Tivoli’s Palacio de Seteais is an authentic and whimsical base for exploration of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, ripped straight from the pages of your favorite fairytale. The palace was originally built in the 18th century as a home for the Dutch consul, and later became home to the Marquis of Marialva, a renowned host whose party guests included King Joao VI and Queen Carlota Joaquina. It’s an absolute gem of period architecture, one where you can truly stay as if you were a King or Queen.
In fact, from the moment you enter the hotel, you are treated like royalty. Inside the Palacio de Seteais lobby lounge, you sit around an antique table, adorned with silverware, as the concierge provides lemonade, freshly squeezed and sweetened with honey instead of sugar.
Check-in here is done manually. You are presented with a big book to sign, and subsequently, a smaller book which holds your room key (which is, an actual key). From there, you are escorted up the staircase to your room.
Here, 30 guestrooms are outfitted with unique character, from resplendent frescoes that might look like wallpaper, but are actual paint on the wall, to rich tapestries all original and restored from the 18th century. The furniture is original, too, and each piece from the bedframe to the desk is a work of art worthy of admiration. All of it resembles royal furniture you’ll observe in the many palaces Sintra has to offer, the only difference here is you get the luxury of touching and using it. The only updated areas of the hotel include the bathroom (thankfully) and the TV.
When you’re in your room, you’ll notice beautiful feminine touches — a mix of light and soft shades like the ones found in this photo above. But the hotel has something for everyone, including one of the rarest pianos in the world, a lush spa for unwinding, a pool overlooking the town below, and gardens that will make you feel like the Duchess of Cambridge.
After a day of exploring the palaces in Sintra, there is no better feeling than returning to a palace to call your own for your night. The hotel restaurant offers a four-course dining experience paired with local wines from the region, all served on gold-trimmed china in a white dining room fit for a King. And while the food is delicious, the enchanted views are what you’ll cherish drinking the most. After all, amidst the backdrop of Sintra below, there’s no better way to end the night, as you listen to the soft sounds of piano coming from just the other room.
Location: Sintra, Portugal
The Vibe: A regal estate, preserved for centuries, situated atop the mountains in a fairy-tale like village in Portugal.
Any Neighborhood Recs? Yes, you’re in Sintra to visit the palaces and the Quinta da Regaleria is just steps away from the hotel. Carve out some time early one morning and take a Tuk Tuk to Pena Palace as well (the hotel will gladly call one for you).
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel? The courtyard — it’s perfect for Sintra’s abundance of sunny afternoons. It celebrates how the locale is a year-round destination.
Food + Drink: The Seteais restaurant features breakfast, lunch, and dinner and overlooks the Sintra mountains. There is also a hotel bar where you can enjoy local wine or cocktails.
Amenities: Wi-Fi, TVs with video on demand, two tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, spa, heliport, in-room dining, outdoor courtyard, valet parking.
What’s Nearby? Quinta da Regaleria, Palacio de Monserrate, Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Palacio de Pena, Castelo dos Mouros, Colares Winery, Cabo da Roca (most western point in Europe).
Pricing: Rates start at 295 Euro/night, and go up to 2403 Euro/night for the Superior Room with pool view.
Closest Airport: Lisbon Airport
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