Seven Lux­ury Ho­tels to en­joy through­out Por­tu­gal | TRAVEL

Upscale Living Magazine - - Content - | By Sean Hillen

- Con­rad Al­garve - Pine cliffs Re­sort, Al­garve - Vic­to­ria Stone Ho­tel, Alen­tejo - Ho­tel Teatro Porto - Six Senses, Douro Val­ley - Pala­cio Da Lousa, Cen­tral Por­tu­gal - Corinthian Lis­bon

For a na­tion­wide tour of Por­tu­gal from the Al­garve to Porto, Coim­bra and Lis­bon, here are my sug­ges­tions for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sheer lux­ury com­bin­ing au­then­tic­ity and style.

Bor­dered by sway­ing palm and cy­press trees and clus­ters of roses, the en­trance drive­way to the Con­rad in Quinta do Lago is one of sheer el­e­gance.

Im­pres­sive in­te­ri­ors fea­ture a high, dome-shaped ceil­ing dec­o­rated in a flo­ral de­sign with six floors of rooms above en­cir­cling the lobby. The ho­tel was built to re­sem­ble a con­tem­po­rary palace, in­cor­po­rat­ing dis­tinct Moor­ish el­e­ments.

While such ar­chi­tec­tural qual­ity made my com­pan­ion and I feel rev­er­en­tial, any sug­ges­tion of stuffy for­mal­ity was eased by the friend­li­ness of the young staff. Sight­see­ing over the few days we spent there was made easy with their help.

Guests at this, the first Euro­pean Con­rad Re­sort, en­joy plenty of leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. Dur­ing our brief stay, there were classes in yoga, pi­lates, aqua fit­ness and core, car­dio and fu­sion strength. There are four swim­ming pools in­clud­ing in­fin­ity and la­goon-style, plus ten­nis courts, a gym and a spa­cious spa. As Quinta do La­gos has so many cham­pi­onship golf cour­ses, the Con­rad also of­fers a sim­u­la­tion play area to help guests im­prove their hand­i­cap. This re­sort ho­tel also has its own beach, An­cao Poente, with res­tau­rant fa­cil­i­ties and a stun­ning ochre cliff back­drop, with free daily transport.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit: www.con­radal­garve.com

Stretch­ing across 72 hectares, Pine Cliffs Re­sort in the Al­garve is so vast it has de­vel­oped a spe­cial botan­i­cal hand­book and walk­ing tour for its guests.

This multi-faceted, 5-star prop­erty, also of­fers di­verse ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, 10 dif­fer­ent restau­rants and bars; a health club, a beauty salon, a chil­dren’s vil­lage and nu­mer­ous bou­tiques and shops.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions in­clude rooms, apart­ments and town­houses in sep­a­rate des­ig­nated ar­eas in­clud­ing the Sher­a­ton Al­garve; Pine Cliffs Va­ca­tion Club; Pine Cliffs Deluxe Vil­las; Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites; Pine Cliffs Ter­races; and Pine Cliffs Res­i­dence.

Myr­iad sports ac­tiv­i­ties range from golf and ten­nis to football and water­sports. Pine Cliffs Golf Course and Academy, a nine-holer of mainly three and four pars, is suit­able for be­gin­ners. ‘Beach Club and Wa­ter Sports Cen­ter,’ at the re­sort’s ‘Fale­sia Beach,’ fo­cuses on surf­ing, cata­ma­ran sail­ing, kayak­ing, wind­surf­ing, jet-ski­ing and wake­board­ing.

For more laid-back guests, the beach it­self has sun loungers, para­sols, chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties and a nearby ter­race res­tau­rant.

Chil­dren en­joy a spe­cial Porto Pi­rata ‘vil­lage’ cen­ter­ing on two life­sized wooden pi­rate ships. Other fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a bas­ket­ball court, a ded­i­cated chil­dren’s swim­ming pool, a ‘race­track’ for toys on wheels, a bouncy cas­tle, mini-golf, football, archery, arts and crafts, cricket and aqua-gym. The re­sort has five sep­a­rate out­door swim­ming pools.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.pinecliffs.com

Once an ‘al­ber­garia’ pro­vid­ing inn-style fam­ily ac­com­mo­da­tion, the Vi­to­ria Stone is now a charm­ing four-star ho­tel just out­side the his­toric walls of the cen­tral Por­tuguese town of Évora in the Alen­tejo re­gion.

