Last month, I spent a couple of days at The Oitavos in Cascais, having been invited to do a social media takeover. Being a 5-star resort, I knew it was going to be gorgeous, but in reality, it was yet more beautiful than the pictures suggested. The hotel is surrounded by nothing but rugged nature and rolling golf courses, and I could see the sea from my balcony. I think when a place is called a ‘resort’, you tend (well, I tend!) to think of screaming kids in pools and crowded lobbies, but there was none of that here. In fact, I don’t think I even saw a child! The whole place was blissfully peaceful, and is very much set up for adults, from the Prosecco at breakfast, to the sushi bar, quiet lounges, and golf. Along with its sumptuous rooms, al fresco terrace, spa, and infinity pool, a lot of The Oitavos’ appeal is its golf — it boasts the best golf course in Portugal don’t you know? I’m no golfer, but after a quick whizz round on the golf caddy, it was easy to appreciate why; the resort is huge, with the manicured green lawns stretching out in every direction, filling the spaces between the resort’s private villa and separate restaurant.
I arrived early on a Thursday morning, having flown from Gatwick to Lisbon with TAP Airlines (who, by the way, have the most reclinable seats in the airways). The Oitavos is just a 40 minute drive from Lisbon airport, and only 10 minutes or so from the pretty town of Cascais. My room was ready when I arrived and it was beautiful. It was huge for starters, and had a giant bed with full-wall mirror for a headboard, a bath that looked out to sea, a TV and sofa, a compact bathroom, and a balcony with another sofa. All that just for me…spoilt!
Breakfast was still being served so after dropping my bags I indulged in the buffet and started my visit with a Mimosa — lush! Breakfast here is excellent. It’s got the buffet game nailed, with everything from fresh figs to papaya, a myriad of different cheese wheels, non-greasy fry-up components, and of course, Portuguese custard tarts available. I started all 3 of my days at The Oitavos with about 6 courses, but luckily, there were plenty of places to go lie down and rest it off — my favourite being the sunbeds next to the gorgeous infinity pool.
Every morning I got up for a gym and swim session, and most times had both to myself. The gym was impressive, with oodles of equipment including pilates machines — I’ve never seen those at a hotel gym before! The indoor pool was beautiful, lit to a luminous blue and set against the wild nature outside.
On one of the mornings, I took a outdoor yoga class on the first floor terrace. It was a one-on-one class, so it was great for improving my technique (I do like yoga but I’m no proper yogi by any stretch), and it was so lovely and relaxing I actually fell asleep on my mat at the end. Not sure it was meant to be that relaxing, but Ed will love to tell you that I do have an undiagnosed mild form of narcolepsy!
I tried to hold back a little at breakfast on Day 2, as I knew lunch was booked for me at Verbasco Restaurant. Verbasco is over in the Clubhouse (across the golf course) and I sat outside on the terrace overlooking the pine trees and out to the Atlantic. I had a seafood feast and it was epic! I started with a plate of tuna, salmon and seabass ceviche, which was incredibly fresh and so zingy and delicious, and then, grilled octopus with roasted garlic, potatoes, and spinach. Again, it was *great* and such a wholesome plate. YUM.
After lunch at Verbasco, I was booked in for a massage at the spa. The spa has 10 treatment rooms, all of which — plus the pool, sauna and steam room — have floor-to-ceiling windows that look directly out on to the rugged landscape outside. The fact that nature is right there, on your level, just through the glass, makes the whole spa experience feel more pure and virtuous somehow. My full-body massage was just perfect — thorough and hard, just as I like it. I pretty much floated back to my room!
On my final evening, after a walk around Cascais (more about that in another post!), I had sushi and sashimi for dinner at the Japanese Bar. The chef prepared it all in front of me and it was all absolutely delicious. All of the fish had come out of the ocean literally hours before, and you could tell. Fresh wasabi is one of my favourite things (though in small quantities!) and with an infinite supply here, I was in heaven! the freshest, lightest, tastiest dinner I could have wished for. (Note: if you want to make me smile, just gimme a big plate of sashimi!)
Alas, the time came that I had to log out of The Oitavos’ social media accounts (follow here), pack my bags and leave. After a final swim and a final breakfast, I got a cab to Lisbon, where I was spending just 24-hours — more on that to come. If you are planning a trip to Lisbon or simply want a few days of just chilling, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking into The Oitavos. It’s peaceful and quiet, it’s beautiful, and it has everything you could need. It’s the perfect escape, or a great add-on to a Lisbon city break. I’d go back just for the cheese selection at breakfast!