Palacio Estoril is a grand 1930’s hotel in the seaside town of Estoril offering glamour and luxury in a classical setting. The 5* hotel is home to a 4,000sqm wellness centre offering award-winning spa and medical services and is set away from the hustle and bustle of the centre making it an ideal location for a relaxation, culture or city break alike.
Just a 2.5 hour flight away from the UK, Lisbon is easily accessible from most airports within the UK. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from the airport and I was easily able to take an uber. There's a train station across from the hotel which serves regular 30-minute trains to Lisbon or a 4-minute train in the opposite direction to the pretty fishing village of Cascais. I would also highly recommend a visit to the picturesque town of Sintra, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which is just a 15-minute drive from the hotel. For golf lovers, the Estoril golf course with picturesque views of Estoril and the sea is just a 5-minute drive from the hotel with a complimentary shuttle.
I was greeted cheerfully by the traditionally uniformed doorman and upon entering the lobby, I noticed that the hotel has preserved its status of charm and splendour as I imagine it would have done in the 1930s when it hosted film stars and European royalty and had also drawn in the British and German spies as their former haunt during World War II.
The hotel is set in beautifully landscaped gardens with a large outdoor swimming pool and plenty of loungers. There’s also the chance to swim in the sea as the sandy beach is just across the road. As I had some spare time before my spa treatment, I had a delicious steak sandwich for lunch by the pool to make the most of the sun after a very grey summer in the UK.
There are 161 rooms and suites spread over 5 floors with entrance or garden views. I stayed in the Superior Deluxe room which was spacious and classical in décor with traditional dark wood furnishings. The room also had a small balcony overlooking the garden and pool as well as a large marble bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub and lush Molton Brown amenities.
The Wellness Facilities
The 4-floor wellness centre is located next to the hotel and is shared by the Banyan Tree Spa and Estoril Wellness Centre. There’s a tunnel that leads from the hotel to the wellness centre which meant I could go straight there in my robe and slippers. All hotel guests have access to the dynamic pool with hydro-massage, jacuzzi and stream as well as a sauna, steam room, hammam and sensation showers.
The Estoril Wellness Centre specialises in health, fitness and wellbeing with a team of doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, nutritionists and expert trainers on site. They also have a group activity schedule from yoga to Zumba to box fit to hydrotherapy classes in the thermal pool with more than 6 daily classes on weekdays and 1 or 2 classes on weekends. Some classes are taught on the rooftop overlooking the blue sea in the summer and are popular with local members of the wellness centre. I joined the Pilates class, which was taught in both Portuguese and English, and mentioned to the teacher that I had been suffering from back pain so she was especially helpful in adapting my poses and recommending some simple exercises to practice at home.
The Banyan Tree Spa is the first in Europe of the leading Oriental spa brand offering authentic Asian and Western therapies with a holistic focus. All the therapists are trained in the Banyan Tree academies in Asia to ensure that all treatments are seamlessly delivered to define the unique Banyan Tree Spa experience. The spa menu has an extensive range of treatments from signature rituals and massages to facials to beauty treatments. I felt spoilt for choice but eventually decided on the Vichy shower massage with a body scrub and a Thai Classic massage.
For my Vichy shower massage, my therapist came to meet me at the spa reception in a swimsuit and swimming cap and led me to the treatment room. The treatment started off with an exfoliating body scrub followed by the Vichy shower - a set of 5 – 7 shower heads placed in a row over the treatment bed – combined with a relaxing massage. The warm cascading water made me feel like I was floating on water and I felt re-energised after.
My Thai massage started with a relaxing foot bath and cleansing juice followed by a deep pressure massage combined with gentle stretches of the joints. The massage was probably one of the best I’ve ever had, leaving me blissfully content and rejuvenated after. After the treatment, Mam brought me a fresh ginger and honey tea and fresh fruit to enjoy in the serenity of the treatment room.
There are a range of restaurants suit all tastes; the Bougainvillea Terrace restaurant overlooks the gardens and pool where you can enjoy a casual lunch or dinner with a range of international dishes as well as a nutritious healthy menu using fresh and seasonal ingredients, while those looking for a more sophisticated setting can dine in the Four Seasons Grill which serves up a menu of flavoursome Portuguese and International dishes in a classical dining room. The Organic Café is located in the Estoril Wellness Centre serving healthy and nutritious meals and juices in a casual setting. The Bar Estoril is the perfect spot for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail and is known to be where Ian Fleming created James Bond, inspired by the German and British spies who would meet there during World War II.
Solo travellers, couples and friends looking to relax, go sightseeing and improve their wellbeing.
To find out how to book your healthy holiday, discover the range of wellness programmes here or call to speak to one of our specialists on +44(0) 203 886 0082.