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“The perfect place for a nature-loving family...”

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Paradise In Portugal
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Reviewed September 12, 2012

This hotel (if you can call it that, more of a home really) is the perfect place for the kind of family that likes the rural wilderness. The lake is wonderful for swimming: warm and perfectly clear. In fact there were times when I had a little drink as I was swimming along. There are charming pets: our children fell in love with the dogs. The sailing boat, canoes and pedal boats provided the ideal means to explore the vast lake. The warmth of the hosts Frank and Daniela was second to none and we felt almost like part of their family by the time we had been there a day or two. Because other guests seemed to feel that way too, you felt you knew them as well. Don't plan to stay here if you want polished luxury or to be treated like royalty by servile hotel staff; this place is unpretentious, beautiful and remote. But the warmth of the welcome makes you feel at home.

Room Tip: We stayed in Andorinha, which easily accommodated the four of us (two adults and two children, aged...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank McChesneys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2012

I’ve never written anything on Trip Advisor before, but La Quinta was so special that I decided to. It’s hard to describe because it’s not like anything I’ve come across before – a cross between staying in somebody’s home and a very comfortable hotel.

Daniela and Frank who own and run the place are a fabulous couple who make you feel right at home from the off, as do their great staff. And Daniela and Frank add all sorts of things you’d never find anywhere else – like Frank having breakfast with his parrot on his shoulder (the parrot is a tart by the way and doesn’t like other women), the aloe vera (from a plant in the extensive gardens) for my sunburnt nose, and Daniela’s ability to cook the same dishes for a different set of 25-35 people every evening and managing to find such delicious options she pleases everybody enormously. Frank is also ingenious as an engineer-scientist and it’s fascinating to have him show you round the place which has taken 25 years to build up.

The other thing I’d add is that even though it’s really off the beaten track – which was the main reason my husband and I went there – we met such great people we ended up partying ‘til 2.30am some nights. And I’ve certainly never visited a place where it was perfectly normal to discuss the political situation in Cameroon at breakfast(!).

Oh, and one last thing – there aren’t any mosquitoes.

Room Tip: We stayed in the room called 'Andorinha', which while more expensive than the others was lar...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank B S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Just came back from my trip at "Paradise in Portugal" !
Can I go back there right now ???

Words can barely describe my stay at this amazing place !!! But I will try...
"Paradise in Portugal" is located in a remote place in Alentejo, two and a half hours from Lisbonn but it is definitely worth the trip and all the efforts to find it !!!
When you arrive, Daniela, Frank and their wondeful staff welcome you with their big hearts and you can just relax and enjoy the great environnement : the lake and the nature all around.
I really enjoyed the calm and soothing atmosphere of the site but what makes the journey really unique is the kindness of the staff and the melting-pot of people you can meet there !

I spent 5 great days at the Quinta with my brother (15) and sister (25) ; it was just pure bliss even if we can be described as "city people".
We got the family "suite" : two rooms connected by a bathroom ; the rooms and bathroom were clean,spacious and nicely decorated.
It was so much fun spending time with the staff (which is truly like a big family !!) and having the opportunity to share stories with people from all around the globe (England, Portugal, Cameroon, Morocco, France, Austria and more..).
If you like a little sport, you can enjoy swimming and using pedaloes ans canoes.
If you wanna do nothing, that's fine too : you can read or enjoy the sun near the lake or on your little personnal "terrace".

And let's not forget the food : healthy, fresh, amazing, great personnalized dinners everyday

For me, it was just the original and amazing holidays I was waiting for !!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Nadou83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

Looking through my photographs I realise that they only tell half the story about the Quinta – the views and scenery. The other half is Frank, Daniela and their extended family and helpers.
The Quinta is pretty unique. It is not a hotel, nor a conventional B&B. It’s a bit like living in someone’s extended home, where you all meet up for meal times. Together with Frank’s and Daniela’s hospitably and kindness this is what really makes it. Somehow, through some form of serendipity, the mix of people and nationalities that get thrown together usually make for a very sociable time – much more so than in a standard hotel.

I can see that the Quinta isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – it is remote by most people’s standards and sharing meals with strangers (though they don’t usually remain so for long) is not for everyone. However this is what makes it. If you want tranquillity (except for the sounds of children enjoying themselves in the lake!), good company and great food away from it all this is the place to stay in Portugal. It’s very rare we actually go back to a place, but this year is our second visit. I can see us needing a season ticket. Many of the other guests are return visitors too.

