The 780-hectare estate and monte alentejano has remained within the same family for over 200 years but fell into ruin following Portugal’s political turmoil in the 1970s and the forced collectivisation of farms in the region. Eighth generation owner José António Uva – having spent much of his childhood at Barrocal with his family – was determined to bring the community back to life in a manner that respected its unique ecology and ancient history. Working with carefully selected architects, designers, archaeologists and a passionate local team, he has spent the past fourteen years painstakingly restoring the estate and transforming it into a unique hotel concept that boasts an understated yet unmistakeably luxurious design, set amidst ancient holm oaks, olive groves and vineyards.
The 40-key farmhouse hotel offers a range of spacious guest rooms and cottages housed within the original farm buildings along a central cobbled street, with a vernacular design showcasing local craftsmanship and heritage features. The interiors draw inspiration from the local farm villages, with traditional terracotta brick floors and whitewashed walls complemented by soaring vaulted ceilings, beautifully crafted wooden furnishings, softly-textured handcrafted wool throws, and artworks inspired by the history of the estate.
São Lourenço do Barrocal is deeply rooted in the Alentejo region, with a farm-to-table restaurant which reflects the bounty of the estate and the rhythm of the changing seasons. Organic produce is sourced from trusted local suppliers whilst a vast array of vegetables, fruits and olive oils are sourced from the estate’s own organic garden and olive groves. The thriving winery is at the heart of the estate’s regeneration, with 15 hectares of vineyards producing first-class single-estate wines under the regional Denominação de Origem Controlada, or DOC.
The Susanne Kaufmann Spa Barrocal offers indulgent results-driven treatments perfectly tailored to the needs of the individual using Susanne Kaufmann’s line of botanically-inspired organic products.
The surrounding fields include vast organic gardens and olive groves, with endless activities to fill guests’ days. The 20m outdoor pool provides a meditative space to swim, inset with a huge granite barrocal rock. The stables house Barrocal’s own horses, which can be ridden through the estate to discover the Neolithic monuments dotting the landscape, or up the hill to the medieval town of Monsaraz. Classic Portuguese bicycles are available for guests to explore the many trails and local villages, and keen birders can spot the 75 species of birds living on the estate. With its 2- and 3-bedroom cottages, São Lourenço do Barrocal is ideal for families offering a creative programme of children’s activities, resident nannies and a dedicated playroom with make-believe kitchen, circus tent, crafts and lots of games.
Sunday Times STYLE
I don’t think I’ve ever arrived at a hotel as blissfully silent as São Lourenço do Barrocal. It is busy and booked out, yet, other than the odd moo from one of the cows that roam the surrounding farmland, or the soft jazz that plays in the bar and restaurant, I am ensconced in the tranquil sound of nothing.
In the same family for generations, São Lourenço do Barrocal has been lovingly restored and the result is magical.
The Alentejo remains beautifully intact, a diamond in the rough – one being faceted by many inspired, careful hands, rather than a single big machine... Projects like São Lourenço do Barrocal revive and continue our connection with the land and our traditions. This movement is giving us the strength to build a robust identity.