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“Well worth staying at, including for the museum across the street”

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Caramulo Congress Hotel & SPA
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caramulo
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Well worth staying at, including for the museum across the street”
Reviewed May 11, 2012

Caramulo is an interesting mountain hamlet, located in a remote part of central Portugal, and I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel do Caramulo there. My room was large and reasonably well appointed. I had only a single bed and, as is often the case in Portugal, I'm not sure if the hotel has any double beds, let alone queens or kings.

The restaurant was outstanding. One night I had the fixed-price dinner, which came with a regional egg-based dish with mushrooms served steaming hot in an onion soup-type dish. That was extraordinary. I believe it was there that I had a doce de bolacha for dessert. That, too, was something you can't find in the United States and a culinary delight.

The included breakfast was excellent.

Another nice touch is that the hotel has a functional Internet-ready computer for which it doesn't charge.

The common rooms on the ground floor are very pleasant. They're reminiscent of what you might find in an English country manor, an atmosphere contributed to by heavy rain and cold weather during my stay.

Quibbles: the water isn't hot, only warm, and it took five minutes to arrive at the bathroom sink in my fourth-floor room. The room lighting was dim. The TV set has no international channels.

While in Caramulo, you should, if you're the outdoors type, hike the five-mile-long Rota dos Caleiros, which takes you over thousand-year-old medieval stone roads on which you can see the ruts left by centuries of wagon wheels. The route is hard to follow, so bring a GPS receiver and download the route from the Internet onto your device.

The other thing is the museum, the Museu do Caramulo, located across the street. I suspect that this is one of Europe's better unknown museums. It has an excellent art collection and I imagine its automotive collection will appeal to car buffs. Most exciting for me was to discover there what may be the world's first mountain bike (or, to be precise, mountain-style bike). Built in England in 1891, this bicycle, the Quadrant, has a full suspension and a suspended seatpost. Only five were made (or maybe it's that only five currently exist). For me, an avid mountain biker, it was exciting to stumble across this historical artifact.

Room Tip: Some rooms face the Museu do Caramulo, and they're fine, but the ones on the other side of the h...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mtnbiker2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

This renovated hotel in the heart of the Serra do Caramulo is the perfect place if you're looking to chill out. The rooms have a good size, they're very clean, there's a spacious bathroom and the views are very nice. It's located right in front of Museu do Caramulo, which is a must visit for all car buffs.
The hotel's restaurant serves wonderful traditional portuguese fare.
The spa is the crown jewel of this hotel, offering a wide range of massages and therapeutic treatments. I highly reccommend the Vichy Shower.
There are 2 swimming pools, one outdoor and the outher indoor.
I liked my staying there so much that I'll be back this year.

Room Tip: The rooms with mountain view are great.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SonjaBirnbaum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

The hotel is a bit run down but still maintains some quality. It needs some improvements but what it offers is quite fair considering the prices it charges. Rooms are big and spacious but without much character and don't offer anything but the basics. The Spa isn't great, but it's clean and relaxing. The gym is big and well equiped. Some of the passages, namely between the pool and the spa need to be rethought. It makes no sense in having to pass through cold common areas of the building. Hotel management should also have more info on surrounding areas and activities. They gave us information on the turist office but it was closed throughout the whole time we where there (we actually passed by 5 times!!). I would have liked to go for a hike, as one of the best fixtures of the Caramulo is the natural lansdcape and the chance to get some great fresh air. A map would have done the trick, and better coordination with the tourist office is suggested. Wireless internet in the lobby, which is a nice area of the hotel. Breakfast is also quite ok. Jacuzzi wasn't working.
So overall, not too bad, fair for the price, but a lot of room for improvement.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Axe_Bav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

This hotel was a very pleasant surprise. Getting there is a bit tricky due to the narrow and mountain roads however, the trip there is also to be enjoyed. The scenery is just breathtaking and you can actually feel the silence and also the fresh air.
About the hotel, well, the staff is very friendly and always ready to help. We've stayed here between the 14th and the 16th of September 2011. We didn't have the look to get a valley view room, because a large group was there, but it was great nevertheless. The rooms are huge and tall (old buildings style) as also for the bathroom. The breakfast is also great.
It has two pools (interior and exterior). For the interior one, you need a cap. The water is warmed and it's a good option for cold mountain days. For the exterior pool, you don't need special equipment.
The food at the hotel restaurant is great. The prices are not exaggerated as it costs around 20,00 Euros/person (entrances, main course and desert with a 1.5 Lt. cold water bottle).
There's nothing much to do there, except mountain hiking and visiting the Caramulo Museum so it is a wonderful place to relax and escape from the busy cities and lower your stress levels :)
A great place to stay!

Room Tip: Ask for a valley view room, the view is breathtaking
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank paedrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

Lovely, peaceful place to rest! Amazing landscape! A very nice SPA! Hotel collaborators are very friendly and always available to help!
A very good restaurant in the Hotel! However, I would like to see in the hotel more typical Caramulo's honeys and jellys in the breakfast!
Nevertheless, you may find another excellent one in the village "Montanha" restaurant!! As well, "Marte" near the gas station! I've eaten there an excellent "cabrito"!
Caramulo it's the perfect place to do pedestrianism!
Do not forget to visit Caramulo's Museum! And to drink portuguese red wine from that region "Dão".

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank PaulaSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portugal
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2010

When reading all these reviews, I suspected the hotel would be a bit decadent, but no.
The rooms are clean, spacious, warm and with an excellent view over Besteiros Valley.
The service was impecable, the workers of the hotel have great training and really know how to welcome us.
The breakfast was great. Excellent croissants, several types of bread, eggs and bacon. Only fresh orange juice was missed there.
The restaurant was very nice. The food was really good and the price was right.
The spa was OK. A huge indoor swimming pool, sauna and turkish bath. But there are some details that may be improved, such as heating the corridor between the spa and the hotel.
All in all, a great hotel to serve as base to explore the mountains of Caramulo.
You get what you paid for.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ricandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coimbra, Portugal
Level Contributor
216 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2008

HOW TO GET THERE - the road isn't very good, it has lots of curves but it has good landscapes
THE VILLAGE - not much to do, except visiting the Museum and hiking on the mountains. They have some pedestrian routes, ask in the tourism information centre. If you want a (very) good restaurant, please go to "Montanha", excellent food, very very quiet and well decorated, prices on-the-average, good music.
THE HOTEL BUILDING - old, it was a sanatorium. Inside, it was refurbished and has very wellcome common areas, like the living rooms with nice&comfortable sofas and fireplace.
THE ROOM - our was on the 4th floor (order "valley view", or all you'll see is the car parking), with a big balcony, spectacular views, quite spacious and comfortable, good aircon, very clean. The bathroom was good, with good amenities. The bed was very comfortable
THE FACILITIES - the hotel is connected to "Animarcorpus spa" with a nice pool, don't forget to bring your shower cap (you can buy one), they provide you free towels. You have also a jaccuzzi and massages. The only disadvantage is that in the corridors that connect you to the spa is cold and it can be uncomfortable.
THE BREAKFAST - ok, continental&english breakfast, good variety of food/fruit/bread/jams.
THE OTHER GUESTS - many couples with children, as it was school hollidays, so the breakfast room and pool can be quite noisy and not so relaxing.
THE STAFF - nice, nothing to complain

  • Liked — The comfortable rooms
  • Disliked — Too many noisy kids, but....they were children!
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ana_teresa_simoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caramulo Congress Hotel & SPA

Property: Caramulo Congress Hotel & SPA
Address: Rua Doutor Abel Lacerda, Caramulo 3475-031, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Viseu District > Caramulo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caramulo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Caramulo Congress Hotel & SPA 4*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ever Caramulo - Mountain & SPA is a charming hotel, situated in Tondela, Viseu district, at an altitude of 1076.57 meters, and the mountain destination that enchants the heart of all of those who cross it. With it's very own microclimate, mainly due to the vegetation and topography of the land, it was once considered the senatorial destination of the Iberian Peninsula: the best air in Portugal! Here, the water is crystal clear and the vegetation is truly green, people are genuine and the customs are centennial, the architecture is delighful and presents well maintained gardens. ... more   less 
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