Last Winter we finally made our first visit to the Azores, more specifically to São Miguel! Although very short, our trip was filled with amazing sights and experiences. We knew we wanted to make the most of our weekend and wander in the amazing nature that the island has to offer. However, even though we were planning to spend most of our time outside, choosing a good place to stay is the first key to a good trip. After a lot of online searching, we booked Casa Ateneu. Based on our experience, we can tell you that this is a great option if you are looking for a hotel in Ponta Delgada.
Tourism in the Azores is growing quickly. For this reason, there a lot of options all around São Miguel, which is the main island of the archipelago. You can find everything from hostels, to luxury hotels, guesthouses to apartments. We chose to stay at Casa Ateneu. This is a small and charming guesthouse right in the center of Ponta Delgada, the islands’ main city and the capital of the Azores archipelago.
Choosing a hotel in Ponta Delgada
Location was one of the main reasons we chose Casa Ateneu. It is situated right in the center of Ponta Delgada. In our opinion, this is the best location you can get if you want to explore the whole island of São Miguel. Especially, if it’s your first time visiting and you have little time to explore. Why is it so convenient? Choosing a hotel in Ponta Delgada means you can walk to many cafes, bars and restaurants. This is something you will definitely want to do, because food in the Azores is delicious! Even if you decide to rent a car (like we did), it is great to have the city at your doorstep. If you decide not to rent a car, Ponta Delgada is also the place to be. This is where you will find public transportation and where most tour companies are based as well.
Casa Ateneu is only a 10-minute drive away from the airport. This was one of our main concerns as we had less than 48 hours on the island. We were able to enjoy them until the last minute! The only small issue we had with this perfect location was that there was definitely some noise coming from the street. If you are very sensitive to this issue just make sure to ask for a quieter room. In any case, it’s always a good idea to pack some earplugs when traveling.
Our stay at Casa Ateneu
We stayed two nights in a double room for less than 90€, with breakfast included. The room was simply but tastefully decorated, with everything you need for a short stay. And also some things you don’t really need, like a TV and a big closet. We did notice that there was no desk, only a small table. This was not a problem for us, but it is not ideal if you have to work remotely. However, there was a common kitchen and living room, equipped with a big table. Although these are shared spaces, we never actually bumped into other guests while exploring them, so they seemed very quiet and comfortable. Casa Ateneu also has studios for up to three people. These are equipped with their own private kitchen. This is a great option to consider if you are planning on staying for a longer period of time.
Breakfast is delivered to your door every morning in a cute basket. It is prepared by a famous local store and café, Louvre Michaelense. We opted for the traditional version, but there is a second option with alternatives to local staples. Our basket was filled with very local products: milk, yoghurt, bread, butter, cheese, ham, pastries, and fruit. There was also coffee and tea available if you wanted to make it. You can either have the breakfast in your room or in one of the common spaces. The truth is that we rarely ever have breakfast included in our room rate to reduce costs, but it’s a small luxury that we appreciate and a great way to start a day of exploring.
We had an issue with our breakfast basket in the first day, but after talking about it to the host, everything was fixed and everyone made sure we had a great experience.
Other useful information
You can check in at anytime by using the codes they send you to get in. This was very important for us, as we arrived at around midnight. There is luggage storage available, which we used to keep our bags after checking out. We could’ve taken our luggage with us in the car all day, but it felt safer to leave them behind. Since this is a hotel in Ponta Delgada, it is very near to the airport. There was no inconvenience in having to get there for our bags before our flight. There is parking available right by the hotel (both free and paid), but be aware that there are no private parking facilities provided by Casa Ateneu.
One of the best parts of our stay was the interaction with the host, André. He was very knowledgeable about the island and provided us with valuable information, recommendations and even tailored itineraries for our days there. He is clearly passionate about São Miguel and he wants to make sure you have the best experience, with your accommodation and beyond.
Our time in the Azores was short, but incredibly memorable. For as much as we love architecture and the bustle of big cities, there is nothing quite like nature’s beauty. We are sure we will be going back to São Miguel many more times. Next time we go, we won’t need to search for another hotel in Ponta Delgada! That is, unless Casa Ateneu is fully booked. We were very happy with our stay and we are not the only ones, so try to book early to guarantee a room.
If you haven’t already, add the Azores to your bucket list! Pin this pin to know where to stay when you finally go: