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“Paradise found!”

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Quinta do Monteverde
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Paradise found!”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

We spent a delightful 11 days at the Quinta do Monteverde at the tail end of the 2013 summer season. Tucked away in the unassuming rural town of Castelo do Neiva, behind raised old stone walls, this Quinta is a little piece of 16th century paradise. The ample and well cared for grounds encompass the main house, a number of outbuildings, an ancient spring, orchards, a swimming pool, and a tennis court located on the edge of a small, shadowy grove of pine trees.
We stayed in one of the converted outbuildings, a small cottage with a westerly view across the luscious lawn, taking in the house and the neighbouring church, with the sea just over a kilometre away. In the main house several rooms, tastefully furnished in traditional Portuguese style, are also available. The cottages, however, of which there are four in the converted outbuilding, have the advantage of stepping out of the front door onto the terrace and into the early morning sun upon waking up. Each cottage is provided with its own table and chairs with a sunshade, which strengthens the connection of the cottage with the garden and the swimming pool is merely a few paces away. The cottage was well furnished and spacious with separate bedroom with en suite bathroom and a comfortable and cool living room with a small kitchenette. Again, tastefully furnished in Portuguese style; although the bed was a little small and, at 1.93 m, I would have preferred something a little roomier.
Breakfast was served in the recently converted building that was formerly used to press grapes to make wine. The tasteful furnishing, which features a number of local and family artefacts, was complemented by a very high standard buffet breakfast comprising local products, freshly squeezed juices and freshly baked bread and cakes. With some good strong Portuguese coffee the perfect start to the day.
There was nothing to fault regarding service. All of the staff were extremely friendly and obliging. A gardener worked continuously to keep the groups in perfect condition and the level of hygiene and standard of cleaning was very high. The owners, Fatima and José were a mine of local and historical information and tips regarding places to visit, the best beaches and where to eat were spot on.
A common room in the lower story of the main house was open to all guests and featured a pool table, a comfortable lounge and a reading/games room, all with the mellow, musky smell that goes with an old house. And of course, tastefully furnished, a recurring feature of the Quinta. A self-service bar/kitchen area is also included for that bedtime tipple: a glass of Port in our case.
If there is any drawback to this beautiful house and its grounds, it is the location. Castelo do Neiva is dominated by recently built holiday homes and the few original, stone-faced houses of the village are lost amongst this somewhat disorganised sprawl of dwellings, which occupy a fairly large area of the fertile agricultural shelf between the sea and the hills behind. Out of season, we found Castelo do Neiva a fairly lifeless place; and, although during the day, this was hardly an issue, in the evening the offering of local restaurants was limited to the cluster of 3 or four local establishments a short drive away in the Pedra Alta area, adjacent to the small fishing harbour. Of these, Quebra-Mar (Sea Breaker) was by far the best; two of the others offering somewhat indifferent food or service. Having said that, the rustic simple fare provided was very good value for money and, if you don’t mind eating fish every night, you will at least eat well. The next town northward, Amorosa also has couple of restaurants, but for a more comprehensive choice, a 7 km drive to Viana do Castelo would be required. Occasionally, Fatima and her crew will provide a five course typical Portuguese evening meal in the breakfast room. We were privileged to experience this once during our stay and a very pleasant and comfortable evening it was too. Making this a more regular feature would certainly alleviate the rather repetitive hunt for the evening meal for those who stay for a week or more.
During the day, there is a small but adequate local beach in the Pedra Alta area and a walk through the small holdings - a scruffy collection of cornfields and melon patches - down to the sea and the peaceful, meandering river estuary is pleasant enough. A short drive northwards leads to larger beaches and extensive, partially forested, sand dunes. Day trips to local sights such as Viana do Castelo, Braga, Guimaraes and up the rivers Lima and Minho and easily enough made and, with Porto half an hour away down the motorway, the Quinta Is a good base for visiting and exploring this North Western corner of Portugal, which certainly contains enough to keep you busy for a couple of weeks. The river Douro and locations such a Bragança further east and south are more of an effort to reach and relocating to visit these is probably a better option.
All in all, I would highly recommend the Quinta. Certainly for a short stay of a few days for those touring Portugal and, providing you are prepared to compromise regarding nightlife – and especially if you appreciate low key local living – you will certainly enjoy a nice relaxing time. And, should we return, I’m sure they will have found a way to – tastefully – make the beds larger!

