A design and cuisine pearl on the Cascais coast
It’s easy to understand why Portuguese royalty choose to build a summer villa along the Estoril coast, just a short walk from the centre of Cascais. Captivating views of the Atlantic are one draw so is plentiful seafood and lovely beaches. Farol hotel which takes its name from the Portuguese word for lighthouse as well as the adjacent, historic Santa Marta Lighthouse also takes advantage of these draws. The former 19th century mansion belonging to the Count of Cabral has undergone major renovations to effortlessly blend the original gabled white stone building with the modern wing showcasing glass windows in 33 designer rooms that look out to the ocean.
Part of Design Hotels, Hotel Farol is ripe with interesting, bespoke features like the enormous Marcel Wanders chandelier hanging in the bar, colourful artwork by Diogo Navarro and sculptures scattered throughout common spaces like an eccentric gorilla man holding a flower that greets guests at the entrance to the hotel. Designers Ana Salazar, Fátima Lopez, Miguel Vieira and Manuel Alves and José Manuel Gonçalves have created individual rooms that enhance the design focus. The chic twin room with sea view, boasts a hydromassage bathtub, organic amenities and is decorated with restraint in a sleek black and white colour scheme. From the bedroom window, the glittering Atlantic has pride of place.
Two full scale restaurants, The Mix and Sushi Design located obliquely opposite one another as well as two bars can also be found on site. Best of all guests can order from either restaurant regardless of where they are seated. Immaculate sushi has a slight Brazilian flair with bold flavors to match, while at The Mix, Philip Starck ghost chairs seem to float across the restaurant, this design restraint allows Chef Ricardo Deus’ creative Mediterranean menu to shine. A play on a frozen treat, a foie gras popsicle is encrusted with chocolate and hazelnuts adding texture to the savoury rich interior, the gentle perfume of ginger infused risotto with sautéed lobster is indulgent yet executed with a light touch while dessert, crisp dulce de leche pastries with crème de cassis are utterly sublime.
On a short walk one evening to the natural chasm, a fissure in the seaside cliffs known as Boca do Inferno, a fisherman is perched on the edge of the rocks, his silhouette framed by crashing waves hitting the rocky coastline. It is the sort of postcard scene that perfectly encapsulates time spent here.
Av. Rei Humberto II de Italia 7, Cascais
This original hotel article first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of City Style and Living Magazine