From grand riverside palaces to quaint country casas…
Culture as colourful as its iconic azulejos, ruggedly beautiful beaches with a point break perfect surf scene, vast and verdant countryside dappled with vineyards and rustic farmhouses – Portugal has something to suit every type of traveller. Pick your perfect Portuguese place to bed down in from our must-book boutique hotels below.
For a back-to-nature break…Carmo’s Boutique Hotel, Ponte de Lima
With just 15 rooms and three glamping-style tent suites, Carmo’s Boutique Hotel is an intimate countryside retreat in the heart of Portugal’s oldest village, Ponte de Lima. Carmo’s guests are wonderfully placed to discover the traditions, cultural heritage and architecture of the beautiful Minho region of Portugal. With the feel of a private residence, a number of the tastefully decorated rooms have views over Lima River Valley. While away an afternoon with a visit to one of the local wine estates that produce vinho verde, or take a class at the nearby Equestrian Centre Vale do Lima before exploring the region’s lagoons and Peneda-Gerês National Park.
For a design-centric city break…Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina, Lisbon
Once the palatial residence of a count, Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina sits in Lisbon’s trendy Chiado quarter, and has been designed by architect Teresa Nunes da Ponte, whose work has become a reference in Portuguese heritage restoration. Guest rooms all overlook the traditional Bica neighbourhood or River Tagus, and have a warm and inviting feel, done up in clean modern lines and muted pastel colours of cream, blue and grey. The Queen’s Suite is lavished with original 18th-century Stucco work, custom-made silk de Gournay wallpaper, and leads into a bathroom with blue and white tiles dating from 1901.
For a sun-soaked, seaside getaway…Palácio Estoril Hotel Golf & Wellness, Estoril
Located in the heart of Estoril, a cosmopolitan coastal town increasingly known as the Portuguese Riviera, Palácio Estoril Hotel boasts manicured gardens with magnificent sea views. Spend sunny days by the pool under a bright blue sky, or take a scenic five-minute stroll down to the beach. Make time to wander along the seafront promenade with its boutiques, bars and restaurants, while Tamariz beach has rows of elegant sun loungers and umbrellas, with plenty of ice cream parlours here too for a soothing sweet treat.
For a stylish rooftop retreat…Lumiares Hotel and Spa, Lisbon
Lumiares Hotel and Spa stands out from the hotel crowd with its old-meets-new interior design inspired by the bohemian Bairro Alto district it belong to. From the rooftop bar and restaurant to the small but perfectly formed spa, the Lumiares has been designed to keep you in touch with Lisbon life. Ideally positioned at the top of a hill, the hotel gives guests breath-taking views of the capital – best enjoyed with a sundowner in hand at the Lumi Rooftop Bar.
For a charming country escape…Hotel Casa Palmela, Setubal
Down a long, vineyard-lined road with the rolling hills of Arrábida Natural Park on all sides, lies Hotel Casa Palmela. The serene white 18th-century house has been completely restored and transformed into a luxurious countryside casa, just moments from secluded beaches and verdant mountains. The Garden House is the perfect option for larger groups, located in the most secluded area of the hotel grounds and with a spacious set of suites, where you will be made to feel instantly at home. Gather round the table (or picnic blanket) for a taste of the renowned Azeitão regional cheese, or explore the Natural Park by bike, on horseback, or simply on foot, before cooling off on the Atlantic coast.
For a subtropical island hideaway…Quinta da Casa Branca, Funchal – Madeira
The vibrant island of Madeira is an often overlooked alternative to mainland Portugal. Blessed with consistent sunshine, balmy temperatures and a fascinating array of diversions (including hurtling down cobbled streets on the Monte toboggan) Funchal is a city break quite unlike any other European escape. Tucked away from the centre amidst tropical greenery lies Quinta da Casa Branca, a marvel of modern architecture with garden suites benefitting from deck chairs and sun beds.
For a history-filled culture trip…Alentejo Marmoris Hotel & Spa, Vila Viçosa
Highlighting the marble for which Vila Viçosa is renowned, Alentejo Marmoris Hotel & Spa is a shining example of a beautiful renovation. Integral to the build of the hotel, marble features throughout the property, from intricately decorated floors to the walls of the spa. Architectural gems of the village, including the Royal Palace and the Castle, are on Alentejo’s doorstep, while rural beauty can be found in nearby Évora and beyond with a meander through pretty villages following the wine and olive oil routes.
For romance in a storybook setting…Quinta das Lágrimas, Coimbra
Quinta das Lágrimas has an undoubtedly amorous air, in keeping with its history as the setting for a famous 14th-century love story between a prince and his beloved. The yellow and white façade of the hotel beautifully sets off the rambling garden bursting with rare trees, an enchanting fountain, and a picturesque lake. Sunny days can be spent lingering by the outdoor pool, or idyllic strolls along the River Mondego in Dr Manuel Braga Park.