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“One of the best in Alentejo”
Review of Herdade da Matinha

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Herdade da Matinha
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cercal
Certificate of Excellence
Lagos
Level Contributor
84 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“One of the best in Alentejo”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

It was a our second time here and the staff and owners recognised us 2 years later, impressed.
We own our own guest house and if we were going to model ours on another guest house it would be this one.
Everything has been thought about from indoor design to landscaping the garden.
The big thing for us was the grounds. Portuguese generally don't fuss too much about gardens and the grounds and its usually a bare garden that welcomes you.
Here you can walk around the fruit trees, rose bushes, bamboo plantations and just feel the air alive with bugs and birds.
The rooms are tastefully decorated and we have tried both the modern newer rooms and the older ones (which we actually prefer as its located further away from the main house)
The 5 min drive from the main road is what gives this place its rural charm so don't make a judgement on this as its definitely not a problem. The breakfast is nice (although never easy to get right with so many nationalities but pancakes, croissants and decaf coffee would have been great)
Would we come back. YUP were back in September for sure.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sebastian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HerdadeMatinha, Gerente at Herdade da Matinha, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Hello! Many thanks for your review. We are really happy with your words. Always welcome to our place and we hope to continue improving, so every year your stay gets better :)
We look forward to welcoming you in September.
Warm regards from all team!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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264 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
149 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

After reading the previous reviews which almost took us to another place I can only say that I had the perfect time at Herdade da Matinha! We had a late night check-in and not only they were waiting for us with a smile but also making sure we would have a very nice dinner of Portuguese cuisine with good wines to choose from. Service was attentive and kind and the next morning we woke up with the birds singing all over, truly relaxing. Went for a swim before breakfast in a very nice pool conveniently located away from the guest rooms, so total relaxation. The breakfast was made of a simple buffet with a variety of fresh fruits, cheeses, hams, Alentejo breads, fruit preserves. The best was all guests were in the breakfast room and we took a seat outside next to the water tank letting ourselves enjoy Nature at its best. After breakfast we went to check the horses and went for a small ride into the wild ;-) Thank you to the staff and the owners at Matinha!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Francisco F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HerdadeMatinha, Gerente at Herdade da Matinha, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Google Translation
Olá! Muito obrigado pelo seu comentário. Ficamos muito contentes por ser considerados o "vale encantado". Voltem sempre pois teremos muito gosto em recebê-los neste lugar :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
106 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014 via mobile

The farm is so nice located, really in the countryside. Beautiful small cities in the Alentejo coast can be visited from there (zanbujeira do mar, Vila nova de mil fontes, Porto covo). The area of the farm is very nice and well taken care. I would imagine that in spring/summer time the place is even enjoyable. Going in winter, specially with rain is good to rest by the fireplace so I would recommend 2 day stay... In summer you can enjoy other programs like the swimming pool, horse riding...
The rooms are ok (do not expect level of boutique hotel). We chose a family room and you get 2 small rooms connected. Toilet is small. Decoration is ok for a farm, nice and simple. The different comon areas rooms are very nice and cosy (that's where you stay most of the time when you are not outside) with 3 fireplace...
Breakfast is great! Good variety, with quality products. Very good.
The not so good experience was the dinner. Not so good quality (you can find much better close by in small typic restaurants - Cercal for eg) and too much expensive (38€ per person without wine). What was really special was the moment created before dinner with a small theater experience.
No TV anywhere (we could find) which for us was great because we used the time to have fun as friends.
They have free wi-fi in the house (common areas). No net in the rooms (at all... Mobiles do not work) so you find most of the guests in the common areas with PC, iPads...
It was a very nice experience I would recommend for spring and summer time.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank NAF22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2013

For a relaxing and off-the-beaten-track bed and breakfast, check out Herdade da Matinha. It was recommended to us by some of our friends who went to Portugal to surf a few years ago. It's about 2 hours south of Lisbon and feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. One of the owners is an artist so there is bright vibrant art everywhere. The hotel has a homey restaurant, stables, a zen yoga studio, good-sized pool, and is surrounded by orchards of fruit trees. The staff is so friendly and helpful and will arrange a variety of activities and picnics for you. It is no more than a 15-minute drive to stunning beaches and we ate two great meals at restaurants in the nearby town, Vila Nova de Milfontes. My family really enjoyed the horseback riding and just hanging out at the pool. Unfortunately, the room that our kids was in smelled like mildew. Be sure to ask for a room in the newer section.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room in the newer section.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jsun1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
prague
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

There are many reviews for Herdade da Matinha Country House, that sing the praises of this small 'family hotel', that it will be hard for me to write this review, but allow me to try.

