Sturdy walls, stone floors and vaulted ceilings epitomise the ambiance and history of this former monastic retreat. Lovingly restored over the last 20 years, the owners have ensured that the Quinta is maintained to the highest standards of comfort, whilst respecting and retaining its heritage. The Quinta is located on the hills of Sintra and adjacent to the botanical gardens of Monserrate. It is accessed via a narrow and winding off-road track that leads only to a few Quintas ensuring seclusion and calm.
Having collected extensively during their life in the Far East, the owners have imbued the Quinta with a special charm, blending traditional Portuguese antiques with European paintings and Asian ceramics: so that its interior is a fitting equal to the exotic and beautiful setting.
All five bedrooms are located on the first floor, each individually styled and furnished.
Bedroom 1: The master suite has some of the best views of the garden, pine forests and sea beyond. It is light, airy and stylishly decorated in white and shades of blue, with colourful Portuguese arraiolas rugs, a wooden floor and a romantic four poster bed. A large dressing room with fitted wardrobes and bathroom (bath and shower) make the suite spacious and comfortable.
Bedroom 2: The Parrot room was named because of the exotic Hawaiian parrot featured on decorative wall panels, this double bedroom has a beautifully carved antique Portuguese headboard, fitted wardrobes and direct access to a sun-filled balcony. The Parrot room interconnects with the Rose room and works very well for families with parents in the Parrot Room and the children in the Rose room. These two rooms share a bathroom with walk-in shower (no bath).
Bedroom 3: The Rose room has twin beds with pretty Portuguese painted headboards in hues of greens and pink, as well as fitted wardrobes and painted wooden furniture. There is direct access to the same balcony as the Parrot room.
Bedroom 4: The Portuguese room has a large bedroom with an en suite bathroom (bath and shower) and a striking Portuguese double bed. Views from this room reach over the chapel, French garden and rockery to the sea in the distance.
Bedroom 5; The Blue room is a spacious twin bedroom with pretty wrought iron bed ends and characteristic window seats. With fitted wardrobes and an en suite bathroom (bath and shower), this bedroom suits adults or children.
Guests are spoilt for choice when choosing a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the Quinta and its grounds.
The upper terrace provides a favourite spot to relax and enjoy a glass of wine whilst admiring the sunset and magnificent views of the valley of Colares and the sea beyond.
A wide terrace accessed from rooms on the ground floor, provides a large sitting and dining area overlooking the gardens, partly shaded by a large jacaranda tree, keeping guests cool in the summer.
What was once a monks’ refectory is now an attractive living room with a unique high vaulted ceiling, large enough for big gatherings. The room stays cool in summer and heated in winter by a wide open fireplace which was originally the bread-oven to the monastery.
On the first floor, an elegant second sitting room with sofas and French windows leading to the upper terrace, is the perfect place to unwind. The library is stocked with a selection of books for guests and a desk for anyone in the group needing a quiet location to study or work.
The dining terrace is the setting for many family gatherings and celebrations. Set under the natural shade of a jacaranda tree in the centre of the terrace, overlooking the lush gardens, the terrace works well for small or large groups dining together at any time of the day.
The Quinta's dining room, with its exposed brick-vaulted ceiling, can easily seat ten to twelve people in atmospheric comfort. Light and airy, the dining room leads onto both the main sitting room and dining terrace.
Immaculate and well-equipped, the country-style kitchen is tiled in traditional Portuguese blue and white and has a long wooden table for cosy kitchen dinners. A beautiful vaulted wine cellar is annexed to the kitchen and perfect for storing a variety of local wine to be sampled during your stay at the Quinta.
Guests staying at Quinta Sao Bento are given a welcome hamper on arrival and are welcome to gather any fresh produce in season from the garden, including figs, plums, lemons, oranges, tangerines, avocados, quince and walnuts.
An informal cook service can be provided by the Portuguese speaking house keeper or an English speaking cook in the area, if arranged in advance. For those arriving late at the Quinta, a light meal of home made soup, fresh bread, cheese and fruit is a popular option.
Recognised as a place of beauty and seclusion dating back to the Roman era, Quinta Sao Bento is set on a lush hillside below the pine and mimosa woodlands of the Sintra National Park.
Surrounding the house is an impressive, well tended 10 acre garden with terraces of fruit trees and flowers, mature trees, a kitchen garden and a swimming pool. A restored Renaissance chapel beside the house sits on the site of a Roman temple.
Once a monastic retreat, the fertile hills of Quinta Sao Bento were terraced and farmed to provide produce for the monks who would come to convalesce at the Quinta from a monastery further up the mountain. These ancient terraces stretch out in several layers and now form open lawns and French gardens immediately in front of the house with a profusion of hydrangeas, geraniums, roses, lavender and exotic birds of paradise.
A rich variety of trees include lemon, orange, pear, fig and walnut and guests to the Quinta are welcome to eat any of the fresh fruit in season. The pool is sheltered and near an ancient spring, where remnants of Moorish frescoes can still be seen.
The lasting impression of friends and visitors to Quinta Sao Bento is the setting and how easy it is to stay and enjoy the gardens without ever having to leave.
Services: Housekeeping, bedlinen and one set of towels per guest is provided. A welcome hamper is provided on arrival. Additional cleaning and a cook service are available for an extra cost if arranged in advance.
Facilities: Wifi, Satellite TV, 2 ovens, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, washing machine, barbecue & private swimming pool (10 x 5m and not heated), board games and books.
Baby and toddler equipment is available for guests staying in Quinta Sao Bento or its sister villa, Quinta da Matalva, so booking it in advance is advised. Equipment available includes a high chair, 2 cots, a steriliser, a baby bath, a small table and chairs to sit and draw, a toddler mini bicycle and a 'push with feet' truck.
Families with children of all ages have enjoyed staying at the Quinta over the years. Due to the many terraces, low walls, water features and original stone stairs in the gardens and around the pool area, children do need to be supervised at all times.