We stayed at Estoi Palace using the 4th and 5th vouchers of our 5 night Golden Age Passport (GAP), the last 2 nights of our 10 night visit to Southern Portugal. We thoroughly recommend a GAP for making the luxurious Pousadas affordable (ie 80 euro per dble per night inc b/fast if over 55 years old, slightly more if not) and enjoyed, earlier in this holiday, 2 nights at Sagres and one at Beja.
We were SO impressed at how the Lisbon Architect, G Byrne, had merged the classic with the new at Estoi especially by keeping the new building below skyline level. The ‘fit’ between old and new, both from internal and external perspectives, was beyond reproach. Several acres of estate are yet to be opened but if/when they are they will add further charm to the already delightful location.
We appear to have, unknowingly at the time, received an upgrade (Was it my smile?) to a ‘Superior’ room on floor 2 and superior it certainly was! From the floor plans it appeared that ‘Standard’ rooms (on floors 0 and 1) would be about ¾ the size but, presumably, with the same facilities (?).
Architecturally the Dining room was a disappointment and, perhaps some coloured tablecloths and a lighting ‘makeover’ could be of benefit? Staff all charming, etc, but some niggles, as follows:-
1. Internet, email in particular, is now so much an essential part of modern life that charging extra for access seems incongruous! The 3 Pousadas we stayed in all gave the first ½ hour free but, naughtily, Estoi did not advertise this.
2. What they did advertise was a 10 euro room service charge! Naughty again?
3. The breakfast choices we had, at all 3 Pousadas, was excellent but (almost?) identical on all 5 mornings! I suggest adding some variety by incorporating either some regional, or daily, ‘specials’. For example could the 5 mornings of scrambled egg be varied by incorporating boiled and fried eggs on a rota?
4. We tried to arrange, by (free!!) email as we travelled, to arrive a day early. We thought that offering the GAP rate of 80 euro was a win-win situation but we failed to persuade the Pousada of this (so we stayed elsewhere!)
Estoi is a pleasant and quiet small town to wander around. The street map, from the Pousada reception, only shows one restaurant and it’s within (5-6 mins) walking distance (…Vitor). This is a true ‘locals’ restaurant –nothing posh, just good quality (eg fish) and excellent value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The luxurious Pousada de Estoi, the Estoi Palace, born out of the recovery of an old eighteenth century palace, is located in the village of Estoi only 10 km from Faro. This palace once belonged to Jose Francisco da Silva, Viscount of Estoi, and was opened in 1909. In 1987, it was purchased by the Town Hall of Faro, and in 1977, it was considered a property of Public Interest. A project by architect Goncalo Byrne, this hotel in Faro has a Health Club where you can enjoy a Turkish bath, sauna, tropical showers and heated indoor pool with a whirlpool. In a region with great gastronomic traditions you can find the Visconde restaurant, one of the Algarvian establishments which include fish and fresh seafood. The whole menu is inspired by Portuguese cuisine and exhibits a genuine form of art for good eating. Don't miss out on the deserts from Algarve made with figs and almonds grown locally. Experiencing the Pousada de Estoi is a pleasant journey with a combination of the classical, Baroque and contemporary elements that will definitely be a memorable experience. ... more less
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