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.
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!
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!