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“Unusual quirky hotel”

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Pestana Cidadela Cascais
Ranked #9 of 39 Hotels in Cascais
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Unusual quirky hotel”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

This hotel only opened in March but it's so cleverly blended in to a fortress you would have thought it's been there for decades. The hotel is actual quite simple. A minimalist lobby, an arty lounge area and a beautiful bar and pool. My room was a superior room overlooking the marina. There's only about 20 of these types of rooms and they are definitely worth the additional cost as they are beautiful. The bathroom is all white and is within the bedroom (with blinds if needed to preserve dignity). The beds are incredibly comfy and the marina view is stunning. These rooms have a verandah with a couple of sun loungers on. The standard rooms are not as nice and the views aren't particularly remarkable. The food in the restaurant was distinctly average but the service was good and the staff were friendly.

Room Tip: Pay extra for a superior room, they are well worth the additional cost.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ARCHIE0410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This was our first stop on a 12 day visit to Portugal. We spent 4 nights here and absolutely loved this place - can't think of anything negative to say. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to be helpful in all areas - housekeeping, restaurant and front desk. The rooms (I believe ours was a Superior room) were clean, modern and spacious and had all the amenities you'd expect from a 5* hotel. Beds were extremely comfortable and pillows were the best. We only had breakfast in the restaurant but was good variety and the view of the marina was a nice way to start the day. My only suggestion would be to add a higher quality granola to the cereal selection. Loved the comfy cushioned beds by the pool. The gym was good. It's small but I was always alone in there - had a good variety of equipment and a supply of clean towels. There are some nice boutique shops just outside the front of the hotel but inside the citadel walls that are worth browsing through - lots of unique handcrafted items and artwork. We loved Cascais and this hotel, which was just a 3 minute walk to the town center. Can't wait to go back and will definitely return to this hotel!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Where_to_next_79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brighton
Level Contributor
80 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Peaceful, great design, efficient, professional staff.

We were in one of the ground floor rooms with a small window overlooking the marina. A bit more information of the website would have been useful as we might have preferred a room with a view.

Otherwise, on our list of places to return to in order to escape UK winters.

Room Tip: Some rooms on the 2nd floor near the restaurant have balconies overlooking the marina. I'd selec...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank hove123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

A couple of your recent reviewers have I think been a little harsh.
Yes the orange juice is not freshly squeezed and that is disappointing. The breakfast could be a bit better as it resembles a breakfast at a big hotel rather than a boutique hotel. The Wi-Fi system is disappointing. In many places it is simply free. However it seems to be a Pestana policy not to have free Wi-Fi and the free access for 30 minutes is not useless but for those needing to check on work commitments not very convenient.
So the hotel is not perfect. What hotel is. What matters is the overall experience. We experienced none of the problems with the spa, pool, or room cleaning service. And by the way there are rooms with balconies. All even numbers from about 210 to 252 have balconies. We were in room 250 and it had a balcony and a wonderful view over the marina and the sea. Our package included a dinner in the dining room breakfast area. The meal was great. The service needed fine tuning. This hotel is only six months old and it is clear that the staff are trying very hard.
Our package also included a 45 minute cruise at sunset which was a great inclusion.
Pousadas are restored old public or religious buildings so think forts, monasteries etc. We have stayed in three including this one. All are managed by Pestana. Every stay has been great.
Cascais was no exception. We stayed for 6 nights. The room was wonderful. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was stylish with the only criticism that the hair dryer could have been more forceful. The bath creams and oils were of good quality. So what is there not to like. Nothing. It was a wonderful stay enhanced by the staff. We cannot remember the names but one Mariana was of invaluable assistance at all times and all staff were friendly attentive and helpful. The restoration of the hotel is architecturally fantastic. The entrance and the courtyard area are great areas with a very good tapas restaurant, an ice cream bar and cafe and some good quality niche shops.
And of course Cascais is a wonderful town ( really a suburb of Lisbon ). Lisbon is only 35 minutes by train for those wanting to visit.
In my view if you can get better than this Pousada in Cascais then well done. We thought the hotel and it's staff we're fantastic and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rob M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oostende
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Although this hotel is not in the absolute top category, we had a wonderful stay.
Super staff, partly lacking experience, but o so very much willing to make you feel special.
Brand new hotel, sober but not sterile minimalistic architecture.
Lovely pool, not crowded at all... Breakfast outside overlookig the marina.
Convenient public parking at 100m.
We loved it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank HendrikOostende
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

The Pousada de Cascais is situated in the centre of Cascais. The hotel has a great location, but the hotel doesn't offer the standard you would expect from a 5* Leading Hotels of the World.

The design of the hotel and also the furniture of the rooms is very nice.But the rooms (even the junior suits) don't have a balcony, a coffee machine or a kettle. The bed was very comfortable, but it smelled terrible. I asked for an other pillow and they could offer me only one. In the menu it was written that they have a wide variety of different pillows...

If you want to use the WiFi you will have to ask for a code that lasts only 30 minutes. After 30 minutes you will need an other code.

The breakfast didn't meet the expectations of a 5* hotel. The fruit juice was not freshly pressed and the fruits were immature. If you need some special dietary products or you have an allergy you will have a hard time in this hotel. I asked two days before arrival for gluten free bread, and I continued asking every morning for it - I never get it. They don't write the ingredients of the bread or cheese on the buffet so you will have no idea what kind of bread (wheat, spelt, rye) or cheese (cow, sheep, goat) it is. If you order a tea they will bring you a Lipton tea and the cappuccino is made with UHT milk. The breakfast room is also too small for all these guests. The tables are very small and you will have to wait for a table if you want to sit outside.

The spa consists of a steaming bath and a sauna (and a treatment area that I didn't use). In the shower of the spa there was a very strength smell of urine and in the water of the swimming pool there were some peaces of paper or something I couldn't identify. The steaming bath didn't seem very cleaned.
The gym exists of 7 tools and it's very small for such a big hotel. There were no cups for the water and no fresh towels.

The service was not very professional and helpful. I think the hotel has not enough stuff. They forgot my luggage in the room and as already mentioned they weren't able to organize gluten free bread. I think you can expect this kind of service in a 5* leading hotel of the world.

For the room service they will charge you 5 Euro in addition to the price that's written on the room service menu. These 5 Euro are not mentioned at all in the menu. You also will not find a map of the building in the room. That's a pity because the building is very nice and it has a wall on one side where you can walk around the fort.

Summing up I'm very disappoint about the Pousada de Cascais. I would not recommend it.
This hotel could be very nice, but due to the bad service/management it's really not worth its label "Leading Hotels of the World".

Room Tip: Don't book a standard room if you have to pay 660 Euro. It's very small, especially the bath...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank xlixda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

First off, this is a great hotel in a beautiful town with an excellent location. Here's the positives and negatives:

The Good:
1. Excellent Design - sleek, minimalist cool. Feels 5 star.

2. Great location. 2 min walk into town. Lovely position on marina and in historic fort.

3. Very comfortable rooms. Ours was on level 0 in the old vaulted part of the fort. Huge, very cool, all mod cons. Bit of a trek to pool etc but no biggie.

4. Great gym.

5. Good food, breakfast, lunch all excellent.

The Bad.

1. Not 5 star service. Although the staff were all individually nice, the sum is less than the parts. We weren't even asked how our stay was at the end.

2. My wife's nail treatment was a total failure. Polish would not dry and had to be removed immediately. I had it removed from the bill but no apology.

3. Poor cleaning of rooms. Very late - after 4 pm and we had to ask for it to be done once.

4. Wifi is fussy. You have to ask reception for codes that five you 30 mins of time. It's a pain after a while.

5. The overall impression is of quite junior, inexperienced staff who lack a genuine personal touch. We didn't see any duty manager type person who was taking control and looking after the details or just setting the tone.

Having said all that, we really enjoyed this hotel and would happily go back. I'd say another year and they will have ironed out the bugs.

Cascais is beautiful - a great town full of charm and with an upmarket feel.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ryan17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Cidadela Cascais

Property: Pestana Cidadela Cascais
Address: Avenida Dom Carlos I | Fortaleza da Cidadela, Cascais 2750-310, Portugal (Formerly Pousada de Cascais)
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Cascais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 39 Hotels in Cascais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Cidadela Cascais 5*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxury hotel, Pestana Cidadela Cascais, is set within the walls of the historical fortress, the emblematic 16th century Citadel of Cascais, in the centre of Cascais. It is a place where ancient meets modern, and many of the rooms are dramatically set into the former barracks which makes each space a different experience, while others, more modern, enjoy spectacular views to the sea or over the huge internal patio spaces. ... more   less 
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