Pombal was just a place to stay the night over on our way north, and small and unassuming town as it is, we didn't expect much by way of accommodation. Were we in for a surprise! From the outside, the hotel, situated within a commercial building facing the main square, looked no different from any small town building, low, gray, nondescript, about a few decades old. The entrance which is through the commercial center evokes nothing interesting either. But as soon as you enter, you notice right way that it is new, it is spanking clean, and stylishly designed but discreet.
The bedroom was large, as well as the bathroom. The closets were large and well-built. The bed was king-sized and comfortable, pillows with just the right firmness. Wifi was good, and TV had a good range of channels available. These 2 were important, as there was really nothing to see or enjoy in town, quiet as it was, that evening. The bathroom was large, well-lighted, and with a spa shower. The facilities and furnishings in the bedroom and bathroom were all of excellent quality and workmanship (no chipped and cheap tiles, for example). It was obvious that the hotel area occupying the building was newly renovated from its previous purpose -- perhaps for offices or apartments. You can still see that from the size of the room and the bathroom. Having stayed in so many hotels in many countries, including in luxury chains, we noted the exceptional quality of the construction, both of the material and the workmanship, which was quite surprising for a small town place knowing that even big-name hotels have sometimes compromised on these. We commented on this to the receptionist when we were checking out, and were told that the owner was a builder -- so there you go.
We had a room overlooking the square so had an excellent view of the church and the goings-on in the evening of the arrival. We had first row view of the start of the religious procession that was taking place that night (it was Lent). Even with the location of our room, it was quiet, and since the hotel is set back a bit from the road, the noise of cars was hardly audible.
Breakfast was okay, nothing exceptional. What was missing though were fruit and juice. Don't know if this was typical, but certainly not served on the Saturday we were there.
The receptionist was very helpful and really nice. We had a bit of a car problem and she offered to help the next day, if we thought we might need some assistance (in the end, we didn't). On check-out, I was offered a nicely wrapped bag of choco-covered almonds, a common Easter treat here in Portugal. We left with a smile on our faces, and a silent promise to ourselves to return should we be in the area again.
Don't expect luxury and pampering and other diversions on offer, nothing fancy here -- this place simply provides bed and breakfast in a pleasant atmosphere, but they provide them with quality that surpasses many other places with flashier surroundings, and far cheaper too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the Cardal Hotel, class, good taste and comfort join in a perfect harmony towelcome you. Located in the historical area, right in the heart of the city of Pombal,it is a major hotel in the central region, halfway between Lisbon and Porto.Recently renovated and amplified, with a special significance to the balancebetween functionality and aesthetics, throughout its 35 rooms and 2 suites.By its location and surroundings, the Cardal Hotel offers a peaceful andcomfortable stay, where kindliness and hospitality are typical characteristicsof its service. All this atmosphere of comfort is complementary to thefollowing services: Reception 24 hours a day, Bar, Laundry, Business center,Room service, Lounge with library, Garage, Polyvalent rooms for organizationof events, Wireless Internet connection throughout the hotel and Shoppingcentre with hairdressers, beauty specialist, florist and readymade shops. ... more less
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