Pousada de Arraiolos
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- Number of rooms: 32
- Air conditioning
- 24-hour reception
- Free internet(public areas)
- Outdoor pool (seasonal)
- Parking area
- Safe at reception
- Room service
- Conference room
- Business centre
- Tennis court
- Airport (130km)
Pousada de Arraiolos - 16th-century convent
Situated in a peaceful valley near Arraiolos – a pretty hilltop town 120 kilometres east of Lisbon, famous worldwide for its handmade carpets – the Pousada de Arraiolos is housed in a spacious, beautifully converted 16th-century convent where ancient and modern blend beautifully. Bedrooms are decorated in a contemporary style and some overlook the lawns and the large swimming pool. Surrounded by green hills, olive trees and grazing sheep, the Pousada provides its guests with an overall feeling of calm and infinite space. Guests can stroll at leisure in the large cloisters, or relax on the magnificent patio between the original Renaissance building and the stylish new wing.
Construction started on the convent in 1527, the day before Assumption Day, after which the convent was subsequently named. In a state of ruin following the closure of the convents and monasteries in 1834, the Pousada was later acquired by the state and, after an extensive and imaginative reconstruction and conversion work, joined the Pousadas’ network in 1995.Situated in a peaceful valley near Arraiolos – a pretty hilltop town 120 kilometres east of Lisbon, famous worldwide for its handmade carpets – the Pousada de Arraiolos is housed in a spacious, beautifully converted 16th-century convent where ancient and modern blend beautifully. Bedrooms are decorated in a contemporary style and some overlook the lawns and the large swimming pool. Surrounded by green hills, olive trees and grazing sheep, the Pousada provides its guests with an overall feeling of calm and infinite space. Guests can stroll at leisure in the large cloisters, or relax on the magnificent patio between the original Renaissance building and the stylish new wing.
One of the most impressive features of this Pousada is the chapel at its heart, decorated from wall to wall with hand-painted blue tiles. It is still in use today for weddings and small services. The starkness of the fresh white walls, the natural feel of stone throughout and the touches of colour and contemporary design make it one of the most attractive and tranquil Pousadas in the group, set in a wonderful countryside location.
The Pousada has free exterior parking.
The Pousada de Arraiolos is situated towards the north of the Alentejo region, famous for its wild, picturesque landscapes and mouth-watering culinary traditions. The area in which the Pousada stands proves to be particularly interesting for architecture-enthusiasts as an array of medieval towns and villages are within easy reach.
The city of Evoramonte, for instance, presents travellers with one of the country’s most stunning castles, listed as a Portuguese national monument. By driving only a short distance – approximately 40 kilometres – the Pousada’s guests can enjoy the magnificent views from the castle, as well as the lovely architectural blend of Gothic and Manueline styles.
Only a 35 minutes’ drive away from the Pousada de Arraiolos is Estremoz, a city full of culture and history which owes its international reputation to the fine marble produced around it. One can wander through the streets and witness examples of this local product displayed everywhere in the city. The main square, Rossio Marques de Pombal (also known as ‘the Rossio’) is also a must-see. We would advise going during the weekend to enjoy the large market held on the square where travellers can appreciate samples of traditional Portuguese handicraft and various gourmet delights.
Close to the Pousada de Arraiolos, the town of Montemor-o-Novo is filled with historical buildings undoubtedly worth visiting, among which are several convents, churches and chapels. The Convent of Saint Joao de Deus, for instance, now houses the Municipal Library and Gallery as well as the Historical Archives. This architectural wonder will therefore make an outing in Montemor-o-Novo both instructive and culturally enriching.
How to get there
From Montemor o Novo centre: 1. Head east on Praça Cândido dos Reis toward R. Germano dos Santos Vidigal (279 ft) 2. Turn left onto R. Primeiro de Maio (135 ft) 3. Continue onto Largo Gen. Humberto Delgado (0.2 mi) 4. Continue onto R. da Janelinha (0.4 mi) 5. Continue onto Av. Gago Coutinho/N114/N4 Continue to follow N4 Go through 1 roundabout (12.4 mi) 6. Turn left (0.6 mi) 7. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit Destination will be on the left (0.4mi)
Evora 21 Km
Estremoz 40 Km
Alvito 60 Km
Lisbon Airport - 130 Km
Region & Cuisine
One of the largest of mainland Portugal’s five official Regions, the Alentejo occupies much of the south- central region of the country extending south from the River Tagus and bordering Spain to the east, the Algarve Region in the south and the Atlantic coast in the west.
The countryside of this essentially rural region varies considerably with fertile grasslands along the banks of the Tagus to the north-west, and numerous beautiful little villages and towns in the hills to the north-east – the land of many medieval castles. Further south the Alentejo becomes warmer and flatter and here are some of the most attractive towns in the region such as Évora, Vila Viçosa, Estremoz and Arraiolos.
Continuing south, rolling plains with huge numbers of olive and cork-oak trees – rich, fertile soil making this Portugal’s centre for agriculture, livestock and wood. And in the west, south of Lisbon, is the unspoilt coastline of the Atlantic with its magnificent long, sandy beaches and, in places, high sheer cliffs sheltering tiny coves. The climate in the Alentejo is mild overall but with regional variations – the temperature in winter in the north-east can go down to around 5ºC while mid-summer temperatures reach 33ºC or more in the south.
The two principal cities in the Alentejo are Évora and Beja. Évora – a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal – is a museum city: walls surround the centre where the major landmark is the Roman Temple of Diana, and there are many splendid aristocratic houses here displaying carved doors and windows and the famous glazed tiles of Portugal – the ‘azulejos’. Beja, further south, is a fascinating city: it received its name from the occupying Moors in the 6th century, and a variety of cultures have influenced the city and its region since pre-historic times. The ‘Museu Regional da Rainha Dona Leonor’ contains a wealth of items reflecting these cultures.
Other smaller towns in the Alentejo well worth visiting are Alvito, with pre-Roman origins and whose 15th century castle is now the Pousada; Estremoz, another historic town with a 14th century castle, also now the Pousada; Vila Viçosa, best known for the production of marble of the highest quality and whose palace was an official residence of the Dukes of Braganaça, the last Portuguese royal family; and Arraiolos, famous for its hand-woven rugs and tapestries.
But the Alentejo is inherently rural, and this is reflected in the cuisine of this region – honest, varied and full of flavour. Particularly good are ‘ensopados de cabrito’ (kid stews), ‘carne de porco Alentejana’ (pork with coriander and clams), hare or rabbit with red beans and numerous lamb dishes. As this is Portugal there is an enormous variety of cakes and pastries; fruit, particularly melon, is of very high quality and the region produces several excellent cheeses, notably from Nisa, Serpa and Évora. The Alentejo is also an important wine-producing region – principally red wine – both in terms of its traditional full-bodied ‘earthy’ wines and latterly a newer style with intense aromas of fruit and more ‘new world’ in character.
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Children: Generally the cost of an extra bed for a child under 13 years is free (when sharing a twin/double room with 2 parents).
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