For those of you that know, Comporta is where the smart set go. For those of you that don’t, let us let you in on a little secret.

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When we say smart, it is a loaded word. The discerning traveller who comes here is both well-heeled and travel-savvy – it’s how they know that Comporta is the new riviera in Europe or as Gonçalo Pessoa, owner of Sublime Hotel puts it, it is ‘the new St. Tropez’.

Comporta, in brief, sits on the front of some 70-odd KM of untouched beach that is the largest beachfront in Europe. Accessibility, like St. Tropez, is best by car although the hotel can arrange a taxi if needed.

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So, about this hotel.

What started off as one man’s ambition to build a country villa on 17 hectares of lush land turned into a ‘luxury’ boutique hotel that opened in 2014. I use the term luxury loosely. After all, how does one define such a concept?

Sublime Comporta embodies this notion as a totally idyllic retreat, a place where you can kick off your shoes and do whatever you want. Fancy a swim at 9pm? No problem. Craving the beach? It’s a short drive away (or bike ride for the more adventurous). Some champagne with your dolcefarniente (or green wine, as it were)? Done.

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Sublime Comporta is the epitome of laid back luxury.

Sublime Comporta has 9 suites and 22 private villas (for sale and rent). Symphonies of white and grey abound throughout the rooms. We especially liked the shower on the second floor of your ‘room’ (more like a casita) which, with its balcony overlooks onto the bedroom. Each room has a private terrace to take in the setting sun or for an afternoon detente.

The focal point, though, is the pool that is open at all times.

The La Mamounia-type gardens – perhaps a little more wild and untamed – with drooping cork and pine trees that drape the setting the of the Alenetejano sun are the stuff dreams are made of. The whole of Sublime Comporta is framed by nature itself – from the large windows that seem to ‘capture’ the environment, to the outside seating that silently weave into the landscape with natural ease.

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The driving force behind the decor is the natural elements – from the lime-washed walls to myriad handmade wooden furnishings, to the all encompassing frame-windows.

And what of the food?, you might well ask.

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True to the highest of standards, the food here is exceptional. The fish, as one might expect, is sublime. We started off with the octopus salad, a light and subtly sauced dish which was very refreshing. We next tried the local fish, translated as ‘meagre fish’, a sea-bass type draped with a light sprinkling of vegetables. This was washed down with the famous green wine of the region; do ask the sommelier who will help you choose the perfect wine out of the comprehensive selection that Sublime offers.

And in the morning, a continental breakfast can be enjoyed inside or out on the deck.

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The owner’s decision to share this slice of paradise with others is appreciated in the smiles of people who work there and the languid happiness of guests. We can’t help but salute the maverick nature of the owner and the uniqueness of the hotel !

Address: CCI 3954, 7570-337 Grândola

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