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Pousada Forte da Horta - Historic Hotel

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We were really looking forward to this hotel as we had stayed previously in a Pousada hotel within the same Pestana chain in Cascais, Portugal, also within an old seafront fort.. We reserved 4 nights but were told we would have to stay in a standard room the first night as they were fairly full. We accepted this, no problem. From the outside, the hotel looks impressive, set within its fort walls. On entering, it's quite dark & with musty carpets in the reception area. The pool looked really tired. The manager was welcoming, but they don't seem to have many staff. The room was, frankly, the worst we have stayed in for years - small & with an overpowering, musty smell which seemed to be coming out of the fabric on the walls. There were stained lampshades, bedside tables which clearly hadn't been cleaned & long black hairs in the dated bathroom. We didn't unpack. We ventured out for dinner. Sleep quality was mediocre, with doors slamming in the corridor. For a 4 star hotel, this was awful. Breakfast was a very poor offering indeed. A number of reviewers have made detailed observations on this but clearly it hasn't improved, we stayed in July. The next morning we were informed they had made a mistake in their booking system & we couldn't move into a better room. We checked out immediately anyway & spent some of our precious holiday finding another hotel in which to stay for the next 3 nights. It's a shame, the place needs a serious shake up & some investment.

Great position, very handy for the town. The conversion was effective but we had a couple of niggles. The breakfasts were uninspiring and we were generally just left to get on with it. Some of the items of food looked less than fresh. The staff were excellent - helpful and very welcoming. We had a slight whiff of the drains in our bathroom. I believe the hotel was aware of this as we noticed fragranced sprays after the room had been serviced. The room and bathroom were of a good size with a balcony overlooking the island of Pico. The bed was comfortable. Loved the style of the building. It made for a different and interesting stay.

First impressions are very good. The location is central, overlooking the harbour. The building is within the original fort, very impressive on entering. The coconut cake offered to guests on arrival was excellent. The staff are all friendly and seem genuinely to want to please. Our room had a great view of the harbour. The bathroom was very small and the shower cubicle was tiny - don't drop the soap on the floor as it's virtually impossible to bend down and pick it up without butting out of the shower doors. Breakfast was very poor. The coffee tasted stewed. The cereal was tired. The cheese and meats were limp. The bread was mediocre. Fruit and yoghurt was available but dull. There was no hot option. The cake was ok. Overall the breakfast was not what was expected given the impressive appearance of this hotel. Breakfast could easily be improved with very little effort. The bathroom planning requires a bit more thought.

This hotel is one of my favorites. It was initially a Portuguese fortress from the 16th century and after some hotel activity in the last century it was actually in 2004 that was opened as it is today. You can still see the old fortress (all the outside walls are original) and is right in front of the (Horta) marina. Breathtaking views over the Pico Island. Very good breakfast and restaurant, specially for an outside dinner, when the weather allows it. Good service. It’s already needing some renovation and that’s the only reason I didn’t rated it as a 5!

Stayed for 4 nights at this hotel. The location is excellent, right in the center of town, on the main street and with a great view to the marina and beyond to the island of Pico. Breakfast could be seriously improved. The supposedly warm things were always cold, the eggs were awful and the instant coffee was horrible. The waiter did once offer to get us a better coffee from inside, which was nice of him, and it was definitely an improvement. The room was not exactly comfortable. The best part was the little porch with the view. Apart from that, the bed was terrible. That must have been the worst mattress I've ever slept on. And the size of the bathroom needs improvement. Also the bathroom was seriously outdated. Everybody was nice and the island is great, which sort of makes up for the shortcomings.

Stayed here three nights and it was very clean, comfortable with a very accommodating staff. Fabulous view of the harbor and Pico. This was my third trip to the island of Faial and I would not hesitate to stay at Pousada Forte da Horta again.

