The Pousadas of Portugal - Luxurious and Historic hotels, including Castle, Palace and Convent Hotels
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Álcacer do Sal - Alcácer do Sal was conquered by many different peoples. Before the Roman occupation it was called Eviom and had trade with the Mediterranean countries. The Romans called it Salatia Urbs Imperatoria, bearing the coin stamp and with the same rights as the cities of Antigo Lácio.  Alcácer also was capital city of the Visigothic municipality, it was dominated by the Arabs at the end of the 8th century and then became one of the most important trade cities in the peninsula. It was conquered by the Vikings at the end of the 10th century. D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, tried to conquer it in 1158, but it only became a Portuguese village in 1217 with King Afonso II. King Manuel I married Princess D. Maria (the Spanish Catholic King's daughter), in Alcácer do Sal in 1500. By this time, the castle built by the Arabs had no military purpose any longer, and so became a Carmelita de Aracelli convent during the 16th century.  This Pousada is set in its thousand year old castle overlooking the valley where cork, rice and pine-nuts are produced.
Pousada de Álcacer do Sal Dom Afonso II, Álcacer do Sal
Style: Historic Design Pousada w/pool formerly an old castle
The Pousada Alcácer do Sal Hotel, D. Afonso II, is a luxury hotel situated in the thousand year old Alcácer castle that overlooks the river Sado, which runs through a vast green valley.  At this site, with 5000 years of History, that go back to the later Neolithic period, we come across a variety of important cultural remains, such as Phoenician, Arab or even Roman.  The restaurant of the Pousada D. Afonso II in Alcácer, decorated with modern elements, surrounded by a mystic ambiance, offers fantastic meals.
Alvito - Busy region since the Roman  time, of which archaeological vestiges are diverse, the first documentary references are found from the donation of this area, from Alfonso III of Portugal (1248-1279) to his chancellor-mor, Estevão Anes, about 1255.  Alvito housed the sovereign in 1265, getting, according to custom, the inherent privileges, confirmed for letter-regal. Without heirs, Estevão Anes bequeathed in will to the Order of the Trindade, the town, the castle and the lands of Alvito, what indicates the existence of a structure of previous blockhouse in the place, to the time.  The progress of the village is certified by the institution, in 1296, of an annual fair.  In 1475, D. Afonso V (1438-1481) granted the title of baron of Alvito to Fernandes João da Silveira , employee whose descendants would come to be titleholders as marquises. Few years later, in 1482 , the sovereign granted to the baron and its wife the right to construct to a castle, granting to them the landlord of the village and the neighbouring towns there.
Pousada de Alvito, Castelo de Alvito, Alvito
Style: Historic Pousada w/pool Formerly a 15 C. Castle
With the restoration of an unusual 15th century castle in Alvito, the beautiful Pousada Alvito Hotel was born. The castle is presented as a building of military architecture and residence, where is possible to identify Islamic gothic and manuelina influences.  The Pousada is a historic luxury hotel that honours the culture of the region, not only by its atmosphere, but also by its traditional gastronomy and wines. What used to be the agricultural land of a medieval castle, is now a superb garden.  The village near the city of Beja (about 30 km of distance), in the past it was a very important location, having been home of a royal pousada.
Arraiolos - located in the District of Évora.
Pousada de Arraiolos - Nossa Senhora da Assunção Arraiolos
Style: Historic Design Pousada w/pool Formerly a 16th C. Convent
The Pousada Arraiolos Hotel, Nossa Sra. Assunção, is an example of perfect harmony between the traditional and modern concepts of Portuguese architecture, adapting the austerity of a convent to today's standards of comfort and well-being. The starting point for this Pousada was the restoration of a sixteenth century convent situated in a valley in Arraiolos, a city that is world-famous for its carpets. This luxury hotel in Arraiolos is a wonderful excuse to get to know the traditional art of carpet-making. 
Pousada de Beja - São Francisco
Style: Historic Pousada w/pool Formerly 13th C. Franciscan Convent
In the former 13th century Franciscan Convent located in the heart of the historical centre of Beja, we find the impressive Pousada Beja Hotel, São Franscisco. The first records of this Convent, date from the 10th November of 1268, marking the donation of lands, for its construction, from Paio Pires to Lopo Esteves.  This luxury hotel in Beja combines the mystic monument with the needs of today's standards of well-being and comfort. The Pousada has an excellent service and offers the best regional grastronomy in its restaurant. The environment allows guests to relax both body and mind. A true oasis in the Alentejo plain. 
