Are you looking for something a little different, a unique place to stay, where you can enjoy friendly service, luxurious bedding and exquisite antique furniture for a reasonable price? The Casa da Sé is that place, a self-described "small luxury hotel" where you will feel tempted to stay for longer than planned.
Arriving in Viseu by bus from Guarda, I walked up the hill to the old town, and without GPS finding the hotel was a challenge. Once you know the roads, however, it is easy to find and conveniently located; I suggest taking a taxi from the station, or taking a good look at the map first.
There is no hotel parking (there were no cars when it was built), but there is free parking in the vicinity. The receptionist who greeted me spoke fluent English and was friendly and helpful, taking my small suitcase into her care as I had arrived well before the check-in time.
Casa da Sé may be overlooked by some because it is listed under "Viseu Bed and Breakfast" in Trip Advisor; however, I recommend taking a close look at what it has to offer before making your choice of a place to stay in Viseu.
The location in the heart of the old town is perfect for anyone who enjoys walking around old narrow streets and absorbing the history of a city. It is just yards away from Viseu Cathedral, the church of the Misericordia, the tourist office, and the Museu de Grão Vasco. The Portugal Visitor recommended restaurant, O Hilario, is also close by - I ate lunch there twice and enjoyed the friendly, family-run restaurant.
Each of the twelve rooms in the Casa da Sé is unique, with its own furniture and decorations, and with varying sizes of rooms and ensuite bathrooms available. I was traveling alone and had a comfortably-sized room on the top floor, with a spacious ensuite bathroom (large shower, no tub), located next to the guests' lounge. The sheets and towels were all of the highest quality, soft, plentiful, and luxurious. There is also a bridal suite – a good excuse to come here and renew your wedding vows if you missed your chance the first time around.
There is free wifi throughout the hotel. Just off the lobby there is a small lounge room where drinks, tea and coffee, and snacks are served. The breakfast room, also off the lobby, is cosy and boasts a large continental-style buffet.
I have coeliac disease and had informed the hotel in advance. To my delight (I love breakfast) they went out of their way to make a gluten-free cake, provide gluten-free bread and also gluten-free cereal. I have never been treated so well anywhere else. Their breakfast buffet is a large smorgasbord of breads, cereals, cheeses, cold meats, yoghurt, and many other delights. I was only sorry not to be able to eat more.
One word of caution: the square around the hotel hosts several popular restaurants and bars where people stay out enjoying themselves until the early hours. The windows of my top floor rooms were the original old style and offered no sound proofing.
In reviews elsewhere I've noted complaints about the noise, however I also read reviews stating that the sound proofing was effective. I believe the rooms on the lower floors have modern, and more soundproof, windows. Do check on this when making a reservation; otherwise, if noise bothers you, bring earplugs. Casa da Sé is still an experience to be cherished and enjoyed.
I stayed at the Casa da Sé, Viseu, in August 2014.
Casa da Sé
R.Augusta Cruz, Nº12, 3500-088 Viseu, Portugal