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“The best! You are missing out if you stay any other place. FANTASTIC! G. Sullivan Founder Mission of Mercy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Alta Royal Lodge

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Casa Alta Royal Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Calcada Rainha Dona Thereza | Castelo de Ourem, Ourem 2490, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Emmitsburg, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The best! You are missing out if you stay any other place. FANTASTIC! G. Sullivan Founder Mission of Mercy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

This is a wonderful, charming and private place. It is 6 minutes from Fatima and it is on the hill with a priceless view. The cool breeze is perfect in the evening on a hot day. The rooms are unbelievable. Fresh linen, tile floors, spacious, reading area with a desk and the bathrooms are new with terra cotta tile. Truly a beautiful place. Fr. John Mariani is personable and goes out of his way to please everyone. The candlelight dinner is exquite. Don't forget to tip Valentina. She serves you with joy and humility. She assists you with anything you need. The terrace is a great place for refreshments and to listen to beautiful music. The view is unbelievable. The view from the room is unbelivable too! You will want to visit Bathal and Auca Baca. Really, if you are reading this and you are a benefactor or volunteer for Mission Mercy please believe me. This is an awesome place. Ask Fr. John and he will show you the Foundress room. ENJOY! Thank you Fr. John for an unforgettable experience of peace and joy. Gianna Sullivan, Pharm D. Foundress Mission of Mercy

Room Tip: My favorite rooms are the suite and the Qureanna room. Very spacious and great views.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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47 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

Casa Alta was the perfect accommodation for my family because there were five of us traveling, and 3 bedrooms to rent. It was an incredible personalized experience, much more special and intimate than staying in a hotel. The moment we arrived, I was left speechless by the ornate French decor and furniture, beautiful artwork, and most importantly, since we stayed over Christmas holiday- the Christmas decorations! What made this accommodation particularly special is the incredible staff. Run by a charming and quirky American expat priest, there is never a dull moment at Casa Alta. And forget any qualms you may have about residing in the same house as a priest- he's actually a previous socialite from San Francisco, and he's up for happy hour and a good time as much as any of us! Upon request, you can have a delicious three course dinner with wine prepared for you by Valentina, the woman who looks after the home. The consideration and attention to details in accommodating my family was incredible and made for a truly unique, unforgettable and pleasant stay at Casa Alta. I would absolutely recommend to anyone planning a visit to Portugal to stay at Casa Alta.

For pictures of Casa Alta, follow this link:
http://jetsetcocouture.blogspot.com/2011/02/casa-alta.html

Room Tip: All 3 rooms are gorgeous and unique
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Youngstown, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

The Casa Alta Royal Lodge had been recommended to us by a relative. What we found far exceeded our expectations. We were met at Lisbon airport six hours late due to a flight cancelation. We arrived at the Royal Lodge at two o’clock in the morning and were most graciously received by our host Fr. Mariani, in spite of the hour. From the moment that we stepped into this charming house, situated against the background of a flood lit Ourem Castle (circa.1200), it was as if we had stepped into a bygone era. The décor was exquisite, each room distinct with commanding views of the castle and the valley below. The accommodation was most comfortable and we stayed four nights. We gave a dinner party for some friends from Fatima. The meal was superb and included an excellent inexpensive local wine. It was beautifully served in the lovely intimate dining room.

We would also like to mention the secluded garden with swimming pool and spectacular views. We recommend this gem of a place to anyone seeking something different from the stereotyped hotel fare. A visit to Fatima is easily achieved by taxi taking about 15 minutes. Also available is a dependable, privately owned, car service to the airport or for touring.

We would also suggest a walk around Ourem Castle.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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Princeton, New Jersey USA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

The lodge is indescribably charming, and a warm oasis at the top of a very significant hill. There's a beautiful garden and pool with vistas overlooking the valley below, directly at the foot of the castle. You can park your car on the lodge's property (after a challenging drive getting up there it's great to be able to get off that tiny lane). Father Mariani and his perfectly-behaved magnificent Samoyed greeted us upon our arrival, and sat down with us briefly to talk about our touring plans, share a glass of wine, and get to know us a bit. Our room, the Oureana, was lovely and comfortable, with views of the garden and the valley. There was a working fireplace and firewood, and a walking tour of the town for us to take with us for an informed stroll. The bathroom was tiny but brightly lit and manageable, with plenty of hot water and water pressure. And what came as a welcome surprise, doing your laundry is included in the room rate. Finally, the bed was one of the softer we encountered on our trip in Portugal with luxuriously soft high threadcount linens.

