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Here’s a complete guide to the best hotels on São Miguel Island in the Azores, Portugal for locally-inspired, creative cuisine!
While the Azores islands off the coast of Portugal are known for their beauty — from sky-high crater lakes to steaming hot springs — they’re equally famous for their unique regional cuisine.
At these luxury hotels, the food and drink is so good you’re going to want to check it out as soon as you’ve checked in!
You’ll be thrilled with the great value you can get in the Azores! A quick check on Booking.com shows a night at one of the best São Miguel luxury hotels can cost as low as €200 for two people including breakfast in June.
Although we visited these luxury hotels on an adventure tour, they’re also perfect for a romantic getaway, solo vacation or honeymoon.
1. Azor Hotel – Best Ponta Delgada Accommodation
Whether you follow our 7-Day São Miguel itinerary or do your own thing, a great base on São Miguel is the boutique-sized Azor Hotel set overlooking the seaside promenade in Ponta Delgada, capital of the Azores.
Opened in 2016, this luxury design hotel features rooms with sea views, sleek washrooms with rain showers and a rooftop swimming pool.
While there’s plenty of inspiration to get outside and go exploring (mountain bikes, canyoning equipment and other outdoor gear are even part of the lobby decor), its acclaimed kitchen features a bakery, a wood-fired oven and carefully-prepared regional specialties.
At À Terra restaurant, guests fuel up with São Jorge cheese (love that cheese bar!), locally-grown pineapple and bolo lêvedo, saucer-sized muffins drizzled with honey.
After a full day of fresh air, relax with cocktails at the rooftop lounge where the sunset puts on a spectacular display and you might even spot some whales.
Later, stroll to the historic centre of Ponta Delgada for an evening at the Casa do Bacalhau for live performances of fado, soulful Portuguese music.
Check prices and availability for the Azor Hotel in Ponta Delgada on Booking.com
2. WHITE Exclusive Suites & Villas in Lagoa
Perched high above the blue Atlantic, this newly-opened boutique hotel features nine posh suites and one villa in an exclusive cliffside location in Lagoa, just outside Ponta Delgada.
With its white washed walls, natural materials and endless infinity pool, it offers a tranquil serenity that invites you to unwind in its soothing embrace.
When it comes to food and beverage, the options are as creative as the setting. In addition to the full Azorean breakfast (included in the room rate), guest rooms are equipped with handy kitchenettes. They’re perfect for chilling out with a bottle of wine and other foodie finds from the Mercado da Graca in Ponta Delgada.
For evening, fine-dining options include a 4 or 8 course Chef’s Tasting menu, a gastronomic romp from farm (or ocean) to table through the Azores. Highlights include aged Azorean sirloin, sustainably-sourced seafood and seasonal greens.
Even the casual offerings such as sandwiches, salads and sharing plates have been carefully curated to present the best of the islands’ fare from local cheeses and sausages, Azorean pineapple and Santa Catarina tinned tuna.
Check prices and availability at White Exclusive Suites & Villas on Booking.com
3. Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort – Ribeira Grande
For foodies looking for a secluded adventure-themed retreat, the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort on the north shore of São Miguel offers plenty of big wave action, a surf school and beachside bliss.
The sister hotel to White, this eco-friendly resort is best known for its surfing, outdoor adventure sports and breezy Beach Club. Its sophisticated design uses natural elements of wood, granite and stone to give the space a sleek, fresh appeal.
Or, relax indoors in the lobby bar and restaurant sipping signature cocktails while overlooking the sea. The onsite Asian-inspired restaurant features the island’s best sushi.
In addition to its wide selection of sushi, menu highlights include tuna with smashed potatoes, shrimp teppanyaki and octopus lagareiro style on sweet potato. Local fish cooked in a salt crust with aromatic herbs grown onsite is another worthy option.
One of best hotels on São Miguel for vegetarians, there are lots of plant-based menu options at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort. Enjoy satisfying ramen with wakame seafood as well as veggie tempura and the addictive garlic bread with Sao Miguel cheese.
With the addition of an onsite farm featuring two greenhouses, there’s a wealth of farm-to-table vegetables, aromatic herbs and fruit.
You’re also a short drive to the Tea Porto Formoso tea plantation, where you can stroll the tranquil fields and sample Europe’s most unique black tea.
