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Bela Vista Hotel & Spa in Portugal's Great-Value Algarve Region
First of All: Why the Algarve Is a Brilliant Vacation Destination
For North Americans, the Algarve -- Portugal's sunny southern coast -- is one of Europe's closest destinations. It offers:
• Western Europe's best travel values, with affordable hotel rates (see Bela Vista Hotel's special offers)
• Sun, sand, and sea everywhere you look
• Fresh seafood and Portuguese wines at their best
• Warm, gracious, genuine hospitality
• Here on Luxury Travel, all my reasons you must visit the Algarve
Bela Vista Hotel & Spa: Stunning Seaside Palace on a Famed Algarve Beach
Bela Vista is impressive, with a breathtaking setting.
• This ornate estate and mansion from the late 1800s perches on an oceanfront cliff
• Its bela vista (beautiful view): the golden-sand Praia da Rocha beach and the vast Atlantic
This Was the Algarve's Very First Hotel
Bela Vista Hotel & Spa was the Algarve's earliest hotel, opened in 1934.
• The mansion was restored in 2011 by top Lisbon design firm Graça Viterbo
• Bela Vista's sophisticated, sincere hospitality equals true luxury hotel service
• The hotel is for adults only
Convenient Location of Bela Vista Hotel
The mansion is right in the center of Portimão, a bustling oceanfront city in the Algarve.
• It is around 45 minutes on a fast highway from Faro Airport (North Americans will have have flown here from Lisbon)
• Portimão delights visitors with its many seafood restaurants, cafés, and boutiques
Bela Vista's Relais & Châteaux Status
Bela Vista is the only Relais & Châteaux property in the Algarve.
• This famous French hotel association stands for luxury, service, and fine dining
• Here on Luxury Travel, what upscale visitors expect from the Relais & Châteaux brand
Next: Bela Vista's elegant look & rooms >>Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Rooms at Bela Vista Hotel & Spa
Style of Bela Vista Hotel & Spa
At first glance, the elegant, white Bela Vista may remind you of a Moorish castle. Inside, it blends vintage luxury with glamorous modern touches.
• Original hardwood walls, coffered ceilings, and ornate staircases set a posh tone
• Black-and-white, diamond-patterned marble floors catch the eye
• If you admire blue-and-white Portuguese azulejo tiles, they're everywhere
• A collage-covered grand piano in the foyer is a playful touch
Your Choice: Historic or Modern Suites
Bela Vista offers 38 suites, making it a personal-feeling boutique hotel.
Suites are set in three buildings.
Palacete, vintage and atmospheric, has 11 suites.
• Each is individually decorated with bold colors and Art Deco-look furniture
• Walls are adorned with azulejo tilework
• My Palacete suite, #104, had a Jacuzzi and dazzling views of Praia da Rocha beach
Casa Jardim (Garden House) is contemporary.
• Many of its 20 suites have a private terrace
Casa Azul (Blue House), also modern, has seven charming suites.
• All have endless, blue ocean views
Bela Vista's Perfect Beach
The Atlantic Ocean, so beloved by the Portuguese, is steps from the hotel.
• A private walkway leads down to the sand of lovely Praia da Rocha beach
• A long boardwalk lets you stroll across the entire beach
• Praia da Rocha is famous for its ubiquitous rock formation
Bela Vista's Alluring Pool
Bela Vista’s palm tree-surrounded outdoor pool draws splashers and swimmers a good part of the year.
• At 17 meters (56 feet) long, the pool is suitable for lap-swimming
• The wood deck is lined with lounge chairs
• Dreamy white cabanas beckon twosomes
• Guests may order drinks or lunch on the pool deck
L’Occitane Spa, Provençale Style in the Algarve
The hotel's L’Occitane Spa offers guests sunny atmosphere and spa services.
• This spa has five treatment rooms and a full range of face and body treatments
• It pleases the eye with the intense hues of the South of France
• L'Occitane is a Provence-based bath-products company known for its hotel soaps and lotions in the citrusy Verveine scent
Next: one of Portugal's most refined seaside restaurants is at Bela Vista >>Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Top Portuguese Dining at Bela Vista Hotel's Vista Restaurante
Vista Restaurante at Bela Vista Hotel & Spa
Bela Vista Hotel & Spa houses one of the Algarve's top upscale eateries: Vista Restaurante.
• You can dine indoors, or on the outdoor terrace, gazing at the beach and ocean
• The restaurant's décor is elegantly, nautically white and blue
Vista Restaurante's Acclaimed Chef
Executive Chef João Oliveira took the helm in 2015.
• His CV covers Michelin-starred restaurants in Portuguese hotels including The Yeatman in Oporto (one star) and Vila Joya in Albufeira (two stars)
Seafood Is Supreme at Vista Restaurante
Chef Oliveira's menu spotlights local seafood and seasonal produce.
• His carpaccio of lobster with ravioli and caviar cream is sublime
• Cataplana -- Portuguese seafood stew -- is heartier, and served for two
• See a sample menu
Next: how to find out more about Bela Vista >>Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Ready for an Affordable Luxury Vacation at Bela Vista in the Algarve?