Heritage hotels in Portugal

Pousada de Palmela, Lisbon.

Portugal’s important global role as a colonial power brought enormous riches and influence, which are now reflected in the country’s stunning towns and buildings. There are plenty of handsome, historical properties that have been transformed into luxurious hotels, including the beautiful “pousadas,” national historical landmarks — castles, convents, forts, monasteries, palaces and even towns — that have been turned into very special places to stay.

The castle

Pousada de Palmela, Lisbon
This 17th-century fortress is set dramatically on the top of a hill with breathtaking views over the countryside to the Arrabida Natural Park. The hotel is luxurious and welcoming, but offers a pleasing, authentic austere with lots of period features, huge rooms and corridors as well as a wind that whistles around the building on chillier nights. The restaurant is excellent, serving local wines and delicious specialities.

The country house

Monte do Casal, Algarve
A far cry from the busy resorts of the Algarve coast, this pretty, privately owned hotel is set in a traditional 18th-century country house steps from the beach in the old village of Estoi. The hotel has just 18 rooms, and it’s a haven of peace and quiet set on a hill with panoramic views over an elegant garden with waterfalls and ponds, two heated swimming pools and a separate spa with a special deck for outdoor treatments.

The vineyard

Quinta Nova De Nossa Senhora Do Carmo, Douro Valley
The Quinta Nova claims the prize of being the first hotel in a vineyard in Portugal. This refurbished 18th-century manor house in the middle of a stunning vineyard is the ideal place to experience Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley and get a feel for the history of this famous wine region. There are tours as well as wine and port tastings, and it’s a fantastic place to unwind with superb home-cooking.

The convent

Pousada de Arraiolos, Nossa Senora da Assuncao, Arraiolos
Set in the stunning Alentejo countryside, this former convent dating back to the 16th century has been  tastefully transformed into a completelycontemporary hotel. The cloisters have been given a clean and minimalist look, peppered with antiques. The hotel’s charming little chapel is lined with stunning, original blue and white tiles.

The palace

Palacio de Estoi, Algarve
This highly unusual pastel-pink palace — dating back to 1909 —has recently been tastefully restored. It delights viewers with its elegantly landscaped gardens and rococo-style building with reception rooms featuring antiques and intricate frescoes where visitors can lounge and dine.


Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.


Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.


Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…


Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…


Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.


NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.


All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.


Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."