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“Keep out if you can. Stay in Lisbon and see Sintra starting from there.”

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The House of The She Pine Tree
Ranked #1 of 1 Sabugo B&B and Inns
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Keep out if you can. Stay in Lisbon and see Sintra starting from there.”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

After having stayed at the house for one night in mid-August 2012 as part of a 7-person group (4 adults, 3 children) I am very surprised to see so many generally positive reviews. I was quite disappointed. We stayed in the Chapel part (actually the old stalls), in a two-floor "apartment" consisting of 3 separate rooms (2 twin + 1 double), kitchen, very large living room (with space for extra beds) and 2 bathrooms.

Good things: the charm of a lovely old and picturesque house/property with nice view of Sintra (although it is quite far from Sintra, so you cannot really see much without a binocular). The property is like that due to its famous past owner. That's basically it for the good. Oh, there are a lot of pine trees (duh) and pine nuts and two of the children in our group love pine nuts, so that was good, but hardly a "service".

Now for the bad things:
(Premise: we stayed on the Chapel part (old stalls), I don't know if in the main house it's better but from what I saw I don't think so)

- cleanliness: there was dust everywhere. The house is old, yes, but it's not just a house anymore, it's also accomodation for people. The beds didn't seem freshly made too (wrinkled sheets) and my wife felt the need to use a towel around her pillow.

- broken facilities: one of the winning points for us in choosing this over other options was the fact that there were two bathrooms. It turned out that one of them had no working hot water and all taps had serious pressure issues, so in practice there was only one working bathroom (with problems of its own).
Apparently they also rent the 3 rooms in this "apartment" individually, using the 2 bathrooms as shared ones. It was bad enough for us who were part of the same group, I can only imagine how bad it is if you have to share the bathroom.

- breakfast: probably the poorest I've ever had while sleeping out and certainly one of the biggest problems of the experience because in Portugal you eat wonderfully anywhere you go. There was very little to eat and drink and it was also very much a DIY kind of thing, where you go to the fridge yourself to get milk, juice or yoghurt, you brew your own coffee, etc.. I can do that at my place, and I don't pay for it...

- misleading advertising: contrarily to what may be sold to you, this property does not have a pool. It has a small water tank (with all associated problems in terms of contamination).

- insufficient services: our group consisted of 3 children, one of whom requiring a babycot (<1 year). This was clearly specified in the reservation. When we arrived, an extra bed (suitable for an adult) was placed on the large living room, where in theory the baby would have to sleep alone. And there was even not enough space on any of the rooms to put this bed there. The explanation given was that they only had one babycot and this was already being used by another baby. First of all, they should have more, but then we actually found a smaller bed (the standard Ikea for children) in a closet in the room. They could have assembled this for us and that would have been a working solution. As it stood, we had to improvise ourselves. Yet another DIY aspect, that I don't expect from a "service".

- value for money: considering all the negative points above and others, it is very expensive for Portugal standards. And we had even been given an upfront 20 Euro discount. Still way too expensive for what it is. And we were also asked to pay in cash, because of the card commissions which have been recently increased in Portugal. I can have sympathy and agree that this is unfair, but if you are offering a service, just include that on the prices, don't tell people that you prefer cash instead of bank cards, which in my opinion gives you a bad image. Staying in the Sintra area is expensive and I don't recommend it, but this property is 8/9 Km from Sintra, so it cannot claim to benefit from the Sintra price inflation. Sabugo, the actual location, actually seems like a simple, uneventful place.

Overall, I thought it was a once fabulous place now owned and run by people who don't have the resources to maintain it and no service or costumer orientation. Unfortunately, this is typical in the Sintra/Cascais area, where fantastic properties end up (maybe by heritage) in the hands of people who cannot afford them. Properties like this require a lot of resources for maintenance and restoration and also good taste (the ceiling of the breakfast room was done with wood boards sprinkled with cement spots, seemed to have been taken from a construction site). "Old" in this case has to be only about age, not about the status of the facilities.

There are probably better places to stay in the Sintra area, although in general I would say that they are expensive and bad value for money. If you want to visit Sintra, I recommend staying in Lisbon and doing the 20-minute drive to Sintra instead. In Lisbon you have, for example, the 5-star Tiara Park Atlantic which offers fantastic services, rooms, breakfast for prices which are basically the same as the ones these guys ask for.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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3 Thank psacra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We've just come back from a one week stay at the She Pine Tree House and absolutely loved it. We wish we could have stayed longer. We had rented a car, and the house was easy to find. We had a warm welcome from Manuel, who showed us around the house and told us to feel at home,...and so we did. The house is stunning, beautifully laid out and every room has a different theme in terms of the drawings, paintings, photographs and decorative items. We stayed in the Olavo Suite, which is spacious and very comfy. We had four dinners in and can only recommend to do so. Elvira cooks homely food, very tasty and a very reasonable. We had all of our meals in the conservatory, which has stunning views over the Sintra hils and the rolling landscape. Wonderful sunsets! If you are a light sleeper, you may want to take earplugs, the dogs in the village are not holding back with their barks, and the cockerel starts crowing quite early. Breakfasts are good, too: fresh bread, Elvira's home made jam - very nice - cheese, ham, some yoghurts, cereal and fruit and good coffee. Sintra is only a 10 minute car drive away and offers plenty of sights. Lisbon's Campo Grande is a 20 minute car journey. We parked the car there for free and took the metro into town. Manuel has plenty of tips, hints and ideas for your stay and is ever so helpful and kind. Elvira may not speak much English, but understands and is a true gem. Bernardo is one of the owners and cooked a brilliant meal on the first night and made a wonderful refreshing Sangria. All in all a helpful team, a special place to stay!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank JujuWu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2011

We had the most amazing experience at the Shee Pine Tree House two years ago while visiting Portugal.
The welcome was one of the warmest we've ever received and we felt immediately at home. The food is amazing and I highly recommend to have dinner at the house: for an extremely reasonable price you will have plenty of delicious home-cooked food and local wine in the loely dining room. We had a lovely evening with the other guests.

