Portugal: Hotels and inns

Hotels are all classified with one to five stars. A one-star hotel usually costs about the same as a higher-grade pension (around e40) and often doesn’t show any notable difference in standards. At two- and threestar hotels, en-suite doubles cost up to e80 (though older establishments may have one or two cheaper rooms without en-suite bathrooms); many three-star places these days have air-conditioned rooms with cable/satellite TV, and even swimming pools, so they can be pretty good value.

For rooms with all mod cons in four- and five-star hotels, you’ll pay anything from e100 to e300, while the very fanciest places can pretty much charge what they like – boutique hotels in the Algarve like Estalagem Vila Joya or luxury hotels in Lisbon such as the Lapa Palace attract an international clientele paying top rates. An estalagem (plural estalagems) – an inn – is a cosier place of four- or fivestar quality, often in a converted historic building or manor house. All hotels and inns serve breakfast, usually (though not always) included in the price. In one- and two-star hotels it tends to be continental-style; more substantial buffet breakfasts are provided at three-star places and up.