A pre-pandemic world does exist. Well, kind of. Inside the confines of a sprawling property down a beaten track, just over an hour south of Lisbon sits a stunning 17-hectare estate that feels almost entirely unaffected by the events of the past 18 months.
Comporta has always been in with the fashionable clique, not just in the country that gave the world Cristiano Ronaldo, but across Europe. It is why it is often referred to as the Hamptons of Portugal, frequented by the in-crowd every summer, or even for a weekend given its close proximity to the capital.
But until only recently, there wasn’t a luxury location to stay if you didn’t own your own place in this sleepy fishing village. Enter Sublime Comporta, a place that redefines the idea of slow living.
Surrounded by umbrella pines, cork trees, space – lots and lots of space – and elegant contemporary architecture, you literally leave all your worries in the outside world the moment you pass through the big terracotta-coloured front gates.
Privacy is the name of the game at Sublime Comporta. It is why the cabins and suites are spread out across the property, ensuring you feel as if you have the place to yourself at times, tucked away amongst a pine forest.
While this neck of the woods does attract a certain scene, it is by no means sceney. Comporta just isn’t that type of town. With a smattering of beach clubs 15 minutes away – including Sublime Comporta’s very own – this couldn’t be further from Mykonos or Ibiza. And that’s the point.
The hotel was originally a family home before it became anything more, and while it is now a world-class hotel with everything you could possibly need over the course of your stay, it has retained the warmth of a family home.
Then there are nine bio-pool suites that were unveiled in 2019 and built on stilts hovering over one of Europe’s largest biological swimming pools, inspired by the local fishing port in town which is a 10-minute drive away, or a nice afternoon bike ride, if you’re that way inclined.
With private pools and a handful of communal swimming spots, you don’t actually need to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. In fact, if you’re not a fan of the ocean, there is actually no reason to leave. Maybe even ever, but that is wishful thinking, especially in the current world.
No stay at Sublime Comporta is complete without dinner at the hotel’s two restaurants, Sem Porta and The Food Circle, where it is all about local produce, even as local as the garden outside which is stacked full of fruit and vegetables. It is worth taking your morning cortado for a wander through the garden, too, just quietly.
Comporta used to be Portugal’s best-kept secret, a place people mentioned in hushed tones, preferring to keep for themselves rather than share.
But the secret is certainly out. And it is due to Sublime Comporta.