I’m not sure how the owners of Casa das Penhas Douradas Design Hotel and Spa were able to obtain permission to build a hotel inside Serra da Estrela Natural Park, but I’m sure glad it happened. The central Portugal design hotel holds the distinction of being the highest hotel in all of Portugal. You could also say that this hotel rocks!
Translated from Portuguese to English, Casa das Penhas Douradas means the House of the Golden Rocks. Surrounded by natural stone and rock, the light reflects off the boulders, casting a golden hue in the area. The 18 room hotel is situated within Serra da Estrela Natural Park.
Designed with nature lovers and environmentalists in mind, Casa das Penhas Douradas was carefully created to have a minimal impact on its surroundings. With one suite, seven cork rooms with patios (1 ada accessible) seven rooms with balconies and three Mansarda rooms, the owners have paid special attention to the smallest details; from natural sponge soap holders in the bathrooms to the Burel wool blankets on the beds and birch furniture in the spa.
Open year-round, the four star design hotel offers immediate access to hiking in Serra da Estrela Natural Park with kayaking and swimming in nearby Vale do Rossim Lake. In the winter, Casa das Penhas turns into a snow covered paradise with fireplaces blazing, a warm indoor swimming pool and time to relax and enjoy the on-site spa. Try the Birch Stick Massage or a relaxing massage with oils made from local herbs and plants.
Priced with couples, families and solo travelers in mind, Casa das Penhas includes breakfast and afternoon snacks with the price of a room. Welcome tea or mulled wine greets guests in the winter or a refreshing drink in warmer weather. Gourmet dinners are offered for an additional charge, as are picnic lunches with advance notice.
Additionally, the hotel offers free wifi, complimentary bicycles, free dvd library use and access to the indoor pool and sauna.
Casa das Penhas Douradas Design Hotel review and photos by San Francisco-based travel, food, and wine writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Tourism Centro Portugal.