Regal luxury in Sintra, Portugal

Portugal often gets overlooked in the world of honeymoons, which is a shame as it’s a fantastic, underrated destination, with a lot to offer visitors. One of the loveliest places to visit is the scenic hilltop town of Sintra, just a short distance from Lisbon and surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Once the summer retreat of the Portuguese royal family, the town is unsurprisngly rich in architectural and historical treasures. One such delight is the beautiful Tivoli Palacio de Seteais Hotel. Built as a palace in the late eighteenth-century, it was converted into a luxury hotel in the 1950s, but has lost none of its regal atmosphere. There are just thirty sumptuous bedrooms, and the hotel is elegantly decorated with murals, paintings, impressive frescoes and gorgeous tapestries that really complement its history.

While here, you can enjoy a traditional Portuguese afternoon tea, which includes local hams and cheeses, almond cakes and iced barley coffee. Days can be spent exploring the town or leisurely soaking up the surroundings from the beautiful gardens, or perhaps enjoying a horse ride through the countryside, from the hotel’s own equestrian centre (how many hotels can boast one of those, eh?).

Rates vary according to time of year, but start at €228 (about £191) a night in April.

Christmas special offer

From 23rd to 26th December 2010, Tivoli Palacio de Seteais Hotel is running a very special offer of a two night stay for €598 (per double room; about £502), which includes breakfast, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas lunch and “VIP treatment” on the day of arrival (sounds rather nice to me…). If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas honeymoon, or just a break from the relentless UK cold weather, then this could be a great option for you. To book, call +351 219 233 200, or  see the website.

You might also like: