Colegio Charm House

Price per night from$139.04

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR141.51), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Charm school

Setting

Gilão brick road

Charming by name, charming by nature: family-owned Colegio Charm House woos hearts as smoothly as a doting lover with handwritten notes, fresh-out-the-oven cakes and oh-so-dreamy interiors. Housed in an 18th-century palace turned Catholic boys school, the building’s most recent iteration comes thanks to hotelier duo Cristina and Josè who have bestowed each space with pleasingly personal touches; rooms are individually decorated with a smattering of curious antiques, while communal spaces are adorned with artwork and trinkets collected on the couple’s travels to African and beyond. Spend sun-dappled days along the poolside deck, be delighted by the restaurant’s pot-luck Portuguese fare or enjoy a classic cocktail on the upper terrace as the rooftops of Tavira stretch out.

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Facilities

Photos Colegio Charm House facilities

Need to know

Rooms

19, including 17 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £134.29 (€150), including tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates include a breakfast personalised to your taste.

Also

Hitting the beach? Let reception know and they’ll prepare you a packed lunch to go.

At the hotel

Pool and sun deck, bar, traditional Portuguese restaurant. In rooms: Beach towels, air conditioning, Nespresso machine, mini bar and Castelbel amenities.

Our favourite rooms

No two rooms are the same here at Colegio Charm House, though we do have our favourites. Let angels watch over you in the Chapel room, an ecclesiastical boudoir of white and gold, or splurge on the Royal Suite where a private plunge pool and sun-baked terrace make for splash-happy afternoons.

Poolside

The main pool is set on the edge of the hotel’s lower deck, where sleek black loungers and matching parasols make a fine spot for topping up your tan. For those staying in Patio das Laranjeiras rooms, there’s a second option, set in a garden where notes of citrus circulate from the surrounding orange trees.

Spa

There’s no spa, but in-room massages can be arranged upon request.

Packing tips

All the tools for optimum rest and relaxation; a stack of lusty novels and playlists of low-fi, lazy pop.

Also

Guests with accessibility needs should enquire about the Patio das Laranjeiras double room.

Children

Welcome, though not particularly catered for. Babysitting is available with one week’s notice, subject to availability.

Sustainability efforts

Taking full advantage of its position on the balmy Algarve coast, the hotel uses solar and photovoltaic panels to heat water and generate electricity.

Food and Drink

Photos Colegio Charm House food and drink

Top Table

Take dinner on the terrace for views of Tavira rooftops and the snaking Formosa river.

Dress Code

Boho-chic with a Mediterranean edge; think billowing maxi skirts à la Sienna Miller paired with a golden tan and a fiery red lip.

Hotel restaurant

Take that lie in, breakfast is an all-day sport. Fill up on fresh cheese from São Brás de Alportel, locally sourced honey, homemade jams and granola, or opt for something personal; eggs any which way or a stack of buttery pancakes, say. Dinners are a pot-luck of traditional Portuguese dishes courtesy of head chef Robson Becker’s ‘surprise and delight’ concept; choose from fish, meat or vegetarian fare and let the kitchen take care of the rest.

Hotel bar

Take your sundowners among the rooftops of Tavira at the hotel bar and terrace, where Portuguese wines, a list of classic cocktails and a substantial selection of gin. 

 

Last orders

Light bites are available from noon until 6pm. Dinner is served from 7.30pm and the bar pours through to 11.30pm.

Room service

Available 8am-11pm, subject to an additional charge.

Location

Photos Colegio Charm House location
Address
Colegio Charm House
Rua Chefe António Afonso 1
Tavira
8800-339
Portugal

On the outskirts of Tavira’s charming old town, the hotel is set just behind the River Gilão in a residential area of whitewashed houses a stone’s throw away from the castle.

Planes

Faro Airport is 40 minutes away by car. The hotel can arrange transfers for €65 each way.

Trains

The unassuming Porta Nova station is a ten-minute walk from the hotel, and connects Tavia to the western Algarve. Be sure to have cash handy, though – there’s no ticket office so fares are paid on board directly to the ticket inspector.

Automobiles

Want to explore the unseen corners of the Algarve at your own pace? Hire wheels at the airport. There’s free overnight parking is available at the hotel (€20 a night as of 2023).

Worth getting out of bed for

Sun seekers can spend days beach-hopping along the coast; Praia da Ilha de Tavira is the most popular, a 10-kilometre stretch of white sand and crystalline sea, though if you’re looking for a little more privacy, catch a boat to Cabanas beach, east of Tavira’s island, where shell-smattered shores and neighbouring fishing village make a fine spot for parallel parking on some sort of lounger. The hotel can arrange outings like boat trips and quad tours, as well as activities such as bird watching and sport fishing; enquire at reception to arrange. In the centre of town, take a stroll through the impressive Praça da República where people-watching and laid-back cafe culture are soundtracked by trickling fountains. If you’re lucky, you may happen upon one of the many local events that take place in the square annually; look out for the Carnival in February, the Sea Gastronomy Festival in May and Summer fairs throughout July and August. Elsewhere in the old town, explore Tavira’s Muslim history at the Islamic museum or climb the stone steps of the imposing Moorish fortress Castelo de Tavira.

Local restaurants

‘Eat from the drawer’ is the rough translation of Come na Gaveta; an Algarve expression deriving from the hard-working local’s tendency to keep their businesses open through lunch and hide their plates in a drawer when customers appear. It’s also the name of a well-loved tapas restaurant that serves an updated take on traditional small plates. Dishes change seasonally but you can expect offerings such as confit duck tacos, octopus tempura, codfish punheta or creamy mushroom and truffle risotto. Taking pride of place along one of Tavira’s most characterful streets, O Tonel is the spot for contemporary Portuguese food. Inside, walls are decked in traditional azulejos tiles, though come summer you’ll find tables spilling out into the street. Start with prawns sauteed with garlic and ginger, lead with duck and drunken pears and finish with lemon meringue pie all washed down with a chilled bottle of Portuguese rosé.

Local cafés

Castle adjacent, Flavour cafe is an unpretentious joint churning out artful cappuccinos, fresh juices and pastries. Further down the river, you’ll find Vegancies, a grocery shop and cafe peddling organic, plant-based fare and creamy, oat milk lattes.

Local bars

To experience European summer nights at their best, head to Santa Lucia, a lively lounge bar where live music accompanies an extensive gin selection. Sleek and sexy Arcada makes a fine spot for elevated aperitivo; pull up a stool and let the bar team mix you something crafty.

Reviews

Photos Colegio Charm House reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this family-owned hotel in eastern Algarve and unpacked their dog-eared holiday reads, a full account of their sun-bleached break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Colegio Charm House in Tavira


How to win hearts? Handwritten notes and fresh-out-the-oven cakes is one way to go, eccentric boho decor with warm Mediterranean flair is another. Luckily, Colegio Charm House does both remarkably well. Once a Catholic boys school, this 18th-century palace has been lovingly restored by hotelier couple Cristina Guevara and José Carlos Gonçalves who’ve enriched the building’s original features – rustic stone walls and the high Algarvian scissor truss – with lashes of pop colour, patterned textiles, custom furnishings and a smattering of antiques picked up from their travels to Africa. Surrounded by beaches and just steps from the old town, the college makes the perfect base for exploring, but with all-day breakfasts, pot luck dinners, and a sleek plunge pool and a first-floor terrace perfect for aperitivi among the rooftops, detention seems tempting, too.

Price per night from $139.04

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