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.
- 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