Where to stay: PORTUGAL
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
Alentejo - Interior
Alentejo Litoral- Alentejo Coast
Costa da Prata - Silver Coast
Douro Valley & Trás-os-Montes
The DNA: Perfectly positioned halfway between Porto and the Douro Wine Region, the natural stone and shale structure blends unobtrusively into the landscape, drawing one’s attention to the true show: the view from the hotel itself. Featuring modern yet minimalist lines; light, contemporary design; and neutral tones, the 56-room, 5-suite property opens guests up to the wonders of the flowing river below.
The DNA: A once-abandoned house in a residential section of Porto, after a very thorough five-year renovation at the hands of its French owners, is now the the poetically named Canto de Luz. This is a luxurious little boutique hotel in a style that’s decidedly modern yet as warm and welcoming as anything else in town.
Year opened: 2022. The DNA: The 134 west-facing guest rooms and suites feature natural hues and tactile finishes. Large, private balconies have stunning ocean views and duplex-style layouts, and unearth the local culture through curated artwork, custom-made furnishings, and Portuguese-influenced such as bedside lanterns, dramatic headboards, and authentic Algarve tiles.
Vibe: A pitch-perfect renovation of a cluster of 19th-century former agricultural buildings has imbued the interiors with the soul of the Alentejo, bringing a stillness to the main house, whose art-filled rooms are dappled by the fierce sunshine characteristic to this region.
The DNA: The fishing village in question, Câmara de Lobos, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, is a western suburb of the city of Funchal, the site of a visit by Ernest Hemingway; the hotel, Pestana Fisherman Village, returns the favor, taking its inspiration from Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.”
The DNA: A national monument, Pestana Palácio do Freixo – Pousada & National Monument was built in the mid 18th-century and is a remarkable example of Portuguese architecture from the baroque period. The hotel’s Versailles-style gardens are bordering directly on the Douro River. The contemporary and spacious rooms and suites are located in the former Harmonia Flour Factory, which is interconnected with the palace.
Bang in the centre of Lisbon’s Baixa (Lower Downtown), right on the route of the electric tram No. 28. is Baixa House. It provides a singular type of accommodation: serviced apartments including daily cleaning, breakfast and the icing on the cake: permanent support by super friendly staff to satisfy any need – like in a boutique hotel. Set in a stunning 18th-century building, its grand staircase is lined with traditional Portuguese tiles and its hallways are cool, white havens.
Immersed in the glorious Alentejo countryside, between orange and cork groves (and next to the largest megalithic monument in the Iberian Peninsula), is Imani, a unique country house. Rustic elements like old beams and stone hearths, pots bursting with flowers, stone tanks are combined with vintage touches like a quirky display of antique sewing machines and salvaged neon signs in the garden plus walls full of modern art.
Set on magical 7 hectares of vineyards and woodlands this former farmhouse, is now a luxurious spa retreat under the famous Asian Six Senses brand (its first in Europe) and offers spectacular views of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Douro river and valley. The Six Senses Douro Valley fuses 19th-century romantic architecture with contemporary interiors.
Conversas de Alpendre (porch talks) is a unique boutique hotel themed around life’s simple pleasures. And what better place than to do it here, in the Eastern Algarve, where slow life gets an extra dimension amidst rolling hills covered in orange trees and miles of spectacular empty beaches. Where the temperature is warm throughout the year, silence and comfort, charm and friendship, flavours and stars, will make you feel the true soul of this special place.
With a meticulously restored gilded chapel, a wine bar in the 15th-century water deposit, a restaurant in the vaulted cellars and, in summer, around the tranquil courtyard cloisters, the monastery is imbued with a rich sense of its previous life. There is a painting in the chapel of the apparition of the Virgin Mary above a thorn bush (espinheiro), an event which this monastery was built to celebrate.
Rising high above the ocean, The Albatroz Hotel – an icon of the Portuguese coastal town of Cascais – has recently undergone a complete renovation, interior design practice, Viterbo Interior Design (led by Gracinha Viterbo), unveiling a timeless revival inspired by the 1940s and ’50s golden age of Estoril and Cascais.
Porto’s abandoned fish market was brought back to life when the Spanish hotel group Vincci converted the building into riverfront accommodation. Rooms are simple yet modern, staff are welcoming and the view from the rooftop bar is a knockout. The mezzanine balcony encircling the big sunlit reception reflects the space’s former function as an auction hall. The industrial theme is also evident in the dark corridors, which were designed to mimic produce trolley passageways.
The brand new 194-room hotel is set in a former port warehouse. Interiors very much bare the signature of award-winning Portuguese designer Nini de Andrade Silva. The hotel’s rooms have also been designed with the building’s history in mind, and many offer excellent views of the Douro River and the historic centre of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. There are two bars and a restaurant headed by celebrated chef Hugo Portela taking his inspiration from authentic local cuisine. Extensive spa.
This five star hotel, part of Hilton's Curio Collection, is set on the Quinta da Boeira, which vineyards date to 1850. Rooms are set in an ultra modern extension by Portugese star architect Siza Vieira next to the heritage mansion from the early 20th-century. The port warehouses and Douro riverside are 2km away.
Year opened: 1926. Situated between Lisbon and Porto, and 20 minutes away from Coimbra, the Curia Palace is one of Portugal's most legendary hotels and jewel of the "Golden Twenties". In Art Nouveau style it features a large park, vineyards, golf course and of the largest spas of Portugal.
A renovation has brought a lighter, brighter feel to this iconic hotel whilst maintaining its obvious respect for its cultural heritage and its period furnishings. The history of the hotel and the island are woven hand in hand into the fabric of the hotel, with various artifacts and memorabilia attesting to the stories of the British families who lived out here, and the history of Madeira wine.
Push through the revolving door of one of Porto's oldest hotels (1880) and be whisked away to another era. This classic-style accommodation has greeted many dignitaries over its lifespan including the Dalai Lama and British Royal family. The lounge area past the reception channels the look of a 1920s movie set where dim mood lighting creates a surprising contrast to Porto's main shopping strip outside.
There’s no place quite like the Azores, and at the moment there’s nothing quite like the new wave of high-end, high-design Portuguese luxury boutique hotels. Put the two together and you’ve got Aqua - Pópulo Eco Village. The name is partly a reference to its location, a short walk from Praia do Pópulo, a lovely little beach with a well-known surf break. And “eco village” is more or less self-explanatory.
Once upon a time, this magnificent retreat was home to Augustinian monks and then Portuguese royalty. Now, Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães’ hushed halls play host to a luxury hideaway. Follow in the footsteps of its former residents through ornamental gardens and peaceful cloisters. Then open doors to discover a refined restaurant and character-filled rooms, tailor-made for 21st-century escapes.
Built in 1885 for the last king of Portugal as a hunting lodge, the fairy tale castle was turned into a hotel in 1917. It boats splendid decorative Manueline-Gothic architecture, both inside and out. You will be missing out on some modern conveniences, like airconditioning, but a unique charm, antiques and fine paintings and history will make up for that.