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“Lovely building not such a great hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

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Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Canaviais, Evora 7005-839, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 25 Hotels in Evora
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Billingshurst, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Lovely building not such a great hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2010

The Convento de Espinheiro is a very beautiful building and the hotel is good, but I would not class it as a top notch place. On arriving by car we found the entrance roped of, so we had to park quite a distance from the entrance. As we have a classic car, who's boot can only be opend from inside the car, my husband had to return with the bell boy to the car to get our cases. Hard work for the bell boy as a trolly would not go over the uneven path.
The staff was friendly and efficient. We stayed in the modern wing which is very much like any other well run hotel. The atmosphere is that of quiet and roomy, the rooms all have balconies overlooking the gardens. Beware of the garden seats on the balcony, they give you a nasty shock when getting up! The gardens were very pretty and colourful with masses and masses of wildflowers.
The room is furnished very modern but the beds were very comfortable and had high quality linnen. The mini bar well stocked but had no ice, nor is ther a ice machine on the corridor. Room service was good but you get charged an extra 7 Euros on top of the price for the items you order for it. Internet accesss is not free. Those two points alone in my view are unaccaptable for a hotel of this class.
The artwork displayed in our room ( 145 ) was offensive; depicting a naked girl and a fox engaged in intercourse. Extremly bad taste in a place with such a religious history.

The cleaning of the room was also not very good, dust on the surface of the glass shelves, paper coaster mats left under the table on the floor and the plastic covers of the glasses from the bathroom left for 3 days on the stool under the washbasin. Not a problem but equally hardly what one can expect in a hotel of this class.

We had two meals in the restaurants, both of very average quality and not very well presented. But the staff was very good. Breakfast is good if you are early. On our last day we got to the dinning room just after 9 and found very little left, no eggs, no cheese ect. When we ask for things the only waitress on duty did eventually bring the requested items but after a lenghty wait by which time I lost my appetite.

The overall feeling we got of the hotel was that it is quiet with an interessting history, the old part of the Convent beautifully incorperated into a modern conference hotel. You will not starve but you could get a meal like the restaurant serves in any local place for half the price.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricaban, Dinis Pires - General Manager at Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 21, 2010
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Holroyd,

Thank you very much for your detailed and valuable feedback through our Guest Service Questionnaire and the Trip Advisor page.

In the name of our team, I sincerely apologize for the things that were not up to your expectations. The housekeeping and breakfast points that you raised have already been addressed with the respective department heads, and I am sure that your comments will help to avoid similar situations in the future.

Regarding the painting, the room you stayed in was in the most modern wing of our property which has been decorated with contemporary art. We took good note of your remark and we confess that we had not given the painting the same interpretation, which is only our fault. Please be assured that we took your comment very seriously and we have already contacted the owner of the property, who agreed on an immediate replacement.

On the other hand, I am pleased to notice that you appreciated the history and tranquillity of the convent, as well as the friendliness and efficiency of our staff. Thank you for your kind words – our guests’ compliments are always a motivation for us to continue doing our best.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to Convento do Espinheiro again in the future.

Kind regards,

Dinis Pires
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Vancouver, B.C. , Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

