We are fortunate that we at Vagablond get to experience lovely hotel destinations worldwide. It is seldom that I am surprised by the level of hospitality and professionalism. I expect it, but our stay at the Dolce Vita Guesthouse was one of the most pleasurable travel experiences I have enjoyed in recent history.
What draws tourists to Estoril?
Estoril and Cascais are the birthplace of tourism in Portugal and they are popular mostly because of the casual chic ambiance and the local beach life.
Also, the fact we are only half an hour by car or train to Lisbon and close to Sintra, makes this region very popular for visitors.
What resonates when they leave?
Most of Dolce Vita Guesthouse guests they really enjoy staying in our region because of the reasons described in the previous question and also because they find local people to be friendly, excellent food and wines at a very affordable price and a safe place to enjoy their travels. Last but not least, this region has one of the best climates in Europe, with mostly bright sunny days.
Your lovely apartment is distinctive. What were the 5 features that made you choose this property?
I bought this apartment by late XX century when it was under construction to be my family home. My decision was based on the location and quality of the original project. The fact that I could choose a penthouse apartment with large panoramic views, including sea view, above the average privacy and large areas to share with friends, was an extra value to buy it.
Then, in 2009, after my wife passed away, I decided to share the apartment with guests. That was when it was fully renovated and it became even more comfortable.
How would you describe the decor of your guesthouse?
Most of the objects that are being used and shown at DV, they were already part of the house before the guest house started.
Every piece was carefully picked by me, in many different countries, just because I like them and most of them they represent some sort of traditional craft, which always fascinates me.
Overall, the interior design of DV it’s a kind of eclectic style, based on traditional crafts from different cultures, with a fine balance with some top quality functional pieces.
Your interaction with guests is fantastic. If you tell visitors that they had to eat only 2 meals in Lisbon, where would you send them?
The way I assist our guests it’s very personal.
I never assume every guest has the same tastes and I always try to find what are each guest’s preferences.
So, accordingly with each guest’s profile, I try to suggest the best places for them to visit.
Because I have been living in Lisbon region for the last 40 years, I have a strong list of places to suggest that are worthwhile to visit.
In an abstract situation, I would recommend one of my guests to visit the following restaurants in Lisbon: one of the several restaurants created in the last few years by José Avillez, one of the best Portuguese Chefs, http://www.joseavillez.pt/en/, and Espaço Açores, http://www.espacoacores.com/, a restaurant specialized in food from the Azores archipelago. The owners are from the islands.