“A grand hotel on the Estoril Riviera, with a lovely courtyard pool and terraced bar, all surrounded by beach and sea”
The main hotel holds court on a rocky headland between two sandy beaches. The original 1873 building was constructed as the summer house of the Dukes of Loulé. It has a regal air: ascend a marble staircase, with a crystal chandelier hanging above. Bedrooms are nicely old-fashioned with crisp fabrics, antique furniture and watery views. Two newer wings to the rear, which surround the swimming pool, offer large light-filled bedrooms with delicious fabrics and big mirrors in colourful bathrooms. Many have spacious balconies overlooking the sea or beach.
Across the road, the neo-Romantic Palace was built in 20th-century Italianate style and faces Praia de Conceição beach. Expect English country-house elegance: antique mahogany furniture, trim carpets, thick fabrics, good art on the walls. You get Japanese screens, creamy marble bathrooms and those on the first floor have doors onto a Moorish-style balcony.
Rooms are divided into 3 categories according to size, views (most Collection Rooms face the town), and of balconies (most Deluxe Sea Views and Suite Sea Views have them).
A superb Breakfast is served in the dining room - grab the window tables for beach views. The extensive buffet includes freshly-cut fruit in rainbow formation, plates of cheese and ham, salads, salmon, a selection of cakes and patisserie, croissants and home-baked bread. There’s bacon, tomatoes and eggs if you fancy something hot.
You can order light meals in the bar and eat on the lovely terrace. It juts out to sea giving fabulous views. There's an extensive menu: salads, soups, risotto, pasta, steaks, omelettes, sandwiches and sinful puddings. The restaurant itself - wooden floors, glistening chandeliers - serves formal food at lunch and dinner. Come for stuffed crab, scallops with pancetta on pea puree, sautéed sea bass or crispy turbot, then an almond tart or ricotta with home-made ice cream.
Alternatively, pop down to Villa Cascais for seriously good modern cooking: foie gras with a mango coulis, sautéed lamb served with strawberries, then crème brûlée with pear sorbet.
Cascais has everything from simple pizza parlours to traditional restaurants and posh nosh. For great seafood, follow the road along the coast for restaurants overlooking the ocean.
Children are welcome and will love the close proximity to the safe and shallow beach plus the plethora of water sports. Cots and extra beds are available. On our revisit in 2016 with children, we found it was an enjoyable and easy journey from Lisbon by train (the station is a 1 minute walk).
Although the majority of guests tend to be couples, this is a very attractive option for families.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Every room can take children. Collection and Deluxe Rooms can have a cot or bed, the Suites can house a family of four, as can taking two neighbouring Collection rooms. A Suite and Deluxe Suite can interconnect with a Collection Room for larger family parties.
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The extensive buffet breakfast has options for even the fussiest of eaters. The snack menu has plenty of choice for families from pizzas to pasta to sandwiches, and is cheaper than the a la carte restaurant
The hotel pool is unfenced but has a shallow end; there are lifeguards on the beach, which is gently shelving