Each room is individual with a large bathroom, and small sitting area outside. My wife keeps saying she needs to find out where Daniela gets the bed linen from because it is the best she has come across. The rooms are not air conditioned (this would be completely against the Quinta’s ethos) – we slept very comfortably with the door and windows open. In fact the lightweight duvet provided was just right for the night temperature most nights (this being in July). With each passing day, despite doing less and less, I found myself sleeping sounder and sounder.

As to other practicalities, the Quinta is easy to find (if you follow Frank’s directions), and the 4km track from the tarred road takes about 15 minutes. A lot of guests are happy to stay at the Quinta all day just taking it easy, and it is surprising how quickly the days go by with the occasional swim in the lake (in July the temperature is absolutely perfect), reading, chatting and taking the Quinta’s dogs for a walk (or swim). You need to let Daniela know each day whether you staying for lunch and/or dinner - lunch is served at 1pm and dinner at 8pm. If you do want to venture out for the day it is about an hour and a quarter’s fairly easy drive to Zambujeira do Mar (on the West coast, with a great beach in a cove and numerous little restaurants). On the swimming pontoon there are a couple of kayaks and pedaloes for the guests to use and also a sailing dinghy (currently a Laser 13 for anyone who wants to know) for those who can sail.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat lunch before arriving at the Quinta, there is a small local restaurant (Casa Pepe) in Santa Clara a Velha. It is in the building immediately beyond the petrol station as you drive into the village. It provides good local food at local prices. There is also a tiny supermarket nearby.

And, if you strike it really lucky while you are staying, you’ll have some of Carolina’s crepes for pudding….

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Cowshed1835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

I just spent a week here and you won't find any other place quite like this one. Frank, Daniella, family, and staff all try their best to make your stay a comfortable one. I spent four days birding the area with Frank and we had a great time and saw some wonderful birds. Frank and Daniella have a great passion for birds, nature and their environment. They are fighting now to save the last wetland area in the Algarve before it is lost forever. Daniella's cooking was delicious and was made from fresh local ingredients. I'm amazed how she could make all the meals and serve everyone while the food was still hot. We had family style sitting which I found very enjoyable because we all sat and ate at the "big" table. This gave us the opportunity to talk with the other guests who were from different countries. If the opportunity arises, I would visit and stay in the same place. Thanks for the GREAT time!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great and look out onto the lake.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Immerse yourselves in this magical place. Frank and Daniella have built an unforgettable envirorment which attracts truly interesting guests. Daniella cooks excellent food which is created from fresh local ingredients, enjoyed in the wonderful dining room with its spectacular proscenium arch style open window which looks out upon the lake. Frank is a wonderful host, brilliant ractonteur and extraordinary builder: having constructed this truly rare hotel himself. The whole wonderful space: stone chalet rooms, beautiful gardens, stairs to the lake and pontoon have cleary been a labour of love over twenty years. Everything about Quinta do Barranco da Estrada makes you feel open and free but simultaeously included in a wonderful warm family with their very genial helpers. This is one of the truly rare, magical places on this planet. Vive Frank and Daniella!! Tony Pol, Caz Smallwood, Ansel Pol & Rafe Pol

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Anthony P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

Thouroughly enjoyed our stay here as part of a walking holiday with Headwater. The weather was rather too hot for walking so we skipped one of the walks and for an excellent day of bird watching with Frank. We enjoyed the communal meals chatting to all the guests and family. The lake was great for cooling off after our days activities - swimming, sailing and kayaking

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank Aggies55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradise In Portugal

Address: Quinta do Barranco da Estrada, Santa Clara a Velha 7665-880, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Alentejo > Beja District > Santa Clara a Velha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Clara a Velha
Price Range: $140 - $273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Paradise In Portugal 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The essence of the Quinta is a small, intimate, holiday retreat for peace and relaxation. It boasts a blend of traditional hospitality, "International home-cooking" cuisine and a friendly atmosphere with excellent, friendly service.Set in a beautiful lakeside location, the Quinta is surrounded by unspoiled countryside with a wide variety of wildlife and rare birds in its gardens and surrounding countryside. In short it's Paradise in Portugal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Quinta Do Barranco Da Estrada Hotel Santa Clara a Velha
Paradise In Portugal Santa Clara a Velha, Alentejo

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