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“Generally Pretty Good But Rooms are Overpriced and Facilities are Pretty Modest” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel

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Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Fortaleza da Cidadela, Avenida Dom Carlos I, Cascais 2750, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 22 hotels in Cascais
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Generally Pretty Good But Rooms are Overpriced and Facilities are Pretty Modest”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

I have mixed feelings on this hotel. When it was good it was very good, when it wasn't so good it was pretty average and not great value for money. First the good - the service was excellent from the minute that we arrived at check in. The staff were all very pleasant, courteous and helpful. They were obviously well trained and they had been well selected to provide a genuine customer service. Secondly the location of the hotel is very good, 35 - 40 minutes from Lisbon airport and 5 minutes walk from numerous bars and restaurants in the old town. The design and build quality / finish of the hotel is imaginative and polished - building an entirely new facility within the shell of the ancient fort. We ate at the hotel's pool bar and at the main restaurant in the central hotel courtyard - both provided nice food, very good service and a pleasant atmosphere at reasonable prices. Finally it was nice to have Wi Fi available free of charge throughout the hotel.

Now the not so good. The rooms were a disappointment for a 5 star hotel. We paid extra for the 'Superior Balcony Rooms' - quite a lot extra - the supplement for the balcony was around 65 Euro a night- for that I would expect a pretty impressive balcony, particularly in Portugal. In fact the balcony was pretty small, on the ground level and immediately adjacent to a public pathway. There was no view, no sun for most of the day, no privacy and no light to read by at nighttime (which is the main reason that we booked the balcony in the first place). So for almost 300 Euro / night you get a nice, neat contemporary room - modern, clean and comfortable but not that big and certainly not that impressive - overlooked by a public pathway that runs immediately outside the window. To have a sea / marina view (which, in itself, is unremarkable), you will have to pay another 120 Euro a night! When you get over 400 Euro a night I expect something pretty special in this sort of Portugese resort- and this hotel fell vary far short of that. Secondly the facilities can't cope with the guests when the hotel is busy. We visited in early / mid September so the very end of the peak season - the hotel didn't seem to be that busy but the breakfast rooms still struggled to cope. One morning we stood in a queue for almost 15 minutes waiting for a table. If we had been paying 100 Euro a night at a 'coach party 3 Star' I would have been disappointed - at these prices that service simply isn't acceptable. The choice at breakfast was quite small for a 5 star hotel - it was OK but no more. Finally the pool is pretty small - I guess that they need one to merit a 5 star rating but it is more of a gesture than a serious facility for people who want a pool / beach hotel. The Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World - compared to others that we have stayed in this was rather disappointing. Compared to hotels in this price range in the Far East and the US it was very limited - compared to other European resorts it was generally quite good but, in my view, seriously overpriced.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Dear Brian C,

Thank you for giving us the pleasure of choosing us during your stay in Portugal and for sharing your constructive criticism and detailed opinion with all the travelers. We apologize for the things that didn't meet your expectations and we hope to have an opportunity to welcome you again the next time you visit Cascais so we can make your stay the most positive one, without mixed feelings!

Sincerely,

Maria
Guest Ambassador
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
Helen's Bay, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We stayed as a party of four a short 5 day city break. The hotel is about 35 mins by taxi from the airport and located just behind the marina about a five minute walk into Cascais. The manner in which they have converted the old citadel into a modern hotel, while retaining appropriate elements is first class. Entering through the main entrance in the citadel walls it quickly opens up into a courtyard with some small shops, a restaurant and hotel reception on three of the four side of the internal courtyard. On arrival the staff were extremely helpful, efficient and welcoming. That theme continued throughout the visit. We were in rooms on the second floor (same level of the pool) one with a balcony overlooking the marina and a slightly larger one over looking a rear courtyard. Both had small balconies. The rooms themselves were extremely comfortable with large bathrooms, although the shower was not separate but in the bath. We were immediately adjacent to the restaurant where breakfast was served. We were on a b&b package and the breakfast had a good selection of cold and hot foods. Top tip would not be to leave it late to be able to get a table without a short wait. Beside the restaurant is the "indoor" pool - it has opening sliding doors & a retractable roof so it doesn't feel inside. Note it is more for a quick dip & a cool down than doing lengths being about 15m in length. Beside the pool is a stylish terrace for relaxing. There is also an additional terrace above accessed up a circular metal staircase. The terrace was most enjoyable for an evening drink before heading out for dinner. We ate out each night we stayed so cannot vouch for the restaurants in the hotel (there are two, one by the pool and one more formal in the grounds of the hotel) though if the bar snack one lunch time is anything to go by I'm sure it will be pretty good. The hotel is a five minute walk from the centre of town with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. We went into Lisbon a couple of times, the train station being about 10-15 minutes walk from the hotel. Lisbon is about 40 minutes by train. We also used the public buses to go to Sintra - it was adjacent to the railway station; that took an hour. We were there in early August which coincided with a summer festival. The place was jumping most nights with live music, food stalls and a great atmosphere. If you are going to Cascais I would have problem recommending it. We would stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear MEJG,

We are elated to hear that you had a magnificent experience with us and that you loved everything about you stay! Our service and staff are truly two of our greatest assets and we are so happy that you felt well taken care of. Thank you for giving us the pleasure to welcome you back on your next trip to Cascais!

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

A beautifully renovated building in a buzzing seaside town. The Pousada de Cascais provided an oasis of calm and tranquility. Nothing was too much trouble for the fantastic staff and all meals we had were beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. Rooms were spacious and very well facilitated. We would definitely return and not hesitate to recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: courtyard rooms are great as away from main hotel yet near to the hotel shops and bistro
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear David G,

Thank you so much for staying with us and for taking the time to leave us a review. We are thrilled to hear that you loved your stay and what better phrase to describe it than 'an oasis of calm and tranquility'? Wow! Thank you for such kind words. We'll be anxiously waiting for your return!

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
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Laughton
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed as a group of 22, on a business golf trip; our group were wowed to a man. We are all very experienced travellers, and most said this was one of the best hotels they had stayed in. Whilst it may not as plush as some in Asia or the USA it is true 5 star quality. Fantastic kind, helpful and efficient staff. The setting is just stunning, breakfast on a restaurant decking area overlooking a wonderful harbour with the sun rising over the distant hills.

The Breakfast is excellent as is the restaurant and tapas restaurant in the courtyard. The rooms we stayed were superbly appointed, and the overall cleanliness is unparalleled.

The appears to be a fully loaded business area, we didn't use it however; free WIFI throughout, this should be the case in all hotels.

The hotels is situated very near the centre of Cascais, so many restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities. We didn't experience any noise from adjacent venues and we were up until the wee hours.

We have already booked for next year, our 20th anniversary of the tour, traditionally we went to the Algarve, no more!!

Lastly, the Pestana group have looked after us for many years, they never let you down; I would advise booking directly with their golf team rather than using an agent with the add on fees and no local support.

Room Tip: Marina view if that's important to you, however we found all the rooms superbly appointed.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear LaughtonFamily,

We were delighted to have you and your group with us and we are thankful for your kind words! It is so wonderful to hear that we played such an important role in your trip and that you all left with the best memories! We look forward to welcoming you back, to celebrate with you all the 20º anniversary of the tour and to share our unique services with you.

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
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Stekene, Belgium
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Once entering the gate of the citadel, you enter in a completely different world. Before you unfolds a luxurious, brandnew and attracting square which holds the hotel, the restaurant and some exclusive shops. It is an oasis of rest in the center of the very touristic Cascais. The piccolo is standing in the doorway, wiht suit and hat in the burning sun, waiting to take your bags. The staff at the reception desk is very kind. Rooms are exellent, breakfast 'out of the world'. Restaurant of the pousada on the other end of the square serves a small variety of exellent, trendy tapas and dishes. Wines are super.
If the weather is fine, have breakfast outside overlooking the marina. If you have had too much wine or georgeous desserts (try the chocolate mousse and ask for some fleur de sel with it) you can exercise in the gym. Quiet and well equipped. A sauna is also available, but in the summer is is hot enough outside. Pity that the pool is covered.

Room Tip: If you have a standard room, try to get one with a quartyard view. Very nice. Rooms overlooking the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear Manuella D,

Thank you so much for such positive review, your kind words mean so much! We are truly happy to hear that you had such a pleasant stay with us and that you enjoyed all that our Hotel has to offer. We hope to welcome you back soon!

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Cascais does not have great street signage (street signs are on sidewalk bollards, similar in size to grave markers) so finding this hotel by the waterfront area was not easy. However, it like many of the pousadas, is a beautifully modernized old stone building complex with a courtyard you drive into. People were very friendly and eager, our room had only a view of the inner area (substantial bump up in price for a water view). Well equipped room, clean, with good temperature control system. Breakfast (included) was one of the best we had the whole trip (and we stayed in top notch hotels) and it was in a wonderful setting near the pool with balcony seating overlooking the marina area. Well situated for walking around town and walking to one of the local beaches. Nice little market building about a kilometer walk around the corner down the street walking west.
BUT-(1) does not have parking. Front desk tried but did not explain well the alternatives
available, but there is actually a surface lot right outside the hotel entrance, which
allows buying a slip at a machine there (.80 euros per hour) for up to 4 hours at a
time, applicable 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and if you buy it for a period that extends
beyond 8 p.m., it will carry over to the next morning (pay for 4 hours at 7:00 p.m.,
you are good through 11:00 a.m. next morning). Fairly high turnover of spaces,
so it worked for us. Machine only takes coins, and front desk most of the time did
not coin change
(2) signage inside hotel is not good, and it is a maze of corridors spread over a large
complex, so finding a specific area/exit door was a challenge
(3) as with most hotels, you put your card key into a slot at the door to turn on
electricity for the room- unlike other hotels where it did not require doing that to
keep the air conditioning on, or there was a dummy card you can leave in for
that, no dummy card was given and the air was off if no card was left in.
All in all though, a fine choice for staying in the heart of the city

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear edjan_11,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review. Pousada de Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel takes pride in creating a unique and genuine experience for every guest. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our design, staff, location and breakfast - it is quite delicious! In regards to your concerns, we apologize for any inconvenience caused, we will pass on your comments to our management. We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

This is one of the greatest hotels I've experienced. I loved the historic structure mixed with the modern, contemporary interior. Cannot say enough about the view, the pool, the sundeck, the breakfast. Just fabulous all around. I would recommend anyone visiting Cascais to stay here if they can.

Room Tip: We stayed on the first floor, which was better because people were not walking by the room to get to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Joao S, Guest Ambassador at Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear joannaw202,

Our turn to say: WOW! after reading such an amazing review, thank you so much! We are delighted to hear that we were able to create such a wonderful experience for you. Thank you again for your kind comments. We hope to see you back with us soon!

Sincerely,

Maria João Simões
Guest Ambassador
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel

Address: Fortaleza da Cidadela, Avenida Dom Carlos I, Cascais 2750, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Cascais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 22 hotels in Cascais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pousada De Cascais - Cidadela Historic Hotel 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxury hotel, Pousada de Cascais, is set within the walls of the historical fortress, the emblematic 16th century Citadel of Cascais, in the centre of Cascais. It is a place where ancient meets modern, and many of the rooms are dramatically set into the former barracks which makes each space a different experience, while others, more modern, enjoy spectacular views to the sea or over the huge internal patio spaces. ... more   less 
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