Overnight at Fortaleza do Guincho Hotel & Restaurant in Cascais and visit to Sintra | Cascais, Portugal | After spending a lovely day in Lisbon walking around the Alfama District, it was time to head to Cascais and to our hotel for the night the Fortaleza do Guincho by Relais & Chateaux. Located only 30 minutes away, this coastal resort town was awaiting for us, with a lovely Michelin starred dinner and a day exploring Cascais and the longtime royal sanctuary of Sintra. After my week in Portugal, I am confident to say I have become an expert in the destination and curated a portfolio of amazing local suppliers. You may see all my photos and videos at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog
A few weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. After lovely stays in Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa, crossing to Portugal to Amarante with stay at Casa da Calçada, and The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa in Porto, we continued journey onwards to Lisbon and Cascais… This is my report on the fourth night with a stay at Fortaleza do Guincho. Stay tuned for the rest in upcoming blog posts.
We arrived to Fortaleza do Guincho, leaning over the Atlantic Ocean – literally – waves crash against the rocks at the foot of this impressive building. This is a building of character and immense charm, with preserved 17th century interiors, delicious cuisine and the beach just two steps away. 8 Courtyard Rooms with lateral beach view through a small fortress window located in the cloister. On the first floor, 16 Superior Rooms offer splendid views over the Atlantic Ocean, all with closed balconies and chaise longue. The 3 Junior Suites offer the best views over the Atlantic Ocean right in front, and over Cabo da Roca.
Cascais, a coastal and fishing resort town just west of Lisbon. It’s known for its sandy beaches and busy marina. The scenery is striking. We were there during winter time, but I could totally see the hype of the bustling Summer times here. Cascais was a minor fishing village, until King Luís I choose it as his royal summer retreat. The north of Cascais is the wild and rugged featuring some of the best surfing beaches of the Serra da Sintra.
As we arrived we took a short side trip to visit the longtime royal sanctuary of Sintra. Our first stop was Chalet da Condessa d’Ela. In the second half of the 19th century, King Fernando II and his future second wife, Elise Hensler, the Countess of Edla, created a Chalet and a Garden in the Park of Pena, a private space designed in accordance with the romantic taste, which served as a refuge and leisure area for the couple. Strategically situated to the west of the Palace of Pena.
Palace of Pena, is another obligated stop when in Cascais on your way to Sintra. Unfortunately by the time we got there, it was already closed. But you must stop for a visit. Located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the fruit of King Ferdinand II’s creative genius and the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.
The longtime royal sanctuary of Sintra, part of the Portuguese Riviera. known for its many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments, which has resulted in its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Back at Fortaleza do Guincho, after a long day transitioning from Porto to Lisbon and exploring Cascais and beyond, was time to unwind, get cocktail, take a shower and get ready for our lovely evening at One Michelin star restaurant at our host hotel.
Acclaimed Chef Antoine Westermann introduced in 1998 a French fine dining restaurant concept, which quickly became a reference in Portugal.
Originally with a classic French concept , have now , since the arrival of our Chef Miguel Rocha Vieira in summer 2015, Portuguese products and traditions been gaining prominence at Fortaleza do Guincho.
His philosophy is based and inspired by the Atlantic, the background setting of the Hotel. The best fish and seafood from the Portuguese coast as well as highest quality of local and national products are a constant on the Guincho table, honoured and created in every dish, every season, recognized by national and international press and critics. In 2001 the restaurant received a 1*Michelin, held until today.
Our hosts surprised us with a fantastic love FADO performance. A music genre characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. Our singer Filipa Carvalho and her guitar players were fantastic.
Exhausted, but beyond happy of how my day went along, was time to withdraw back to my room and have a great night sleep, next days would have us checking out Fortaleza do Guincho, and driving for 3 hours to our next and last destination of our week trip to Portugal, to Algarve and Bela Vista Resort & Spa.
Tea before bed at my Superior Room. Located on the first floor with a view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; Size ranging from 25m2 to 28m2.
This is how our morning began, with double rainbows over Fortaleza Beach in Cascais. This was the backdrop view fo my breakfast.
Breakfast with a view taken care. Time to check out and head to our next and final destination in Portugal. 3-hours drive from Cascais to Algarve were ahead of us, but trust me, was very worth it. But that is for my next post. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. Bespoke Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com