Pousadas de Portugal
You may be wondering what exactly the 'pousadas de Portugal' are as they are a phenomenon seen only in Portugal. In a nutshell, Portugal's pousadas are castles, monasteries and palaces, generally situated in very beautiful areas or of particular historical importance, which are now run by the government as deluxe hotels.
The pousadas are divided up into three main categories: those in converted historical monuments (Historical Pousadas), those in converted monuments but with the emphasis on modern comforts (Historical Pousadas Design), those in particularly beautiful natural surroundings (Nature Pousadas), or those filled with regional charm down to the last detail (Regional Pousadas). There are around 45 of these government-run pousadas in Portugal and more are planned to open in the future. A full list of the Pousadas de Portugal is available from the Portuguese National Tourist Office in your own country, or from ENATUR, Av Santa Joana Princesa 10, 1749 Lisbon (218-442-001).
Prices vary greatly depending on the season, individual pousada's location, the size of the room (generally single or double) and any discounts. Prices are quoted per night for two people, as a rule, and range from €60 to €300. There are often seasonal promotions or discounts for those over the age of 65. Promotions have included in the past 'three for two' offers where if you spend three consecutive nights in one of the pousadas de Portugal you pay for only two of them; an 'under 30s' discount of 20% during the week and 15% at the weekend off the price of accommodation, providing you are between 18 and 30 and stay for at least two nights in the same pousada; pousada of the month where if you stay for two consecutive nights with half board in one of the two pousadas selected that month, you get a 50% reduction on the cost of bed and breakfast. So, as you can see, there are lots of enticements to get you into one of the pousadas de Portugal.
The pousadas are often located in some of Portugal's most romantic scenes and so are a popular choice for honeymoons (there are often special offers for newly-weds) or other special occasions. Each pousada has a good quality restaurant serving up local dishes with a fine selection of Portugal's best wines. Golf facilities are usually available near the pousada, all across the country, and business meetings, conferences, galas and other official events are well catered for. There is a whole range of accessories available to buy, inspired by the history and architecture of these wonderful buildings, including such things as book stands, aprons and jam, as well as the usual toiletries and dressing gowns.
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