After tiring ourselves out hiking the town, we came back to the lodge for a delicious salmon dinner of generous proportions. Father Mariani dined with us and he does enjoy talking to fellow travelers and sharing stories, which made for a very pleasant evening,culminating with tea by the fire.

The next morning Valentina cooked our eggs to order and off we scooted. This was a very attractive, comfortable and interesting place to stay, about 40 minutes from Tomar (closer to Fatima). If we'd had better weather we would have enjoyed the garden and pool more, but we really enjoyed the opportunity to stay at this historic lodge.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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
    • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

The internet really can create miracles! I had found the tiny village of Ourem which was close to Fatima (where it was claimed a miracle had happened where three peasant children saw angels and the Lady in the early 1913s). Casa Alta is a white Lodge which sits on the hill just below the ruined Castle of Ourem.
After driving up the steepest switchback hill and getting momentarily lost in the tightest fit of a lane wherein cars should never venture, we pulled in around a white chapel and outside the green door to unload our cases and be welcomed by Father John and his maid/cook, Valentina. Our room was all white and filled with lovely things and the view from the window was breathtaking.
We put on our bathing suits and went out the French doors to the patio where the pool was and were able to capture more of that beautiful view. After a swim, John collapsed on the day-bed in the sun like a big porpoise and Father John waited on us with a carafe of white wine and beer.
At 8pm it was time for dinner and we were served by Alex, a young man dressed in black pants and white jacket. Valentina had prepared an exquisite meal of walnut and blue cheese salad, chicken fricasee and the most amazing pancake stack of kiwi-fruit glace.
Father John had transformed from the day Tshirt –black with the word SECURITY across the middle to his ecclesiastical robes and cross. I have never eaten dinner with a priest before and it was a real success. He regaled us with many rich stories of his life and the time went much too fast.
Next morning Valentina wa s back in the kitchen to make us eggs and toast and really good coffee so we were supremely fortified to set off on to our next destination.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

We have stayed at Casa Alta for 4 nights and have very much enjoyed our stay.

This gem is located on the 'ring road' just below the old ruin on the hilltop and has three ensuite rooms with breathtaking views over the valley (like from the terrace, the plunge pool and salon where you have breakfast and dinner - if you wish). The photos on Tripadvisor tell you the story.

We had wonderful weather and took advantage of both exploring the region as well as making use of the terrace and pool, reading, thinking enjoying the gentle breeze and wonderful music filling the air and garden/terrace from Father Mariani's CD collection.

This is a very special place to unwind, relax, think, let your mind wonder or have great conversations with Father Mariani (who has travelled the world and has a lot of wonderful stories to tell - and appreciates if you are sharing yours:-))

The service and coocking from Valentina is great and we can only recommend this place whole heartedly for people who do appreciate something different and special, i.e. out of the ordinary and off the beaten track. A quiet retreat with a wonderful athmosphere and exactly what we were looking for.

Thank you Father Mariani for the wonderful hours and conversations by the pool and over dinner. Hopefully we'll be back soon. Take care.

Simone and Alex

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

The Casa Alta Royal Lodge is a true gem, and one of the best places at which we stayed in Portugal. The old city of Ourem is not well known, but very charming and historically significant, and an excellent location for venturing to Tomar, Fatima, Batalha, Coimbra, Alcobaca, Leiria, etc. The Casa Alta occupies an ideal location on the mount, next to the castle, with spectacular views to the west--well worth the drive up. The Casa Alta is very tastefully decorated and comfortable. Having stayed here for three nights, we would strongly recommend staying for at least this long. The dinner served at the Casa Alta was also one of the best of our trip--and we tried to dine at the most highly regarded and rated restaurants in Lisboa and Porto--and certainly the best in the area. The Casa Alta would also be an ideal place to stay to relax and take in the countryside, with its charming garden and pool. Fr. Mariani is a wonderful host, full of insights, stories, expertise, and good cheer.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casa Alta Royal Lodge

Address: Calcada Rainha Dona Thereza | Castelo de Ourem, Ourem 2490, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Santarem District > Ourem
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Ourem
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Alta Royal Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning Casa Alta Royal Lodge is an historic, elegant, former royal manor in the Castle of Ourem. There are two double rooms and a suite, exuding old world charm. Unsurpassed in the region for their luxury, comfort, decoration, and service, all have stunning views, private bathrooms, fireplaces, superior linens, antiques, and fresh flowers. Beautiful garden and pool. ... more   less 
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