Alentejo is a sparsely populated region of golden plains, smooth hills and old white villages. It feature beautiful places and historical sites on unique scenic locations. Once a land of large farms, hard work and poverty, it was for many years just a crossing place between Lisbon and Algarve. But Alentejo slowly become a destination on its own, gaining a well deserved reputation of quality for the wise traveller, looking for peaceful locations, unspoiled villages and high quality tourism. Alentejo poverty gave also birth to some of the finest portuguese recipes: traditionally limited to bread, water and a few bits of pork meat, locals mastered the use of herbs and spices in order to produce unique and delicate flavors, which are today a must of Portuguese cuisine.
Casa do Plátano is located in Arraiolos, at the heart of Alentejo. It is a traditional manor house located in the main square that was recently converted to a quality guest house. The colour themed rooms are simple, comfortable, and feature a superb decoration. The service is familiar, nice and flawless. There is an extreme care in all the details, from the beautiful night candles, the cozy common areas and the relaxing smell. On the outside, a small swimming pool provides a good option for refreshing on hot summer days. Overall, it offers a unique combination of luxury and simplicity.
The breakfast, served on a common table and without schedule restrictions, is of high quality. It does not include hot dishes, but it features a very good assortment of local ham, cheese, bread and cakes, further to the usual yoghurt, cereals, milk, coffee, fresh fruit, etc. There are excellent restaurants in Arraiolos, so there are plenty of dinning of options around, albeit slightly overpriced for portuguese standards.
Since there are some bikes available, if you are in good shape, you may try to visit Évora (~20Km away) following the beautiful bicycle track that interconnects Arraiolos and Évora. This track makes use of the old and now inactive train line, is traffic free and feature smooth gradients and, therefore, it is more than adequate for the occasional rider.
In short, a unique place in the center of a beautiful and peaceful village. Casa do Plátano is one of those magic place that makes up Alentejo one of Portugal best kept secrets.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa do Platano is a place of retreat and meditation, which combines, ina creative and harmonious way, the ancient teachings and wisdom of the yoga philosophy of the energetic centres with the temporal and spatial surroundings of Alentejo. Namaste...! ... more less
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