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Pousada Palacio De Estoi - Monument Hotel & SLH

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

As the booker of accommodation, there’s always a moment of panic when you arrive and it looks, well…. below your expectations. Plus I’m always a little dubious about places with great reviews – it’s like when everyone raves about a movie, and you’re so hyped up to see it, that it cannot possibly live up to your expectations. We arrived at dusk, travelling down a narrow country lane, with nothing but a few houses, and orchards (oranges and olives) for company. A simple sign with an arrow “Pousada Palácio de Estoi” was the only clue we were headed to a hotel, rather than a barn. Walking through this hotel was a little like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. It was nothing less than jaw-dropping wonderment. As it turns out, the building was once a famous 19th century Palace, and it’s been painstakingly restored to its former glory. And when I say glory – I mean GLORY. The main floor rooms are ornate, with idyllic scenes painted on high ceilings, elaborate cornices, parquetry timber floors, chandeliers over 1m wide, gold gilt furniture, opulent mirrors at least 4m high – the pictures don’t do it justice. You need to stand in the space to fully appreciate the majesty. I’m speechless that something this beautiful exists, AND that you can stay in it. In the gathering darkness, we wonder through the historic terraced gardens, which were first established in the 18th century. It’s wonderfully romantic, with the soft up-lights, rows of columns, fountains, rendered balustrades, statues, small garden belvederes and grottoes. Tiny mosaics feature on the pathways, and many of the garden walls are decorated in elaborate blue and white tile panels. I definitely recommend this hotel and can't wait to come and stay again.

We checked in for four days over Christmas in 2017. We have had a nightmare from hell year in our own lives and really needed to escape at Christmas. The hotel reception was too offhanded, but the rooms were of a satisfactory standard. Nothing special. The breakfast was very good, to more than good. Dinner on Christmas Eve, (and I totally understand restaurants, having worked in them for fifty years) was worse than abysmal. Absolutely prepared far too far in advance for one thing. To reinforce this, a table of around twelve beside us, had left most of their food on the plates. Wise up management, you are charging enough to warrant sufficient staffing.

My husband and I stayed for four days in November. I was a bit concerned when I read some of the reviews from October, but we had no issues of any kind. Gisele in the reception came out to help with our luggage, checked us in very efficiently, and asked if we would like to upgrade our room for a small sum. We did, and stayed in 204, a large room with twin beds and a pleasant patio. The reception staff were all very nice and helpful. Housekeeping staff offered extra chocolates, and good cleaning efforts. We had dinner twice, the dining room staff were also friendly and helpful, good food arrived without delay. Yes, it was more expensive than in the village, but not frighteningly so. They also managed to feed us lunch quite efficiently while we were waiting to go to the airport, even though they were really busy arranging a wedding, and we were alone in the dining room. Would not hesitate to recommend!

I have to say this has to be one of my most favourite ever hotels. The gardens, flowers and birdlife in the gardens are exquisite and the restoration of the Palace just breathtakingly beautiful, with a complete juxtaposition of ultra modern swimming pool area and wing of bedrooms, yet it works. The corridors are filled with photos of the restoration process. Set in the middle of pretty much nowhere. The gardens and building are a photographers dream. Just cannot tell you how amazing this place was. So restful and peaceful with stunning views over towards Faro.

Beautiful place however it's in the middle of nowhere, a hired car is a must! Not happy with the customer service at all, tried to arrange a spa treatment but all my messages got ignored. For so called a luxury place I was truly expecting much better service, a little things such as answering email queries/FB messages is a standard requirement these days. We were kindly offered complimentary chocolates on arrival as It was my partners birthday but sadly it never got delivered at all. Overall an ok experience, again, was expecting more.

We are Amigos de Paradores and know what to expect staying in restored period buildings in Spain. It was our first experience at the Portuguese equivalent, a Pousada. This one is listed as a member of the SLH so it's character, amenities and service is standout GOOD!! Guests enjoy free secured underground parking. Check in was warm, friendly and efficient. Staff was informative and helpful with recommended activities. Our room was very spacious and had a private balcony overlooking the palace gardens. A perfect oasis to enjoy an aperitif and watch the sunset. Breakfast was buffet style with sufficient variety for our 2-day stay.

