How did you come up with the idea to start Pensão Agrícola?
We have always enjoyed travelling and hotels. Around 5 years ago we started looking for properties in the Algarve… we saw a lot of them until we found this one. It took us 4 years to create the concept and to get everything ready which involved choosing the materials, the objects, the garden architecture – it takes time!
What was your experience working with hotels?
Neither of us had any experience at all in the hotel industry but we both had a lot of experience staying at hotels as guests. A guest once said, joking, that she could tell I had experience at throwing dinner parties.
How did you find this house and what drew you to it?
We found the house when we were looking in the area. It wasn’t really what we had in mind but it was the perfect location. What really impressed us was that the house was still full of stuff, from the furniture to personal belongings – there was a story behind it all. We fell in love with the house, we felt connected to it.
How do you describe the architecture?
We kept the main house structure as it was but there was a lot that was in ruins, where we built from the ground up. We wanted to preserve the traditional Portuguese – Algarve architecture whilst at the same time giving it a contemporary touch. We were always careful to maintain the features we could, from the original doors to the ceilings.
Another important thing for us was that all of the rooms would be as private possible, and communal areas should be used as social spaces. All the rooms have windows in different directions and none of them face each other. We paid a lot of attention to the architecture but also to the environmental and agricultural aspects.