Review Submitted: 17 April 2012
Date of Stay: March 2012
Stunning, simply stunning. These apartments are brilliantly designed, with a high standard of interior design. Stylish, comfortable - and the MOST comfortable bed I've slept in away from home in a long time!
Casa Velha is a small development, maybe 10 apartments in total. It has an intimacy that really works - for those of us who dread the idea of big hotels and all-inclusive 'mass package' tourism, it's a great alternative. The Penthouse is the crowning glory in all this. Up on the top floor, you get a real sense of privacy and refuge, really important after a day's 4x4 off-roading.
The terrace is brilliant - comfortable seating, stunning 360 views, and the perfect place to enjoy a sunny breakfast and get to know the local birds who came each morning in the search of the odd crumb. The Penthouse is light, spacious, has a well-equipped kitchen and a lovely bedroom with 4-poster that enjoys one of the best views out over the dunes and to sea.
The staff deserve a special mention. The house-keeping was second to none - two lovely, friendly, smiley women who took a real pride in their work - and boy do they work hard. You should see them carrying large bowls of laundry on their heads up 4 flights. Poise and grace beyond most people's ken. All staff were a real credit: obliging, friendly and welcoming. And at least two of them make awesome coffee and mix an excellent Negroni. The breakfast is good value and good quality - well worth it if you don't want to make your own.
Sal Rei, for its part, is charming. A small place, as Capitals go, but again with such warmth among local people. There's a great supermarket to buy all your groceries, and the Municipal market does all your fruit and veg and local cheese. It's also a great way to meet some local men and women and have some banter. And remember to pay a fair price - much food is imported.
We spent simple days on Boa Vista. 2 weeks flew by, just having late starts, reading, chilling and watching 'city' life over a coffee in Esplanada in the main square, and then choosing a beach bar for lunch. Aliosis and Boa Vista Social Club are streets ahead for lunch, and right by Casa Velha. Walk down Estoril Beach to Chaves, hire a 4x4 and see Deserto de Viana, Espinguera and Praia Lacacao. Beauty beyond imagination.
We LOVED Boa Vista. My advice? Go there now while mass tourism hasn't killed it and stay at Casa Velha. Just don't try to book the two weeks I want for my return visit...
Owner's Response: Says it all really!
One needs to appreciate BoaVista for what it is - these guests did, having researched the place beforehand, and loved it...
Helpful votes: 6/6
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