Wave chasers, rejoice: Noah Surf House sits right by the sand in Santa Cruz, the calmest of Nazaré’s sister beaches on Portugal’s Silver Coast. Part boho beach hotel, part surfer’s retreat, Noah is a place to hang loose. Here, you’ll wake up with early morning yoga sessions, then head across the street to feel the sand between your toes and the waves under your board. And once your hair is suitably salt-tousled, rinse off and eat your fill at the boutique hotel’s beachfront restaurant before retiring to the bar’s rooftop hot tub and gearing up for the next day’s surfing safari.
Get this when you book through us:
A cocktail each; GoldSmiths can also join one group yoga session a stay
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Double rooms from £165.23 (€195), including tax at 6 per cent.
Rates usually include buffet breakfasts of locally sourced products including grown-on-site vegetables, eggs from the property’s hens, fresh fruit and juices, breads, cereals, homemade cakes, yoghurts and jams.
Forgotten a piece of surf kit? The groundfloor surf store has your sun-soaked self covered, with quality gear from big-name surf brands, sustainable favourites and Noah products.
The hotel is closed from 9 January to 24 February and 23 to 25 December in 2022.
At the hotel
WiFi, on-site skatepark, surf school and shop, sports centre, bikes to borrow, a communal kitchen and a Jacuzzi. In rooms: Bluetooth sound system, WiFi and Damana bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and an eclectic mix of repurposed and upcycled furnishings. If you like to keep your own snacks on hand, spring for a Mar & Cook Bungalow – you’ll get your own kitchenette and fridge to raid at will when that saltwater-based hunger strikes.
The infinity-edged looks out over the sea and is open from 8am to 10pm; it's heated by solar panels from April to September.
Bring your lucky rash guard, your brightest zinc oxide and your sense of balance; you’ll need all three for your surfing safari.
One bunk room and one Mar & Cook Bungalow are adapted for wheelchair users; ask about availability when booking.
Very welcome. Tots under three stay for free (baby cots are provided); surfing, skating and other activities are for best for guests aged eight-and-up.
Tots under three and aged eight-and-up: the former stay for free, and the latter can learn to catch waves and perfect their kick-flips.
Spring for a bungalow and you can prep kid-friendly meals in the comfort of your room.
There are dedicated kids yoga sessions, bodyboarding lessons and sugar-fuelled cupcake-decorating sessions.
The heated infinity pool is family-friendly, but there’s no lifeguard on duty, so water babies will need to be supervised.
Kids are welcome in the restaurant and meals can be adapted for younger palates.
No need to pack
Baby cots or pint-sized skateboards, bike helmets or surfing kit.
Electricity is generated by solar panels (including 70 per cent of the hotel’s water-heating needs) and the hotel eschews air-conditioning (the cooling sea breeze does the trick). Energy efficient heat pumps are used for the hotel’s radiant pavement (the first-line heating option), appliances are rated at the highest energy efficiency possible and water-conserving measures are in place. Rainwater and greywater are used for the autochthonous gardens and there’s an organic garden on site that produces vegetables and herbs for Noah’s restaurant and the Surf House kitchens. A robust composting programme is in place and many of the furnishings and building materials were upcycled. Single-used plastics have been abolished and guests are gifted a reusable stainless steel water bottle that can be refilled at various filtered water stations throughout the property. The hotel also supports the local environment and community through beach cleaning and sponsorship of local surf and sustainability projects and events.
Snag a table on the terrace for a side of salty sea breezes, or watch the waves from a table by the picture windows.
Dust off the wet sand and slip into some fresh flip flops and a suitably beachy frock for laid-back meals at the seaside restaurant.
Noah Surf House is a laidback, wood-lined spot for all-day snacking – there are burgers and pizzas, but we'd suggest summoning several sharing dishes, say, the tuna tartare on charcoal toast or asparagus and marscapone risotto. The second eatery, Noah Beach House is across the street from the hotel, on the sands of Praia da Física. The long pine tables are positioned for sea-view meals and the terrace is strung with lanterns. There’s also a cosy fire pit that’s cranked up when the sea breeze takes a chilly turn. The menu has a mix of Portuguese and international fare – all made with fresh, local ingredients that include goodies picked from the hotel’s organic garden. Order grilled octopus or John Dory with tomato rice and remember, with homemade salted butter that’s this good, you’re not ruining dinner by indulging in the bread basket; you’re simply being smart. Adventure-fuelling buffet breakfasts are laid out in the hotel’s communal kitchen each morning; fresh eggs, fruit and juices, cereals, homemade cakes, yoghurts and jams.
