Award spotlight: Marriott’s Torre de Palma Wine Hotel, Portugal

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Torre de Palma Wine Hotel belongs to Marriott’s Design Hotels brand.  I stumbled upon this place when researching options for my 3 Cards 3 Continents trip.  It turned out that this hotel didn’t fit into my plans (especially after my plans changed unexpectedly), but I decided that it was interesting enough to post about here.  The hotel gets fantastic reviews and offers a range of activities, at extra cost, including wine tasting, horseback riding, balloon flights, and more.  Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is very high on my list for a future visit to Portugal.

Torre de Palma doesn’t really feature a gigantic bottle and glass of wine as my photoshopped image seems to suggest, but they do offer many activities involving horses, wine, food, and even balloon flights.

Despite its name, Torre de Palma Wine Hotel looks more like a resort than a hotel.  It offers both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, a restaurant and bar, a screening room, a chapel, horse riding arena, organic vegetable garden, orchard, olive grove, a small forest, and a store with regional products.  The main feature of this resort, though, is its wine production.  The hotel hosts a vineyard, wine barrels, a wine tasting room, etc.

Getting there

Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is about a 2 and half hour drive from Lisbon, or a little over an hour drive from Badajoz airport in Spain.  Either way, I think that renting a car makes sense.

One of the best ways to fly to Lisbon from North America is with TAP Portugal.  They fly to Lisbon from the following North American airports: San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Washington (IAD), New York (EWR & JFK), Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and Cancun.  TAP Portugal often sells their business class at reasonable rates.  Plus, their award availability tends to be pretty good and, importantly, they do not add fuel surcharges. Since TAP Portugal is a Star Alliance carrier, you can book their flights with miles from United, Air Canada, ANA, Turkish, Avianca, etc.  If you can find availability from New York (JFK), you can take advantage of one of the best sweetspots around: business class for 35K one-way with Avianca LifeMiles.   Other great options for business class flights are to use ANA miles at 88K round trip or Turkish Miles & Smiles at 45K one-way.  United and Air Canada will charge more miles but can be a good choice if you’re flush with their miles.  Luckily miles in each of the programs I mentioned are easy to get because they are transfer partners from multiple points programs:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Brex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Air Canada Aeroplan1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (4 to 5 days)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
ANA Mileage Club1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (4 to 7 days)
Avianca LifeMiles1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
United MileagePlus1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 27.5K (2 to 5 days)1 to 1 (~1 Minute)

Marriott Bonvoy

This hotel is bookable with Marriott points or free night certificates when standard rooms are available.  It’s a small hotel though so it can be challenging to find availability in the summer.  Rates for booking with points vary from around 33,000 points per night to 40,000 points per night.  Whether or not it makes sense to pay with points depends on the cash rates.  As you get further from the summer, cash rates go down and the value you get from using points decreases accordingly.  In the summer, though, if you can find availability, points offer excellent value.  That said, I expect that we’ll see summer point rates increase above 40K per night once Marriott stops capping free night prices in 2023.

Elite benefits… 

Unfortunately, this hotel is a member of Marriott’s Design Hotels brand.  I wrote “unfortunately” because this brand is exempt from many elite benefits.  The following elite perks do not apply at Design Hotels:

  • Free breakfast
  • 48-Hour Guarantee
  • Lounge Access
  • Suite Night Awards
  • Your24™
  • Member Rates
  • Mobile Check-In/Services
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Guaranteed Room Type
  • Gift Shop Discount

So, what perks do apply?  Here’s a list from Marriott’s website:

  • Points Bonus for Marriott Bonvoy™ Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite
  • On-property benefits of complimentary in-room Internet access and in-room bottled water
  • Redemption of Free Night Awards without blackout dates
  • Welcome Gift of Points for Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite
  • Enhanced Room Upgrades for Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite (subject to availability at Marriott Bonvoy participating Design Hotels™)
  • Priority Late Checkout for Silver Elite (based on availability at Marriott Bonvoy participating Design Hotels™)
  • 2pm late check out for Gold Elite (based on availability at Marriott Bonvoy participating Design Hotels™)
  • 4pm Guaranteed late check out for Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite (based on availability at Marriott Bonvoy participating Design Hotels™, convention and resort hotels)

If you have free night certificates in multiple family member accounts, this would be a good place to use the free nights from family members with lower elite status since there really aren’t any meaningful elite benefits here other than guaranteed late checkout.

Reader reviews

Have you stayed at Torre de Palma Wine Hotel?  If so, please comment below to let us know what you thought.  What were your favorite and least favorite aspects?  Is it worth planning a trip around this hotel or more of a nice to do addition if you find yourself not too far away?

Torre de Palma Wine Hotel Photos

The following photos were copied from the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel website:

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Richard

My wife and I (both Portuguese) were there earlier this year before spring. It’s a wonderful, tranquil place to stay. The rooms are great as you have a fireplace and can ask a gentlemen there to start your fire each evening, at a specific time. Each evening at sunset, you can ascend the spiral staircase to the top to watch the sunset with wine provided. They have bikes included that you can use to visit roman ruins, or just wonder around the working wine property. We ate at the restaurant and thought it was great as they both typical portuguese food and some variations. The workers here come from the local area so are full of knowledge to help you out.

Ivan Y

I was there in March this year. Breakfast was not given(lifetime Titanium), I politely asked but was told still no by the manager on duty(very by the book). I was given an upgrade to the same room that I booked(But they did say premium). Apparently they lost a bunch of money in COVID times and a bunch of benefits were lost. Very little upkeep, rained one day and they had buckets throughout the property collecting water from leaks in the ceiling.

The hotel is literally in the middle on nowhere. Restaurant quality is on par with domestic US typical Marriott, nothing to write home about.

We went to nearby Estremoz to eat since food was of much better quality(Also dont miss the castle there, its pretty good).

George

“Hi I am lifetime titanium please give me breakfast even if hotel is excluded”

Fran

My husband and I spent two nights here in October 2021. The staff were fantastic. Each of the rooms has a different theme. The interior design of the bar was a lot of fun. We met some wonderful guests during the sunset watch with wine from the tower, but what we really enjoyed was a private cellar tour and wine tasting in the evening around the fire. They also have beautiful horses and old Roman ruins that one can walk to.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fran
Träger

Is 2 nights a good stay length or would you have preferred a longer stay if you had the opportunity?

Fran

2 nights was good!