Loule` Jardim Hotel

Loule`, It sounds romantic doesn’t it? It is! Rick and I spent this past weekend there and enjoyed the sights, the sounds, and the people, along with everything else Loule` had to offer.

We stayed at the Loule` Jardim Hotel and were extremely surprised with how nice it was. The service we received was first class. Our room was the cleanest room we have ever stayed in at any hotel, anywhere! The view from our window was perfect; we were able to see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, the beautiful architecture of Loule`, and the people walking by on the street below.

The king-sized bed in our room was nap-worthy comfortable and the pillows even more so, but if you have a different preference in pillow type, they have a selection of pillows you can have sent to your room for a small charge. We also had a single bed in a small room between the main room and the bathroom; it was perfect for working on my computer for a bit. The bathroom was large and so were the towels that were wonderfully soft. It had a bathtub with a removable shower handle, so you had your choice of whichever you prefer, a bath or a shower. 

Loule` Jardim Hotel

Rick, me and our new friend Pedro at Loule` Jardim Hotel

The Loule` Jardim Hotel lobby is nice and the hotel staff were all very accommodating and friendly. Pedro, the hotel clerk made us feel right at home and we had a great conversation with him about traveling, about Portugal and the US and about Loule`. He offered to help us find a place to eat, or told us to let him know if we needed anything else. His friendly demeanor and service was truly exemplary.

Loule` Jardim Hotel Reception Desk

We found the Loule` Jardim Hotel, while searching on our favorite hotel app, Stay 22. (Which can be found on the sidebar of this website. We do use affiliate links and could make a small commission when you book through Stay 22. We have been using Stay22 for a year and love it! I like how we can see all the prices all at once on the map. Check it out next time you need a place to stay. It is associated with Booking.com and VRBO)

We chose the Loule` Jardim Hotel because of its close proximity to the center of town and the municipal market, which is open Monday to Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also wanted to attend the producers market which is held on Saturday’s from 7 am. to 1 p.m. 

Loule` Municipal Market

We were so glad we were able to be in Loule` on a Saturday since we wanted to go to both the municipal market as well as the producers market. It was such a great experience with tables and tables of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with cheese and meats of all kinds. Of course the municipal market was also amazing to visit with not only the fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and meat, but also booths filled with textile type products such as aprons, towels and baby items: delicious pastries, spices, olives, fresh fish of all kinds and octopus were all available as well. 

After spending time downtown we walked by the Castle of Loule` which was built in the 11th century. That is a very long time ago in my opinion. So amazing.

After marveling at the castle we then continued on to the Gypsy Market, which I realize in the US is not a politically correct term, but that is what it is called in Portugal. It was similar to a flea market in the US.

Walking through the Gypsy Market a sweet woman kept saying to me, “Lady, lady”, and then demonstrating that the shirt I was looking at would not be too small, which is what I kept telling her. She took it down from her wall of shirts, walked over to me and stretched it out to fit around my middle, “It will look good and it will fit you.” It went from about a size 3 as it hung on the hanger to about a size 20 in an instant when she stretched it around me. (yes I bought it, it was so cute and she was very convincing, and when I got home and tried it on, it fit perfectly just like she said it would.)

Lori’s Mercantile has a wide variety of notebooks, one is sure to be perfect for you. They make great gifts as well.
Convent de Santo Antonio

We enjoyed looking at all that was available at the Gypsy Market and then we walked across the street to the Convent de Santo Antonio, which is currently under renovation. We were able to look inside of part of it and then we walked around the exterior. It was built in 1675, and although it is now in ruins, I find it fascinating how old and interesting the buildings in Portugal are.

After we spent the better part of the morning exploring the markets and Loule`, we went back to our lovely hotel for an afternoon nap, before heading out to dinner. 

Around 7 p.m. we realized we were getting quite hungry, so we decided to try a place we’d walked by earlier in the day, Big China Restaurant. A nice lady, Fatima, from BLImport, a gift shop we had visited earlier in the day, assured us Big China Restaurant was a great place to eat.

As we made our way past the shops of Loule` we came across Cineteatro Louletrano, the performing arts center in the heart of town and found out the play, ‘The Iron Hair Girl’ would be starting at 9 p.m. The perfect amount of time for us to go eat and come back to the theater before the curtains raised. We purchased our tickets for 5 Euros each and then made our way to Big China Restaurant just down the street. 

