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“The highlight of our trip to Portugal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Farol Design Hotel

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Farol Design Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida Rei Humberto II de Italia 7, Cascais 2750-461, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 22 Hotels in Cascais
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“The highlight of our trip to Portugal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2010

As soon as we sat down at the outdoor bar for our complimentary "welcome drinks" and checked out the 180 degree view of the sunlit pool, the raised white double sun beds, the ocean, and the black craggy rocks I knew that the Farol was going to be the highlight of our week-long stay in Portugal. We wasted no time changing into swimsuits and heading straight to the pool, where the friendly staff served us fruit kebabs, sandwiches and drinks. And we took full advantage of the outdoor bar once again after sundown for scotches on the deck.

Other perks are stunning room views, especially if you can get a room facing the rocks, massage tubs in the rooms, free Internet access and a lavish breakfast with six kinds of freshly squeezed juices--orange, pear, mango, tomato, grapefruit and peach. Staff were helpful--offering luggage storage and early check-in. The main town of Cascais is also just a short walk away. But I would strongly recommend not wasting time with sightseeing and taking full advantage of the Farol itself.

If I had to note a criticism of the hotel, it would only be that a few of the details are not quite up to par compared to an American luxury hotel. You won't find high thread count sheets here, and you will find some scuff marks on the bedroom walls and faded throw pillows. But don't let that dissuade you. We stayed in amazing places in both nearby Estoril and Lisbon, but if we had to do it over (and if money were not a factor), we would have spent all of our time at the Farol. It reminded me of what a vacation is supposed to be.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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405 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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London
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2010

I went last weekend with a friend for a girls weekend away and what a time we had. I stayed at the Albatroz last time and thought that was good but the pool was a bit small. The Farol design does what it says on the tin and is perfect in every sense of the word. Staff are fantastic, location is a 5 minute walk from the Marina and 10 minutes from town. The pool area is stunning (lovely fluffy pool towels) and bar menu wonderful – not a bowl of chips in sight just lovely cocktails, wraps and toasties to keep you going. Breakfast was lovely and we had lunch as well which was spot on. Great menu and choice.
We were fortunate to have a designer room (212) which was very cool all decked out in black and red. Hydro bath thing as well which was quite funny. Fluffy bath robes and flip flops rather than slippers which was different. Lovely to sit out on our balcony in the evening and watch everything going on down below. Black toilet roll as well!!
Cascais is a beautiful place to visit and the Farol deisgn caters to everyone. Not a child in sight just pure relaxation and lovely vibe about the place. I can’t wait to go back, it was perfect. Just a pointer to note for the ladies, take your own hairdryer as the one in the room is a bit lame!!
Everyone should stay here, it’s a wonderful place!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hambon
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2010

Like another recent reviewer, I cannot understand why this hotel doesn't have better tripadvisor reviews/ratings. I booked the hotel via Mr & Mrs Smith and then had serious doubts after reading some negative reviews on here. I can honestly say that one of the best decisions I've made this year was to ignore them as the Farol is up there as one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.

This is largely down to its stunning location - it is situated right on the rocks above the ocean. When you are lying by the pool, it really is like sitting on the bow of a yacht. As it's on the Atlantic you also get the benefit of some big waves crashing against the shore (even when the weather is very good), which is very dramatic.

The pool, bar and restaurant areas and all impeccible and break into different spaces nicely. Even if you decide not to leave the hotel for an entire day (as we did often), you can drift between the different places and it doesn't feel like you have been stuck in the same space all day.

We stayed in a room in the old part of the building, which was charming and prefectly nice - if not spectacular. I suspect the design rooms are better but as the outside space and communal areas are so impressive, this really isn't the place to hide away in your room.

Breakfast was one of the highlights of the day - served on the outside terrace overlooing the sea - a perfect way to start your day. Breakfast was a selection of the usual continental ingredients, however, they do also offer a cooked option - scrambled/fried/poached eggs, omlettes and pancakes, which were all very good. My only gripe is the coffee from a nespresso machine rather than a fresh pot, which I would've preferred.

