Portugal may be a small country on the Iberian Peninsula, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. It is, especially if you want to sample fine wines, take in breathtaking ocean views and walk the cobblestone streets of medieval cities. Of course, you’ll need a place to stay. Luckily for you, Portugal has some amazing hotels to complement the charms of this country. You can stay in medieval castles, perhaps one surrounded by Moorish walls, or opt for more modern ones with rooftop terraces and infinity pools. Whether they’re rustic or ornate, all these Portugues hotels offer the charm the country is known for. Start packing now; you won’t regret it.
If you’re ready to get away from it all, consider the Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, a hotel that sits atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. Located on Madeira, this hotel combines an old-style “quinta” or farmhouse with contemporary buildings for a unique guest experience. If you get tired of swimming in the infinity pool or the heated indoor pool, there’s surfing, scuba diving and whale watching nearby, as well as a 500-year-old village to explore. The minimalist decorated rooms come with their own balconies or terraces.
When it’s important for you to stay in the heart of Lisbon, you may wish to consider the Memmo Alfama Hotel, located in the center of the historic district. This 42-room boutique hotel oozes luxury from the first floor wine bar and pool to the rooftop terrace, all of which overlook the River Tagus. Situated in a late 19th century building just a short walk away from Lisbon’s top historic sites, this adults-only hotel was named one of 2014’s best new urban hotels.
You can pretend you’re royalty when you stay in the walled city of Óbidos at the Pousada do Castelo, an ancient castle that dates to the ninth century. While it’s a modern hotel today, history still lives on in the old buildings and period furnishings in the public rooms. Considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal, the Pousada do Castelo was a wedding present from a king to his queen who married here in 1282. Some interior walls remain as they were centuries ago.
Palm trees swaying in the breeze, your own villa overlooking the sea or mountains… well, it just doesn’t get much better. Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort, located on San Miguel Island in the Azores, is the first contemporary resort in the Azores. The resort is a good place to surf as it overlooks the famous Santa Barbara surfing beach, whale watch or just hang by the pool that overlooks the ocean. Breakfast is included in the rate, or you can fix it in your kitchenette.
Belmond Reid’s Palace is an iconic hotel that believes in pampering its guests for 125 years. This starts with three swimming pools, one of which is filled with heated saltwater. Situated on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Funchal on the island of Madeira, the resort is surrounded by subtropical gardens so lush you’ll think you’re in paradise. Belmond Reid’s Palace is family friendly, with kids receiving a teddy bear on arrival. Plus, there’s a kids playhouse and a soundproofed, equipped technology room for teenagers.
If you enjoy looking at the night sky, you’ll really enjoy staying at L’AND Vineyards in rural Altenjo. Some rooms have retractable roofs so you can stargaze in privacy. The hotel is located in a picturesque lake setting; across the lake is the medieval town of Montemor-o-Novo. L’AND Vineyards loans bikes to guests who want to cycle along the lake. The architectural style is modernistic, but the interior features hand-woven locally-made rugs. The hotel’s restaurant has the region’s only Michelin star; it features wines from the hotel’s vineyard.
Bussaco Palace Hotel resembles an ornate palace, maybe because it was built by Portugal’s King Charles I in 1888. The king’s intent was to build Lisbon’s Belem Tower, only in a sea of trees. The hotel is located near Combra in the Bussaco forest. Interiors are filled with antiques and artwork, with guest rooms decorated in early 20th century styles. The rooms have modern conveniences like satellite TV and telephones, but no air conditioning because the hotel prefers to focus on charm.
When spectacular views are a must, know they don’t get any more spectacular than at The Yeatman, a luxury hotel in Porto. The hotel overlooks the Douro River and the city of Porto, which is gloriously lit up at night. A rooftop terrace with lounge and swimming pool is a good place to view the city, day or night. The rooms are uniquely decorated; perhaps you’ll get the one where the bed is enclosed in a gigantic wine barrel.
Built in 1918, the Bela Vista Hotel and Spa in Portimao features over-the-top ornate décor[ even the grand piano is covered in art. Resembling a palace more than a family home, it became the first hotel in the Algarve in 1934. Sitting on a hill top overlooking the ocean, you’ll definitely want to absorb the view from a lounge chair or the swimming pool. While every inch of the public rooms is covered in opulent decorations, the rooms offer simpler décor that induces relaxation.
To the manor born is how you’ll feel when you stay at Hotel Six Senses Douro Valley. The hotel is located in a stately 19th century manor house that overlooks the Douro valley and river. Located four hours from Lisbon, the hotel interior features a modern yet rustic atmosphere. Forests, rolling hills and vineyards contribute to a sense of peacefulness. The hotel boasts a wine library with presentations by local winemakers, fitting because the Douro Valley is one of the world’s oldest wine regions.
The Hotel Avenida Palace is located in Lisbon’s historic district and is part of the city’s historic heritage. It’s housed in a 19th century neoclassical building that oozes old world charm. This charm continues in the interior, with period furnishings that reflect the opulence of the era. The Hotel Avenida Palace is a luxury five-star, with guests giving high praise to the facility and its staff. While some rooms display demur décor, others feature bold stripes in the bedding, wall coverings and draperies. All rooms have marble bathrooms.