When I Wander Travel inspiration so you can wander too.
side view of bussaco palace hotel

Live Like Royalty: Discover the Unmatched Beauty of Bussaco Palace Hotel

What is Bussaco Palace Hotel and where is it located?

Bussaco Palace Hotel, located in the heart of Portugal’s Bussaco National Forest, is an awe-inspiring example of the country’s rich cultural heritage and architectural excellence. Previously a monastery and palace, this historic hotel blends history with elegance and luxury, making it an extraordinary destination for those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Keep in mind that some links are paid affiliate links. When you buy through these links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.  Any opinions expressed are not impacted by this.

Its stunning Gothic architecture, elegant furnishings, and lush gardens distinguish Bussaco Palace Hotel from the typical hotel experience, taking you back in time to a time of grandeur and sophistication. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a relaxing retreat, or an unforgettable experience, Bussaco Palace Hotel offers something truly special, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Portugal.

How did Bussaco Palace Hotel come to be?

It was originally built as a summer residence and hunting lodge for a King of Portugal, Carlos I. It was built between 1888 and 1907 and designed by the Italian architect, Luigi Manini. The palace was crafted in Neo-Manueline architecture style, which is also known as Late Gothic. It is characterized by opulently carved stone doorways, columns, and windows. 

Constructed on the site of a former convent, some parts of the convent remain preserved within.

Unfortunately, one year after it was completed, King Carlos I was assassinated while traveling in an open carriage in Lisbon and never had the chance to enjoy the beautiful palace.  His son, King Manuel II visited the summer before the royal family was exiled to England in 1910.  

In 1911, the king’s Swiss Chef Paul Bergamin was allowed to turn it into a hotel.  By 1917, the Alexandre de Almeida family took over and still continues to manage it.

Inside you will find many of the original antique furnishings and historical glazed azulejos that tell stories of Portugal’s history including the Battle of Bussaco in 1810 when the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon’s troops.

bussaco palace hotel,bussaco national forest,busaco palace hotel restaurant menu,bussaco portugal
Photo Credit: Booking.com

What types of rooms and suites are available at Bussaco Palace Hotel?

There are 5 types of rooms and suites available at the hotel starting from $130/nt with higher prices on weekends and during the summer months. 

  • Superior Double or Twin Room (Overlooking the forests or gardens)
  • Classic Double or Twin Room (Decorated with period furniture from 18th Century to Art Nouveau)
  • Romantic Package Double Room (Includes breakfast in the room; chocolate fondue and sparkling wine in the room; chocolate truffles; turn down service.)
  • Superior Double or Twin with Extra bed 
  • Junior Suite (1 Queen Bed – overlooks the gardens)

Amenities at Bussaco Palace Hotel:

  • Free parking
  • Free WiFi
  • Room Service
  • On-Site Restaurant & Bar
  • Concierge
  • Meeting/Banquet Facilities
  • Chapel/Shrine
  • Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French, & Portuguese
  • Children welcome – babysitting services available for a fee
  • Enjoy the exclusive Bussaco wines available for guests.  

What attractions and activities can guests enjoy near Bussaco Palace Hotel?

Attractions and activities include cycling and hiking from the center of the Bussaco National Forest.  As you enter the forest to get to the hotel, you will pay an entry fee at the gate of approximately $5 per car.

On the hotel grounds: 

  • Convento de Santa Cruz do Buçaco – former Carmelite monastery constructed in 1628.
  • Esplanade da Mata do Bussaco – coffeehouse
  • Mesa Real – restaurant on site
convent 1
Steps to Convent area.

Inside the surrounding forest, you will find trails and paths leading to grottoes, tiny chapels, pools, springs and fountains.  The forest was propagated with exotic species of plants and trees by the Order of the Discalced Carmelites that also built the boundary walls.  

  • Saint Theresa Fountain is a fountain near the spring Fonte de São Silvestre and the church Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição.
  • Fonte Fria (Cold Fountain) is fed by cool spring waters cascading down 144 stone steps into a lake.
  • Portas de Coimbra – one  of ten entry gates built by the Carmelite monks.  On the outer wall, you can find the stone tablets that were engraved with direct orders from the Pope (papal bulls).  One dated 1622 prohibited women from entering the forest and the other dated 1643 excommunicated anyone found to be harming the trees.

Only 40 minutes away from Coimbra, the Bussaco National Forest and Palace Hotel are great stops as you travel between Porto and Coimbra.  If you choose to stay in Coimbra and only want to visit the forest, you can opt to book a guided hike that will pick you up instead. 

What dining options and facilities are available at Bussaco Palace Hotel?

Mesa Real serves Portuguese cuisine in the former Royal Banquet Hall overlooking the gardens.  Options range from a 7 course tasting menu (145 per person) to a 5 course tasting menu (75 per person) and a la carte selections.  Seared cauliflower, lagoon oysters, and Gazpacho are available a la carte. 

Sample from Tasting Menu:

Slow baked suckling-pig belly, Figueira da Foz clams, monolisa potatoe hachis with copita, smoked porc jus  and wine pairing – Buçaco Tinto Reservado 2016 

Complimentary continental breakfast is served and room service is available.

Is Bussaco Palace Hotel Right for You?

As a result of its unique blend of romantic architecture, passion for nature, and Portuguese history, Bussaco Palace Hotel is a perfect destination for those seeking a magical getaway.

What truly sets this hotel apart is the magic of the forest that envelops it, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and serenity that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a cultural adventure, or simply a quiet escape, Bussaco Palace Hotel offers a one-of-a-kind experience that you will never forget.

Embrace the beauty and charm of Bussaco Palace Hotel by booking your stay today.  Indulge in luxurious surroundings, be immersed in rich history, and bask in the tranquility of the forest.  Don’t wait, make your reservation now and experience the magic of this unforgettable destination.

Happy Wandering in the Bussaco National Foerst!

Read more about Portugal to help you plan your trip including:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Live Like Royalty: Discover the Unmatched Beauty of Bussaco Palace Hotel”

error: Content is protected !!