Looking to stay in an 11th century, fairytale castle village? With a view of an actual castle? With peacocks roaming free?! You’re in luck. Solar do Castelo Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, is just the place you’re looking for. This hotel is truly stunning, and the staff are kind and helpful. Here is everything you need to know to be convinced to stay here!
The 18th century building that houses Solar do Castelo is situated over the former castle kitchens (destroyed over the last 900 years). The tilework alone is absolutely stunning, and the attention to both detail and comfort were not lost on us! The courtyard boasts plenty of seating and a sense of calm as peacocks peek in over the adjacent Castle wall or walk next to you.
There is also a library and sitting room inside where you can enjoy coffee, tea, water, and sweets any time of day–including the famous Portuguese pasteis de nata. Every time we entered the property (after the hike up the hill!), we were instantly calmed and at-ease. Between the greenery, the water features, and that classic, local tilework, we felt that we were having a truly local experience, which is what we love in our travels.
Did I mention it’s the only hotel located within the castle village walls? The great thing about staying next to the Castle is that you’re next to the Castle. The compromise with that is the fact that the streets are too narrow for most cars (the hotel provides a transfer service to and from the airport for you), and it’s quite uphill!
Castles are always situated on the highest point for defensive purposes, so bring sturdy walking shoes, or take advantage of the hotel’s golf cart service if the hike up isn’t within your comfort level. You’ll have your pick of shops and restaurants nearby, so if you want a day without leaving the hill, you can do it!
Our room was on the second floor (third floor for Americans), and we had a view of the historic town and the sea below. Out the other window, we could see across the way to the Castle, usually with a peacock or peahen in view as well!
The bed was very comfortable, there was ample of seating, and the desk in the corner was helpful as well. There was also plenty of storage with both space to hang clothes and fold them into a drawer in the closet. We were also given a complimentary bottle of port upon arrival!
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The bathroom was tight, but functional. There was actually plenty of counterspace, which was a little surprising, in a good way. The shower was large, but I wasn’t a fan of the full-size toiletries. Our window over the sink overlooked the Castle grounds, which was a nice touch. Not pictured: toilet and bidet.
Breakfast is served from 7:00am-noon each day and is constantly refreshed. You can choose to enjoy the buffet indoors, or take your plate outside to the courtyard. Each morning, you can enjoy eggs, bacon, beans (very British), sausage, veggies, fruit, smoked fish, cold cuts, cheeses, a variety of breads both sweet and savory, yogurt, and more! On our last day, there was even a chocolate fountain with strawberries available!
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This hotel has its own museum! When the building was turned into a hotel, archaeological excavations revealed many artifacts from the Castle’s past and beyond. Here, you’ll find Iron Age artifacts dating from 600 B.C. next to artful pottery dating back to the 18th century A.D. It’s worth a visit and is completely free to guests.
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