We spent 3 nights at the Convento do Espinheiro near the end of our two week trip to Portugal. Even though we had seen photos of the hotel nothing prepared us for the unique beauty of the buildings and grounds. We have redeemed Starwood points before and have stayed in hotels in the Luxury Collection (The King Alfonso in Seville, the luxury hotel in Naples) but the Convento had a very different atmosphere about it right from the time the check-in staff helped us find a parking spot and even went to drive the car and then carried our bags in. They upgraded us to a wonderful suite (yes, it wasn't peak time so we had that advantage). What we found that was different about this hotel was that even though it was very elegant, it didn't have that formalized service that we find a little off-putting. We thought that everyone who worked there were very well trained and had the right balance of skill and quiet service which made us feel very comfortable.
Even though the hotel is a few kilometers from the centre of Evora, it wasn't a problem as the helped us find the parking lot (very cheap, near the opera house) - we just parked there every time we went into town - not a hassle and very inexpensive - 3 euros for almost a full day! Even without a car, they are so good about driving you to any restaurant and making good recommendations.
However, I must say that the dinner we had at Divino's was absolutely the best that we had during our time in Portugal. We got good advice re the wine and our waiter was very good and gave us information about the various dishes. We had not had food as well prepared since our trip to Dijon last July. When I remarked about the olive oil that we asked for dipping our bread - it was so flavourful and when I asked for the brand, was told that it was their own. I asked if we could buy a bottle and were told it was possible and when we went to our room, a bottle, beautifully boxed in wood was waiting for us. We didn't know what the price was until we paid our bill and were pleasantly surprised that it was only 15 euros and had we had more room in our suitcases, would have bought more. It is a luxury hotel and we were pleased that the total cost of the dinner with wne/tip was about 120 euros - this I thought was very good for such a complex and chic dinner. If you stay at the Convento, we would recommend that you have one dinner at the restaurant.
We found the upkeep of the rooms very good and the maids were discreet about coming at appropriate times. I loved the large bathtub and the separate shower with large shower head! The sheets were fine Egyptian cotton and a dream to sleep in. (It was very quiet too!)
It was great to be there and not located in town with a car as we took day trips from there.
We were very impressed with the small town of Villa Vicosa - did not expect it to be so beautiful! We went to see the Ducal palace and wished we had spent more time walking around the beautiful town. There were many streets lined with orange trees (with oranges) and the buildings were painted white and gold - very lovely! I actually thought Villa Vicosa was prettier than Evora!
The Alentego is a delightful area - like a Tuscany or Provence - especially in March as the countryside was so green after all the rain they had been having.
We stayed in the original heritage building but if you can get a special internet price and stay in the modern building, you would still get the benefit of the building - even your own chapel!
Thank you staff at Convento do Espinheiro for helping to make our stay there one of the highlights of our trip to Portugal!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricaban, Dinis Pires, General Manager at Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 5, 2010
Dear Madam,
Thank you so much for your detailed comments. It gives us great pleasure to understand that you enjoyed your stay with us and your kind words are truly a motivation for us to continue doing our best, on all levels. We have a young team at Convento do Espinheiro, and although all receive intensive training, the common denominator for all of us is our pride in working in such a magnificent monument as this. Thank you for contributing to this pride with your compliments. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the future.
Kind regards, Dinis Pires, General Manager
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2010

Charming hotel with great rooms, XXX large and smooth beds, 5 star service, great food, 5 star SPA service!

Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2010

If you want to stay in a very special place then Convento do Espinheiro Hotel & Spa is the place for you. The staff are super wonderful and so helpful. They ensured our stay was wonderful.

Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennebunkport, Maine
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2010

Everything - from the check in staff, to the breakfast staff, to the great room and bed - was wonderful. We had a very relaxing and comfortable vacation.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 88 cities Reviews in 88 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

This is one of the best hotels I’ve experienced in my life. It wasn’t just the luxurious rooms, or the incredible setting in a 15th century convent, it was the staff.

We stayed for 5 nights as we were looking for a relaxing luxury break in a central location that allowed us to explore Evora and surrounds. During this time the staff pampered us with incredible service, advice, friendly conversation and more.

On our first evening we dressed up and went to the Divinus Restaurant. We’d noticed on our arrival that there were many families staying in the hotel, some with poorly behaved parents who let their children run screaming through the echoing hallways of the old building, oblivious to other guests. We hadn’t expected that these young children would be dining in Divinus after 8:30pm. It was clear that the staff felt awkward about their behaviour. The raucous noise in the echoing halls of the restaurant was so disturbing that we declined dessert and left looking for solace at the more casual bar and restaurant area. Unbeknown to us, the restaurant manager followed us and ordered that our dessert and tea be given to us for free. On this first evening we met Paulo in the bar, who introduced us to the tea menu of which he was most knowledgeable. We took his advice that evening and on nights to follow and so enjoyed his passion, friendliness and expertise.

