Furnas Boutique Hotel
What We Love
- Panoramic vistas and high-design interiors on the Azores island of São Miguel, with breakfastStaying in a newly opened retreat within easy reach of São Miguel’s attractions
- Wallowing in geothermal waters in both the indoor and outdoor pools
- Stocking up on all sorts of goodies from the onsite À Terra lobby market
- Lacing up for scenic hikes in the beautiful surroundings
What To Know
- Make a reservation for the standout À Terra restaurant
- The spa has a floatbed, Shirodhara massages, Vichy showers, a sauna, and a hammam
- The beach is four miles away
There are fewer places more stunning than Azores, the archipelago of nine pristine volcanic islands set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Portugal. Set on the largest island, São Miguel, the brand-new Furnas Boutique Hotel ticks all the boxes for nature-lovers and sporty types, with opportunities to canoe, whale-watch, dive, fish, bike and even swim with dolphins.
Open since March 2015, this boutique hideaway makes the most of its spectacular setting with panoramic views and high-design interiors. Given its wellness heritage, the spa is the hotel’s pièce de résistance. Alongside outdoor and indoor thermal pools, it also has a gym, sauna, hammam, whirlpool and Vichy shower.
How to Get There
At checking out there was quite some confusion about the composition of the invoice. Which caused discussion with the person at the reception desk. Probably your administrative procedures need a review, or re-training the staff involved in restaurant tickets and bills.
Outside of the narrow city area of Furnas, this hotel has excellent quality and best of class service.
For people who prefer to live a little outside of the big bunch, it is very recommendable.
Restaurant, reception and room services have outstanding quality.
The surrounding is very impressive: not far away from nice parks and the sightseeing highlight of Furnas, the caldeiras.
This is a beautiful hotel close in to Furnas. We spent 4 days here. Every afternoon, after a day of hiking or sightseeing, we lay in the 37.5°C mineral pool - a special treat we will remember always. Very nice staff, great breakfasts, and nice dinners. Nearby (easy walk) to other restaurants. We couldn't be happier.
The Furnas Boutique Hotel was Divine (with a capital D). The hotel sits in a valley at the bottom of a gentle slope on the southeastern edge of Furnas. It’s located a very leisurely walking distance to both the town center and the nearby calderas park.
Step through the front door, and you enter a world where mid-century modern meets a Zen temple. Need refreshment? Two kinds of freshly brewed and infused tea are always available.
We arrived well before check-in time, but the staff were kind enough to provide a room early at no extra charge since it was available. Our home for the next week: Room 202, an accessible room on the second floor, garden side.
The small but comfortable room had all of the necessary amenities and then some. Because our room was accessible, the bathroom was large enough for a party. Fluffy robes, slippers, and spa towels were all provided. I think I’ve developed an (expensive) addiction to the Molton Brown mandarin & clary sage shampoo. I appreciated the large wardrobe where we could stash our luggage and clothes.
Likewise it was nice to have a mini fridge for snacks (cheese and linguiça, yo!). The minibar included complimentary drinking water, (capsule) coffee, Sao Miguel-grown tea, a bottle of Kima passion fruit soda and a bottle of Laranjada orange soda. All items were replenished daily. Not unlike South Africa, we were baffled by the coffee maker. We successfully made one cup of espresso. After that, the thing would make a giant cup of watery coffee. How can something with one button be so perplexing?
If I had to offer critiques, I have only two. The beds are phenomenally uncomfortable. I prefer a firm bed, but these rock hard with a mushy, thin mattress on top. Secondly, more towel & robe hooks would be incredibly helpful.
I am guilty at this point of burying the lede. The crown jewels of the Furnas Boutique Hotel are the indoor and outdoor hot spring pools and the thermal circuit which consists of a Turkish bath, laconium (actually a tepidarium as the temperature was only 40° Celsius), and sauna. Guests have 24-hour access to the pools and 9am to 9pm access to the other spa facilities.
The comfortably warm indoor pool offers a few water features. One jacuzzi provides a good shoulder massage, and the other creates enormous roiling bubbles that provoke laughter from both the user and onlookers. Three on-demand faucets deliver varying massages: a flat waterfall, a round jet, and a powerful flat jet (my favorite). Separate hot and cold pools are located behind the wall at the end of the main pool.
The outdoor pool is a bit hotter than the indoor, so it is a delightful contrast to the cool air. I was especially tickled that I could wave to the neighbor cows while bathing.
After a restful evening enjoying the thermal circuit, a delightful breakfast awaits. Every morning I looked forward to a wickedly strong latte and selections from the extensive fresh buffet. With all of the local cows, the butter, yogurt, and cheese are all unbelievably good.
If you’re looking for a cocktail or a flatbread snack, the bar provides both in a funky cool atmosphere. Service can be a bit slow, and cocktail quality is heavily dependent upon the bartender. Do try a gin & tonic with Azor gin!
By all means, treat yourself to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, À Terra. Reviews are uneven, but perhaps like the bar it depends on who is in the kitchen. I had one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten (and I’m pretty discerning). My dinner included an entrecôte steak from the josper (wood-fired grill), red peppers in a béarnaise sauce, and a perfectly soft-cooked egg on a baked potato. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Be sure to try the local sparkling water as an accompaniment. The bubbles are soooo tiny, and it has an almost sweet taste. Note that European service is less hands-on than American. When you’re ready for the check, just request it, or the servers will think you’re relaxing and digesting.
Believe it or not, we did manage to pry ourselves away from the luxury of the Furnas Boutique Hotel to explore Sao Miguel, and it was a fantastic trip.
Everything was perfect during our stay in Furnas Boutique Hotel. Beautiful hotel, good food - the best place to relax in Furnas, or Sao Miguel in general. Definitely worth being a member of design hotels.