Aldeia da Pedralva is more than just a hotel. It's an actual village hidden away among the wildflowers and beaches of Portugal's Vicentina Coast. The owner Antonio Ferreira was looking for a career change and when he stumbled upon Pedralva village (at the time no more than a pizza place and abandoned, dilapidated houses) he began to buy them up and rebuild them. It took Ferreira and his wife Filipa more than two years to find the original owners and get permission to buy their homes. Today, Ferreira has turned a former ghost town into a destination eco hotel with a restaurant and grocery shop stocked with produce from the on-site vegetable garden.
Each of the 31 restored homes has a rustic charm and was furnished by a designer friend of Ferreira. The best part of staying at Aldeia da Pedralva is that you feel like part of a community. Ferreira's Newfoundland dog Urso often greets guests. Dinner often features fresh seafood caught that day and plenty of Portuguese wine. A stay here is a lesson in how satisfying simplicity can be.