My husband and I visited in late September 2012 as the first stop on a two week swing through northern Portugal and Galicia (Spain). Casas spoiled us right off the bat and set the bar incredibly high!
We arrived in the daylight (thank goodness), but rain. It is a challenge to find and I was thankful hubbie was at the wheel! But, once there, you don't want to leave due to the fabulous accommodations, the meals, the views, and the staff. Casas is a wonderful retreat to get away from the hectic pace of life and slow down in luxury and in nature. A glass of wine in front of a fire on a rainy evening set the tone for our visit.
We love, love, loved all the meals. Breakfast had the heavenly Serra cheese along with a full buffet -- fruits, meats, cheese, breads, cereals, yogurts, juices, coffees, teas. Dinners were like fine dining (without having to dress to the nines), including the linens and flowers on the tables. We had a beef entree, cod-fish cake, and pork entree, all delicious. The soups were divine and desserts a true treat. Food was fresh out of the garden -- so yummy. Kudos to all in the kitchen and to the servers!! Wine lovers-- try the Quinta da Bica red from the Dao Valley. It was one of the best we had on the entire trip.
Since it was cooling down, we did not use the pool. However, we did sit outside around the pool in the late afternoons for tea and sunshine. The grounds are immaculately maintained and pristine. But, a stone's throw in the distance you can walk through the village gardens and into the woods for more tangled beauty. It's well worth time exploring "the neighborhood."
The village is small and residential as noted in the reviews. For sights, we visited Seia, the Torre, the glacier valley of Manteigas, and over to Covilha. This gave us a good feel for the local life in the small cities. We were in town on a Sunday, and seeing the countryside is about the best option as many shops are closed. If you have time, drive the entire circuit of the Torre. One side is barren and filled with windswept views; the other is a forest of huge trees and the glacier valley/ river. You will run into the sheep and their keepers --a disappearing group unfortunately. The Torre has a museum in Portuguese only; but still informative for the English-only crowd. We were on top of the mountain covered in a heavy fog, so no great view that day, but the drive was fabulous. Manteigas and Covilha are known for wool textiles. Wool blankets and scarves are a good value for a memorable souvenir. I have used ours at home all winter and never fails to conjure up warm memories.
The staff were quite helpful and courteous. If the lanuguage was a barrier, we used Google Translator. But, overall top notch service. Rui had the water temperature adjusted for us the first night and it was a sign of great customer service throughout our stay.
I hope that we can return soon, perhaps in the warmer months to enjoy the pool. I would highly recommend Casas for couples/ adults and older children.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small design hotel in the highest mountains of Portugal. Hospitality, comfort and modernity in a typical mountain village. 8 Rooms, sitting room, dining room, sauna, jacuzzi, steam bath, swimming pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casas Da Lapa Portugal/Lapa Dos Dinheiros