Aside from breakfast, the hotel has the MIx restaurant which is popular with locals and very busy, so doens't feel like a hotel restaurant. This is a modern fusion restaurant and well worth a visit for at least one night during a stay. The poolside bar also offers reasonably priced snacks (toasties, club sandwiches etc for about €6) and drinks are also well priced - beers for around €2 and a bottle of good wine for €15 - not bad value for a hotel bar.

On the minus side, the service can be a little patchy. A lot of the hotel staff are quite young and, although well intentioned and perfectly polite, are sometimes not as slick or reliable as you might expect. Also, other reviewers have mentioned this in the past, the fact that the pool is open to the public can be a little frustrating. During our stay, on weekdays there was a perfectly chilled ambience around the pool but at the weekend more people came just for the day and it ruined this atmosphere to some extent. This wasn't a huge problem in September but I suspect it could become an issue in July and August.

Overall, this is a perefct hotel for a relaxing getaway. If you are happy to spend a reasonable amount of time in the hotel and chilling by the pool, this is as good a place as I've ever experienced to do so and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Cascais itself is a charming little town although we found it very limited in terms of nightlife/restaurants. The main square is dominated by some faux British/Irish pubs which aren't really to my taste. The better restuarants we fond we situated to the left of the hotel (ie away from Cascais) including Mar Do Inferno, an exquisite seafood restaurant around 200m/5 min walk from the hotel. Other gems include Porto de Santa Maria (around a 15 min cab ride).

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Farol Design Hotel for 7 nights in August/September 2010. We had requested a transfer from the Airport and a sea-view room. Our transfer was waiting for us as we arrived (even though our flight was delayed), with a clear sign with our name printed on it. They were quick to take our luggage and overall we were very impressed from the start.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we were told that there was a wedding that evening (we arrived on a Saturday), which was unfortunate as we were looking forward to dining in the Mix Restaurant. Due to the wedding, we were unable to use the restaurant or the outside bar for the duration of our first evening. There is a bar inside, but who in their right minds would want to miss the ocean view?! I have to say that the wedding was not overly noisy and we managed to get a very decent nights' sleep, but I do wish that they had told us before we booked (which was only a couple of weeks before we arrived).

Our room (105) was in the new part of the Hotel, and although marketed as a Sea View room, had a very average view. There is a small patio terrace which gets very sunny from around 11am, but there were huge Aloe Vera plants just outside, obscuring the view. We often used the terrace to read our books or surf the internet (which is very expensive in my opinion - €50 for 7 days, or €3 per hour/€2 per half hour). The room itself was clean, but the minimalist design and impersonal touches made it unfriendly and cold. The whole room was white, with red accents. The floor was whitewashed, but had several dirty marks and chips in it, which made it feel cheap. I didn't want to walk on it barefoot and needless to say, we didn't spend much time there.

The views from the pool, restaurant and bar were magnificent. There was constant ambient music playing in all outside areas, which added to the relaxed vibe. The music was not loud enough to be heard in our room, even with the door open.

The drinks at the bar were good - not great. They were too expensive, and comparable to London (more Mayfair than Leicester Square) prices. Their Mojito was €10, but as they kept running out of Mint, we never managed to taste one! The bar food was average and expensive, and the seating area not very comfortable.

The Restaurant was excellent. The food was pricey, but worth every penny, We had dinner there twice and lunch once. Each meal is very heavy, and the chef likes to include a couple of amuse-bouche before the starter and dessert. Each dish was fantastic, and the Sushi is to-die-for. We had the Lamb Shank and Black Pork which were both excellent, but only one pudding was worth having twice - the Mango Cheesecake.

The waiting staff and housekeeping staff were all polite and courteous. Service was swift but not overbearing at the restaurant. The design aspect of the hotel was interesting, but I didn't "get" it. The fusion between the french styled furniture and modern European art just didn't work for me. Some of the art on the walls were, to put it bluntly, hideous.

This hotel is perfect for a relaxing time by the pool, watching the boats go by, and listening to the crash of the waves on the rocks below.

