Two quirky eco-resorts to visit this winter

Noah Surf House

“Spotlit in the early evening light, the geometric buildings of Noah Surf House are as incongruous as they are striking,” says Isabel Choat in The Guardian. It is as if someone has airlifted a Californian beach resort and then accidentally placed it in a Portuguese town.

Based in Santa Cruz, north of Lisbon, Noah Surf House was an instant hit when being opened last year. A rack of surfboards stands by a reception and giant TV screenplays surfing videos on a loop. There’s an infinity pool overlooking the beach, a hot tub and skate park and a garden with chickens.

Rows of bungalows on stilts are stacked up the slope from the beach. Some are painted a pale terracotta color. Others are clad in wood. Sustainability is the watchword. Recycled and upcycled materials are used throughout the hotel, the buildings are insulated with cork and solar panels heat most of the hot water. There’s more distressed wood in the restaurant, along with “artfully arranged fishing paraphernalia”. Razor clams, grilled octopus, tuna steaks and other fish are all served in a “mesmerizing setting on the sand”.

From £148, noahsurfhouseportugal.com

The Brando – An enclosed tropical paradise

According to Stanley Stewart for Telegraph Luxury, the Brando, a luxury resort on the Tetiaroa atoll in French Polynesia, is among the most delightful places that he has ever stayed. It is named after Marlon Brando, a Hollywood actor, who bought the atoll after falling in love with the islands as filming Mutiny on the Bounty. This is Brando’s fifth year, which sees the launch of new three-bedroom Polynesian houses just across the lagoon from the main resort. Each residence has with its own grounds, soaring interiors, a private pool, beach, and staff.

The resort is said to be a low-lying atoll in an ocean of mountainous islands with a dozen tropical islands, some no bigger than a sandbank. A coral reef protects the atoll, so it feels like an “enclosed world”.

In the wide lagoon, “turtles nest on empty white beaches, sea birds stalk the shallows and cloud shadow scud across the aquamarine waters like phantom ships”. The resort is “the steward of this remarkable place”, an escape that feels a world away from everything”.

From €2,900, thebrando.com