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Whilst travelling throughout Europe, I’ve always been intrigued by the royal history and heritage of the different European countries. We’ve loved exploring different Palaces and Castles across the continent, and I’ve often wondered what it must’ve been like to live in these grand and opulent showpieces.
Well now you can, when booking into one of the absolutely stunning Palace Hotels or Manor House Boutique Hotels in Portugal.
Yes, you read right. Thankfully Portugal, like much of Europe, is blessed with numerous Palaces, smaller Palacetes and noble manor houses and estates. Through the years some of these have been preserved and converted into modern day hotels, offering up truly unique places to stay in Portugal.
In this guide I’m going to outline 27 Portugal Palace Hotels that you can book into when planning your next trip to Portugal.
Located in Lisbon’s Alcântara, neighbourhood, only a short drive (around 15 minutes) to downtown Lisbon, is the 5* Pestana Palace Hotel. Overlooking the Tagus river this hotel is set in a restored 19th century Palace and is a true gem. It’s definitely a more traditional hotel, offering a luxury experience with all the bells and whistles you’d expect at a 5* hotel. The hotel has its own private gardens, pools, a wellness centre and sauna too.
The hotel is perhaps not located in the most central location of Lisbon, but since the city is so compact, its still fairly easy to get around, even though it’s not in downtown itself. Close-by you’ll also find the area of Belem with a number of top sights and places of interest, including the Torre de Belem (Belem Tower), the Jeronimos Monastery & Church (a must see!!) and the Ajuda Palace.
If you’re after a truly traditional feel with beautifully ornate and opulent public spaces then check out the Pestana Palace Lisbon.
Check rates and availability – Pestana Palace Lisboa Hotel – Booking.com
Set in the Arroios neighbour of Lisbon, nearby to the Torel gardens and viewpoint, the Torel Palace hotel is comprised of two gorgeous 19th century manor houses that together form the hotel.
This elegant boutique hotel not only has beautiful individually decorated rooms and interiors but also has a fantastic outdoor area with a pool and deck offering up stunning views out over Lisbon. The hotel offers a wide range of services and amenities that will no doubt complete your stay.
Located at the top of a hillside area of Lisbon, you can catch the nearby Lavra Lift down to Avenida Liberdade that leads straight to Lisbon’s downtown Rossio, Baixa and Chiado areas. So, location wise the hotel is situated very centrally. Ideal for exploring the very best of Lisboa!
Check rates and availability – Torel Palace Lisbon – Booking.com
Situated in between the trendy neighbourhoods of Santos and Estrela in Rua das Janelas Verdes street, is the Palacio Ramalhete boutique hotel. Setting the scene is the Palace that dates back to the 18th century and combines both tradition and modern comforts. This hotel was carefully transformed into a hotel by retaining the rich history and tradition of the palace, evident in details such as the stunning Portuguese tiles (azulejos) that line the walls or the intricate ceiling detail.
At the same time, you’ll still have all the modern creature comforts and amenities you’d expect from a top hotel. There is also an outdoor deck and pool area where you can bask in the Portuguese sun!
The location is also great, you can easily get to Santos and also the buzzing Cais do Sodre area where you’ll find the TimeOut food market, which is another must-visit in Lisbon. At Cais do Sodre you also have access to the metro line, making getting around that much easier.
Check rates and availability – Palacio Ramalhete – Booking.com
A more recent addition is The One Palacio da Anunciada which opened its doors at the beginning of 2019. Set in an old noble mansion / family home dating back to the 15th century, which to be honest, represents more of a palace than a noble mansion, it was carefully refurbished by the H10 hotel group to whom it belongs today.
Whilst many of the common areas such as the lobby and the truly exquisite dining hall with it’s gorgeous ceiling detail are all very palatial in stature, the rooms and other areas of the hotel are surprisingly modern, fresh and quite up to date. This balance between old and new is beautifully executed and you can see the love and attention that has gone into this property.
The hotel also offers all the amenities that you would expect from an exclusive 5* property. There is a small gym, spa, restaurant, cocktail bar, gardens with a dining service and a really lovely swimming pool and deck area.
This hotel is very central, situated just a street behind the Avenida Liberdade avenue that leads down into Baixa and Chiado. So, it really is ideal for exploring Lisbon quite easily on foot.
Check rates and availability – The One Palácio da Anunciada – Booking.com
Located only a stone throw away from Bairro Alto and trendy Chiado, the Verride Palacio Santa Catarina is a 5* palace hotel situated at the top of the Santa Catarina viewpoint. This hotel is very conveniently located and although parts of the viewpoint are undergoing some renovations, you can still enjoy the gorgeous views out over Lisbon and the Tagus river from both the pool deck or the neighbouring restaurants and bars. This has to be one of my favourite areas to enjoy spectacular sunsets when the Lisbon sky lights up in different hues of pinks, yellows and oranges!
