With Portugal seeing an upsurge of boutique hotel openings, our co-founder Diego Martín travelled from the vineyard-dotted slopes of the Douro Valley in the north to the sun-strewn Alentejo in the south, all with the delightful job of unearthing the loveliest places to stay.
Here are his best picks:
Flores Village, Porto
Portugal’s second largest city and latest trendy destination has seen dozens of hotels popping up lately. Amongst them, Flores Village is the perfect oasis of calm in the heart of the historical quarter – its internal garden is the ideal setting in which to recover before jumping out again into buzzing Porto.
Quinta Nova do Carmo, upper Douro Region
This gorgeous 19th-century renovated manor house is the perfect place to base yourself as it is such a comprehensive blend of all the things we look for in the Douro region: you have the views, the wine, nice food, charmingly decorated rooms, hikes from the door… all you need is here, so why go elsewhere?
Cooking and Nature, Central Portugal
Certainly one of our favourite family-run hotels around the country, the Cooking is located in a beautiful off-the-beaten-track area of central Portugal. We love it not only for its first-class comfort and carefully chosen design, but also for having the friendliest of staff. This is an ideal place for couples and families.
Casas do Contrabando, Alentejo
This newly opened guest house offers everything we value in the world of small hotels: it has been created with such care, and owner Carla truly makes you feel at home. The property only has three bedrooms so it’s very easy to ask for recommendations and to get to know the village and its incredible surroundings just on the border with Spain.
Pousada Flor da Rosa, Alentejo
The Pousadas de Portugal are the Portuguese versions of Spain’s Paradores, which are hotels set in fantastic historical buildings (castles, palaces, monasteries…) generally offering old fashioned rooms and service. Of all the ones we know in Portugal, Pousada Flor de Rosa on the northern edge of the Alentejo region is definitely our favourite. Incorporating modern features within its three distinct buildings (a Gothic-style church-fort, a Gothic castellated palace and the rest of the monastery grounds in Moorish and Renaissance styles) it allows guests to enjoy history in true comfort.
Herdade do Touril, Alentejo
There are few better places to get away from it all than the amazing Costa Vicentina. And in our opinion there is no better country house here than Herdade do Touril. Used as our main base for exploring the coast, Angela and Luis offer the warmest of service in their beautiful whitewashed house. Ask them to show you how to get to the high cliffs of Praia do Tonel where you can share the sunset with the nesting storks.
Solar do Castelo, Lisbon
Lisbon has so many interesting neighbourhoods that it is quite difficult to know where to stay. At the top of Alfama, Solar do Castelo is our first choice. Actually within the São Jorge castle walls, high above the city, this exclusive hotel has gorgeous views over the river for you to enjoy before walking down the hill, through Alfama’s narrow streets, to listen to fado in the evening.