Cascais, Portugal

Artsy Cascais

Price per night from$774.49

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR722.64), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Smart for art’s sake

Setting

Bay of Cascais

If you’ve always dreamt of going to bed inside an actual work of art, now’s your chance. The modern wing of Artsy Cascais sits behind a striking concrete façade designed by pioneering Portuguese street artist Vhils. Inside, light dances through apertures in the concrete, turning your room into an ever-changing art installation. Cool, huh? Juxtaposed against this Brutalist behemoth is the hotel’s other half, an elegant 20th-century townhouse that’s all ravishing Rococo curves and stately carved staircases. Stay in either section for access to the rooftop pool, an ace restaurant serving up fresh local seafood, and a location that’s mere steps from the mediaeval Citadel.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of wine in your room

Facilities

Photos Artsy Cascais facilities

Need to know

Rooms

17, of which two are suites

Check–Out

1pm. Check-in, 4pm. Early arrivals can make use of the lounge bar and rooftop pool until their room is ready.

Prices

Double rooms from £647.85 (€766), including tax at 6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include a hearty breakfast selection of freshly baked pastries, cakes, tarts and sourdough breads served alongside hams, cheeses, jams, and other local and homemade treats. There’s also an à la carte menu for cooked items.

Also

There’s a wheelchair-accessible room, and the restaurant and lounge areas are all ground floor. A lift provides access to the rooftop pool.

At the hotel

Free WiFi. In rooms: smart TV, Marshall Bluetooth speaker, mini art kit, minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, and Oliófora toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The experience of sleeping inside a piece of art is one not to be missed. Rooms in the new wing look directly onto the inside of street artist Vhils’ engraved concrete façade. Bag a room with a terrace to add starlit nighttime views to your bragging list.

Poolside

Take the modern wing’s glass elevator skywards, where the rooftop saltwater pool is flanked by day-beds and parasols, and promises front-row views of Cascais Citadel.

Spa

The hotel is partnered with Palácio Estoril Hotel’s opulent Banyan Tree Spa, a 10-minute drive away.

Packing tips

t’s the Portuguese Riviera, darling… Vamp up your beach wardrobe with dazzling white swimsuits, huge Jackie O-style designer sunglasses, straw boaters and chic floaty linens.

Also

Hotel guests can access the gym and pool at the nearby Visconde health club, around 10 minutes from Artsy by foot, or five if you fancy a warm-up jog en route.

Children

Artsy is a grown-up kind of joint. Little Smiths are welcome but there are no specific facilities or activities for kids.

Sustainability efforts

The hotel’s Art Restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients so fresh you’ll swear your swordfish ceviche just moved, while eco-friendly policies elsewhere include LED lighting and strict avoidance of single-use plastics.

Food and Drink

Photos Artsy Cascais food and drink

Top Table

Bag a table close to the open kitchen to watch the chefs conjuring up their edible masterpieces.

Dress Code

Put the ‘art’ into ‘smart’ with bold contemporary prints and bright blocks of colour. This is no place for beige blouses or sad dad cardigans.

Hotel restaurant

A feathery, coral-like adornment billows out from the mirrored ceiling in Art Restaurant, where even the menu carries its own artistic flourish. Beneath this elegant pencil sketch of a maître d’ who is half man, half octopus you’ll find gallery-worthy dishes that focus on the coast’s rich seafood bounty, including oysters, razor clams and Carabineros red prawns. Round it all off with decadent chocolate mousse or tiramisù.

Hotel bar

You can enjoy a tipple around the clock in the ground-floor lounge bar, thanks to the honesty box. It’s a cosy space for a cocktail, with book-crammed shelves and cool artworks adorning the walls.

Last orders

You can breakfast and brunch from 8.30am to 12.30pm. Dinner has seatings from 7pm till 10.30pm. The lounge bar operates an honesty policy when unstaffed meaning, technically, that it’s open all night, but official hours are 10am to 6pm.

Room service

Available 24 hours: Artsy has you fully covered for those 4am snack attacks.

Location

Photos Artsy Cascais location
Address
Artsy Cascais
Avenida Dom Carlos I 246
Cascais
2750-310
Portugal

Part turn-of-the-century townhouse, part urban art installation, Artsy cuts a fittingly creative dash on the Cascais waterfront, half an hour west of Lisbon in the swank heart of the Portuguese Riviera.

Planes

Lisbon International Airport is about 40 minutes from the hotel. Not in a rush? Double the fun (and journey time) by taking the beach-strewn N6 coast road south of Lisbon.

Trains

Cascais train station is about a kilometre away, for direct trains to Lisbon and beyond. The hotel can organise transfers for €20, but you may find the short stroll through Cascais more appealing.

Automobiles

You’ll find the usual roster of international car-rental companies at the airport but, like Lisbon, Cascais isn’t a particularly car-friendly place and parking often comes at a premium. Artsy Cascais partners with a nearby car lot, where parking your vehicle will set you back a cool €20 daily. The town’s reliable public transport service includes frequent direct trains to Lisbon and a bus service to nearby Sintra, another Portuguese Riviera must-see where driving is not recommended and, in some areas, not permitted.

