Monday, 19 May 2014


In Sintra, in a land not so far away (30 minutes away from Lisbon by car), you can step into a fairy tale at the Palácio de Seteais. Built by the Dutch Council of Portugal in 1787 and an occasional residence for King João VI, this pin-drop peaceful 30-room hotel in the UNESCO World Heritage-protected costal region of Sintra is now an Arcadia for rest-seekers with a royal imagination.

A perfect white palace with trim, lemon tree dappled grounds, the Palácio de Seteais has a beautiful view over the heart-swelling 19th century architecture of Sintra and the lush, green mountains that shroud it. Playful Rococo-style murals by the 18th century painter Jean-Baptiste Pillement cover the walls of the hotel's several living rooms and restaurant, and any furniture that isn't surviving from that century has been styled to appear as though it is. The hotel closed for a year in 2009 to restore the murals to their former freshness and add tasteful mod-cons to the bedrooms - which are spacious with tall ceilings (if you stay on the ground floor), large sash windows to welcome the light, and beds so luxurious the tale of Rip Van Winkle would still be on-going had he stayed here.

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