Rick tried the ‘five friends’ dish, which had pork, chicken, shrimp, beef and octopus; that is so far beyond my eating bravery point, so I had the sweet and sour chicken. I can honestly say it was probably the best sweet and sour chicken I have ever tasted. It was absolutely delicious. I think I might start a blog with that title; Absolutely Delicious with Lori, because I know I say that a lot. I am a very picky eater, but when I find something I really like, I really do think, ‘this is absolutely delicious’. It is my highest praise when it comes to food. 

We leisurely ate our dinner then made our way back down the street to the theater.

We were thrilled to get a chance to experience the play even though we did not understand what was being said, other than obrigada, which is thank you, bom dia, which is good morning and bye bye, which is, well, bye bye. The actors were fabulous. It was a young cast that played their parts perfectly. They drew me in with their animated gestures, dancing and theatrical performance.

“The Iron Hair Girl” is a Portuguese play by Satori Artistic Association and directed by Catarina Bernardino. This artistic theater company has many talented artists and a long history of entertainment and artwork. The play was based on a legend from Galicia and Celtic culture. It’s a fantasy, inspired by the world of Tim Burton, with characters that are strange and different on the surface, but can represent good.

The story was easy to follow even without understanding the language. A young girl’s parents disappear and she heads out on a quest with her friend to find them. They stop at a witches place for help, are attacked by a wolf, and in the end her parents are found, but they are both locked in separate cages. The potion the witch prepared for them stopped the evil dude in his tracks and the iron haired girl’s parents were able to escape their golden cages.

The cast was great, director Bernardino said a few words on stage to the audience and she was hugged rather vigorously by several of the cast members, who all seemed to be thrilled the play went so well. The only thing that could have made this play better for me would have been to meet all the actors.

We decided instead of going right back to the hotel to go back to Big China Restaurant and have some of the delicious looking dessert we noticed on the menu while at dinner. 

I had ice cream with chocolate and Rick had deep fried pineapple with ice cream. We were glad we went back. 

As we were walking back to our hotel , we noticed one of the actors in the center of the street, which is like a park. He was on the phone so I gave him a thumbs up and told him the play was great. He put his phone down to his side and said, “you saw it?” very excitedly. We told him how much we enjoyed it and to please tell the others as well. Da’vid, told us that the Satori Artists Association is known for their graffiti, their fire performances and their theatrical plays.

We arrived back at the Loule` Jardim Hotel before 11, but the pool had already closed. I had brought my swimming suit, but did not end up taking a swim the entire time we were there; we just did not have enough time in Loule` to do everything we wanted to do. We did spend a little time taking pictures (below) on the pool patio, which had a lovely view of the city of Loule, the stars, an old run down building, and the Atlantic Ocean. 

We woke up refreshed after a good night sleep.

Breakfast at this hotel is normally served until 10 a.m., but since it was Sunday we had until 10:30 before breakfast was over, which meant we did not have to rush around the minute we woke up in order to make it in time for breakfast. We leisurely made our way to the breakfast buffet and joined the other dozen or so people who were already eating. 

The breakfast room is quite charming with a four story spiral staircase right outside the window near the table where we sat, plants are in every nook and cranny, black and white photographs hang on several walls and there is also a wall of colorful plates that hang above the buffet.

Fancy plates at the breakfast buffet at Loule` Jardim Hotel.

We thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary breakfast, which had almost everything a person could hope for in a breakfast. There were several types of fresh fruits, cereals, eggs of all kinds, more breads than any one person could ever eat for breakfast, and of course coffee, teas, juices and hot chocolate. 

I opted for the hot chocolate for my drink and it was delicious. For breakfast I had corn flakes, a slice of homemade bread that I topped with sweet Portuguese butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. I also had two very fresh donut holes that had a dusting of sugar; they absolutely melted in my mouth….so so good. 

Below are some random photos I took while we were out and about on our grand adventure exploring Loule`.

It was an unforgettable experience in Loule`. It was very lovely and I am excited to go back and spend more time. Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze a swim into my schedule next time.

For even more photos of our trip, please visit Rick and Lori’s Grand Adventure You Tube Channel. (The video has not been created yet, but I’ll take this sentence out once it is available.) Our YouTube Channel is a work in progress and there are actually some videos that probably should just be deleted, but we are going to leave them there so that some day we can say…”Look how bad we used to be at making videos, we’ve gotten a lot better over the years.”

As always, thank you so much for reading this and sharing in our grand adventures.


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