Areias do Seixo

Povoa de Penafirme, Lisbon Coast, Portugal Book from Book from £237 per night

MOST REMARKABLE DESIGN MOST REMARKABLE DESIGN
The apotheosis of eco chic: a stunning hotel just 35 minutes from Lisbon, plus self-catering villas (sleeping 2-7)
Upmarket eco design has been around for a while, but Areias do Seixo blows everything we’ve seen out of the water. The 14 romantic rooms are blindingly unique, taking the colours and designs of India and Africa as a starting point, and blending them with modern minimalism and imagination to create beautiful colour schemes, extraordinary mod cons and irresistible bathrooms. There are beds framed with driftwood; warm gold Chinese cabinets; pod-like woodburners suspended from the ceilings, and burnished silver lamps. For those wanting more space and privacy, there are self-catering 3-bedroom villas.

There's a restaurant and bar featuring the hotel's organic produce, a decked path leading to sand dunes and the Atlantic, an Ayurvedic spa and an outdoor pool. And when you arrive, you're warmly greeted with fresh lemongrass tea (from the garden, naturally) and homemade cake. How better to begin your stay in one of Europe’s most original hotels?

Highs

  • The décor is sensational, with rich colours and textures, and stunning ultra-modern fixtures and fittings
  • Eco concerns are high on the agenda, with energy monitoring, eco schemes, photovoltaic solar panels, recycling, composting and more
  • Nature pervades everything - the wood and pebbles in the interior design, the pine trees and sand dunes beyond - and gives a sense of calm
  • The relaxed but attentive service put us at ease straight away
  • The location is quiet and unspoilt, but you're within easy reach of Obidos and Lisbon if you need a city fix

Lows

  • You'll need to hire a car to get here, or take a taxi/transfer from Lisbon, plus this is a quiet part of Portugal without the many attractions of, say, the south coast
  • The hotel is the destination, which is another way of saying that there isn't much to do in the neighbourhood - you'd need to drive if you wanted a change of scene, restaurant wise
  • We have serious trouble pronouncing the hotel's name. How about you?
  • A 2-night minimum stay in the villas and townhouse at all times
  • Land rooms do not have a sea view

Best time to go

The Costa da Prata is a good year-round destination. March and April are lovely, May and June are ideal, July and August can be very hot and it's warm through to September for swimming in the sea. Thanks to the hotel's woodburning stoves, you'll be snug here in winter, too

Our top tips

Don't miss Peniche, a walled fishing town 30 minutes away with fantastic seafood restaurants and a 16th-century fortress overlooking the Atlantic.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Eco Hotel
  • 14 rooms + 10 villas
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • 10+ year olds in the hotel; all ages in the villas / townhouses
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Food and eco experiences
Room: Love Room

Rooms

All of the rooms, villas and townhouses are strikingly different and original, blending the best of modern Scandinavian-inspired minimalism with Indian and Moroccan styles. All have private patios or decks, toiletries, WiFi, wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, and geothermal heating/cooling systems; if you want a TV you have to request it.

Of the hotel rooms, 4 are large Love Rooms (Oxalá, Ouro, Nha Cretcheu and Mi Ma Bô), 5 are smaller Gold Rooms (Prata, Três Desejos, Que Voa - which is wheelchair accessible, Sete Sentidos and Ainda), 4 similarly sized Tree Rooms (Terra, Sem Hora Marcada, Olveira Princesa and Mar). The Land Room (Jasmim) is huge but lacks a sea view. Most of the rooms have Jacuzzis or tubs, and some can be set up as twins.

All are stunning and original in design. As a flavour, Love Room Nha Cretcheu has an insanely beautiful bath with glass lanterns suspended like tears. Its bedroom is warmly decorated with a driftwood-framed bed, pure white linen, glittery silver lampshades and an air of refined luxury. Our favourite is the appropriately named Love Room Oxalá ('If only'); it's vast, with a Jacuzzi, a double shower, a mezzanine, and a large terrace framed by the deep blue of the Atlantic.

The other rooms are just as lavish, with rich fabrics, bright colours, chaise longues, polished concrete and show-stopping lights. We stayed in Gold Room Três Desejos with clean, minimal lines and a pale lemon, cream and grey colour pallette. There was a huge suspended woodburner, an antique gilded armchair, and floor-to-ceiling windows opening to a small deck with a table, a lawn and storm lanterns.

Facing the hotel, the 3-bedroom Villas are designed for families (2 ensuite doubles and an ensuite twin). Though design varies between them, they each have a living room with fireplace, a full kitchen and a private swimming pool. There’s a private dining and bbq terrace, comfy sofas in the lounge, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Villas Blue are detached and arguably have the best uninterrupted views. Villas Green have better sea views while the Villas Green Superior having more direct views and more space. Townhouses Green are the most budget-friendly option, being a little smaller and having less of a sea view.

Features include:

  • Barbecue in villas
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Geothermal heating/cooling
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel's restaurant, Lugar da Horta, is open for lunch and dinner, and serves a selection of Portuguese-inspired dishes using its wood-fired oven and charcoal grill. There are also a vegetarian choices, and all menus change on a daily basis according to what is available and fresh; there are a few options every day and everything we ate was delicious. Breakfast is served as a decadent buffet and includes fresh fruit, regional produce, cheeses and homemade cakes, plus eggs to order.