First of all, the place: The location is beautiful, and very well worked, a showcase for the interior design skills of what I assume to be the wife of this couple owner ran property. The 'communal' areas are strewn with art and books, magazines and interesting objects, design furniture mixed with rustic architecture. There is a great flow in the place in general, with lovely lighting and an open kitchen on the dining area. Equally, the rooms are lovely, with excellent beds that are firm enough, yet comfortable enough to satisfy most people.

This place is a masterclass on what can be done relatively cheaply by buying almost everything from Ikea (but thankfully not the beds). Now, this may sound as an insult, which I don't mean it to, I truly admire the taste and style of this lady. But for me, the whole thing feels like it is trying to be more 'classy' than it really is. A sense for style is not everything.

All areas were very clean and well kept, although the shower attachment was loose and was unable to raised at the correct angle. A small criticism perhaps, but when we consider that the 3 things we do in a hotel room (if you have a small child with you) are, Sleep, go to the toilet and Shower; it does become more important.

I will have to make some negative comments though and they will seem to be quite a lot, but I don't mean them to be.

We payed slightly more for a 'better room' with a 'private terrace' outside of the room, as I already mentioned we were traveling with my daughter, in this case never underestimate the value of an outside area, to spend your evenings without waking her from her sleep. The Terrace was by no means private, situated right next to the restaurant area, and was a major thoroughfare for all guest needing to walk past our private terrace on their way to and from the restaurant. It was very pretty, just not at all 'private'. It's also not the kind of place where you could relax in your undergarments in the warm evenings, as the mood of the place means more ironed shirt, trousers and deck shoes.

Which comes to my major criticism of the property. It's far to pretentious for its own good. Although a country retreat, it was all too decidedly formal. I am a pretty well to do chap, but it has the feeling that people are dialing up their manners to try and be as 'classy' as the place suggests. I would have loved it to be stylish, but more relaxed. Remember that combination of design furniture and rustic, that should come across more in the feeling.

It may also be my own feeling, but I got the impression that this place used to be more 'exclusive' and has been recently opened up to more 'normal' channels (such as booking.com) bringing in a 'lower class' individuals, such as I. And it might be that the owners long for the elite clientele they used to service. But again, this may be my feeling.

If I may say, breakfast was excellent, really nice. Could not have wanted more, so I don't understand the reviews on this, but perhaps they have responded to those negative comments; Freshly baked on the premises Bread and warm Banana cake from the oven, scrambled eggs, fresh juice and nice cheese and hams.

Which leads me to my other criticism, not unique to me. Dinner.

The property is FAR from town, and takes some 5 minutes driving slowly on a dirt road to get anywhere, and the town is not well suited to eating other than for locals, so the best option is eating in. Dinner is served as a set menu (if there is an option not to separate, it's not clearly communicated), and costs 38euros, and the child menu costs 12euros. (I had to also ask how much dinner was)... They do their best to trap you in to dinner, and should you not ask you might be surprised. We had the pleasure of the owner cooking on our first night (he cooks one night a week), and it was FAR too much to eat, plus dinner didn't start until 8:30, which, if you have kids, is really too late. The food was good, with quality ingredients, but far too much and far too overpriced. I would LOVE to see a real country Portuguese menu cooked with quality ingredients at a good price, reflecting the country retreat nature of the property; but again, the menu is a symptom of the 'snobbishness' that is only slightly there, but visible.

Of small note, when you are at the reception, it is depressing to see other guests, Portuguese, paying half the price per night as you do, on a print out.

Also, the 'horse rides' are severely overpriced, especially considering as they are run by their may 10-13 year old daughter (did not feel comfortable entrusting my little daughter on a horse with such a young child). That said, she is a very 'grown up' and polite young lady. but 25euros per person for 1 hour (1hour minus 15 minutes getting children on horse and back to the room 10 minutes before the hour was up).

To sum up. Really beautiful place, lovely staff, but a little schizophrenic and not sure what it wants to be. If the meals/drinks were cheaper and smaller and more 'rustic' it would have been considerably better. Plus if the horse rides were more cost effective, I would have loved it more.

And on the second night we ate, food was slightly above average, certainly not justifying the 38euro price (the owner was not cooking that night), and children do not need 3 course including a huge 'chocolate mouse' before bed and so late. (feed them cheap, feed them early).

Overall, very stylish. Very nice staff, slightly overpriced, but worth checking out. If money is no problem you will probably like it more, but if you are 'normal' and on a budget, be cautious.

I certainly hope the owners take my comments to heart and don't feel "if it's too expensive he shouldn't have stayed here". I would recommend it, and it is beautiful, just needs to find itself.

