Surrounded by olive and cork tree plantations Tivoli Évora Ecork * resort is admirable for many reasons. For one, this is an echo hotel, as the name might suggest. The main building uses cork as its primary coating. The cork coating serves as a thermal and acoustic isolator and a visually stunning finish. The hotel is planned and built for maximum energy efficiency. The main building, for example, is heated using geothermal energy. All of the guest rooms, on the other hand, are heated using solar panels. There is also a small farm outside of the restaurant with a handful of cheerful sheep wandering about.

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The overall decor is clean geometric lines, sterile in shape and colour, creating a rather futuristic utopian world feel. The property is located in the Évora region. It is about an hour and a half outside of Lisbon and 15 minutes away from the Évora city center. This distance creates a perfectly tranquil environment. You can hear nature fall asleep at sunset and then watch the stars come up at dusk. There is a lot to explore at Tivoli Évora. A lot of places to sit and sip sangria, read a book, or just shut your eyes and listen to the tree leaves shuffle in the wind.

Note: In the past, and on some booking sites this hotel was called Ecorkhotel Suites and Spa. Tivoli is a member of NH Hotels* group.

There are 56 rooms in the hotel, neatly arranged into rows to the side of the main building. Each room is its own house with a private terrace, a spacious bathroom, a separate bedroom, and a pull-out couch in some living rooms. In-room amenities include an HD TV (or two), mini-fridge, hairdryer, bathrobes, WiFi, and a coffee maker. I slept like a child, had a nice shower, and basked in the afternoon sun on the terrace. Each terrace has two comfy chairs and what feels like a personal olive tree, changing color as time passes.

The infinity pool on the roof has a nice bar with a casual menu. On the fancier side of things is their champagne sangria, made with fresh fruit and yes, actually champagne. The restaurant on the main floor has a small but impressive menu. The dessert, the name of which escapes me, was to die for and I still think about it all the time.

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In the morning the friendly staff serve Portuguese breakfast as well as eggs with bacon for the North American guests. Now, with the morning sun cutting through the picture window, you can see the silent sheep enclosure and the tree plantation in the background. Something about this very moment felt very peaceful, the best of nature surrounded by a picture frame.

It is also worth noting that the staff is incredibly helpful. We were never lost, thirsty, cold, or hungry, and someone was always around to offer, often unsolicited, help or a blanket. This was our last day after a two-week-long road trip through Portugal, intentionally made extra relaxing. Quite frankly, I considered staying and still considering going back, perhaps in May, when the pool is warmer…

Finding peace at Tivoli Évora Ecoresort, Portugal: restaurant window looking out into the field
Tivoli Évora Ecoresort, Portugal hotel, beers on the patio

Address: Quinta da Deserta e Malina, 7000-804 Évora, Portugal. The hotel offers an airport shuttle.

To see the trip on Instagram look up #xoPortugal17.

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