Website last updated: 7-5-2024

Palacio Estoril Hotel: Up to Its Usual Standards

By: Mark Cerulli
Palacio Estoril Hotel, Portugal, George Lazenby
Palacio Estoril Hotel in Portuagl has been a luxury destination for over 90 years, but for Bond fans, it’s a major location from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby as Ian Fleming's James Bond and well worth a visit.

I happened to be in Portugal visiting the in-laws, so my wife and I stopped by, catching up with Jose Diogo, Head Concierge. Eagle-eyed viewers might remember him as the teenager who handed James Bond (George Lazenby) his room key when he strolled through the lobby. (That scene was captured by director Peter R. Hunt in May 1969 during the two months of filming in Portugal.)

Fifty-four years later, Jose is STILL on duty – now in a much higher position. He loves talking about the film as well as George’s triumphant return to Portugal and Palacio Estoril Hotel in May 2019 during Martijn Mulder’s legendary OHMSS 50th Anniversary Tour. That event also brought back Bond’s cinematic adversary, actor Terence Mountain who played Rafael. Sadly, I just missed Terry this time because he and his Swedish partner were there a few weeks before.

Mark Cerulli, Jose Diogo, George Lazenby, Palacio Estoril Hotel
Mark Cerulli with Jose Diogo and the legendary George Lazenby during the OHMSS 50th Anniversary Tour in 2019.

On this day, after a quick chat about Bond, Senhor Diogo treated my wife and I to a cup of coffee in the hotel’s restaurant, which overlooks the luxurious pool. The VIP suites beside it look much as they did in 1969, but the interiors have undergone major renovations since.

Mark Cerulli, Jose Diogo, Sandra Carvahlo, Palacio Estoril Hotel
Mark Cerulli, Jose Diogo and Sandra Carvahlo at the Palacio Estoril Hotel in May 2023.

Renovations or not, visiting the Palacio is like a trip back in time – to 1969, or even 1949. And for even more Bond inspiration, the Casino that gave Ian Fleming the idea for his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), is right next door.(Fleming himself was a Palacio guest during WWII.)

Bring your tuxedo and plenty of euros or dollars... but make sure to have a 007 martini in the Palacio’s bar, first!

007 Martini, Palacio Estoril Hotel
The 007 Martini at the Palacio Estoril Hotel.

007 Martini, Palacio Estoril Hotel
Mark Cerulli had a CLOSE encounter with Rafael (Terry Mountain) at the Palacio in May 2019.

Text and photos by Mark Cerulli. Copyright © 2023 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.



Tag Cloud

Bond 25 Bond girls Bond villains Britt Ekland Daniel Craig Dolph Lundgren George Lazenby Izabella Scorupco James Bond museum Kristina Wayborn Mary Stavin Maud Adams No Time To Die Ola Rapace Pierce Brosnan Roger Moore Sean Connery Spectre Timothy Dalton

All information, text and graphics (unless otherwise stated) on this website are protected by copyright law. Please contact us to use anything.

This website is not in any way endorsed by EON Productions Ltd, Danjaq, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures, United Artists, Ian Fleming Publications, or any other James Bond copyright holders. It is an independently run non-profit website from a personal basis in spare time.

James Bond film images © 1962 - 2024 EON Productions Ltd, Danjaq LLC, MGM Inc. and United Artists Cooperation.

James Bond book covers © 1953 - 2024 Ian Fleming Publications and Glidrose Productions Ltd.

Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh