Today’s blog comes courtesy of Charlotte’s Mum, who has a few words to say about a special accommodation option in Portugal:
If Charlotte’s blog on the Pousada in Cascais has whetted your appetite for a break in Portugal you might like to combine a stay on the coast with a few days in Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, virtually unknown to the majority of Brits.
Sintra is easily accessible by bus from Cascais but it is a magical place which really deserves to be savoured slowly. Not only is there far too much to pack into a day but Sintra is often packed with day trippers so it is a real joy to stroll through the cobbled streets after they have left, gazing up at the floodlit Moorish castle, deciding which of the many restaurants to go to and feeling that you have the little town all to yourself.
With this in mind my husband and I spent four nights there in 2013. Sintra is not blessed with a huge choice of hotels and this was why we decided to stay in a beautiful little Bed and Breakfast, Cinco, just minutes from the historic centre but an oasis of tranquility.
We had been due to stay at Cinco the previous year but had been forced to cancel due to illness. My husband had been left with mobility problems (thankfully of a temporary nature) and Sintra with its steep cobbled streets is not a forgiving sort of place for anyone who is not fighting fit. Carole, the owner, had been kind enough to let us transfer our deposit so we knew right from the word go that we were dealing with a very understanding and accommodating lady! Her kindness continued throughout our stay: a delicious plate of figs when we were sunbathing in the garden, advice on buses and restaurants, and even the offer of a lift to the beach. It is all these little touches that differentiate Cinco from an anonymous hotel.
Cinco is the perfect combination of B and B and apartment. Comprising lounge, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and private terrace with fantastic views, it offers complete privacy but with the added bonus of daily maid service and breakfast provisions. These were plentiful and we particularly enjoyed the home-made jam! Eating breakfast out on the terrace each morning, enjoying the view and hearing nothing but the church bells ringing was an enjoyable part of the holiday.
It was the perfect oasis to return to after a morning of sight-seeing and just chill. Carole provides comfy garden chairs and there is always a welcome choice of sun or shade in which to curl up with a book; there is even a hammock for those of us of a lazy disposition who can’t rouse themselves to make use of the pool or table tennis table!
We were lucky and had almost non-stop sunshine and blue skies but, even if we had been less fortunate, we would not have been bored. The lounge in the apartment was cosy and well equipped with books, games, dvds and UK TV channels.
Our holiday in Sintra was thoroughly enjoyable and we can well understand why Carole gets so many repeat bookings. A quick look at Cinco’s online booking system shows a very healthy level of reservations for 2015 so if you are interested in a stay in this little piece of heaven you had better not leave it too late!
Categories: Hotel Reviews - Europe