To the east of Coimbra, and to the south of Viseu, in central Portugal, there is a charming hillside hotel set among the lush backdrop of Serra do Açor. Quinta da Palmeira is a late 19th century country house, lovingly-renovated, to provide guests with modern amenities while maintaining the engaging character of Portuguese tradition. It is an ideal retreat for weekend getaways or much-needed long stays.
Much of the inherent appeal of Quinta da Palmeira, no doubt, is due to the compelling story of owner Jack Brouns. Not too long ago, Holland-native Brouns was diagnosed with a rare muscular disease. The illness kept him bed bound for many years. With tremendous fortitude, he overcame his affliction with a new outlook on life and determination to pursue his dream of opening a small hotel.
Having travelled many times to Portugal in the past, Brouns began to search the country to find the right location to open a guest house. Central Portugal with its variety of landscapes, “shist” villages and relaxed lifestyle, was most enticing. Quinta da Palmeira, in Cerdeira, seemed the perfect fit.
Each of the eight accommodations at Quinta da Palmeira is individually designed with its own style and character. Therefore, each stay at the hotel provides a slightly different experience. There are four junior suites, two superior rooms and a single room for those travelling alone. A spacious apartment is also available, with “loft” bedroom, for guests wanting a more home-like environment.
All rooms have modern amenities including orthopedic beds, central heating, telephone, free Internet, and flat screen TV.
The dining room at Boutique Hotel Quinta da Palmeira serves international cuisine. All dishes prepared by the Swiss Chef Mirjam are made with fresh, locally-sourced, organic ingredients. The menu changes with the seasons. A sampling of recent selections include: tasty fig pie with a mixture of smoked ham, goat’s cheese, nuts and honey; sole fillet with lemon and thyme sauce, served with herb potatoes; and duck breast with plum sauce, served with potato croquettes and seasonal vegetables.
The grounds of the hotel also have their own special charm. These broad spaces are ideal for lounging relaxing and socializing. A tree-shaded patio with comfy seating features views of the Portugal countryside. The swimming pool terrace provides sun worshipers with lounges for soaking in the sun, a refreshing dip in the pool, and a stress reducing soak in the Jacuzzi. In the garden, guests enjoy beverages and snacks, read a book, or just appreciate the peacefulness of the natural landscape.
For those interested in exploring the local area, there are many opportunities to learn more about Portugal through exercise, history and culture. Hiking to the Fraga da Pena waterfall or across the Mata da Magraça landscape is exhilarating, as is mountain biking, canoeing and climbing in Serra do Açor. Visit the hillside town of Piódão, which is one of the most beautiful historic villages in the country. Not too far away is the religious site and sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. The Roman city of Conimbriga and the UNESCO World Heritage honored Monastery of Alcobaça are also worth seeing.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Boutique Hotel Quinta da Palmeira website.
Quinta da Palmeira
Rua Principal, 36
Phone: +351 235 728 125
Mobile: +351 911 017 455
Fax: +351 235 728 185
Special Note: Quinta da Palmeira was featured on the Belgium TV show Vier in Bed (Four in a Bed). Click here to see the video segment.