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 Citdadel 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.
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.
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.