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“sweet dreams in a fortress” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel

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Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Forte de Sao Filipe, Setubal 2900-300, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Setubal
massachusetts
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
167 helpful votes 167 helpful votes
“sweet dreams in a fortress”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

Who would have thought I would sleep in a fortress ? Yet, overlooking the beautiful Sado estuary ? Keep on gazing and one will see the vast Atlantic ocean ahead. Total bliss for a stay in Setubal. This was the very first pousada before I became hooked on the pousada stays throughout the stunning and vast country of Portugal. One walks up the sometimes steep cobblestoned roads to the fortress of Sao Felipe. Battlement cannons are all in place and up through the archways and up the stairs one is greeted with fantastic views, warm cozy and old authentic rooms ( no lift !) but with tons of character and charm. The staff are like family and so warm , thoughtful and helpful. We will never forget any of them. The dining room is unique with windows upon windows to not miss the magnificent view at every angle imagined. Food was delicious and varied. Dont forget to save room for the lovingly prepared Portuguese desserts. Not far fromt the pousada is the Arribada mountain and beaches which are one of the most amazing sections of Portugal. This pousada is small, compact but chock full of history. There is a private chapel to view or to say a few prayers. It is ornate and reflects the period of time of the Portuguese history. Setubal has a great market and a convenient place to rent a car or to take the train. Fernanda was one of the most helpful staff along with Mr. Goncalves. Worth a stay to have lunch on the terrace and to enjoy a fortress setting. We loved it !

Room Tip: We had a room off of a suite with great views of the city. Loved it with an old fashioned bath.
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  • Stayed May 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Parsippany, New Jersey
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

where do i start?
the amazing views....the absolutely amazing views....or the historic building....the awesome view...or just about everything!
do not miss this opportunity to stay at this place...always wrangle for a room on the uper floors with a view to the river....it's a total de-stress option!
senhor fernando at the front desk is an xtremely sociable and helpful gent who will try to make your stay as best as possible...he even acceded to a request to change my room from a lower floor to a higher floor.
there is the small menace of cats all around...but then when u see the shimmering lights of the city at night and the fog-covered landscape in the morning, all else matters not!
best part of it - when u sit at the outdoor seating area at night with a bottle of moscatel wine and a cigar....life is good!!

Room Tip: always - room on the upper floors with a view of the river-side! specify during booking.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012

We spent our first three nights in Portugal here. Superior double cost 127 euros. Hotel may be suffering a little during the bad economy but staff was cheerful and helpful. We asked for and got all the help with luggage we needed.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
scotland
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2011

In an impressive hill top castle with good views but the Pousada is in need of renovation, room size adequate but paint peeling and smelled musty . No lift and no offer of help carrying luggage upstairs , disabled access would appear difficult , restaurant has good views but expensive for quality of food . Setubal itself worth seeing . This was the most expensive Pousada room we stayed in out of the three we visited but did not merit the price .

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Setubal has nothing much to recommend it - although you can while many an hour away in the central market if you can bear the frustration of not being able to buy the freshest and most amazing fish you may ever have seen - but the Pousada Sao Filipe is worth a detour. Excellent service makes up for the rather lacklustre restaurant fare, the room we had was spacious with a fantastic view , and the bedlinen is second to none. If you suffer from claustorphobia beware: some of the rooms are converted prison cells and have no windows. Atmospheric perhaps, and cool in the summer, but not for those of us who like light and fresh air.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2010

At first sight, Setubal seems to be a rather ugly city – too close to Lisbon to develop a strong profile of its own. Grown on the basis of industrial wealth (production and port), it expanded in the 1960s the results of which are a very, very visible belt around the old centre of the town. Taking a closer look, you will discover a very charming, authentic Portuguese city that has maintained its character, which wasn’t influenced by tourism, for instance.

The Pousada of Setubal is overlooking the city and the large lagoon-like bay, which actually is the delta of the river Sado. The intimate hotel with 16 rooms has been integrated in a medieval fortress, thus exemplifying the philosophy of the Portuguese Pousadas: Allowing people to experience the country’s history. And in this case, they have succeeded to the fullest. Driving up the hill, entering through an enormous gate and later climbing up century-old stairs and alleyways really provides a feeling of history. And you are rewarded by stunning views and peaceful tranquillity. Well, to be honest, a large part of the view is on the huge industrial port, and another piece includes the hotels of Troja – a magnificent peninsula just across the bay. It does not diminish the quality of the location at all. On the contrary, especially in the evening, it is charming and entertaining to look down on the city centre, which is of course along the old port – just below the Pousada.

The staff at the Pousada Sao Felipe is impeccably friendly, the rooms are spacious, most bathrooms have windows, and the air condition in the rooms is superb (which can be important at times). Try to get a room on the 3rd floor to the front where the view is best (301, 302, 303, 306), and always choose a Panoramic room. Frankly, if you can’t pay that extra 30ish Euros, consider to stay somewhere else; the standard rooms are on the first floor facing a dark backyard.

Breakfast is very good, given that they will do a full buffet even if they only have 6 of their rooms occupied (as was the case when I was there).

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-Pousadas, Manager at Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel, responded to this review, July 30, 2010
Dear Customer, Thank you very much for choosing to stay at Pousada de Setúbal and for taking the time to post this review. We would like to thank you for your evaluation, which we have shared with our staff. We hope to be able to welcome you again in a near future. Best wishes. The Management
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Alvita
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

We stayed in room 101. All 10x rooms are "cells" with no window for the bedroom, but only a small window on 1. floor, a small room with a sofa. Thus the rooms are quite dark and difficult to get fresh air into, which makes them uncomfortable to sleep in (aircondition is available, but has virtually no effect as it is mounted on the 1. floor).
We paid 200/170 Euro for a Saturday & Sunday night, wich is almost 2x the price of other Pousadas.
The restaurant is quite good with a phantastic view of the bay area. Meals are according to 4* - no better no worse. Service is excellent and the staff is really committed to do a good job.
If you make a reservation make sure you get a room on the 2. floor, the main building, with a window to the harbour.
No WiFi available. Parking is in the castle but there are some stairs/a long entrance to overcome until you are in the reception.
Compared to other Pousadas this one is not worth it's price. Book a room in the city and have dinner in the restaurant to get the view and you're better off.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manager-Pousadas, Manager at Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel, responded to this review, June 29, 2010
Dear Customer, Thank you very much for choosing to stay at Pousada de Setúbal and for taking the time to post your opinion, as it helps us to get better. We take all feedback seriously, and sincerely regret that we did not meet all your expectations. We hope you can choose again Pousadas de Portugal. Best Regards, The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel

Address: Forte de Sao Filipe, Setubal 2900-300, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Alentejo > Setubal District > Setubal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Setubal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pousada de Setubal Historic Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pousada de Setubal is situated in the nearby historical city of Setubal, offering stunning views of the River Sado, the Troia peninsula and all of the surrounding Natural Park of Arrabida. In this old fort of seventeenth century architecture, named Sao Filipe, you can feel the traces of the past, having more than four centuries of history. Just a breath of imagination could give live to the thick walls and gravestones of this historical Pousada, rising out of the cold slabs, a lively picture of live in the court during the reign of the Spanish monarch Filipe II. For those who enjoy golf, you will find near the Pousada de Setubal, Sao Filipe, the magnificent golf courses of Troia and Montado. Within the Setubal region you can also go on cruises on the River Sado to do some dolphin watching, visit the beaches in Arrabida and eat traditional fried cuttlefish. ... more   less 
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