What is(are) your name(s)?
James Robb and Aasta Schneider Torsen
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
We dreamt of having a B&B for many years. When James was able to take early retirement in 2010, we began looking for a suitable property. We love Portugal and the region around historic Sintra, so we concentrated our search there and found Colina Flora. Colina Flora was once part of an old country farm with several ancient windmills. One of the windmills still stands on our property and we hope to be able to convert it our our 5th guestroom in the near future. The Colina Flora house was built in 1970 and has been/still is being renovated by us.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
Colina Flora is peacefully located in the heart of the beautiful 14,000 ha Sintra Natural Park, a walker's paradise or according to Lord Byron "a Glorious Eden". Many walking paths begin right at our front gates. There are amazing coastal cliffs, vistas, historic sights, forests, hills and valleys with unique flora and fauna. The mild Mediterranean climate make this a perfect haven for year round holidays. We are dedicated to being as "green" as possible which makes us unique to the area and we are vegetarian and cater to vegetarian travels. All the ingredients for our Food For Life Breakfast are 100% organic and, whenever possible, locally sourced from organic farmers. Our towels and linens are made from organic cotton, the cleaning supplies are environmentally friendly. The pool is low chemical and the gardens are organic. We recycle as much as possible (even the wine corks), we support the small local merchants and the community, we hope to have a solar hot water system in place soon.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
The location, the pristine beaches, the beautiful surroundings, the climate, the friendly service, the historic sights, the possibility for all sorts of sports, the great hosts.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
Overall atmosphere is comfortable, relaxed peaceful in a beautiful rural setting. The rooms are individually furnished with comfortable beds, down duvets, organic cotton linens and towels, bathrobes, slippers. Each room has its own satellite flat screen TV, tea station, some have ocean views. There is a low chemical swimming pool, boules court, several outdoor sitting/dining areas, lovely garden, guest kitchen for self catering, parlor, book exchange, free wireless internet. We are licensed by the department of tourism of Sintra.
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
3 doubles and one single. The doubles each have a day bed or trundle bed for sleeping a child or an extra person. Colina Flora can sleep up to 12 people.
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
Colina Flora's rooms are comfortable and tastefully decorated in a Mediterranean country style with special attention paid to amenities and being "green". Camellia is a large sunny room up its own flight of stairs with beautiful ocean and garden views, a small en suite bathroom with shower, a tea station, sitting area, TV, a king size bed, table and chairs, wardrobe, tiny terrace. Lily is a comfortable double, or a cozy small double with a small bathroom with shower, a double bed, a small terrace with table, chairs and bench and potted plant. Marigold is a lovely double with a queen size bed, a day bed, a private roofed verandah with fireplace, tea station, comfortable armchairs and dining table and chairs. Rose has been switched to be in a separate small cottage with a bathroom with shower, a full size bed, a trundle bed, a comfortable sitting area, tea station and private garden area.
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
Bathroom with shower, flats creen TV, heating, tea station, small fridge, laundry service available.
Which room is your personal favorite?
Marigold is our favorite because of its private verandah with fireplace.
What do the room rates include?
Breakfast, parking, internet, insurance, guest kitchen, use of bikes, fresh fruit, bottled water, welcoming bottle of wine and biscuits, welcoming bottle of wine.
Do you offer any special packages?
Walking Holiday packages, yoga retreats, vegetarian cooking retreats, art holidays.
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
100% organic ingredients: fresh made juice, homemade granols, homemade muffins, great artisan sourdough bread, Portuguese breakfast rolls, eggs made to order, fruit and fruit salad, cheese, butter, jams, yogurt, milk , soy and/or rice milk, biscuits, porridge, tomatoes in season.
When and where is breakfast served?
Buffet style int he dining area. Guests may take trays outside or to their rooms. served 8:30 to 10.
Are dietary needs accommodated?
Special dietary needs accommodated. Owners are vegetarians.
Do you serve other meals?
Packed lunches and dinners upon request.
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
Guest kitchen for all guests. Each room has tea station.
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
Do you accept pets?
What is your smoking policy?
No smoking in rooms...smoking in garden.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
Parking available in gated courtyard.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
Possible access for wheelchairs.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Check in 3 PM check out 11 am or by mutual special arrangement.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
2 nights minimum.
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
What is you cancellation policy?
30% deposit required upon reservation. We suggest travel insurance to our guests, since deposit is not refundable.
What types of payment do you accept?
credit cards, Paypal with 4% service charge, bank transfers from European banks
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
A multitude of wonderful historic sights, great beaches, forest, quaint villages etc.
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
By car or bus (bus stop 5 minute walk away) we are rurally located in pe da Serra in the municipality of Sintra.
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
Relaxing, friendly atmosphere...home from home.