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“The coolest hotel I've ever stayed at...by far!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fortaleza do Guincho

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Fortaleza do Guincho
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Estrada do Guincho, Cascais 2750-642, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 22 hotels in Cascais
Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“The coolest hotel I've ever stayed at...by far!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

I've been here twice now and I'm just in love with this place. The location is of course incomparable. There is nothing I love more than seeing, hearing and smelling the ocean, so this couldn't be more perfect. Then there is the building itself, which looks gorgeous from the outside, but it's the inside that will blow your mind. Stunning flower arrangements, beautiful carpets, comfy furniture everywhere and an airy, light-flooded sense of calm will instantly relax you, and that's before you've even ascended that fabulous staircase to get to your room. While last year we had a suite, this year we opted for a "regular" room, but despite its rather diminutive size, I'd actually say it felt even more special. Those beautiful vaulted ceilings, the arched balcony and one of the best beds I've ever slept in...it just all feels so wonderfully cosy, comfortable and pristine. You feel like you're living in a fairytale castle, but it's not intimidating like other places of this caliber can be. And then there's that amazing breakfast...

I've been lucky to stay in some excellent hotels, but this tops them all. If I ever win the lottery, I'll move in!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Fantastic staff, very welcoming and accommodating,excellent rooms,wonderful decor, great ambiance, outstanding location,amazing views,excellent value for money,comfortable bar with the best barman!One of the best gin and tonics I've ever had!Nice restaurant, food could be a little better for the price 3 out of 5 courses very very good!Good,but not the best michelin starred restaurant I've been to in its league.Breakfast very good just wet soggy toast!(Should be perfect with a Michelin star?)Beautiful building and hotel in my opinion the best hotel in the area.We will go back and recommend you stay here when in the area. They welcomed my very well behaved dog as a quality hotel should, excellent service!I can't wait to go back,even though I live in a very similar location!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The professional photos on this site are wrong and are from Senhora da Guia, so please look at the contributor photos!!!!. We stayed two nights, mistakenly stayed elsewhere for New Years eve and then returned for our last night immediately after. Read the reviews, but this is one of the most unique hotels in the world. It was January and we ran the Guincho beach each day, walked for two hours along the paths at the end of the beach, never tired of the crashing surf on either side of the hotel and then retired to the luxury of the hotel, the room and the fabulous breakfast. It is a treat. The staff take the hotel to a higher level with their measured amount of friendliness and service. The rooms are a little small and the bathrooms from a slightly older generation but then this was a fort and so you have to accept this. Its part of the charm. Opening the balcony windows and hearing the surf each night is a sound you won't find in many 5 star hotels. While many people speak about the Michelin restaurant, you don't need to eat there as the bar also has a good lighter menu and most of the surrounding restaurants are cheaper and so reasonable if you are staying for a longer period of time. We will surely be back.

Room Tip: Choose the upper level rooms with balconies on the south side as they get a direct view onto the sur...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Although it is far from town, this wonderful old fort with walls a foot thick was fantastic. Our room was decorated with more than a touch of class and the furnishing throughout are elegant. The buffet breakfast offered an abundance of delicious treats and the view of the crashing waves is spectacular. If the van is not available, they will reinburse the taxi fare to and from the town, a picturesque place. There are several great seafood restaurants within easy walking distance if you tire from the hotel's great food. A wonderful experience.

Room Tip: ground floor rooms are a bit small but very comfortable
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iseo, Italy
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

WISSHH I was surfing there! Yes, this is a great location for kite and wind surfing!
A great hotel and restaurant that I strongly recommend to anyone planning to spend a couple day in a magic location where the word Ocean will have a new meaning after being here.
Great restaurant and a great staff make the stay simply perfect.
Thank you everyone!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
530 helpful votes 530 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

I choosed the Romance Package for €300 that includes 1 night and a dinner* in the one star Michelin restaurant of the Hotel with beverage included, plus on arrival french Champagne, fruit and chocolats at the room.
When we arrived the employee Vitor took us to the upgraded superior room 224 (no extra charge) and the room itself, as well the view, balcony and bathroom impressed us not because of the area but the refined decoration and romantic touch.
LIKED
location (between two beaches)
View
Decoration
Bathroom (with jakuzi)
Balcony
Bed
awesome breakfast
Late check out (3 pm)
DISLIKED
weak lights
A/C broken (they knew and didn't told us...)
small TV set
room area (to small for a superior)

It could be almost perfect. What a TA member said about dirty windows and floors isn't true. Can't expect more from a hotel near the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by windy sand beaches!
But a 5* hotel can't afford to rent rooms with broken air conditioning.

