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About us

About us

Who are we?
We are Maarten and Celina Schiphorst-Ongenae from the Netherlands. Celina is a real Brabantian and Maarten worked for the municipalities of Aalsmeer and Amstelveen for more than 40 years. Our three sons, friends and granddaughter live in Amsterdam.

Guests bring excitement to our retired life. How nice it is to let our friends, family and guests from all over the world enjoy the Mediterranean life here in Portugal! Maarten regularly cooks (often Indonesian) for our guests.

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Photo: village of Olhao with harbor in the background

How come?
Quite coincidentally, during a holiday in the east of the Algarve, we noticed this piece of land with an old Portuguese house on it near the village of Moncarapacho.
We were immediately enthusiastic about the location, the view of the Atlantic Ocean and the possibility of building there. The plan to build a private home, two rental accommodations, a swimming pool and a jeu de boules court after retirement was born!

Photo: old Portuguese house ( Casa Pauline ) before renovation

Volunteer work
In addition to our hobbies such as reading, gardening, yoga, computers, cooking, Portuguese lessons and good food and drinks, we are each involved in volunteer work in our own way.

Maarten is involved in the Seahorse project and other initiatives through his membership in the International Rotary Almancil. The seahorse lives in the lagoons and was once the largest population here in the Ria de Formosa Natural Park. Unfortunately, the population has declined enormously. Great to be able to contribute to this project as a volunteer. Read more in our blog seahorses .

Photo: Winter Carnival in Moncarapacho

Casa do Povo
Celina volunteers on Mondays in the center of the village of Moncarapacho. And at Casa do Povo or "the house of the people". A lot of attention is paid to the older people in the village who are often lonely.

During the week you can participate in all kinds of activities at Casa do Povo. These vary from Portuguese conversation lessons, Somatics, yoga, elderly gym, tap dancing to lunch.

On Sunday afternoon there is plenty of dancing and eating by the Portuguese but also by people from outside. Various festivals are also organized in the summer. And there is both a summer carnival and a winter carnival!

When do we hope to open our rentals here in the Algarve?
The building permit has been received and we have now started construction . We hope to open in the summer of 2025, but hey, this is Portugal. So just wait and see! In the meantime, we are enjoying the beautiful weather in our caravan, our sea view, the nice little villages, the beautiful beaches and the delicious food and drinks. In short, the wonderful Mediterranean life!

In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram !

Photo: construction on June 4, 2024

Photo: impression of Boutique Guesthouse-Moncarapacho

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Published 29-06-2023 / Copyright © Guesthouse-Moncarapacho