Where to Book Near the Tróia Peninsula: the Secret, Romantic, Bucket-List Beach Retreat in Portugal

The Casa Palmela is a stately property dating back to the 17th century
The Casa Palmela is a stately property dating back to the 17th century | Courtesy of Hotel Casa Palmela / Expedia
Photo of Alex Robinson
5 October 2021

A secret slice of idyllic Portugal can be all yours if you book one of these fine properties, and it’s an absolute cinch with Culture Trip.

The Tróia Peninsula is a special place indeed – picture a long tongue-like stretch of sand protruding into a bottle-green Atlantic bay in the Alentejo region in southern Portugal. Stays are serene and bucolic – almost guaranteed to deliver cinematically lovely views over coves and dune-backed strands, rugged capes and cliffs. The sun sets romantically over the ocean, where dolphins are known to put on a (natural) show. Here’s where to book – best done via Culture Trip.

Pestana Tróia

Courtesy of Pestana Tróia / Expedia

This is one of the more luxurious affairs in Tróia, secluded among swathes of private pine woodlands, with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, saunas and a Turkish bath. Rooms and villas do their designer best – picture neo-Frank Lloyd Wright cubes in warm woods and glass. Interiors are bright and spacious, with a cream colour palette, floor tiles and ample lounge and kitchen spaces. Paths lead to one of the least spoilt beaches in the region, Praia Atlântica, which stretches long and broad. You’ll feel like it’s all yours.

Tróia Design Hotel

Courtesy of Tróia Design Hotel / Expedia

It’s all about the views at the Tróia Design Hotel – the best of which are from the sea-view suites above the 10th floor, which overlook the Tróia Marina, the shimmering bay and the forest-clad hills around Setúbal. They are big enough for families, with two bedrooms, and feature contemporary light colour palettes, offset by soft beige furnishings and unassuming decorative art. Ready to explore? There are boat trips that depart from right outside the lobby. Restaurants, a scattering of shops and the dune-backed Praia Tróia Mar are all within a short walk.

Aqualuz Troia Mar and Rio

Courtesy of Aqualuz Troia Mar and Rio / Expedia

This sprawling, family-centric beachside property is about as close as it gets to a mega-resort in Tróia. There are many room options – from studio apartments with bunks to two-bedroom suites big enough for a family, complete with kitchens and living rooms. The best choices – on the upper floors facing west – have sunset and ocean views from the balconies. The decor is clean with fresh neutral tones brightened by buttery sunlight spilling in through floor-high windows. Hotel facilities are excellent, with a spa, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools and a kid’s playground.

Sesimbra Hotel and Spa

Courtesy of Sesimbra Hotel and Spa / Expedia

The little town of Sesimbra has about a half-moon bay of golden sand across the water from Tróia. The forested hills of Arrábida Natural Park rise above, and the rugged cliffs at Cabo Espichel – one of the westernmost points in Europe – drop to the roiling sea a few kilometres away. All rooms feature neutral tones and laminate woods and make the most of the setting – with private balconies pulling out the stops to deliver meditative ocean and beach views. Upgrade to a deluxe on the upper floor for a larger balcony and more lounge space; it’s worth every cent.

Rio Art Hotel

Courtesy of Rio Art Hotel / Expedia

If the rustic beach hotels in Tróia seem quiet and restaurant options limited, this townhouse hotel in the heart of old Setúbal is a very respectable urban alternative. Empty sands are a 30-minute car-ferry ride across the bay, while the forests and bays around the Arrábida Natural Park are an easy drive away. Also, shops, bars and restaurants are a no-sweat stroll from the lobby. Rooms are compact, refreshingly done in whites, with arty wall panels inspired by azulejos (Portuguese tilework). The brightest and airiest have French windows opening onto Juliet balconies.

Quinta da Comporta

Quinta da Comporta
Courtesy of Quinta da Comporta / Expedia

With celebrity-owned villas dotting its pine woodlands and the finest beaches in the region, Comporta is the Alentejo at its most exclusive. Don’t expect tons of facilities – the property sits on the edge of the quiet village, about a 10-minute drive from the beach. But you can always self-cater here as some of the wooden villas have fully equipped kitchens. Others come with private swimming pools in an open-plan condominium area overlooking rice fields. All-white, warm-timber interiors are big, bright and contemporary. All in all, it’s a friendly winner.

Hotel Casa Palmela

Courtesy of Hotel Casa Palmela / Expedia

Head through the wrought-iron gates of the stately 17th-century Casa Palmela, and you’ll feel like distinguished guests in an aristocrat’s rural retreat. All around are the cork oak-covered hills of Arrábida Natural Park, while some beaches are about 10 minutes away by car. The rustic setting is idyllic – a relaxing composite of birdsong and bright stars – and the hotel has a pool with a sundeck as well as an impressive menu of excursions, including surfing and horse riding. The rooms to book are the suites, where heavy Edwardian furniture, chintzy cushions and ottomans are offset by understated modern colour palettes and plenty of fresh air and light.

Montado Hotel and Golf Resort

Courtesy of Montado Hotel and Golf Resort / Expedia

Are you desperately seeking sand, sea and golf in Portugal? Thought it had to be the Algarve? Think again. The Montado sits behind an 18-hole, par-72 course with easy access to beaches, vineyards, lakes and cork oak forests. The location is a holidaymaker’s dream, with the photogenic Sado Estuary Natural Reserve a putt away and the nightlife of Setúbal a quick drive away. Rooms in neutral creams and greys occupy a large, modern glass-fronted building. They have golf-course views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, so sit back and switch off.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Nina Santos.

These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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