The hotel itself is modern and very, very chic with beautifully decorated rooms and sleek marble bathrooms. It is no wonder it has won numerous awards and accolades. So, if you’re after a truly unique and elegant experience then check out the Verride Palacio hotel for your next stay.
Check rates and availability – Verride Palácio Santa Catarina – Booking.com
Setting the scene for the next property is a palatial former manor house of the governor of the Belem Tower in Lisbon. The property which has been carefully renovated and restored is situated in the Belem district and is another award-winning hotel that you’d do good to visit.
Considering all the available amenities and services, this hotel will no doubt be a good choice. They have an outdoor pool, a bar, a restaurant, a spa and gym, parking and even an electric vehicle charging point free of charge for the more environmentally minded guest.
The hotel feels light and airy and the theme of the traditional blue and white Portuguese tiles (which also happen line many of the walls in this property – stunning!) has been carried through in the décor and adds real charm and character. Whilst, at the same time, many other areas have been given a fresh and modern interpretation.
As with no. 1 on our list, the Pestana Palace, this hotel is located within close proximity of many of the main sights and attractions in Belem. It’s also only a short taxi, train or bus ride into Lisbon downtown. Head in the opposite direction and you’ll get to the seaside resort town of Cascais.
Check rates and availability – Palacio do Governador – Booking.com
The next palace hotel (translated as Spice Palace) might have you mistakenly think that you’ve stepped into the opulent world of a Venetian hotel. But no, you are definitely not in Venice and if checking into the Palacio das Especiarias, you’ll find yourself smack bang in the heart of trendy Chiado. This is a great location as you’ll be central to many of the top neighbourhoods, sights and attractions and also have easy access to the Baixa/Chiado metro transport link.
This property is definitely a lot more opulent and traditional compared to some of the other more modern palace hotels listed here. From the intricate wall paintings, to the wall paper, rich draping and curtains, you will no doubt feel like you’ve stepped into a real-life palace.
The services and facilities at this hotel not only include a restaurant, spa & wellness centre but they’ve also made it their business to offer truly unique experiences. These include enjoying a dinner and Fado show (the traditional Portuguese folk music), a dinner and jazz night or why not organise a walking tour or vintage day tours. They have it all!
Check rates and availability – Palácio das Especiarias – Booking.com
Heading over now to the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon, Alfama, we find the Palacete Chafariz Del Rei. Lisbon, being the city of many, many hills, this hotel is perched atop one and walking down in the street below, myself and my partner always wondered what this palace was. It has a lovely outdoor area with hanging bougainvillea’s in bring pink that always caught our attention and we only later found it, it is in fact the Palacete Chafariz Del Rei.
It’s a small and boutique hotel with a personality of its own, that is probably not to everyone’s taste. This small palace has both traditional & intricate detail by the bucket loads, like the beautiful stained-glass detail or the crown elaborate crown moulding detail on the ceilings. But, then you turn your attention to the rooms that have been done up in fairly eclectic design. A truly unique and different experience and no doubt, a memorable stay to say the least!
Check rates and availability – Palacete Chafariz Del Rei – Booking.com
No other location in Portugal offers up more royalty and nobility than the enchanted and very magical Sintra. It is home to several palaces, a castle and lots of grand manor houses and estates. This is due to the town having been the summer residence of the royals and nobility back in the day when Portugal still had a monarchy.
It is no surprise then, that you would come to find at least a few palace hotels located right here in Sintra. One such, being, the Tivoli Palacio de Seteais. This grand 5* property is definitely what you would come to image a palace hotel to look like today. The rooms and furniture are kept in a very traditional feel as well as boasting beautiful public areas with a real palatial essence.
This hotel also offers a wide range of amenities and services including a pool, restaurant, a bar area and a spa and wellness centre too. Nothing like booking a lovely relaxing spa treatment after a long day of walking and exploring all that Sintra has to offer.
Check rates and availability – Tivoli Palacio de Seteais – Booking.com
Another Sintra delight is the Sintra Marmoris Palace, a manor house dating to the 19th-century and only a short walk away from Sintra town centre. It has beautiful gardens with views overlooking Sintra and the Moorish Castle at the top, perfect for relaxing by the pool, book in hand and enjoying the absolute beauty of this place.
This property was renovated only a few years ago, and given its fantastic location, this is a great choice of place to stay if you’re considering an overnight in Sintra.
