The Montemuro farm is over 100 years old and when the current owners came here in 2008 everything was in ruins. The grass grew taller than the trees, the olive trees weren’t aligned, and the wild grass was so high we couldn’t see the orange trees. But they still fell in love with the place, believed it was possible to transform it, and, after three years of construction work, the old stables became bedrooms and the barn became the reception. Imani Country House opened in 2011.
This farm is truly in the heart of Alentejo: we’re 15 minutes from Évora, the world heritage city, and a few metres from the megalithic tombs in Almendres, which are part of the megalithic route of the region. Then, the heat, the olive trees and the cork trees everywhere, and our warm welcoming never let you forget that you’re in the middle of Alentejo. The farm itself makes the difference with its centennial cedars, that no one knows where they came from, that form a wonderful and always cool garden.
We have underground caves (some people tell us it was possible to walk up straight under the farm in the old days, but now for safety reasons it’s not possible anymore) and there was a lady who told us that one of the walls in the farm was part of the castle of Geraldo Sem Pavor’s (Gerald the Fearless, a 12th-century warrior and a folk hero)!
People tell us many things that we don’t know if they’re true, but this is indeed a place with a lot of History and spirituality. The best test is to come to Imani. There’s no better place to relax: the birds sing in the morning, at night you hear the crickets, and everything else is silent. We only have seven rooms so even if we’re full it never feels crowded. The seven-hectare farm and the two swimming pools ensure there’s space for everyone. And children are welcome!
The secret to always having some green in the middle of Alentejo is the system of tunnels and wells that exist in the property, an old Roman irrigation system.
Our story and mission
After the current owners bought the farm, it took three years of construction and renovation for Imani Country House to open. All the buildings are hundreds of years old, from the main house to the barns and warehouses, and they were in ruins. Because they’re old buildings that need care and proper maintenance, we usually close in January.
The estate has seven hectares, where a herd of sheep and our donkeys roam. And it’s from the farm’s old olive trees that we extract the oil that we serve every day.
The décor reflects a lot of the tastes of the Imani Country House owners, who were personally involved from the beginning. They took things that existed here and mixed them with family objects or other pieces with a background story they liked. The cabinet at the reception, for example, is an old pharmacy cabinet they found at an antique store in Lisbon.
They tried to put things that weren’t used in a new space and create a different atmosphere. You might enter a bedroom and find an old tricycle or a sewing machine. In the lounge room, there’s a collection of old cameras, vinyl records, CDs… All of this gives the space a unique character and make people who remember these older times feel at home.
Imani Country House is 15 minutes from Évora, in the parish of Nossa Senhora da Guadalupe, surrounded by absolute quiet and tranquillity, where days are spent between the swimming pool, the porch, and the nearest lounge chair.
A discreet attention
For some years now, there has been an increasing demand for the Alentejo, which has, in fact, a very rich culture. Those who visit us, always try to know more about the traditions and also about the monuments and the region. And we, as far as we know, are happy to explain the History of the farm, the megalithic tombs, and the city of Évora itself.
In Alentejo, people are a mix of humble, laidback, and willing to showcase their local heritage. That creates a unique way of welcoming people that is increasingly appreciated.
It’s mainly in the restaurant that the conversations around Alentejo arise. Our guests - Portuguese and foreigners - love our tomato soup and Alentejo gastronomy in general.
And even for us, this is a lovely place to live. Where everything is at hand, the distances are travelled quickly and, at the end of the day, we have the silence and calm of Alentejo.
The Almendres megalithic tombs are nearby, and they are one of the most important megalithic monuments in the Iberian Peninsula. The Castelo do Geraldo, an old castle from the Bronze Age is also located in the parish.