Santa Barbara Eco Beach Resort
Among the hotels that fall within this philosophy and are highly recommended options to enjoy an unforgettable stay on the island, in addition to the Santa Bárbara Eco Beach Resort, the White Exclusive Suites & Villas, on the seafront next to the new Sul Villas & Spa, both in Lagoa, which opened its doors on 7 June, is one that will be very special and which we will be following closely is the Senhora da Rosa, Tradition & Nature Hotel in Ponta Delgada.
The Senhora da Rosa, Tradition & Nature Hotel in Ponta Delgada, located within the Damião family’s traditional pineapple plantation, will be very special and one we will be keeping a close eye on.
A boutique hotel with 35 rooms surrounded by rich vegetation and sports facilities, it will be a cult of relaxation, meditation and wellness in capital letters.
During my stay I had the privilege of visiting the old quinta which had been a hotel for many years but after eight years closed and now with the resurgence of tourism in São Miguel, it will reopen with a new positioning in March 2020. We are definitely aiming for that date.
From the outside it is clearly rural Portuguese architecture, with the typical charm of its country quintas. On the inside it has high ceilings and opens onto large light-filled courtyards with tropical vegetation and large windows that inevitably remind us of Brazilian architecture.
We are looking forward to seeing in operation what I dare say will be one of the best accommodation options off the coast but within walking distance of the city and which pays homage to another of the island’s typical industries, the production of pineapples. At the helm of this hotel will be Joana Damião Melo, trained in the best hotel chains in the world such as Starwood Hotels & Resort (now Marriott) and Ritz-Carlton, who after many years away from her homeland returns to her roots to lead the new era of quality tourism that will position the island in the place it deserves, whose objective is to maintain its nature intact, offering tourists the best quality while maintaining its authenticity and personality.
Tourism yes, but not at any price. The good things have a value and the product that will mark the future of the island is already underway.
Another highly recommended plan, no less impressive than the Sete Cidades, is to visit the Furnas, an area where you can be captivated by its lake, its botanical garden, its hot water pools and relaxing therapeutic muds with sulphur smells. On the shores of the lake we can appreciate the volcanic activity, approaching its steaming fumaroles where, in addition to the vapours they give off, they keep boiling water with temperatures that can reach 100 degrees.
And for lunch, don’t miss the famous cozido açoriano, a delicious stew with vegetables and cod that is cooked inside a fumarole. A hermetically sealed pot is placed underground and then buried, and left for about six hours. The result is spectacular.