This 18th Century former Carmelite convent and listed historic monument will immediately catch your eye thanks to its superb Colonial architecture, which is worth a visit in itself. However, those who are not staying here will have to make do with a quick glance at the splendid patio at the entrance, as the guards will prevent them from going any further. Those lucky enough to be staying here, however, can take their time admiring the floral archways and avenues around the patio, as if they were a Carmelite monk! There is no doubt this establishment is oozing with charm, but it might be worth pointing out that 'Convento do Carmo' means 'Convent of the Carmelites', not 'Convent of Charm'! A beautiful fountain reigns at the centre of the main patio, surrounded by a furnished lawn area, and the entire place abounds with original little areas where seminars and meetings can be held, such as the superb azulejo-tiled 'Chapel of Novices'. The Convento do Carmo also houses a church, a sacristy and three chapels, with various statues, pieces of armour, paintings, vases and other works of art displayed all around, including original cannonballs! You will find a reading area furnished with two sofas where you can stretch out and relax, as well as a library and two computers providing free Internet access. The L'Occitane spa, meanwhile, is open from 12:00pm to 8:00pm and includes three massage rooms, a hammam, a whirlpool bath, a relaxation area and a small gym. The hotel itself opened in October 2005 and houses 79 guest rooms across two floors, served by lifts. The circular, 1,5m-deep swimming pool is set amid a tree-planted patio and is open from 7:00am to 7:00pm. Cushioned wooden deck chairs are provided for guests' comfort, but those who really like their luxury might prefer one of the wooden daybeds topped with a double mattress. Towels are provided and already laid out on the deck chairs and daybeds. Do be careful, though, as it's very easy to fall asleep here, lulled by the birdsong all around you!