|Rental type||Bed and Breakfast|
|Minimum Stay||1 night|
|Living space||5000 square feet|
Suitable for childrenAsk
Suitable for the elderlyAsk
|Theme||Historic, Luxury, Mountain, Rural, Village|
Description from the owner
Casa Alta Royal Lodge is a former royal lodge located high within the precincts of the Castle of Ourem just 12 minutes by car from the famous Fatima Shrine and in the center of many must-see cultural and historic sites. Prices quoted are the suggested donations to the â€śCastelos de Portugal Casa Altaâ€ť non-profit Association and include the estimated standard service costs and yearly membership dues for members and their guests staying at Casa Alta in accordance with the Bylaws.Membership costs 1 EUR. and if you are renting it is collected at check in.
The Estate has the look and feel of a miniature chateau, decorated with beautiful a...Read more
Elegant, Charming, Historic, Casa Alta Royal Lodge
Ourem, Costa de Lisboa, Portugal
Additional Location Information
Beautifully situated half way between Porto and Lisbon Casa Alta is in the center of many must-see cultural, religious and historical sites. Located, itself, in the charming, medieval castle-village of OurĂ©m, it is scenic, tranquil, and very interesting. The Castle in the center is a romantic ruin but it is fun to explore. It is a very special place. Casa Alta provides on-site free parkinng.
Location Type Mountain, Rural, Village
Rates shown in $ USD (Rental listed originally in EUR) (change)
|Rate Summary||$448 - $597||$448||$2,567 - $3,595||$0||1 night|
|Nov. 15 2012 - May. 9 2013
|May. 10 2013 - Oct. 15 2013
|Oct. 16 2013 - Nov. 14 2013
|All Other Dates||$448||$448||$2,567||-||1 night|
|Can't find rates for your travel dates? Contact the owner|
- Damage deposit - $321 / stay - Security Deposit
Additional notes from owner
10% added to rates for fees, levies and service
AvailableUnavailable Last updated: April 09, 2013 ◀▶
What Past Guests Are Saying
An amazing Stay
My experience at the Casa alta Royal Lodge was absolutely amazing and delightful. The bed and breakfast was very clean and comfortable. The host, Father Mariani, was such an amazing person and was eager to answer questions pertaining to the history of Ourem and the Casa alta. The guided tour in English was a great addition. The caretaker, Valentina, prepared five star dinners that were presented in a beautiful manner. The filet was the best I have experienced in Europe. Everything was very clean and decorated superbly. It was so fascinating to hear the history of the home and the surrounding castle. During my stay at Casa alta, I experienced spiritual and mental enrichment; I had an amazing experience and I cannot wait to return. This is truly the gem of Portugal. Thanks!
Locust Grove, VA, US
Luxury residence within castle walls
My husband and I enjoyed 2 nights there and then decided to return with our son later in our trip. Fr. Mariani is a superb host, caring for every need. The house is lovely and very personal. You really feel you are in Fr. Mariani's home. Fireplaces in each room, luxury linens and views of the valley from the castle heights. A real gem of a small hotel.
We recommend you order dinner there, too. Our dinners included appetizer, main course wonderful desserts and wine.
There are only 3 guest rooms,all lovely, so book early. The suite has a sitting area with fireplace, the others also have fireplaces and baths. The garden is gorgeous, there is a pool and an arbor- all overlooking the castle up the hill and the valley below.
If we travel to Portugal in the future, we plan to stay at Casa alta.
I've waited a couple of weeks before writing my review, because I thought the perfect words would come to me. They have not. Words just can't describe my experience in this magical, beautiful, serene place. From the moment we were met at the door by the fabulous Father Mariani and Valentina to the moment we left in tears, our visit was nothing short of magical. Upon walking into the manor, we were immediately in awe of the beauty that exists within those walls. It was like walking into a museum, in the way that every item in the home had significance, but it was not like a museum, in that it was extremely welcoming, as well. We felt at home immediately. Father welcomed us as a family member would. Everywhere you look there is beauty in this place. The bedding was luscious. The attention to detail was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I felt totally taken care of, both body and soul. The meals cooked by Valentina were out of this world. So delicious! And then once we stepped outside onto the terrace, our hearts stopped. It was like being at a resort, with flowers blooming everywhere, thought put into seating arrangements, how to best serve their guests. Sitting in the turret which extends beyond the castle wall was like floating in air, with breathtaking views of the valley beyond. We had just come from a week in Paris and thought that Paris would be the highlight of our trip. But we had no idea what awaited us in Portugal at the Royal Lodge, Casa alta! The pictures don't do it justice. But even more than that, it was the warm, inviting presence of Father John and Valentina that really made my stay so magical, so healing, so soul-nourishing. I would highly recommend Casa alta (I actually already have!) to friends and family. It is an experience unlike any other. I can't wait to go back!
