Once the scene of a Peninsular War battle in 1810, the Palácio do Buçaco is now the location of a stunning luxury hotel. Any research you do on this palace will invariably state it’s one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. So how could an avid travel blogger possibly resist stopping in and sharing this special place with others?
The hotel was designed by renowned architect Luigi Manini who wanted to replicate the Manueline architecture style of the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the famed window of the Convent of Christ. The hotel’s stone walls are incredibly ornate – some sections almost look like lace! You’re sure to spot some of the classic Manueline architecture features such as ropes, flowers, and globes. Equally impressive are the azulejo tiles you’ll find inside and outside. The tiles depict scenes from Portuguese literature and lore, as well as battles in Portuguese history. One architectural feature I wasn’t expecting to find was entire exterior walls covered in tiny stones to create pretty red, white, and black designs. Make sure you don’t miss these sections because they’re so unique.
The huge windows let you look out over Buçaco Palace Hotel’s charming, manicured gardens. But the quintessential shot of the palace is from a pond which reflects the building, so make sure you walk around the gardens and find this spot. Additionally, you can visit the convent where monks lived. At the time, the palace did not yet exist. It is also where the Duke of Wellington and Baron Douro stayed the night of September 27th, after their victory at the Battle of Buçaco.
Visiting the palace is much more than just admiring a beautiful building. The grounds boast 105 hectares of forest that were planted in the 17th century by Discalced Carmelite monks. The surrounding forest offer various trails for visitors to explore. Not only is it incredibly peaceful to walk around the woods, but the air is clean and invigorating. The trails will take you along sanctuaries, chapels, fountains, belvederes, and statues. But all that walking is sure to give you an appetite… and Buçaco has an answer to that!
The restaurant at the hotel is simply exquisite – avid photographers won’t get enough pictures! It doesn’t matter whether you choose to eat inside or in the covered outside area overlooking the garden: you’ll be surrounded by beauty in either case. The food is delicious – definitely above average prices for Portugal, but not enough to scare you. Below are some of the delicious foods I sampled during my lunch there.
This stunning palace hotel is only a few minutes’ drive from the charming spa town of Luso, so if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in the mountains – with equal touches of luxury and nature – Buçaco is the answer!