Would be fantastic location for a fashion shoot.

Room Tip: Be careful, private terrace is not so private. All rooms seem nice.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank coincidence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HerdadeMatinha, Gerente at Herdade da Matinha, responded to this review, 10 September 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.
At Herdade da Matinha our guests opinions are extremely important and these comments are extremely important to improve our lever of service and to improve the guest experience at our property.

We are very happy with your positive comments in regards to the overall decoration and "great flow" of Herdade da Matinha. We work hard to provide these ambiance and we are very happy that our guest do recognize our effort.

In regards to the shower attachment being loose, we regret the inconvenience and we are already working on this, we could/should have action earlier if we would have been aware of the situation.

Regarding the meals we thank you very much for your feedback. In fact our serving time is "portuguese dinner time" which might be too late for our foreigners guest specially with children, so we will act accordingly and make sure we check with our guests what is their preferred time.

Concerning to the tariffs we do not differentiate any rates according to their nationality or country of residence. With strong online presence and working with different types of operators and online travel agencies, we are extremely careful with our pricing strategy as the online presence requires rates parity and we never had any related issues. It might be the case that these guests you mentioned were just settling the 70% difference as we require 30% deposit on direct bookings.

We sincerely hope that the overall experience was positive and enriching and that you can consider a future visit and recommend our property.

Once again thank you for your time and preference,

Kindest Regards,
Herdade da Matinha Team
"as simple as life is"
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Located amongst the olive groves of the alentejo, a few miles up a dust track, so away from traffic and noise pollution, with beautiful stars at night. Lovely swimming pool, and about 15mins drive to the coast. Around 20 rooms, so it's like being in a small community, with very friendly staff around all day to serve light lunches; and if you don't mind eating late (around 9pm) and enjoy adventurous food, then try their evening meals for around 35 euros plus wine. Alternatively it's 15-20 mins drive to the nearest town on the coast with restaurants, and a light dose of tourism. Breakfasts were simple good ingredients, lovely fruits and cold buffet, with eggs cooked as wished, and served until 11.30am. Guests are made up of around 80-90% Portuguese, mixture of couples and families.
Rooms were fine and clean, I think my only criticism is they are a little overpriced. AC in our room, not needed in August. The house itself is beautifully laid out, with plenty of areas to sit in and relax (though in August we were outside!), and good internet coverage.
Come here if you want to get away from typical Algarve tourism, if you enjoy walks (and horse riding) and lovely countryside, beautiful coast-line or relaxing by the pool, and if you enjoy good food and nice wine, and looking at the stars.
Note it's very dark at night, so a torch would be helpful, especially if you are in one of the outer houses. Staff were lovely.
Don't come if you want loud bars, touristy places, or lots of monuments/culture/towns to visit.
It really does feel like a little bit of paradise, if you enjoy getting away from it all.

Room Tip: We had a quarto romantico, and were initially placed in a separate house. Beautiful house but room w...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nicolasjsnelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2013

This place is amazing! We were sorry we had only booked two nights at Matinha as the area has so much to offer and the hotel itself was so lovely. It is a very quiet area of the Alentejo, but a nice break from the hectic Algarve. Perhaps overpriced for the area but you could easily make this up with the breakfast that is included :) Breakfast had pretty much anything you could wish for, including eggs made to order. We asked for recommendations to grab lunch to the beach and the hotel packed us sandwiches which too were terrific. And we ended up liking the place so much, we stayed in for dinner one night. There are endless options for lounging around the property, depending upon whether you want privacy or a more social environment. The staff all speak English (and many other languages). Other than summer, this place seems like it would be very cozy, pleasant in the autumn.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank W A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Herdade da Matinha

Property: Herdade da Matinha
Address: Cercal 7555-231, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Alentejo > Setubal District > Cercal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cercal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Herdade da Matinha 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Herdade da Matinha is a country house in the middle of the nature in Alentejo, very close to the beach. We have 20 rooms (7 classic double rooms, 8 romantic rooms, 3 familiar rooms, 2 suites). A place for relaxation and rejuvenation, Herdade Da Matinha is surrounded by old oak trees. Start the day with breakfast in bed or on the covered veranda. Meals are prepared by the owner and feature farmhouse breads and cheeses, as well as renowned Portuguese wines. Sample local specialities made with homegrown, organic vegetables.Spend time exploring the area on horseback. Alternatively, you can soak up sun while relaxing next to Herdade Da Matinha outdoor pool.The entire building is kept in white, earthy tones, with comfortable seating areas inviting you to take it easy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Herdade Da Matinha Hotel Cercal Do Alentejo
Herdade Da Matinha Portugal/Cercal

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