Frankly I am stunned to learn this property has a manager. I never would have guessed it given that during my stay there was no evidence of any supervision on site. I booked two rooms for four nights. We were very excited by the appearance of the hotel when we pulled up. Disappointment came quickly. The reception desk was staffed by two people ( I came to learn it was rare to have more than one person on duty at the desk). We waited for over twenty minutes before they were able to start our registration though only one couple was ahead of us. The process took almost as long as the wait. One of the people at the desk had to let us in the garage and escort us to our room. ( it must be a real mess when there is only one staffer on duty.) The lobby area is furnished in a combination of replica furniture and some unattractive modern pieces. The rooms, though quite clean, had a dull and shoddy appearance. Worn and stained beds ( linens themselves were spotless),scratched flooring and unattractive, plain furnishings. The room was large and had a blacony. There was very poor lighting in the room and no mirror in the main area. Adjusting the air conditioning was a challenge and we had to call maintenance. The tub was large but very slippery. It took three requests to get a safety mat for the tub. Other concerns: 1.It was next to impossible to get a drink at the bar as it was never staffed. Apparently waiters from the dining room would fill in when you could find one ( I went to the kitchen to get a waiter one night). Not surprisingly the waiters could not make pretty ordinary mixed drinks, cosmo, mojito, etc. 2.A dead pigeon lay at the doorway to the garden for two days despite being reported repeatedly. 3. There is no concierge and all service, information, etc has to be handled by the woefully understaffed front desk. Phone calls to the desk went unanswered. 4. Staffing in the dining area was also a problem. The wait at dinner was three hours one night. The next night we decided to eat our main meal out and have only tapas for dinner. Despite our very basic order after an hour no food had been brought to us. When I told the maitre d he expressed shock ( odd he had so little management of the room he had not noticed himself). He did organize us being served and waived payment. 5. The general demeanor of staff was grim and unfriendly. A little warmth would have taken an edge off the frustration with delays. 6. We attempted to book spa appointments. The booking staff was unfamiliar with the services listed on the website and in a flyer left in the rooms, services listed were not actually offered ( manicures and pedicures are pretty normal offerings and were listed but no one on staff could do them). There is only one therapist and only one treatment room so appointments were difficult to schedule for a group traveling together. 7. We attempted to settle our bill the night before checkout in order to facilitate an early departure. The desk staffer said he needed an hour to put the bill together. 8. The furnishings of the common areas are very unattractive. This is such a shame because the rooms are beautiful. The lighting is exceptionally bright which adds to the unattractiveness of these areas. 9. Despite all these disappointments there were some bright spots. The therapist in the spa, Marta, is exceptional. We all thought the services she performed were top tier. Gisele,a front desk staffer, was very warm and welcoming. Victoria who managed breakfast and lunch service some of the days of our stay was very efficient and pleasant. Evo, our busboy one night was a delightful presence. Although he did his duties professionally there was a sense of genuine welcome. He should train the staff! All in all it was a very sad experience to see such a beautiful property so poorly operated. Portugal is center stage in the tourism industry. This property should be a jewel.

Checked in today - very unpleasant check in, the lady at the reception was too "busy" for our arrival. Obviously taking calls and boxes delivery are more important for her than welcoming customers. The room is ok. 3 star max. But it is "standard " room so we should not complain;).

