Frequently Asked Questions

One of the things we love about holidays is the planning (no really!) And with this in mind we have put together some answers to the most frequently asked questions. We have also written guides to the attractions (here) and restaurants (here) that are on São Miguel. If we have not covered your question, please feel free to email us here. Please scroll down or click on a link to your right to read more.



General Questions

When do you open:
We will be opening for summer 2020 and will be starting to take bookings from 1 January. Please follow us on social media FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM to know more.

I want to book NOW:
We really appreciate your support. Please feel free to email us and we will let you know the moment we are ready to take bookings.

How do I get to the Azores?
There are a number of flights to São Miguel (the main island in the Azores.) From the USA you have flights from NYC and Boston (daily) as well as a weekly flight from San Francisco. From Canada there are also daily flights. Europe has daily flights from Lisbon, and the UK has a weekly connection. Summer flights also operate from Sweden, France and the Netherlands.

Where is Solar Branco 1885 Eco-Estate located?
We are conveniently located just outside of Ponta Delgada. A 5 minute drive from the city center and a 10 minute drive from the airport. You can see where we are here.

What can I see on São Miguel?
There is so much that you can see on São Miguel. Please do check out the guide to the island we have written here.

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Can you visit the Azores without a car?
You can. However, a car is highly recommended to get the most out of your holiday. Public transport is mostly geared towards the needs of local residents rather than serving the main tourist sites. There is a bus service from the estate to Ponta Delgada and back, taking around 15 minutes.

What languages are spoken:
Portuguese. English is widely spoken across the island.

What time zone is the Azores on?
The Azorean time zone is +1 to GMT.

What is the weather like?
Generally the weather in the Azores is temperate at 20°C / 68°F. May - September are the hottest months but you can of course still get rain anytime.
Average temperatures:
Spring (February to April): 55–60°F (13–16°C)
Summer (May to August): 64–77°F (18–25°C)
Autumn (September to November): 57–68°F (14–20°C)
Winter (December to February): 55–59°F (13–15°C)

Read more about the weather here

About the Estate | Accommodation

Can I check in early:
Early check-in or late check-out are subject to availability. You are always welcome to leave your bags with us if your room is not available outside of the standard check in / check out times. If you are island hopping we can hold your bags for free.

Do you serve breakfast:
Breakfast is included in your room rate. You can enjoy your breakfast in the the dining room, where you’ll find a buffet specialising in delicious, local ingredients, along with a-la-carte options cooked to order. If you’d like to enjoy breakfast in your room, we can deliver a breakfast basket at no extra charge.

Do you serve lunch and dinner:
São Miguel has many excellent restaurants and we encourage our guests to try them out. Our team is always delighted to help with suggestions, reservations and transport arrangements. Most of our accommodation includes a kitchen, and we can help you stock up with food for your lunches and dinners. We can also arrange catering on site with advance notice.

Do you have a pool:
We are planning to have a natural swimming pool on the estate. This will be free of chemicals, but perfectly safe for swimming.

What makes you a leading sustainable / Eco-hotel:
Thank you for asking. We are applying for an international accreditation as an Eco-hotel. To learn more about our sustainability initiatives and goals, and progress towards them, please visit our page on sustainability.

Are you pet friendly:
If you plan on bringing your pet, please contact us to discuss arrangements before booking.

Can I meet your dogs:
Our dogs live away from the guest areas. They love to meet guests. We have a designated area in the field where we can arrange for you to spend a little time with them.

I don’t like dogs / I’m allergic to dogs:
That is OK. Our dogs do not come into the guest areas.

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Do you have a baby / child / husband sitting service:
Yes to all the above. Further details to follow. Please note, for husband sitting you must come back and collect.


Do you have any holiday events:
For a full list of our events year round, view our calendar of events here.

What is your smoking policy:
We have a strict no smoking or vaping policy for the comfort of all guests. This applies to staff and visitors. Please do not smoke or vape on the property or general vicinity. You will be asked to leave if you are found smoking.

