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“Elegant Experience”

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Pousada Palacio de Estoi
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Faro
Certificate of Excellence
Fort St John
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Elegant Experience”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

This hotel architecturally integrates a baroque palace with contemporary Portuguese architecture in a brilliant and elegant fashion. The rooms are spacious, the views are stunning, and the old palace is a reminder of how the very wealthy once lived. Staff were friendly, dining on the terrace was a joy! Strongly recommended.

Room Tip: pay for the upgraded rooms on the upper level
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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701 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Estoi Palace between the 1st & 8th of July. The Palace itself is tastefully renovated and to an excellent standard. The modern annex housing the accommodation does not detract from the Palace and the rooms are spacious enough, comfortable, well equipped and spotlessly clean. Linen and towels were changed daily. The pool area is very good; plenty of chairs and loungers and not the mad rush with towels, they're being a limited number of rooms in the hotel. Staff were in general very friendly and accommodating, particularly the reception and restaurant manager. We found the food offering a little strange, in terms of mix, on some days, but on the whole it was good. Comments regarding service are warranted - it seems that the kitchen is the issue - and the waiting staff to their utmost placate the waiting time, although it was a little frustrating at times. This is the only negative comment we have and some minor improvements would enhance the hotel's reputation. Location can be a little challenging for those without transport bur the local car hire (arranged though the hotel) was excellent - very quick, to the door service and with open and clear charges. On the whole the Palace offers a peaceful retreat and we wouldn't hesitate to return.

Room Tip: We found the rooms on the ground floor at the furtherest extent the quietest but the hotel is in a v...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Stayed on night in July but squeezed in almost 2 days staying on grounds. Didn't want to leave as so nice.

Stayed on 1/2 board meal plan... Great deal esp with kids.

Entrance via car not exciting until you got on grounds.
Place is a 400 yr old palace on one side and ultra modern contemp (office like scandianvian like, zen like) hotel room side.

Grounds beautiful until you get down to gates at bottom where it's not kept well with weeds everywhere. Main area is immaculate. Palace is serreal like you have gone back in time esp in main lounge. Not sure why nobody sits there with all amazing trim, frescos, etc.....with modern sofas. Have a glass a wine and wifi in the lounge.... that's chilling in the 17th century.

Pool is amazing with barely anyone in. Very mature crowd, mainly Brits. everyone reading or just relaxing. Of course my kids made the most noise. Nice view of the city (10km away) and orange orchard below. There's a bar there by the pool and fairly reasonable for drinks and snacks (beer is about 3-4 Euros - so like western price rather than PT pricing).

Rooms very modern and nice. Great views of the city below from patio. Very corp looking and chic with lots of dark wood and white furnishings.

Dining:
Food was amazing at dinner. Had 1/2 board so could choose anything on menu with ** on it. Still good selection. Set menu could be had for 25 Euros also which is good considering a entree could be 15-20 Euro. 3 course meal was sooooo much food. Huge quanities and good quality and presentation. I'm a foodie and picky in case your wondering. We had for apps (huge portion)... seafood crepe & arugala salad (good), fresh tuna algarve salad (ok), fresh prawns (good), salad... Entrees included huge portion of salmon in puff pastry (good), veggie rissoto (ok), dorie fish and tomato rissoto (good), and the biggest pot of monkfish, prawn rice (very good). Dessert was great soerbe, great apple pie/ice cream, fruits etc...
Couldn't finish everything as too much esp kids. Meal was slow but no hurry. Wines are reasonable for a palace

Breakfast buffet.... What a spread..... Sparkling wine (or mimosas), smoke salmon, procuitto, eggs, very good smoky lean bacon, sausage, cold cuts, fresh fruits, yog, flaky croissant/buns, and great pastries esp pastel de nata (egg tarts) - must have had 6 of these. Oh yeah order a cappacino as it's included too. Sit on patio and enjoy view of palace and roman columns.
Ideal setting.

Checked out at 1pm and just sat around pool til 5 pm.

Nice indoor jacuzzi (mini pool) and sauna too.

I thinks it's a really good deal with 1/2 board and prob even better if you go off season. If this was was in France or Germany it would cost $400-$500 per night easily..... Pousadas are the way to go in PT. This was our second one on this trip. We went to Palmela Pousada (Castle) which was also amazing and highly recommended (1/2 from Lisbon near Setubal)... Great to experience a Castle/Convent & a Palace..... Kids loved it... and adults too.

Village of Estoi is cute too. 2 min walk. Theres a really good cheap curry and kaebob place there with 4 Euro meals and 1 Euro beer and 6 E bottles of wine (away from main sq) . Actually bought a bottle for 4 Euro to take back to Palace as it was Sunday and every store closed. Local coffee shop near curry place with great coffee and pastel for 1.6 Euro for both... Sit with locals there....

