We were travelling in family (2 adults and 2 children). Have stayed at Suite Duplex of Casa Beleza do Sul for 3 nights in February 2012 during the Carnival ‘holidays’. It was dry and sunny, with very pleasant temperatures during the day – but still cold at night.
Casa Beleza do Sul is a renovated traditional house on the center of Tavira, close to the river Gilão right margin. The house was renovated respecting it’s most distinctive architectural features – like the terraces and the ‘tesouro’ rooftops characteristic of Tavira.
The Suite Duplex where we have stayed, is an open floor apartment with a mezannine with a double bed. On the main floor there’s a sitting area with a sofa bed, a dinning table, a kitchenette and a toilette. The room was renovated incorporating traditional materials from the original building and blending it with natural materials: ceramic tiles on the floor, lots of wood and ‘caniço’ (water reed) as internal lining of the roofing. The respect for the traditional does not compromise functionality: the toilet appliances are modern, the kitchenette has a vitro-ceramic stove, there’s good heating, the TV is a flat screen with access to dozens of satellite channels, there’s free wi-fi internet access,… The overall feeling of the apartment is spacious, airy and – at the same time – traditional/modern/chic.
There are two terraces that can be used by the guests. An open terrace on the top floor offering magnificent views across Tavira and a second one on a lower level, more protected with a more intimate patio atmosphere.
The service is efficient and unobstructive. We were welcomed by the owner that explained in a detailed way the ‘how-to-do’ of the house – door keys, cleaning schedule, internet password, etc… After that we were very much on our own – felt like we were on our private house. There's daily room cleaning.
Breakfast was not included on our rate, but for an additional fee you can order it for the following morning. It is delivered on a basket to your room. We have ordered it for the first day of our stay. Breakfast includes fruit juices, different types of bread, yogurt, cheese and jams. On the other days we have prepared our own breakfast by making use of the kitchenette. There are plenty of nearby places where you can buy everything you need – including big Pingo Doce and Continenter supermarkets on the other side of the river.
The house doesn’t have parking facilities. The public parking in the area is paid during weekdays from 9AM to 7PM. A safe free public car parking is within a 5 minute walk.
Tavira is one of the most beautiful, cultural rich and well preserved cities of Algarve, having being spared of the touristic madness that wreck large portions of the Algave during the 80’s and the 90’s. Tavira is best seen and enjoyed just by wondering through it’s narrow streets and squares. For specific sights, I recommend the ‘Camera Obscura’ near the castle – a sure success with kids - and Praia do Barril – access via Santa Luzia/Pedras d’El Rei, 5Kms West of Tavira. Very soon a new Islamic Museum featuring works from the Moors period is going to be inaugurated just next to the Tourism Office in the main square.
For budget good value authentic food from the South of Portugal I recommend “Cantinho do Emigrante” a no-frills restaurant on the other side of the Gilão river - a 5 minute walking.
All in all, this was a very pleasant stay on a city we always like to return to. I recommend both Casa Beleza do Sul and Tavira.
Our preferred spot in the house? Probably the top floor terrace where we would return every morning to enjoy the morning sun and find new angles for photos over Tavira rooftops…
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