The best hotels in Portugal, from beach to city stays
Glorious beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a culture-filled cities, this southwestern Europe gem is ideal for a holiday anytime of the year – especially when you check into the best hotels in Portugal.
BEST HOTELS IN PORTUGAL
The loveliest Portugal holiday destinations allow you to soak up its mild climate, from its charming cities to its breathtaking islands (check out the best hotels in Madeira for this) and picture-perfect coastline.
Promising almost year-round sunshine – the Algarve famously sees more than 300 days of sunshine a year – the best weather is found during spring and summer, when the mercury hits mid-20s and higher. Even in late September, October and November, when the crowds start to thin, temperatures in the south are a balmy 18 degrees.
With more than 850 kilometres of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is a popular place for beach lovers, however, the rural interior and historic cities hold just as much appeal: explore the hiking trails of Peneda-Gerês National Park, taste your way around the vineyards of the Alto Douro or explore the ancient white-washed villages of Alentejo.
And naturally, there’s little chance of going hungry in this gastro-rich country. Try chargrilled sardines in Cascais and authentic pasteis de nata from Lisbon’s backstreet bakeries.
From the contemporary 3HB in Faro to the elegant Valverde Hotel in Lisbon, we’ve cherry picked some of the very best hotels in Portugal for you to experience the beauty of this European hotspot.
1. Quinta da Corte, Douro Valley
Overlooking 24 hectares of vineyards, this stylish rural hotel has been fully restored by international designer Pierre Yovanovitch. Located an easy three kilometres from the charming port-making town of Pinhão, Quinta da Corte is an excellent base for tasting your way around Portugal’s famous wine estates.
Awash in colourful tiles, terracotta and antique furnishings, this 19th-century quinta hotel is exactly what you want from a traditional Portuguese farmhouse. The eight rooms are simple and elegantly styled: think pale neutral tones and natural wood furnishings. Dine out on the terrace or in the house kitchen on classic dishes bursting with local produce, not to mention some excellent regional wines. A real highlight is the outdoor pool which has incredible views over the Douro Valley.
2. Torel 1884 Suites & Apartments, Porto
Moments from Porto’s riverside district of Ribeira, this stylish hotel is within easy reach of the Palácio da Bolsa and Porto’s 12th-century Cathedral. Housed in a beautiful, plant-filled 19th-century palace, Torel 1884 Suites & Apartments offers a clutch of elegant suites and apartments to kick back for a weekend.
All the rooms and apartments have grand high ceilings and plush velvet furnishings, some have freestanding tubs and modern four-poster beds. After exploring the many delights of Porto, relax in the lounge, which has an honesty bar and a library. Or for a really special treat, book a table at Bartolomeu Bistro & Wine and enjoy some excellent local wines and typical Portuguese specialities in sophisticated surroundings.
3. 3HB, Algarve
Located a mile from the beach, yet moments from Faro’s old town attractions, including the cathedral, this five-star hotel is a real treat. Designed by the acclaimed Portuguese interiors guru, Paulo Lobo, the smart, simply furnished rooms at 3HB are flooded with light, have natural wood hints and flashes of colour.
There are several dining options, however, the most impressive is Hábito, a glass-walled rooftop restaurant with stunning views over the city. It serves top-notch Mediterranean dishes showcasing the flavours of the region. Hang out by the rooftop infinity pool, which has far-reaching views over the Ria Formosa nature park, or enjoy a spot of pampering in the fancy spa, which has an indoor pool, a Turkish hammam and sensory showers.
4. Pousada de Vila Real de Santo António, Vila Real de Santo António
On the border between the Algarve and Spain in the tiny city of Vila Real de Santo António, this historic hotel was once a customs house and is stacked with charm and grace. Located a few minutes’ walk from the historic old town and the river, Pousada de Vila Real de Santo António is close to the world’s first cross-border zip line, which flies over the River Guadiana between Portugal and Spain.
The 57 rooms are spacious and have a warm, rustic-chic vibe, with plenty of natural woods and textiles, enhanced by subtle lighting. Here, you can relax by one of a trio of outdoor pools or venture up to the rooftop bar for a sundowner with views over town, before enjoying typical Algarvian dishes from the rustic restaurant.
5. L’And Vineyards, Alentejo
For something truly special, consider a few nights at the beautiful L’And Vineyards in the heart of Alentejo, Portugal’s wine region. Surrounded by vineyards, this stylish rural retreat is just the spot for a grown-up spa escape. The 22 suites have incredible views over the region; however, it’s the sky view suites which are really something else. All have retractable roofs, so you can sleep under a starry sky, and private terraces with plunge pools.
There’s little need to leave the hotel: relax in the spa, Vinoble, which offers treatments using vinotherapy, as well as Pilates and yoga classes. And treat yourself to dinner in the restaurant, with beautiful dishes using ingredients from local farmers.
