Azores Luxury: Best Hotels, Restaurants & Activities
January 17, 2019
The Azores are 9 volcanic islands located a thousand miles off the coast of Portugal with lush mountains, bubbling hot springs and rugged vistas. The islands are best known as Portugal’s eco-paradise and a haven for outdoors enthusiasts, but with the opening of several cool hotels, trendy restaurants and activities companies stepping up their game, the Azores have becoming a haven for barefoot luxury. Sound good? Then pack your bags as we’re sharing our favorite Azores luxury hotels, restaurants and activities on São Miguel (the main Azores island) below.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AZORES LUXURY HOTELS?
We’ve written in detail about the best Azores luxury hotels here, so in brief, here’s our luxury hotel go-to list.
Azor Hotel Sleek luxury in city center with amazing harbor views and over the top breakfast. And did we mention the rooftop pool?
Grand Hotel Cozy, maritime hotel in city center decorated with diving antiques, ship flags and historic maps. Tranquil indoor pool space and luxuriously plush beds.
Furnas Boutique Hotel Hip, contemporary hotel in hot-spring hot spot, Furnas, with a killer bar and access to the island’s best hiking.
White Azores Understated luxury with the best ocean views just outside the city center. Relax on the wide deck with infinity pool or cozy up next to fire pit overlooking the ocean.
Santa Barbara Eco Resort Perched on a cliff above a sandy beach about a 15 minute drive outside of main city, this hotel is perfect for swimming, surfing or sipping sundowners. Infinity pool overlooks the beach.
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel Set among acres of lush, manicured gardens and quiet ponds in Furnas, the Terra Nostra is the perfect spot for anyone who’s into plants. Best for after-hours access to thermal baths.
Sul Villas & SpaSpacious and peaceful hotel overlooking the ocean in Lagoa (town just outside Ponta Delgada) with a sleek outdoor infinity pool and amazing views of the blue ocean. Big green lawn overlooking the water.
Pedras do Mar Resort & Spa Sleek and understated (family friendly!) resort perched overlooking the ocean with a gorgeous infinity pool and extensive spa facilities. Walk down to a rugged, rocky beach or jump in the car to explore the island as hotel is centrally located.
Hotel Verde Mar Located on the beach in Ribera Grande (just a 20 minute drive from Ponta Delgada) you’ll find one of Sao Miguel’s newest hotels. It’s sleek, easy, minimalist and five stars. Traveling as a couple or extended family or friends? This place will make everyone happy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AZORES LUXURY RESTAURANTS?
Otaka Asian inspired restaurant with emphasis on seafood (solid selection of sashimi) in city center, Ponta Delgada. Order the tasting menu, dessert is divine.
Tasquinha Vieira Modern dishes in minimalistic interior in Ponta Delgada. Order the cheese plate while you enjoy the view into the kitchen. Legendary risottos and steaks.
Big 21 Top notch ceviche and whole fish, tuna cooked to perfection (meaning, slightly seared and serve rare). Located in Ponta Delgada with pared back, wooden decor.
Areais Stylish Asian restaurant with great views and unbelievable sushi. Located on Sao Miguel’s north coast at the Santa Barbara Eco-Resort.
Quinta dos Sabores Restaurant Artisanal culinary experience on a farm north of Ponta Delgada. Sit down for the prix fixe menu focused on local, seasonal ingredients.
Bar CalouraOne of the best places to get seafood on the island and oh the ocean views! Rich cakes and fish that is still flapping. Located on Sao Miguel’s south coast.
A Terra Fornaria Gourmet wood fired pizzas at the Furnas Boutique Hotel. Check out the lovely island goods store in the hotel lobby before your meal.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AZORES LUXURY ACTIVITIES?
Soak at Dona Beija Hot Springs Gorgeous wooden walkways take you through warm geothermal soaking pools surrounded by lush plants. Water temperatures range from 28C to 38C. The pools have various waterfalls and jets that blast out water perfect for a back massage.
Massage at Furnas Boutique Hotel Spa Relax at the Furnas Boutique Hotel spa where treatments include scrubs made from locally grown green tea or brown sugar and local pineapple, seaweed wraps, volcanic stone rituals, and the best ever massages.
Catamaran Cruise with CatAzores CatAzores offers amazing VIP and sunset cruises around Sao Miguel island on their 36 foot catamaran. Pop open a bottle of chilled white wine and tuck into local bread and cheese and enjoy the views or jump into the ocean and swim with dolphins.
Waterfall Hike & Gourmet Picnic with Minuvida Join Rimi and João from the Minuvida Orchard Lodge for a 3 hour hike to a stunning waterfall (obvs bring swimsuit). While you hike, João prepares tasty stew and cooks it in volcanic vent for your after-hike picnic feast.
Surfs Up at the Santa Barbara Surf School Don a wetsuit, strap on the board leash and catch some waves with private surf lessons. Water temperatures ranges 15-17C in the winter and 20-24C in the summer. Stand up paddle lessons are on offer too!
Explore Islet of Vila Franca do Campo Explore a tiny islet with a stunning natural lake formed from the collapse of a volcano just one kilometer off the Sao Miguel coastline. Islet is surrounded by cliffs famous for Red Bull diving championship. Arrange private boat transfer by asking your accommodation for tips or jump on one of the boats departing from Vila Franca.
These are the best Azores luxury spots – our favorite hotels, restaurants and cool activities.
If you want more details, then check out the Travel Honey Sao Miguel 7 day itinerary, map and regional guide. The regional guide has everything to do, eat, and see in each part of Sao Miguel while the detailed Sao Miguel itinerary shows our favorite way to spend 7 days on the island and includes an interactive Google Map. We’ve also put together the Sao Miguel Hotel and Lodging Guide where we reviewed 35+ accommodations (luxury, lean and everything in between) on the island.