We visited the magnificent, centennial, palatial guesthouse in Silves for an unforgettable getaway.
For many years, I’ve driven past the beautiful old building and thought how wonderful it would be to have a look inside the imposing house on the hill.
I finally got the chance following the charming owners’, Jorge and Manuela Craveirinha, decision in August 2015 to turn a selection of the rooms into four en-suite bedrooms and open their home as a guesthouse. Both hosts were at home and offered a very warm welcome.
Manuela told us: “I bought the house around 30 years ago and it had been lying empty for some 40 years prior to that. You can imagine how it was when I got the keys. I’d been in love with the building for some years prior to buying it and was very excited to get started on the renovation.”
Being empty for so long and tradesmen being scarce in the Algarve brought all kinds of additional problems to the renovation, but Manuela took a very pragmatic approach to the project and allowed herself the time to find the right people and materials required to bring the house back to its original glory. It’s her eye for detail, personal touches and abundant taste that have made the guesthouse so very special.
The house is actually even more impressive on the inside than I expected. The first thing you see is a glittering, 300kg, Iranian crystal chandelier hanging splendidly in the middle of the library over a handmade ‘Tapete de Arraiolos’ (Arraiolos rug).
Walking through the large corridors was a joy as Manuela’s lifetime collection of original antiques and her portraits are tastefully displayed. The four rooms are stunning and all unique, with an excellent assortment of toiletries. With a constant temperature throughout the house, it is incredibly comfortable along with being spotlessly clean.
The terraced gardens and patios offer amazing views over Silves and to the Castle and the covered Jacuzzi/plunge pool by the fishpond is a great addition.
The breakfast is something else and is served in the communal dining room which has the most beautifully restored ceiling with another gorgeous chandelier that shines over the traditional and delicious feast, including homemade preserves and enough fresh food to feed a small army.
918 026 583
By Mia Wallace