Worth getting out of bed for

If the Artsy’s collection (and indeed its façade) has whet your appetite for yet more aesthetic eye candy, you’re in luck. Step through the formidable gates of the mediaeval stone fortification just opposite the hotel to enter the Cidadela Art District, where playful contemporary sculptures and wall murals line storied cobbled courtyards; here a giant pair of binoculars, there an abstract fresco of a female nude. There are also a number of small galleries and an artists’ project room to explore. Keep your eyes peeled for Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro’s emblematic swallows (all 600 of them) and a replica of Dalí’s design classic, the Bocca Sofa, inspired by Mae West’s lips.

Want more? The Torre neighbourhood is where it’s at for oversized street art, including local boy Add Fuel’s eye-catching depiction of a Cascais fishwife painted in his signature azulejo tile style. Fans of modern art will also find much to enjoy in the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, a brick-red complex with striking twin concrete pyramids, housing a vast collection of paintings, drawings and etchings by the late Portuguese artist. 

But you came here for the beaches as well as the art, right? Expect broad Rothko-esque brushstrokes of golden sands and azure oceans along Cascais’ shore. Hit up popular Praia da Duquesa, overlooked by the Palace of the Dukes of Palmela, or mosey down to Praia da Rainha, named in honour of the last queen of Portugal who once frequented it. And if it’s good enough for royalty…

Daytrippers head north out of town for the windswept sands of Praia do Guincho beneath the Serra de Sintra hills on the Estoril coast. An absolute mecca for surfers, its suave setting snared it a starring role in the opening sequence of Bond classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Nearby Lisbon, a short train ride from Cascais, promises further settings worthy of the silver screen, all red-tiled rooftops, rumbling trams and fairy-tale palaces. It’s also worth catching the early bus to spellbinding Sintra, where the dreamy Moorish turrets of Pena Palace glow fiery tones of yellow and red in the morning sun.

Local restaurants

It may be more sophisticated seaside resort than traditional fishing village nowadays, but Cascais’ piscary heritage continues to loom large in the local cuisine. Case in point: O Pescador, one of the town’s most celebrated fish restaurants, literally translates as ‘the fisherman’. This cosy old tavern comes complete with beamed ceilings a’dangle with maritime memorabilia (ships’ lanterns, model boats, lobster pots) and walls adorned with old seafaring prints and photographs. Expect a pescetarian’s dream of a menu, featuring tuna and swordfish carpaccio, roasted Cascais octopus, and fresh lobster salads.

Seafront Mar do Inferno is a family affair with ocean views to dine for. It’s run by local legend Maria de Lourdes Tirano, a fixture here for half a century (give or take a few years), so you can be pretty sure your shellfish is in safe hands. Swig a chilled glass of vinho verde as you soak up those glorious coastal views, then dive into the belly-busting seafood platter of lobster, langoustines, prawns and golden bream. 

Local cafés

Can you really say you’ve been to Portugal if you haven’t tasted sweet and creamy pastel de nata fresh from the oven? No, dear reader, you cannot. Hit up Sacolinha for some of the best in town. Or choose from any number of other breads, cakes and pastries to help tame those carb-y cravings.

Over at Le Good Place (we think that’s French for ‘the Good Place’) it’s all about healthy plant-based sweet treats and ethical specialty coffee from independent producers. Regular yoga classes held out front of the café add to le goodness.

Local bars

Don your exploding cufflinks and knife-throwing stilettos for a trip to the lavish Hotel Palácio, said to be where Ian Fleming found the inspiration for his James Bond character after witnessing a card game between enemy agents here during World War II. True or not, the hotel did star in 1969 Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the fictional spy’s legacy lingers on at its wood-panelled Bar Estoril, a 1930s throwback as smooth as Sean Connery, where the 007 Martini cocktail comes shaken, not stirred. Pair with bar snacks – foie gras, caviar – as opulent as the surroundings.

Nautical navy and white decor sets the scene at Hotel Baía’s maritime-themed Blue Bar, a smart rooftop establishment with commanding bay views. Come for the spectacular sunsets and classic cocktails, stay for late-night live DJs and balmy Cascais breezes.

Reviews

Photos Artsy Cascais reviews

Anonymous review

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 unique design hotel in Cascais, hung up their arty acquisitions and uncorked their souvenir bottle of vinho verde, a full account of their boutique break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Artsy Cascais on the Portuguese Riviera…

The brutalist concrete carapace that enrobes one half of the Artsy hotel on Cascais waterfront is just the beginning of the fun. Inside, old masters defaced by contemporary British artist Fipsi Seilern rub shoulders with stately wooden staircases redolent of a more refined era. Nothing is left to chance here: heck, the hotel even has its own signature scent – high notes of orange and basil with a whiff of black pepper and burnt cedar – created by Portuguese perfumer Lourenço Lucena. Art kits in rooms invite guests to leave their own mark on the hotel (or, at least, on the paper provided) and windows frame masterpiece views of the sea and Citadel. Well, mostly: guests sleeping inside Vhils’ concrete monolith in the new wing’s Artist Rooms will just have to content themselves with what can be glimpsed through the gaps.

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Price per night from $774.49