Ah, Portugal! Where sun-kissed beaches meet cobblestone streets. If you’re traveling beyond the mainland to the Azores archipelago, then São Miguel Island, the largest of Portugal’s cluster of Atlantic islands, is probably on your list.
Renowned for its volcanic landscape, crater lakes, and stunning ocean views, when it comes to unique holidays, São Miguel Island is it. But with so many hotels to choose from, how do you pick the best home base for your trip?
That’s what we’re here for! In this hotels guide, you’ll find the best options out there. Our personal favorite, the Grand Hotel Açores in Ponta Delgada, is a cosmopolitan hotel you won’t soon forget.
But before you book, check out our full list of the ideal ‘hotel casa’–your home away from home–on the spectacular São Miguel Island to make the most of your unique holidays.
Top 10 Hotels in Sao Miguel Azores
- Caloura Hotel Resort (Best Luxury Resort)
- Pestana Bahia Praia Nature & Beach Resort (Best Family-Friendly Hotel)
- Praia de Santos, Exclusive Guest House (Best for Seaside Retreat)
- Sul Villas & Spa (Best Boutique Hotel)
- Octant Ponta Delgada (Best Central Location)
- Octant Furnas (Best Wellness Retreat)
- Hotel Insular (Best Budget Hotel)
- Solar Pontes (Best for Couples)
- Furnas Lake Villas (Best Eco-Friendly Retreat)
- Grand Hotel Açores Atlântico (Best Overall Value)
Best Hotel Reviews in Sao Miguel Island, Portugal
1. Best Luxury Resort – Caloura Hotel Resort
If luxury is the name of your game, then the Caloura Hotel Resort on São Miguel Island is the spot for you. With breathtaking ocean views, the Caloura is one of those luxury hotels in São Miguel where you won’t be disappointed.
Nestled in a protected natural area, the Caloura features direct access to the ocean. With a fitness center, tennis court, and an outdoor pool located near the water, you can check off ‘premium accommodation’ on your list.
Considering there are nearby destinations like natural volcanic pools, this luxury beach resort is the perfect location to embrace the natural beauty of the Azores archipelago without skipping out on luxury.
2. Best Family-Friendly Hotel – Pestana Bahia Praia Nature & Beach Resort
With a large freshwater outdoor swimming pool located near the sea, the Pestana Bahia Praia Resort in São Miguel island is ideal for families looking for fun in the sun. The beach hotel offers free private parking and a 24-hour front desk concierge service.
When you’re done playing tennis on one of the resort’s two courts, you can make your way over to the lush garden and explore the 17th-century chapel. A games room with ping pong and pool will keep the kids entertained while the adults can check out the bar at the pool.
Located near Água D’Alto beach and only a ten-minute drive to the fire lagoon, this resort’s prime location makes it great for those bringing the whole brood to Sao Miguel island.
3. Best for Seaside Retreat – Praia de Santos, Exclusive Guest House
On the south coast of São Miguel island, you’ll find Praia de Santos, an exclusive villa located in Ponta Delgada. Ideal for those craving a peaceful seaside retreat, you’re just one mile to the stunning views of São Roque Beach.
On the property, you’ll have access to an outdoor swimming pool located near the beach, garden, and a paid shuttle to and from the airport. Of all the hotels in São Miguel, the villas at Praia de Santos offer the type of privacy guaranteed to make your trip as relaxing as possible.
This is where you’ll want to be if you’re seeking a hint of luxury, a dose of local charm, and a whole lot of peace and quiet for your unique destination trip by the beach.
4. Best Boutique Hotel – Sul Villas & Spa
If you’re a lover of boutique hotels, then Sul Villas and Spa in São Miguel is the place for you. This vibrant and cosmopolitan hotel in São Miguel island offers a modern and intimate space topping the list of trendy hotels.
With ocean views of the South Coast, free wifi, and free private parking, you’ll have everything you need for your stay. The spa features a sauna, but if that’s not relaxing enough, you can test out the hot tub, too.
With private, intimate villas, you won’t have to worry about beating other travelers to the couch in a shared lounge. Only twelve minutes away from Ponta Delgada’s marina, you’ll have as much access to the ocean as you will to the resort’s outdoor swimming pool.
5. Best Central Location – Octant Ponta Delgada
Located in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel island, the Octant Hotel features luxurious rooms with an urban twist. Enjoy the sun lounger terrace at the rooftop outdoor swimming pool while you take in the stunning views of the marina and lush green fields.
Although the beach resort is located in the city, you’re only a short drive from seeing the nature São Miguel offers, making it one of the best luxury hotels on our list.
6. Best Wellness Retreat – Octant Furnas
Octant Furnas is that hotel you pick when you don’t plan on leaving the resort. And if you’re looking for a place to truly relax, then this is it. The hotel is located in Vale das Furnas, the largest concentration of thermal water all across Europe.
The hotel itself includes a thermal and spa center with ten rooms, indoor thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool, a sauna, hydro massages, a fitness center, and more. Talk about a haven and a rejuvenating escape.
7. Best Budget Hotel – Hotel Insular
Located in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel island, Hotel Insular offers clean rooms, free wifi, and high-quality service, all at an affordable price. The highly-rated hotel is renowned for its walkability, meaning you don’t even need to rent a car to get around.
With over 40 attractions in a third-of-a-mile radius, you’re guaranteed to keep yourself busy. This is best for those travelers who value comfort and convenience over upscale luxury hotels.
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8. Best for Couples – Solar Pontes
Solar Pontes is a hotel in São Miguel island that puts its focus on privacy and personalized service. The intimate setting makes it great for couples is a beloved location offers a romantic and intimate setting ideal for couples.
