When I arrived at Principe Perfeito, I was expecting a 4 start hotel experience. I had come from Luso's Hotel Grande which had set my expectations. I was disappointed at the Principe Perfeito's interior upon arrival. The cigarette machine in the lobby and motel like reception desk with dated wood paneling didn't get things started well. The elevator needs to be replaced or at least painted, and the carpet leading to our room had stains with wear lines. The room looked tired. The fabric on the headboards has gold stars that have been worn off closer to where people have sat up in bed against them. The red lounge chairs have wear spots on the ottoman and arms. Needless to say the first 20 minutes I spent trying to be moved to the sister five star hotel Montabello Hotel & Spa Viseu, which was unfortunately completely booked, being that it is August.
I had a hard time finding a last minute alternative in the area and especially with the package perks we had gotten with our reservation. It included access to the Principe Perfeito water park, which is open to the public, and uncomfortably crowded on hot days. Like 250-400+ people for one pool and 3 slides.. the lines were wrapping around the stairs and out onto the grass for small slides.
We also had free access to the nearby ForLIfe health club, the Montabello Hotel & Spa facilities, free entry to the Museum next to the Se Cathedral, a boat ride from another of the sister hotels in Aguiera and a few other things.
I was hoping that over the duration of my stay the hotel would grow on me.. and it did. The breakfast is very nice and the staff is kind and helpful.
The ForLife health club has an olympic sized pool and 3 separate pools great for relaxing and playing with the kids. My son who is going to be 2 loved going to theses pools. There are foam noodles, kick boards, floating mattresses and more water toys that we had completely free access to.
The Montabello Hotel and Spa facilities are nice too, with a kids playing area, games room, indoor pool and jacuzzi all with free access... no weirdness or loopholes because we weren't actually staying there.
The boat ride was short and sweet.. kind of a drive.. but worth it since we could use the sister hotel's facilities. At the hotel there was a nice kids playroom with a younger woman on staff to play with the kids. Both the Montabello Viseu and the Agueira hotels had endless free towel service that really added a nice 4/5 star touch.
If I ever come back to Viseu, or the area, I will probably go for either the Montabello Viseu or Agueira hotel over Principe Perfeito, especially if my kids come. The Montabello Viseu for more of a city/museum type trip and Agueira for a lake side/watersport/nice view and relax type of trip.
This trip, the ForLife health club at the Palacio de Gelo really saved us in terms of having a nice pool to enjoy. You must remember to bring a swim cap and flip flops. All the indoor pools require that you wear a swim cap in every hotel we have stayed on our vacation, and the health club.
In my opinion, the Hotel Principe Perfeito should be rated 3 stars, not 4, or they should renovate the common areas and rooms. Also, adding a kids room and a pool would go a long way in my book.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Although near the town centre, the green spaces surrounding the Hotel create a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, ideal for leisure or work. You'll always feel welcome and comfortable, as we constantly work for your well-being. The hotel is inspired in King Joao II of Portugal, the "Perfect Prince", and offers a quiet and elegant setting where you can choose a room with a terrace and a view of the garden. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, Internet, safe and mini-bar. At the restaurant you'll be able to savour the very best of Portuguese traditional food, in a tasteful and tranquil setting, on a terrace overlooking the gardens. The nearby facilities, such as the Principe Perfeito Sports Complex, the Golf Academy, Aqua Park and Radical Park, allow easy access to many sports and leisure activities for your family and friends. ... more less
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