The Quest Travel Adventures team had the unique opportunity to stay at the 5-star Herdade de Malhadinha Nova House & Spa in Alentejo, Portugal. This Relais & Chateaux property is one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets. You can find it in the charming village in the remote countryside, in the town of Albernoa located in the Beja District of Alentejo, Portugal. Nearby you’ll find local attractions like the Casa-Museu de Aljustrel, a house museum with an exhibition on the life and customs of this region.
With more than 1100 acres of vineyards, this family-owned property allows you to truly unplug and relax. Time seems to stand still as seclusion combines with exclusivity to meet the needs of families, friends, and couples who want to get away from it all! Our team enjoyed having first-hand experience of what our guests will experience on our 7-Day Lisbon and Alentejo Luxury Getaway.
With distinct and unique housing units, luxury is the keyword that connects the different spaces. The rural inspiration is evident all around, from handmade chairs to local, regional marble. Herdade de Malhadinha Nova offers upgraded luxury accommodations, such as villas like the Casa Das Artes E Ofícios, which offers 1,900 sq feet and an exterior swimming pool that provides a view over the Alentejo plains.
Herdade de Malhadinha Nova breeds Pure Lusitano horses on their farm, which began in 2008. The equestrian interest started with 6 mares and 1 stallion; now they have 32 horses! The family prides itself on breeding horses for training and competitions and developing equestrian tourism in this area of Portugal. This award-winning team has collected prizes over the years, including the Portugal Dressage Cup, National Teaching Competition, and Projecto Cavalos Novos (Young Horse Project).
Vineyard & Wine
Wine is the heart and soul of this estate. From wine sommeliers to wine enthusiasts to beginner wine lovers, everyone will find a wine they like at Herdade da Malhadinha Nova. Built from the ground up in 2003, the winery, embedded into the hillside, takes advantage of the natural slope for the vinification process.
The grapes are cut from the vines and travel by hand in 26-lb baskets to begin the winemaking process. They are destemmed and poured into the vats without the use of pumps. Maceration is avoided thus, the final quality of the wines is ensured. The aging is done in French oak barrels provided by eight hand-picked, high-quality suppliers. If you’re looking to savor their wine at home, you can order wine directly on their site here.
You do not have to be a guest of the hotel to visit their winery. They offer pre-booked winery tours of their property which include a tasting of 4 wines, a glass course, a wine-tasting initiation, or a wine expert course.
Things to Do
There are many activities onsite to keep everyone happy. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the Alentejo countryside and marvel at the breathtaking views of Portugal’s largest region. Elevate your experience by visiting the vineyard on horseback. Considered the faithful companion of kings, these thoroughbreds (Pure Blood Lusitanos) are considered the oldest saddle horses in the world. What a fantastic way to enjoy the vineyard and have a new appreciation for the wine tasting!
Maybe you prefer to ride an ATV instead? Get your adrenaline pumping on an ATV trail adjacent to the property. The unique fauna and flora of Herdade de Malhadinha Nova are then revealed at high speeds along beautiful landscapes, steep paths, and curves.
After working up an appetite from all the adventures on or off the property, enjoy dining at the onsite restaurant. In order to be a member of Relais & Chateaux, properties must share their core values: local focus, humanity, sharing, and commitment. In addition to exceptional hospitality, the cuisine is also a major criterion. The dining experience at Herdade da Malhadinha Nova is phenomenal. Restaurante da Malhadinha offers authentic Portuguese cuisine that focuses on using local ingredients.
Each menu item, such as the Certified Alentejo Black Pork with seasonal vegetables, is paired with one of their recommended wines. Enjoy seafood from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, such as Line Fish from the Algarve Coast, paired with creamy rice and algae from Ria Formosa. Finish with a delicious dessert like white chocolate and strawberry mousse with a strawberry gel. Our hats are off to Michelin-starred chef Joachim Koerper and versatile resident chef Rodrigo Madeira e Vitalina Santo.
Get rejuvenated at the onsite spa, offering a diverse selection of massage treatment styles from around the world – including India, Polynesia, Japan, Brazil, and Sweden. Exotic wood, bamboo, heated stones, oils, shea butter, hot candles, shells, and wine are some of the natural elements that combine with skillful hands to provide a balance between body and mind.
Because wine is the central element of this family project, it was inevitable that its regenerative and antioxidant properties would also feature in the spa. It is used in the supreme ritual around the cult of Caudalie, the French brand which has led the way in the use of grapes in cosmetics, nutritional and detoxifying vinotherapy treatments, exfoliation, wine massage, and the antioxidant involvement of wine, and ends with immersion in a bath of grape liquid in your room.
Learning and Education
Visitors can take advantage of several educational and enriching experiences while at Herdade de Malhadinha Nova. Enjoy a wine class that will wake up your senses and sharpen your palate. Enjoy a relaxing ‘break,’ which includes a welcome drink, a tour of the estate, a yoga session, and a thematic dinner providing an unforgettable gastronomical moment. Take a cooking class and discover the secrets of gourmet cuisine. Some classes include a visit to the onsite vegetable garden and orchards, others a fish cooking workshop, or perhaps enjoy a visit to the olive grove and extensive pastures.
Journey in a unique equestrian experience through the Alentejo plains on the 5-Day Master Riding Dressage program. If you’re a beginner rider, check out their 4-day horse riding class. For wine sommeliers, enjoy a 6-day Harvest Expert program where you will feel up close the commitment, passion, and magic of the harvest. Everyone has a reason to visit this estate!