palacio de seteais

Photos courtesy of Tivoli Palácio de Seteais








Originally built in the 18th century by a Gildermeester, this Italian Renaissance-style palace is the site of the Convention of Sintra treaty. After the Duke of Wellington defeated the French army at the Battle of Vimeiro in 1808, this agreement created a public uproar in England when troops of the French army were transported with their booty back to France on British ships. The name Seteais means “seven sighs” in Portuguese; one theory claims the palace acquired the name because of this treaty.

Pamela’s Perspective

The Tivoli Palácio de Seteais has always been considered one of Portugal’s most elegant five-star hotels. Don’t expect the five stars of a modern, state-of-the art hotel though. Go with the history of the building. It’s stately and grand, not slick and posh. The hotel reopened in 2009 after a year-long restoration. The frescos, tapestries, and period furniture have never looked better.

Formal and with a dress code, some guests may feel the restaurant with its pricey, four-course meals too much. It’s about a 15-minute stroll into Sintra where you’ll find a range of restaurants to suit everybody.


Tivoli Palácio de Seteais

An 18th-century palace


Rua Barbosa do Bocage, 10
2710-517 Sintra
Tel: ++351 219 233 200
Fax: ++351 219 234 277
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

30 rooms, including 1 suite, 16 doubles, and 13 twins

Double rooms: from 255 euros
Rates include breakfast, tax, and service.
Packages available.

Open: all year

Getting there

Sintra is about 20 km northwest of Lisbon. The hotel is about 1 km west of Sintra on the Colares road. Bus connections are available from Lisbon, Cascais, and Estoril, and trains leave every 20 minutes from the Rossio Station in Lisbon.

What to do

On site: swimming pool; tennis
Nearby: golf; Pera Palace, Royal Palace, walk through Sintra; excursions to fashionable resort towns of Cascais and Estoril.


In “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” Lord Byron wrote that the setting of Sintra was one of the most delightful in Europe, with its “palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts, and precipices; convents on stupendous heights—a distant view of the sea and the Tagus.”

This beautiful setting and its cool climate made Sintra the favorite summer residence of Portuguese kings for six centuries.

Besides the natural beauty of ocean vistas seen from nearly 600 meters, the area is rich with tropical and subtropical trees and flowers.

The Seteais Palace has a triumphal arch connecting the two wings of the building. It is said to commemorate a visit by the prince and princess of Brazil in 1802.

Palace interiors are just as elegant 200 years later. Paintings, Flemish tapestries and rosewood and mahogany antiques—including some nice grandfather clocks—fill the public rooms. The spacious halls have high ceilings and marble or wood floors. Flowers, vines, and murals are painted on many of the walls.

Each of the large and comfortable guest rooms is decorated with upholstered furniture, antiques, and big mirrors. Three have hand-painted wall murals. Bedrooms on the first floor have extra-high ceilings. Recent renovations have modernized the bathrooms and added plasma TVs to every room.

The dining room has gold-painted walls and crystal light sconces and is considered one of the best restaurants in Portugal. It offers complete four-course meals. You can also dine on an outdoor terrace.

The hotel sits on spacious grounds. A labyrinthine garden in back overlooks the valley below.

Something special

curlicueExcellent service

curlicueLovely views