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“Worth the Climb”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Solar Do Castelo

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Solar Do Castelo
Ranked #4 of 247 Hotels in Lisbon
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worth the Climb”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

The Location: Sited along the exterior wall of Castelo Sao Jorge (former Moorish castle), and located in one of the most traditional and vibrant Portuguese neighbourhoods in Lisboa; Solar do Castelo is about as ideal a location as you'll find in Lisboa. Its mix of romantic 17th century style and modern conveniences make it an ideal hotel for couples. The location is not well known by all Taxi drivers departing the Airport, so be sure to refer them to the Castelo Sao Jorge (which they will know). Taxi trip from the Airport was approximately 26 Euro at 08h00 on a weekend morning, but our return trip to the airport at 05h00 on a weekend was only 12 Euro. The area of the Castelo is flooded by tourists by 10h00 each morning, so I'd recommend getting your tickets to the Castelo (and you should see it) as soon as the ticket office opens at 09h00.

I noted below in the room recommendations that you're likely to hear some groundskeeping noise from the Castelo Sao Jorge every other morning or so. The hot topic on this board appears to be the Peacocks, so I'll comment on that too. Yes, you hear them. They start yelling at about sunrise, but it dissipates quickly. The peacocks live in the Castelo Sao Jorge, not the hotel, so they're not exactly in your hotel room with you ...although we did have one hang-out with us on the balcony. We loved the peacocks, and unless you're an extremely sensitive sleeper, they shouldn't deter you from staying at this hotel.

The Alfama District of Lisboa is within easy walking distance (you're seeing traditional restaurants and cafes within your first 5 minutes of walking. I will say that this location is best suited to moderately fit individuals. The cobblestone streets are uneven and would not be well suited to those with poor balance or physical disabilities. My girlfriend and I are very active, but even we were commenting on the soreness of our calves as we walked the 1km from the lively shopping district of Bairro Alto (lowertown) back uphill to our room at the end of a day touring. You can't avoid the hills, so you'll need to embrace them or look elsewhere in Lisboa. We visited all the major tourist destinations during day trips within Portugal, but if you like to immerse yourself in the local culture - you can do no better than spending your entire vacation in Alfama District. The locals are warm, and the food is fantastic. We had the fortune of visiting in June, during Festa dos Santos Populares (Popular Saints Festival) and stumbled upon the Alfama Bazaar (at the square beside the Sao Miguel Church) and learned that every weekend night in June is like an outdoor music and food festival for the locals. We only bumped into one or two Westerners there, but we ate, sang and danced with the locals. Different quarters of the bazaar showcase Fado (traditional music and singing, which seemed much more raw and passionate in this forum than in one of the tourist hungry Fado restaurants in town), Portuguese dance, and even some techno for the young folks. I Can't believe I didn't see this event or area listed in my guidebooks (Frommer's, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides... feel free to steal this and include it in your write-ups!).

I'm not an expert on the crime levels in Portugal, but I've been to some very sketchy countries during my travels and by comparison, I felt extremely safe in Lisboa (particularly the Castelo/Alfama areas). in Alfama, you see young kids out in the streets playing and churches seem to hold mass at all hours of the day... which is very reassuring to a cautious traveler.

Room: All rooms will seem small to North American travelers, but not to the Europeans amongst you. The walls of the room do an acceptable job of keeping noise from adjoining rooms out, but you will hear footsteps and the odd chair scraping the floor. I suspect that if you had particularly noisy neighbours, it would bother you. The great thing about this hotel is that it caters to mature clientele. Rooms that face the courtyard will have balconies with French doors.

Food: A fantastic free breakfast buffet is provided. It includes hot plates of bacon and eggs as well as cold cut meats, a great selection of fresh breads, smoked salmon and sardines, various cereals, crepes, and fresh juices and sparkling wine for those who wish to 'make your own mimosas'. There's no table service, but the breakfast hours run from 07h30 to noon. Try finding those hours for any other free breakfast at one of the major hotel chains. In your room, you'll find a decanter of free Port which is freshened daily.

Service: The front desk staff speak no less than four languages each (certainly English, French, German, and Portuguese) and they are very happy to help with taxi bookings, dining suggestions, sight-seeing recommendations, and a city orientation. Tourist maps are provided by the front desk upon check-in. We had an early check-out and were going to miss breakfast, but the front desk staff arranged for a plate of sandwiches to be placed aside for us prior to departure.

I honestly don't have anything negative to say about Solar do Castelo. I would absolutely stay there again, and I'd challenge you to find a better hotel in the vicinity of Alfama.

