Cascais, one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal, sits just an hour from Lisbon by train. Arrive to find a historic marvel – stop at the Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and Citadel Palace – plus plenty of shopping, fabulous beaches and traditional seafood restaurants. There’s also a slew of hotels in which to stay, from five-star luxury retreats to cool boutique breaks via one of the finest golf destinations in the world. To help you find your perfect room, here are the top hotels and places to stay in Cascais.
This charming 19th-century villa sits on the water’s edge in Cascais Old Town. Offering 11 spacious rooms with ocean views, the whole building has an uplifting vibe thanks to bold colours and light-filled rooms. The bar offers a perfect opportunity to explore Portuguese wines by the glass with a wall of Enomatic wine dispensers. Then take a seat on the terrace of the Reserva de Vila restaurant and try the crunchy fish fillet with lime and turnip green risotto.
Built as a summer escape by an aristocrat in the 19th century, this hotel has dazzling interiors – select bedrooms were curated by fashion designers; some red and ornate, others white and minimalist. The bar and restaurants spill out onto the water’s edge; enjoy some of the best sushi in town to the sound of waves.
This grande dame was the cinematic setting for James Bond flick On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), while author Ian Fleming wrote Casino Royale in the hotel bar during the early 1950s. It still retains 1930s glamour across the 161 rooms, but 21st-century comforts have been inserted. There is a much-awarded spa, a wellness centre with various hydrotherapy treatments, an 18-hole Mackenzie Ross-designed golf course and a lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Part of the family-friendly Martinhal group, this resort is a child’s paradise with a well-staffed kids’ club and endless activities and sport facilities. There’s a shuttle bus to the beach, a good spa which uses Voya products and bikes to hire. Book a light-filled deluxe superior room for child-friendly bunk beds. There are also 12 two-bedroom villas in the grounds.
Set by the marina, the Pestana Cidadela de Cascais – or Pousada de Cascais – is a luxury seaside hotel. It is also situated in the middle of the Art District, surrounded by galleries and studios and near to museums, and the rooms pay homage to the location with their own curated artwork. The building was built in the 17th century as a fortification. From the sunny terrace, you can enjoy views of the famous Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum and the Atlantic Ocean.
Straight from a fairytale, this 18th-century palace sits in beautiful landscaped gardens where peacocks roam. Interiors, brimming with elegant period furniture, house 30 rooms where beds are clad in luxurious linens, antique headboards come with marquetry inlay and bathrooms that are carved in red marble. Outside, there is a swimming pool in the garden, an Anantara Spa and the wonders of Sintra to discover.
This clean-lined, contemporary hotel faces the Atlantic Ocean, and with a predominantly glass exterior there’s plenty of light shining on the white-on-white interiors. Just 59 rooms result in a friendly rather than corporate feel. Bedrooms are sleekly finished and come in soft greys or muted browns, all with terraces or balconies. There are pools indoor and out, a gym, sauna and steam room.
Not far from Guincho Beach, lies the Sheraton Cascais Resort. It comprises 156 bedrooms, a bar, a two restaurants – the Glass Terrace offering traditional Portuguese cuisine, and Yakuza Cascais, which is popular for sushi. There are two swimming pools and a good spa with ayurvedic treatments, massage and scrubs alongside manicures, pedicures and facials.
The Oitavos is a five-star luxury hotel sitting within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park with a golf course considered the best in Portugal. Admire the rolling greens, rugged bush and sparkling Atlantic Ocean thanks to the all-glass design of the hotel. In addition to the superior and premium rooms, there are three styles of lofts, two suites and a private villa called The Forte.
This romantic hotel has marvellous views of the Atlantic Ocean from one of the best beaches near Lisbon. Originally built in the 17th century as a military fort, it became a hotel in the mid-20th century and a five-star hotel in 1998. It’s not just historic either: this is a great spot for foodies – especially those with a penchant for fine dining. The restaurant is one of the Michelin-starred dining options in town. The hotel offers eight courtyard rooms and 16 superior rooms decorated with antique furniture.
The regal Grande Real Villa Itália was originally a palace built in the mid-20th century for the exiled Umberto II, the last king of Italy. Facing the ocean, it is directly across the street from the popular Boca do Inferno, where the waves rumble inside a seaside cave formed within cliffs. The hotel has 124 rooms including 19 suites and three private penthouses with ocean views. There’s also a thalassotherapy circuit in the spa, which uses the potential health benefits of natural seawater.
The traditional and colourful Da Pergola is a wonderful place for garden-lovers who equally appreciate the comforts of a bed and breakfast. Antique furniture and accented decor, such as azulejo-tiled walls, offer a mix of authentically Portuguese and Mediterranean styles. The house was built in the 19th century and has five categories of homely rooms. Extras include breakfast by the fireplace during the winter, which moves to the vibrant garden during the warmer months, plus free daily servings of port.
Contemporary luxury is the essence of the Hotel Cascais Miragem, a five-star hotel on the border of Cascais and Estoril. It’s near the sands of Praia das Moitas and close to the Monte Estoril train station. It has 192 rooms, four styles of suites – from junior to presidential – a terrace bar service, extravagant on-site fine dining in two restaurants, an outdoor infinity pool and a spa-style water lounge. There’s also a kids’ playroom filled with games and toys.
The Albatroz is a historic manor residence that once belonged to a Portuguese duke and duchess, before it was converted into a five-star boutique hotel. Perched on top of rocks, it is steps from one of Cascais’ beautiful beaches. The hotel has three beautifully decorated room styles, specially designed tours to some fascinating Portuguese landmarks and leisure activities such as cooking classes with the hotel chef, wine tastings and rides aboard the Albatroz Yacht.
This is an updated version of an article originally written by Nina Santos.
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