I take a little walk into to the centre of Cascais – past the marina, the old lighthouse (the eponym of my hotel) and some impressive old mansions. Cascais is about 25km outside of Lisbon and has attracted the rich and beautiful since the 1930s. The charming old town is packed with small, fine restaurants and exclusive boutiques, and if you want to spend some money, you go to the Casino de Estoril, which is very close by. Strolling through the little streets of Cascais you get easily distracted by the beauty of this small town. The nearby Lisbon is easily reached by a railway line that starts in Cascais or you simply rent a car that takes you to the vibrant Portuguese capital within 20 minutes.
After a visit to the lighthouse, which got converted to a museum I went back to the hotel and enjoyed the afternoon sun by the pool. The staff was so attentive to prepare the beach chairs with towels and provided me with snacks and homemade lemonade.
Here I am – the hotel right in front of me. The Farol Design Hotel – a small, white, former private mansion, right on the rocky cliffs of Cascais, THE firstclass suburb of Lisbon. Before I enter the hotel and a different world, I stop and listen to the sea. The waves crash against the rocks right behind the hotel and lets me immediately forget the cold and rainy Hamburg, which I left four hours ago.
But now, let’s enter! Right at the front desk the first (and certainly not last) friendly face. The receptionist welcomes me and gives me a quick info about the hotel and breakfast times. Even before I can think of anything else a friendly young man comes and carries my luggage to my room. The check-in went fast because the hotel has already requested all information and wishes by e-mail beforehand and even offered its own airport limousine pick-up service. In my room, a big comfortable bed, minimalist design and a bottle of champagne with chocolate strawberries await me. I take both and enjoy them outside on my terrace, looking at the sea – inhaling fresh sea air.
The Farol is a small design boutique hotel with 33 rooms, including 4 suites, all individually designed. The rooms were designed by internationally known designers such as Ana Salazar, António Augustus or Fátima Lopes and as if this were not enough, almost all have sea view.
In the evening you have the choice: Go straight to the bar and have a first class cocktail served with bar snacks or choose one of the two restaurants. I have decided on the latter. “The Mix” offers fresh, mediterranean cuisine and “Sushi Design” gives you the best sushi you can find in the region. Both restaurants are located behind large window fronts. The Atlantic ocean is omnipresent. I had the excellent trained waitress recommend sushi (Hot Rolls must be in any case) and took a classic Asahi beer. After that, I went to the bar before I fell into a comfortable bed. The sea-shore told me a bedtime-story and took me to the land of dreams.
The day after..
The next morning had sun and a warm spring breeze waiting for me. Directly next to the hotel is a bicycle- and running track. You can always rent a bicycle and cycle along the coast. Or you do it like two of my neighbors and enjoy your morning yoga on a rock formation with nothing but the sea around you.
I put on my running shoes and went on a run. The rising sun in my face and the sea next to me made the time (and the kilometers) fly by and after an hour I was back at the hotel. My room was in the newer part of the hotel and has a modern bathroom with large multi-purpose shower, which I have extensively tested after my run (please turn on all switches – the water comes from all directions). High-quality products from Rituals make the Wellness factor perfect!
Breakfast is served in one of the restaurants. There is a buffet with the usual ingredients, but also some Portuguese specialties, such as the little, sweet pasteis de Belem. Special orders are easily addressed to the staff, which fulfills almost every wish. After my extensive breakfast I sat with another coffee on the terrace enjoying the spring sun.
Home is where the heart is
My time came to an end very fast, which is largely due to the fact that you really feel at home at the Farol Hotel. The staff is almost invisible, polite and treats everyone like a family member. After five days in this first-class boutique hotel, it was very difficult for me to pack my suitcases and take the limo service to the airport. I will definitely come again!
What I will miss: the jogging track along the Atlantic ocean, the wild sea that crashed against the rocks in front of my terrace and, of course, the bar, where I have enjoyed an excellent nightcap every night.