If you are looking for a five-star luxury retreat boasting Michelin-star cuisine in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing than vineyards and olive trees, the amazing L’AND Vineyards Wine Resort in Portugal’s Alentejo is your answer.
As one of only few five-star luxury hotels in Portugal dedicated to everything wine, L’AND Vineyards is a place that truly knows how to deliver a wow effect.
Located just around one hour from Lisbon in the midst of the rural Alentejo region, close to the historic hilltop town of Montemor-o-Novo, this stunning architectural masterpiece has become a favourite weekend escape for many Lisbon-based visitors.
Despite all but perfect weather, driving down the cobble-stoned alley lined by rows and rows of vines leading to the resort gave us a first glimpse of the inherent peace of the place.
This beautiful Alentejo wine resort is surrounded by 7,000 hectares of vines (growing domestic varieties such as Touriga Nacional and some international grapes), borders a small lake and offers fantastic views over the nearby historic castle of Montemor-o-Novo.
The whitewashed complex nestled among endless rows of vines and olive trees is designed to blend in with the landscape and only at second sight reveals its striking architecture based entirely on clean minimal lines.
The whole complex, including the hotel and winery, puts high focus on sustainably. It was built using local stone, slate and wood whilst in the vineyard processes are strictly biodynamic.
The main building is the most outstanding, hosting a comfy lounge area, a bar/bistro area, the Michelin-starred restaurant and a large Spa area with indoor pool.
As for guest accommodation, the resort offers two different types of rooms, the SKY-view suites and the L’AND-view suites.
Both room categories boast a whooping 120 sq m – just let that sink in!
All rooms feature warm earthy tones, dark natural stone floors, a living room area, a private patio with outdoor shower and a little fireplace to keep you warm as evenings can turn chilly even during the hot summer months.
The main difference between the two? The ten SKY-view suites feature a retractable roof directly over your bed. Which when the weather is at its normal best, lets you see an incredible number of bright stars in the pitch-black Alentejo sky thanks to limited light pollution.
The L’AND view suites do not offer this option but instead have an additional bedroom and bathroom thus sleeping four and making it a great alternative for families or if you want to share a suite with friends.
I’d loved to get a SKY-view room but unfortunately they were already booked when I started to plan my trip.
As the weather turned out anything but great (repeating myself here,I know) in the end it did not make a big difference as no stars were to be seen during the two nights we stayed at the resort.
However, there remains one minor complain regarding the L’AND view suites. The bathrooms were rather smallish and clad entirely with black slate walls with no outside window meant they were also quite dark. The shower being installed in the bathtub was also not entirely to my liking.
There is further construction going on at the side, with several large bungalows build into the surrounding vineyards that will ultimately cater to families or larger groups.
Despite still adding more guest units, L’AND Vineyards remains a place that boasts exclusivity and is designed around privacy and relaxation. Whilst the suites are all lined-up in a stretch of semi-attached buildings, no one will actually be able to look into your suite and sitting on your private patio you can’t see other rooms nor will others see much of you.
Being as much a wine resort as a hotel, L’AND Vineyards also offers a large range of wine-related experiences. For example, a complete wine experience course will introduce you to the basics of wine production and tasting; including pairing options. Wine courses, vineyard excursions and balloon rides are some of the other activities available.
As for the resort’s gastronomic offer, L’AND Vineyards is home to the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Alentejo.
I love minimalistic design and the restaurant is a perfect example how to wow visitors with its clear lines providing a the ideal backdrop for the dozens of Tom Dixon-designed pendant lamps.
Sustainability is a major focus in the kitchen too, and the restaurants aims to source everything within 50 kilometres of the resort.
The restaurant offers two menus, a four-course and seven-course tasting menu which both seek to reinterpret traditional local cuisine inspired by delicious French and Asian flavours.
Though I typically go all in for the bread and olive oil combination, I loved the butter sheep cheese alternative too, which had a real punch to it.
As for the rest of the menu, you can expect many of the local staples such as a the region’s famous black pork, local fish like mackerel, river fish or sea bass and locally sourced meat.
Both menus come with a wine pairing should you wish to do one. Otherwise, there’s a good choice of Portuguese wines on the wine list, including the L’And Vineyard wines range.
Breakfast is served at the L’AND restaurant too, including a well sorted buffet (the orange cake is outstanding) and a warm breakfast directly from the kitchen.
Though I would have wished for more springtime-like weather and actually preferred a SKY-view suite despite the fact there was zero chance of seeing any stars during our stay, I loved every minute spend at L’And Vineyards.
L’And Vineyard Resort, Herdade das Valadas
Estrada Nacional 4 apartado 122