A low-ceilinged lobby char­ac­ter­ized by ir­reg­u­larly-shaped concrete pil­lars re­flect an artis­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the in­trigu­ing me­galithic tombs scat­tered through­out the re­gion. Large glazed am­phorae and black and white pho­to­graphs of men­hirs (crom­lechs) on the walls ex­tend the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal theme.

Up­stairs, cor­ri­dors lead­ing to the 48 rooms ex­ude a sense of sur­re­al­ism, an ef­fect created by a glass ceil­ing and dark walls along the nar­row space, with de­signs made from cork dec­o­rat­ing every door.

Highlighting the ho­tel’s fo­cus on re­cy­cling, old throw­away wooden planks have been newly var­nished and trans­formed into head­boards, adding a sur­pris­ing touch of con­tem­po­rary de­sign. The ho­tel’s ‘Al­men­dra Spa’ of­fer­ing fa­cials and mas­sages in­clud­ing a cre­ative ‘Fado mu­sic mas­sage,’ is de­signed us­ing old, wrought-iron fenc­ing.

On the 5th floor is a rooftop ter­race bar and large sun­bathing area be­side an in­fin­ity dip­ping pool.

(http://www.vi­to­ri­a­s­tone­ho­tel.com/#!popup/1/)

Ac­cess to this 57-room ho­tel in the Douro Val­ley is down a nar­row cob­ble­stone lane lined with vine­yards, cyprus trees and laven­der and rose­mary bushes.

The ren­o­vated 19th cen­tury manor house con­sists of a series of in­ter­con­nect­ing cor­ri­dors lead­ing to rooms, the res­tau­rant, break­fast room, bar, swim­ming pools, or­ganic gar­dens and a wine li­brary. The lat­ter, a de­light­ful place to re­lax, fea­ture floor-to-ceil­ing books, a funky chan­de­lier-like light­ing struc­ture made from bot­tles and glass-fronted shelves stacked with wines. Wine and port tast­ings are held here.

A sec­ond re­lax­ation room ad­joins the wine li­brary with soft so­fas and arm­chairs, a col­lec­tion of urns, brass wall plates and an open fire­side. Here, var­nished ta­bles are shaped from re­cy­cled wood and framed 19th cen­tury prints adorn­ing the walls are cre­atively ‘touched up’ with mod­ern ab­stract dabs and brushes of color. An Old World trav­el­ing trunk con­tain­ing a range of board games and a bil­liard table at the end of the room pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

Spa fa­cil­i­ties at the Six Senses Ho­tel in­clude a heated in­door pool with wa­ter jets, a spe­cial herb sauna with fresh laven­der, le­mon grass and chamomile and a steam-room. Holis­tic face and body treat­ments take place in 10 sep­a­rate rooms, ei­ther sin­gle or multi-day ther­a­pies.

(http://www.sixsenses.com/re­sorts/douro-val­ley/des­ti­na­tion )

Walk­ing through the heavy, cop­per-col­ored doors of down­town Porto’s Teatro Ho­tel is like en­ter­ing a world of artis­tic fan­tasy. This six-floor prop­erty is de­signed to im­i­tate its pre­de­ces­sor, the Theater Ba­quet, which stood on the same lo­ca­tion and was burned to the ground more than 150 years ago.

De­sign and fur­nish­ings are de­light­fully sym­bolic of the theater, be­gin­ning with the re­cep­tion desk, shaped like a box office where guests re­ceive a ticket to ac­cess their rooms. Col­or­ful cos­tumes hang in the foyer, along­side which are spot­lights. The ‘Plateia Bar’ (mean­ing ‘au­di­ence’) fea­tures ceil­ing stage lights and heavy ropes used for rais­ing sets while an en­tire wall of the ‘Palco’ res­tau­rant (mean­ing ‘stage’) fea­tures a gi­ant vin­tage black and white pho­to­graph de­pict­ing the en­thralled faces of peo­ple en­joy­ing a show. Even the ho­tel’s en­trance doors are artis­tic, with the words of na­tive, ro­man­tic poet Almeida Gar­rett, en­twined on them in gold let­ter­ing.

