The wonders awaiting a guest at Ritz Carlton Penha Longa are experiences that are second to none. Set just a short drive of Lisbon, this mountain abode sits surrounded by enchanted forests, lush greenery, bold promontories and sweeping panoramas that stretch to the sea. It is no wonder that this beloved spot and the surrounding environs of Sintra in Portugal were the summer vacation palaces for royalty and the majestic sites of important medieval monasteries.
Upon first arrival the environs set the mood. Penha Longa is an ancient monastery site that has been renovated to provide for all the needs of a first class hotel. Not to worry however, much of the historic splendor is wonderfully preserved and the grounds are full of legendary structures, artwork, gardens, pools and much more. Driving is the most feasible way to arrive to the hotel and affords one the ability to get out and explore the parks, trails and other excellent sights around. The hotel has a good sized parking lot out front and a garage as well for close access.
By far the most impressive quality about the hotel is the level of personalized service and friendliness one encounters from start to finish. Immediately upon arrival, a hotel employee came out to our vehicle, introduced himself and ushered us into the lobby having already passed our luggage onto someone else. We were met by two employees in the lavishly adorned lobby who offered us refreshing towels and welcome drinks. They immediately suggested we head to the room for a more comfortable check in.
Upon arrival to the room our baggage was already waiting, as if by magic it had arrived post haste. We were able to inspect the room to our liking and in a matter of moments the check in was complete. The room was spacious with a large bathroom, comfortable beds and a separate sitting and work space. The room itself made use of white and pearl colored fabrics and furnishings. There was generous use of colored stone and rich woods too. The entire feel was elegant and graceful, an opulent European retreat in the heart of a charming forest. The balcony was a combination of bright Mediterranean hues and woods with a commanding view of the outdoor pool and a long climbing fairway of the spectacular on site golf course.
The public spaces in the hotel are bold and beautiful. There is ample use of white, cream and pearly colors. Floors shine as if they have been waxed constantly throughout the day. Hotel employees go out of their way to say hello, many of them committing your name to memory. In the main foyer there are shops full of luxury items, sleek and modern bars and lounge areas serving up stylish drinks and delectable platters. Two wonderful restaurants are: Il Mercato, an Italian delight that serves up fresh gourmet delicacies and is also the place where breakfast is served and Arola which occupies one of the historic halls and offers rich Portuguese fare in a trendy and comfortable setting.
The room is certainly a place where one could relax the entire time, but it is really just the start. If you love golf you’ll be in heaven here as the hotel has several golf courses within its confines. These are world-class venues that take in the best panoramas and vistas that this rugged and lush landscape offers. Hiking is certainly called for. Explore for hours the dense forests, the mossy paths and the rocky cliff face from which Penha Longa takes its name. Relaxing is never too far off indoors or out. There is a well furnished gym with scenic views, full sauna, steam plunge pool, indoor pool and Jacuzzi available too. The décor and atmosphere of this space offers undisturbed tranquility. Be sure and explore all the hidden corners and historic contours of this legendary spot. One will find breathtaking gardens, old ruins, solemn chapels and resplendent cloisters.
Penha Longa is a property that occupies a breathtaking location. It is a true gem that is not only luxurious, complete and ravishing, it comports itself with an attitude of elegance and charm. This is from the details of decoration down to the amazingly friendly, personalized and expedient services of its staff. It is quite rare to find a property where all of this comes together so perfectly, but this place shows that its possible.