An ancient kingdom defined by captivating cities and magnificent countryside, Portugal is one of Europe’s most exciting and affordable travel destinations. The country’s history and culture, gastronomy, and wines are among the main attractions, not to mention the golden beaches, world-class surfing, famous music festivals, and, above all, the Portuguese people, who are seen as affable, open and sincere. In the past decade, there has been an upsurge of super-chic hotel openings in the nation, from tranquil countryside retreats to opulent beach resorts. To help you plan your next holiday, I have compiled a list of my ten favorite resorts & hotels in Portugal.
10. ANANTARA VILAMOURA ALGARVE RESORT
Debuting Anantara’s authentic luxury in Europe, Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort offers a landmark of quiet prestige, along southern Portugal’s picturesque Algarve coast, just 15 minutes from Faro International Airport. The tranquil retreat overlooks the Arnold Palmer-designed Oceânico golf course, is close to the ocean and stunning beaches, and just a five-minute drive from the glamour of Vilamoura. The 280 spacious guest rooms and suites with shady verandas face golf fairways and cerulean swimming pools. The resort’s six restaurants and bars exemplify Anantara’s passion for indigenous flair.
9. FOUR SEASON HOTEL RITZ LISBON
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon rises from one of Lisbon’s seven hills and is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city. Located in the city center, the property is a 15-minute walk to the “Old Town” and main shopping area. With its 18th-century replica furnishings and museum-caliber collection of Portuguese art, the Hotel reflects historic Portugal’s nobility and charm. Of the 282 oversized guest rooms and suites, 272 have private balconies with magnificent views of the Eduardo VII Park, the Moorish Castle of St. George, the Tagus River, and the “Old Town”.
8. VILA MONTE FARMHOUSE
With its bucolic setting and boho-chic vibe, Vila Monte gives “down on the farm” a decidedly fashionable edge. Guests here can step away from the busier Algarve for a stroll through aromatic gardens and citrus orchards; or when the sands call, a shuttle carries them to nearby Fuseta Island Beach. Shades of white soothe tired souls in the 55 rooms adorned with tree-trunk coffee tables and hand-carved accents. Guests can learn how to harvest oysters, sling traditional Algarve pottery, or help prepare locally sourced meals for sharing in the rustic À Terra restaurant.
7. CONVENTO DO ESPINHEIRO
The whitewashed architecture of Convento does Espinheiro is set against blue skies with puffy clouds and the surrounding verdant countryside. Once a convent dating back to the XV century, this luxurious hotel considered a National Monument is close to the historical city of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Once originally monks’ cells, the refined rooms are adorned with fine linens and furnishings and with windows facing the surrounding hillsides. Facilities include a full-service spa, swimming pool, helipad, and elegant vaulted-ceiling Divinus restaurant.
6. BELMOND REID’S PALACE
Belmond Reid’s Palace Palace has been an iconic Madeira mainstay since the property was opened by a Scots man – Mr William Reid – in 1891. It was here that Sir Winston Churchill painted and wrote his war memoirs, and also where George Bernard Shaw mastered the tango. Today, this unique hotel still welcomes and pampers the most discerned travelers. This living piece of history sprawls over 10 acres of sub-tropical gardens with more than 500 hundred different types of rare plants and flowers. All rooms and suites have balconies and face the sea and gardens, offering gorgeous and unique views.
5. CONRAD ALGARVE
Located in one of the most exclusive destinations of Europe in the south of Portugal, the Conrad Algarve is one of the most modern 5 star hotels in Portugal. Nestled within two thousand acres of idyllic landscape in the Ria Formosa National Park, the Conrad Algarve offers a true opportunity to immerse into the Algarvian culture through a variety of authentic and bespoke experiences. The 154 room property evokes a sense of place, from the 18th Century Portuguese palace design to the local ingredients used in the SPA and extensive gastronomic offerings.
4. INTERCONTINENTAL PORTO – PALACIO DAS CARDOSAS
InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas offers a privileged location right in the heart of the city of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Only steps away from the city’s main attractions, the hotel inherits the elegance and history of an iconic 18th-century palace. Inside the hotel, guests can relax in the intimate wellness center, have a drink in the intimate library bar, or enjoy a culinary journey at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant Astoria. The property features 105 spacious rooms, including 16 executive suites, all of them characterized by high ceilings and a classic style of great warmth.
3. HOTEL AREIAS DO SEIXO
Located less than 60 min from Lisbon, Areias Do Seixo is the realization of the dream of owners Marta and Gonçalo. They had a desire to create a unique hotel in Portugal where they could welcome people from the four corners of the globe in a magical yet familiar setting. And the result? A place of enchantment crafted from a range of resources that have been thoughtfully and painstakingly assembled to equal so much more than a simple sum of their parts. The spa retreat offers 14 rooms which are graced with one of four design themes (Gold, Land, Tree or Love) with dunes and nature as a
2. VILA VITA PARC RESORT & SPA
Vila Vita Parc celebrates the best of Portugal, immersing guests in an ultra-luxurious and lush seaside oasis with every imaginable service, amenity, activity, and pleasure. The property is perched majestically atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, set nearby the typical village of Porches. Its Moorish style influenced architecture is harmoniously inserted in the local landscape along the Algarve coastline. The 170 breezy, sea-themed rooms and villas provide guests with the ultimate privacy. Guests can indulge in body treatment at the spa, a cruise on the yacht or a six-course tasting at the two Michelin-star Ocean.
1. SIX SENSES DOURO VALLEY
Add canoeing, river cruises, and tree climbing to your wine country vacation at Six Senses Douro Valley, my favorite hotel in Portugal. The 50-room hotel – which occupies a 19th-century manor house overlooking the UNESCO-designated region – takes a total approach to well-being, including yogic detox programs, citrus-based spa treatments and an alchemy bar for blending body products. The grape is sovereign here, with a wine library for tastings and an extensive cellar. The Vale de Abraão Restaurant with its open kitchen uses produce from the organic garden.