
the estate’s many Land Rovers, on request.

What’s the crowd like?

The hotel welcomes all ages, although with such a hearty focus
on food and wine, it’s fair to say that this gourmet stay is better
suited to adults than kids.

The Lowdown

Doubles cost from £250 a night on a B&B basis. Discover more
at malhadinhanova.com

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