If you get bored of the Hotel/restaurant, turn left out of the hotel, and after a 10 minute stroll, there is a fantastic Seafood restaurant called "Mar Do Inferno", just outside the Boca Do Inferno. The Seafood platter is full of gigantic prawns, sea bream, sea bass and mussels. You may need to book in advance, as it is always busy at dinner time.

Turn right out of the hotel, and you will find your self at the Marina, where I recommend Skipper - a small pub/restaurant serving good wholesome meals and cheap drinks. Oh, and there are some nice little boats too!

Carry on past the Marina, into Cascais, where there are some other nice restaurants and shops. We highly recommend the Palm Tree Restaurant in the main square, where we sampled great Portuguese Steak and Seafood.

Cascais is lovely, and we would be happy to stay at the Farol Design Hotel again.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2010

The best thing about this hotel is without a doubt it's location. Beautiful setting and veiws but only a ten minute walk to Cascais town. The staff are very polite and friendly and the food in the Restaurant is quite good if you like the "Nouveau Cuisine" type of food. The Pool and sunloungers were good and the music was quite relaxing. The sun is there from dawn till dusk. The "Design Rooms" are not particularly large and the decor is very minimalistic and stark but the small terrace had lovely veiws of the ocean. The service was ok. I wasn't very keen on the outside hard plastic seating in the bar and the restaurant......I realise it's the design look but it's not very comfortable to sit on, probably
ok for teenagers and children. All in all quite a good hotel just personal taste.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

I can't understand why this hotel isn't higher in the Trip Advisor ratings for Cascais because everything about it is amazing! I saw other reviews of other places and there were reviews of having to cross a busy highway... NO thanks!

Farol Design Hotel is right by the water so you couldn't get much closer if you wanted to. The gentle sound of waves crashing against the rocks was a delight, especially to wake up to in the morning and dreamy loungy balaeric music playing in the background meant it was very easy to drift off into a relaxed bliss!

But yes, as some other reviews have mentioned, the restaurant is stunning. Interesting modern European fusion I guess would be the best way to describe it but the view from the balcony is something else, a lovely way to start the day! Breakfast was also great with freshly cooked omelettes, eggs and pancakes on offer as well as the usual array of fruits, breads, sweets etc..

The service was also very smooth, especially the service at the pool bar.

Overall, this place is a stunning place where attention to detail and service is sublime. Being only a short 10 minute stroll into the centre of town, the Farol Design Hotel is a n absolute gem.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

This hotel is divided in 2 areas: the designers hall and the old hall.
I stayed one night in a suite at the old area. Great big room, perfect perfect perfect bed :D, a charming balcony with sea and pool view. Black and white decoration with, a very soft carpet, and a beautiful bathroom.
The staff was really friendly, especially the waiter that served us at the restaurant hotel. Five stars just for him!
The pool with sea water was really great, with lots of big white beds spread around it to chill out. I recommend the bar by the pool, for a cocktail at the sunset.

But, the top of this hotel is the restaurant!
Very dramatic decoration!
Amazing food, with a touch of fusion, a feast for your eyes, excellent wine choice, an extra appetizers and desserts with the compliments of the chef. And at the end, the bill wasn't that expensive!

This five star stay, had only one down: They have to change the bathtub in our suite, because of the little holes in it, probably caused by the heavy shower falling into the tub.

I really recommend this hotel, and Cascais, a little gem where you can truly chill out... and dream.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Farol Design Hotel

Address: Avenida Rei Humberto II de Italia 7, Cascais 2750-461, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Central Portugal > Lisbon District > Cascais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Cascais
#6 Business Hotel in Cascais
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cascais
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cascais
#9 Family Hotel in Cascais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Farol Design Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Planted on the edge of the rocks that rise out of the ocean, Farol Hotel is set in a mansion dating back to 1890, formerly owned by the Count of Cabral. In 2002 an extension was built, creating a superb innovative interface between the 19th century original building and the daring new contemporary structure extending over the rocks and offering superb views of the Atlantic and most picturesque sunsets.Unique in concept, the designer rooms originated from an invitation to select top Portuguese fashion designers to “dress a room”. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Farol Design Cascais
Hotel Farol Design

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