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I just recently returned to Canada after a three week vacation in Portugal. Portugal is beautiful with the friendliest people you'll meet anywhere. But where to stay? I have to say that I didn't have a single disappointing hotel/apartment stay during my trip. I stayed at the #1 rated Trip Advisor hotel in Lisbon, the best (4 star) hotel in Tomar, a lovely apartment overlooking an old square in Porto and another #1 Trip Advisor rated hotel in Evora.
Having said all that, I have to say that my favourite place to stay in the entire trip was this apartment in Coimbra. I had a good feeling about it when I saw the photo and read the positive reviews. I wasn't disappointed. Jose met me at the agreed time and gave me a tour of the apartment. Very warm and welcoming (both the apartment and Jose himself!). So nice to have room to unpack and a kitchen again (for me hotel living can get tiresome quite quickly). The apartment is a very good size and has the feel of a real home. The kitchen is fully stocked (we joked that we could have made a full Christmas dinner in it) and was lacking nothing. In addition, the entire apartment was spotless. I felt so at home in my five days in this apartment. I wish I'd had the leisure to stay longer.
Also, the neighbourhood is wonderful. A really nice area--clean and safe and very quiet. A taste of the real Coimbra and far from the tourist hoards (which is just the way I like it). So many, many thanks to Jose for providing such a wonderful apartment. A real highlight of my vacation in Portugal. I *highly* recommend this property to everyone.
Submitted: Nov 22, 2014
Stayed: Nov 2014
VRBO, from HomeAway
Tourists without a Car,
Families with Young Children
We have found a gem in Coimbra. We come to visit our son,daughter-in-law and new granddaughter and happily have discovered a new home away from home to come to in Portugal. This was our third visit and are planning to always return. The owners are warm and welcoming hosts and have equipped the apartment with everything that one would need to make your stay comfortable. They are gracious hosts always willing to assist in any way possible and still giving you all the privacy that you need. You are located in a great neighborhood with easy street parking,nearby grocery store and nearby coffee shops such as the Venus Pastry Shop. The apartment is clean, bright,well maintained and beautifully appointed with wonderful antiques and paintings throughout. We cannot wait to return.
Submitted: Jun 15, 2014
Stayed: May 2014
Owner's Response: Thank you for your constant kindness. In fact we have also found a gem when we met you, you are the guests anyone would dream to have! We look forward to see you again.
Living in Lisbon, Portugal, and being an aficionado of 4 wheel drive sports and having to go at least twice a year to the mountains of Lousã in the center of the country poses some logistical problems when taking my family along while having one or two weeks of fun and mud playing. All the other contenders in the 4x4 group will camp out in the mountain, while being spoiled by the little pleasures of life, I´ve decided to use Coimbra, 15 miles away, as a station/departure point for my off-road activities. For our stay in Coimbra we excluded the hotel option. Instead we decided for the extra space and the use of a kitchen that we get on renting an apartment. Pricewise this is also a very appealing option. We met our hosts at a family gathering in this city and our logistic problems were then successfully solved. In the last 4 years we have been using for our complete satisfaction at least twice a year their apartment in Coimbra. The two room apartment is adequate for our small family of 4. The location allows us to arrive quickly from the highway and also allows me an easy departure in the morning to go to Lousã for my hobby. While I’m away my family stays in Coimbra where they can reach easily most touristic attractions, all located within walking distance from the apartment plus the shopping areas and coffee shops in the neighborhood. Talking now about the apartment: it is so much rewarding to arrive from a hard day of sports and find an easy access (a half flight of stairs) to get home. This is of course also true when you are carrying your luggage from and to an apartment. Home is quiet, with a peaceful atmosphere that allows me to relax in a more efficient way. In fact we really only notice after one week stay that we have not been disturbed at all by any city usual noises. The apartment is in excellent condition. It is nicely decorated in a way that induces an easy living: you find intuitively things were they should be, just as if you were at home (very useful when waking up in the middle of the night and trying to find your way half asleep!). In a nutshell: we highly recommend this property. We will keep coming to this property in the future enjoying this feeling of being home away from home.
Over the years, we have spent several weeks in this apartment where we are treated as members of the family, while being left to our privacy when desired. Our most recent stay was in August 2012, when we spent a week revisiting our friends and favorite haunts in Coimbra, all within walking distance, and reliving our wonderful memories of this special city, returning at the end of the day to the comfort and convenience of this well-equipped and comfortable apartment. When we wanted to venture further, we were within walking distance of the bus and train stations. The apartment contains all of the amenities one would need for being independent and self-contained. On the negative side, the apartment is furnished and encumbered with an excess of ‘antique’ objects that fill every nook and cranny. It would be better if it wasn’t so busy with valuable objects that can be knocked over and broken. The kitchen, already too small, is made even smaller with a table and chairs that we removed to the laundry room in order to be able to have enough room in which to ‘swing a cat’. The appliances and cooking utensils are good and allow for being as adventurous in our choices of cuisine as we would desire. The owner is a knowledgeable wine aficionado and introduced us to the best of Portuguese oenological expressions from his own special cellar. His wife is also a superb hostess in the Portuguese tradition, blending special talents in the culinary arts and traditional Portuguese cuisine. We look forward to our next visit to this magical place in the comfort and assurances that come from a wonderful apartment in which to stay.
Submitted: Mar 31, 2013
Stayed: Aug 2012
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. Regarding the aspects you didn't like so much let me inform you that we have already take actions towards making the kitchen space more functional. It was a pleasure to have you here, as always. See you soon!
In an upscale neighborhood at the center of Coimbra, within walking distance (less than 1 mile) to downtown, train station, riverside, university main campus and central hospital. In a quiet street but just 200 m away groceries, specialty stores and coffee houses and the best pastry house in town (Pastelaria Venus).
While the apartment is in the very heart of the city, it is located in a quiet residential neighborhood where it is expected that noise will be kept to a minimum between the hours of 8 pm - 8 am. For this reason we do not accept bookings from tenants under 35 years old.