What is the best small hotel in the Azores?
Without doubt is has to be: Quinta do Mar
It’s 22 years since my first visit to the Azores and now the islands feel more like going home and the Britain is the place I visit. I have often reflected on this, and in the end draw the same conclusion that it’s the people I’ve come to know that give me a sense of belonging.
When I was in the Azores last, I had the pleasure of staying with my good friends, Nick Heathcote and Chris Noble at Quinta do Mar . There are lots of lovely places to stay around the world, but there are some places where everything is just right, and I think Nick and Chris have managed to create this at their charming boutique B&B on the main island of Sao Miguel in the Azores.
On my first evening we had a lovely dinner out at the Caloura Fish Bar and were reflecting on how this once forgotten fisherman’s café was now one of the most popular restaurants on the island. As the wine started to flow, so did the philosophical reflections on time and where it goes. There were two numbers which came up; 16 and 20. It’s been 20 years since my lovely wife, Sarah, started Archipelago Choice and to my surprise it was 16 years since Nick and Chris opened Quinta do Mar and we started working with them. Over that time Nick and Chris have refined their Quinta do Mar experience and now have a great and well-respected small award winning hotel of international renown.
The atmosphere is informal, but sophisticated and the service is attentive, but not over-bearing. With just 4 rooms it is easy to feel like you are at home, but there are also several private areas where guests can seek solitude. Each morning breakfast is served and a different set of carefully chosen options is offered each day. This is always a relaxed and informal time where tables are set, and guests can get advice on planning their day ahead. In the evenings, though dinner is not available, guests can have a drink and Nick will often be in the background to chat about life in the Azores and how you can fill your time when on Sao Miguel.
Over the coming 12 months, there will be a few changes at Quinta do Mar. Chris is planning to have the breakfast area enlarged by adding a permeant roof to the adjoining patio and the bedrooms will be redecorated as year 2000 designs are not in vogue anymore! However, for those looking for a little more luxury 2019 will see the addition of two new suites on the ground floor. Which, as Chris explained, will be “the best suites on the islands”.
In my view, Quinta do Mar is one of the most special places to stay in Portugal and a highlight of any visit to the Azores. Archipelago Choice has several Quinta do Mar focused holidays, and for a very memorable week away I would suggest our Azores Escape holiday. Don’t be misled by the honeymoon focus, it’s just that Quinta do Mar is perfect for that ‘special’ week away and the tonic we’re often looking for.
Do call or email me if you’d like to know more about the some of the small hotels in the Azores
Tel: 017687 75672