Room Tip: Cottages give direct access to outside areas and view of sea.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Der_Reisender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Luang Prabang, Laos
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

In September, 2013 my wife and I had the pleasure of staying at Quinta do Monteverde in Castelo do Neiva, Portugal. The location is excellent being close to the sea and only a few minutes from the beautiful and historic city of Castelo do Neiva.

From the moment we arrived and were greeted by Fatima we felt like were guests in a very special home. Fatima and Jose are the owners of his historic property which has been in Jose's family for hundreds of years. The attention to detail is remarkable. It truly feels like you are staying in a private residence and Fatima's tasteful and artistic touch is apparent everywhere. Jose is there in the evenings to have a glass of port with guests. He is a university professor and has a vast knowledge of Portugal as well a just about any other topic that comes up.

We met a German couple who had spent the week there for their honeymoon. They said they could not have found a better place. It has been a long time since my wife and I had our honeymoon, but we both agree that it would be a perfect place.

The breakfast was delicious and the building where is was served had a cozy and inviting ambiance. People were greeting each other as they entered the dining area. All the guests seemed to be very happy to be there.

We look forward to our next visit to Quinta do Monteverde and we would recommend it without reservation.

Scott and Inge

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

After attending a meeting of medieval scholars in Porto my husband and I had randomly booked to stay at the Quinta do Monteverde based purely on tripadvisor reviews and some very persuasive photos on the Quinta's web site. On arrival everything proved to be even more delightful than expected. The Quinta itself is stunning even as you drive through the gates at the back of the property and we were greeted by the gracious host Fatima who could not have been more helpful or accommodating. After a busy few days and a drive up the Minho coast the property is an oasis of romantic beauty and calm. Close to the beach and with Viana do Castelo just a few minutes drive away the location is perfect for experiencing semi-rural Portuguese living. Our accommodation, the Ramada suite, comprised a beautifully appointed bedroom overlooking the grape-vine covered patio, a gracious small living room with fridge and coffee/tea making facilities and a huge bathroom complete with claw-foot bath. The gardens that surround the house include well-manicured lawns, fruit and nut orchards and a vegetable garden populated by chickens and ducks. There is also a sparkling pool near the original 17th century pond and fountain - it was lovely to sit here and gaze out over the gardens towards the Atlantic. And an absolute must for any visit to the Quinta is to stay in for dinner when Fatima is cooking. On our first night Fatima told us that she would be preparing a dinner of 'some soup, some nibbles and traditional codfish' if we would like to partake but this was a very modest description of the wonderful Portuguese feast that we enjoyed - delicious pate's followed by a variety of local chorizos, then shrimps and mushrooms, seafood soup, the delightful local codfish with roast potatoes and salad and there was still a dessert of rich chocolate cake and strawberrys to come. All washed down with local Vinho Verde and port wine of course. We were grateful to only have to make a few steps back to our room! All in all a fantastic experience that we would recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: We enjoyed our room in the house but the self-contained villas looked great too.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CMcPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ross Ca.
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

Four friends stayed at this property for three nights last week. We shared the separate house on the property. It is a VERY will run hotel or inn. The rooms are a little small, but have great sheets and bathrooms . The breakfast is out of this world !!! All of the people who work at this property could not have been nicer to us. Be careful NOT to follow Trip Advisor's MAP to get to this hotel. It shows a map with the property about 30 miles to the EAST !!!! Get directions from the manager before you try to come here. Overall a WONDERFUL stay at a VERY good price !!!!!!

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank JdogRossCa.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trnava, Slovakia
2 reviews
Reviewed September 10, 2013

