One of Portugal’s must-see destinations, Sintra, is a colourful sea-side town punctuated with historic palaces, castles, villas and gardens. One palace in this UNESCO World Heritage Site that the likes of Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp have stayed in, and one that would also greet you with a royal-worthy welcome is the beautifully restored Tivoli Palácio de Seteais hotel.
Originally known as the Seteais Palace, the building was built in 1783 for the Dutch consulate. Fast forward 200 years later, the national landmark became home to the luxury hotel known as Tivoli Palácio de Seteais.
Sitting atop pine-covered hills, this historic structure is a magnificent piece of 18th century architecture and an example of restoration work done with finesse. The Neoclassical facade centres on a majestic arch with bronze effigies and detailed cornice typical of the period. Through this arch is a viewpoint that opens up to Sintra’s mountainous range and the ocean on the horizon.
Inside, original frescoes, paintings and antique decorations remain the main focus of the interior. Plenty of sitting rooms and dining rooms invite guests to take a pause to admire the exquisite furnishings all around. Intricate chandeliers illuminate the luxurious carpets lining the floors, and together with the elegant wallpapers and period furniture, they make an unmistakable old-world opulence fit for a palace.
All thirty guest rooms in both the old and new wings of the hotel carry the same classical charm and enjoy views of either the Sintra Mountains, the Moorish Castle or the Pena Palace. With a Presidential Suite, 16 double rooms and 13 twin rooms, spaces range from 21 to 47 sqm. Rest assured each is fitted with 21st century comfort and necessities most can’t live without.
There’s a lot to explore just in the hotel grounds alone. One can start the day with breakfast at one of Sintra’s top culinary destinations, the Seteais Restaurant, and spend the rest of the morning strolling through the palace gardens or relaxing by the terrace or pool.
A stone’s throw away from the main edifice, tucked away among lush greens, is a tranquil oasis and pampering central, the Anantara Spa. The spa is modeled after the one in Tivoli’s sister brand, the Thailand-based Anantara, so expect a selection of treatments that include Thai Massages.
A hotel is only as good as its hospitality service, and true to the Tivoli name, the service meets what one would expect of a luxurious five-star hotel. The staff is friendly and helpful, and would be happy to assist with your local travel plans — there are plenty of landmarks near the hotel that you don’t want to miss.
Though it’s tempting to stay and admire the beautiful Tivoli Palácio de Seteais hotel inside and out, every minute in Sintra is precious because there’s so much history and character to appreciate during your vacation. Vamos!