By Charmaine Hibbert
We are heading out of Lisbon, to the beautiful coastal area of Cascais, which is just a 30 minute drive, it can be done quicker if you know the route but we’ve been round a couple of roundabouts twice!!
We are heading for the magnificent 5 star luxury Oitavos hotel, which boasts 142 guest rooms, all of which has its own private balcony where you can take in the stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Oitavos Dunes golf course.
As you hit the coastal road and drive up round the hotel to the car park, you will be stunned by the shear size of the place and for those who like minimalist then you are in for a real treat.
The hotel also features two special suites: 'The Atlantic' suite which is located in the Northwest corner of the top floor and 'The Oitavos' which is located at the Southwest end of the top floor. Both these one-bedroom suites are extra spacious and feature a separate living and dining area, as well as independent washrooms. When you step out on to your balcony you will be blown away by the views. You couldn't ask for more.
All guests here have access to the most exclusive amenities available in Portugal, from the Oitavos Dunes golf course to the award winning Verbasco Restaurant (Clubhouse), The Quinta da Marinha Equestrian Centre to my favourite spot The Spa.
I would highly recommend The Ipsylon Restaurant, the menu is prepared daily by the French chef and the food can be accompanied by some beautiful wines, again the setting fits in with the minimalist ethos and watching the sun go down with a light fruity pinot noir after the excellently prepared “Le Diner du Chef” was a particular highlight.
My favourite spot in the Ipsylon is the Japanese bar. For all of you who have read my reviews will know I have a weakness for sushi and this bar offers the highest quality sushi around and the best part is watching the chefs prepare the dishes right before your eyes! I love watching chefs at work, it's such a joy to watch their culinary skills at work, it also makes you appreciate your food so much more.
Reviewing the Spa has been the highlight of my trip. With a range of packages and treatments to choose from you will be spoilt for choice. I opted for the 'Organic Muslin Massage' where they use only the finest herbs as well as seaweed and massage deep into your body. It's purpose is to rejuvenate the skin by exfoliating the surfaces layers whilst nourishing your skin deep within. I enjoyed the detoxifying peppermint, but you could always opt for the calming chamomile or stimulating fennel.
Another treatment I would recommend is the 'Customised Facial' now this is one is much more personal as it is tailored to your own particular skin needs. Not only was my skin left glowing, it was so soft to the touch. One more I would suggest is the Yoga Class, the duration is 60 minutes and you can choose to do an individual or group session. I choose to do the individual session just because I haven't done yoga in a number of years but it's a fantastic way to relax, meditate, boost your willpower and also a great way to help build your core strength. Yoga is not for everyone but if you are a fan of yoga it is definitely worth booking a session.
As we drive away to the next golf course and I look back down the slope to the entrance to the hotel, it’s strange as you can’t begin to realise how much hidden delights this building holds until you actually stay here but I would make sure you put this gem on your weekend away list.
Rua de Oitavos
Quinta da Marinha
T. +351 21 486 0020
F. +351 21 043 5939