Check rates and availability – Sintra Marmoris Palace – Booking.com
Finally, rounding up our Lisbon & surrounds selection of Palace hotels is the Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf & Spa resort. Okay, I have to admit, this is not your traditional palace despite looking like one. But it does have the name and a royal claim to fame. Having only opened its doors in 1930, the hotel has a rather colourful history. Not only did several royals stay here (Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, the Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia and many more), it also was the hotel of choice for many spies during World War II, when Portugal remained a safe haven in war torn Europe.
Today, this 5* hotel, located on what is known as the Portuguese Riviera, only about 30 mins drive from Lisbon downtown, retains all the grandeur and charm comparable to any other hotel on this list. It has an endless selection of different services and offerings including an award-winning Spa.
Check rates and availability – Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf & Spa – Booking.com
In what has to be one of my favourite pedestrian streets in Porto, Rua das Flores, you will find our first gem of Porto. The 5* PortoBay Flores is set in a palatial noble house that dates back to as early as the 16th century and was the home of various different families throughout the centuries. It has a gorgeous exterior but for me, the ultra-sophisticated and chic interiors is what really sets this hotel apart.
The hotel is actually rather new, having just opened in 2019, but is quickly garnering a lot of attention and making a name for itself. You can see the care and attention to detail that has gone into every element, from the room décor, to the restaurant through to the spa facilities. And being located in what I think is one of the best areas, location-wise, in Porto, it really is hard to beat. So why not book your next stay in Porto at the PortoBay Flores?! I’m sure you will not regret it one bit checking in here.
Check rates and availability – PortoBay Flores – Booking.com
The 5* InterContinental Porto Hotel, housed in the Palacio das Cardosas, is another top choice for many discerning travellers looking for the perfect hotel to stay in, in Porto. Located at the foot of the central Aliados Avenue, this hotel is ideally situated right in the heart and centre of Porto with all the major attractions and sights within easy walking distance.
This 18th-century palace was renovated and remodelled to house the hotel and boasts elegant rooms, some of which have beautiful views out over the Aliados Avenue. A contemporary restaurant, a bar, gym facilities and a spa, round out some of the facilities you will find here.
It’s been in operation for a number of years and has firmly established itself as a top 5* hotel of choice in the city. So, you really cannot go wrong choosing to stay here.
Check rates and availability – InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas
Hot off the press, and set to open this year (the autumn of 2019) is the Torel Palace Porto hotel, set in the spectacular Campos Navarro Palace. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into restoring this beautiful palace whilst also adding a contemporary touch through the décor.
If you look at all the detail in this building, including the highlight being the intricate and absolutely gorgeous central skylight, you can see that this hotel is definitely going to be a show stopper once it opens up.
The hotel will also offer up a restaurant, bar, spa and an outdoor garden and pool area.
If you’re looking to travel to Porto this autumn or beyond, why not check out the Torel Palace Porto for your stay?!
Check rates and availability – Torel Palace Porto – Booking.com
As you will see from the next property on my list, Porto doesn’t have any shortage of stunning 5* Palace Hotels to choose from and I’m afraid I’m running out of superlatives to describe them all!
Yet another new kid on the block (yes, Porto and in fact Portugal is experience a real boom in real estate and renovation as we speak), is the Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace. It is yet another example of a top luxury 5* Palace Hotel you can stay in when visiting Porto, Portugal.
This hotel is as impressive from the exterior as it is in the interior. Also situated right on Aliados Avenue, its perfectly located to explore the very best that Porto has to offer and has all the expected amenities and facilities you’d come to expect from a premium hotel.
The décor is up to date and very chic and I especially love, love, love the exquisite dining hall with it’s large mirrors, all the intricate gold decoration and detail as well as the large windows looking out into the avenue.
Having only been open a few months, this hotel has already earned pretty much top marks from travellers who have stayed here.
Check rates and availability – Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace – Booking.com
With stunning views overlooking the winding Douro River in Porto, the next property on our list is the Pestana Palacio do Freixo which also happens to have been classified as a National Monument in 1910. This stunning baroque style hotel is located approximately 3kms out of Porto’s city centre.
Whilst the rooms are pretty standard as far as hotel rooms go, it is the absolutely gorgeous exterior and the public halls and spaces that blow you away and make you believe you’ve stepped into a grandiose by-gone era of royalty.
Part of the Pestana Hotel group, one of the largest groups in Portugal, the hotel also boasts a range of different services and amenities including its Magic Spa, Nasoni Bar, Palatium Restaurant and a gym to name only a handful.
