When looking for a place to stay, I rely on Trip Advisor and I immediately go to the terrible and poor reviews. I also consider the total number of reviews and the proportion of bad ones to good ones. After reading the reviews for Quinta das Murtas I felt confident that this would be a fun and fine place to stay. I was excited about to opportunity to hold a real parrot. Most of the complainers were complaining about having to go up and down the hill (it is a short walk and not that bad), the birds and frogs being loud, and about rain ruining their stay.
DO NOT STAY AT THIS PLACE! I reserved a double room through Lonely Planet’s booking website. From the photos and website, I though this was going to be a room in the historic mansion. Our room was essentially a cheap IKEA 'apartment' house called “The Lake house” situated in the garden in front of the AstroTurf pond that is called a lake. When we entered “The Lake house” we were overcome by extremely strong cigarette smoke smells. The entire place smelled extremely strongly including the tiled bathroom. There was also a cigarette burn on the dirty white area rug. The smell was so strong we left our luggage in the car and only brought one outfit each to the place and opted to leave our clothes outside on the plastic chairs. I was so upset by this that I marched back up to the mansion and told the young man who checked us in that we absolutely needed another room.
To his credit, he gave us another IKEA house. Not to his credit, he denied any knowledge that this place stank of smoke and wanted my to show him. I don't know how anyone could not notice the smell, but perhaps the fact that every staff member we saw smoked could begin to explain such. Upon taking him down there to show him the burn mark and have him inhale to stench, he blamed “the girl” and said she was a new girl and "she didn’t know". I informed him that clearly someone had been living in here a long time and smoking inside all the time and there is no way he did not know about this. We suspect that these 'apartments' may be long-term rentals at times.
The new IKEA house was named “Casa de Patrao” which is located by the pool and this place smelled very heavily of a chemical potpourri (there was one plugged into an outlet). Other posters mentioned strong potpourri smells that they thought was covering up another smell. Well, as it so happens, that night we realized that that smell is none other than cigarettes and laying in bed it permeated up from that pillows, sheets, and mattress. When we showered in the morning, we dried ourselves off with cigarette-scented towels – another nice touch. I should also mention as a plus that at this IKEA house, I was able to get the Wi-Fi to work very well on the patio (otherwise you had to go to the main house and use one of the rooms near the router). The downside is that everyone (staff, guests, families that appear to be living in the IKEA houses long term) uses the steps and patio of this 'apartment' as a thoroughfare in spite of other paths to get around the property. The humidity is high here and we did notice some mold growing in various places inside the unit, though it was not terrible.
I do not know what the rooms in the house themselves are like, so can't comment there. My advice would be to find somewhere else. In fact, finding the property and parking is a real challenge (as it may be for many in Sintra center) - considering the tight and confusing roadway and pedestrian density, you may be better served staying slightly outside Sintra center and taxi into town.
In reference to other reviewers, if you are a light sleeper, you should be aware that the frogs and birds can be noisy at night or the morning - it felt like camping to us since we left the sliding door cracked (to air out smells), so we didn't mind. But, speaking of the sliding doors, they didn't seem to lock.
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