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Hotel Merlot: Where the Wine Flows
This newly built three star hotel is a true treasure. It has the facilities of a good three star hotel but the atmosphere and welcome of a large family run guesthouse.
Checkin at the small reception desk was immediate and our bags were whisked to our rooms. Here each room is named after a different wine and we had the Merlot room. We all assumed that this meant we had the best room, but it didn't. Nevertheless the room was fine - a little narrow but meticulously clean and with everything we needed. I was in a couple of the other bedrooms where my friends were staying and those rooms were larger, although they all cost the same.
Unusually for a three star hotel, sheets were changed every day and so were towels. There were twin beds, a desk, dressing table, wardrobes, and bathroom with shower. The room had a french balcony which overlooked orange groves and rolling purple hills.
Our room was on the first floor and in this area there is a lovely bright open reading room with a small library of boooks.
The hotel houses a good sized bar, which is always busy with locals.
In addition there is a very good restaurant which will serve you whatever you want to eat and will go to the trouble of sourcing what you wish for if its not on the menu.
The great secret of this hotel is its winery, which is in the basement, and which deserves a tip of its own.
We stayed here for three nights and felt like part of the family. On our last night the owner, Branco, invited some of his family and friends to meet us. A great party ensued which saw us dancing into the early hours. Indeed, the following morning the owner arrived with little gifts for all of us at breakfast.
It was a really lovely experience staying here and I would certainly return.
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