Crato - At the time of the second half of the fourteenth century, friar Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, the hospital prior, ordered the building of the Pousada Flor da Rosa Monastery, where he would live, in the places which formed the annex.  These building, with their medieval roots, have a gothic structure, from which certain architectural details from other ages emerge from time to time, particularly Manueline (sixteenth century) features as a result of subsequent building work.  Built on eminently defensive line, this palace-cum-monastery has architectural features, such as towers, window slites and solid block construction, which give it the appearance more of a fort than a monastic house.  Taking advantage of the restoration required after a violent earthquake in 1755, a number of architectural innovations were introduced to the church. After the elimination of the religious orders in Portugal in 1834, the monastery was abandoned, which greatly accelerated its decay and ruin. Thus, when at the end of the nineteenth century a violent storm devastated the region, the torrential rains caused the roof of church nave to collapse, among other things. It was not rebuilt until many years later.
Pousada do Crato - Flor da Rosa, Crato
Style: Historic Design Pousada formerly a castle/convent/palace
A castle, a convent and a palace, built in different periods, were the origin of this ecclesiastical architectural work of outstanding harmony, today a luxury hotel in Crato. The former Knights of the Order of Malta's monastery, is surrounded in medieval mysticism. Flor da Rosa Pousada manages to combine the genuine characteristics of the convent, highlighting them with an architectural project, which although modern, entirely respects its origins.
Elvas - The city of Elvas is located near the border between Portugal and Spain and is on the main highway between Lisbon and Madrid. It is believed that the town has been originally developed by the Romans and it has suffered many conflicts in its history. It was liberated from the occupying Moors in 1229 and since that date in a period of some 600 years, it suffered numerous attacks and was the subject of peace treaties between the neighbouring Spain.  During the War of Independence between the two countries (1640-1668), the battle of Linhas de Elvas in 1659 was notable for the decisive defeat of the invading Spanish who had besieged the Portuguese army in the town and was then successfully relieved by Portuguese troops from Estremoz. In its more recent history its claim to fame was when it was used by the Duke of Wellington as his headquarters in his siege of the neighbouring Spanish town of Badajos.
Pousada de Elvas - Santa Luzia, Elvas
Style: Charming Pousada w/pool Typical Alentejo Architecture
Opened in 1942, the Santa Luzia Pousada was the first of the Pousadas de Portugal and is a fine example of typical Alentejo architecture. António Ferro, a Portuguese poet that created this netting, had the vision of distinctive, rare and typically Portuguese hotels. Peaceful, gracious elengant places.  Today, this charming hotel in Elvas offers its guests not only all possible comfort but also the best Alentejo cuisine, especially the renowned bacalhau dourado (golden codfish), or its famous dish of pork trotters in a coriander marinade.  The city is located near the border between Portugal and Spain and is on the main highway between Lisbon and Madrid.
Estremoz - In 1259, D. Afonso III recognized the geostrategical situation of Estremoz, granted it a charter in Santarém and the castle was founded.  From the beginning, the castle has been associated with the Tower, thought to be the work of three kings - D. Afonso IV, D. Pedro and D. Fernando. This is the origin of the traditional name - Tower of the Three Crowns - symbolized by the marble pinnacle in the East corner of the upper terrace.  A few years later, D. Dinis ordered the building of his residence here.
Pousada de Estremoz - Rainha Santa Isabel, Estremoz
Style: Historic Pousada w/pool formerly a 14 C. Castle
The castle of Estremoz is the result of the restoration of the magnificent Palace that King D. Diniz built for his wife, Queen Santa Isabel. In the sixties, the castle, became a luxury hotel named after the Queen. The Pousada Estremoz, Rainha Santa Isabel, has the finest decor including museum pieces, several rooms still maintain characteristics of the 18th century.  From the private palace gardens and swimming pool, you have the most superb view over the city of Estremoz and the vast Alentejo plain.
