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As we rounded the bend of the road in São Roque we both said “wow.” We knew we were staring at the next Pousada which we would call our place for the night. Looking at the Pousada from the coast you will see the church to your right and a large connected extension to the left. This extension used to actually be a convent for nuns. The convent was converted to a Pousada de Juventude.
Inside the Pousada it was even more interesting than I thought it would be. The reception area on the left will draw you in to check-in first. After checking in and walking through the next set of doors you’re sent back in time a little.
The Courtyard & Hallways
While the wifi/game room is undoubtably a modern section, the central courtyard is monastery-like with stone pillars circling a central statue. The cafeteria can be reached through a door from this courtyard. Walking up the wide stone staircase makes you feel as though you’re somewhat in a Game of Thrones episode. The top floor where all the rooms are has long, oversized hallways with tiny red doors which give access to your room and compliment the red velvet rug.
Our room had 3 beds and from what I could tell they offered a variety of room options. Privates with single or double beds that had their own bathroom, triples, and six to perhaps ten person-large family styled rooms. Everything about the hostel seemed very clean and I found nothing unkept about the Pousada.
The bathrooms were the only draw back to the Juventude. While they were well cleaned and pristine with nothing broken and everything seemingly new I can not help but imagine a slight problem when the Pousada is full. During my stay there were relatively few others compared to it’s overall capacity.
There were only two showers and three toilets for an entire floor. In addition, the automatic lights were a nuisance if you were using the toilet at night. The sensor would shut off the lights after about thirty seconds and was rather difficult to reignite.
The location of the Pousada is very nice and sits mostly in the center of town and within easy walking distance of both the grocery store and several restaurants. Mount Pico is within a twenty to thirty minute drive. In fact, during the clear parts of the day (usually around 5PM or later) you will have a completely unobstructed view of Pico out some of the windows. Truly a beautiful sight.
This hostel provides a basic meal like the other Pousada’s. You will have the options of bread, cheese, ham, cereal, coffee, and milk (chocolate mix optional). Additionally, like the other Pousada’s you may ask for breakfast to be ready earlier or extended later to your convenience. You may also purchase a more elaborate breakfast for a few Euros more.
Pousada de Juventude de Pico impresses me both in quality and style. You won’t find too many authentic accommodation stays like you will at the Pousada de Pico. The flavor is uniquely Portuguese and rustic enough to match your off-the-beaten-path exploration of the Açores.
As a traveler who stayed in hostels around Colombia, Eastern and Western Europe I found the Pousada’s in the Açores to be of very high quality, especially for the budget conscious traveler. However, the Pousada’s can satisfy travelers looking for more comfort as well. They are the perfect example of a hostel teetering in hotel quality.
**Please note: I received a complementary stay at Pousada de Juventude do Pico hostel but all opinions remain my own.**