Lisbon has been on my travel bucket list for a very long time. This summer I decided it was about time to visit Lisbon, the second oldest capital city in the world (after Athens). Lisbon is built on seven hills, with the São Jorge hill being the highest of the city. Located on the summit of this hill is the São Jorge Castle, overlooking the city with some breathtaking views. On top of this highest hill, and right next to the castle you’ll find (if you search well) Solar Do Castelo, so be prepared for a climb whenever you go to the hotel! In this blog you can read about my stay, a complete hotel review.
Countless Lisbon travel tips can be found in my ultimate Lisbon Travel Guide including best places to see, things to do, places to eat, viewpoints and more interesting tourist attractions in Lisbon. Flying directly to Lisbon and in need of a local sim card? Click on the link to read my article about buying a sim card at Lisbon Airport.
About Solar Do Castelo
Solar Do Castelo is a small mansion built on the site of the former kitchens of the Royal Palace. It is a small, historic boutique hotel right in the middle of the historic center of Lisbon.
This hotel offers accommodation around the courtyard of this 18th century mansion. It is situated within the medieval Castle village, where traffic access is restricted to locals and taxis 24h a day.
With only twenty guestrooms, Solar Do Castelo isn’t a big hotel. However the perks of such a small hotel is that the service becomes very personal and intimate. The staff here is super friendly, they really get to know their guests and do their utmost to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
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Lisbon Heritage Hotels Collection
Solar Do Castelo is part of the Lisbon Heritage Hotels Collection.
The Lisbon Heritage Hotels are located in old houses and small historic buildings in Lisbon’s historic center. They were created with the idea of promoting charming hotels that reflect Portugal’s and Lisbon’s tradition and culture.
After staying at the Solar Do Castelo I can say they absolutely succeed in promoting these charming and historic hotels, tradition and culture.
I dare to say Solar Do Castelo has the most unique and best location in all of Lisbon. This hotel is located on top of Lisbon’s highest hill, and right next to one of the cities highlights and must do, the São Jorge Castle. It is located in one of the best neighborhoods in Lisbon, Alfama. The Solar Do Castelo is the only hotel located within the São Jorge Castle walls.
Narrow cobblestone streets will lead you to this hotel. It feels like stepping back in time when walking around this medieval village. I have experienced that these extremely narrow streets can be a real challenge for taxi drivers.
From the hotel it is only a short, 10 minute walk, to the center of Lisbon, so all main highlights and attractions are within reasonable (walking) distance.
Having said that, with only steep streets leading to the hotel, I don’t think it is suited for elderly people, nor for families with young children.
Room Solar Do Castelo
Walking into my room I immediately felt this medieval castle feeling. My room at Solar Do Castelo was located on the top floor of this small hotel, and had an impressive wooden ceiling and shutters on the windows. Having two windows overlooking the inner courtyard and part of the city and the Tagus River.
Opening the windows in the morning, letting the sun in during the sunrise is something I could wake up to every morning!
There was just one major downside to this room, which I only discovered when I tried to sleep at night. Apparently the roof is home to the local pigeons. I stayed here for two nights, but these pigeons kept me awake both nights.
Solar Do Castelo benefits for guests
I experienced that staying at the Solar Do Castelo goes with a handful of awesome benefits and extra’s. All complimentary and free of charge, just because you’re their guest.
Complimentary museum tickets
While checking in I received a card that granted me free admission to the National Museum of Ancient Art and to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, a kind gesture for guests of the Solar Do Castelo and the Lisbon Heritage Hotels Collection.
Golf cart pick up
As I mentioned before, this hotel is located on top of the highest hill in Lisbon. Which can be a challenge for people with walking difficulties for example. Solar Do Castelo has a golf cart to fix this problem. Guests can be picked up at the entrance of the castle walls. Just let the staff know when you require this golf cart pick up, and they will meet you there and drive you back to the hotel.
Complimentary Portuguese tarts
Famous in all of Portugal and originally from Lisbon, the Portuguese tarts are a must do when visiting Lisbon or Portugal. A Portuguese tart is an egg tart pastry, filled with custard and dusted with cinnamon. Lucky you if you’re staying at the Solar Do Castelo. Because they offer complimentary coffee, tea, water and Portuguese tarts all day long. No need to go out and buy these tarts, they are provided by Solar Do Castelo for free!
Complimentary port wine
Walking into my room after checking in, I was greeted by a bottle of port wine and two glasses. Unfortunately I’m not really into port wine, so I didn’t make any use of this benefit. If you’re a wine lover you will surely enjoy the complimentary port wine they offer you at Solar Do Castelo.
Solar Do Castelo’s hidden gem museum
Being located at such a unique and historical location, it goes without saying that Solar Do Castelo Lisbon has a lot of stories to tell. During the 1755 earthquake, the castle on top of the hill was severely damaged, but got partially reconstructed. A little palace was built in the place where the kitchens of the Royal Palace used to be, and is nowadays known as the Solar Do Castelo hotel.
During the excavations made by the National Archeological Preservation to install the technical equipment of the Solar Do Castelo, many artefacts were found, dating back as far as the Iron Age 600 BC. Some of these artefacts can be seen in the little museum the hotel created in the palace cistern, which resisted the earthquake and was preserved till today.
Even though it is just a small museum, it is absolutely worth visiting and seeing the artifacts that were found and date back so many years. A true piece of history.
Breakfast till noon
One benefit this hotel offers that many travelers and tourists will like. They offer breakfast from 7.30 till noon. Never have I stayed at a place where breakfast was served till noon. I’m usually up early, to get the most out of my day. But for those who are more relaxed, like to sleep in and still have breakfast, this hotel is your place to be!
Review Solar Do Castelo
Looking for a romantic getaway, or one of the most unique places to stay in Lisbon? Consider the Solar Do Castelo, it will surprise you in every possible way and it is truly a wonderful place to stay, like no other. Just start booking your next adventure here.
When you do start booking, I would recommend asking for a room at one of the lower floors, to avoid pigeons keeping you up at night. I fell in love with this place, and would definitely stay here again on a future trip to Lisbon. For a 3-day Lisbon itinerary, read all about it in the link. This city tour will take you along the best places to see in Lisbon.
Travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley stayed at Solar Do Castelo while visiting Lisbon on behalf of Traveltomtom and wrote this review about her stay there.