Dolce CampoReal Lisbon
What We Love
- The challenging Donald Steel–designed par 72 golf course
- Creative Mediterranean-influenced cuisine and an impressive Portuguese wine list
- Top-notch Decléor treatments at the spa
- WiFi is free
What To Know
- Secluded but not isolated, the property is a 45-minute drive from Lisbon
- Attracts lots of families in the summer months
- The unsupervised heated indoor pool is meant for exercise; swimming caps are mandatory
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Surrounded by meandering hills dotted with squat windmills and whitewashed villages, Dolce CampoReal is a handsome golf and spa retreat a 45-minute drive north of Lisbon. The mustard- and tangerine-hued façade contrasts with the verdant grounds and the vineyards and olive groves beyond. Inside, it’s classically styled with dark wood furnishings and iron-framed fireplaces. Contemporary flourishes include abstract oil paintings and wacky sculptures, and open-plan spaces allows the property to breathe.
Bed and Bath
A beige and cream color scheme accentuates the generous dimensions of the 151 guestrooms. The smallest room category (Deluxe Double) starts at 344 square feet. Ivory linens top oversize beds, and bathrooms feature sleek Roca tubs and funky double-head showers; neat rows of Gilchrist & Soames bath products line the marble-clad sinks.
Dine on traditional Portuguese cuisine at the Grande Escolha restaurant. Chef Rui Fernandes enlivens his patriotic menu with southern European flourishes. The wines, however, honor the nation, with regional labels brought to the fore. Tuck into light tapas dishes at the lively Sports Club, and start each day at the Manjapao breakfast salon; the buffet spread is gargantuan. The DiVine Spa overlooks the surrounding vineyards and has a tea room to relax in after a Decléor treatment. There’s an indoor lap pool and a heated outdoor pool with a Jacuzzi. Active types can hit the gym, tee off on the 18-hole par 72 golf course or go horseback riding at the equestrian center.
In the Area
Wine is big business in Portugal’s Oeste region. Guided tours and tastings take place at most wineries, including Quinta do Sanguinhal, where one of the wine presses dates back to 1871. For a culture fix head to Obidos to walk the medieval town walls and admire the enchanting views of dinky whitewashed cottages and a 12th-century castle. The daily market at Caldas da Rainha is at its loudest and busiest mid-morning. This is the place to shop for authentic handcrafted souvenirs. Hungry? Join the locals at family-run O Pátio do Faustino, in Torres Vedras, for fish and seafood grilled to perfection and served with carefree aplomb. Lisbon’s city center is a 45-minute drive away.
How to Get There
Luxurious hotel but very remote. You would almost certainly require your own transport. Taxis very expensive. No bus service. Hotel itself provides expected facilities usually associated with 4-5 stars. Outdoor swimming pool temperature could be a tad warmer.
It was amazing! Wish we had time to golf... can’t imagine what it would have been if we did. I’ll have to come to finish the trip properly but there was so much to see and experience. To the staff at Dolce CampoReal! Fantastic job... hats off to you!
We have just completed our 9th vacation at the Campo Real Resort, our first time staying at the hotel, previously we took an apartment of the hotel. So I write this as somebody who (and who's family) has a special place in their heart for Campo Real;
- we do like the place.
We first stayed there in 2007, stuck with it through it's ups and downs, change of ownership, move from Westin (when it was at its best) through no affiliation, to Dolce now. We have even got to know some of the staff over the years. So I write this from the viewpoint of a regular client who cares about the place, in the hope that the owners take note and that the management will take action.
This used to be the place with the most comfortable beds (Westin). We used to struggle to book other places because we always measured the standard of accommodation of other bookings against Campo Real - the accommodation was that good, that comfortable, that excellent. The housekeeping was pretty good too - if a little relaxed. The food was always a bit up and down, the menu always limited and extremely over-priced - as was the alcohol.
