Sweet incognito resides behind the classic ‘pastéis de nata’ custard-coloured façade of Casa Fuzetta, a hip private-hire den flanked by a labyrinth of aged cobbled streets in Olhão, a wonderfully offbeat fishing porton the sunshine coast of the Eastern Algarve, close to Faro.
Once unloved, this aristo townhouse of heritage, dating back in parts to the 16thcentury, had been left to decay. One morning, an adventurous couple seeking to find their sanctuary in the sun happen to spot it from a neighbouring rooftop – love was immediate, so was the connection. It was an inescapable destiny that led to the creation, three years later, of this fabulous retreat, Casa Fuzetta.
Outside, Mediterranean lifestyle headlines at the house with a rooftop plunge pool, sun decks and dining terrace, all affording the most romantic vistas across the terracotta tiles towards the port where the sun dips down into the Atlantic.
Downstairs, leafy plants shroud the courtyard patio garden, which leads onto the open-plan kitchen, large diningterrace, library and lounge with oversized sofas and a fireplace for those cosy off-season nights.
A subtle alchemy of Portuguese heritage, Moorish allure and coastal glamour fill this sunshine villa with accents of urban coolness throughout the three-storey house. Whitewash walls set the canvas for natural stone, timber flooring and reams of raw linens creating a sharp aesthetic appeal. Artefacts, heirloom pieces and salvaged finds strike up the conversation between restored heritage and the smooth contemporary.
Casa Fuzetta Olhão is an unassuming hotel-like abode tucked away in the unspoilt backwater of the Eastern Algarve, a retreat that covets absolute discretion and quiet luxury. Your fabulous venue for entertaining, photoshoots, a holiday escape, home to holiday gatherings of friends and family, or as the stylish basecamp for holistic finding-yourself wellness.
Each of the 12 ensuite double-bedroom suites offers a curated melange of décor reflecting unique characteristics of the house heritage, and whilst all differ in features, luxury in the detail reigns throughout. Your only issue – which will you love most?
Designed with sociability at its heart, Casa Fuzetta is geared for cooking at scale with two kitchens, which you can opt to prepare and cook for yourselves or choose to have a private chef and service team to cater for your culinary needs. With the freshest seafood and market stalls selling local almonds, breads, olive oils and sunshine vegetables and fruits – your table is effortlessly decked in the flavours of the Mediterranean. Professional catering teams have been vetted by the owners for larger celebrations, weddings and special events.
Dining can be taken casually at the large kitchen-dining table, in the vaulted wine cellars or up on the rooftop. As the owners often take over the house for their own slice of the Mediterranean good life, they have compiled a little black book of the best places to dine from the rustic simple to full-on gourmet experiences.
The house manager will also be able to kit you out with the perfect picnics, stock your private bar, fill the fridge with Portuguese organic wines as well as creating your very own larder of deliciousness with the tastes you love. Self-catering has never been such fun.
Casa Fuzetta is in itself a retreat of wellness – and is conceived as a holistic escape hosting highly sought-after yoga programmes per year, and residents kick-off their early morning yoga on the rooftop terrace to the sound of church bells, racing pigeons and the town waking up. There is a rooftop plunge pool and an indoor meditation suite.
The house team have sourced a bespoke package of treatments (massages, body scrub, facial and reflexology) which with notice, can be arranged in the two treatment rooms on the ground floor.
Nomads, owners, custodians and the creators of Casa Fuzetta, Jonathan & Tara are the souls behind this restoration project and have given the fishing port of Olhão a new lease of life and the confidence that this once-neglected town needed.
Both live in the fast lane of international life working in law, food and media industries and now share London life with that of the Algarve.
Olhão is one of those last ports of call in the Algarve that thankfully retains its soul, a town where fishing remains the main industry. It is a bastion of localness with all of its wonderful raw edges, faded glamour and sun-bleached charm. It is not without its fair share of claims to fame – from here fishermen set off to Brazil to inform the exiled king that Napoléon had been defeated (monument of the said boat adorns the town). Housed in a waterfront red-brick structure designed, said by some, to be by Gustave Eiffel, Olhão boasts an amazing fish market with every species sold to the flock of locals who come from afar.
Casa Fuzetta is in the old-town hood, a cobbled melange of narrow streets revealing smart villas and cubist Moorish white houses – artists and fellow creatives have moved here giving Olhão a bohemian nod.
Olhão may not sport its own beach, but it doesn’t need to – it is the gateway to countless sandbank islands such as Armona, Culatra, Farol and Deserta.
Just a 15-minute drive from nearby city of Faro and the international airport, Casa Fuzetta is an easy-to-get-to destination.
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