Pousada de Tavira – Convento da Graça


For two nights we stayed at Pousada de Tavira Convento da Graça in Tavira.  The convent was founded in the 16th century by an order of Augustinian nuns, and was recently renovated into a luxury hotel. They’ve done a fabulous job – all the latest amenities, but still retaining that feeling of monasticism.

I didn’t manage to snap a good pic of the exterior, so I’m borrowing a few from the hotel’s website. (http://www.pousadas.pt/historic-hotels-portugal/fr/pousadas/algarve-hotels/pousada-de-tavira/convento-da-graca/pages/home.aspx)

The pousada is located right at the top of the highest hill in Tavira, near the castle and the church. They kept the cloister in the center courtyard, but they’ve added a statue and fountain. The restaurant has outdoor tables, so in the warmer summer months it must be lovely to sit and relax. Interestingly, they’ve adopted the name “Mamouria” for the restaurant, and given it a Moorish/Arabic flavour. I’m not sure what the original Augustinian nuns would have made of that!

I love the bright yellow color - ochre - used on the exterior of the building.

I love the bright yellow color – ochre – used on the exterior of the building.

The imposing entrance. Don't worry - you don't actually enter through these doors - there are modern glass sliding doors off to the right!

The imposing entrance. Don’t worry – you don’t actually enter through these doors – there are modern glass sliding doors off to the right!

We stayed in the modern, added wing just off the northern side of the original convent building. This is the adjoining corridor, which they've done quite well to keep the severe look with white walls and a dark, wood-beamed ceiling.

We stayed in the modern, added wing just off the northern side of the original convent building. This is the adjoining corridor, which they’ve done quite well to keep the severe look with white walls and a dark, wood-beamed ceiling.

All throughout Tavira we saw doors that had these same knockers on them. This one was used in our hotel to attach the room number to the wall - so it didn't knock - but in the town they were actually used as knockers. There ist something a bit meta about using your hand to grab hold of another hand to knock the ball against the door...  I wish we'd had the time to find a local hardware store so I could have bought by own knocker!

All throughout Tavira we saw doors that had these same knockers on them. This one was used in our hotel to attach the room number to the wall – so it didn’t knock – but in the town they were actually used as knockers. There ist something a bit meta about using your hand to grab hold of another hand to knock the ball against the door… I wish we’d had the time to find a local hardware store so I could have bought by own knocker!

Overall I have to say that the Pousada in Tavira was one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed on. It’s not number one, but it’s definitely in the top five. I love that the Pousada is a chain – they take historic buildings in Portugal and renovate them into luxury hotels. So you can stay in a castle, a convent, or other cool old buildings. Obviously some of these need to be preserved in their original state for historic reasons, but there are soooo many of them. And I like the idea that the building is still being used for something – architecture should live and breath and have life. And this one definitely still does!

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Posted on 05/01/2015, in travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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