Convento do Espinheiro Hotel & Spa
A rural retreat with centuries of royal and religious history
The origins of the Convento do Espinheiro are connected to a legend of an apparition of the Virgin Mary above a thorn-bush, or espinheiro, around the year 1400.
In 1412, an oratory was built in honor of the apparition and finally in 1458 a church and convent were built and settled by monks of the Order of St. Jerónimo, who stayed there until 1835. During the 15th and 16th century, this convent was frequently visited by the Portuguese monarchs such as King John II (who held court there in 1481), King Manuel I, King Afonso V and King Sebastião.
A family-owned firm purchased the property in 1999, with the intention of creating the first 5-star hotel in a region with enormous potential, which they achieved when the hotel opened in 2005. Just two kilometers away from the city of Évora, Hotel Convento do Espinheiro is surrounded by nearly twenty acres of beautiful gardens and its interior has been luxuriously decorated, maintaining the character of old times.
The impressive chapel is still conserved within the building, making it a beautiful destination for weddings.
Aside from incredible suites, there are two types of rooms to choose from; the first conserving the style of old times, and the second very contemporary. Travelers that we send are always treated to a bottle of the property’s delicious olive oil, and a wine tasting of local wines in the ancient water cistern.
The restaurant is a dream, offering an elegant touch to local cuisine, and that attention to detail is extended even to the gift shop which acts as a unique boutique of artisan designs from around the Alentejo.
Don’t leave Convento do Espinheiro Hotel & Spa without: cork. The Alentejo is a huge producer of cork and there are many stores in Évora dedicated to selling unique products made out of cork.