During our early trips to Portugal, our trips focused almost entirely on Lisbon. It wasn’t until later visits that we started to explore outside of the city. We had no idea how beautiful the surrounding area, in particular, Alentejo was. During one visit to explore Alentejo, we found ourselves staying at one of the most beautiful wine hotels we’ve seen. In this post, I will share our review of the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel in Alentejo, Portugal.Traveling to Portugal? Check out our Portugal Food And Travel Guide
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel – Portugal
During one of our visits to the Alentejo wine region, we spent an afternoon exploring and tasting Alentejo wines at Torre do Frade. Considering Alentejo is almost two hours from Lisbon, we did not think it would be a good idea to drive back to Lisbon in order to catch our morning flight. In fact, we were warned not to drive back. This is how we found ourselves in the most beautiful wine resort in Alentejo. A true retreat.
A friend arranged a stay for us. From what I could figure out, the area we were headed was pretty tiny, a little rural, and we had no idea what to expect. I imagined that my mention of Torre de Palma would almost be in a footnote to my post about wine tasting in Alentejo, something along the lines of “drunk and happy we crashed at Torre de Palma, just down the road.”
In fact, when lunch finished around 5 pm, which seemed to be a trend for our Portuguese lunches, Eric suggested we just drive back to Lisbon. But, I did not want to have to find a place in Lisbon last minute, for just one night. Besides, Diogo’s friend was expecting us. I suggested we just suck it up and stay at Torre de Palma. Less than thirty minutes later, Eric was eating his words, and reminding me why I am the boss.
Arriving at Hotel Torre de Palma
We turned off the rural road outside of the village of Vaiamonte in Alentejo and drove down an even more narrow rural driveway. The skies were turning grey, threatening spring showers. As we wound our way through the countryside, we saw a gorgeous whitewashed building, with yellow painted trim – characteristic of the region. The building looked stunning and suddenly I felt we did not have nearly enough time to enjoy the property.
The grand entrance read “Torre de Palma, Wine Hotel.” Really? I thought we would be staying in a rustic farmhouse and instead we were staying in a boutique wine hotel, in a restored building dating from 1338. Knowing we had to leave by 8 am the following morning, I was already counting down the hours to leave, understanding quickly that we did not have enough time.
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Filipe, the manager of Torre de Palma, proudly showed off the property, starting with our room. We had a well-appointed room, decorated in purple hues, with a bed that made me want to hop right in. I swear it was not all the Alentejo wine that I just drank. It was romantic to a tee, including a large settee in the center. After, Filipe took us up the tower to the rooftop, to tell us about the surrounding land, the history of the property, and the renovations, which were painstakingly perfect it seemed. Everyone needs to stand on a roof of a vineyard hotel in Alentejo and just marvel at the countryside around it.
As we continued our tour and saw comfy sofas and chairs, and plenty of nooks and crannies where I imagined myself reading or writing, I had to pinch myself. I could not believe that this property was the hotel down the road from our friend’s winery. We joked with Filipe over a complimentary glass of their in-house Alentejo wine, how we would need to return for a “proper” review, where we could enjoy everything Torre de Palma had to offer. He agreed to welcome us back, and I hope he was as serious as I was.
Dining at Torre de Palma’s Restaurant – Basili
The one part of the hotel that we were able to experience, was dinner at their in-house restaurant, Basilii. The menu was loaded with modern interpretations of traditional Portuguese and Alentejano cuisine. We drank the Torre de Palma wine, as we watched them prepare my Açorda, a traditional soup, tableside.
The elaborate Açorda presentation involved a double boiler type contraption, to create the broth, which was infused with garlic and pennyroyal. The server used a small torch to sear the sardines in my bowl. Then, the green broth was poured over a poached egg, toasted bread, and fresh sardines to create the Açorda, which was warming and light at the same time. Eric felt almost slighted that his fried mushrooms came to the table brilliantly displayed but already prepared.
We both chose the roasted pork cheek as Eric has found himself on a beef and pork cheek kick recently. We closed the meal with desserts and port, realizing that we had not had as much port as we had hoped while in Lisbon. Eric’s brownie was more like a light brownie crumble with olive oil and honey ice cream. I chose the Alentejano style Sericaia, a regional dessert with mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, plum, and lemon ice cream.
I was thrilled with all that Torre de Palma offered us, and was so impressed with the level of luxury, both in accommodations and dining, which was provided in the heart of the Alentejo countryside. I truly hope we can return, and I hope the Açorda is still on the menu. I am easily amused when it comes to tableside preparation, particularly when the dish that results is so tasty.
Details – How To Book Torre de Palma Hotel
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel Portugal is located in Monforte, about two hours from Lisbon. They can arrange wine tasting experiences at the hotel, as well as spa treatments. Torre de Palma also offers packages that include dinners at Basili Torre de Palma Restaurante.
The original property dates from 1338, but the new incarnation came to being in 2014. The hotel is a 5-star property with a focus on history, luxury, and Alentejo wine. The hotel only has 19 rooms and suites, each individually designed and decorated to work with the original architecture. There is an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool as well as a chapel, a screening room, vineyards, orchards, and even a small olive grove. Book your stay at Torre de Palma Altenejo here. Rooms start from €135 a night. Torre de Palma is now a member of Marriott and is listed as one of their Design Hotels.
In addition to the nearby Torre do Frade, we also visited Monsaraz, a lovely Portuguese hill town, and the nearby Alentejo winery, Ervideira. Or, have someone else plan your day and book a full day Altenjo wine tasting tour. Get more recommendations on where to stay in Portugal here.Get the best prices for the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel on Booking.com Get more recommendations for Alentejo Portugal Hotels here
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Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.