Tuesday

Portugal - Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon

Which would you prefer a seaside escape or a city break, or even better, would you rather combine the two?

Portugal - Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon photo by modern bric a brac



To my delight a trip to see the capital city of Portugal found us able to enjoy both when we decided to stay in the seaside town of Cascais.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


This pretty town is only 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon, with beaches, fishing boats, marina and lighthouse all adding to its picturesque charm.


In this appealing setting thanks to a series of fortunate circumstances I discovered three diverse yet equally desirable luxury hotels to stay in. Each had a unique style and personality that I think you'll love so read on to find out more.

I'll start with the one we stayed in, which had the best location, situated in the historic citadel. Now a cultural hub this former fortress has recently been transformed into a space where exclusive events and art exhibitions are held.


Pousada Cascais - Citadela Historic Hotel and Art District


Enclosed within the historic walls of the ancient 16th century fortress, the Citadela with its immaculate central square has become the location of a luxury hotel that faces onto the former summer palace of the Portuguese royal family.

When we arrived our first view of the hotel was through an imposing archway, the main entrance to the citadel. Our taxi drove into the cobbled square and up to the main entrance where a smiling porter was waiting to greet us and take our bags as we entered the lobby.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


Inside were more smiling staff in reception and just beyond was a sunken bar and eating area with the most spectacular art installation of 300 starling sculptures sweeping through the air. The birds swooped up towards a small window in the ceiling, each representing one day of the renovation of the building.

Everywhere looked new and fresh, not surprising as the hotel is only four years old. We reached our room and at once opened the curtains to let in light and fresh air. The room was generously proportioned and the window looked out onto a very quiet walkway.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


Deciding to explore, our party soon reunited and sis, little miss, mum and I went in search of the hotels swimming pools. Our first discovery was how far the hotel extended outwards. After travelling along a few corridors we found the indoor pool beside the restaurant used for breakfasts. An unusual arrangement had the two visibly and audibly connected, you could hear and see people in the swimming pool while seated in some parts of the restaurant. A glass door on the opposite side of the swimming pool led to a balcony with loungers and a view across the marina to the sea beyond.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


Outside overlooking the marina we found a walk along the ramparts. We continued to walk and found a dense hedge of lavender and on top of the ramparts the outdoor pool. Our orientation complete we returned to the sanctuary of our rooms before heading out to explore the seaside town of Cascais.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


As we left the hotel a roar of excited teenage girls rose into the air. In the square a line of smartly dressed gents lined one side. Security guards filled the ancient archway and on the other side a line of excited young girls stood waiting for something to happen.

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


We were intrigued by the anticipation in the air and mum stopped to find out what was happening. From a little enquiry we were informed that a Portuguese celebrity was about to arrive for the GQ awards, the excitement was infectious.

The next evening on our return we passed through coloured lights illuminating the archway and elegant ladies and gentlemen walking daintily on the cobbles passed us to join a queue into a building by the former summer palace. In the hotel I learned from the smiling reception that it was an exclusive event for Portuguese VIPs that takes place every year within the citadel.

Each morning we would arrive for breakfast and through the windows overlooking the marina we could see the sun starting to rise on the horizon. It was a very beautiful view to start the day. Breakfast comprised of a generous buffet of fruits, hot dishes, cold meats, cheeses, breads and for me, of course, coffee. Oh, yes and did I mention the sparkling wine and orange juice that arrived on a tray?

Portugal, Stay in the Citadel of Cascais, Lisbon, photo by modern bric a brac


Without exception the staff were polite, friendly and very smiley, the breakfast and pool were lovely and I had a top glass of port in the bar.

Pestana Cidadela de Cascais Avenida D. Carlos I, 2750-310, Cascais, Lisbon. We stayed for three nights and paid £250 each to share a twin room.

Come back to find out two other luxury stays in Cascais, one offering a fab place to stay for family fun and the other perfect for modern sophistication.


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