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“Nice and quiet.”
Review of Quinta das Murtas

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Quinta das Murtas
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Nice and quiet.”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We booked this place for one night while we were in Sintra. We took the train there from Lisbon. We walked all the way to the hotel. It is rather straight forward if you ask around. They gave us a corner house by the swimming pool. It was a big house with living room, kitchen and bedroom. More space than we ever need. My wife loves tea so was able to use the boiler to make herself a cup of tea. The shower works but needed some maintenance. We had a good night. Breakfast was provided. Lots of fruits and coffee. Overall a very relaxing place.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank LH_GA03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2013

My feelings on how to rate this guest house are mixed. As with much in life, your satisfaction can be directly related to low expectations, so I think it's helpful to know the negatives. I have never stayed elsewhere in Sintra to know how other places compare. Overall, if you think of the property as a rustic guest house, versus an immaculate hotel, you will have adequately managed your expectations.

The building is unique and has old world charm. It is not in the historic center, but is not far from it either. I found that aspect of it nice, if not a little inconvenient. I personally would recommend getting a taxi from the train station if you are taking the train there. We walked--uphill with luggage--and while it was great exercise, it was not pleasant! I also walked to the train station on my last morning--it was still dark, and that is also something I wouldn't recommend! Call a cab the night before. It was fine, but very dark which creeped me out (thankfully I had a flashlight!). That being said, we also walked to the Moorish Castle and Pena from there. It was also a hike, but not as bad as I originally thought. If you aren't up for that challenge, the buses depart from the historic center, which is approximately 15 minutes downhill from the Quinta. We walked to and from the historic center every day. It was not the most pleasant walk, but not the worst either. I'd say the worst part was making sure to not be in traffic. If it is during the day, I suggest taking a stroll through the adjacent park--you can enter one side and exit the other. Unfortunately, I was often making the walk after the park closes.

Being an old house, some of the condition of the rooms reflect that. Mine was comfortable, and I had no problems with the room itself, though the bathroom could use updating. The shower in particular caused me problems--it is a handheld shower that was mounted above head height. The problem was that it needed to be repaired and was shooting water all over the bathroom, because it was above the height of the partial shower enclosure. I alerted the manager, who promptly had the water cleaned up and gave me extra towels (to replace those I was using to stop the flood). On subsequent days, I got in the shower, held the sprayer, and then turned on the water and did not replace it in its holder until I was finished. This was just a minor inconvenience, but it's something to keep in mind if that is the type of thing you would be bothered by.

As I said, the room was comfortable and quaint. It had a balcony (the only one in the place), closet, hair dryer, TV (which I didn't use), bottled water. The bed was fairly comfortable--not the best I've experienced, but not the worst. My room was on the second floor, and unlike my friends on the third floor, I was able to get wifi access. It did get a little musty; the humidity seems to be very high. I'd recommend also leaving your windows open to let the air circulate.

We used the hot tub on our first night there. It felt nice, but was a little gross. The water was kind of dirty and I definitely showered after using it. The pool looked great and refreshing, but we never had time to use it.

We had the dinner one night. It was a good value--15 Euros for a HUGE amount of food. It was almost a ridiculous amount of food, and we left one of the plates of food untouched. The food was hearty, stick-to-your ribs food. Nothing fancy, just filling.

Breakfast was good--a pretty wide selection of stuff. I was able to fill up before touring each day.

The birds are amusing--and annoying. They didn't bother me in the mornings, but I can see how that might be irritating. If you love tropical birds, you'll love their pets.

All in all, I'm on the fence on whether I'd consider a repeat visit. I wasn't exceedingly happy, but I wasn't unhappy either. Hence the three stars. I enjoyed my stay overall, though, and think so long as you know what to expect, you will too.