Check prices and availability at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort, Ribeira Seca / Ribeira Grande on Booking.com
4. Furnas Boutique Hotel and Spa – Best Furnas Valley Accommodation
Although you could easily stay in Ponta Delgada for your entire stay and make day trips for hikes, attractions and sightseeing, it’s also worth spending a few days in São Miguel’s countryside.
One of the best places to stay is Povoação located 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of Ponta Delgada for its wide selection of hot springs.
The municipality is located amid the semi-active craters of the Furnas and Povoação volcanoes, circled by forests, mountains and river valleys.
Here, you can soak up the verdant views and more than 22 classified mineral-rich medicinal waters.
A top luxury hotel with hot springs is Furnas Boutique Hotel, a sister resort to the Azor Hotel in Ponta Delgada.
While guest rooms are smaller than those in the Azor Hotel, the amenities more than make up for it. A modern outdoor swimming pool and an indoor swimming pool are set within an airy atrium. Guests enjoy many opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation in a wellness-themed setting.
Here, the volcanic water emerges from its subterranean source at such fiery temperatures it must be cooled before being filtered into the pool.
When it comes to cuisine, the onsite restaurant offers upscale cuisine featuring locally-sourced ingredients. The wood-fired pizza is a great choice especially when enjoyed outdoors around the fire pit deck.
Craft cocktails, refreshing spritzers and an extensive wine list make the Furnas Boutique Hotel and Spa a top spot for a relaxed stay.
Check for rates and availability at Furnas Boutique Hotel & Spa on Booking.com
5. Terra Nostra Garden Hotel – Furnas
Another of the best hotels on São Miguel is the art deco Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. Set among cobblestone streets in the heart of the atmospheric village of Furnas, it’s a classic choice due to its location next to Terra Nostra Park.
At these 18th century botanical gardens, thermal waters cascade from fountains into an enchanting open-air bathing pool. An indoor swimming pool and spa round out the sybaritic offerings.
However, it’s important to note that the hot springs are open to the public so it’s not as private as you might think.
But by staying at Terra Nostra Garden Hotel you do enjoy privileged access to the Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens and outdoor hot springs pool. This means you can experience it when the crowds are gone!
When it comes to local cuisine, Terra Nostra also happens to be the top place to sample Cozido das Furnas. This regional dish of beef, chicken, chorizo and kale is steamed underground by volcanic heat.
Each chef’s recipe for cozido is different and Terra Nostra’s version is deservedly the island’s most famous.
Another highlight is sampling local artisanal liqueur at the nearby Azores Geopark. Crafted by regional cooperatives it comes in fresh flavours such as tangerine, passion fruit and of course, pineapple.
Check prices and availability at Terra Nostra Garden Hotel in Furnas on Booking.com
Travel Guide to São Miguel Hotels, Azores
How to Get to the Azores
The islands of the Azores are closer to North America and Europe than most people think. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, they are two hours from mainland Portugal and five hours from North America via Azores Airlines (formerly SATA).
Azores Airlines offers flights to Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Azores, three to five times a week direct from Toronto as well as direct from Montreal from June to September. Flights are also available from Boston. ( Subject to change)
It’s worth the splurge is an upgrade to Executive Class service. You’ll enjoy fully reclining seats, fine-dining with Portuguese wines, airport lounge access and an elevated service that will whisk you to island bliss in style. www.azoresairlines.pt
Azores Tourism Board: www.visitazores.com
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.
The Azores always seem to be mysterious. It would be a hard choice between any of these. You’ve put a trip here on our bucket list.
Jeff & Crystal Bryant
All i can say is Wow! These photos are so intoxicating and they drive our desire to visit Sao Miguel to see these sights firsthand. Thanks for sharing these, since we are unable to travel there on our own currently.
The Azores is one of the most beautifully wild places in the world.There are direct flights from Boston so it’s not so far away!
These hotels are gorgeous, the Azores has been on my bucket list for quite a long time. I’m hopeful to visit some day.
Lots of fantastic opportunities for a photographer like you Noel.
Oh, wow, Michele! Your post has really made me want to visit São Miguel Azores in Portugal. I’ve never heard of volcanic ovens, and the hotels and food all look amazing. So it is now top of my bucket list!
I’m sure you’d love the Azores, Doreen! Lots of fantastic food shops on Sao Miguel too – even a few chocolate shops.
You checked all of my faves: cheese bar, ocean to table dishes, wood-fired pizza, and even cozido!!! Truly great for foodies, especially for Spanish food!
That’s for sure! You won’t go hungry in the Azores!