Operating since 2003 and being locally based, AB Villa Rentals is proud of the knowledge and personal service it offers those looking for exclusive holiday rentals in Portugal. But as a pocket-sized setup, we also rely on a number of special people, who make it all come together behind the scenes.
From the office team to the winemaker at one of our “quintas”, from the local cook to getting your yogi on during a villa stay, all these individuals are an important part of our featured holiday rentals. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their talents and hard work and for keeping our guests happy.
After years of working for a number of renowned international real estates, luxury tour operators and villa rental companies first in the Algarve, and then Hong Kong and London, I returned to Portugal in 2003 and set up AB Villa Rentals. We have since been operating as a small independent broker of luxury holiday villas and charming cottages with pools, hand-picking the properties we feature. My husband Adrian supports me with any logistic issues as having been born and brought up in Portugal, he knows this country back to front.
Our “office” dachshunds help us distress with their antics and the day normally starts with an early walk or hour of gardening, before we sit down at our desks!
This young filmmaker is currently at university studying “film”. He is a personal friend and we have loved his work for while. But as a keen surfer, we also thought that he would “get” our Comporta villas and beach vibes and be able to reflect in onto a small video. Baltazar brought along a friend during the shoot, and Salomé very kindly agreed to dip in and out of various swimming pools to best demonstrate “the product” – both are taking a few minutes brake, in this picture.
Baltazar totally nailed it and you can see his Comporta videos on our YouTube channel… You can also follow Baltazar’s work on Instagram (@bm.vision)
Paul is a table-wine maker on the Douro province of Northern Portugal. When guests stay at Quinta do Torto, they are invited to become part of the story of this small family business, where grapes are handpicked and trodden in “lagares” maintaining the heritage and tradition of the region’s winemaking.
A guided visit of the winery and tasting is included in all stays; and in September & October, there are special “wine weekends” hosted and built around a bespoke experience of getting involved in all aspects of the harvest season.
Sarah and Alexandre joined their family run, concierge services company in Comporta in early 2020. Soon after, Covid19 was declared a pandemic and Portugal experienced its first lockdown. But with here and there travel corridors allowing for people to book some holidays after all and as our Comporta villas are much sought after, Sara and Alexandre had to hit the ground running…
This hardworking and friendly duo (seen here with Soli their adopted mutt) organize all that it involves getting a villa ready for our guests to start relaxing as soon as they arrive – from covid-disinfections between rentals to delivering welcome hampers and checking-in clients. And then they are on call 24/7 to help our villa guests with their wishes such as arranging for a chef-at-home service, a massage, making a restaurant reservation or simply booking a horse ride on the beach.
The area around our Comporta villas is specially great for exploring by bike. You can collect fresh bread from the village first thing in the morning or go off-grid across paddy fields and wild dunes to the beach.
At 18 years of age, Jorge was the youngest registered member of the Portuguese Cyclist Federation (Federação Portuguesa de Ciclistas e Utilizadores de Bicicletas).
He has remained a keen cyclist all his life and has joined several activists’ campaigns by bike, including cycling along the Portuguese coast in 1996, to raise AIDS awareness amongst young people. In 1998 during the Lisbon World Exposition, he cycled the Lisbon-Hannover Expo bike route covering a total of 3,100 km.
Jorge founded the company “Passeios & Companhia“ which promotes active tourism in the Alentejo region with a special focus on cycling and hiking. They offer a great service which includes hiring-out regularly serviced bikes, road bikes, trekking bikes, MTB, e-bikes and children’s bikes of various sizes and helmets, delivering them to our rental villas in Comporta or the Alentejo for guests to use during their holidays.
Antonio and Marta met working in the catering business in Lisbon. Marta used to be the groups and events manager at The Independente Collective, where António was a chef. They gave up their jobs and went travelling around Asia for a bit, then Antonio talked Marta into coming back to Portugal with him and starting a family! They are now settled near Comporta with baby Carminho and offer a great bespoke catering service called “Two Pack Kitchen“, ranging from a chef-at-home during a villa stay, to picnics or an Argentinian style roast sourcing locally grown ingredients, from the farm or the ocean nearby to our guest’s table.
Celia and Tania take care of guests staying Quinta da Boavista with all the warmth and hardworking temperament, so typical of the Douro people. They have been at the Quinta for 5 years and are both excellent cooks, having grown up watching their grandmothers and mothers cook in traditional wood ovens. They excel in preparing home-cooked regional dishes on request for guests. Quinta da Boavista also has a wood oven, where baked cod or roast kid can be cooked in a time-honoured way; the results are delicious!
You will be greeted by Monica’s twinkly eyes and smile (when masks are no longer “de rigueur”) on arrival at Quinta da Donalda in the Algarve!
Monica is an excellent housekeeper and she has worked for the family who owns the “quinta” for more than ten years – she also lives with her husband and children in an independent cottage set within the grounds of the estate.
An excellent baker and preserve maker, she is responsible for most of the bread and cakes that are served to Quinta da Donalda guests for breakfast, as well as the homemade jams made from the farm’s products. This is “pot bread”, a Brazilian recipe she has imported with her from her birth country of Brazil.
Sport and food go extremely well together, special at Quinta das Laranjeiras!
Nicola is a tennis coach with experience of working within a range of levels, from primary school age to adults and high-performance players. She also loves food and has trained as a Cordon Bleu chef. Her services as a private chef and tennis coach are available on request as an extra when you book to stay at this most lovely rural villa with a private pool and tennis court, which is also located near golf courses and the Algarve’s stunning west coast.
Nothing beats a yoga session in a stunning and peaceful location!
Available on request when you book Villa São Miguel, Carolina will talk you through various exercises of relaxation, strengthening and stretching, connecting with a deeper sense of yourself and triggering the well-being required for you to start unwinding from your daily worries and start enjoying your holiday instead.
As Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese Writer & Poet once said: “The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur. That is why there are unforgettable moments and unique people!”
It all started with Catherine of Braganza! While it’s fairly common knowledge that the Western world has China to thank for the original cultivation of this tannic brew, it’s far less known that it was the Portuguese and in particular, princess Catherine of Braganza in the 17th Ce