Casa Tuia



Glamping has never been more luxurious, as Inside discovered.
In peaceful surroundings, standing high above the ground on wooden stilts and appointed with authentic Balinese furniture, four charming glamping tents ensure that being closer to nature has never been more luxurious. You would be forgiven to think that we’re talking about an exotic, far-flung destination, but thanks to the vision and ingenuity of one Belgian couple, a new definition of rustic luxury can be found right here in the Algarve, just outside Carvoeiro.
The brainchild of Olivier Beliën and Kim Sterckx, Casa Tuia has redefined the concept of glamping, in what previous guests have described as “Out of Africa meets Bali in the Algarve”. The safari-like tents, which cater for four to six guests, sit within a 3.5-hectare plot that overlooks vineyards close to Intermarché supermarket, but the tranquil setting allied with clever interior design and welcoming hosts, adds soul to a location that feels like it’s a million miles away.

Opened earlier this year, the idea, according to the founders, is to provide an experience of being closer to nature and enjoying the outdoors but with luxury at its core – picturesque canvas tents hold real, comfy beds, a kitchen (with fridge-freezer and microwave) and a bathroom, with lavastone sinks and even a luxury hydromassage shower complete with music and lights.  Outside, the terrace features outdoor cooking facilities, a dining table and sumptuous bean bags that embody the very definition of al fresco living.
While the glamping concept had always been in the couple’s plans, it was only after they found a unique plot on the outskirts of Carvoeiro that the rest of the project developed. “Initially we wanted to make houses in the ground, but when we found this plot, everything changed.

We had this big building and we had to do something with it,” explains Kim, whose background in decoration and interiors was key in designing Casa Tuia. In fact, the project really is the result of the couple’s blood, sweat and tears, as Olivier, who ran a construction company for 10 years in their native Belgium, built much of what can be seen here, from the large container that is home to the communal bar, to the beds, doors and wardrobes made from authentic Balinese wood.
The result was three beautifully furnished apartments (two with double bed and bunk-bed and one with a double bed and two singles, with the possibility of adding a further two single beds to cater for six people), each comprising a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher and coffee machine, a lounge area, an elegant bathroom with large walk-in rainfall shower and a private terrace.

Guests staying at Casa Tuia also benefit from a large outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers, while the lounge bar is the perfect meeting point should they choose to mingle with their fellow guests, whether it’s a relaxed drink or an informal barbecue or pizza night.


While it only opened its doors in the spring (August is now fully booked), Casa Tuia has already welcomed countless nationalities, with guests aged between 25 and 60, including young families and older couples who are well catered for in the winter months for long-term rentals.
But while the couple’s passion for Bali, where they have spent many family holidays, can be seen in every piece of furniture and decorative item at Casa Tuia, from the Balinese umbrellas right down to the bath and bed linen, their relationship with Portugal was an altogether more fortuitous affair. “Kim always wanted to move abroad and had had enough of the hectic lifestyle, while I was happy to stay in Belgium,” explains Olivier, who soon changed his mind when they discovered Portugal three years ago. Within one year, they had sold their house and moved to the Algarve with their two young children, and after narrowing down their search on the back of a motorcycle, they chose Carvoeiro as their home.
With a complementary car rental business – Retrorent offers two Meharis and two 2CVs, at the disposal of guests and the perfect way to travel during the summer –, Kim and Olivier have plenty of plans in store for Casa Tuia, including a children’s playground, further relaxation areas, an oriental-inspired wellness area with massage and sauna, and eventually three or four more apartments.
For now, at least, they are concentrating on what makes this ‘Out of Africa meets Bali in the Algarve’ experience so sumptuously special: nature, luxury and nothing but good vibes.

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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