Room Tip: Room #19 is a corner room with a queen sized bed. A balcony overlooks the courtyard, but also overl...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Farewell_2_NS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
Bridgewater, N.J.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

Solar do Castelo is located within the castle walls - beautiful hotel-charming courtyard where in good weather you can take your breakfast. It is a very steep uphill climb to get there, but taxis can go right up to the front door, so that is not a problem. There is a peacock on premises that is beautiful but does sqwak at all hours. We did not mind it at all, but I think it did disturb some guests. All in all, it was a great choice. We would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Mona Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warnsveld, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

A perfect nice place, ideal for tourist to visit the old Lisboa.
Good way to fit a hotel in a old building,
It is in the centre of the old city next to the fort/castle which you should visit.
The view is breath-taking

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Cyp W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cobourg, Canada
Level Contributor
153 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

Beautiful hotel, my husband and I went here for a quick quiet holiday! The rooms are great, we had a king bed which was very comfortable! A little hard to find, but make sure you get a map printed out from the hotel before you go! The cost by taxi from the airport was $30 euros. Hotel staff are very accommodating and pleasant. There is peacocks at this hotel and sometimes scream at night time. Lol. There is a breakfast for $14 euros each, which has cereal, fruit, bacon, eggs, coffee and tea. This is nice but we found a great restaurant that had meat omelettes for only $6 euros each, so look around, the hotel was great, but we don't eat cereal or any of the breads. Hills are a big concern if you don't like climbing up at the end of a long day! I would not recommend this hotel for elderly or any one with kids, the last thing you want is to push a stroller up these!!!! And don't forget Lisbon weather in June is around 30, very warm. All in all very nice hotel, very clean well worth the money.

Room Tip: The lower the rooms the better the air works. Once again, Remember all the hills, if you do not want...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KdkPortugal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lathuile, France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

Its a unique B&B with a quirky design & very relaxed atmosphere. If you want something different from a chain then this is an ideal choice. After reading lots of reviews we got the hotel to organise a transfer from the airport for us. Cost was 40 Eur. I thought that this was expensive but as we arrived at midnight I really didn't want to fool around with figuring out the public transport this late at night. The golf cart then met us to bring us up the rest of the way. We did hear the peacocks - a little annoying but not too much bother - part of the experience of staying here. It is located up a steep hill on cobblestones so be prepared & where practical shoes. Lisbon in fact is pretty much all up/down. We ate dinner in a small restaurant just down the road which was ideal - 9.50 Euros for a plate of sardines. For me the wow factor was missing due to a couple of things and this is probably because I'm fussy!! The breakfast is small but adequate. However only egg of choice was scrambled. After a couple of days of the same choices I would of been bored with the selection. We were never approached by any staff to ask for example how our stay was or if the room o.k. or if we had a good day. I booked this trip via Vente Privee and I had called to request a double bed but unfortunately we were allocated a twin so a bit dissapointing. Overall it was great but not sure we would go back.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank LaThuile74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HeritageLisbon, General Manager at Solar Do Castelo, responded to this review, 16 June 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your feedback following your recent stay with us. Whilst we are pleased to note that you enjoyed our decoration and the relaxed atmosphere, we are very sorry that other things didn't go the way that should.
Concerning the breakfast, due to limitation of space on our buffet table and also for quality reasons, some products are made on demand, like different type of eggs. There is a sign on the buffet table stating that fact but anyhow that does not excuse our staff to ask our guests if everything is fine and if they are enjoying their stay. It is a point of honor for us to do our best to meet guest expectations and we are very sorry that we were not able to meet yours.
We sincerely hope that you give us another opportunity and be able to provide you with a most satisfactory stay.
Yours sincerely,
Diogo Laranjo
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
170 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

If you are going to Lisbon, then this is the place to stay. A wonderful hotel, smack bang in the middle of everything. The room was beautiful with fluffy bathrobes and slipper, not to mention the magically refilling port decanter. Breakfast is a real smorgasbord and can be eaten out in the garden watching the peacocks hoping over the castle wall. The staff couldn’t be anymore helpful than they were, booking restaurants and making sure we had a lovely time. Taxi drivers have a tough time finding the hotel and there are some hairy moments as they just about squeeze through the very narrow streets of the castle area. The peacocks are loud, but they are a small price to pay for this perfection.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Goosey2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nîmes
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

We loved our stay at Solar Do Castelo. The accommodation was superb with a lovely relaxed calm atmosphere. Staff were friendly and helpful at all times. Breakfast fantastic. A brilliant location too, a quiet sanctuary amongst the hubbub of visitors to the neighbouring castle. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Pamela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Solar Do Castelo

Property: Solar Do Castelo
Address: Rua das Cozinhas 2 | (ao Castelo), Lisbon 1100-181, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Lisbon > Castelo, Alfama & Mouraria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Lisbon
#5 Green Hotel in Lisbon
#8 Romantic Hotel in Lisbon
#31 Family Hotel in Lisbon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Solar Do Castelo 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Solar Do Castelo is truly a Romantic Boutique hotel in the historic center of Lisbon. The only hotel within St. George's Castle walls, at the top of Alfama, Solar Do Castelo is a small Mansion built on the site of the former Alcaçova Palace. With two floors and a mansard, an inner courtyard and garden, most part of the furniture was specially designed for the hotel in a Medieval Contemporary style. You will find welcoming rooms offering complete modern day comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solar Do Castelo Lisbon
Solar Do Castelo Hotel Lisbon

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