The hotel also has a café-bar, open from 1pm-1am, where you can order tea, homemade sweets, appetisers and snacks, and room service is on offer to all rooms, villas and the townhouse. Guests are welcome to join the team every evening for a glass of wine at 7.30pm around the fire. There is also a more casual beachfront restaurant, Noah, which guests can get to using the bikes or complimentary shuttle service.

Much of the food comes direct from the hotel's organic garden. Keen foodies can enrol on a morning 'plot to plate' experience, where you'll work with the gardeners and chef to make your own lunch. They are also keen to share advice and inspiration about agriculture, fishing and local regional cooking.

The on-site store sells tea, olive oil, wine and artisan products. The self-catering villas and townhouses have full kitchens with coffee- and tea-making facilities, fridge-freezers, hobs, ovens and microwaves. You can also book a chef or opt into a meal delivery service from the restaurant.

For a change of scene, drive out to one of the various recommended restaurants nearby: Xakra and Tasca do Joel in Peniche or Clube Naval in Assenta.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Farm shop
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Meal delivery service (villas and townhouse only)
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax in the hotel, walk on the beach, swim in the sea, eat in the restaurant, watch a film in the cinema room then take a glass of wine out to the fire circle and watch the stars in the inky sky
  • Swim in the spa pool, then unwind in the sauna and Turkish bath - access is free. Or book a massage and pamper ritual at the spa. It specialises in Ayurvedic treatments and also does massages, facials and body treatments, as well as half-day programmes
  • Borrow the hotel's bikes and explore independently
  • Join a yoga class – times will be chalked up in reception
  • Book one of the hotel's experiences. We like the look of 'Your hands in the sea', a fishing/mussel harvesting morning after which you cook your own lunch, as well as the 'plot to plate' experience working in the organic garden and kitchen. You can also do farm, spa, eco and compost experiences (most are charged extra)
  • Head to the beach and learn to surf or paddle board at the hotel’s own surf school
  • Spend an afternoon or evening in Lisbon. Portugal's capital is only half an hour away by car; explore the Design Museum and Gulbenkian modern art galleries, then stop for an espresso and a custard tart. Nightlife doesn't get going until gone 10pm in the city
  • Spend an afternoon in the well-preserved walled medieval town of Obidos, 25 minutes away, with its winding streets and whitewashed houses
  • Play golf at 1 of the 3 courses nearby: Praia D'El Rey, Bom Sucesso or Campo Real

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Eco-discovery days: tree planting, introduction to composting, 'plot to plate' cooking experience
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Star gazing
  • Swimming

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome in the villas and townhouses, but the layouts and unfenced pools don't lend themselves to accommodating small children. On the upside, being so close to the dunes and beach makes the setting great fun for all.

Note that the hotel and main pool is only open to children aged 10 years and over; the spa facilities are only open to guests aged 16+.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Each of the spacious villas and townhouses have 3 bedrooms and a full kitchen, as well as a living area, outdoor space and a swimming pool (unfenced).

Kids Activities on site:

  • Bikes to borrow
  • Classes, such as travel writing and baking, can be arranged

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Dunes and beach
  • Mountain biking
  • Watersports

Families Should Know:

The spa facilities are only open to those aged 16 and over, while the hotel pool is only available for guests over the age of 10. The villas and townhouses have unfenced private swimming pools.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 9 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Probably the nicest beach hotel I ever stayed in. Warm welcome and sing along at the fireplace by the owner. Lovely and personal service, valuable tips for the region.

10/10,

The hotel itself is amazing. Everything thought of and has such a sleek style. Very relaxed. Beautiful breakfasts. High end evening food in restaurant but also a more casual lunch menu available up until 7pm.
The sister restaurant called Noah down the road is also really nice. Right on the beach. This property really is about being in the hotel and enjoying the space as there’s not much in the surrounding areas. The village Óbidos nearby is worth a wander. The massages are very good. We loved sitting by the fire, eating traditional Portuguese tarts. The hot chocolates are also very good. Yoga took place on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday morning and was a great start to the day.

10/10,

Can't rate this hotel, its staff and facilities highly enough. We had a wonderful stay.

10/10,

It was an expensive hotel but worth it. The room and the service were second to none. I really feel that they treated you extremely well and the attention to detail was exceptional. I booked it because it had been awarded by iEscape and I can see why. It did not disappoint and exceeded my expectations.

10/10,

We had a spectacular time at Areias do Seixo. The atmosphere, the garden, and the beach were unique and we are still listening to their music on Spotify. But we did miss two things: really good fresh orange juice (with really ripe fruit) and enough light for putting on make-up in the room. And: the morning crew in the restaurant was a lot weaker than the evening crew - if you want to work on absolute perfection.

10/10,

Heavenly location where you feel the love of Martha the owner in each and every tiny detail.

9/10,

Very pleasant and helpful service; food was excellent, maybe slightly overpriced for Portugal, the houses are great. Excellent and helpful reception, activities. A place to remember.

10/10,

A lovely hotel but quite overpriced (food is very expensive for what you get!) and the hotel lacks activities when the sun isn't shining.

7/10,

Amazing magical place. The rooms are one of kind, amazing decor, beautiful -- you just want to stay there all day. The grounds are gorgeous. The food and staff are awesome -- the chef treated us like we were guests of his home.

10/10,

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Rates for Areias do Seixo