“Stylish country hotel amidst Portugal's highest mountains, offering warm hospitality, great food and stunning hiking”
The 8 double bedrooms are similar in size and layout, and have been ranked up on 3 levels beside and above the swimming pool. Most of these have kingsized or twin beds and contemporary furnishings: cube armchairs, sleek cylindrical lamps, laminated bedwalls and eyecatching sculptures set into a series of small niches. Crimson cushions and bright 'Burel' bed runnners add a further twist of decorative spice. All have great views to the mountains thanks to the big glass panels of their exterior doors.
The lowest two doubles are more traditional and have queensized beds with antique headboards. Up above these is a larger double bedroom, where there's plenty of space to slot in 2 additional single beds. These 3 rooms have the added advantage of interior access to a guest sitting room (in addition to that of the main house) with a televison and DVD: iPod docks are an added bonus.
Bathrooms are decorated in muted monochromes; stylish freestanding ceramic sinks are set on a generous sweep of black marble surface. You'll find a hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, and a trayful of natural bath products sourced in Sicily; the jacuzzi tubs are perfect for a post-trek soak.
There are also 2 apartments, which are a great choice for families (although there are no twin beds), or people who want more privacy and independence. Set in the building across the road from the hotel, they are contemporary in style with either 2 or 3 bedrooms, kitchenettes, sitting areas and a shared courtyard terrace and small swimming pool.
Breakfast is served in a fab dining room with scarlet banquettes, exposed stone walls and a wacky spotlit panel of plaster faces. You're welcome to come down any time up to 1pm, in which case it could easily become brunch. Accompanied by the sounds of classical piano music, my buffet feast included a selection of cereals, excellent bread, a fruit salad, home-baked cakes, local honey, freshly-squeezed orange juice, ham, an excellent selection of tasty Beiras cheeses and natural yoghurt.
Light meals are available during the day, either inside or outside by the pool: expect fish salads, pizza, hamburgers, vegetable omelettes and pies. If you want to eat out you will need to drive to Seia, 7km away, where most restaurants are of the rustic-regional sort: lots of lamb and smoked pork sausages as well as local sheep's cheese.
During breakfast, one of the friendly members of staff will discuss what's on offer that day for dinner - they are happy to adapt things to cater for your own dietary requirements or those of your kids. It will be a 3-course event with starters and mains served at your table then a choice of dessert laid out in buffet-style.
Children are greeted with open arms at Casas da Lapa. Owners Nuna and Maria Manuela have a young family of their own and have a genuinely caring attitude towards younger visitors. It is a long drive from the airport, but once you get here there is plenty to do for all the family and you won't have to bring much with you.
Children (4-12 years)
Rooms number 4, 5, 6 and 8 are suitable for 2 adults and 1 child. Rooms number 3 and 7 are suitable for 2 adults and 2 children. The apartments, with 2 or 3 bedrooms, kitchenette and sitting room, are the best solution for a large family. All the rooms have hydromassage bathtubs. In the apartments, the rooms have simple bathtubs.
Prices differ depending on where you're staying: cots are free in the hotel rooms but incur a small charge in the apartments. Extra beds are more expensive in the rooms than the apartments. See Rates. There are 8 extra beds and 8 extra cots available in total.
Babysitting available, arrange in advance.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Food is available all day, with special mealtimes for kids and half portions of adult mains on offer for dinner (see Rates). There is a small kitchenette with microwave and blender and baby bottles can be warmed.
The closest shop for nappies etc is a 10-minute drive away in Seia. Watch out for steep stone stairs and an unfenced pool.