A 20-minute drive from the Faro airport, confidently perched on a hill overlooking southern Portugal’s rustic landscape, sits a 19th Century pousada, complete with white, neo-classical columns and arches, intricate, wrought iron and marble staircases, and sprawling, manicured grounds. Originally constructed as the home of former Vicount of Estoi, José Francisco da Silva, the expansive property was clearly built to impress – conspicuous in size and style, as evidenced by its Rococo detailing with frescoed ceilings and gold leafing. Over the years, however, some of this pomposity has dissipated. While much of the architectural grandeur has remained in tact, the building has mellowed, perhaps by its minimalist, contemporary extension, or by its warm and inviting staff who dutifully maintain it in its current life as a hotel.
Inhabited mainly by farmers, the surrounding village of Estoi adds another layer of charm as it keeps this imposing structure at bay. Unpretentious and authentic, this little town provides the perfect backdrop for such a landmark, as the contrast only reinforces rural Portugal’s appeal: elegance and simplicity.
Reasonably priced, clean, and beautiful, Palácio de Estoi is sure to please. Start your day with a selection from the extensive complimentary breakfast buffet and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice; go for a dip in the sleek pool overlooking the valley and sea below; explore the surrounding villages of the Algarve region; then return for a sunset toast of Espumante (Portuguese sparkling wine) and dine al fresco on the candle-lit, wrap-around terrace.
Book your stay at http://www.pousadas.pt. Boa Viagem!