6. Valverde Hotel, Lisbon
Perched on the tree-lined Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s most famous boulevard, this stylish boutique hotel is just the place for an upmarket stay in the city. Housed in a grand 19th-century mansion, Valverde Hotel’s interior champions Portuguese design and is awash with fine art, antiques, and some highly covetable porcelain pieces from the Braz Gil studio.
There are 48 rooms and suites, all offering a mix of period character and more contemporary style: expect rich brocades, parquet floors with modern hues and mid-century modern furnishings. Breakfast is served in Sítio, a chic restaurant which has a botanical vibe and a charming little courtyard terrace. After a busy day of exploring the city, relax by the heated outdoor pool on the roof terrace or kick back with a movie in the small private cinema.
7. Sublime Comporta, Alentejo
Tucked away among the rice fields and sand dunes of Comporta, this sleek boutique hotel is surrounded by the cork trees and wild flowers of the Umbrella Pines Estate. Moments from Alentejo’s quiet beaches of Praia do Carvalhal and Praia da Raposa, Sublime Comporta brings a modern alternative to the rustic quintas in the area.
The hotel merges seamlessly into the terracotta landscape, with 23 chic rooms housed in low-rise glass swathed main buildings and featuring polished cement floors. The 22 cabana-style villas have a more Balinese vibe and come with a private pool, fireplace and outdoor terrace. As for dining, the hotel has a vast organic kitchen garden, which the chef uses for the regional and seasonal dishes, plus an abundance of locally caught seafood.
8. Penha Longa Resort, Sintra
Surrounded by the scented pine forests of Estoril, this sprawling resort with a championship golf course, luxury spa and a brace of Michelin-starred restaurants, is just the place for some serious rest and relaxation. The UNESCO-protected heritage town of Sintra, home of the sublime yellow-hued Pena Palace, is a 10-minute drive. In the grounds of Penha Longa Resort, a beautiful cloistered monastery dating back to the 14th century when monks and royals would flock to the Sintra Mountains, is used for events however, and is a charming spot to wander around.
The rooms at the resort are luxurious but it’s all about the resort’s top-shelf facilities: the golf course, the spa, and the numerous dining options. Naturally, there are several outdoor pools, an excellent kids’ club and tennis courts, too.
9. Octant Vila Monte, Algarve
A world away from the Algarve’s big beach resorts, this rural and chic boutique hotel near Olhão on the eastern coast offers serene luxury. Surrounded by nine hectares of lush tropical gardens with orange groves, fig trees and scented bougainvillea, the sprawling Octant Vila Monte has two pools, tennis courts and top-notch restaurants, including À Terra which serves regionally inspired dishes.
The 55 rooms and suites are spread across several Moorish buildings in the grounds. All have a simple but stylish appeal featuring white-washed walls and chic touches like straw beach hats and plush throws. In the summer, a shuttle service drops you down to the beach and a hotel’s boat connects to Fuseta Island for the ultimate beach day.
10. PortoBay Teatro, Porto
For a culture-filled city break in the sun, you simply can’t beat Porto, Portugal’s second city. Built on the site of Teatro Baquet in the vibrant Theatre District, PortoBay Teatro is also moments from Porto’s atmospheric historic centre. Potter around the colourful food stalls in Bolhao City Market, peek into São Bento Station and gaze at its wall of azulejo tiles, or bumble leisurely between the tasting rooms and port cellars scattered along the Douro.
All of the boutique hotel’s rooms have a light, contemporary appeal: soft neutral tones and natural woods, some have balconies overlooking the street. After all that port, luckily you don’t have to venture too far for dinner. Downstairs, the house restaurant, Il Basilico serves up top-notch Italian comfort dishes on tables overlooking the street.
11. The Grand House, Algarve
Tucked away in the very east of the Algarve in the small town of Vila Real de Santo António, The Grand House sits perched on the banks of the River Guadiana simply oozing Belle Époque style. Originally built in 1926, the elegant boutique hotel has a real Roaring Twenties vibe: polished wood-panelling, overstuffed Chesterfields and a glorious vintage-era bar, serving classic cocktails.
There are just 26 rooms, all are beautifully decorated and swathed in expensive white linen. Our favourites have small balconies with views up and down the river. A real highlight is the hotel’s Grand Beach Club, a chic waterfront cocktail bar and restaurant with a terrace and infinity pool, which is a short walk away.
12. Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve
Perched on Albufeira’s famous rouge rock cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the sprawling Pine Cliffs Resort with its legendary kids’ club (the largest in the Algarve), cookery school, spa and sports facilities is a true masterclass in holidays… for all the family. Play a round of golf on the clifftop course, practice your backhand at the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy or take the lift down to Falesia Beach and just relax.
Spread over nearly 180 acres, there are more than 350 rooms and suites to choose from, many have balconies and fabulous ocean views. After busy days of golf, tennis and pampering, dine your way around the resort’s 11 excellent restaurants, including the fabulous O Pescador, which draws its bounty sparkling fresh from the Atlantic Ocean.