Let me start by saying that the Villa Italia is a very good hotel. However, we found it a bit too 'corporate' with many seminars and meetings being held in one of the wings. Delegates on mobiles seemed to be everywhere and the overall atmosphere seemed to be one of a conference centre with rooms, rather than a holiday hotel. The decor is classic 'cruise ship chic' and, although it is smart, clean and slick, it lacks a bit of warmth and personality. The bar and restaurant areas were invariably empty and the hotel didn't seem that busy in spite of the assurance that they were full.
Having said that, our stay was perfectly pleasant and we were upgraded on arrival. One tip; book the hotel car for airport transfer as the driver of our cab from the airport was terrifying. He had no sat. nav. and, when he got lost in Cascais, resorted to stopping the car middle of a busy road to ask directions. Scary.
Our room overlooked the rear of the hotel, with a double balcony, which was clean, spacious and nicely furnished. Housekeeping was good, but they came at about 3.30 onwards on a few occasions which is a bit late – especially when you want a siesta.
The pool was lovely and sun loungers plentiful. It may get a bit 'cosy' if the hotel is very busy, but happily we always found plenty of space. Breakfast is good and varied, but choice wasn't that marvelous for a 5-star hotel. We had lunch on the terrace a couple of times which was ok, but no more.
The hotel is about 10 minutes walk into town and the Bocco do Inferno (don't bother – it's only any good during a storm). The modern Marina is about five minutes walk away and has plenty of decent restaurants, but is a bit soulless. Cascais town is lovely and Estoril is a good 25 minute walk away along a picturesque seafront. Cascais is a typical Portugese town with block paving and plenty of restaurants, bars and cafés, as well as a number of galleries, gift shops and several small sandy beaches. Very lively and not tacky. We caught the train to Lisbon, which was quick and simple. Dead easy – just make sure you stay on until the end. No changes necessary and both stations are terminuses.
In conclusion, I would recommend the hotel as it is very luxurious, but would probably stay elsewhere if we returned as Cascais is really very nice. It's purely a personal opinion as the majority of this hotel's reviews are fantastic, but we were just a little underwhelmed by it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grande Real Villa Italia is a result of the adaptation of the old houses where King Umberto II of Italy lived while exiled in Portugal from the 1950's to the 1980's.Located in the cosmopolitan city of Cascais, Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel & Spa represents excellence in design, sophistication and comfort.With the Atlantic Ocean as the predominant scenery, you can look towards the north and see the beautiful hills and castles of Sintra, while Lisbon is only a few minutes away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel And Spa
- Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel Cascais
- Grande Real Hotel Italia