Beautiful rooms and fantastic views
The 4 of us (wife and I and our sister & brother-in-law) stayed with Fr. John Mariani and his house keeper Valentina at Casa alta Royal Lodge for 2 nights in early May 2012 during our pilgrimage to Fatima. The whole experience was very good, the rooms were beautiful (especially the suite) and the views were fantastic. We had dinner in the Lodge with Fr. John on our 2nd evening and he made us feel very much at home. Fr. John was happy to explain the history of the Lodge to us which was interesting. We did not have time to sit in the garden where there is a pool but we could image how peaceful and lovely it would be in the summer. The lodge is about 15 minutes drive away from the Fatima Shrine where there is plenty of free parking. All in all it was a very good short stay and I'd recommend the Casa alta Lodge.
Nb: Our TomTom had a bit of a problem locating the Lodge, it is situated on the immediate right when one passes through the archway on the way up to the castle
Cynthia and Peter
Our favorite inn in Portugal
We arrived to Casa alta the last week of June, when the hydrangeas were in full bloom and the garden was breathtaking. I agree with other postings about the beauty of the place, the warmth and hospitality of Fr John and his assistant, Valentina, and the fresh and delicious meals. I want to add a few more observations. Although this is a "mom and popâ€ť operation, the service and attention to details were exquisite: for example, wine and orange juice brought to the garden while we swam, a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. We spent a relaxing day walking the castle town of Ourem - views of the surrounding valleys and hills from the castle ruins, brightly white-washed houses, flowers blooming (even in three inch patches of soil next to the road) and tourist-free (the biggest group we saw was a van -load of elderly locals brought up to church). When we returned from the heat of the market in Ourem or sightseeing in Tomar, there always was a cooling breeze in the garden and in our room (Braganca suite) whose windows on opposite sides of the house provided cross-ventilation. My husband was reminded of the Cote d'Azur, without the expensive, touristy trappings and crowds. We looked forward to dinner each night both for the delicious food and local wines and for the lively conversation with Fr John. Next time we travel to Portugal, we definitely will be returning to Casa alta!
heaven is a place on earth
Casa alta is a real gem, how do I even begin to describe it. We were picked up from the bus station by our most gracious host, Fr. Mariani himself. After a 15 minute scenic drive we arrived at the lodge high up on the hill just below historic Ourem Castle. The moment I stepped into the house i felt transported into another time where everything was more genteel & gracious. Aaaah, the gardens with a view to the castle above and the village in the valley below. The Duchess of Braganza room was exquisite with windows on both side, soft & fragrant sheets, own fireplace, live orchids on the bedside tables, interesting books. Truly, love is in the details. Dinner was an event in itself prepared to perfection by Valentina. She does serve big though, so be warned! Spent 4 glorious days in Casa alta wandering in the quaint village nearby, going up the castle, visiting Fatima, daytrip to alcobaca & Batalha, and taking lots of pictures from every angle you can imagine. I left with a prayer in my heart that i can go back to casa alta with all my loved ones. And please God, in Spring so i can enjoy the garden in full bloom!:-))
A wonderful experience
Dear Fr. Mariani,
We want to thank you for the wonderful experience of being guests at "Casa alta" in November 2010.
The accommodations' were magnificent and the meals were superb, achieving the pinnacle of culinary excellence.
You and your staff were extremely gracious and hospitable.
We are grateful for the spiritual guidance and our minni retreat in Fatima and Ourem. The exposure to such scared places as the Church of the Holy Miracle in Santarem as well as many other churches, monasteries, castles and historic sights were all very inspiring and beautiful.
We sincerely hope and pray that you and those of Casa alta will continue with your work and spiritual hospitality well into the future.
Dr. & Mrs. George H. Miller
Unique old world experience with breathtaking views & mon cons
Just outside of Fatima, Portugal. Casa alta is a restored former royal spiritual retreat house built in the 13th Century by the Queen Saint Isabel of Portugal. The proprietor is an american priest of the Order of Malta, Fr. John Mariani. Your first step inside is back into another century. Set like a white pearl on the edge of the narrow ring road leading to the Castle of Ourem, atop the most prominent mountain near Fatima, this bread and breakfast is exquisitely appointed with glowing fireplaces, works of art, religious artifacts, and period furniture, providing an intimate, peaceful experience. Modern bathrooms, central heat, and wireless internet access. Outside is a natural stone slab patio garden into outdoor living space, with alcoves, shrines, fountains, flowers and shrubs arrayed around a refreshing dipping pool. A table built into the stonewall fortifications that support the garden atop the mountain creates one of the most breathtaking and peaceful picnic scenes in Europe.
