Travel back in time to a hotel steeped in history, to a 17th-century Portuguese manor house transformed into a beautiful five-star hotel with stunning interiors to match
Words: Ruth Bell | Photography: David Yawalkar
The Hotel Casa Palmela is located in the heart of the Arrábida Natural Park, a protected area of mountains, greenery and coastline on the southernmost tip of Portugal's Setúbal Peninsula. This stunning setting is home to a 70-hectare property, formerly a farmhouse, a summer home and a manor house of the family of the Dukes of Palmela.
Now a five-star hotel, it combines reminders of the past with sympathetic modern touches. Visitors will see original furniture, family memorabilia and hundreds of 18th-century tiles alongside the most luxurious of contemporary comforts. Choose from a stay in the Main House, with stunning views of the Arrábida mountain range and the vineyards, or the two- and three-bedroom villas in the grounds.
An open fire and generous sofas make the salon the perfect place to relax with a drink before or after dinner. Located in the heart of the Main House, the salon’s 400-year-old stone floor is allowed to shine, uncovered by rugs or carpets. Meanwhile, decoration is kept to a minimum with plain white paint acting as a counterpoint to the intricate 18th-century tiles that run along the base of the walls.
The Zimbral Restaurant is a light-filled room whose restrained décor allows diners to focus on the best of local produce and the delightful views beyond the windows. White curtains, plain linen and simple wooden chairs with red and blue upholstered seats allow the original stone floor, which continues in here, to become the star of the show.
One of the most beautiful bedrooms in the Hotel Casa Palmela is the Romance junior suite. It has all the charm of the old house in a spacious room of almost 50 sq m. A statement headboard in a floral design stands out against the calm neutral décor and soft colours of the other upholstery in the room. Meanwhile, the freestanding bath by the window adds a luxurious touch. But tying the whole scheme together is the solid wood flooring, varnished to allow the original grain to show through.
In all corners of the hotel, reminders of the building’s former life are to be found. Original furniture and family photographs are everywhere, plus such curiosities as an old baby carriage (as seen above). Once again, colourful original tiles line the base of the walls, providing interest everywhere you look.
The Garden House features four bedrooms on the ground floor with private balcony overlooking the swimming pool and two bedrooms on the first floor. Meanwhile, the junior suite enjoys views of the vineyard and the mountains beyond. Rooms have fresh contemporary décor that, once again, allows the natural scenery to draw the eye.
To find out more about the Hotel Casa Palmela and to book your stay, visit the website.
Looking for travel ideas closer to home? Check out our most recent Inspiring Space, the beautiful Dunbrody Country House hotel, located on the dramatic Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford.