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“Amazing palace, very poorly run”
Review of Palacio Belmonte

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Palacio Belmonte
Ranked #149 of 504 Specialty Lodging in Lisbon
Reviewed September 15, 2008

We stayed four days at the Palacio Belmonte from September 11th to September 14th and we'd like to convey our disappointment over the service received. It was nowhere near our expectations.
First we have to say the positive things : this is a great building, in quiet and astonishing surroundings and a very nice place to stay and discover. And staying in the same building where Christopher Colomb stayed in his time can only be an experience.

But this said, we have other grounds for disappointment:

1/ we had bought an "History and Culture" package and didn't get what was supposed to be included in it. Especially everything that was in relation with "special guest treatment" like welcome drinks and special attentions.
The only thing we got from the package really was the river view suite (nice) and the tour in the city because it seems the driver was more aware than the personal of the hotel about what the package was supposed to be. And the driver was great, made us discover his city with a lot of energy.

2/ Other than that, overall service was really poor. It seemed like management had run away from the hotel and let it to be run by a few "interns" desesperatly trying to figure out what client needs could be and how to cope with the duties. These young people in jeans and sweaters were probably very nice but they were nowhere like profesionnals and although you can understand there'd be few people for only 12 rooms, you expect better than that when you go to hotels of that standing.
The only time we got our entire breakfast was when a profesional maid suddenly appeared on Sunday morning.
On our arrival, we came very early but were told we would get the room - which was unoccupied- at 11:00. At 11:30 we were still waiting and decided to go, nobody even tried to apologyze to us.
Et caetera...

I am very surprised by the gap between the positive press exposure and the reality of the experience. It seemed like an hotel where management had deserted during our stay. We thought at one point that it would improve for the week-end but it really didn't.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank casan0va
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 65 of 92 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2008

My drinking partner and i were surprisingly transferred to the Palacio at the last minute due to flood problems at our other hotel -at no extra cost.! A free taxi took us to the door and we were met by the manager for a guided tour of this amazing ,historic hotel.We were given a huge two bedroom ,two bathroom suite with sea views from the terrace.Could'nt believe our luck! Breakfast of our choice(everything!) was brought to our room each morning and we felt like royalty.The location is unbeatable as it is situated alongside the Castle wall.Although we had a right result and should'nt be too negative the gardens looked as if they needed a bit more attention and the service a little slow and lacklustre at times (cold coffee ! ),but all in all a very memorable experience.Reccomended if you have the cash to splash.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank neiljtemplar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2007

Our recent stay at Palacio Belmonte was very special: this was a 14th-century palace that has been exquisitely restored in such a way as to evoke the ancient aristocratic atmosphere while allowing for some of the new and creative design trends (including a few quirky ones) to come through. From the garden and from the terrace, the views of Alfama nearby, of Lisbon below, and of the Tejo further away are truly breathtaking. The public space is truly lovely with wide wooden floor planks, immensely high ceilings, and beautifully hand-tiled walls. We certainly enjoyed "imagining" ourselves transported to a different era as we stopped in the lounge and in the library.

Our suite was quiet, very comfortably heated, very clean and quite spacious, and we enjoyed the welcoming touches in the form of a fresh fruit plate as well as small bottles of table wine and water in the room. Service was outstanding: polite, solicitous yet discreet, and prompt. We felt like private guests at a very palatial home!

The "but" has to do with some very minor details that should be very, very easily fixed: bed and bath linens, though clean, were worn and should be replaced; although I don't think there was any reason for real or even legitimate concerns, some of the bedrooms could use window shades to allow for some controls of exterior light and to ensure guest privacy; and while one probably would not stay at Palacio Belmonte for business reasons, it probably would not be a bad idea this day and age to update guests' needs for internet & wireless access for at least personal use. We bring these up only relative to the high rates Palacio Belmonte commands: we were quite willing to pay for the unique opportunity to stay at this historical palace that has been so rigorously restored, but considering the price, a little more attention by management to some of the small gestures of luxury would really complete a truly memorable stay.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank pln1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2007

I routinely check this site before foreign hotel selection and this is the first review I have written. We have travelled all over the world and generally stay at 5 star hotels where ever we go. I have to say the Belmonte is the coolest, most unique hotel we have ever stayed at. The location, atmosphere, room, service and history of this hotel are simply not to be matched. Now, this is not your typical 5 star luxury hotel (although it is pricey) - the room we stayed in was the Gil Vincente suite. Fairly simple but clean and spacious with large bathroom, really nice room with sitting area and fireplace. But the real feature, at least for this suite, is the rooftop terrace with stunning view of the harbor and old Lisbon where you can eat breakfast, enjoy an evening drink or view the stars at night. The hotel is situated near the top of the hill where the castle is located, close to the entrance to the castle. It is a fairly steep climb up the hill, but easily walkable. Also close the the Alfalma area where there are numerous resturaunts. Make sure to go to one of the places where they have a Fado singer - simply awesome.

Also, as some of the other reviewers wrote, the layout and size of the hotel do give you the feeling that you are the only people in the hotel many times. Although you don't generally see the staff around, they are extremely responsive to anything you need.

All in all, well worth the price. A great experience. If you go to Lisbon, you have to stay at this hotel.

Stayed: October 2007
3  Thank tagosto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2007

We stayed at the Palace Belmonte from the 22nd of June till the 24th. This hotel is a real hidden gem!! The location is perfect (close to the castle) and the service is great (eventhough the portugees way of service is not always up to other standards).
The hotel is very romantic so I would really advice this hotel for a honeymoon or a romatic city trip. The rooms are very spacious, clean and the architecture is out of the ordinary. The Bathroom is also very spacious and really superb. If you decide to stay in the Palace Belmonte, please go the the main terras and look at the amazing view you have over Lisbon, it's fantastic.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank PH10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2006

Before going to the Belmonte we read the previous review and looked at the web-site - and were still surprised by what we found. This is not a five star hotel - it is hardly a hotel at all, being run like a private house which happens to have guests. The public rooms are truely amazing with beautifully preserved tiles, tons of books and some fine furniture. Our bedroom was, however, disappointing in that it lacked some very basic amenities (eg a hairdryer, reading lamps near the bed) and was not very well maintained - lightbulbs missing, creaky shutters. The bathroom was very small and narrow making it almost impossible to get in and out of the bath. There was some lovely black marble tiling but also some very tatty laminate making it look as though the money had run out before it was really finished. The staff were helpful and pleasant. Breakfast was nothing special. The location is absolutely wonderful with views across the Alfama to the cathedral and down to the Tagus. That said, we enjoyed it. If you are looking for 5 star luxury, don't go. If you want a truely memorable experience then go. However,the prices on their web-site are quite ridiculous - so bargain hard!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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6  Thank lambley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2004

This is a place you cannot help but rave about; accomodations, location, service all top notch! We were only in Lisbon for a full day and night but after EXTENSIVE online research and the most AMAZING helpful guidance from Fernando Malveiro (Director at the Belmonte,) we literaly had a whirlwind tour of the most magical place and were almost ready to scrap the entire cruise just to spend more time in Lisbon (and at the Belmonte!) Fernando also arranged for a personal driver (ask for Mr. Fontes) who picked us up at the airport and gave us probably the best personal tour I've ever had in any European city and we also had one of the most memorable meals ever (with ridiculously cheap but fantastic wine) at Cafe Resto (otherwise known as Chapito.)

Back to the room- phenomenal!!! We had booked a smaller room but when we got there the hotel wasn't full so they put us in the 3-floor suite (at no additional cost,) with the marble bathroom, bedroom with 360 degree views of Lisbon and a welcome bottle of local wine. I cannot say enough things about this gem of a place- we WILL go back!

  • Stayed: September 2004
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18  Thank autowife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palacio Belmonte

Address: Patio Dom Fradique 14 | Castelo, Lisbon 1100-624, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Lisbon > Castelo, Alfama & Mouraria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #149 of 504 Specialty Lodging in Lisbon
Price Range: $350 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Palacio Belmonte 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the Belmonte there is no crowd, no noise, no chocolate on the pillow, no television, just fresh air, space, light, your own laughter and music. For an experience beyond compare, far back to our roots, to our childhood, to fantasy, let Palacio Belmonte be your house while discovering the wonderland of Portugal. Palacio Belmonte offers 10 suites, all different, all unique, some with terraces, winter garden or built in a Roman tower with 360º view or in a Muslim one on top of a 40 meters high rock, all equipped with fully modern bathrooms, natural ventilation, a Mediterranean garden and black marble swimming pool to relax, read or dream. House of the Earl of Belmonte, Cabral and the Marquis of Atalaia for the past 500 years, the Belmonte is a stunning sculpture, a 2197 years synthesis of Portuguese history. It became a few years ago the House of a Landscape Collector. He then decided to open his house to a very few for whom luxury is synonymous of encountering one's emotions. Palacio Belmonte prides itself on delivering memorable unique customized experiences for those who choose to stay with us. For this reason Palacio Belmonte suggest experiences that can be personalized for you, whether it be a fabulous sunset in a yacht on the Tejo River, a private tour to unique architectural features of old Lisbon, your own private Fado singer, a special day out with wine, olive oil tastings and Lusitano horses in the Alentejo or maybe a dinner at the unique local "Tascas" in which you will experience the real authentic Portuguese hospitality. The Belmonte is the most veiled secret in Lisbon... And definitely a place to experience! History, Architecture, Culture, Sustainable Development... Here you will not find a standard accommodation but a single life option! While receiving the highest level of service, you will be merged by this deep philosophy of well being, exclusivity, simplicity, natural comfort, intimacy and introspection. Palacio Belmonte is a real alternative way of life... Come join us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palacio Belmonte Hotel Lisbon

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