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The Grand House, Algarve, Portugal
The Grand House, built in 1926 on the Guadiana River, is a stunning 30 room, five-star Belle Epoque-style hotel. This elegant property faces the city's marina and during its heyday was a favourite of the upper echelon of society. But, after several decades of neglect beginning in the 1960s, the only part of the building not in desperate need of repair was its lovely façade. Now, it has been restored and brought back to its original gleaming condition and welcomes discerning guests once again. The hotel has its own restaurant on the water, the Grand Beach Club, which serves incredibly fresh seafood. Just a further 1/2 km away, across a wooden boardwalk, is access to the golden sand beaches of the Atlantic Coast.
We love the nature reserve that surrounds the town of Vila Real de Santo António and then carries on down to meet the sand at the Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel is situated by the town's marina, and its private beach club is a short walk away.
By plane: flights to Faro take around 3 hours from London and Manchester and 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol. The drive to the hotel takes 45 minutes. Private parking costs €10 per day. skyscanner.com
Style & Character
Culture vultures and beach lovers alike would suit the Grand House Hotel. People don't wear beach clothes here though - everyone is slightly dressed up and the vibe is upmarket. The Beaux art beauty of the place is magical, and we love the gorgeously decorated mezzanine lobby nestled under the circular staircase.
Service & Facilities
There isn't really a spa, per se, but there is a room set up for massages and facial treatments on request.
- Swimming pool
- Roof terrace
- Paid parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Our bijou elegant bathroom, with its glass-enclosed shower room, is wonderful. It has a pull-down Roman blind on the side that shares its glass wall with the 'living room'. There's also a balcony surrounding the bedroom with French doors opening to a view across the road and out to the marina.
Small, Small Attic, Small Plus, Medium, Medium Plus, Medium River rooms; Grand Family, Grand River, Grand Deluxe Junior, Grand House suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Try the matcha pancakes at breakfast, served with blueberries and peanut butter and with a bit of honey dribbled on top. Yum! The Grand Beach Club's clams and oysters are superb too. We just love the laidback vibe of this unique space.
Grand Salon: Portuguese cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients. Open daily for dinner.
Grand Salon Bar: drinks and cocktails. Open daily 3pm till late.
Grand Beach Club: comfort food with a Portguese twist. Open daily 10am-5pm.