Wonderful hotel, with a very open, airy modern architecture, I stayed in a beautiful corner room which is i think two categories above standard room, very spacious and overlooking the pool and the golf course. The hotel is designed in star shape so all rooms have a side view to the sea; the downside is you are either sunrise or sunset facing. The bedding is excellent, crisp linens and goose down pillows. The breakfast is fab, one of the best I have seen with an amazing selection of fruits, local cheeses, bread and in you wake up early enough you can have these Portuguese custard tart warm! It is too cold in the morning in the lobby though, gets better later in the day.
The food in the fancy side (there are 2 restaurants opposite one another) is fine but not outstanding. It is a fixed menu changing everyday and including wine which I think is a good idea. I thought it was better on the more casual side with an eclectic selection of dishes, from local (top bulhau pato clams!) to more spanish ones (tapas) and even with some sushis (i didn't try them). It is priced reasonably for a 5 stars. The food at the golf clubhouse was good too and they have a beautiful terrace. It is a paradise for golfers although you can find other things to do nearby. They have a spa and 2 swimming pools to start with (indoor and outdoor). There is a bike path along the seaside and you can rent bikes at the hotel, there are surf schools at the nearby beach. The staff is attentive.
Golf is really what it is about. The hotel is set on a championship golf course, rated 89 in the top 100 worldwide if I remember well. Incredibly tough, almost undoable if you tee off from the back-tees, in particular if it is windy... and I would guess it is often since it is by the ocean. It has a links feel to it and it is set in an amazing protected natural park.
My only concern goes to the way the golf is ran. First of all, the clubhouse is away from the hotel, therefore the proshop is not at the heart of the tee-booking or anything golf: you don't discuss anything (tee, lessons, range...) with the pros, you deal with the concierges and they have to stick to the rules the golf has imposed upon them. For example you won't be able to tee off after 10AM in weekends since the course is then reserved to its members. Fair enough but the reality is that is it a course that relies heavily on green fees, not so much on its small amount of members.
Also they take four balls at anytime which is also very annoying: you might be stuck behind several 4 balls even if you tee off early in the morning. Finally, it is not in their policy to partner single or pairs to make it more homogeneous (although they try to do so sometimes). So you might tee off alone and be stuck behind three or four balls.
Apart from that, I had a wonderful stay and can't wait to come back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Inspired by the timeless beauty of the Atlantic coast, The Oitavos seeks to embrace rather than compete with nature. Its bold design, sleek lines and elegantly simple interiors focus attention outwards – on the historical and natural elements of the grounds and the drama and romance of the Atlantic Ocean. A stunning blue colour palate will cool your senses, blending with the colours of the sea and the violets of the flowers dotted across the landscape. Contemporary sculpture and paintings by Portuguese artists will enrapture against the white canvas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Oitavos Hotel Cascais