The Quinta do Monteverde fulfilled all our expectations. We wanted to be within the family and we were invited by Fatima and Jose together with their sone Fancisco to their house and really used it as a home during one week stay there. Jose provided us a lot of very useful information, maps and drawings which helped us not to be lost and felt as a member of the community. Francisco helped us to discover the best "praia" Arda where we spent a couple of days sunbathing, swimming and playing with the gorgeous waves and enjoying of surfing culture. In our lovely Patio room we had a feeling as during the honeymoon and we enjoyed it. We were really very happy in Quinta do Monteverde! Thanks to Jose advice and recommendations and also useful hints and information we received from Francisco we discovered amazing praias, restaurants and beautiful places in the northern part of the Portugal. The all staff was helpful in all questions and occasions and made our stay in Quinta do Monteverde unforgettable. The Quinta is situated within a village, about two kilometers from the sea and restaurants and 500 meters from a delicious bakery. We have been there by car, but walking to the restaurant for dinner in the evening was pleasant.The Quinta itself is very secure, with electronic gates and completely walled, so we felt there very safely. The swiming pool is very well kept, as is the tennis court, and the grounds are beautiful to walk round, especially in the early morning or late evening.
Jose and Fatima have done a very successful job of preserving their family home's history while moving firmly and effectively into the 21st century. The wifi, for example provided us opportunity to get any information we need during the stay and was very reliable all over the property.
The breakfasts were the stuff of dreams - fresh baking, beautiful breads, homemade jams, fresh fruit, hot fresh coffee. Even we left Quinta last day at 8:00 am we were provided breakfast out of usual hours. It was great point at the end of our stay in Quinta do Monteverde and Fatima and Jose could be happy with the result of their hard job - warm home atmosphere, reliable and very helpfull staff, excellent service.

Room Tip: "Patio" room is very romantic
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tatiana-Juraj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

This lovely hotel is situated in a quiet village, Castelo do Neiva, and about 11km from Viana do Castelo. Although the village is unexceptional the hotel is a delightfully converted winery and former estate with comfortable rooms, pool (smallish though), gym, social area with games, TV, a small library and an honesty drinks bar, tennis court (too hot to play while we were there though), a very pleasant and cool area to sit out under vines, surrounded by open green and paved spaces. Our room (the Patio room) was pleasantly decorated in faux antique style if a little chintzy. It was large enough for two but with nowhere to sit other than the bed and would have felt a bit cramped (and dark) had we had to spend much time there. On the other hand, there are very pleasant places to relax outside so long as the weather is fine. The hotel is quiet, peaceful and creates a very romantic setting if that’s what you’re looking for. The breakfast is fantastic – a wide choice of cooked food, cheeses, breads, pastries, cereals, fruit, and a freshly baked cake every day. My only reservation here is that it runs from 09:00 (a little late if you want an early start) to 10:30 and if you leave it till then the cooked food is going is cold. Although the advert says ‘meals available on request’, one dinner a week is offered, which at €30 per head without wine compares reasonably well with the local restaurants and the food was good with excellent deserts although the main course of salmon was a little ‘safe’ and it would have been good to have had locally caught fish. The host, Fátima, is welcoming and friendly and kindly lent us two bikes when she realised we didn’t have our own transport to get around. These enabled us to get to the beach along tractor tracks through nearby fields (much more pleasant than the half an hour or so walk along family houses and empty holiday homes). The local beaches are varied, charming (actually are ‘unspoilt’) and have a striking atmosphere you don’t generally find on the Mediterranean. Without a car though you are dependent on the buses into Viana for connections further afield and since no one seems to know the bus times, they are (in July and August except holidays) TO Viana: 06:30, 07:30, 08:50, 12:45, 14:15 and 17:30; FROM Viana: 08:20, 10:45, 12:00, 1300, 16:00, 18:00 and 19:00 (the bus stop is right outside the Quinta). The trip takes about 30 min. In all we had a very enjoyable and relaxing stay here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Larry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knokke, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 19, 2013

I travel all over the world, and this little gem was truly a wonderful experience for me.

The ghosts are delightful people, the property beautifully situated and very well taken care of...
A place you will want to go back to. I know I will .

Brigitte, Belgium, august 2013

Room Tip: make sure you have very good driving instructions or it will take you a LONG time to find the place...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bieke007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Quinta do Monteverde

Property: Quinta do Monteverde
Address: Avenida da Praia 338, Castelo do Neiva, Viana do Castelo 4935-567, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Viana do Castelo District > Viana do Castelo > Castelo do Neiva
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Castelo do Neiva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Quinta do Monteverde 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This manor house was built in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Cunha Lobo Barbosa and Sottomayor family just 1 km from the sea. In 1820, the Genoese Judge Luigi Vital Monteverdi married the owner of the estate and the house became to be known as Quinta do Monteverde. The manor house was completely renovated but the interior retains the touch of the seventeen hundreds. Quinta de Monteverde is a walled estate between the hills and the sea and close to the river mouth. In Castelo do Neiva, the sandy beach rolls on and on; sand dunes and unspoilt stretches lend a wonderful sense of isolation to the surroundings. ... more   less 
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