Check rates and availability – Pestana Palácio do Freixo, Pousada & National Monument – Booking.com
Moving out of Lisbon and Porto, its important to realise that there is so much more to see and explore across the country that isn’t only centred around these two city hubs.
One such gem is 5* Quinta das Lagrimas which is found in the city of Coimbra, Portugal’s third largest city and former capital. The city, famous for its University that also happened to inspire elements of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, is a must visit.
Across the river from the historic city centre of Coimbra, you will find this historic palace hotel dating back the 18th century and set in 12 hectares of lush gardens, adding to the beauty and appeal of this place. Here you can book a range of different and well-appointed room types including a Palace Room, Garden Room and more. Or, if you are feeling extravagant why not book the Pedro & Ines or the King’s Suite. Both stunning options.
The services at this palace hotel include gourmet restaurants, a pool area, the Bamboo Garden Spa and they even offer golfing service through their Golf Academy.
Check rates & availability – Quinta das Lagrimas – Booking.com
Located in what is probably not the most touristic or well-known areas, Vidago Palace, located in the town of the same name, is set in the north of Portugal not far from the Spanish border. It’s about an hour drive from the Douro Valley town of Pinhão and an hour and a half drive from Gerês National Park, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in all of Portugal.
Driving up to the property, this striking palace is exactly what you would come to expect from a European royal residence. With its bright pink-peach façade and traditional interiors this palace immediately transports one back to the Belle Epoque era. But, with all the modern-day comforts and luxuries you’d expect. Featuring 4 restaurants, a pool, spa and an 18-hole golf course, the Vidago Palace is perfect for your next stay in the north of Portugal. Oh, and be sure to try out some of Vidago’s wines whilst you are at it!
Check rates & availability – Vidago Palace – Booking.com
If we head even further up north and really off the beaten track, then why not head right to the border between Portugal and Spain to the town of Seixas, where you will find the Palacete Villa Idalina. Whilst this property is technically not a palace, it is set in a Brazilian manor house built in 1909 and has all the makings of a stay fit for a king or queen.
This place has loads of charm and character and interesting design features, both in the interior and exterior, to admire and appreciate. Overlooking the Minho River with Spain just across on the other side, the property has many traditional features through the antique fittings and furniture. But, at the same time, still seems extremely comfortable, light and traditional all at once.
Palacete Villa Idalina is a smaller boutique property with only 10 rooms but offer all the amenities you’d need to have a very comfortable and pleasant stay. They are also quite a popular wedding venue and can provide wedding planning services too (it’s probably best to consult the property for pricing on these services).
Check rates & availability – Palacete Villa Idalina – Booking.com
Only about an hour south of Lisbon, you’ll find the Palacio de Rio Frio, a 20th-century palace with a very traditional and untouched feeling. This palace hotel may not have all the modern renovated trimmings that some of the others on the list have to offer, but, that’s exactly the appeal in my opinion. From the wooden panels, traditional tiles and other artefacts and antique pieces all add to the charm and personality of Palacio de Rio Frio.
It may not exactly be located in the heart and centre of many major sights and attractions, but the surrounding area does offer a range of leisure and outdoor activities. These include horse riding, bird watching, hiking trails and more. So, if you’re looking for a unique place to stay that’s also off the beaten track then Palacio de Rio Frio would be a great option to consider.
Check rates & availability – Palácio de Rio Frio – Booking.com
Heading more towards central Portugal, you’ll find the Palace Hotel Monte Real, situated in town of Monte Real in what is also known as the Silver Coast region. The town itself also houses a Thermal Park of which the hotel is a part of.
Don’t be fooled though by the imposing and palatial exterior. Step inside and you’ll be surprised to find contemporary and modern interiors. There’s a trendy bar, gourmet restaurant, outdoor poolside, tennis courts and even a mini-golf course.
The location is also quite central to many of the top towns and sights in the region, being only a short drive away from places such as Fatima, Obidos, Nazare, Tomar and more. All of which are around an hour or less in driving distance.
Check rates & availability – Palace Hotel Monte Real – Booking.com
Located inside the Bussaco National Forest and only about 30 kilometres from Coimbra, you will find the Palace Hotel do Bussaco. Built in 1885 this stunning palace is an exquisite example of the Manueline-Gothic style of architecture found across Portugal and will no doubt transport you to a by-gone era when this palace was in fact a true Portuguese royal residence.
This fact is evident throughout the palace, with it’s incredibly intricate architectural detail, the grand staircase, the traditional tiles and murals, the gorgeous antique furniture and the dining hall which I can only describe as awe-inspiring!
