August 31, 2014

Casa da Se Guarda

Guesthouse da Se is a budget guesthouse popular with young Portuguese travelers and foreign backpackers right on the main square in Guarda on the bus route from Madrid via Salamanca to Porto.

Casa da Se Guarda


Formally a residencial, the guesthouse is a "project" by a young Portuguese artist, who is restoring the property to its former glory.

Rooms are compact with antique furnishings and similarly antique showers and toilets. Toilet paper needs to be placed in a plastic bag, for example, not down the loo to spare the drains.

Located next door to a trendy bar, Casa da Se has some lovely azulejos decorating its staircases and at only 10 euros a night per person per night a snip.

The check-in time of 6pm may be a little inconvenient, but if you are looking for cheap lodging in Guarda, look no further than the Casa da Se which has a common lounge, a washing machine and functional WiFi.

Guesthouse da Se
Rua Augusto Gil, 17
Guarda, 6300-516
Portugal

August 26, 2014

Hotel Santos Guarda

A delightful, small, friendly hotel, the Hotel Santos is a great place to stay in Guarda. The unique old building incorporates sections of the much older town wall and another, older, building.

Hotel Santos Guarda, Portugal


The interior has been completely remodeled - one half is on one side of the old town wall, and the other half on the other side, leading to some interesting stair-case configurations. It also means that the lift doesn't go to each landing, so do specify in your reservation request if you are unable to manage stairs.

Hotel Santos Guarda Portugal


Rooms and furnishings are all pristine white, new and clean. There are double windows, needed to block the sound of cars on cobblestones at the front, and family life in the lane at the back of the hotel.

Hotel Santos Guarda Portugal


Breakfast is a decent spread of fruit, yoghurt, juice, ham, local cheese, rolls, tea and coffee. If you are celiac though, bring your own gluten-free bread or crackers.
It's fascinating to be inside this building and to see how the renovation has incorporated the old town wall. The location is perfect. Two very minor detractions: the wifi did not work in my room but I could sit downstairs to use it, and the shower might well be the smallest I've ever used.

Hotel Santos Guarda Portugal


Overall the Hotel Santos is highly recommended! Guarda itself, or at least the old town, is very small and you can wander around in an hour or so.

There are lovely views over the countryside from strategic locations. The old Jewish quarter has narrow lanes that go back hundreds of years; many houses in the old town are in complete disrepair and lend a sad air to the place, in contrast to the livelier new town outside the old walls.

Guarda

Within the old town an excellent restaurant with helpful waitresses is the Restaurante A Floresta. The restaurant has a friendly, homely atmosphere and is obviously popular with locals as well as tourists. The food was excellent and plentiful; the waitresses were friendly and helpful - as a coeliac they helped me select dishes I was able to eat, and there were also several desserts available to choose from.

Guarda


Hotel Santos
Rua Tenente Valadim
nÂș 14, 6300-76
Guarda

Nicola Reiss