Enjoy and if you have any questions, let me know

namabeer@hotmail.com

Room Tip: All rooms are good. Got room 108 (std)
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank namabeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 6 Contributor
65 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We stayed for 10 nights 21/6 to 1/7, our initial impression was disppointing as the "palace" seemed small after viewing the pictures online but we quicklty got used to the layout and surroundings. The restoration (or what has been done anyway) is tastefully done, but there is a long way to go with the grounds. Not sure if they intend to upgrade them, there is a lot of ground and most of it is rather delapidated. We were lucky insofar as the day we arrived the big double gates over the little "roadbridge" were open which meant we could go into the grounds and see the three graces, the fountains and other statuary. What we didn't know then was that the gates are very seldom open and indeed we didn't get across the wee bridge again during our stay. It seems that the gates are only open if the "events pavilion" is in use but not as a matter of course. This is a shame as the area I am referring to is really atmospheric and charming if a little rundown.There have been a lot of complaints on here about the public areas and how they are furnished but the hotel has 63 rooms; antique furntiture would never be robust enough to withstand use by many hundreds of visitors backsides!! There are examples of period chairs toped off, in the corridors and some rooms, one look at them was enough to prove they are nothing other than decoration. For me the dining room was the biggest disappointment in both terms of internal decor and the food it served, breakfast was ok, just what you'd expect at a buffet, but dinner ranged from passable to horrible. OH thoroughly enjoyed duck leg confit and the bacalau but thought his risotto was disppointing and the stuffed squid with rice even more so. I can't truthfully say I thought much of any of the meals I had. So far as ambience goes, the outdoor terrace was lovely, set among the columns with views over the countryside and to the sea.but Indoors was nothing more than a featureless room with no character whatever. We did go to the wee restaurant up the road twice, the food there was better and so was service. The pool area was charming, peaceful and spotlessly clean. The water was cold but very refreshing and so, so clean. OH enjoyed the sauna and indoor pool, both were of a high standard he said. Our room, 118, was adequate, well better than adequate we thought, nice balcony, decent size bathroom, tiny little TV but we didn't watch much other than the odd bit of fooball. Wifi was free and fast. The water was always piping hot and the room was spotless with plenty of storage and power points. Towards the end of our stay the shampoo/shower gel was not refilled as much as earlier but that didn't worry us, we had enough. One thing really annoyed me however, three times our electronic door key refused us entry, for some reason reception didn't seem clear on how long we were staying so cancelled access to the room!! Irritating to say the least. OH had to traipse up to reception to sort it out each time. We were also "banned" from the underground carpark for the same reason, the electronic key failed.............having said that the carpark itself was a joy, large and well laid out and undercover meant cool when we got into the car. We haven't stayed at a Pousada before so have nothing to compare it to but other guests we spoke to seemed very disappointed in many aspects but especially the food/bedrooms/public areas/service. We stayed there partly beacause the last time we were in Estoi the palace was in its early stages of renovation, it really was a ruin. Marvellous what has been achieved by Pestana and I hope they complete the job by renovating the grounds.....if they do we'll certainly return. On balance I did like it, very comfortable, safe and clean and, as we got the golden age deal (over 55s) it was good value for money.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank susannahm843
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

Stayed 23 June to 30 June - Transfers good thanks to green bus co - arranged prior to departure from UK. We agree with Albon_1 given the hype in Pestana literature. Used some of our points as Priority Guests and felt a little let down so little of the Pousada is open and what is open to guests is furnished with industrial leatherette and chrome legged chairs - so out of keeping with the decoration. The gardens in particular were a let down given that they were derelict - locals said nothing had been done for years. Breakfast was buffet style the same fare every day and not that exciting. We didn't use the restaurant at all - 22 euros for two courses seemed expensive for the daily menu which again was unexciting to say the least.People did report slow service and too few staff. There are however a number of places to eat with good portuguese cooking and inexpensive. The portions quite considerable in each. The snack bar/ restaurant facing the steps to the church with its owner Anna particularly good if on a budget.

Public transport is fine and relatively inexpensive we managed buses and trains to Faro and Tavira with no hassles at all. With a hire car perhaps we could have got around more but we just wanted somewhere quiet to chill out for a while which we certainly did. The one really galling thing was the fact that there are no drink making facilities in the rooms at all and the minibar prices are extortionate. A travel kettle would be a good idea!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Baggins2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houten, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviewed 5 July 2014

A very good hotel. Close to the airport of Faro.
We stayed 2 nights. The first night was 20th of June and the second the 3rd of July.
Rooms are good and the food is excellent.
Staff is very attentive.
A place to go back to.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ed B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

For a hotel that advertises itself as a palace it's very disappointing. The rooms are actually nowhere near the palace part which is just a small part where the restAurant is. The rooms while specious are very corporate and a bit dark and dingy and the decor for a new hotel isn't that nice. The food in restaurant was v slow and the quality not that good. There was never anyone serving at the bar. The pool area was good with excellent views over countryside. Location is very isolated and there's nothing else nearby to eat or drink so you're a bit stuck unless you're prepared to have a 15-20 mins drive at dinner times.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Albon_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pousada Palacio de Estoi

Property: Pousada Palacio de Estoi
Address: Rua de Sao Jose, Faro 8005-465, Portugal (Formerly Pousada de Faro - Estoi Palace Hotel)
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Faro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Faro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Pousada Palacio de Estoi 4*
Number of rooms: 63
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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