The Azores’ most celebrated hotel is the elegant art-deco Terra Nostra.
When the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel first opened it’s doors to the public in 1935, the eastern village of Furnas was already a popular spa destination amongst Victorian travellers – seeking out the mineral-rich springs and geysers which were considered to have therapeutic properties. Seizing the opportunity, the Bensaude family restored the village’s neglected botanical gardens, built the original Art-Deco wing of the hotel and the rest is history.
The Terra Nostra Parque botanical gardens actually pre-date the hotel by 150 years. The gardens are a diverse collection of endemic Azorean plants and trees – they’re also home to the Azores’ most-famous geothermal swimming pool, which is floodlit in the evenings for exclusive use of the hotel’s guests.
The hotel was expanded in 1989, adding the Garden Wing which sympathetically follows the deco-styling of the original building. Of the Terra Nostra’s eight-six rooms and suites, our favourites are these Garden Wing rooms, with their private balconies overlooking the semi-tropical gardens. The wing also includes the hotel’s excellent restaurant, an indoor pool, a gym and the hotel’s spa and wellness centre – where you can also enjoy the relaxing and restorative treatments that attracted the very first visitors to this beautiful island.