In the undulating hills above Alcobaça is a hotel and spa ideal for those seeking escape from the hustle and bustle. The Real Abadia Hotel is just 75 minutes from Lisbon and a few minutes drive to the quaint town to Alcobaça. From the Real Abadia Hotel, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of whitewashed villages, verdant farmland and mist-shrouded hillsides. Lose yourself in the views whilst you allow jets of water to soothe aching muscles or simply lounge in front of panoramic windows. The Real Abadia Hotel is a delightful gem that we discovered on our latest trip to Portugal.
The Real Hotel Abadia is not the hotel for stag and hen groups. It is however ideal for those seeking solitude, and relaxation in comfortable and contemporary surroundings. Located on a quiet countryside road surrounded by farmland and large colourful villas, you will certainly need a car, but you may not feel inclined to use it during your stay.
If you do feel the need to explore, the hotel is ideally placed for visiting the UNESCO world heritage sites of the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha and the Covent of Tomar. You can visit all three comfortably in a day and it is worth a weekend trip to the Real Abadia Hotel for this reason alone. Nothing prepares you for the exquisite details of these three majestic buildings. They were a definite highlight of my trip.
The Real Abadia Hotel will appeal to those who appreciate a marriage between contemporary colour and traditional architecture. Fortress-like sandy stone walls merge seamlessly into a sleek glass entrance whilst a whitewashed accommodation wing emerges behind.
Inside, modern seating blends with weathered touches to create an eclectic boutique ambience. In the hallways to the bedrooms, the roof design resembles the interior of the Alcobaça monastery and creates an ethereal ambience. Meanwhile, the individually styled bedrooms are a palette of bright and sultry colours.
All rooms at the Real Abadia Hotel are themes. The first floor rooms are dedicated to Chita (see our room), a traditional fabric of Alcobaça whilst the second floor is dedicated to products, monuments and distinctive aspects of this region. If you have a preference for a particular room, you can request this at the time you make your reservation but it is not guaranteed.
Our Chita room combines bright pink wall covering with stark white furnishings and paintwork. Sleek white furniture entices guests onto the balcony and bright pink decorations scatter the room. The lamps and bedding feature traditional decorative upholstery in a colourful fusion.
There’s plenty of wardrobe space including drawers and hangers and plenty of room to store large cases and bags. One slight negative was that there were only two electric sockets available (unless you unplug the bedside lamps) which makes charging multiple cameras, laptops and other devices a challenge.
The bathroom is spacious with a large vanity unity, bidet and toilet, however, the shower was somewhat impractical with no overhead shower unit. I had to attempt to wash my hair whilst holding the shower unit. Not an easy task, even for us ‘multi-tasking’ females.
The bed was king size with large fluffy pillows and was super comfortable! Also given the location, you are guaranteed to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Here is an example of a Ginja room (liqueur of the region) and a fabulous red room.
Real Abadia Hotel Spa
The highlight of the hotel is the Real Abadia Hotel spa. As you walk through the stencilled, frosted glass doorway, it feels as though you have entered a stone grotto. More stone walls frame the swimming pool whilst panoramic windows offer spectacular views over the outside pool to the pretty countryside beyond.
There is a steam room and sauna but if you are visiting out of season you may need to ask staff to prepare these to ensure they are heated.
I indulged in an hour full body massage which was divine, especially considering the residual soreness in my legs from our Lisbon half marathon a few days earlier. In a candlelit room with relaxing music playing, my muscles were soothed and stroked into glorious bliss. I could barely prise myself off the bed at the end of the treatment.
In a little adjoining waiting room, a steaming tea awaited my delirious exit. Treatments were really well priced at just €50 for sixty minutes and I loved the little touch of heated towels for my feet!
You can check out the full spa treatment menu here.
The outdoor pool
When we visited the water was definitely not of a temperature to encourage me to take the plunge however I loved the pool deck. With comfy beanbags and plentiful sun loungers we enjoyed a lazy afternoon marvelling at the scenery. I even dared to take a paddle.
Children’s play area
There’s also a spacious children’s play area by the pool. It has a deep sandy base to protect against scraped knees. A little further down the hill there’s a pen with bleating goats within which might also amuse the little ones!
Food and drink
There is no evening restaurant service at the hotel but you can order snacks in the bar until 8.30pm. We chose to eat out instead, however, we did enjoy drinks at the bar which were incredibly reasonable. A beer cost just €2.50 and a large bottle of water was €2.
We opted instead to dine in nearby Alcobaça one night and in Nazaré the other. The latter has a much greater choice of restaurants and bars but is a little further afield (around 15km). It is worth the trip for mouth watering fish and seafood dishes at exceptional prices. We paid just €11 for a huge salmon grill and €9 for a cod speciality. I have no idea what the oil was for my cod but it was utterly delicious.
Breakfast at the Real Abadia Hotel is in the main restaurant to the left of reception. It has large glass windows to allow you to enjoy fabulous views while devouring your morning croissant. Food is self service buffet style with cereal, hot and cold eggs, meats, cheese, fruits and pastries. You can also help yourself to unlimited coffee and drinks, and the cappuccino was one of the best I found in Portugal.
The hotel is bike friendly which means that it fulfils a series of requirements for cyclists including free bicycles, closed and covered storage compartments, a bike wash, menus suitable for cyclists, daily washing and drying of cycling clothes and a mini-workshop with basic tools and air filling for tires. In addition, there is outdoor bike parking, cycling map routes available, special massages for cyclists and cycling weather forecasts. Now that is pretty darn impressive!
All you lycra lovers, get online and book your stay at the Real Abadia Hotel.
We found the service to be exceptionally friendly and efficient.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Real Abadia Hotel and would highly recommend a weekend visit, especially for a trip to the Real Abadia Hotel Spa. It’s a great base for visiting the quaint towns nearby and offers a chance for relaxation in quieter surroundings far from the madding crowds.