We had not hired a car as we knew the hotel had a shuttle that ferried guests into the town, and the nearby bus stop. Each day we lapped up the friendly advice of Patrick and the 2 David’s as they prepared us to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Evora and the Alentejo region. The service was so exceptional that when the hotel was busy they paid for a cab for us to and from Evora.

I treated myself to a massage at the spa. Tip: Ask for Selesia! Selesia is truly talented and her massage was amongst the best I have ever experienced, which led me to book another one and a facial. Her facial was equally as good!


While the staff truly made our stay special, the luxurious rooms and incredible convent pousada setting added to the magic. The location, in a rural setting 5 minutes from Evora centre is much quieter than staying within the walls of Evora. The rooms were pure luxury, large spaces, sumptuous high thread count linen on the beds, duvets, desk and chairs, a deck, and, luxurious marble bathroom complete with a high tech loo with sprays and buttons that did things I wouldn’t write in a review .

I highly recommend this hotel and am thrilled that we chose it. We managed to land an incredible deal on Travelocity at just over 100 Euro’s a night because they offered 1 night free for stays of 3 nights or more. Great value when you consider that a first class breakfast buffet is included. We did learn that the hotel can be popular with families on weekends and during the Christmas/New Year break, so if you’re looking for a quiet romantic break, plan accordingly.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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dc
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

I went to Portugal for the first time with my husband, and stayed here because this is considered to be one of the best hotels in Evora, but what a mistake! Upon entering our room I noticed medication, from a previous stay, on the rug of the floor in plain sight. I mentioned it to the clerk, who picked it up and dismissed it as an oversight, and left us for the evening. We had dinner reservations at the hotel and immediately went for a walk prior to dinner (which we thought was pretty good.) When we returned to the room, my husband went to the bathroom yelled out "GROSS!" I walk in and on the inner rim of the toilet seat was FECAL MATTER. We immediately called the front desk and told them what happened, their reaction was to call housekeeping. I decided to go to the front desk and as I approached, the front desk clerks saw me and then started to pick up the phone to call housekeeping. His reaction was appalling, rather than understanding the gravity of the siutation, he just told me house keeping was coming. I made him come to the room and see for himself, and he acted as if no big deal, in fact it is really serious and can spread diseases! It really made me question whether they were really cleaning the rooms. They wound up changing our room, but honestly my stay here was ruined. For a hotel of this calibur I would at a minium expect superior cleanliness and overall better customer service and treatment. How would you want to sit on a dirty toilet in a fine hotel? I will be raising this issue with the hotel management, and never recommend this hotel to anyone!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricaban, General Manager at Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 21, 2010
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Arroyo,

I learnt about your unpleasant experience at our hotel through Trip Advisor, and first of all, in my personal name and in the name of my team, I would like to express my sincere apologies for the terrible experience that you had.

I work at this property since the time that we were rebuilding the former ruins of the convent 6 years ago. Since then, we have been working very hard towards building a team that cares for our clients, and the hotel has gained a very solid reputation as one of the best in our country. What happened to you is a very clear indication that a lot more has to be done to ensure that all members of our team perform at the same level.

I shall use your straightforward comments in our on-the-job trainings, in order to demonstrate the negative impact of poor performance, and how it can jeopardize the efforts of an entire team.

Please be assured that our team will endeavour all efforts in order to continually improve our services, and I take this opportunity to wish you all the best for 2010.

Yours sincerely,

Dinis Pires - General Manager
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Additional Information about Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

Address: Canaviais, Evora 7005-839, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Alentejo > Evora District > Evora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Evora
#2 Romantic Hotel in Evora
#2 Luxury Hotel in Evora
#2 Family Hotel in Evora
#2 Business Hotel in Evora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Convento do Espinheiro, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 92
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Also Known As:
Convento Do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel And Spa
Convento Do Espinheiro Heritage Hotel

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