You Need to Stay at This Eco-Chic Resort in Comporta, Portugal
It's a happy problem to have to choose between the many amazing beach resorts for your next vacation in Portugal. The miles of coastline boast dramatic cliffside views, clear aqua water, and gentle waves. It’s a surfing paradise and the sun worshippers' dream with 300 days of sunshine a year.
If you’re anything like me, you opt for a beach hotel that pulls at your heartstrings, focuses on sustainable travel, and has the eco-chic interiors to match the natural beauty around it. The aptly named Sublime Comporta has all this and more.
Sublime Comporta is located in Comporta, Portugal in the Alentejo region. The Alentejo is particularly special because of its flat landscape of bright green fields and towering cork and pine trees. The locals even call the tall pines “umbrellas” since they fan out broadly and provide shade during the hot and dry summer.
The town of Comporta was once a sleepy fishing village - and even now, blink twice as you drive through and you’ll miss the whole “downtown.” Surrounded by marshes and white sand beaches, the little village has surprisingly attracted a number of artists, celebrities, and royals. The casual laid back feeling is exactly why people choose to travel here.
Downtown is a mix of chic beach club interiors and shops stocked with kaftans and hats to match the boho crowds of Tulum or Bali. There are also eclectic furniture stores with their version of elevated Portuguese pottery and textiles.
The best time to go is May through September and although it will never get too crowded, keep in mind that the summer months will attract more crowds and higher pricing.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get there is to drive. You can pick up an automatic rental car from the Lisbon Airport to avoid navigating the cobblestone streets of downtown Lisbon. Once you hit the highway, it’s a straight shot down the coast for about an hour.
If you want to make a day out of it, plan an extra stop in the Serra da Arrabida National Park. It's one of Portugal's best kept secrets from tourists. The roads are windy but the views are some of the most gorgeous with mountains on one side and turquoise ocean on the other.
This park is truly a must see and the natural turquoise beaches are not found anywhere else in Portugal.
After your detour, you’ll drive through country roads and farms to get to Sublime Comporta. The entrance will feel nondescript and private so pay close attention.
Once you enter the private gate, it’s a quick drive on sandy roads to the main building for check in.
Pull your car up to the parking lot and step inside the main building of Sublime Comporta and you’ll find a cool, comfortable lobby full of leather and wooden accents. To pay homage to the region, the lobby design mimics the industrial feeling of a barn with high ceilings and woven straw lamps. In this building, there is also the main restaurant, Sem Porta, the bar, and the wine cellar.
While the front desk agent takes your information, you’ll be treated to a fresh juice and an overview of all the nearby beach clubs and restaurants on a hand drawn map.
When your room is ready, you can hop in a golf cart or drive your car to your bungalow.
The property itself is huge and spread out for maximum privacy and seclusion. It feels like an upscale version of summer camp with standalone “cabanas” and multi-bedroom villas.
If you don’t feel like driving to the beach again, there is a sleek raised infinity pool with plenty of lounge chairs available.
A kids play area is available with a small wading pool but the property really feels like it’s meant for young children under 5 or for older kids 10 and up. It’s hard to imagine active children enjoying the peaceful retreat and there aren’t any playgrounds or “kid friendly” spaces.
Restaurants & Beach Clubs
There are 2 main restaurants on property. Sem Porta is in the main building and The Food Circle, which is beautifully located in an organic garden. The Food Circle is a unique concept where 12 people can enjoy a meal prepared by the chef right there at the counter. The ingredients are the absolute freshest since they come from the garden itself. Portuguese wine pairings are included with dinner. Be sure to book in advance to reserve your spot for this unique and special experience.
Sem Porta is more casual and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While I didn’t get a chance to try out the dinner or lunch menu, the breakfast was plentiful in the buffet style. It had such attention to detail that it even included edible flowers and freshly picked herbs. The spreads of cheeses, meats, breads, pastries, fruits, and fresh juices kept me going back for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
The highlight of the evening is the large fire pit terrace where guests gather to exchange stories and partake in crafted libations, contributing even more to that upscale summer camp feeling.
The closest beaches are about a 10 or 15 minute drive away. I had lunch at Restaurante Sal and treated myself to appetizers, two glasses of crisp white wine, and a main course of fish with squid ink rice.
Which room is best?
You really can’t go wrong with the rooms here. They’re all outfitted in gorgeous white linens and gauzy curtains to immediately make you feel like you’re at the beach. Apart from the main building, there is another Guest House building where the guest suite categories are located. The guest suites are multi-level with the bathroom upstairs and a small sitting room downstairs - perfect for a family of 3 with a small infant.
If you’d like your own individual suite, I’d highly recommend the Cabana Suite. The living room is a perfect blend of breezy Mediterranean style, including it’s very own cork tree on the back porch, and the kitchenette is perfect for families who want to make their stay more comfortable. The living room can be used as an extra room for kids or another bedroom can be added with a connecting hallway.
Can't Miss Experiences
Apart from visiting downtown Comporta, there are several beaches to explore a short 10-15 minute drive away. If you can tear yourself away from the beaches (although I’m not sure why you would!), there are Roman ruins to visit or nature watching tours. For the active, you can arrange horseback riding or ATVs.
Room for Improvement
The only part of the property I wasn’t enchanted with is the spa. It’s in the first original building of the hotel and it still doesn’t feel like a proper spa. It’s lacking the privacy and quiet that most spas have, even if it has a lovely relaxation room that overlooks the pools. The treatment rooms are small but I did like that they had a nice indoor pool, sauna, and fitness equipment.
How to Book
The best way to book is with a Virtuoso travel advisor like myself. Not only can I advise you which cabana suite or villa is best but I can also add special complimentary amenities not available through other agencies.
My clients receive a complimentary room upgrade on arrival, complimentary breakfast for 2 in the restaurant, a $100 spa credit, early check in / late check out, and a special customized welcome amenity of champagne and a sweet treat.
Comporta is a destination in itself but first time travelers to Portugal will want to combine it with other cities and sightseeing. Get in touch today to start your beautiful journey through Portugal.