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What can I expect at a Portuguese castle hotel?

Portuguese castle hotels remain true to their architectural heritage. Seldom do you see so many modifications as to render the original structure unrecognizable, but unlike other countries, you seldom find guest rooms that suggest its medieval origins. Rooms have lovely Portuguese d├ęcor, such as the distinctive azulejo tile work in the bathrooms, and are roomy and modern, but you won’t find over-the-top canopy beds. All guest rooms are spotlessly clean.

All of the Portuguese castle hotels described on this site include breakfast. In the pousadas, ample quantities of bread, fruit, juices, cheese, and cold meats are usually served buffet style in charming breakfast rooms overlooking the garden or with views of the distant ocean.

Hotel staff are friendly, helpful, and service is excellent.

As with any castle hotel, if you have any difficulty negotiating steps, inquire the hotel of how you may be accommodated. These buildings are hundreds of years old, and access may not be of the same standard as your country.

The Pousadas

The majority of Portugal’s castle and palace hotels belong to the state-run pousada network. Similar to the paradors in Spain, pousadas can be found in medieval castles, monasteries, convents, historical or modern structures. It’s an outstanding system of preserving the country’s architectural heritage while providing outstanding accommodations in areas of Portugal that might otherwise be overlooked.

In 1940 Antonio Ferro conceived the idea of the pousadas as moderately priced accommodations providing good regional cooking. He began with three pousadas in 1942, and now there are over forty. All have been designed to give you a better knowledge of the culture and traditions of the area through displays of local handicrafts and the presentation of local cuisine and wine.

Always check the official pousada website or Booking.com for specials. Prices listed on this site are the published rates, and you can almost always find a discount offered.