Wellness hotel Aethos Ericeira pairs the panoramic beauty of a clifftop locale on the Portuguese coast with laid-back hospitality that’s a tonic for body and soul. You could easily loiter all day, drifting between your Scandi-chic room, the all-day restaurant, light-filled lounge spaces, the pool and spa – your time punctuated by meditation or yoga, a sociable tapas supper and a glass of vinho tinto outdoors beside the fire. There is, however, much to tempt you further afield: world-class surf breaks are only minutes away (the hotel takes care of kit rental, storage and lessons), vineyards ribbon the hills inland and Ericeira itself is a postcard-pretty fishing village.
Noon; earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability and a charge of €50 an hour for late check-out.
Double rooms from £143.95 (€168), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.02 per person per night on check-in.
Rates include à la carte breakfast.
Ericeira is the latest Aethos to join Smith’s collection along with sister hotels in Corsica, Umbria and Milan.
At the hotel
Gym, yoga deck, coffee counter, gift shop, outdoor firepit, bikes to borrow, surfboard rental, surf storage. In rooms: free WiFi, flatscreen TV with Chromecast, bluetooth speaker, beach bag and towels, minibar, free bottled water, Under Your Skin bath products.
Our favourite rooms
There’s little to separate garden and ocean terrace rooms except the view – both are contemporary and comfortable with textured fabrics in shades of stone and sand and plenty of pale wood. Garden suites, however, are considerably bigger than ocean suites – and only you can decide whether space or sea view should take priority… Uninterrupted ocean views, a corner position, generous balcony and an ensuite with both shower and bath tub make the Aethos Suite our top pick.
To the rear of the hotel beside the spa, a heated saltwater pool is edged by stone tiles, loungers and parasols and is open 9am–8pm daily.
As well as a sauna and steam room, the spa offers massages including deep-tissue and aromatherapy treatments. There’s also a gym, equipped with weights, a treadmill, cycling and rowing machines. Personal training can be arranged on request.
Roxy, Billabong and O’Neill sun dresses, board shorts, slogan tees, RayBans and surf wax.
The hotel has a two-bedroom family suite (with one double and four bunks) and some rooms take cots or extra beds. Babysitting from €30 an hour can be arranged through the hotel.
LED bulbs and card-operated power help to cut down on energy use at the hotel. To reduce water consumption, the hotel has installed tap sensors in all communal bathrooms and a high-spec watering system in the garden. The hotel’s suppliers have been vetted as plastic-free – right down to the paper straws in the bar – and the kitchen team sources ingredients locally to reduce food miles. You won’t find any buffets at Aethos Ericeira, a conscious decision to reduce food waste, plus all waste at the hotel is sorted for recycling. Bath products are from vegan Swedish brand Under Your Skin.
Tables towards the rear of the restaurant offer the finest ocean views; bag a bar table with low-slung lounge chairs if it’s only drinks and snacks you’re after.
Anything flowing and floaty, neutral or soft shades, the subtlest of jewellery – there’s an easygoing formality at Onda by evening that’s chic but understated.
A light-filled dining room in a palette of natural shades, Onda at Aethos Ericeira is an all-day affair; a continental-style buffet is paired with hot dishes cooked to order, and its daytime menu features classics such as club sandwiches, burgers and pasta. Dinner is a little more formal with tapas and sharing plates of locally sourced seasonal fare that prompt a collaborative approach to ordering: dishes such as grilled sea bass with pico de gallo, cauliflower steaks with kimchi, rabbit loin and ragout or squid noodles with pickled mushrooms are to be sampled and savoured by all at the table. Onda’s pan-European wine list has a good Portuguese selection and a notably wide choice if you’re only after one glass.
Onda’s bar merges seamlessly with the restaurant, its tables and lounge chairs in the main dining space, overlooking the same ocean panoramas: order Portuguese wines by the glass or choose from a selection of coffees, juices and other soft drinks.
Breakfast is served 7.30am–10.30am; the all-day menu runs 12.30pm–6pm (until 10.30pm on Sundays); Onda’s dinner menu is available Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm–10.30pm.
There’s no room service at Aethos Ericeira, made up for by an abundance of places to lounge and grab a drink or snacks – in the bar, library or mezzanine lounge, as well as beside the pool.
Aethos Ericeira is a 15-minute drive north of the fishing village of Ericeira on Portugal’s surf-lapped Silver Coast, an hour north of Lisbon.
Lisbon Airport is 45 minutes by road from the hotel and private transfers can be arranged (from €80 each way).
You can get as far as Lisbon by train, but you’ll need wheels or a bus ride to Ericeira from there.
There’s a free car park at the hotel and charging points for electric vehicles are available.
Worth getting out of bed for
Surfers flock to Ericeira, where the quality of the breaks is world class and there are waves to suit beginners and pros with no shortage of middle ground (or water): Praia da Calada is the nearest beach to the hotel, with better-known breaks Ribeira d’Ilhas and Coxos each only a 10-minute drive away. The hotel has surf storage and a rental outlet for kit hire; staff can organise surf lessons, too. There’s a strong wellness vibe to activities on offer at the hotel: start the day with meditation, join a yoga session or sign up for a nourishing cacao ceremony around the fire. A short drive from the hotel, the 13th-century fishing village of Ericeira is a charming jumble of cobbled lanes, picturesque squares and whitewashed buildings decorated with azulejo tiles. Postcard good looks aside, the village’s popularity with surfers means it’s also your best bet for soundtracked bars and late-night DJ sets. Nearby Mafra has an 18th-century palacio – its basilica and royal palace are the kind of opulence you can easily get lost in (don’t miss the library). You’re on the doorstep of wine country, too; Torres Vedras is only half an hour away, and the hotel can rustle up a vineyard visit to a nearby quinta with transport, a tour and tastings. Saúde!
Seafood restaurant Ribas Marisqueira is not for the claw-shy: an entire menu section devoted to bivalves reflects this Ericeira eatery’s dedication to shellfish; dishes include grilled grouper, roasted octopus and lemon risotto with prawns. Stainless-steel tables and chairs and top-notch tapas with ocean leanings are on offer at Costa Fria overlooking the bay in Ericeira, where the razor clams are fresh out of the Atlantic, aubergine is draped around creamy boules of burrata and the catch of the day arrives swimming in herb butter. Head before dark to chandeliered bistro Mar das Latas Wine & Food where the curvaceous shopfront on the cobbles faces the setting sun and its stacked wine cellar is as impressive as its selection of tapas.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this coastal hotel in Portugal and unpacked their surf wax and shortie wetsuits, a full account of their surfside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Aethos Ericeira…
Surveying the windswept scenery along Portugal’s craggy Silver Coast, the team behind new arrival Aethos Ericeira took a wise decision; don’t try to compete with the landscape’s rugged good looks – aim to complement them. The result is interiors that speak to the wild beauty of their surroundings, framing ocean and garden views at every turn and creating a nature-inspired aesthetic with pared-back Nordic furnishings, soft neutral shades and rustic textiles. The vibe at Aethos Ericeira is ‘restful’, echoed all over the place from relaxed dining at all-day restaurant Onda to the choice of treatments on offer at the spa. Starting with morning yoga on the deck and culminating in evening gatherings around the firepit, it’s an ambience that’s nurtured all day long. This stretch of coastline is a place to come and surf – Ericeira is one of Europe’s favoured spots for its consistent Atlantic breaks – with rental and lessons available through the hotel. And yet if catching waves is not for you, a boutique hotel fine-tuned for R&R, teamed with the trad charms of Ericeira village and a surfeit of sandy beaches, means there’s plenty to entice non-surfers too.