Watch the waves from the relaxed rooftop bar; there’s an alfresco hot tub to one side and shade-providing parasols to the other. Order tart pisco sours and sink into the sea-facing lounge chairs as the sun sets over the horizon.
The Beach House restaurant opens from 12 noon to 3pm for lunch, 7pm to 11pm for dinner. Noah Surf House serves lunch from 12 noon to 3pm, dinner from 7pm to 10pm.
The bar is open throughout the day and night for tipples and snacks; there’s also a communal kitchen where guests are welcome to whip up snacks any time they’d like.
Noah Surf House is in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, an hour’s drive north of Lisbon.
Lisbon Airport is 50 minutes away by car; return transfers can be arranged from €175, depending on how many of you are travelling.
Torres Vedras is 35 minutes away by car and there’s free onsite parking at the hotel (although you’re unlikely to spend much time on dry land once you’re there).
Worth getting out of bed for
You’re here – most likely – for the surf, and the in-house team and predictable small- and medium-size waves won’t let you down; this boho beach shack is all geared up to have you hanging ten in no time. If you've ever harboured a desire to land a 900 like Tony Hawk, here’s your chance: Noah Surf House has an on-site skatepark complete with boards to hire and pros to take you from Tick-tacks to Ollies and grinds. Work on your surfing stamina with functionaltraining sessions that use fitballs, bands and ropes in the hotel’s fitness room, limber up with in-house yoga sessions and become one with your centre of gravity by learning to paddleboard. Portugal’s west coast is dotted with prime surf spots; relatively calm Santa Cruz is midway between Ericeira and Peniche; the former has a variety of beach breaks, points and reef breaks, and the latter is home to the world-class Supertubos, one of the best beach breaks in Europe, and beaches with waves for all levels of surfers – from Moondoggies to tube (water, not London’s underground) riders. Gnarly Nazaré is known for massive, powerful waves and towering winter swells; it’s best to leave this spot – now a part of World Surf League – to the professionals, but it’s well worth a trip to watch them catch some serious air or ride the barrels.
Enjoy leisurely lunches at in Santa Cruz at Vela d’Ouro, which serves up traditional local fare – seafood rice, shrimp dishes and freshly caught cod. For laid-back dinners, head down the road to Ericeira’s Praia de Ribeira D’Ilhas, where you’ll find the Pizza Mobile firing up thin, Neapolitan-style pizzas from 6pm to midnight every Tuesday to Sunday. Don your best espadrilles for dinner at Tawa Sushi for surf-fresh sashimi and sushi, all locally sourced – most from the Torres Vedras Municipal Market. Tackle the colourful Gunkan Carnival platter, or order up sharing plates of sea bass, snapper and mackerel.
Order a refreshing post-surf melon and mint juice and sink your toes into the sand at Bronzear Bar & Deli, a chilled out beach café with a small menu of burgers, wraps and salads. Looking for something a bit louder? DJs regularly spin well into the wee hours at this beachfront bar, where refreshing juices can quickly become fruity cocktails with a dash of this or that.
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 beachside hotel in Portugal and unpacked their wetsuits and surf ponchos, a full account of their boutique break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Noah Surf House in Santa Cruz…
Noah Surf House is making waves in the charming village of Santa Cruz with its bevy of beach-view bungalows, an eco-conscious ethos and a surf-ready setup – only fitting for its position on Portugal’s west coast, famed for abundant waves. No worries, though… you needn’t arrive ready to push past the breakers at infamous Nazaré to catch a wave: Noah’s in-house surf school will get you from wetsuit novice to sitting on top of the world in no time. (You can also brush up on your balance with yoga lessons, cross-training and sessions in the onsite skate park.) And when you’ve worked up a whale-sized appetite? Well, that’s what the mod-Portuguese restaurant – steps from the sand, of course – is for. Once you’ve had your krill – sorry, your fill – retire to the rooftop restaurant for a fortifying drink and a muscle-reviving soak in the hot tub. Surf city, here we come