Paul’s Review of The Oitavos in Portugal

 Review of The Oitavos in Portugal


Having been to the Algarve many times, I’ve always loved holidaying in Portugal but have never been to the North. I booked myself a healthy break to The Oitavos, a wonderful high-tech and ultra-modern coastal resort in a natural setting amongst sand dunes and umbrella pines. Built in 2010 on the Quinta da Marina Estate, The Oitavos is just 5 minutes from Cascais town and half an hour from Lisbon.


With lots of open space and blue colour theme inside and out, the resort is striking in lots of ways and very beautiful with 142 spacious rooms all with views of the ocean. But not to everyone’s tastes as under different eyes it may look like a high-tech new airport terminal building of glass and painted steel. I have to credit its architect and interior designer, José Anahory for creating something visually extraordinary. Even with strong surfing winds and breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean outside, there is a very calm atmosphere throughout the resort allowing natural light to float in.

Pool at The Oitavos  Pool at The Oitavos

View from Paul's room (left) The infinity pool (right)

On arrival and once I settled into my big and comfortable room, I headed down to the pool area for a light lunch of fish and salad. I spent the rest of the afternoon by the infinity pool which overlooks the beautiful 18 hole golf course and stunning scenery of ocean and plants. At sunset I went into the spa to enjoy the indoor heated pool with massage jets, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room; a perfect relaxation area with glass windows. You can also stay in your robe and take the panoramic lift back to your floor to save you passing through the main hotel area.

For those wanting to have an active holiday and stay healthy; The Oitavos offers a wide variety of choice from golfing and tennis to cycling, horse riding, hiking, swimming and a variety of exercise classes from spinning to yoga.

Golf course at The Oitavos

The golf course at The Oitavos

I spent my first evening enjoying a delicious meal at the hotel restaurant (serving authentic Portuguese cuisine); beef tenderloin with mash potato and vegetables. There is also a Japanese Bar open at weekends offering high quality sushi and sashimi where they prepare their dishes in front of the guests; with only eight seatings I recommend you reserve. The Oitavos do encourage guests to eat out too as there are so many local restaurants just a short distance away, so you really do have the best of both worlds. With so many to choose, I dined at the fabulous Hemingbird in the Marina of Cascais and a local Portuguese restaurant both serving lovely food. I really enjoyed all my meals and was able to have a variety of healthy options.

After a good night’s sleep (the beds are super big and comfortable), I awoke to blue skies and sunshine and had breakfast consisting of a healthy buffet with everything from eggs, waffles, and crêpes to yogurts, cheeses and fruits. I spent the morning having a Paddle board surfing lesson at Cascais; I’m not the most coordinated person but I learnt the technique quickly.

After a delicious and healthy lunch at the Golf Clubhouse restaurant (you can eat here if you’re a non-golfer like me) and with great views of the golf course, I ventured on a cycling ride in the afternoon to explore the area. It’s a great place for cycling and the hotel has lots of mountain bikes for hire (just 12.50 euros a day). Outside of resort there are cycling paths from the hotel all the way to Cascais town (takes about 20 minutes by bike) and to the opposite direction so perfectly safe and even more of a reason to go cycling. You can also taxi to the nearby town or beach for approximately 6 euros and takes 5 minutes.

Cycling at The Oitavos

Paul exploring the area by bike

With access to the hotel’s own gymnasium, if you want more from your workout I’d recommend enjoying their Health & Racket Club nearby (you can either walk, take a shuttle when available or cycle there). Facilities include an impressive gym, spinning room, two large exercise studios, a Semi-Olympic pool, squash, and 10 tennis courts and 3 paddle courts. With a range of group exercise classes (12 a day but less on weekends) you can choose to attend anything from yoga, Pilates and Spinning to Body Pump, TRX Body Blast and circuit training; making it a good destination for a fitness holiday. I spent some time at the Health Club enjoying the group classes and had a Paddle Tennis lesson too; a relatively new sport which has become one of the most popular racquet games in Spain and now spreading across Europe.

Paddle tennis at The Oitavos  Paddle tennis lesson at The Oitavos

Paul having a paddle tennis lesson (left) Paul with his paddle tennis instructor (right)

The Oitavos offers lots of options for a healthy getaway. For those wanting a customised flexible training programme try the Fusion Fitness holiday or for a short break The Otivaos BodyBreak is perfect for a reboot. For the keen tennis player try the tennis break at their Racket Club, or for the keen golfer enjoy the award-wining 18 hole course on their golf break, with various options from beginners to golf pros. For those less active, pamper yourself on their luxury spa break or for the more active try their biking breakhiking break or surfing break.

The Oitavos also offer a horse riding break with guided riding lessons available for all levels, either inside Quinta da Marinha or through the paths of Sintra mountains, with beautiful views of the ocean offering the perfect places to ride. For spa goers wanting a luxury spa break, you can enjoy a host of treatments at The Oitavos Spa from massage therapies like Hot Stone Massage to Royal Bamboo and Reflexology or Body Rituals to exfoliations and various customised facials.

Guincho beach cliff tops

View of Guincho cliff tops

For those who love the beach like me, you have two options; Cascais beach which is nice but busy with tourists or Guincho - a beautiful and quieter beach which is a must to visit. The area of Guincho is also perfect for hiking with beautiful views, where I enjoyed a morning hike with swim on my last day (don’t forget your camera as the scenery is incredible).

Hiking at The Oitavos   Guincho beach

Paul hiking at Guincho (left) Guincho beach (right)

When not being active, I enjoyed relaxing by the infinity pool with a view. During the summer months the resort offers the Oitavos Beats every Saturday from 7pm, with a live soul band and nice atmosphere, so guests can enjoy a cocktail and good music with an intimate setting before dinner.

With a wide-variety of sporting facilities, I’d recommend a longer healthy holiday to take advantage of the spa and sport options, along with getting used to the dimensions of the resort which I found overwhelming on arrival and after a couple of days I discovered it was the ideal place to restore myself and I never wanted to leave.


For more information visit The Oitavos

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