Fodor's Expert Review Sheraton Cascais Resort
Rua das Palmeiras Lote 5, Quinta da Marinha, Cascais, Lisbon 1250-004, Portugal See on Map
Hidden away in an exclusive woodland setting just a stone's throw from the beautiful beaches of the Lisbon-Estoril coast, Sheraton Cascais Resort attracts a mix of business and leisure travelers, as well as golfers keen to enjoy the world-renowned courses nearby. A noteworthy gastro-bar and fine dining restaurant, bicycle hire and seasonal entertainment for kids means families can really settle in and relax.
With smart rooms and apartments set in lovely grounds with a large outdoor pool area and a plush spa, the hotel feels a world away from the busy city streets, but is a short hop from downtown Lisbon by road or rail. Service is excellent across the board, from reception and housekeeping to the staff at the restaurants and spa, and a major makeover in 2016 means that everything is sparkling new.
Should you be in the market to buy property in Portugal, the Sheraton Cascais has serviced apartments for sale within the resort, and owners are able to make use of all the hotel's facilities. Naturally, they're not cheap.
Rooms at Sheraton Cascais are spacious and immaculately-maintained, with living areas, kitchenettes and large balconies or private terraces overlooking the hotel grounds and/or the scenic Quinta da Marinha park. Suites have well-equipped kitchens, and the Panoramic Suite has a huge roof terrace with hot tub and sun loungers . Guests at the hotel are welcomed with little treats such as pasteis de nata and miniature bottles of port, and the beds are extremely comfortable. Decor is modern, with neutral colors on the walls and lots of dark wood furnishings, and all rooms have LCD TVs with cable channels, in-room WiFi, and Nespresso machines.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi and Nespresso capsules are charged in many rooms, but may be offered free under certain promotions.
The bathrooms have deep tubs and powerful overhead showers, high quality Shine by Sheraton amenities, double sinks, shaving/makeup mirrors and extremely comfortable robes.
In some larger rooms and suites, the robes and slippers are hidden away in a walk-in wardrobe near the bathroom.
The large lobby at Sheraton Cascais is a bright, modern space with colorful flower displays competing for attention with the large screen televisions that broadcast golf and sports events around the clock. Check-in is available 24/7 and is a speedy process thanks to very efficient staff. Guests can store luggage before check-in or after check-out. Adjoining the lobby is a glitzy new gastro bar, separated from the reception area by clear glass walls.
Guests at Sheraton Cascais may be just a couple of miles from the beach, but may find themselves reluctant to leave the comfort of the outdoor pool area at the resort. Two large pools, separated by a wooden walkway and surrounded by sun loungers and shade-providing trees, offer respite from the heat on sunny days, while a plunge pool in the indoor spa area is the place to take a dip when temperatures are cooler. A poolside bar serves drinks and light meals throughout the spring and summer.
The Serenity Spa at Sheraton Cascais makes the most of the hotel's wonderfully tranquil location. The spa is located inside an indoor garden, and as well as offering treatments to soothe mind, body and soul, has a heated pool with hydro-massage, and a relaxation room with views over the landscaped gardens. Many beauty and body treatments are specially made using ingredients sourced from the local area, and a hammam and hot tub add to the relaxing experience.
Families can involve the kids in their pampering session, with packages such as mother/daughter massages and manicures using child-friendly products.
Guests can work out at the hotel's modern, well-equipped fitness center, with a good standard of cardio equipment and weights, as well as very necessary water cooler.
Sheraton Cascais caused something of a stir on the local dining scene with the April 2017 opening of Kimya Gastrobar, a jazzy space dedicated to pairing miniature molecular gastronomy dishes with their perfect boozy counterparts. Both food and cocktails are prepare with scientific precision, and staff can advise on the best combinations. It's a sophisticated yet fun spot for a little culinary experimentation.
For more substantial, and traditional, meals, the formal dining restaurant serves Portuguese and Mediterranean dishes in an elegant space with a large outdoor terrace, which is also the setting for a seriously lavish breakfast buffet. On Sundays, a popular Sunday brunch combines several food stations, kids' entertainment and cocktails, allowing parents to relax by the pool as younger guests burn off some energy racing around the large gardens.
The tasting menu at Kimya is a good way to sample several of the inventive dishes at one sitting. These are small plates, so there's little danger of walking away stuffed.
Guests should make a point of sampling the killer cocktails at Kimya at least once during their stay, but can also visit the informal Lounge Bar relaxed tea, coffee, wine or spirits, or enjoy a drink from the poolside bar during the spring and summer. The bars also serve light meals and snacks.
The tranquil location is key to the charm of a stay here, but it's far from cut off from civilization. Less than 23 miles from Lisbon airport, it's easy and relatively inexpensive to reach by hire car, cab or Uber. Alternatively, visitors can take the 25-minute scenic train ride from downtown Lisbon, and hop on the hotel's free shuttle bus service from Cascais train station. Bicycles, available to hire at reception, are a great way to explore the surrounding woodland, or zip down to the marina and the beachfront, where there are miles of cycle lanes.
The coastal location makes fish and seafood a specialty, and it's a quick drive or scenic stroll to one of Portugal's most famous fish restaurants, Monte Mar (5-minute drive or 25-minute walk). The excellent fish and location overlooking wild Guincho beach have made this a top choice among visiting celebrities (Bill Clinton and Bryan Adams are among the big names to have been spotted here).
There are several good restaurants at Cascais Marina, including Hemingway (10-minute drive), a chic fine-dining restaurants where five-course feasts are accompanied by artfully-mixed cocktails.
Cascais and neighboring Estoril are two of the most upscale areas of Portugal, and nightlife here caters to well-heeled locals as well as holidaymakers and day tripping surfers. The nightlife is therefore quite varied, but there's a good concentration of bars at the Marina (12-minute drive), with Hemingway an excellent choice for a cocktail, even if you don't intend to eat. Guests can also have a drink at one of the world's most famous casinos, Casino do Estoril (15-minute drive), which was famously the inspiration for Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel Casino Royale.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Sheraton Cascais Resort feels like a tranquil escape from the crowds, but is just a short hop from downtown Lisbon and the sightseeing opportunities of Cascais, Estoril and Sintra. The huge rooms, gorgeous grounds and excellent facilities make it a good choice for leisure guests, and solid business facilities make it a popular choice for a work trip. The pools, spa and standout drinking and dining add to the appeal. This is a top destination for golfers, too, with some excellent rounds to be played in the surrounding area.
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