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Hotel Highlights

  • Each room individually styled by fashion designers
  • Incredible setting on the rugged Cascais coastline
  • Just 45 minutes from Lisbon

Overview

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal's dramatic coastline, Farol Design Hotel blends a classic Portuguese villa with contemporary architecture and design. This mix of old and new – traditional villa with a whimsical restaurant encased in glass – is a slick success. An attention to design extends to the grounds, where you'll find a peaceful outdoor pool and minimalist furniture.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Farol Design Hotel with us:

A bottle of Portuguese wine and fruit basket in your room on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Farol Design Hotel

Advance purchase rate

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

33, including nine rooms styled by different fashion designers and two suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but ask for flexibility.

Rates

Double rooms from $301.51 (€225), excluding tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates include American breakfast buffet.

Also

After dipping into the saltwater pool, have a massage on the secluded lower terrace.

At the hotel

Outdoor swimming pool, massages on request in your room, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar hydromassage bath tub. Designer rooms feature Nespresso machines.

Our favourite rooms

For a modern influence, plump for the new wing; for high ceilings and more space, go for the old building. Ask for a balcony overlooking the sea. Room 216, black and gold, is very rock ’n’ roll. Room 215, all-white, is sleek with breathtaking views

Poolside

The pool and secluded, minimalist sun terrace overlook the sea.

Also

A two-night minimum stay is required for 14–15 March and on Easter weekend.

Children

Welcome, but the hotel’s location on a rocky shoreline could be considered hazardous for smaller children. Baby cribs and extra beds are free for under-6s, €25 a night for 7–11 year olds and €50 a night for over-12s.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

The Mix is modern and airy, with three distinct dining areas and floor-to-ceiling windows affording you a greedy view out onto the deck, and rocky coast beyond.

Hotel Bar

The minimalist On the Rocks lounge bar is cosy, with doors opening on to the terrace, and gives you the feeling of floating on water.

Last orders

Food: 11pm; drinks 2am.

Room service

7am–11pm from the restaurant menu. At other times there’s a snack menu with sandwiches, salads and desserts.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Gloss up for the evening.

Top table

Outside on the terrace.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

For Italian flavours, oysters and sushi, La Villa on Praia do Tamariz (+351 21 468 0033) is a chic eatery, 15 minutes away by car; ask for table 20 by the window for a panoramic sea view. Or for similar fare, but more humble price tags, try Pizzeria Lucullus (+351 21 484 4709). Refugio da Roca on Estrada do Cabo da Roca, Azoia is where to head for seafood at sunset. €100 will get you a seafood platter and some wine at Mar do Guincho on Estrada do Guincho (+351 485 8280). The decor is not what you go for, but there’s plenty of eye candy in the form of seafood tanks and view of the beach. Just down the road, Furnas do Guincho (+351 21 486 9243) is ideal for Portuguese meat and fish specialities. A short distance from Guincho beach, and with an ocean view as perfect as the fresh seafood, Porto de Santa Maria (+351 21 487 9450) is one place where you'll definitely want to reserve a window table.

+ Enlarge
Local to Lisbon

Farol Design Hotel

7 Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália, Cascais, 2750-461

Planes

Lisbon’s Portela Airport (www.ana.pt) is 38 kilometres from the hotel; the drive should take around half an hour.

Trains

From London, you can take the Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) and then connect with a Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (the Portuguese national rail train service) train to Cascais and other destinations in Portugal (www.cp.pt).

Automobiles

The A5 and the A16 are the main roads that lead into Cascais. Hire cars are available from Lisbon airport and private shuttles are also available upon request.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Juliet Kinsman , On-the-go editor at Mr & Mrs Smith

‘Mouth of hell’. Say what? The literal translation of the destination to which we are heading isn’t entirely enticing. Having just driven past the most stunning stretch of Portugal's unfettered westernmost coastline, where wide white-sand dunes stretch to Atlantic waves, it doesn't seem so fitting either. Swerving into Cascais itself, we soon pootle past a lemon-coloured 15th-ce…
Read more

Farol Design Hotel

Anonymous review by Juliet Kinsman, On-the-go editor

‘Mouth of hell’. Say what? The literal translation of the destination to which we are heading isn’t entirely enticing. Having just driven past the most stunning stretch of Portugal's unfettered westernmost coastline, where wide white-sand dunes stretch to Atlantic waves, it doesn't seem so fitting either.

Swerving into Cascais itself, we soon pootle past a lemon-coloured 15th-century fairytale castle complete with a pointy turret. Next to Cidadela de Cascais, peacocks roam the surrounding parkland. At the end of this pedestrianised seaside avenue we see Farol Design Hotel. Right on cue Mr Smith announces ‘Are you sure you've got Cascais' meaning right? Because the next time you tell me to go to hell, I'm heading straight here.’ He’s a card that Mr Smith. But he's right: it does look distinctly like a gateway to good times.

Farol is a traditional 19th-century Portuguese villa with a modern extension perched on a rocky outcrop on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Parking up alongside shiny Mercs, we roll out of our slightly shabby rental car wondering if we should excuse ourselves with some sort of bumper sticker (although ‘My other car’s a Honda Civic Hybrid’ might not have that much cachet in this distinguished Portuguese town).