Évora - The building where the Pousada dos Lóios is located is the former Monastery of the S. João Evangelista or the Lóios Congregation. Founded on 1485 by D. Rodrigo Melo, 1st Olivença´s Count and constructed with the demand of D. João II, in grounds where part of the Evora’s Castle, with Arabian origins, had existed.  Of this castle there only are some ruins, because it was destroyed by a fire in the revolution of 1383-85 that delineates the battles of the D. Joao’s supporters, who would became king.
Pousada de Évora Lóios, Évora
Style: Historic Pousada w/pool formerly a 15 C. Convent
This luxury hotel is located in the heart of historic the centre of Evora, a city classified by UNESCO as World Heritage. The Pousada Evora, Convent of Loios, was originally a convent and one of Évora's most precious architectural buildings. On 1965 the convent opens its doors as a Pousada de Portugal, the former cells of the Cónegos Regrantes (the congregation faithfull), were converted into luxury decorated rooms, being all different from each other.  Staying at the Pousada of Loios is reliving history itself in each stone, each glance and each object.
Marvão - The idea of building a Pousada to welcome visitors to Marvão was first mooted in 1946. Plans were drawn up for building a hotel on the site of the present town council buildings. It is said by some that the project failed to go ahead because of rivalries between Marvão and the neighbouring town of Castelo de Vide.  However, an energetic townsman, Jeremias da Conceição Dias, inherited a house and combining his own resources with a bank loan, managed to buy the sexton’s house next door, using them both to open the first tourist accommodation in this historic town, the aptly named “Estalagem Ninho D’Águias” (Eagles’ Nest Inn).
Pousada de Marvão - Santa Maria Marvão
Style: Historic Design Pousada in a medieval town
The small traditional houses of Marvao, a medieval town with walls dating from the thirteenth century, seem to squeeze the narrow little streets that wind between them. Two of these village houses have been comfortably converted into the Pousada Marvao, Santa Maria, a small charming hotel.  The Pousada Santa Maria boasts many features, which make this a special place to stay. The cosy ambience of the bedrooms and reception rooms is echoed in the simple decoration and almost family atmosphere. The rooms offer two completely different experiences: some (only a few) offer views of the stunning mountain landscape surrounding this hilltop town, whilst the rest face inwards into the lanes and alleyways of the old town, immersing visitors in a medieval world of granite and whitewashed houses.
Santa Clara-a-Velha - The original building where today the Inn is placed was constructed jointly with the dam, that it was inaugurated in 1969. Initially it the house of the engineers who construction the Barrage, remaining itself thus until being acquired by the Enatur and being reopened as Pousada de Portugal in 1979, with reduced lodging capacity, 6 rooms only.  In May 1994, the Inn closed for workmanships of remodelling and magnifying under the trace of the Architect Corrêa Guedes, reopening in May 1996, already with 19 rooms The official inauguration happened one year later, in May 1997, remaining itself as it is until the present.  A scene of extraordinary beauty, where the natural landscape and the workmanship of the man coexist, he was the chosen one for the Inn of Saint Clara.
Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha, Santa Clara-a-Velha
Style: Hotel Pousada w/pool in a nature/scenic area
Near the beaches of the coast of S. Vicente in Alentejo, surrounded by a breathtaking mountain landscape and close to Santa Clara dam, you will find the Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha hotel. The view from its balconies and swimming pool gives you the tranquility and relaxation you need.  Its peacefulness is ideal for shooting, fishing, water sports or even for a rest in perfect harmony with nature.  This nature hotel is very close to the Natural Park and Vicentine Coast, where the beaches are very appreciated and known. 
Santiago do Cacém - Although the concept of this Pousada is based in the nature’s peace, for more interested people there also are historical attractions, like the Santiago Castle, or re Roman Ruins of Miróbriga, considered the widest and most complete of the south of Portugal.  The council of Santiago de Cacém, typical region of Estremadura is characterized by the finest views over the sea, the mountains, the lagoons, the dams and the up hills, everything amazes the imagination.  There are beaches with a big extension of sand, bathed at one side by the calm waters of the Santo André Lagoon, and at the other by the Atlantic waves. During summer, there are many visitors.  The archaeological vestiges exposed in this region reflect the human presence since the Palaeolithic, when man kind lived in caves and from what we would hunt with very rudimentary utensils.
