In a timeline, the fortress became a farm, then a ruin and finally, after years of restoration, a magnificent design hotel with 19 stunning rooms. Its whitewashed exterior is traditional Alentejo, but there is nothing typical about the striking interiors: in a vast salon, white sofas gather around a white piano; there's a Matador room, a curious library in the tower and an outdoor lounge with an open fire. Marble, slate, cork and terracotta – all materials found on the land – contrast with playful lighting and artful collections of beautiful clutter. It’s not easy to combine agriculture, medieval history and glamour, but this sophisticated hotel has done it perfectly.
- A sublime place to kick back and do very little beyond walking, horse riding or cycling around the estate, swimming and relaxing in the spa
- Just 19 gorgeous rooms: sublimely romantic doubles and enchanting suites
- The vineyards, the winery and the excellent wines – the heart and soul of the hotel
- The gourmet Basillii restaurant, with its delicious seasonal menu of regional dishes
- Excellent service: a triumphant balance of warmth, kindness and efficiency
- It’s a bit out of the way, and local town Monforte has little to offer
- You'll need a car to get here and for day trips to national parks, Elva and Evora
- The bathrooms are more functional than designer (though we liked the heated brick floors)
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 19 rooms
- Restaurant & bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
There are 19 rooms, all completely different and all fabulous. Inside the main building are 2 spacious Doubles (the Baroque gold room is a cracker), and 2 lofty Superior Doubles with roof terraces. The rest of the Superiors form a row of garden rooms: all interconnect and feature living spaces, silky fabrics and quirky details (library-print wallpaper or a gilded four-poster topped by a metallic crown).
The magnificent, self-contained Master Suite has its own kitchen and dining area. The Junior Suites are housed in a terrace of restored farm cottages, each furnished with folksy, colour-themed décor (think Hansel and Gretel). Green-hued Perdiz features a birdy theme – bird prints, faux feathered birds in delicate wire cages, mounted on plinths, or perched on a twiggy branch above the bed. Charming, slightly mad and beautifully done.
All rooms have a spacious bathroom (walk-in shower or shower over the bath), plus robes, slippers and underfloor heating. Beds are super-comfy and there's air-con for the summer months.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in a purpose-built restaurant called Basilii (named after the Roman family who once settled on the land). Dine in candlelit under glassy chandeliers, by a fire in winter, or out on the terrace in summer. Head chef Filipe Ramalho’s style is a modern take on traditional Alentejo dishes, celebrating regional produce, home-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs, and homemade bread and olive oil.
A perfect introduction is the 5-course tasting menu, each dish matched with Torre de Palma wines (or fortified wines from Madeira). Our seasonal dinner featured sweet potato ‘migas’ with marinated black pork; sautéed mushrooms, mungo Soy pasta and Boletus mushroom powder (heaven on a plate); codfish broth with coriander, pennyroyal and Norway cod, and a marinated veal. All these dishes feature on the a la carte menu, too, alongside soups and salad. For something lighter, tapas dishes are available in the bar.
Breakfast is a sumptuous buffet of meats, cheeses, cereal, pastries, yoghurt and fresh juices, plus cooked dishes to order.
- Coffee / tea making
- Room service
- Relax in the spa, which has an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and steam room, plus a variety of pampering treatments including anti-stress massage and facials
- Or read by the peaceful outdoor pool (unheated)
- Sign up for a Torre de Palma wine tasting and tour, led by the hotel’s winemaker, which includes a visit to the cellar and optional nibbles. Gastronomy workshops are also available
- Take a hike, borrow a bike or saddle up a horse and explore the estate and beyond: vineyards, olive groves, holm oak and the remnants of a Roman villa – one of the largest examples of Roman archaeology sites in the Iberian Peninsula
- Discover the Alentejo: walk in the hilly Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede (40 minutes’ drive), visit the cathedral at Portalegre and explore the walled centre of Elvas, a Unesco World Heritage site (30 minutes). Beautiful Evora (another World Heritage site) is an hour’s drive; don't miss a visit to The Cromlech of the Almendres, its mythical monoliths
Activities on site or nearby include:
This is kiddy heaven, with space to kick a ball around, bikes to borrow, horses to feed and help groom, beginners' riding lessons and delightful family rooms straight out of a story book.
Family friendly accommodation:
Superior Doubles can interconnect, and each can fit a baby cot or extra bed. The Master Suite has a mezzanine area with a double sofabed for up 2 children, plus space for an additional child.
Kids Activities on site:
- Outdoor and indoor pools
- Horse riding
Families Should Know:
There are set hours for children in the indoor pool: 9-11am, and 1-4pm
- Airport: 2 hours' drive (Lisbon)
- Shop: 0.5km (Monforte)
- Hospital: 30 mins' drive (Portalegre)
Torre de Palma is close to the village of Monforte, in the upper Alentejo region of Portugal. It's 30 minutes from Estremoz and half an hour from Elvas – a Unesco World Heritage site.
Fly into Lisbon Portela Airport (201km) and hire a car to get here and give you the freedom to explore the local area. It's a 2-hour drive.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Lisbon Portela 201.0 km LIS
- Beach 250.0 km
- Shops 0.5 km
- Restaurant 0.5 km