Cocktails and meals are served in the Great Room overlooking vineyards and forests, with the sacred shrine of Fatima looming in the distance. There are great scenic walks around the remains of the Castle of Ourem and into the narrow cobblestone roads of the village hanging just below. A private guided walking tour of the shrine and grounds in Fatima where, in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three poor shepherd children, can be arranged with the leading English speaking author on the subject, Mr. Leo Madigan. I highly recommend the Casa alta to pilgrims, the curious, or just weary travelers to Portugal.
Rooms are simple yet historically appropriate. Restful and very relaxing with very knowledgeable host regarding history of and things to do in area.
A little piece of heaven on earth - Casa Alta
A true castle in the clouds
My family and I have been coming to Casa alta since 2006 and we would not think of staying in Portugal without spending some time relaxing at the Casa. The staff is exceptional and the meals prepared by Valentina are world class. Fr Mariani has created an oasis of beauty and elegance in a setting most people can only dream about. Whether strolling in the Casa gardens of wandering around the castle this place is absolutely stunning. Stay one night at the Casa and you will be coming back forever.
The Hague, Netherlands
Family Steenland - Dilbeek (Belgium)
Not that easy to find, but when you arrive at the Lodge a warm welcome of father John makes it clear : this stay will be nothing like what one is used to experience in any hotel. You feel like coming home in a safe and cosy place.
We had the suite and a separate bedroom, wth wonderful views.
Breakfast was very nice. Unfortunately we did not have the time to enjoy diner which is surely exquisite.
van G R
Charming retreat, centrally located in Portugal
The Casa alta Royal Lodge is a true gem, and one of the best places at which we stayed in Portugal. The old city of Ourem is not well known, but very charming and historically significant, and an excellent location for venturing to Tomar, Fatima, Batalha, Coimbra, Alcobaca, Leiria, etc. The Casa alta occupies an ideal location on the mount, next to the castle, with spectacular views to the west--well worth the drive up. The Casa alta is very tastefully decorated and comfortable. Having stayed here for three nights, we would strongly recommend staying for at least this long. The dinner served at the Casa alta was also one of the best of our trip--and we tried to dine at the most highly regarded and rated restaurants in Lisboa and Porto--and certainly the best in the area. The Casa alta would also be an ideal place to stay to relax and take in the countryside, with its charming garden and pool. Fr. Mariani is a wonderful host, full of insights, stories, expertise, and good cheer.
A very peaceful charming place to relax and admire nature
Father Mariani is a gracious host who takes care of all your needs. Visiting the holy shrine or our lady of Fatima is sooo easy even though is a bit far from Casa alta.
We had a great time! Thanks to Father Mariani and the house maid Valentina who feeds you well and keep your room very tidy!
Beautiful stay in marvelous ambiance
We found this accommodation by chance and in the end regretted not to have more time to spend at this wonderful place. Our room (Oureana) was just as in the pictures and John was the friendliest and most entertaining host we met during our travels in Portugal. This is the perfect place if you plan to travel to Tomar, Batalha and alcobaca - you are right in the middle of these spectacular sights. We would have loved to stayed longer, sip our drinks beside the pool and enjoy the good food, but unfortunately we were traveling on a tight schedule. However, next time we are in this area we will definitely stay in the Casa alta again. Many thanks to John, Valentina, Igor and last but not least Prince!
Casa alta is a unique property, with a unique host. The view over the Ourem Valley is magnificient, night or day, and the swimming pool and terrace provide an exclusive and relaxing retreat. Father John is a great character and raconteur, and a helpful and hospitable host.
An enchanting guest house in a stunning environment
We arrived rather tired after a long day in Lisbon. Although I had been to OurĂ©m before, Father Mariani's driving instructions proved to be very useful; the last few miles are always quite tricky.
What a wonderful sight it was to see Casa alta again ... and what a grand reception we had.
Duchess of Braganza Suite was waiting for us; a freshly lit fire crackling in the fire place. The room was immaculate and it radiated comfort and peace.
We unpacked, refreshed ourselves and then met Father Mariani in the drawing room (again a cozy fire in the fire place) for drinks. We enjoyed a delicious dinner with very pleasant red wine and then retired to our room.
We spent the next several days at Casa alta, relishing the tranquillity and taking a delight in the breath taking views from the terrace. The early March sunshine was pleasant and we had lunch outside. Even thought this was, horticulturally speaking, not the best time of the year, the garden was already impressive.
Father Mariani was, as always, a most interesting, charming and very attentive host.
