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Reviewed July 21, 2018

The convent is just outside Alcantara. It is a large building with lots of space. Rooms are large and comfortable. The thick walls slightly hamper use of wifi, though. The breakfast buffet is served in an old Industrial hall, full of wooden equipment. Quite charming.

Room tip: The hotel has an elevator.
Date of stay: May 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Josje999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2017

Another old building once used as a Mill now used as hotel accommodation, interior is minimal décor (the building says enough) with spacious rooms with not much in the way of furniture. There's enough to make it comfortable and the bathrooms are very good. Small bar area with and outside but it gets very hot late afternoon, plenty of room inside. Restaurant was very good with decent meals and plenty for breakfast.

Date of stay: May 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank keith m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2016

Basically, everything was good. Welcoming and very helpful receptionist, nice room, lovely old building, welcome little pool and excellent buffet breakfast.
Previous reviews have complained about management/staff but we found everything well organised.

Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Huw T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2015

We've been in several occasions there, coming in summer, in winter, on a bike, by car. Once for Christmas years ago; perfect: warm, floor heating; cosy and pleasant in the big antique rooms. I had recommended it to many friends for winter stays in Spain, where most hotel room heating is done by horrible Air Conditioning. This Xmas we went to live again those memories and found out why I have lost a reputation with my friends. Now, unless the hotel is fully booked, they simply don't switch on the floor heating, and you sit in these huge monastery rooms half in the cold (with a baby). Only the always very good food in their restaurant and the very very friendly and helpful staff saved our Christmas retreat. That's a lesson how greedy management can destroy a perfect reputation of a cosy winter hotel. In summer, all is perfect and all the Hospederias accept pets; a wonderful asset in a country with a sick obsession against dogs. Warning: there is often no WIFI in the rooms

Date of stay: December 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank GregorB742
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2015

This hotel has tremendous potential. The unique building, a quiet and serene rural setting, very pleasant (though not spectacular) vistas – it should be easy to make something special of all this. But instead of thinking of how to make it special, the management seems instead to spend their time and energy thinking of how to make it ordinary – or less. The one exception is the restaurant – see our separate review – which is so different that we wonder if it is an independent concession. Our wonderful dinner and breakfast experiences at the restaurant saved this visit from being a total bust.

The hotel is part of a small Spanish chain called Hospederia, whose specialty is converting ecclesiastical houses into hotels. Unfortunately the tag line should be “The answer is always no”.

Because of some of the comments I will make, I want to stress that my spouse and I are not “ugly Americans”. We do not expect nationals of other countries to speak English. We always have a phrase book for the countries we visit, whose language we do not speak. We work with them – we try different words, we point, we draw pictures. In the past nearly 40 years, we have made about 35 trips to Europe representing at least 450 travel-days. 96% of the time we get on fine. But it needs to be a two-way street – the other party needs to put in some effort on this too. One would think that this – at least trying - would be part of the job description for people in the hospitality industry. Not so at this Hospederia.

Problems encountered:

First, Service / Lack Thereof:

Verbal communication was a constant problem. The woman at the reception counter displayed an attitude. Curiously, her English improved dramatically when it was time to pay the bill.

There was only one other room occupied the night we stayed. The hotel chose to put the two couples in adjacent rooms. When we asked to be moved, the answer was “No” – no explanation.

It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside in mid-May – not unusual, and according to my trusty travel-clock thermometer, 82 degrees in our second-story (1st-floor-European) room, but the air conditioning was not working. Why not? “We won’t turn It on until June”. If that is their attitude, they at least need fans. We both had a miserable night’s sleep (see also below re mattresses). A negative of some of the building’s charms is that the window was tiny, admitted very little of the modestly cooler night air.

Could they move us to a cooler ground-floor room? “No.” Why not? Shrug of shoulders, refusal to explain.

The chaise lounges for the pool are sitting in a storage shed. Can someone pull two of them out? “No, you have to do it yourself”. Can we have pool towels? “No.” Insult to injury: finally at least enjoying a cool soak in the pool, someone comes out and tries to tell us the pool isn’t open until June. BTW it appears perfectly clean, the skimmers and filters are running, etc., and we used their own strategy: no comprendo.

I asked for the password for the advertised free in-room wifi. “You have to be in the lobby”. I’m getting the signal fine in our room. “You have to be in the lobby. If I see you accessing the wifi in your room I will turn it off.”

At check-out, the receptionist pretended that the MasterCard I used to reserve the room was not being read by her little machine (at least she didn’t have the gall to pretend that the card was being refused by the merchant). I could see plainly that she was deliberately inserting it wrongly. Asked if we had a Visa instead, and wanting to just get the h… out of there, I produced a Visa card and presto!, she inserted it correctly (first try) and it was read right away. Ma’am, you weren’t fooling me for a second.

Second, Room / Physical Deficiencies

The floor of our room was dirty, as we found when we took our shoes off and walked around barefoot. The mattresses were extremely cheap, and very uncomfortable (D- on my grading scale, on which our high-quality home mattress set is an A-).

The sheets and coverings were threadbare and had holes.

There is NO storage for clothing or personal items. The apparent clothes cupboard wouldn’t open. [Can you help? No comprendo.] We’re not sure if this cupboard actually held an individual heat pump for the room, or if the doors were broken, but for sure there was no visible lock, yet they could not be opened. So – no chest of drawers, absolutely not a single drawer in the room, simple and cheap furniture to the point that it was indeed just like a convent.

Only one bar of soap to be shared between the shower / bath and the basin. No Kleenex tissue. The room had ants.

While the main walls are stone and very thick, the newly added partitions are unbelievable. I have lived most of my life in houses with drywall, and these partitions were like a single sheet of paper by comparison. Our neighbors in the next room are lucky that we speak no Spanish and we have to hope they speak no English – they were not being loud but we could hear every word they spoke with absolute clarity. We could also hear all the noises of bodily functions, including their moderately vigorous and astonishingly repetitive love-making. Don’t know if it was a new romance or a dirty weekend or just an amazingly loving couple, but they were in their room when we checked in at about 6 p.m. (and going at it hard) and to the best of our knowledge did not leave the room until departing the next morning.

Conclusion:

There is only one reason to be in Alcantara as a tourist, and that is to see the amazing Roman bridge there over the Tejo. The road to and from Alcantara doesn’t connect with anything that you can’t get to much more easily by another route. Nor is there another place to stay, for quite a distance. So perhaps this is the fundamental problem: if you ask me if I have a better option for a night in Alcantara, sadly my answer is “No”. The best news I have, is, having seen the bridge (which was definitely worth the long detour), we now have absolutely no reason to ever return to Alcantara.

Date of stay: May 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank InformedTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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