Each of the villas features spacious rooms, free wifi, and with proximity to outdoor activities, prepare to be on the move. And with free private parking, you won’t have to worry about those extra fees. Nestled near Sete Cidades Lagoon, it’s an ideal destination for a romantic getaway.
9. Best Eco-Friendly Retreat – Furnas Lake Villas
Set in a peaceful forest near the south, Furnas Lake Villas is one of the best hotels for those seeking an eco-friendly vibe. With a range of outdoor activities, this hotel is at the top of our list for nature lovers who bring their eco-conscious mindset on their travels.
Whether taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding, there’s something for everyone here. Get ready to experience all the nature São Miguel created.
10. Best Overall Value – Grand Hotel Açores Atlântico
The Grand Hotel Acores Atlantico in Ponta Delgada is well known for its prime location and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. With direct access to the main avenue of Ponta Delgada, this vibrant and cosmopolitan hotel is one of the best luxury hotels that São Miguel can offer.
After a complete renovation in 2018, you’re guaranteed a taste of modern luxury with personalized service, making it one of the best hotels in São Miguel island. Plus, you’ll have full access to their indoor heated pool and room service. Does it get fancier than that?
Hotels in São Miguel Island Shopping Guide
Our comprehensive hotels guide wouldn’t be complete without considering the unique factors you should consider before booking the perfect hotel in São Miguel, Portugal. Let’s explore what you might need to consider before booking your trip.
And we’ll be adding more to the list–make sure to check out Hotel Verde Mar & Spa and trendy hotels you won’t want to skip over in your search.
Accessibility and Location
Are you planning a trip designated for sightseeing? Maybe you want to visit the historical center. Or perhaps you’re more interested in exploring the natural wonders São Miguel created? How about checking out Ribeira Grande to the north?
When choosing from the various hotels in São Miguel, make sure you consider their proximity to important landmarks you want to check out.
And on that note, are you planning on renting a car, or will you be depending on public transportation? If you prefer walkability, then of all the hotels in São Miguel, you might want to check out those in Ponta Delgada, like Mar Resort & Spa.
What about excursions? Are you planning on swimming with dolphins or staying near the swimming pool? Do you want to venture to popular locations and landmarks like São Roque Beach and Portas da Cidade?
Make sure you check out nearby destinations of the different São Miguel hotels you consider and how you plan to access them.
Type of Hotel
What type of hotel are you looking for? Do you prefer luxury hotels with all the facilities, or are you looking for more personalized boutique hotels? If it’s the latter, then you might want to check out Senhora da Rosa.
However, if urban hotels are more up your alley, then you might prefer the Mar Resort & spa or Hotel Casa Hintze Ribeiro, both located in Ponta Delgada.
Another alternative? The Volcanic Charming House in Ribeira Grande near Praia do Monte Verde. Or maybe you prefer an eco-friendly nature hotel? Sao Miguel has it all.
If amenities matter, then I’d recommend making a list of the most important ones to check off when choosing the best hotel for your stay. If you’re renting a car, it would be ideal to have free private parking, for example.
Of the various hotels in São Miguel island, you’ll probably find most have a fitness center. And while luxury hotels and boutique hotels may offer different amenities, most will display everything on their site.
If you’re stuck between an outdoor swimming pool or a heated saltwater pool, you might as well call and ask. You might be surprised that they have both.
Perhaps you prefer the hotel’s spa features a sauna or that the concierge service is 24 hours. Is room service included? These are all things to check before you book.
Hotel Verde Mar and Spa in Ribeira Grande offers a a handful of these amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a shared lounge, concierge service, and a fitness centre.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best time of year to visit São Miguel?
If you’re craving warmth and the sun during your trip to Sao Miguel Island, then you’ll want to travel between June and September. However, if you visit between October to May, you may find cheaper rates and fewer crowds, especially around popular areas like Ponta Delgada.
Keep in mind, December to February it may get too chilly to use that outdoor pool.
What is the difference between the north coast and south in São Miguel?
The north coast is more rugged and offers more natural landscapes, while the south is home to developed cities like Ponta Delgada. If you’re headed north, check out the Sao Vicente Lodge Ribeira Grande.
The south offers access to more historical landmarks, calmer weather, and urban attractions that make Ponta Delgada a popular destination. The north, however, is a unique destination dotted with more than one charming village and popular spots like Monte Verde surf beach.
What are the typical amenities hotels in São Miguel have?
Most hotels in São Miguel offer free Wi-Fi, an outdoor swimming pool, on-site dining options, swimming pools, and sometimes spa and wellness facilities. Luxury hotels and villas features may include additional amenities like room service.
Keep in mind hotels in urban locations like Ponta Delgada may include more in their price than hotels in remote areas.
Is Ponta Delgada the biggest city in São Miguel?
Yes! São Miguel’s largest city is Ponta Delgada, also the capital of the Azores. Ponta Delgada has a vibrant cultural life and is an economic hub for Sao Miguel island, making it a unique destination with various hotels to pick from.
Is it necessary to rent a car when staying in São Miguel?
If you’re staying in Ponta Delgada, you probably won’t need to rent a car. However, if you book a hotel outside the city, or if you plan to visit more remote areas, then renting a car may be beneficial.
When choosing from São Miguel’s best hotels, make sure you consider key factors like amenities and accommodations. Our top choice, Grand Hotel Acores Atlantico in Ponta Delgada, offers an indoor heated pool in a prime location with easy access to explore the city.
If you’d prefer to get out of Ponta Delgada, however, try checking out Furnas Lake Villas for an eco-friendly alternative with outdoor pools. Now that you’re better prepared for your Sao Miguel trip, you’re guaranteed to make the most of your unique holiday adventure. You won’t be disappointed.
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