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“Exotic hotel in stunning location, excellent restuarant, but...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fortaleza do Guincho

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Fortaleza do Guincho
Ranked #6 of 38 Hotels in Cascais
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
289 reviews
286 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 303 helpful votes
“Exotic hotel in stunning location, excellent restuarant, but...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

The Fortaleza is a unique hotel – a pretend fort on a promontory between two splendid surfing beaches (not recommended for casual sunbathers), a view of the Cabo da Roca and the Atlantic thundering nearby. The design is eclectic with an exotic feel and was far too complex for our minimalist taste.

For a five star resort hotel, the facilities are inadequate - no pool, no sun loungers, practically no outdoor space. The restaurant is excellent, one of Portugal’s best, and we much enjoyed dinner there.

Our room was small and poorly lit, with a heavy oriental furnishings and decor. The bathroom was tiny (we had one twice as large in a nearby three star hotel) and offered the most complicated bath/shower/whirlpool/steam bath combo we have ever seen and one far too complicated to master in only two nights (but we did manage to get the shower to work).

The staff were pleasant and helpful. There is free but complicated WiFi available in the public areas.

Some will find the Fortaleza's unique quirkiness attractive but it wasn’t to our taste (apart from the excellent food).

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank globaltraveller200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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English first
North Carolina
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012

We hiked for 8 miles to reach this oasis .The hotel is impressive; the view is outstanding; and the food is to die for.It is an experience that the six of us will long remember.The staff is very helpful and the dining was a culinary experience. Our waiter made the evening a perfect one.

Room Tip: Go for a room with an ocean view
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vilnius, Lithuania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

The best place: the nice surrounding and views, easy and quick access to Cascais, Lisbon and Sintra... Fantastic nature and beaches outside the hotel. The history, nice rooms with ocean view, gourmet restaurant - inside! This is really fantastic place! We came home after 2 weeks travel through Portugal, changing the places and hotels, and Fortaleza do Guincho left us the biggest impresion. We would like to come back here! We'll be back!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Glotera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

Who could resist a romantic package that includes one night at a fabulous Relais & Chateau property, dinner in their Michelin starred restaurant and a bottle of champagne, all for 400 euro? Well, I certainly couldn't.
Was I happy with the result? Yes. A 100 percent satisfied ? No.
Let's look at the plus side first. Fortaleza do Guincho is an impressive historical building, set in a breathtaking natural environment. Some of Portugals most beautiful surfing beaches are next to the hotel, and the coastline is stark and wild. Most of the rooms and the restaurant have wonderful views. The champagne waiting for us was Piper Heidsieck, no complaints, and the overall service was smooth and professional.
On the down side: our room was pretty small and unimpressive , but it did have the view. Dinner was delicious, with foie gras as a starter, but the portions fort the main dish were incredibly small. We had three very tiny noisettes of lamb, and if you have been touring Portugal for a while, this comes as a real surprise, portions always being so generous.
Mayby this was, after all, the biggest dissapointment: the Fortaleze lacked neither style or quality, but a certain generosity and warmth that Portugal has in abundance.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Talkabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

I don't know if I have words appropriate enough to describe my intense happiness with the Fortaleza. Situated approximately 20 minutes North (I think) of Cascais center, this area is stunningly beautiful. The hotel is fantastic and worth every penny I paid. Yes it's pricy, but worth it. I slept with windows facing the sea, hearing the waves each night. The hotel was sparkling clean, the service was awesome. I would definitely go back there.

A word of caution...the in-house restaurant is very expensive (paid close to 1 night's room rate) but the food is absolutely an experience not to be missed! The chief obviously puts a great deal of thought and creativity into every little thing that will be on your plate.

Fernando, their bartender, makes the most fantastic of fantastic sangria you will ever have. I still am dreaming of my chair on their balcony with his sangria. Scrumptious.

If you want an honest cab driver in the Cascais area, please call Antonio Capitao (Taxi-Cascais) Moble Number: +965 291 546. As you can see, I asked him for his card because I was so pleased with his service. Antonio was marvelous to us and likes to practice his English. He has taken people on guided tours of Lisbon and Cascais (the surrounding areas also). He is very well informed of all the interesting things to see and do in the area. He took us to Sintra and we pre-arranged a time for him to pick us up to take us back to the Fortaleza. A really nice man! If it weren't for Antonio, we wouldn't have gone or even known about Sintra and it was one of the hi-lights of our trip.

All you Experienced wind surfers and kite surfers (and I mean experienced), this is the area you're looking for. You'll have plenty of company there too. I saw a surf shop to the right of Fortaleza. The "big beach" to the right of the hotel. Take a walk down there...

Well, my Portugal trip was lovely and the Fortaleza made it perfect!

Room Tip: You want the 2nd floor. They upgraded us to one when we checked in.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Debbie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longboat Key
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2012

We stopped here for one night and stayed because of the Relais and Chateaux amenities we thought we would find. The view was very nice as it is on the tip of the coastline. The lobby entrance was very nice and public rooms were okay, but the rooms were terrible. We were upgraded to a superior room on the second floor, but it was very dark with heavy curtains and very low lighting. The bathroom was okay. When we went outside to sit in a chaise lounge, all FOUR were taken! I couldn't believe that a hotel would only have four chaise lounges. We went to the outside patio table and the maitre d completely ignored us as he carried on the conversatio with the next table. After a while we left and went to the bar. We waited so long in the bar to order a drink that we finally went up to our room because no one showed up. The restaurant, a Michelin one star, was excellent and the service was also. The room was very overpriced and I would not recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank DogDusty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
93 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

We spent the last 2 nights of our trip to Portugal here, and loved it. I won't repeat all the good reviews, except to note my agreement with them, but also to note that the in-house restraurant here is very pricey. On check-in, we were upgraded to a junior suite with champagne and fruit waiting in the room. The hotel is close enough to Lisbon airport for us to order the early (7am) breakfast and still make it to the airport for a 9am flight. The WiFi wasn't working but there is a business center with computer/internet.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yoritomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fortaleza do Guincho

Property: Fortaleza do Guincho
Address: Estrada do Guincho, Cascais 2750-642, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Cascais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cascais
#6 Luxury Hotel in Cascais
#6 Family Hotel in Cascais
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cascais
#7 Business Hotel in Cascais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fortaleza do Guincho 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Leaning over the Atlantic Ocean, the Fortaleza do Guincho welcomes a charming five star boutique hotel - integrated into in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux association - with a range of services that focus on the well being and peacefulness of the customers. The Hotel's restaurant, awarded with a Michelin Star, offers an unforgettable dining experience of Portuguese cuisine, made from the finest national products. The Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho has a warm and personalized service, making it the ideal place for a family holiday, board meetings or the perfect refuge for a romantic getaway. It has the perfect conditions for company meetings, special parties and events or banquets. Located just seven kilometers from the town of Cascais and 30 kilometers from Lisbon and the International Airport, the cultural and leisure offer in the region is rich and full of varieties. Along the cost line you will find Sintra and its magnificent monuments and natural landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For sea lovers abound beaches along the coast and all kinds of water sports and outdoor activities . The Hotel is surrounded by the best golf courses, while the Estoril Casino, the largest in Europe, is just a few minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fortaleza Do Guincho Cascais
Fortaleza Do Guincho Hotel Cascais

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