The luxury pousadas Portugal offers promise a unique stay. So if you crave spa treatments in ancient chapels, sleeping peacefully in a monk’s cell or even calling a castle tower home for the night, these are the places to stay. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Portugal, your travel guide for Portugal.
You'll find pousadas in historic Portuguese towns so they make perfect pitstops if you're following one of our 4 Portugal itineraries for exciting road trips. But they're also in the heart of the country and even in beachy Algarve. Tempted? Here's our pick of the 9 best pousadas in Portugal.
Pousada Convento de Tavira, Tavira, Algarve
Pousada Convento de Tavira was originally a 16th century convent and it's an ideal base for exploring what are some of the best beaches in Portugal on nearby Isla de Tavira. Set in a beautifully converted convent it retains original features like cloisters and its chapel.
The Pousada's swimming pool is built into the old town walls and each of its plush rooms overlooks open countryside or quaint Tavira, which is said to be one of the prettiest towns in Portugal.
- For unique stays: Vila Galé Albacora is a former tuna-fishing village converted into a four-star hotel. Rooms are in former cottages and the hotel features a pool, restaurant and bar.
- For budget stays: Lagoâs sits on the north side of the river and offers simple but attractive rooms around a pretty rooftop patio. Excellent Zeca da Bica restaurant is down below.
- For family stays: Marés has pleasant rooms with tiled floors and azulejos in the bathrooms. Many rooms have balconies, there’s also a roof terrace and family rooms are available.
Where to stay in Tavira
Pousada Castelo de Alcácer do Sal, Alentejo
Pousada Castelo de Alcácer do Sal is a former Moorish castle with views over medieval Alcácer do Sal and Rio Sado. The original building is over 1000 years old and it's one of Portugal's classiest pousadas, featuring contemporary rooms as well as a swimming pool and its own restaurant.
- For family stays: Hotel da Barrosinha is on the edge of the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve and offers a choice of rooms and family houses, the hotel also features a pool.
- For town stays: Hotel Ordem De Santiago offers basic, modern rooms and a bar with views over the Alcácer do Sal village and river. Comporta Beach is a short drive away.
- For budget stays: cheerful Alcácer 4Ever Palace offers free bikes and a pool. Some rooms have their own kitchen, but the hotel also features a shared kitchen and friendly bar.
Where to stay in Alcácer do Sal
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Pestana Palacio do Freixo, Porto
Pestana Palacio do Freixo sits east of Porto's Ribeira quarter and is the first luxury pousada in Porto. Originally a Baroque palace dating back to 1742 it has been magnificently restored and enjoys a lovely riverside setting.
The period-style main building houses the Pousada's restaurant and bar, however, all guest rooms are contemporary and many have views across the Douro. Guests can also enjoy the outdoor infinity pool, indoor pool and spa. For more on Portugal's second city take a look at where to stay in Porto, an expert guide.
- For luxury stays: The Yeatman sits amid historic port wine lodges, offers infinity pools, a spa and a Michelin starred restaurant, as well as a world class wine cellar.
- For boutique stays: Guest House Douro is a super-cool waterfront B&B with a sharp sense of style throughout and rooms with river views or overlooking medieval streets.
- For budget stays: Rivoli Cinema Hostel fills a bright and airy townhouse with film-themed four-bed dorms and double rooms. Funky and communal with an outdoor roof terrace.
Where to stay in Porto
Serene Pousada Convento de Beja was originally a 13th century convent at the heart of historic Beja old town. Thanks to thoughtful restoration it retains the original cloisters and church and even the former nuns' cells have been redesigned as plush bedrooms.
Set in lush gardens with an outdoor pool and tennis courts, the Pousada offers high quality restaurant and bar, and guests can relax in either the luxurious sauna or decadent Turkish baths. If you want to see more of Beja take a look at our guide to the best restaurants in Portugal right now.
- For budget stays: Bejense is Beja’s oldest hotel now transformed into a lovely, welcoming space with boutique touches. Contemporary rooms have large bathrooms.
- For sumptious stays: Pousada de São Francisco is set in a 13th century convent. Rooms are plush reinventions of former nuns' cells and there's a pool, sauna and Turkish bath.
- For boutique stays: Aljana Guest House Beja offers a range of rooms all with air conditioning. The guest house also features an outdoor swimming pool and a shared lounge.
Where to stay in Beja
Pousada de Viseu, Viseu
Historic Pousada de Viseu is Portugal's largest pousada and dates back to 1842 when it was originally a hospital. If you're interested in design, look for the photographs throughout which document its meticulous conversion.
