A magical, majestic place. You spy it on its hilltop as you turn off the main road half an hour from Lisbon, then head up a winding track lined with olive and cork trees. You’re greeted by enthusiastic host Matt, whose vision for this 18th-century mansion he’s so successfully restored is that it feels truly relaxing, without hotel-like constraints – you won’t find him tutting if breakfast runs over. A group could celebrate here memorably – an anniversary, a wedding, just being friends – and you’ll have a ball revelling in the lovely rooms, terrifically tall and elegant in 19th-century Portuguese and French Imperial styles: a crystal chandelier, a fountain alcove, 18th-century furniture, art and light fittings; one suite has Tibetan treasures, all have fine wooden flooring and great bathrooms. Lounge in the solar-heated swimming pool flanked by an old fountain and ornamental pond, visit the spa with its Turkish bath, sauna and massage rooms, sip something from the honesty bar; no restaurant but meals easily arranged. The surrounding forests are home to wild boar and eagles and it’s 10 minutes to the beautiful Arrabida beaches.