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“Monte da Fornalha - Alentejo , Portugal”
Review of Monte da Fornalha

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Monte da Fornalha
Ranked #2 of 5 Estremoz B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 12, 2012

Running a B & B in Kent we tend to be a little critical when we go away. Last September , finding that we had a few free days , we decided to take a quick break. Having lived in Portugal when I was younger I have a soft spot for it but didn't know the Alentejo region very well - we spotted Monte da Fornalha on I - Escape and thought we would give it a try. After arriving in Lisbon we were soon on our way to Borba - once over the long bridge , traffic disappeared and we were at our destination in 2 hours. Monte da Fornalha was everything we wanted - a haven of tranquility run by the lovely Orlanda. Our room was huge and nicely decorated in a rustic style. There are plenty of shady spots around the pool and the garden ,
bikes to use and some gentle strolls to be had. Such was the calm around us that it felt it was our own home. Breakfast was a treat with home made cakes , local bread , yoghurt & honey and fresh fruit and juice ( wonderful figs from the garden as well )
Orlanda was a huge help pointing out to us the places to visit and suggesting restaurants to try. The region is undulating with many vineyards , olive & cork trees and some charming hilltop villages. Travelling around is a doddle as the roads seemed blissfully free of traffic which helped the whole visit feel so utterly relaxing.
Do try Monte da Fornalha and the region of the Alentejo.

Room Tip: Ours was the only one on the first floor I think
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank woodpeckerKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 56 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2011

It's a wonderful, charm and confortable place. The main house has a beautiful glass reading room and nice sofas where you can rest any time listening music and having a tea, it's always available a treat - tea, coffee, cookies or chocolat.
The breakfast has delicious homemade jams and bread, among other things.
The room is quite confortable and nice, and the pool area is very relaxing and zen. There was just two critics; the tv is small has a cereal box and there is no internet, just on the main house or close.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MarMourinho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2010

Fornalha makes a great base for sighseeing in the Alentejo area. Conveniently located to many historical sites and in the midst of the Alentejo Wine Route. Or a great secret hide-away spot to relax.

The property itself is stunning. The rooms, the pool, the public areas are all welcoming, cozy and well-maintained. The buildings are surrounded by orange trees, cacti, olive and cork trees and a variety of flowering plants. Orlanda is a wonderful gardner and hostess.

Our room was very spacious (#378) with large bed, sofa, desk, and tables. The bath was also spacious. The shower head was a bit strong and stinging, but the bath tub was a real treat. The room was quiet and comfortable both nights we were there.

Breakfast was a feast -- cereals, pastries, breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, yogurt, juices, tea and coffee. Food was fresh and served in a spacious dining area meticulously decorated. Tea was available in the common areas in the afternoon. (Ooh, I'd love to come back in the winter with a big roaring fire. Mmmm!)

The weather was a bit cool to fully enjoy the pool. We did sit in the sun to read and nap one afternoon. Can only imagine how great it is in the warm summer months! Like a picture out of a luxury magazine!

In Estremoz, eat at A Cadeia inside the castle walls-- restaurant in the old jail. Fabulous meals and wines. Service was outstanding as well.

Consider a day trip to Monsaraz to visit the castle and village. Pottery shops and vineyards are a short drive away. Monsaraz is on the largest resevoir in Portugal -- quite beautiful -- and water sports are available.

Extremely enjoyable time at Orlanda's and would love to come back and explore more of the Alentejo!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Go4Fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2010

We had a remarkable 3 night stay at Monte Do Fornahla. The inn is
very beatiful - the grounds impeccibly landscaped and the common space
invitingly decorated. We spent a lot of time just relaxing at the inn.

The rooms are very cozy and spacious, with very clean and open
bathrooms. The style is rustic, but everything seems recently
updated. Breakfasts are absolutely outstanding, excellent baked goods, cheese, ham - ours was served with fresh figs from the trees at the inn.

The location is convenient driving distance to Estremoz and Borba,
only one mile to Borba. If you are a wine lover, the best wines we
had on our 9 day trip to Portugal were the local Borba and Estremoz
wines. In lisbon, we noticed that the fine restauants had long lists
of Alentejo wines, more so than from the Douro Valley. The inn is
also a convenient drive to Evora.

Orlanda is a great host and provides fantastic restaurant suggestions
- both fine dining and country style. We had an exceptional meal at A
Cadeia in Estremoz.

If you stay at Monte da Fornalha (which you should), either follow
directions provided by Orlanda or make sure you talk with her for
directions before arriving. Both the GPS and google maps lead us to
the wrong location.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank visitorfromDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2010

Nestled off the main road, in the middle of the vineyards, Monte da Fornalha is a stunner. There are fig, walnut and orange trees, lovely gardens and a pool to while away hours. It was by far our favorite part of being in the region. We took her bikes out for a ride through vineyards and I'll never forget that scenery.
Ornalda, the owner, has impeccable taste and all the rooms were cozy, comfortable and sophisticated. She was a great resource on where to go in the area and where to eat. You'll be hard pressed to find a restaurant around there with a breakfast as good as hers. It was a treat to stay there.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank sashalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2010

We were initially hesitant about staying at Monte Da Fornalha given the location (it's situated in wine valley between several towns) but what a find! If you have a car, it's actually well located for all the pretty Alentejan towns in the area - most of which are within an easy 30 to 40 mins drive.

We spent 4 fantastic nights at Monte Da Fornalha staying in the Junior Suite - definitely recommended as it seemed a home from home given the space. The decor is a blend of rustic chic but has all the comforts you would expect from a normal hotel - minifridge, kettle, tv and plenty of throws/cushions etc. The gardens are beautiful and heavy with fruit - even in October there was an abundance of limes, oranges, persimmon and figs.

Breakfast is as the other reviewers describe, plenty of hot coffee and a good choice of fresh produce (including from the garden when in season), cheese, cold cuts, warm bread and homemade jams. The owner was also flexible as to the timing of breakfast which was useful.

Ask the owner about restaurant recommendations as the ones she recommended to us(O Lisberto and O Beco in Borba) although very local looking and didn't speak much English were exceptionally good and better than the meals we had at Lisbon,

We'd recommend getting to the market in Estramoz on Saturday, visiting Evoramonte and Montemor-o-Novo (if hilltop castles are your thing). You can also borrow bikes and cycle through the wine and cork valley.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank secretnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2010

Booked four nights in this accommodation. Altogether, we would recommend this charming place: it has a beautiful garden, the staff seem very efficient (rooms are cleaned before you even know it), very spacious rooms, parking in the shade and the breakfast is very generous and probably the best thing about our stay. You are also close to a lot of towns and wineries worth a visit.

We did not get the warmest welcome though. Upon arrival, we were simply given the room key by the lady who runs this place and that was it. Not even any word about when and where breakfast is on. Be aware that breakfast starts at 9.30 am only (which one has to get used to, but we were ok from the second day on). Don't make the mistake and get up earlier than that, or you might end up like us waiting in front of the closed door.

You should also know that a cat runs around the property. We didn't mind that and thought she made a rather cute pet, but she is allowed anywhere outside incl. the pool area (think of cat having a nap on your chair or scratching her nails on it). I also noticed that the covers for the chairs around the pool were stained or simply dirty. During our stay, these were not removed or washed.

We were happy with our choice though and to be fair, the owner still warmed up to us and we had some friendly chats. Just don't expect the personal service you would get in a B&B.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank UrbanMoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monte da Fornalha

Address: Estremoz 7100, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Alentejo > Evora District > Estremoz
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Estremoz
Price Range: $128 - $188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
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