Óbidos is a charming little town in the west of Portugal with narrow streets, colorful houses, and perfectly preserved town walls. For centuries, it has provided a retreat for the Portuguese monarchy. The majestic Castelo de Óbidos looming over town looks intimidating from afar, but in fact, it houses one of the best accommodations in the area.
It was bought by a luxury hotel chain Pousadas de Portugal specializing in historic hotels. Unlike some other castles-turned-hotels, this one doesn’t forcefully try to reconstruct the antique interiors. Instead, the rooms are furnished modernly with just slight hints at the building’s regal past: a fragment of exposed stone wall here, a chandelier, or a four-post bed there. The common areas have a stronger castle theme with suits of armor and tapestries decorating the walls, but still tastefully blended with contemporary furniture.
The hillside location affords sweeping views of Óbidos and lush green countryside that can be enjoyed from the outdoor terraces and the restaurant. The combination of regional dishes and fantastic Portuguese wines served here is the cherry on top.
If you’re traveling by car, there are many great day trips to be made from the hotel. For example, Peniche, a fishing town known for its beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic cliffside, is just 25km away. In addition, two UNESCO Sites, the Monastery of Alcobaça and the Monastery of Batalha, are 40km and 70km away, respectively. They can both be visited in one trip, making for a great architecture-filled day.