Hidden away off the beaten track, near Silves, Quinta das Maravilhas is a haven of comfort

Charming luxury in the midst of nature, Quinta das Maravilhas can be enjoyed at any time of the year

– December 2, 2023 | Text Beatriz Maio | Photos Pascale van Reijn

The new project by Dutch couple Jeannette den Blijker and Jordy Koningh is a sight to behold. A property next to the Arade River, in Silves, so versatile that whether you are celebrating a wedding or taking part in a team building event, the feeling of comfort and proximity to nature is inevitable.

Looking for an investment in any country, Jeannette and Jordy came across this place, which was a huge challenge from the outset and therefore a source of fascination and interest for both of them.

Since April 2022, they have been working and investing in an extensive renovation project to make this not only their “happy place” but also that of all those who visit them and are looking to socialise, relax or simply get creative. “Here, you can connect with other people or even with yourself,” Jeannette noted.

An old house and a garden that seemed abandoned have given way to rustic yet modern décor, a heated swimming pool and towering palm trees. However, its essence has not been lost, even though it is now very luxurious. The olive trees, a species native to Portugal, continue to grow, as do the reeds near the water and the walls decorated with photographs of typically Portuguese scenery remind us of the country’s history. As for the structure of the house, the owners have opted to keep the foundation, but to make it more spacious inside, which encourages cohabitation and harmony for all.

“It’s chic, but still, you are in the middle of nature. There is this cosy environment, this is a place where people can be themselves and feel at home,” underlined Jeannette when explaining that they favoured stylish amenities and therefore created outdoor showers and toilets, so that outside guests can also enjoy the property. Even though the space is large, that does not make us feel any less at home. On the contrary, its size gives everyone privacy due to the numerous rooms and the hidden corners outside. Those who stay have the pleasure of enjoying incredible days in an unparalleled atmosphere, with romantic and adventurous experiences, and the enviable view of the hills.

Be it summer or winter, Quinta das Maravilhas can be enjoyed at any time, with a fireplace in a ground-floor room overlooking the pool for the cold days. Listening to the rain, seeing the splashes on the large glass doors and coming face to face with a green backdrop gives you a feeling of cosiness and lightness. This is a place where serenity is abundant and the feeling of well-being is common to those who visit this adults-only accommodation. Its name, meaning “Farm of Marvels”, came about naturally when Jeannette and Jordy noticed a similar reaction of surprise and happiness in people when they realised that there is much more beyond the building that can be seen from the road. “They marvel at the place,” Jeannette revealed.

This is a concept that is still rarely seen in the country, where fun, serenity and, optionally, work come together. The choice of how to enjoy it for, at least, four nights is up to who rents the property, which can be adapted to different intentions, with space for various activities. Located in a quiet area with friendly neighbours, Quinta das Maravilhas is fully rented out for groups of 16, can accommodate up to 200 people, offers special services such as catering, private chef, massages or sparkling wine on arrival, and is perfectly situated for golfers, motorbikers or hikers. Any requests can be dealt with by the welcoming staff who are more than glad to help and make the stay unforgettable. “We have our contacts and can make the events memorable. Everything can be arranged under certain conditions,” Jeannette assured.

Guests have at their disposal eight double rooms on different levels of the house, which are cleaned daily, as well as two indoor lounge areas. Outside there is a bar, large grounds, a riverside walkway, a small boat and a large, wooden deck area where ceremonies can take place. “You can come for a retreat or to a party. For both, it’s very suitable and cosy”, the owner emphasised, clarifying that the intention is for people to come to “slow down, catch their breath, enjoy the scenery and the moment or come for a celebration in a pleasant space”.

Jeannette, a former classical ballet dancer, and Jordy, a kitesurfer, met at the beginning of 2021 in Holland and, since then, their relationship has continued to grow, as have their ambitions and achievements. Besides being a sportsman, industrial designer and enjoying travelling around the world, Jordy also has an entrepreneurial streak; he has already opened a kiter’s school in the Dominican Republic and owns a hotel in his home country.

“Everything with us is always fast-paced. We have the same motivation and dedication to our projects”, Jeannette recognised reflecting that, whilst Jordy is the one who “makes quick and assertive decisions”, she, on the other hand, is “more careful”, but still plenty adventurous. It was also during the Covid-19 pandemic that Jeannette met Ellen Schoonhoven, their right-hand in this challenge, whilst helping a Dutch organisation that brings people to Loulé for a retreat focused on treating their eating disorders. This experience was decisive in Jeannette’s move to Portugal and, months later, led to Jordy’s arrival. She became passionate about the country, but even more about the region, which, together with Jordy’s entrepreneurial vision, gave rise to an unrivalled project.

Author: Inside Magazines

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