The only caveat about Casa alta: this is not a place for noisy parties. Young people that want loud music and lots of beer will definitely not enjoy Casa alta.
Not recommended for children. The house is full of beautiful and fragile decorative items. It is not the sort of place where you can leave a child unattended for more than 10 nanoseconds.
An enchanting guest house in a stunning environment.
Discreet and attentive service.
An excellent and unpretentious cuisine.
The atmosphere of a real retreat.
An ideal starting point for many interesting excursions.
Highly recommended to anybody who wants to relax, meditate, think, read or just listen to sound of a gentle breeze.
Father Mariani, thank you for creating this very special place.
We hope to be back soon.
East Hampton, NY
Lush and relaxing
I was debating whether to stay in Fatima or somewhere else nearby as a local base for regional touring and heard "word of mouth" about Casa alta.
I am so glad! There is a constant breeze and even in March we were able to use the pool at the end of a long day. Valentina, the housekeeper, delivered breakfast trays to all of us in the morning. Each room has a fireplace and some of us opted for cozy fires at night. The food was delicious, by the way. There was something once-upon-a-time about the antique linens, all the old silver and the view of the castle towers about100 feet away. I can't wait to go back someday!
New York, New York
A piece of Heaven on Earth
I have just returned from a vacation in Portugal with friends and we all agree that our stay at Casa Alta was a magical part of our trip. Casa Alta is a painstakingly restored and elegantly appointed inn.
Father Mariani has furnished the rooms with his vast collection of antiques and an impressive array of fine linens. The rooms are are very cozy, and charming and while not enormous, there is plenty of room.
Outside, several separate patio areas afford a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. You are at the TOP of the highest hill in the area so you can see everything from this vantage point. The patios are beautifully landscaped and they frame the pool area which has its own set of two four poster beds which provide an ideal spot to luxuriate in the sun or take a siesta.
The service at Casa Alta is splendid. Igor, the valet, did a wonderful job of seeing to all our needs and Valentina, the cook and femme de menage is a jewel. In our short visit we were able to sample a breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals were absolutely fabulous. Lunch was served on the terrace with gleaming china and silver. The composed salad we ate was made with fresh herbs from the garden and was bright and flavorful. Dinner, served in the dining room, after cocktails in front of the fire looking out on the twinkling lights of Ourem, was a masterpiece. Consomme with house made meat-stuffed pillows of pasta began the meal. Succulent pork roast with buttery velvet mashed potatoes was followed by crepes with ice cream and drizzles of cassis. Very good local wine was served throughout. At breakfast, if you wish to have eggs, they are cooked according to your liking. Rolls and toast are accompanied by butter and assorted jams. The culinary experience here is second to none.
All in all, my experience at Casa Alta was wonderful. It is an aerie haven for travelers in Portugal.
San Jose, CA
We spent the week following Christmas at Casa alta this past December and came home thinking, "What a wonderful place to end the old year and welcome the new. " This historic lodge shares a mountaintop perch with Ourem Castle, adding spectacular views to its list of assets. From the ground floor --with sitting room, fireplace and cozy dining area -- to the upper floor bedrooms, Casa alta is beautifully decorated. Its staff is friendly and efficient, the meals (on request) are delectable and Father John is a warm and knowledgeable host. We took advantage of his suggestions for several day trips and looked forward to sharing a glass of wine and conversation with him when we returned each evening. This is a hidden gem that shouldn't be missed! Paul and Terry Watts, San Jose, Ca
My wife and I and two friends recently returned from Portugal where the four of us rented Casa Alta for two weeks. It was a delightful experience. There are three bedrooms, two of which have king sized beds. The house has a very intimate feel. All rooms, including the living and dining area, are quite tastefully appointed. Father Mariani is a charming host, equally at home in the religious and secular worlds, with a very impish personal demeanor. His Ukrainian born housekeeper, Valentina, is in charge of all household tasks â€“ cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, as well as caring for the extensive and beautifully maintained outdoor area. The recounting of her personal odyssey is one that would make Odysseus himself tremble. The Casa is situated high upon the promontory that was the original site of medieval Ourem and it and its partially destroyed castle can be seen for miles around. Father Mariani is very flexible and will accommodate any dining options that guests may wish to choose. In our case we sometimes prepared our own dinners, while in others Valentina cooked for us either using Casa provided ingredients or ingredients that we supplied. The old town also contains a pousada which provides a dining alternative for either lunch or dinner. Ourem is centrally located, making day trips to Obidos, Coimbra, Tomar, Alcobaca, Batalha, and Bucaco among many others quite simple to do. Lisbon is a bit of a push roughly an hour and a half away. Our stay at Casa Alta was a unique and rewarding experience for us all.