Ex­tend­ing the the­atri­cal theme, bed­rooms are termed ‘Gallery,’ ‘Au­di­ence’ and ‘Tri­bune’ and that all-im­por­tant as­pect of the stage - cur­tains - are ev­ery­where, even lin­ing the cor­ri­dors. One half ex­pects ac­tors to step out boldly and re­cite their lines in front of you.

(http://www.hotelteatro.pt/en/ho­tel-over­view.html )

Lo­cated in Cam­polide, the heart of Lis­bon’s fi­nan­cial district, the 5-star Corinthia is near a metro sta­tion with a di­rect line to the his­toric down­town area. It is also close to the Gul­benkian Mu­seum and the Lis­bon Zoo.

The build­ing had been a ho­tel for more than 19 years be­fore the Pisani fam­ily of Malta, founders of the Corinthia Ho­tel Col­lec­tion, took it over in 2004.

Hav­ing an im­pres­sive 518 rooms and an Ex­ec­u­tive Club, the ho­tel has three sep­a­rate en­trances, con­ve­nient for large cor­po­rate groups.

The lobby, ren­o­vated by Lon­don-based in­te­rior de­sign­ers God­dard Lit­tle­fair, is spa­cious and well lighted, its walls and fur­nish­ings the work of mostly lo­cal artists.

Those seek­ing both re­lax­ation and physical fit­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties are well catered for through restau­rants, in­clud­ing ‘Sete Coli­nas’ (named after Lis­bon’s nick­name ‘City of the Seven Hills’), ta­pas in the ‘Tipico’ café, as well as a spa, a gym and a heated in­door pool.

Our suite of­fered won­der­ful views over the city, the Mon­santo Na­ture Park and the soar­ing 18th cen­tury Aque­duto das Águas Livres (Aqueduct of the Free Wa­ters). Fur­nish­ings in the room even in­cluded a most se­duc­tive elec­tronic mas­sage chair.

(https://www.corinthia.com/en/ho­tels/lis­bon)

The hill­top, 4-star, 46-room Palá­cio da Lousa, is a small-town prop­erty in a ru­ral set­ting with a rich 300-year-old his­tory. Lo­cated in Lousa in cen­tral Por­tu­gal, a two-hour drive from Lis­bon, this old-world ho­tel was for­merly the palace of the Vis­count­ess of Espin­hal.

Such its his­tor­i­cal pedi­gree, its broad cob­ble­stoned en­trance-way con­jures im­ages of re­gal horse-and-car­riages ap­proach­ing. Two large Greek urns out­side the front doors hint at el­e­gance within.

Our charm­ing first-floor room, num­ber 10, granted panoramic views over sur­round­ing for­est and stun­ning views over the Lousa moun­tains.

Im­me­di­ately across from our room was a mag­nif­i­cent elon­gated salon ex­tend­ing over four rooms with in­tri­cately carved doors be­tween each. Here, shelves of books, glass-topped cof­fee-ta­bles plied with glossy mag­a­zines, hang­ing framed por­traits of for­mer own­ers, comfy soft arm­chairs, pot­ted plants, funky silk cush­ions with dog im­ages im­printed on them and an open fire­place bid guests to re­lax.

Din­ner is en­joyed in a cozy first-floor room, re­splen­dent with painted ceil­ing, wall mu­rals of flow­ers and plants, cor­nices, in­tri­cate stucco mold­ings and del­i­cate, hand-carved fa­cades on doors and plinths.

(https://pala­cio­dalousa.com/ )

PALA­CIO DA LOUSA, CEN­TRAL POR­TU­GAL

CORINTHIA LIS­BON

VIC­TO­RIA STONE HO­TEL, ALEN­TEJO

PINE CLIFFS RE­SORT, AL­GARVE

SIX SENSES, DOURO VAL­LEY

CON­RAD AL­GARVE

HO­TEL TEATRO PORTO

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.