As to the specifics of our most recent stay:
First what we liked:
1. Great Swimming Pools x 3
2. Beautiful scenery
3. Fabulous breakfast
4. Great for v young families, very safe place for them to be in. Our kids were 5&7 when we first stayed there, and there are lots of families with very young kids around. - There is a kid's club - 2 sort of in fact
5. Deserts on the Terrace - chocolate mousse - YUM!
6. Adaõ the food and beverage manager - exemplary customer service.
What we did not like:
1. Our rooms were not hoovered (vacuum cleaned) for the first 8 days of our stay. We were trying to chill so left it for a while but, when we raised it with management, suddenly we had 3 managers turning up at once, there was a fuss and it got vacuumed for the next 3 days and then we had to call the desk again to remind them to do it again.
2 Dirty glasses in our rooms were not removed or replaced for a number of days - again until we asked.
3. We had to ask for bath towels as the cleaners did not replace them one day.
4. We had to ask for toilet paper on 2 separate days as the cleaners left us with none.
5.We had to ask for shampoo on another day.
6. The room was 1/2 cleaned one day, with pillows on the floor and glasses and rubbish collected but all left in the bathroom. - this was what pushed us over the edge with the lack of cleanliness in our room and made us call the desk.
7. Housekeeping in general. The hallways to the bedrooms are constantly dirty with lots of tiny amounts of plastic and paper and other rubbish on the floors.
8. The carpets are torn and worn in places in these same corridors.
9. The wallpaper in our kids (young adults now) room was torn.
10. Beds not very comfortable
11 Food: The menu, although it has improved somewhat in the golf club/terrace, it is extremely limited and extremely over- priced for what you get in all the restaurants (except breakfast). There is little variety unless you want to try the buffet restaurant (but that leaves you feeling you have over-paid for what is after all, just a buffet) and there are very few healthy options - none in fact as I recall.
12. Still on food: food and drink prices are crazy for what you get.The prices for the same items vary across the 4 different restaurants. - how can that be? They had the audacity to charge us €10 for 2 buttered rolls at lunch one day in the poolside bar. We refused to pay it. 4 rolls are €2.50 in the golf club / terrace. How can that be so different? The food - other than breakfast was boring! You'll see that I mentioned food as something that has always been disappointing.
13. The main swimming pool, had some type of algae growing underneath the edge just as you get out via the steps by the pool bar.
14. Noting that the resort is in an agricultural region, it still must be said that there was a terrible smell of manure/fertilizer the entire 2 weeks we were there.
15. Oh and I'm not sure how great it is for kids who might be running around in the very same place that guests have allowed their dogs to do their business in earlier that morning? Really? What's the policy for people with pets staying in the hotel?
So Owners and Managers - what's happened? How have you allowed what was a great place to sink so much? I know you are chasing the corporate market. However as somebody who runs a company that specializes running events, I would struggle to recommend the hotel as a venue. Yes the setting is beautiful, but you are letting yourselves down on the detail, and the food is just not good enough. Perhaps you think it is if you are only staying for a short time.
The hotel now looks tired, and needs investment. The beds are not comfortable, the house-keeping is awful both in the bedrooms and in the halls. The rooms need redecoration, and honestly those bathrooms - who really wants to get a good view of their loved-one as they are going to the toilet? Who particularly wants to hear them either? Come on- love has its limits! You need to get rid of those shutters, move the toilets so you don't bang your head off the shower (glass) wall every time you sit on it, and you could do with making more hot-water available. Another thing - we were left a bottle of water in the room upon our arrival, at the prices you are charging you could easily put one there every day.
So, I did consider writing this as a letter to management directly, the receptionist suggested that I should. However, if I am held to account for the work I do by the people who pay me, then so should you. We have been a long-standing loyal customer, and frankly our most recent experience has left us completely let down by you, we did not get value for money. The perception we have been left with is: "We are a hotel with 5 stars, let's make sure we charge 5 star prices, but let's see what we can we get away with not doing for how long before anybody notices"
Come on guys - take this from somebody who cares: this could be a great place - show some passion for it!