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M'Ar de Ar Aqueduto, Évora  

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72 Rua Candido dos Reis
Portugal 7000
Tel: 351 266 739 300
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Things are changing in the walled city of Évora as high style arrives to satisfy the new upscale visitors' needs. Ornate Manueline windows belie the plush modern design interior of the 64-room M'Ar de Ar Aqueduto, born of the restoration of a fifteenth-century mansion in the center of town that preserves a magnificent chapel (now a high-tech conference room), abóbada-crowned barrel-vaulted ceilings, and period gargoyles. Just past the lobby, a first class Philippe Starck-furnished restaurant featuring creative regional cuisine spills into the terrace bar, a well-stocked art book library, and a wooden outdoor pool deck. A small glassed-in fitness area lets guests work up a sweat before relaxing in a naturally lit relaxation chamber with reclining beds. After a sightseeing marathon through the steep cobblestone streets of Évora's historic center, unwind at the hotel's Turkish bath or one of two expertly manned cocktail bars.—2009 Hot List

When to go: In May and June, when the temperatures are not too hot and the flowers are out.

Which room to book: The four second-floor rooms and the Spa suites are the cream of the crop.

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