We visited the hotel for 4 nights during our honeymoon travelling around the Azores. We stayed in 4 different hotels, and whilst this was by no means an awful experience, it was well below the standards of the other 3 places we visited (all were recommended to us "equally" by our travel company). There is a certain charm to staying in an old fort with the beautiful views of the battlements, Pico and the lovely colourful harbour in Horta. However that's where the "stand out" element of this hotel begins and ends. The staff we encountered were all very pleasant helpful and lovely, but I expect they would manage to do a much better job if there were a few more of them. I don't think we ever noted more than 2 staff members appearing to be in the building at once. There was usually a person on reception... and first thing in the morning, there might be one person in the breakfast room and later maybe we saw the cleaner but never any more than that. The decor in our room was tired. It could have been doing with an upgrade and/or a deep clean. The bedside tables were old and very chipped. The bathroom was clean enough and seemed to have maybe been updated a bit more recently than the rest of the room, although there was some evidence of an attempt to freshen things up as the wardrobes seemed to have been freshly painted. We also had some water and nice cake in the room when we checked in. When we first arrived, there was an awful smell in the room. It was hard to say exactly what it was, but it was slightly perfumed but also sort of musty/mothballs. On the second day, I was going to go to reception and ask to be moved rooms because I couldn't stand it any longer, but after the room had been cleaned the smell seemed to have disappeared. I don't know if perhaps the room had been empty for some time and needed "airing out". The air conditioning was good and was quiet at night, and the balcony was very spacious. We also had robes in the room which was a nice touch. However, the towels were old and thin and needed replacing, as did the bed linen which was tired and scratchy. The bed was also hard and a little uncomfortable and one of the plug sockets didn't work. Breakfast was probably the worst part of the experience. The selection itself was ok, but it was poorly staffed and not replenished. It seems like they just put out the food at the start of service and leave it there until the end and if something runs out then "oh well!" Most hotels use some sort of dispenser for cereal but here it was just sitting out on the table in a bowl for hours. This meant that the cereal was all stale and soggy. Bread cakes and pastries were also left sitting out so they became stale and the cheese started going hard at the edges. The yoghurts also seemed to be starting to go off from being left out in the heat. The crepes were undercooked/raw. The hot food is left sitting out so the eggs become a congealed mess. There is hot water and coffee in flasks at one end of the room which is pretty cold. The coffee was so bad it was almost undrinkable and it wasn't until the 4th morning that the waiter asked us if we wanted a freshly made coffee like a cappuccino or something like that - would have been good to know on the first day! Most of the floors and tiled and the because the property is kept in the traditional style of a historic building, there is a lot of wooden decor around, including the doors. This creates a very loud echo in the hall, which can be heard loudly inside the room. If someone is having a conversation in the hall you can hear all of it, and when guests close their room doors it makes a very loud bang! This is also a nightmare if people are leaving late night/early morning for a flight with wheeled suitcases. If you ask at reception they will give you towels for use at the swimming pool. This is a good idea, but I'd warn you to swim at your own peril! The pool area itself is lovely and clean with nice sun loungers and umbrellas. However, the pool not so much. The water was absolutely freezing and it was in need of a good clean. There were several dead insects floating in it, including a cockroach! This was a shame as it's a decent sized pool with a lot of potential. That pretty much summed-up the whole experience though. All said, it's not a bad hotel and has a lot of definite potential to be an excellent hotel. However, it was let down a lot by the execution and the finer details. If some more attention was paid to these quite small matters, I think it would go some way to elevating the standards of the place.

An overnight in Horta. Perfect location and amazing view. Service was very nice. Room was good. Morning breakfast was great. Would like to return for longer stay. There was a mix crowd of older couples and young couples with babies. Very welcoming.

We stayed here for 4 nights and it was paradise. The Hotel is a Fort so it is strategically placed in the middle of the bay meaning it is close of the restaurants and city center. The room was spacious, comfy and always clean. The balcony outside with a table and 2 stairs gave us the chance to see the beautiful sunrise above Pico. The breakfast was also full of quality charging the batteries for the long day ahead. The service was spotless. Everyone was so nice. Always ready for any assistance we needed. Will definitely comeback.

Spent 3 wonderful nights at Pousada Forte very relaxing atmosphere. Great service, excellent staff, good breakfast with fresh food. We ate at the restaurant twice and the food and service were the best we found in Horta. The best part was our sea facing room with a breath taking view over Pico. Excellent place to stay when visiting Faial.

Rua Vasco Da Gama Horta

Hotel highlights

  • Free breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Located within a 5-minute walk of Peter's Scrimshaw Museum, Pousada Forte da Horta - Historic Hotel is within a 15-minute stroll of Horta Harbour. This 28-room, 3-star hotel welcomes guests with conveniences like a marina, an outdoor pool, and free in-room WiFi. Horta Regional Museum and Porto Pim Beach are a short walk away.


Free breakfast is included with your stay. This hotel serves as home to a bar, along with a restaurant that specializes in regional cuisine. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service.


All 28 air-conditioned rooms feature minibars, safes, and desks. LCD TVs come with cable channels, and free WiFi keeps guests connected. Bathrooms offer hair dryers, free toiletries, and bidets.

Property features

Pousada Forte da Horta - Historic Hotel features a marina, an outdoor pool, and a children's pool. If you decide to drive, there's free parking. The 24-hour front desk has multilingual staff ready to help secure valuables, and answer any questions about the area. Additional amenities include free WiFi in public areas, a meeting room, and a business center.

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

83.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 218 reviews