Cascais, Estremadura, Portugal
Situated on a rocky headland between two beaches, the main
hotel horseshoes around the old house and the white house.
Fifteen paces across the road is the Italianate Palace,
facing Praia de Conceição beach.
THE MAIN HOTEL
The Old House, also known as the Almond Box (or, more prosaically, the Main Building), was built in 1873 as the summer house of the Dukes of Loulé. It has a regal air: you climb up a marble staircase, with a crystal chandelier hanging above. Bedrooms are nicely old-fashioned with crisp fabrics, antique furniture and extremely watery views. More contemporary rooms in a 1980s add-on overlook the pool and the sea; those at the front all have balconies (they’ll bring your breakfast up to you). Expect pastel colours which soak up the light, reading lights over comfy beds, contemporary-style chandeliers and big mirrors in colourful bathrooms.
The White House comes in a smart, airy contemporary seaside style, with delicious fabrics, white-washed wooden floors, big light-filled rooms and spacious balconies overlooking the sea.
A 1-minute stroll across the road, facing the sandy beach, is this neo-Romantic residence built for Don Antonio of Lancastre in 20th-century Italianate style. The hallmark here is English country-house elegance: antique mahogany furniture, trim carpets, padded foot stools at the end of beds, thick fabrics, good art on the walls. These are smart rooms in a grand house. You get port in decanters, some Japanese screens, creamy marble bathrooms, a panelled library in one of the suites. Those on the first floor have doors onto an arched balcony of Moorish influence.
Rooms are divided into 4 categories: suites, deluxe, superior and standard. It's largely a question of size, but also of sea views (all suites, deluxe and superior rooms have them; most standard rooms face the town) and of balconies (most suites, deluxe and superior rooms have them; standard rooms don't). You can specify your preferred room type, but not your preferred building - except occasionally in low season or for long stays. All rooms come with wicker beach baskets, crisp white linen, air conditioning, safe boxes, bathrobes and minibars.
There's also a separate villa 5 minutes' walk away on Cascais Bay, which is sometimes offered when the main hotel is full. Its 11 rooms are considerably cheaper and the ambiance is simpler, more like an inn (estalagem) than a hotel. But you still get all the services of the main hotel - use of the pools, twice daily room service, the same embossed bedlinen etc - and it's certainly not a bad option if the main hotel buildings are full.
- Safe box
- Central Heating
- Baby Cots
- Extra Beds