Truth be, I can be wary of establishments that choose to use words such as ‘design’ in their name – pointing out such a trait shouldn’t be necessary. But here it adds a playfulness to what otherwise looks at quick glance like a grand seaside home. In the lobby, painted portraits of supermodels are the first indication of the private owners' appreciation of the fashion world. We’re reminded by the friendly receptionist that we’ve plumped for one of the suites that were originally decorated by Portuguese fashion designers. Of the 34 rooms, 10 had their interiors concocted by names such as Ana Salazar and José Antonio Tenente.

When the designer behind our simple, white sea-view abode mapped out its look, perhaps she was riding the Noughties' minimalist wave – it contrasts refreshingly with the hotel's more flamboyant areas. The restraint lets the view do the loudest talking: which is appreciated when you have a panorama of the Atlantic to appreciate.

We are here in spring, but the sun is in a summery mood and it shines high in a deep blue cloudless sky, luring us poolside. Padding down through the hotel’s plush black-carpeted hallways treats us to a swagger through the cocktail lounge (complete with actual ashtrays – retro!). Doors are open to the all-black private dining room where huge eccentric muslin-wrapped chandeliers float above like exotic sea creatures. We squeeze pass a throng of glamorous Russians enthusiastically smoking away, out onto the pared-down concrete-floored decking that exudes contemporary cool. The old-fashioned lighthouse and Portuguese villa of Santa Marta, just visible around the corner near the Museu Condes de Castro, remind us of we're in Portugal.

The soundtrack of the waves on the rocks below (best enjoyed from a four-poster lounger) certainly helps guests take thoughts down a gear. But if there's any danger of becoming too lethargic a bracing dip in the pool will slap you awake. It is hard to prise ourselves away from the Café del Mar vibe at all, but the tantalising platters of sushi we’ve seen being served are like Getty Images come to life and are making us hungry. Saving our appetite for Japanese cuisine until the next night when we're booked into the in-house restaurant, we hit that coastal road again.

Admiring those windswept beaches, we take a table in the glass-fronted Furnas do Guincho, where we're presented with a plate of rubbery long goose barnacles seconds after sitting. If I'd been asked to visualise a sci-fi cartoon called Mouth of Hell, these terrifying rubbery orange tubes might have been what I'd visualise being eaten. Thankfully, after we snap open the crustacea's leathery jackets, their shiny salty fishiness prove surprisingly moreish.

Our next meal is more conventional, but delicious too. Scrambled eggs and coffee from the mega buffet in the hotel's voyeuristic Atlantic-edge restaurant has us revved up to explore. We start with a stroll around the Parque Marechal Carmona, and then nosey around the town’s beaches. Busy, but ideal for people watching, there's no doubt we're in Portugal as we watch young families, teenagers and pensioners happily claiming their squares in the sand.

It’s a pretty, chocolate-box town that gets cooling sea breezes – no wonder Portugal’s royal family liked to retreat here to Cascais from the capital during the sweltering summer months. It remains just as popular today with couples and families from Lisbon, eager for a dose of sea air. Before we’d come away we’d weighed up whether to spend a long weekend in a beach resort, or book a European city break a whirl at Farol Design Hotel has been the ideal compromise.

Our second and final evening feels like a significant anniversary (helped along by prices usually reserved for special occasions). It's so popular that service is not so snappy, but we barely care once the local well-priced vinho verde we've been recommended starts to slip down. Those cheeky Portuguese winemakers are known to save the best stuff to serve on home turf. Thankfully the secret is out about all this magnificent coastline has to offer, and Farol Design Hotel is a reliable bet for a cultured coastal mini-break.

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Farol Design Hotel from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel and grounds were absolutely beautiful: the fab pool overlooks. The atmosphere was quiet and chilled. Staff were attentive and very friendly relative to other hotels we stayed at in Portugal.

Don’t expect

I thought the food was not up to par at all.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a beautiful seaside location, with an amazing salt water pool on the rocks that's perfect for lazy poolside lolling. The hotel is just short walk into Cascais for delicious local food.

Don’t expect

The bathrooms are little dated, especially in comparison to the chic modernity of the rooms.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hotel has a stunning setting, right on the coast, as well as friendly staff, comfortable beds, and lovely food.

Don’t expect

The garden rooms are a bit small.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

There's an intimate feel to the hotel and it has a beautiful location by the sea.

Don’t expect

Consistency of service could be improved. Sometimes it was prompt and efficient and sometimes it was painfully slow, but always with a smile!

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Here, the staff couldn't do enough for you and the views are stunning.

Don’t expect

There were a couple of weddings which rather took over the hotel.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the location, the pool area, the bar area and our room. The service is very good.

Don’t expect

The pool could be heated! It's often windy, so I thought the temperature didn't feel as hot as it was.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff was really friendly and the hotel was very clean. Our room opened up into a lovely private seating area and the outdoor pool area was beautiful. The breakfast was very good and the room was very clean. I recently stayed here on my honeymoon and the hotel surprised us with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, which was a great way to help us celebrate the occasion.

Don’t expect

I thought the rooms were a bit small given the price.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the design of the hotel.

Don’t expect

I thought the service in the sushi restaurant could be better.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff could not have been more helpful. I loved the view of the ocean from the poolside and the great sushi!

Don’t expect

The bathroom was quite small. There was no mirror in the bedroom so if someone was in the bathroom there was no mirror available.

Rating: 10/10 stars