Sintra is an enchanting resort town perched in the Serra de Sintra foothills, just outside Lisbon, and has been frequented by Portuguese royalty for centuries. Colourful villas line its leafy streets, while the Pena Palace offers astonishing views, and former manors and estates are now museums and hotels. Speaking of which, if you’re sold on this charming Portuguese town, take a look at these gorgeous hotels with a view.
The Lawrence’s Hotel is a Unesco-protected site in its own right, and is reputedly the oldest hotel in Portugal and Spain, having opened in 1764. It’s a great choice for history buffs, as it once sheltered both British poet Lord Byron and Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós. The 16 double rooms and suites feature four-poster beds and floral linen with picture-perfect views from the large, old-fashioned windows.
If you’re visiting by train, the Five House is only a seven-minute walk from Sintra station. Behind the buttercup-yellow facade there are just three individually decorated rooms, while friendly hosts Filipe and Vera can give local insights on what to see and do. As the couple are both photographers, they can also take your portrait with one of the beautiful buildings in Sintra as your backdrop.
Just minutes from Regaleira Palace, the family-run Águamel is housed in a pretty 19th-century building. Rooms are individually decorated and all come with breakfast included. Opt for one of the rooms with a private balcony for stunning panoramas of the Sintra Mountains and the belfries. And when it’s time to explore, Sintra centre is a five-minute walk away, or you can get to the hilltop Pena National Palace in 10 minutes by car.
Tucked away just far enough from Sintra centre to feel like a secluded escape, Quinta de São Sebastião makes for an Instagram-worthy stay. When you’re not marvelling at the pale-green facade with regal arched windows, make a beeline for the outdoor pool with its city views or take a wander through the private forest and park at the hotel. For an extra dose of privacy, a stay in the luxe garden villa is a must.
If spending your days visiting the palaces of Sintra isn’t enough, why not stay in one too? Sintra Marmòris Palace has been looked after by the same family since it was built in 1890. The clan is known for its work in the marble industry, so you can expect marble-clad everything here. No expense is spared and each of the nine rooms is exceptionally large – some even have deep-soak tubs, made from marble, of course.
Ideal for the no-fuss traveller, Sintra Bliss Hotel places you two minutes from the train station, where buses to the nearby landmarks are frequent and there’s always a buzzy vibe. After snapping up a 100-year-old dilapidated building, the owners of Sintra Bliss transformed it into a modern hub with vibrant, light-filled rooms, private balconies and a sun-soaked garden.
Laura Hampson contributed additional reporting to this article.
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