Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa, Fundão, Portugal
Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel and Spa is a historic oasis situated in Fundão, Portugal with stunning surroundings. This luxury hotel is filled with comfort, stylish interior and characterful qualities reminiscent of the building’s rich past as the ancient monastery, Convento de Nossa Senhora do Seixo. The Convento do Seixo offers the warmest of welcomes, a pampering spa and delicious food. You definitely can’t miss the pure relaxation of the Bodhi Spa, situated in the rustic buildings of the old workshops with a host of enlivening treatments; the finery of gourmet restaurant, Pecado, where the mouth-watering dishes embrace the Portuguese palette and the restored monastery’s flawless collection of rooms, suites and villas coming to life with rich-coloured hues and a fusion of traditional architecture and contemporary design.
The boutique hotel’s General Manager, Duarte, who keeps everything running smoothly, whilst sharing a passion for making sure both himself and his diligent front team provide a superb service with attention to the smallest of details, explains that the motivation behind this stunning retreat is its monastic past.
“The inspiration to open the Hotel was to give a new face to an old Monastery, Convento de Nossa Senhora do Seixo, from the 16th Century. This monastery was totally in ruins, and it was a shame. We wanted to bring new life to an old monastery full of legends with a special energy. With the granitic walls in the hotel, all of them have a lot of stories to tell, old stories, but now we want those walls to tell a new history, a history of happiness, relating to experiencing a stay in this old Monastery.”
Surrounded by the expansive landscape of the picturesque Gardunha Mountains and encapsulated by the natural light filling the property’s spacious rooms, suites and villas, the hotel has many tales to be told. With ancient stone walls stylishly exposed and gothic-style embellishments decorating the hotel’s windows, the Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa seamlessly preserves reminders of the past, so you can truly embrace the retreat’s traditional values.
As Duarte explains; “The Convento do Seixo dazzles, maintaining a blend of styles that range from the Manueline era to the Baroque. We hope guests will begin their journey of discovery for the architectural and archaeological heritage here. In the Hotel, we have also Camellias trees that belong to the History of the Convento and the city of Fundão itself. We can also tell you more history during the visit.”
This idyllic escape presents a striking style throughout the whole property, with an individual edge like no other. Rooms such as the Deluxe King Suite 006 are the epitome of elegance with a luxurious free-standing bathtub, a sumptuous double bed and preserved features of the monastery beautifully weaved into the overall contemporary feel.
We asked Duarte if he had a favourite room in the hotel: “My favourite room is 006 our Suite King Deluxe. This room was from the Old Kitchen of the Monastery! I love the room not only because of the decoration- a relaxing bathtub in the middle- but also because of how I feel when I enter. There is a special environment.”
Duarte is proud of the passionate and talented team that makes the hotel’s exceptional restaurant, Pecado, a thriving success. With the sensational culinary skills of Consulting Chef, Hugo Nascimento, the Convento do Seixo’s gastronomic menu celebrates the various tastes of Fundão, whilst using delicious local produce, proving for an irresistible experience.
“Hugo Nascimento is amazing in creating dishes from the traditional Portuguese gastronomy. His main idea is that each plate we serve allows the guest to experience a truly gastronomic “travel” through the flavours and senses from our Region.”
Having asked Duarte more about the team behind the unfaultable dining experience of Pecado, it’s clear that there is a strong sense of dedication that plays a part in the hotel’s restaurant impressing guests time and time again. From the superb presentation of the many delicious dishes to the knowledgeable palette of the hotel’s resident wine connoisseur, Pecado has it all.
“We have Eduardo and João Crucho, who are the eyes of Chef Hugo Nascimento when he is not in the Hotel. Both show a passion for cooking. It is their way of life. Having been born in Beira Baixa, they know the most hidden secrets in our gastronomy. In our Restaurant, we have the waiters that are very important, because they present the dishes. João Micaelo is the Wine expert. You can talk to João about anything you need to know about wine. With an easy smile, he knows all the secrets of our gastronomy.”
Close by to the small city of Fundão, but far enough away to act as a tranquil refuge, the Convento do Seixo offers plenty to do. You can enjoy the luxurious spa facilities within the property, or venture to the historical wonder of Castelo Novo, a quaint village steeped in ancient architecture and only approximately a 20-minute drive away.
“Guests should know that our Spa therapist, Sofia de Castro, is probably the best spa therapist in our region. All the guests that have had a massage with her loved the experience. Our region also has a lot to see and to do. You can find truly authentic gems to be discovered, starting from the Historical Village of Castelo Novo, to river beaches with clear water, such as Lavacolhos, Souto da Casa and Janeiro de Cima. There is also the Schist village of Janeiro de Cima and Barroca. For cycling, there are a lot of trails in the Gardunha Mountain for you to experience. We have also hiking trails where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. With it being close to us, you should also visit the biggest mountain in Continental Portugal, Serra da Estrela. There is also Belmonte, the city of Pedro Álvares Cabral, otherwise known as the Portuguese sailor, that discovered Brazil!”
Finally, we asked Duarte why he decided to partner with Chic Retreats and what is different about us?
“I partnered with Chic Retreats because it is different. The focus is on different hotels, boutique hotels, and the market you are exploring is also different. Chic Retreats are focused on high-end customers, helping to boost sales and gain hotel visibility.
This is the perfect synergy.”