Private / No-go areas:
Our chickens, geese and ducks live in an enclosed space on the grounds. While they are free range we do have fences to keep them in. ENTRY IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN unless accompanied by a member of staff.

Is your property organic:
Yes. All our gardens and grounds are 100% organic, pesticide and GMO free. Our chickens, ducks and geese and their eggs are free range.

Is there a charge if we consume our own wine and snacks on the property:
Absolutely not. You are welcome to drink wine, eat snacks etc as you wish at no additional cost. You can even bring your own gin if you wish (would anyone be that crazy?!)

Are you party-poopers:
Yes. We have rules. No loud noise after 10pm. Please respect your fellow guests.

Are you vegetarian / vegan friendly:
Yes. We offer both meat and non-meat options for our guests. We have an array of delicious vegan options. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements and we will do our best to meet them.

Are you LGBT friendly:
We are very friendly to everyone.

About The Azores

What restaurants are close by:
There are a number of restaurants in the area and you can read about them here.

Does Uber exist in the Azores:
No. Taxis are available around the island and English is spoken by the majority of drivers. You’ll have a card with the estate’s location details which you can keep handy.
How safe are the Azores:
The Azores have a very low crime rate compared to many other parts of the world. But, of course practice common sense and safeguard your valuables.
Do I need to bring cash:
No, the Azores has ATM machines where you can withdraw euros. Please note the closest ATM to the estate is a 5 minute drive. Taxis do not generally take credit cards. You will find most restaurants take credit cards, though a few will be cash only.

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What restaurants are close by:
There are a number of restaurants in the area and you can read about them here.

Does Uber exist in the Azores:
No. Taxis are available around the island and English is spoken by the majority of drivers. You’ll have a card with the estate’s location details which you can keep handy.
How safe are the Azores:
The Azores have a very low crime rate compared to many other parts of the world. But, of course practice common sense and safeguard your valuables.
Do I need to bring cash:
No, the Azores has ATM machines where you can withdraw euros. Please note the closest ATM to the estate is a 5 minute drive. Taxis do not generally take credit cards. You will find most restaurants take credit cards, though a few will be cash only.

Transport

Do you offer an airport shuttle:
es. More details to follow. There are also plenty of taxis outside of the airport and we are a 10 minute drive from the airport. The cost will be around €15 for a taxi.

Can you recommend a hire car company:
Yes. More details to follow. Please note, we recommend that if you wish to hire an automatic car that you do this in advance as availability is limited (especially during the high season of summer.)

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Do you offer an airport shuttle:
es. More details to follow. There are also plenty of taxis outside of the airport and we are a 10 minute drive from the airport. The cost will be around €15 for a taxi.

Can you recommend a hire car company:
Yes. More details to follow. Please note, we recommend that if you wish to hire an automatic car that you do this in advance as availability is limited (especially during the high season of summer.)

Experiences & The Gin Library

I have heard about your gin library, can I visit:
The gin library exclusive to guests only. We hold gin tasting events for non-guests and you are welcome to join one of these.

Are children allowed in the gin library:
The Gin Library is a strictly 18+ area and no children are allowed in this building.

Do your experiences sell out:
Yes. Please book in advance for our in-house experiences. Guests have priority, but we cannot guarantee availability.

How do we book the outdoor cinema:
Please speak to a member of staff and we will check / confirm availability.

Can we sneak our own snacks into the outdoor cinema:
We have an open policy on snacks, wines and soft drinks. Bring as much as you wish. Share if you are feeling generous.

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I have heard about your gin library, can I visit:
The gin library exclusive to guests only. We hold gin tasting events for non-guests and you are welcome to join one of these.

Are children allowed in the gin library:
The Gin Library is a strictly 18+ area and no children are allowed in this building.

Do your experiences sell out:
Yes. Please book in advance for our in-house experiences. Guests have priority, but we cannot guarantee availability.

How do we book the outdoor cinema:
Please speak to a member of staff and we will check / confirm availability.

Can we sneak our own snacks into the outdoor cinema:
We have an open policy on snacks, wines and soft drinks. Bring as much as you wish. Share if you are feeling generous.