* see another review just about the dinner.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

It is rare that one gets to stay at such an impressive location with the waves of the Atlantic crashing onto the beach nearby and the hills of Sintra looming in the distance. But when the hotel itself is a marvellously refurbished old fort, tastefully and expensively decorated then it is hard to fault it.

Yes, as some have said the rooms are not huge and may be a little dark but there are so many other positive things to say about the rooms including the whirlepool bath.

We could not eat in the hotel that night as they were already booked (grrrr) so we ate at a nearby seafood restaurant and had a wonderful meal there instead. So if your plan is to eat at the hotel it might be wise to let them know in advance.

The only slight negative was that we found some of the staff a little aloof. Considering that everywhere else we stayed in Portugal we had marvellously friendly and attentive service it let the overall experience down somewhat.

However overall I recommend a stay here as it is quite unique.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Fortaleza do Guincho

Address: Estrada do Guincho, Cascais 2750-642, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Cascais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cascais
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cascais
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cascais
#10 Business Hotel in Cascais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fortaleza do Guincho 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Restaurant Fortaleza do Guincho was opened in 1998, as the Hotel, with the same name. French Chef Antoine Westermann, who was awarded three Michelin stars, had the responsibility for defining the philosophy of the kitchen and proposes new menus to each season, along with Vincent Farges, the Executive Chef. In 2001 the restaurant, with a strong influence of French haute cuisine, won its first Michelin star. Currently, it has strong national influences and is made on the basis of the best Portuguese products, such as fish and shellfish from the Portuguese coast. In 2007, the sommelier Inacio Loureiro joins the team and the result is five consecutive awards for the cellar of the restaurant with the award Best Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. The wine cellar of the Fortaleza do Guincho, currently with about 850 references of the best national and international wines, is unanimously considered one of the best in Portugal. Gastronomic Adviser Antoine Westermann was born in the Alsace region of France. With 29 year old received his first Michelin star, and since then his work has been recognized with several awards and international distinctions. He is a consultant Guincho restaurant since it opened, in 1998. Constant research and great passion for innovation, led him to discover new techniques and new concepts of modern cuisine. Beyond fine dinning and a triple star, Antoine Westermann expresses his creativity in different universes: at the moment he operates the restaurant Vieil Mon Ami, an elegant bistro, located on the Ile Saint Louis (Paris), which produces an easier and more affordable cooking, and he is the owner of the mythical and sophisticated Drouant, also in Paris, where it is decided and awarded the prestigious Goncourt literary prize since 1914. Vincent Farges Executive Chef Vincent Farges Rillieux was born in La Pape, near Lyon, and is Guincho Executive Chef since 2005. After completing his education in France, Vincent worked on some of the best French restaurants until he join the Buerehiesel, team, leaded by Antoine Westermann and with who he would inaugurate Fortaleza do Guincho. But the passion for the culinary culture would lead him to look for kitchens with very diverse concepts. In Morocco, where he remained for four years, Vincent opened and was responsible for the restaurants La Bavaroise (Casablanca). In Greece, where he settled after, opened the Grand Hotel Bratangne (Athens) and was also responsible for the diverse cuisines of the luxury hotel chain. Those were remarkable experiences, whose influence is denoted on his return to Guincho (2005), where Vincent has the opportunity to explore his own ways, and freedom to interpret Antoine Westermann's philosophy. Inacio Loureiro Sommelier Inacio Loureiro met and fell in love with wines world at the Hotel de Lobos in Sintra, where he met the great sommelier Antonio Vaz. After finishing the course of sommelier in the School of Tourism, in Lisbon, Inacio joins the Penha Longa Hotel as a waiter. There, he starts to work directly with Joao Pires and ended to take over he's place, when Pires got out for another project. In 2007 Inacio joins Guincho's team and has considerably increased referrals from the cellar, which now has more than 800 of the best wines from around the world. His work has been recognized in Portugal and abroad, particularly from the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine, which distinguishes the cellar with Best Award of Excellence for five consecutive years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. More recently, he has won the Prix du Sommelier 2011, by International Academy of Gastronomy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fortaleza Do Guincho Cascais
Fortaleza Do Guincho Hotel Cascais

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