The charming InterContinental Estoril is located in between two small towns on the Portuguese Riviera, about 30-40 min from Lisbon. The five-star hotel sits right at the Atlantic ocean, with two small beaches, Praia do Tamariz and Praia das Moitas just a few steps away. Cascais, a cosy fishing village with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops, is a 15-20 min walk from the hotel.
A taxi from Lisbon Airport (LIS) takes 30-40 min depending on traffic and will set you back €65, which is a fixed price. A pre-booked transfer will cost about €40-50. As we were arriving from InterContinental Lisbon (you can read the review here), we took the train from Lisbon for a meagre €2.15 per adult one-way. So unless you have a lot of luggage with you I would suggest taking the train, as it’s very convenient and cheap. The Airport Bus takes you to Cais do Sodré railway station. From there it’s 40 min to Monte do Estoril, which is right outside the hotel.
InterContinental Estoril opened in the summer of 2015, so it’s a fairly new hotel, which shows as we couldn’t see any wear and tear. The exterior of the InterContinental Estoril gives the impression of a rather large hotel. However, only the first three floors are part of the hotel, the rest is residential. The five-star hotel is home to only 59 rooms in total, two of which are suites. The small size of the hotel made it feel very calm and intimate.
The aquatic colours, bright and open reception and welcome drink served upon arrival all helped to create a resort vibe. We felt like we were on holiday the moment we walked through the doors. The fact that you can see an open balcony at the rear of the hotel facing the ocean from the entrance gives a very relaxing welcoming.
InterContinental Estoril has three room levels and one type of suites as you can see from the table below. We were upgraded from a Garden View Deluxe to an Ocean View Deluxe. The opinions of the Ocean View Deluxe rooms on FlyerTalk and other websites are in general very good. The few negative comments appear to be with regards to corner rooms, which are slightly smaller.
|Garden View Deluxe||28|
|InterContinental Deluxe Room, Ocean View||38|
|InterContinental Club Room||44|
|Ocean View Suite||70|
The Ocean View Deluxe room felt spacious and the design was modern and bright. The large king-size bed was extremely comfortable, like all InterContinental beds, and there was a decent amount of storage space. Another huge plus for me was the fact that there was sockets right next to the bed. However, the best part of the Ocean View Deluxe rooms were, without a doubt, the large balcony facing the ocean and the pool area. Our balcony had a good size table with two chairs, perfect for room service, and a smaller sofa, perfect for an afternoon nap. The only thing that was missing in the room was a desk. If I had stayed in the hotel for a longer time, I would have appreciated a desk (it appears that some rooms have a desk based on other online reviews).
We were welcomed with water, fruits and some sweets. In addition, the rooms come equipped with a onetime free minibar for all guests (refills must be paid). The minibar only contained soft drinks along with two small Super Bock beers, but it is still a nice gesture. There was a kettle and a Nespresso coffee machine, which is always welcomed by the girlfriend (I’m one of those strange people who don’t drink coffee or tea).
The bathroom was functional, albeit on the smaller side for two people. I was especially missing places to hang the towels (in a relaxing resort-style hotel a common day is pool-shower-pool-shower). There was a shower and bath combo to the right of the sink, while a sliding glass door separated the toilet to the left. There is mood lighting in the bathroom, which can be changed to any colour, while it’s nothing useful, it is fun. The sink was decent size, but could have been bigger (read: the girlfriend’s cosmetics took up most of the space). Beneath the sink there was space for wash-bags. The toiletries where from Agraria, the standard InterContinental ones.
The service at the InterContinental Estoril was superb! Once in a while you get the feeling that service is something extra and we both felt that in this hotel. Check-in went smoothly; we sat down, got a welcome drink and right away felt relaxed. We were guided to our room by an exceedingly friendly guy who carried on some pleasant chitchat. It’s worth mentioning that everyone in general was super friendly and attentive to a very high standard.
The day before check-out they called the room and asked if we needed any assistance. As we were taking the train to Algarve we asked for some suggestions. A couple hours later we were provided with the train schedule, train stops to depart along with phone numbers to taxi companies in the area. All in all, it is understandable why InterContinental Estoril is the highest ranked hotel on the Portuguese Rivera by TripAdvisor.
InterContinental Ambassador benefits included an upgrade from a Garden View Deluxe to a Ocean View Deluxe and welcome fruits and sweets in the room.
While the hotel and rooms are of high standard and the service is excellent, the main reason for visiting is the beautiful setting and the relaxing facilities. The main selling point is the outdoor pool, which is split in a paddling pool on the one side and a deeper one on the other. The pool area is very calm due to the abundance of green around the pool, the ocean right in-front and the limited amount of rooms in the hotel. Only downside is that the pool was a bit cold. There are plenty of sun loungers and during our three night stay there were always a few options to choose from. You can order drinks and snacks from the pool bar. There is also a small indoor pool for rainy days. Within a 5-10 min walk along the oceanfront there are several small beaches in case you feel like mixing it up.
The breakfast buffet is served in the bar/restaurant area on the same level as the reception. Everyday we managed to get a table outside and with the peaceful sound from the ocean, it was the perfect way to start the day! Naturally, the buffet has a wide choice of cold cuts, pastries, warm dishes and more. We also managed to try out room service a couple of times as we were so relaxed we didn’t manage to leave the hotel for a couple of days. The club sandwich gets an extra plus at InterContinental Estoril. The restaurant, Atlantico, which is located adjacent to the hotel, offered nice views and good food for quite reasonable prices.
InterContinental Estoril have a good-sized-24-hour gym with a couple treadmills, stationary bikes, multi-purpose weight machines and some free weights. If you feel like exercise outdoors there is a public outdoor gym on the boardwalk right outside the hotel. The spa area looked bright and modern with a wide range of treatments available, however we didn’t try anything whilst we were there.
The club lounge at the InterContinental Estoril has received very poor reviews on FlyerTalk (it is more or less the only negative aspect people mentioned about the hotel). As such, we chose not to add it to our stay. However, following our stay I read that the club lounge has been disbanded and that they now offer the ‘Club InterContinental Experience‘ package instead. They appear to have made the change around the time of our stay, which might be why the concierge didn’t mention anything about the club lounge when we checked-in. The change appears to be a welcomed and certainly make sense given the small amount of rooms.
The Club InterContinental experience is aimed at hotels without a dedicated club lounge. The experience package is currently being used in Amsterdam, Porto and Marseille. You can read more about it here. According to FlyerTalk, the Club InterContinental Experience at InterContinental Estoril costs €XX/day for a maximum of two adults during weekdays and €XX/day during weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). InterContinental Ambassador members get a 20% discount, while it is complimentary for Royal Ambassadors.
- Outdoor pool
- Indoor pool
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Free Wi-Fi