Sorry to say but this BB (sincerely it is a BB not a hotel) just didn't get it right... not by far.
For starters, this BB is very hard to find if you drive. A tip: print out the photos of the tourists who stayed here before and take it with you. Don't expect to find it on your own when you first pass it because the sign of this BB is a brass sign of an A4 sheet size with tiny letters. Also calling the BB's manager is a good idea. If all fails, type "Largo Alexandre Herculano" and try drive to the beginning of the street. However, location of this BB is great, only a few blocks from every main tourist attractions except only perhaps the Chapel of bones which is a little walking distance away.
The BB's garage is large enough only for 4 (small-medium size) cars. Calling the manager would be important because he could assist you in moving around the other cars to make yours fit. If you come in winter or in autumn where there is rain, this BB's garage is a great choice to unload.
This BB is a 14th century house with interesting antiquities (see other travellers' photos) although some are just plain kitsch. The house layout is pretty nice but because it is so old, the keys to the rooms are large chunky heavy keys that the manager asks you to leave it in a drawer of a cupboard in the BB because if you take it with you and lose it he can (understandably) never find a replacement. So if you have valuables and don't really trust other fellow travellers or don't want unpleasant surprises, keep your valuables locked in the trunk of your car would be a better option.
Rooms are ok not too small in comparison to the usual European standards.Some of the 80s brass lamps, chintz flowery drapes, potpurri and cheap silk flower arrangements could turn one off but the other lovely authentic pieces of furniture in the rooms make up for it.
However, staying there for a night, one does run into the shortcomings of this BB. The bed is soft but the blankets are too thin. The rugs are worn out and there are clouds of dust under the bed (somebody forgot to vacuum?). There are stray hairs in the bath tub (again the cleaning lady didn't bother to look?) and the bathroom was always cold because windows are old and couldn't close off the winter wind very well. There are no amenities whatsoever, except perhaps the half use bottle of soap and the usual set of clean towels. So if you are staying here do come in summer, the house would be cool enough and bring everything you might need including your hair dryer. Otherwise if you come in winter like we did, you will have to cut down your morning bathroom routines as you could freeze to death in the bathroom (even with hot water running perfectly). The breakfast was cold, too little and not of quality.
So what do we like best here? well the manager/owner's attempt to please is genuine and you can sort of forgive him for some of the shortcomings. Therefore if you like the idea of staying over with the town folk who, like your favorite uncle , will treat you with as much care and attention and let you wander around his nice house and look at his quirky antiques then this could be your thing. Whatever you do, it's best to stay here only in warm months.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Evoline ltd, Priceline, Travel Republic (UK) and Cancelon so you can book your Casa De Sao Tiago reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.