We booked a standard room and we were upgraded to a suite which opened onto the garden: best night of sleep of the trip. To bad we could only stay one night!

I highly recommend this heaven to anybody who wants to enjoy rural Portugal, relax and eat good food. The House is well positioned to discover Sintra, Cabo de Roca, Cascais and many other places in southern Portugal, but you will need a car to get around.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mirasuri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Conwy, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2011

If you get excited by antiques, art and interiors then ShePine is definitely worth a visit. We had a pleasant first evening there, the lovely Elvira cooked for us and I loved exploring the house and its contents. It's amazing and you can imagine yourself living in the time of the original owner. Every wall is covered in paintings, family photos, gorgeousness everywhere!

Unfortunately, on the second night we got no sleep whatsoever. When the house is full it's really noisy, every door hinge creaks, ever door handle squeaks and, if you are in one of the rooms on the roadside of the house the thundering lorries start early!

Have a great stay but I would say that one night is enough for me as the surrounding village is unremarkable and I even found Sintra a bit too touristy for my liking!

Room Tip: I had a sneaky peek in some of the other rooms and they are amazing, so I would recommend you try to...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jeegs_jogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2011

I put off writing this review for far too long. I traveled to Portugal in December of 2010, staying in a handful of hostels throughout Lisbon and Sintra. After staying in Lisbon for 10 days my travel companion and I were excited to get out of the city for a bit. We stayed in She Pine for three nights.

We were at first skeptical booking with She Pine Tree, because there were very few reviews in 2009-2010 and heard it was not in Sintra, but in a tiny city outside of Sintra, but we took the risk. Staying at She Pine was arguably the best decision we made through our two-week vacation. The level of service from Bernardo and his family is on par with any luxury hotel, but the personal touches remind you of the boutique hotel experience.

We arrived late in the evening, around 9 p.m. so there were no buses or taxis traveling running. We phoned the hotel and they immediately picked us up and even had dinner prepared. The dinners are usually three homemade courses accompanied by wine, I forget the price but remember it was extremely low, while providing vegetarian options. The meals were intimate, tranquil and overall a perfect way to end a day visiting Sintra.

Our room was beautiful. We stayed in the Olava Suite, which has unbelievable views of the city and a gorgeous renovated shower. The room, along with the house, feels like it has a lot of history (which it does) but in a non-cliché, non-weathered, vibe.

Three brothers run the hotel, with their mother baking throughout the day. All well-read personable individuals, and each with different opinions on how to spend your day. They were all a wealth of knowledge about Sintra, as well as Portugal.

I can go on and on about She Pine, the personal service, delicious food, beautiful setting, and unbelievable affordable prices. I’ve wanted to keep this place a little secret but I can already tell its popularity has grown through the years.

If you’re lucky enough to book a room, expect an amazing experience.

(I will acknowledge the fact that She Pine is a tiny train ride away from Sintra, but they make the commute very easy).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank moonman8899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2011

it's not a simple hotel, it's a little secret museum, full of arts, books, paintings and with a beautiful view over Sintra. I suggest this place to relax, to enjoy the valley and have amazing conversations with the owners. Very typical rooms and excellent kitchen...

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MissAlexis1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2011

This B&B is a work of art in itself. The house and rooms are beautifully put together. The staff are amazing and so welcoming. The dinner is highly-recommended, as is the home-made breakfast in the conservatory in the mornings. Location-wise, this is a bit off the beaten track but is still a great option to visit Sintra. A car makes it easier, but staff will also pick you up from the train station. Can't recommend this place more!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A_and_H_away
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The House of The She Pine Tree

Property: The House of The She Pine Tree
Address: Rua Nossa Senhora da Piedade 25, Sabugo 2715-399, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Sintra Municipality > Sabugo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Sabugo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The House of The She Pine Tree 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome To The House Of The She Pine Tree! The House of the She Pine Tree was built at the end of the XIX Century for a local farmer´s family, and expanded in the 30´s, when it was redesigned to its “Sintra Chalet” looks. It sits on the highground edge of the time forgotten villages of Sabugo and Vale de Lobo, in the county of the historic town of sintra (a Unesco World Heritage Site). The village rolls down the last west facing slope where the hills of Carregueira and Olela merge, with breathtaking views of the mountain of Sintra and its valley, with fabulous unlimited 270º degrees sunsets panoramas! The sea from Guincho to Ericeira lies just behind the horizon. The house was bought in the early sixties by the journalist, war reporter, radio and tv producer and speaker, painter, artist, award-wining novelist, theater and children´s stories writer, publicist, poet, antiquarian, art collector Olavo d´Eça Leal (Vd. Bio). The house will be the property of a foundation and hosts the temporary and permanent contributions of drawings, paintings, furnishings and personal objects of Olavo, constituting a Museum House. In order to sustain its maintenance and support the conservation of the house and its collection, the house is operating as an inn/bed & breakfast, a non-profit charity. The rooms are decorated with the art collection, furnishings, and personal objects of Olavo, on loan or donated by his widow, Emilia, and his son, Tomaz. The collection is constituted mainly by drawings from 1926 to 1976, the year he passed away in Oxford, covering 50 years of his work. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The House Of The She Pine Tree Portugal/Sabugo

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