We've stayed at the Farol several times before and so were a little puzzled at the dip in service this time. It occurs to us that the problem might be that we visited out of season. The staff weren't particularly helpful (I had to ask a waitress to call a local bar where I thought I'd lost a coat - she told me that she'd ask reception to do me "that favour" but that she wasn't sure it was possible which was surprising when you consider that they market themselves as a five star hotel and this kind of basic concierge service should be as standard). We ordered a same-day laundry service with shoe shining and the girl that came to pick up the shirts was surprised to be presented with the shoes. She told us they didn't offer a shoe cleaning service. When we showed her the service in the room service brochure, she said she'd check, but wouldn't we rather that she find us a sponge so that we could clean the shoes ourselves? The whole thing was a bit surreal, especially when they brought the shirt we'd sent to be laundered back up to discuss what might have made it dirty at length. Sushi is overpriced and whilst perfectly acceptable, nothing special if you live (as we do) in a city like London where you can get really exceptional sushi on a regular basis. Room service took almost an hour to arrive and we were presented with a 40EUR bill for two (cold) toasted sandwiches and a plate of fruit. Breakfast was still relatively impressive and of course nothing can change the fact that the location really is outstanding. Ensure that you get a room with a sea view. They're out of this world. However, the whole experience was soured by lackadaisical staff which was compounded by them sending us to the wrong station at the end of our stay (an expensive and irritating mistake). A final note on the rooms. We've always stayed in designer rooms in the past and love them. We upgraded to a suite on the corner of the building this time and were quite disappointed. It's only slightly larger than the design room with a long corridor which really is wasted space and no balcony. Not worth the extra money (almost double the price). Stick with the design rooms. As newlyweds who'd brought another ten couples to the hotel for our wedding weekend, we'd vaguely thought we might receive some small gesture of thanks or special treatment (as we'd been offered this in the other Cascais hotels we approached with our custom). They told us as we were leaving that they'd usually give newlyweds champagne and chocolates but that they'd forgotten in our case, which rather begs the question of why they felt the need to assure us that all other newly married couples are given this treat when we weren't. As they didn't bother with us, I'd rather not have known. All in all, the views are amazing and the bar is a lovely place to sit and have a drink. Our stay wasn't a disaster but represented a marked deterioration in quality from our experience earlier in the year. I doubt we'll return, which is a shame, as we're often in Cascais visiting family.
- 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