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Forums Other Destination advice Lisbon / Cascais and Estoril hotel recommendations

  • ExpatInBerlin 187 posts

    Have booked relatively last minute flights to Lisbon for a 5 night trip 9th – 14th August using my last pre-covid 241 which expires end of September (not a great use of it admittedly but better than wasting!) Vague plan is to spend 3 nights in Lisbon and then catch a train along the coast to spend the last 2 nights somewhere a bit smaller by the sea – have read good things on here recently about Cascais/Estoril. Any recommendations for small boutique-y hotels in Lisbon/along the coast that won’t break the bank please? Have left it a bit late to get a decent rate at the IC Cascais-Estoril unfortunately!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,034 posts

    The IC really is lovely. So ruling that out, here are the hotels I have walked into/walked around/sat at the bqr at:
    Palacio Estoril (Edwardian style spa hotel in Estoril town)
    Cascais Miragem (modern on the coast but no beach, pool deck is however ample)
    Albatroz Cascais (more a large guesthouse than a standalone hotel; right by the beaches so fish/cooked fish smells can be expected)
    Farol Cascais (again more like a guesthouse, like something from Cape Cod)
    Vila Galé Cascais (large family style hotel with large pool gardens)
    Grande Real Villa Italia (swish tasteful Italiante style set on the property where the exiled Italian king once lived)
    Sheraton Cascais (well out of town but ample outdoor space and may suit depending on your demographic)

    I’d probably go for Villa Italia personally in absence of IC. Although I have heard reports of the pool chairs not being sufficiently plentiful.

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    @ExpatinBerlin, I’ve also used one of our expiring 241s for LIS at the end of September (plus an expiring Ambassador cert). We’re flying back direct to MAN on TAP, which means that theoretically we can use the other half of the 241 some time in the next 12 months, possibly for a planned OPO trip next summer.

    It’s our first time in LIS so please post any recommendations!

    ExpatInBerlin 187 posts

    @BWS thanks very much for these, I will investigate.


    @NorthernLass
    – that’s clever, I hadn’t thought of voucher splitting for this trip, though we are very constrained by work schedules so could only do the weekend we are flying on (also a bit avios poor at present from big splurges on trips to Barbados in December and Vancouver in Jan). It is also our first time in Lisbon and actually our first trip to Portugal, so looking forward to it! We’d also looked at Porto but there are few fewer BA flights compared to Lisbon and no availability on our dates unfortunately. It seems everyone is going to Lisbon at present so I have quite a few restaurant/bar recs from f&f that I planning to try – will report back post-trip!

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    I’ve done this with a previous booking – outbound MAN-LHR-GIB last April and the inbound is AGP-LHR-MAN next Feb. It makes for a much more pleasant trip avoiding LHR on one of the legs!

    We don’t know Portugal that well either, though we loved Porto when we went last summer – can’t believe it took me more than 50 years to discover pasteis de nata 😂

    ankomonkey 38 posts

    @ExpatinBerlin, I’ve also used one of our expiring 241s for LIS at the end of September (plus an expiring Ambassador cert). We’re flying back direct to MAN on TAP, which means that theoretically we can use the other half of the 241 some time in the next 12 months, possibly for a planned OPO trip next summer.

    It’s our first time in LIS so please post any recommendations!

    Time Out Market for food. It’s like a food hall with lots of small restaurants around the edge. The seats are all in the middle of the hall and not allocated to any restaurant, so you can mix ‘n’ match what you have from the different vendors.

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    Is that for LIS or OPO? There was something similar in OPO but the stalls were all empty inside (possibly a psot-pandemic effect) but we ate outside on the terrace, which was lovely.

    Michael C 639 posts

    Is that for LIS or OPO? There was something similar in OPO but the stalls were all empty inside (possibly a psot-pandemic effect) but we ate outside on the terrace, which was lovely.

    Especially for you, Anna!

    https://winesofportugal.com/en/discover/tasting-rooms/

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    Obrigada! I have a Douro Valley river cruise on my wish list also …

    ankomonkey 38 posts

    Is that for LIS or OPO? There was something similar in OPO but the stalls were all empty inside (possibly a psot-pandemic effect) but we ate outside on the terrace, which was lovely.

    LIS, and I’ve visited a couple of times since Covid and it was fully open with no empty stalls. It’s 5-10 minutes walk West from Cais do Sodre train and Metro station.

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    Great – will make a note to check it out. At the outside terrace at the Porto one I sampled the cheese toastie in tomato soup thing, (Francesinha?)

    LD27 130 posts

    We went to Lisbon earlier this year. Stayed in IC with Ambassador weekend certificate and had lounge access. Hotel arranged for beautiful chocolate gateau to celebrate daughter’s birthday. She was delighted!

    We walked and walked. If tired used Uber which was very quick and cheap. Also used trams.

    Time Out Market was definitely open and went a couple of times.

    If you have time go to Sintra.

    Went on a one week Druro river cruise just before Covid and really enjoyed it, including day trip to Salamanca. Stayed in Porto for a few days at the end but it was heaving with tourists.

    NorthernLass 6,707 posts

    @LD27, who did you book the cruise with? Porto was also heaving when we went last August but we found a few lesser-known attractions which were much quieter than the more famous ones, fortunately. And lovely people, the nicest I have ever encountered while travelling, I think!

    AJA 1,024 posts

    I did the same thing as you Expat and NL using an expiring old style 2-4-1 except I’m arriving 14th Aug. I am staying at Palacio Estoril. Based it on the fact that it has good reviews and looks like it has a decent pool.

    Have been to Lisbon several times so decided to go directly to Estoril this time.

    For Lisbon hotels my favourite is the Olissipo Palace which is a little way out of the centre in the diplomatic quarter but a short walk to the tram stop which takes you to the centre. It has a wonderful outdoor heated swimming pool.

    Colin MacKinnon 296 posts

    Recommend the Albatroz in Cascais. First went there with my parents 50-odd years ago.

    If going to Sintra, take the train from Lisbon. Or, use the paid – about 1.50 for the day! – parking at the Portela de Sintra station and take the train for one stop to central Sintra, the end of the line. There is a free car park across the road from the station, and it is rammed. Folk circling all day looking for a space – and across the road is pennies!

    There is a little tram from Sintra to Praca das Matas – lovely beach and village. Book for the restaurants. The tram is meant to be operated by Stagecoach, but wasn’t working in March.

    There is also a bus to Praia Grande – lovely long beach, nice restaurant on the hill as you go down to the beach.

    We also love the ferry from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon across the Tagus to Cacilhas – there is a walk along the shore (loads of abandoned and squatted warehouses etc) and then there is a little park, mobbed with Lisboetas at the weekend and some live music and a – free – lift up to the tip of the cliff.

    ExpatInBerlin 187 posts

    @LD27 @AJA @Colin thanks for the additional recommendations!

    AJA Clearly Lisbon has appealed to all those of us in need of cashing in an expiring 241! Was pleasantly surprised with the number of flights BA operate between LHR and LIS. The evening flight time of 20:10 is ideal for travelling after work. I’ll take a look at those hotels thanks. Lisbon seems quite unique for European cities in terms of so many hotels (even the small boutique ones) having some kind of pool, I suppose the weather helps!

    Colin – appreciate the Cascais rec and useful to know about the need for restaurant bookings in Praca das Matas, thanks for that!

    Lisy 6 posts

    I can also recommend the Time Out market and also one, probably for Anna, the lovely Benamor Toiletry shops. A few of which are dotted around the city. LX factory in the Alcantara area also has a nice selection of hipster shops, stalls bars and cafes.

    AJA 1,024 posts

    @ExpatinBerlin yes LIS is one of those destinations where using Avios seems relatively easy. I agree it has plenty of flight options which is also why there seems to be good availability at relatively short notice. I like going to LIS as it is so relaxed and has pleasant weather even in early January. It also helps that my OH was born in Brazil so speaks Portuguese fluently albeit the locals can tell that we’re not from Portugal.

    A tip for the return journey the lounge at LIS is not a BA specific one but pleasant enough with great runway views especially if you can nab one of the loungers by the windows. If not there is a strange dark area with a wrap around tv screen that comstantly shows sports without sound – best avoided but pretty much guaranteed a seat there! If at first the food choices seem poor ask the barman and he will replenish with stocks they keep secreted in the back. They do great coffee there too.

    But be aware the lounge does not do announcements and is before passport control and the queues can be bad especially if you can’t use the egates. The ground staff have a nasty habit of boarding early as 99% of the time it’s a bus to the plane so don’t dawdle in the lounge as it is also usually a fair walk to the departure gate which is usually one of the ones at the far end of the terminal. It is easily 10 minute walk just from passport control.

    Also if you’re going to spend 3 days or more in LIS and want to use the public transport go to one of the metro stations and buy a tourist 72 hour (3 day) Lisboa card (they do 24 and 48 hour ones too) for €46. You can buy it online for a 5% discount but still have to visit an Askme Lisboa desk to actually pick it up so I’ve never done that. It gives you free transport on the Lisbon Metro subway and buses, trams, lifts of CARRIS lines, CP Train Lisboa -Sintra, Lisboa – Cais do Sodré, Lisboa – Azambuja, Fertagus Lisboa – Setúbal.

    LD27 130 posts

    @LD27, who did you book the cruise with? Porto was also heaving when we went last August but we found a few lesser-known attractions which were much quieter than the more famous ones, fortunately. And lovely people, the nicest I have ever encountered while travelling, I think!

    We used CroisiEurope. Their ships are also used by UK Tour Operators. We found the Portuguese people we met very helpful, friendly and lovely too.

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