It's a family affair
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
Carlos Fernandes, one of the owners, gives us an insight of what makes this a special place.
As we approached the whitewashed façade of this rural property, a short distance from Olhão and Faro, there was a strong sense of stepping into someone's house. This is certainly the case as Casa Modesta stands beautifully where was once grandfather Modesto's house and where the whole clan would get together to spend time. Those precious memories obviously made a huge impact in the grandchildren who grew up not only to rescue the house but to also transform it into a contemporary celebration of wellbeing and sustainable and stylish lifestyle.
Carlos Fernandes is the face of the hotel. He is totally committed to the region's identity and culture and we caught up with him in an exclusive interview to understand a little more about what makes Casa Modesta a very special place.
WALK THE TALK MAGAZINE - By walking around Casa Modesta, we can tell how much you have invested on making sure the History and the story of the place is alive. Why is this important to you?
CARLOS FERNANDES - It is very important to us to preserve the sense of past brought into our days. We wanted to keep the wonderful culture, the traditions of our region and family, as well as combine it with a clean lined and comfortable ambience of a contemporary style of architecture. This project was thought out and executed by Plataforma de Arquitectura, who understood exactly what concept we wanted to bring to life. A lot of hotels in the Algarve have lost touch with our history. Not much differentiates them from other hotels or resorts. We wanted to keep our traditions and make them accessible as a way of life. We are all unique and our attention to detail reflects our commitment with the environment, nature, seasons. We take this very seriously.
WTTM - This is indeed an unique hotel. How to better classify it?
CF - This is interesting because there are certain standards that are expected, but we cannot provide, for example, a conference room for it to be considered 5 stars, but we do offer massages in a small spa area. We are part of agro tourism and are also in a rural area of the Algarve. But the luxury you find here is one of a kind. A lot of the bedroom furniture is made of cork, which is local, our wine is from the Algarve, we only use local ingredients as much as possible for our cooking, we have a vegetable patch for our salads, the honey is from here. Casa Modesta is , therefore, an unique hotel that cannot really fit in according to more expected standards. But we think our offer true luxury given our total commitment and passion for local and seasonal produce. We offer an experience, more than anything else.
WTTM - It is usual to come across hotels in Portugal and Spain that are catered for couples only. Given this is a place full of history also reflected in the precious objects and architecture, do you fear children might not fit in?
CF - Absolutely not. We love children! This has always been a family home and we wish to continue to reflect this. We welcome families, children and even pets! We love that Casa Modesta is a place for people to get together, even if they have total privacy when they wish to. Our architecture reflects this balance: we serve breakfast (included) and dinner (at an extra cost) at a beautiful and long table where our guests have the chance, if they wish to do so, socialise and talk over a meal. On the other side, each room has its own front door and offer privacy, also needed for relaxation.
WTTM - As a local, what are the things you suggest guests to do when they are in the area?
CF - There are many things to do and lots of places to explore, but if I have to narrow it down, I would recommend Ilha da Culatra (Culatra Island). You can get the ferry from Olhão, a few kilometres from here and enjoy the white sands and the freshest sea food you will ever have. Also Olhão Market is a feast for the senses with local artefacts and produce for all tastes. Saturday is a great day to visit. Then, I would recommend visiting a tiny village called Cacela Velha. There is nothing much there at all, but if you manage to try their oysters it would have been worthwhile already.
Quatrim do Sul, 8700- 128
Olhão, Algarve - Portugal