The beautiful guest bedrooms are spacious and feature abundant use of cherry wood rooms as well as lovely stone window frames. Book a room on the top floor and you have a terrace overlooking Viseu. The lounge is set in a glazed cloister courtyard and the pousada also offers pools, a restaurant and spa.
- For budget stays: Pousada de Juventude is a plain, modern hostel northeast of Rossio, with five en-suite double rooms and mini-dorms with either four or five beds.
- For boutique stays: historic Palácio dos Melos offers superior rooms with a period feel, some with balconies. An annexe features contemporary rooms and a good restaurant.
- For central stays: Hotel Avenida has an excellent central location and the communal areas feature antiques. Rooms are smallish and to avoid street noise, book one at the back.
Where to stay in Viseu
Pousada Convento de Évora, Évora, Alentejo
Charming Convento de Évora, housed in former Convento dos Lóios, is one of Portugal's finest pousadas. It's designed around superb inner courtyards and traditional details and antique furniture feature in all the bedrooms.
You'll find this pousada in Évora in southern Portugal. Big on local heritage, its delightful restaurant is set into the convent's cloisters and specialises in traditional Alentejan dishes. To find out more about Évora take a look at the most beautiful places in Portugal to visit.
- For foodie stays: Albergaria do Calvario is set in a former 16th century olive press. Plush rooms are aound an inner courtyard, breakfast is organic and the bar serves excellent tapas.
- For good value stays Évora Inn is a good-value guesthouse designed with contemporary furniture and art. The best rooms are at the top and overlook the old town at the back.
- For luxury stays: M'AR De AR Aqueduto is a 5-star hotel in a restored 16th-century palace overlooking the aqueducts of Évora, it also features an extensive spa with an outdoor pool.
Palácio de Estói, Estói, Algarve
Chilling on Algarve beaches may be one of the best things to do in Portugal, but it's worth heading inland a little to discover Palácio de Estói, an opulent pousada just 11km north of Faro in the former 19th century palace of the Viscount of Estói.
Palatial in the extreme, the public rooms here are awash with wood panelling, gilt mirrors and high ceilings. However, all bedrooms are luxuriously modern and guests also enjoy an outdoor pool, ornate gardens and a gourmet restaurant.
- For luxury stays: AP Eva Senses is the Faro's top hotel, offering bright rooms with balconies looking across to the old town or the marina. There’s also a rooftop pool and restaurant.
- For budget stays: Hotel Adelaide offers some of the best-value rooms in Faro all with en-suite bathrooms and cable TV. There’s also an airy breakfast-room-cum-snack-bar.
- For convenient stays: four-star Hotel Faro Centro offers minimalist rooms with views over town, it also features a sunny roof terrace with its own restaurant and fine marina views.
Pousada Castelo de Óbidos, Óbidos
Getting off the beaten track is one of our 20 essential Portugal travel tips for year round trips and Pousada Castelo de Óbidos certainly fulfills most escapist fantasies. Set within a medieval castle in Óbidos it features original stone walls, suites in towers and lavish Portuguese rustic design.
With only 17 rooms, eight of which are housed in a new wing, there's a pleasant sense of exclusivity here. The pousada even features a very good restaurant serving elevated versions of traditional local dishes.
- For charming stays: Josefa D`Obidos Hotel is a graceful, recently renovated 4-star hotel offering large, elegant, well-designed rooms in the heart of medieval Óbidos.
- For quaint stays: Casa de S. Thiago do Castelo in the historic city centre is a family-run guest house offering a terrace and living room with fireplace. Óbidos Castle is 5-minutes away.
- For spa stays: contemporary, 4-star Exe Vila D'Óbidos includes Óbidos Spa and que nem ginjas Restaurant and enjoys a quiet location a short drive from Óbidos village.
Where to stay in Óbidos
Pousada Mosteiro do Crato, Flor de Rosa, Crato
Stylish Pousada Mosteiro do Crato opened in 1995 in what was once a 14th century gothic monastery founded by the father of General Nuno Álvares Pereira. So don't be surprised to discover the original gardens laid out in Order of Malta insignia.
Contemporary design has been carefully blended with period detail here. The theme throughout is quietly luxurious comfort and as well as a fine restaurant guests also have use of a games room and outdoor pool. For more historic Portuguese pousadas see our guide to top Portugal hotels for unusual stays.
- For peaceful stays: A Flor Da Rosa, close to Crato, is an 18th-century house set in a garden with a swimming pool. Some rooms have a balcony or romantic 4-poster beds.
- For boutique stays: Herdade da Rocha Boutique Lodge is a country house which features a restaurant, free bikes and a pool, bar and a shared lounge.
- For authentic stays: Quinta Dos Ribeiros, close to Alpalhão centre, offers individually designed rooms, a guest house and also features an outdoor pool.
Where to stay in Crato
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