Pousada de Santiago do Cacém - Quinta da Ortiga, Santiago do Cacém
Style: Rural House Pousada w/pool in a nature/scenic area
This Pousada de Santiago do Cacém is located in a typical Alentejo farm estate, a few minutes from Santiago do Cacém and the São Vicente Coast beaches. It has a beautiful chapel and it is encircled in a magnificent landscape crossed by a refreshing river, terraced gardens and a swimming pool are located where the former watering reservoir used to be. This Pousada's concept is based on its peaceful rural atmosphere, altough there are interesting cultural-historic sites nearby, such as Santiago castle or the Miróbriga Roman ruins, the largest and most complete ruins South of the Tagus river.
Sousel - The Sousel village is located in Alentejo, 17km far away from Estremoz and 55km from Portalegre, a region with rare beauty, with a fertile land and many riversides. This village was founded by the constable D. Nuno Alvares Pereira and is surrounded by lands that are known for having many species with cynegetic interest.  Not far away form the village, on the top of the São Miguel hillock, is the Pousada São Miguel, the first cynegetic tourism space of Portugal, being equipped with a kennel.   But not only the hunting lovers may look for this Pousada, as near it there is the most ancient bull-ring of Portugal and the Maranhão dam (25 km), which makes it possible to fish and do water sports.
Pousada de Sousel - São Miguel, Sousel
Style: Hotel Pousada w/pool in a nature/scenic area
The Sousel village is located in Alentejo, 17km far away from Estremoz and 55km from Portalegre, a region with rare beauty. Situated on a hill overlooking the vast Alentejo plains, stands the white-painted walls and peaceful Pousada de Sousel, São Miguel. This nature hotel with its cinegetic interior designs is always waiting for the shooting, leisure and unique rich cuisine lovers.  Sousel has the oldest bullring in Portugal. Located near the Maranhão dam, it is also ideal for fishing and water sports.
Pousada de Torrão - Vale do Gaio, Torrão
Style: Modern Nature Pousada w/pool
In the heart of the Alentejo region, 30 km from Alcácer do Sal and over the Vale do Gaio dam, stands the beautiful Pousada of Torrão, Vale do Gaio.  It is the perfect place for shooting, fishing nature and water sports lovers, as well as for gastronomics buffs.  The sunsets at the terrace, overlooking the dam make your stay at this nature hotel unforgettable.
Vila Viçosa - Around 1514, the Fourth Duke of Bragança, Dom Jaime, decided to found a religious house close to his palace in Vila Viçosa. It would serve dual purpose of Pantheon for the ladies of his House, and would take in the daughters from his second marriage, who could not find noble husbands.  Nobody knows the exact date of the foundations, although documentary evidence suggests that they date back to 1514. At that time, the Duke of Bragança was undertaking a great number of works in the town, especially the new castle and the city walls.   Despite its local character, thins convent, designed in the early fifteen hundreds, revealed the new aesthetic tastes of the Renaissance - the cultural movement which began in Italy in the late fourteenth century - brought to Portugal by João de Ruão and Nicolau Chanterenne. This influence can be seen not only in certain architectural features, in the design of the church doorway, but also in the layout as a whole, in the way the building surrounds the large square, Terreiro do Paço.   One of the most interesting features of the buildings is the marble doorway. Italian influences combined with the tradition and tastes of local architects."
Pousada de Vila Viçosa - Dom João IV, Vila Viçosa
Style: Historic Design Pousada w/pool formerly an convent
The Pousada de Vila Viçosa, D. João IV, is set in the former Convent of Chagas de Cristo in the historical village of Vila Viçosa. Very characteristic with its intricate themed rooms, full of legends and tales. This Pousada is a luxury hotel, that has kept intact the convent cells, the retreats and the oratories built by the nuns. You can also appreciate the exquisite conventual recipes.  One of the most interesting features of the buildings is the marble doorway. Italian influences combined with the tradition and tastes of local architects.

Pousadas of Alentejo
Pousadas of the Algarve
Pousadas of Azores
Pousadas of Central Portugal
Pousadas of Lisboa
Pousadas of N. Portugal

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Latest update: May 10, 2010