My husband and I have stayed at this Pousada several times in the past on the evening before an early morning flight from Faro and love the mix of old public areas and modern, spacious, clean accommodation along with the gardens and pool terrace/spa. Whilst not cheap, we have always really enjoyed the food in the restaurant and found the service professional and attentive, without being overbearing. It was always a wonderful way to end a holiday and we were really looking forward to our stay this time, after an absence of a couple of years. How disappointed and disgusted we were to be. This was quite simply the worst restaurant experience we have ever had. The food, whilst presented well, was bland. The portions were small and it was vastly overpriced for what it was. Not what you would expect from a “luxury” or high-end hotel restaurant. At 8 Euros, the price of the “covers”, comprising one small dish of olives, one small plate of olive oil and two small bread rolls (with no “appetizer”) is by any stretch of the imagination, ridiculously expensive. At no point during the entire meal were we asked if we would like more bread. The mark-up on our bottle of wine was at the high-end – even for such an establishment. The starter of duck confit pie was mostly thick pastry, with maybe a teaspoon of bland filling which in turn was largely diced carrot. The quantity of duck was maybe half a teaspoon in total. The grilled octopus main course was extremely disappointing. The octopus, whilst nicely cooked, was a very small portion (just enough for a starter) and was bulked out with stone cold vegetables and stodgy sweet potato cakes. The whole thing was bland and under-seasoned. My husband had previously eaten a grilled octopus dish here which was truly delicious – a whole grilled small (baby) octopus – which made this sorry affair all the more disappointing. We did not order dessert so cannot comment on this. The dining experience was dreadful. The service was at best chaotic and disorganized, and often non-existent – in fact the worst I have ever experienced anywhere (and I have been to many restaurants of differing grades in many different countries around the world). Upon arrival at the dining room, we had to wait several minutes to be shown to our table, for which we had made a reservation at reception, although the staff member seemed to have trouble finding this in the book. As it was a warm evening, it was nice to be shown to a table outside on the terrace, however this turned out to be rather wobbly. The waiter did try to fix this – and it did improve things but the “wobble” was still there throughout the meal. When we were given the menu it became clear that a lack of lighting made it very difficult to read the menu. I had to resort to using the torch on my smartphone and I saw at least one other table doing the same thing. We had to specifically ask for bread as none was offered. Having decided what we wanted to eat we had to wait another 40 minutes to place our order. We had to ask 3 times if the waiter could bring the bottle of wine we had ordered. We were asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu before we had even been given our main courses. After finishing the main course and again after waiting some considerable time, we had to ask to see the dessert menu. Having decided there was nothing we wanted to eat for dessert (what happened to the amazing fig parfait with fruit sorbet that I thought was a signature dish here?) we asked for the bill. The waiter brought the bill but it belonged to another table. We called the waiter who then gave us another bill. This too was not our bill, but one for another completely different table. It took 3 attempts to get the correct bill. All during this time the dish of olive stones and dirty olive oil plate was left on the table. Even pushing these clearly to one side did not persuade anyone to clear them away. Management – you need to sort out the restaurant here – it has seriously gone downhill. I saw at least one other table also receive the incorrect bill, and another where they had to query some items on the bill. Another table nearby had to return their main course to the kitchen. I did not see any of the very professional waiting staff I remember from previous visits. There did not seem to be anyone who was “in charge”. The one guy dressed in a black t-shirt who looked like he might have some authority was absent more than he was present. It would take a lot to persuade me to stay here again – and even if I did I would not use the restaurant. There are other options available in Estoi which, without the pretensions of being a high-end establishment, will provide attentive service and a much cheaper and tastier meal.

This place was unique in that the old part of the hotel, a 17th century manor house, served as the greeting area, common rooms, garden, and restaurant. The actual guest rooms were down below (sort of built into the hillside) and were totally modern and stark (dark brown wood and white tile). I loved the old part but thought the guest rooms were cold. That said, the room was neat, clean, and comfortable. The pool area was beautiful. We enjoyed swimming and sunbathing there. The old manor house, tiled grand entrance from the old days, and geometric gardens were lovely. We ate dinner in the hotel dining room once. Food was so-so and very expensive. We ate in Estoi town the other nights and enjoyed a local place called "O Bello Sol" a lot more than the fancy dining room of the pousada. Parking was in an underground bunker. Reminded me of a James Bond movie - the lair of Dr. No. Breakfast was lovely, and served on the terrace. You had to pay for every thing at this place. We went looking for a bucket of ice to chill some wine. The bellman brought it to our door and the hotel charged us 5 EURO. For a bucket of ice! C'mon! We liked the little town of Estoi. It was peaceful among the olive and orange groves. BTW - Driving in the Algarve was easy. Traffic was light Use WAZE to navigate as the cell coverage down there is fantastic. You'll never get lost!

Rua de S. José Faro Algarve

Hotel highlights

  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Located in Estoi, Pousada Palacio De Estoi - Monument Hotel & SLH is adjacent to Estoi Palace and a short stroll from Ruins of Milreu. This 4-star hotel has 63 rooms and welcomes guests with free breakfast, a full-service spa, and an outdoor pool. It's in central Faro and also within a 15-minute drive of Carmo Church.


Dining

Free buffet breakfast is included with your stay. Sit down for a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge. Satisfy your hunger from the comfort of your room with room service.


Rooms

Pousada Palacio De Estoi - Monument Hotel & SLH's 63 soundproofed rooms provide minibars, safes, and phones. Guests can expect to find free WiFi and LCD TVs with cable channels. Bathrooms offer hair dryers, free toiletries, and bidets. Desks are also standard.


Property features

Pousada Palacio De Estoi - Monument Hotel & SLH features a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and an outdoor pool. There's free parking if you drive. The 24-hour front desk has multilingual staff ready to assist with sightseeing, directions, and local dining recommendations. Other amenities at this luxury hotel include a children's pool, a sauna, and free WiFi in public areas.

Room options

Superior Room

Twin 3 | Sleeps 4

Standard Suite

Full 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 4

Superior Triple Room

Full 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Superior Triple Room

Full 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

82% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 755 reviews