The best hotels in the Azores
The Nook is a modern, functional and well-decorated hostel – we wanted to use the word “lovely”, but we thought it was too much. It’s located at the bluest of buildings at the centre of Ponta Delgada, it has double rooms with a shared bathroom and economic dormitories where you can listen people from all over the world snore. It also includes the essential common areas – kitchen and living room – for you to strike the usual small talk “Where are you from? In which part of the island have you been?”.
A bed in a shared room costs 18€ per night and a double room costs 45€.
This estate on São Miguel’s northern coast has been many things throughout history: a military fort, an orange farm and a tea plantation. But it is its past as the home of sculptor Luísa Constantina that has left the biggest mark. The cottages double as artistic residences and have welcomed the likes of musician Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth. The estate is a prestigious piece of the Azores’ tourism scene and offers two types of accommodation: apartments or lofts.
Apartments (2 people) are priced at €118 a night, breakfast included; while lofts (2 people) cost €128.
This villa is located on the west coast of São Miguel, next to the Ferraria baths and halfway to Lagoa das Sete Cidades, in a quiet village far from the beaten path. Peace will not be lacking in this mansion surrounded by palm trees, which looks straight out of a period film. It has four bedrooms for a maximum capacity of eight people. The kitchen and living room are shared areas. Price upon request.
There are many beautiful and mysterious spots close to Lagoa das Furnas, but the west coast is one of the most intriguing. There, you can find the Senhora das Virtudes hermitage, the José do Canto forest, and Casa dos Barcos, a 19th century nordic-style building and the old pavilion where aristocrat José do Canto’s family kept its boats.
Prices range between €300 a night (6 people) and €120, depending on the season.
A stay at the most beautiful house in Sete Cidades, next to one of the Azores’ most beautiful lakes, is priceless. Or is it? Casa Grande, built in 1853, has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and can accommodate up to 10 guests. A palace that can be yours for a mere €300 a night, with one small detail: the house is only available to rent for a minimum of seven nights. Get your friends and family together and live like kings for a week. Look up “Casa Grande” on Airbnb.
It sits on the island’s largest sandy beach and has a swimming pool facing the sea, with submerged sun loungers (you read that right!). The four-star Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach Resort is one of the most recent and luxurious hotels in the Azores, with 14 villas: seven one-bedrooms and seven two-bedrooms.
The price per night varies according to the typology and season, but ranges between €280 (one-bedroom) and €370 for the deluxe villa.
The best hotels in the Azores
The oldest and most comprehensive rural tourism development in the Azores was born of the passion of one man, Gilberto Vieira. It counts several types of accommodation, a restaurant, a grocery store and art workshops.
Check the availability at Cada da Serretinha, a local lodge with a pool and an incredible view located in Porto Judeu, on the island’s south coast.
It’s in competition with its neighbour, Hotel do Caracol (also good), but it has the best terrace in the nine islands, and as such, couldn’t be left out of this list. Located in Baía do Fanal, close to the entrance of Angra, the hotel has a great view on Monte Brasil and the sea, and offers comfortable and modern rooms, with good service.
Overlooking the marina at Praia da Vitória, this is a modern and functional hotel, with splendid views on the sea and Serra do Facho. You’re forbidden from taking pictures of the old ladies that meet there every Saturday night to play canasta.
The island’s touristic crown jewel - and one of the best hotels in the Azores - goes by the long and pretentious name of Graciosa Resort - Biosphere Island Hotel. It has a gym, a sauna, a swimming pool and small houses that can be rented alone.
Staying at Aldeia da Cuada is like having a sleepover in an ethnographic museum, a postcard or a time capsule: it’s a village made of stone houses, abandoned in the 1960s and masterfully restored by the duo Carlos Silva and Teotónia. Founded sometime in the 17th century, the village reached a maximum occupancy of 120, divided in just 20 houses.
Comodoro Guest House is the first and only official accommodation provider on the island. It belongs to an ex-mayor - a sort of lord-lieutenant of the island - and has 14 rooms.
There’s only one official guesthouse, but don’t worry, there are alternatives. The Pirate’s Nest is one of them: local accommodation, very close to the beach.
More around the Azores
It’s the island of trails and extreme sports, of tinned tuna and island cheese (the real queijo da Ilha). But it’s also, and perhaps more importantly, a paradise of fajãs, these stretches of land formed by lava on the coasts of the Azores Islands. You don’t have a fear of height, we hope?
Exactly how many islands in the world present so much beauty and diversity in such a small piece of land? In the Azores - even in the Azores - there are no other. Forget photo filters: you won’t need them there.
It’s the second most populated island in the Azores, but it is number one in terms of nightlife. Terceira is a mandatory pitstop for whoever goes to the Atlantic in search of surprising landscapes - or of a place to organise the invasion of Iraq. Whatever your intentions, we’ve got you covered.