AlmaLusa Boutique Hotel

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 6:38 pm by .

It’s June and the Lisbon locals are going sardine crazy, although what sardines have to do with a 13th century Catholic saint is anybody’s guess. Needless to say, it’s an excellent excuse for the city to bring out the bunting and barbecues in the old quarter of Al fama and have a good old festa courtesy of Saint Anthony, Lisbon’s patron saint. However, I’m in the haven-like Praca do Municipio, just next door to Al fama in the Baixa-Chiado neighbourhood, the home of the AlmaLusa boutique hotel, Lisbon’s latest luxury urban  hideaway, a perfect sanctuary for those of us who have had our fill of sardines for one night.

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Quintinha Sao Joao

Thursday, May 12th, 2016 1:00 pm by .

In Portuguese ‘quinta’, originally meant a farm and house let out at a rent of one-fifth of its produce, from Latin quintus, ‘one fifth. Today, it has an altogether different meaning, and, in the case of Madeira, refers to former colonial manor houses that have been converted to luxury hotels enclosed within their own grounds. Logically, then, a quintinha, is a small quinta, and such is the case with the Quintinha Sao Joao on the hillside above Funchal, overlooking the city at around 70 metres above sea level.

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Quinta do Furao

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 4:10 pm by .

The word Quinta in Portuguese means a piece of land to farm on or a rustic property, however these days, in Portugal and Madeira, a Quinta means luxury colonial manor house. The added bonus for me is, Quinta do Furao on Madeira’s north east coast, also happens to be a pretty productive vineyard, so pretty much a win win scenario all round.

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Quinta Bonita. Lagos.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 12:00 pm by .

I’m having breakfast at Quinta Bonita and watching hens wandering around in front of me on an immaculate lawn. Playing match my breakfast egg with that hen is a fun diversion for a few seconds, but owners Chantelle and Fraser have to play it for real every day as they wander the grounds of Quinta Bonita searching for those freshly laid  eggs. “They could be anywhere” says Chantelle “but we always try their favourite spots first.”

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Conrad Algarve Hotel

Monday, May 11th, 2015 1:10 pm by .

Captured like a sheer white canvas against the exclusive manicured forestry of Quinta do Lago, the stunning 5 star Conrad Algarve Hotel sits teasing you at the end of an impressively long arrow-straight driveway. A genius design move, building a sense of anticipation as you edge ever closer to this ultra modern homage to an 18th century Moorish palace.

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Vidago Palace Hotel

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 11:37 am by .

It seems to me King Carlos 1 knew a thing or two about tourism when he ordered the building of the Vidago Palace Hotel at the turn of the last century. He and many of Europe’s well to do were coming to this special park in northern Portugal an hour or so from Porto to enjoy the magical healing powers of the iron rich mineral water which bubbled out from the underground spring. He wanted a grand hotel to be built here, a royal palace to make his elite visitors feel more at home and properly indulged while they bathed and drank the magical waters.

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