Room Tip: The room with the balcony on the second floor (called "the Bird Room") is nice, though kee...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PlangalDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2013 via mobile

The place offers great value for money. The appartment by the pool in which we stayed was large, nicely furnished and clean. The food we ordered for dinner was excelent, portions were large and for a very good price. There is also a garden with a small swimming pool and jacuzzi.
I particularly enjoyed the encounter with the parrots they have. Some of them were even friendly enough to sit on my finger.
Sorry we couldn't stay more.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adinutze1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangor, Maine
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

The main house was lovely and Pedro, the greeter, was delightful. His interaction with the quinta's tropical bird collection was a pleasure to watch. Breakfast in the main house was ample and included fresh fruits. The location was great -- within walking distance from town and the castles. On the down side: we reserved an apartment with cooking facilities, and were placed in a 1960s-style beach cabana down the hill from the historic main house. Brown sliding glass doors on three sides, ill-fitting shades. This all might have worked had the "lake" been filled, but it was half empty, exposing hideous astro-turf "islands" and black rubber lining, all covered in bird droppings. The cabana, though comfortable, smelled strongly of smoke and had some cleanliness issues. We stayed two nights and on balance, it was pleasant, but if I ever returned I would ask for a place in the older buildings. The tropical birds are interesting to watch, but the glass surrounding their enclosure is really nasty and should be replaced. An odd mixture of good and odd.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gfmalone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
77 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

After spending 10 days at "one of the heap" beach hotels, getting to this hotel (of course it´s a Quinta, it says so in the name...) was like a breath of fresh air. Pedro was in charge of receiving us and he also gave us great advice about moving around Sintra.

I have read other opinions, it is true that the hotel is divided between the main building which is probably an old wealthy family house and then on another level are the other rooms.

I stayed on the latter which are in a lovely patio where they have a pool and a pond, it is an unique arrangement. Our room was very spacious (for 4) and really the only thing to object is that the bathroom had a weird smell (I´m thinking it´s because it has a septic thank) but besides that is clean and very authentic.

On the main building I can only talk about the common areas which adorned in a very neat old fashion way but still with all modern comforts(has Wi-Fi for those who are addicted). We only had dinner once and was very good (the cooks are Brazilian and prepare a great cod fish dish) this is not included but it´s not very expensive, make sure you make a reservation.

The kids LOVED their birds (Cockatoos , parrots, macaws and other birds), they have a small pool and a jacuzzi which is fine enough to have a quick dip. The breakfast is normal and decent as is included in the prices.

Loved it and would come back with my wife on a romantic get away.

Room Tip: Notice your check in time....we got there earlier and no huge problem as we left the car and went to...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Oscar L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

Lovely house, but
The house is really very nice, I guess an old estate for Portuguese high class family.
When you arrive the staff receive you in a proper way, showing you the common areas and all the facilities of this structure that I have to say is really not common (two special aspects, the garden with parrots and the inner garden, very well designed, with a small swimming pool and a Jacuzzi). Pedro, I guess the owner or the general manager, was very nice, and invited us to enjoy all the facilities.
We reserved a room with an included bathroom. Room was ok, clean and with enough space, bathroom small, and to be honest the finishes not in line with the rest of the rooms.
But we faced two main problems.
When we arrived (it was about 3:30 pm, so during the check in time) our room was not ready yet. We spent the morning on the seaside, and we really would use our room before going out and visit Sintra, but this was not possible.
Second point, when finally we had a shower (about 8 pm) we were without hot water. Our room was an attic, so I guess at that time the demand of hot water was huge, and there was no hot water coming out from the tap. Suddenly you could have a temperature very high, and immediately after the complete stop of the flow rate. Very unpleasant.
The morning after the system was working properly

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank i-mascherati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
Reviewed 27 July 2013

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.

Room Tip: Do not settle for one of the "apartments."
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Christine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Quinta das Murtas

Property: Quinta das Murtas
Address: Rua Eduardo Vanzeller 4 | Vila Velha Old Town, Sintra 2710-593, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Sintra Municipality > Sintra
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Sintra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Quinta das Murtas 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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