It’s not everyday that you get to stay in real life palace that’s played host to royalty and nobility from across the globe, and the 5* Palace Hotel do Bussaco gives you the chance to do exactly that!
Check rates & availability – Palace Hotel do Bussaco – Booking.com
Situated in Lousã, only a 30 minute drive from Coimbra, you will find the 4* Palacio da Lousa Boutique Hotel. Set in what was formerly known as the Viscondessa do Espinhal Palace, an 18th-century palace, today it comprises of both a palace wing and a newer annex and is an officially classified building.
This palace hotel has lots to offer by way of its list of available services & facilities, including a swimming pool, gardens, kid’s playground, meeting rooms, games room and more. Not to mention the beautiful Viscountess restaurant too.
The hotel also overlooks the Serra da Lousã nature reserve, with plenty of outdoor activities and options available, such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and wildlife viewing. Given its central location within Portugal, it’s the perfect central stop-over, and a great base for exploring the surrounding region.
As I already mentioned, the hotel does have a new wing that features a different set of rooms, but I much rather prefer the palace rooms, so be sure to check the different room types when making your booking.
Check rates & availability – Palacio da Lousa Boutique Hotel – Booking.com
A short 1 hour 45 minutes flight from Lisbon is the Portugal Island of Madeira, known for its stunning natural beauty. When visiting Funchal, the capital, there is no better place, in my opinion, to stay at than the 5* Belmond Reid’s Palace hotel. This gorgeous hotel is perched atop a cliff edge overlooking the ocean and is the true personification of luxury and elegance.
Offering incredible views, set in lush gardens and including amongst others, 4 restaurants, afternoon tea out on the terrace, a cocktail bar, a children’s club, heated outdoor swimming pools and a spa, sauna and tennis courts, it’s easy to see why I think this is a top choice for your next Madeira visit.
Both the interior and exterior are absolutely beautiful and there’ll no doubt be tons of opportunities to take the perfect Instagram-worthy shots, around every corner.
Check rates & availability – Belmond Reid’s Palace – Booking.com
Moving further south and located only about 10km’s from Faro in the Algarve is the 19th century palace that today houses the 5* Pousada Palacio de Estoi hotel.
Whilst the rooms and certain areas of the hotel are pretty modern and have a fairly contemporary design and feel, it’s the exterior and other public areas that showcase the royal and palatial history of the building. The building itself is an example of a Rococo-style palace and set in beautiful French inspired gardens.
Managed by the Pestana hotel group, it offers guest an outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa to name but a few of the facilities available here.
Check rates & availability – Pousada Palacio de Estoi – Booking.com
Staying in central Portugal and set in the spa town of Curia, only about a 30-minute drive north from Coimbra and an hour from Porto, this palace hotel will transport you back to the era of the golden twenties. With a strong art deco influence, evident both from the exterior as well as the grand interiors, this is true gem of a hotel that will no doubt offer up a unique stay.
The property was refurbished a couple of years ago and many of the building and features lovingly restored. The rooms are modern and sophisticated with hints of art deco design elements that carry through the overall theme and personality of the hotel.
Services at the hotel include, amongst others, a spa, swimming pool, a kid’s club and onsite restaurant.
Check rates & availability – Curia Palace, Hotel Spa & Golf – Booking.com
Only an hour south of Porto you’ll find the city of Aveiro, often referred to as the ‘Venice of Portugal’. It’s a popular day trip from Porto, whilst others prefer to overnight. Aveiro is also a popular holiday destination for many Portuguese families during the summer months, who visit the city or the nearby beaches of Costa Nova. Aveiro is nicknamed the ‘Venice of Portugal’ mainly due to the canals and colourful gondolas found here.
It is here in the heart of Aveiro downtown, overlooking the canal that you will find the newly renovated 4* Hotel Aveiro Palace. A stunning palatial building from the outside whilst fresh, modern and quite contemporary on the inside, this hotel is perfectly situated if you intend on exploring downtown Aveiro.
Check rates & availability – Hotel Aveiro Palace – Booking.com
If you are looking for truly unique places to stay in Portugal, then booking into one of the many Palace Hotels in Portugal (or boutique Manor Houses for that matter), is definitely the way to go.
I would love to hear your feedback, tips and suggestions. Have you ever stayed over at one of the above mentioned unique hotels in Portugal? If so feel free to comment below and if you love this post then feel free to share it too!
Welcome! I'm Marco Santos a.k.a Travel-Boo. A South African & Portuguese travel blogger connecting with my Portuguese roots. Since I've moved to Portugal from South Africa permanently a few years ago, I've decide to share my story of discovery of all things Portugal travel related. So follow along and see what makes this beautiful country so very special!
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