Hotel Review: Grande Real Villa Italia Cascais

As we love travelling on every day of the year, we also did so on Christmas. We spent the holidays at the Grande Real Villa Italia, a hotel I already stayed at one year before. As we also enjoyed our Christmas Dinner at the Grande Real Villa Italia, we got a lot to write about in this hotel review!

Check out our rating for Grande Real Villa Italia!

Cascais really is an amazing winter getaway. Located right at the Atlantic Coast just 50 kilometers away from Lisbon, the weather usually is a real treat even in December.

  • Classification: Five Star
  • Room Category: Seaview Retreat
  • Month of Stay: December

We were lucky enough to arrive on a sunny Christmas Eve.

Arriving in the winter escape

Arriving at the winter escape

As it was afternoon when we checked-in, the sun was still shining.

The staff was very welcoming and we got an amazing upgrade to a Seaview Retreat – pretty much the same room I got one year before.

Large room with amazing views

The most amazing thing to write about in this hotel review about the Grande Real Villa Italia unquestionably is the room.

The bed is large and comfortable

The bed is large and comfortable

The Seaview Retreat is not the largest, yet the most amazing room category the hotel has to offer. A floor-to-ceiling window, a large terrace and an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean. Is there anything more you may dream of?

The perfect view on a sunny December day

The perfect view on a sunny December day

As the sun was still shining, we decided to spend some time on the terrace – that was absolutely amazing even in December!

The room itself is really nice as well with a large working desk, a king size bed and a large bathroom that has a bathtub, a detached shower and also a detached toilet. There’s rarely any need to point out that the room was spotlessly clean as this is a standard to expect from a luxury hotel.

The awared Spa of the Grande Real Villa Italia

Even though the sun was amazing, we decided to also check out the Spa of the Grande Real Villa Italia. Named a “Leading Spa”, we expected to find something absolutely great to write about in this hotel review, but to be honest, the Spa is not really exceptional.

Exceptional? The jets at the pool of the Grande Real Villa Italia Spa are nice, but nothing special

Exceptional? The jets at the pool of the Grande Real Villa Italia Spa are nice, but nothing special

At first, we had to sign a long document stating that we were aware of the risks of a visit (water pressure, heat, etc.) before we were guided to the area itself. That one is very nice with a large pool with several different jet streams and relaxation areas (it’s not a pool for lap swimming).

There are also a large sauna and a steam bath with a decent temperature. Yet, there were only few lounging areas and the atmosphere was only so-so. Complimentary water was available, but besides that, there was nothing offered.

Leaving the Grande Real Villa Italia with a surprise

When leaving, we were “lucky” enough to get a surprise that we can feature in this hotel review. We should be charged a crazy 20 Euro (~ 22 US-Dollar) per person for the use of the facilities. Were we told before in the long introduction phase or at check-in?

Nicely decorated: The path to the expensive Spa area

Nicely decorated: The path to the expensive Spa area

Not even once. Even though the problem was solved, it was kind of a bad touch. Moreover, I’m not of the opinion that the area is that special that there is a need for an extra fee for hotel guests.

However, the gym and the outdoor pool (not heated) are available free of charge. The former is equipped with a few machines, but is a little dark in my impression.

Absolutely amazing: The lap sized swimming pool at Grande Real Villa Italia

Absolutely amazing: The lap sized swimming pool at Grande Real Villa Italia

The latter is only available in warmer months of the year, yet it is very nice with a size that is perfect for lap swimming.

Spontaneity worth mentioning

After a bad surprise, it is also important to name a good one. After having Christmas Dinner on the first evening (see our Special for more information on the Christmas Dinner!), we opted for a lighter meal on the second one. We didn’t reserve as we weren’t expecting too many people in off season.

Good from the start on: Ceaser Salad

Good from the start on: Ceaser Salad

However, the restaurant was packed and there was no seat available – not even in the bar. Luckily, the staff at the bar was spontaneous enough to literally build a table for a party of eight from the stretch. The choice of food in the bar is nothing too fancy, yet there are some good choices.

We opted for some different options and were pleasantly surprised by the quality and the taste of the food. Afterwards, we were giggling that we even liked the spontaneous dinner more than the Christmas Dinner. Well done bar staff!

Not bad, not amazing: Breakfast at the Grande Real Villa Italia

Breakfast is something that is really tough writing about in this hotel review. What the Grande Real Villa Italia offered was neither bad nor something special.

A nice touch: Cappuccino may be ordered with soy or lactose free milk

A nice touch: Cappuccino may be ordered with soy or lactose free milk

The buffet is okay with a nice choice of dishes and a lovely little “Spa Corner” with healthy treats. Yet, the atmosphere (if you are not able to sit outside) is a little depressing with few daylight. The staff is a little slow and not always friendly, but there were positive exceptions as well.

Cooked by order items were generally good, but not always warm. In summary, absolutely sufficient, but nothing to write home about.

A real gem to return to

There is a reason why this is the second hotel review about the Grande Real Villa Italia. Even though there are only few hotels I am likely to return to, this definitely is one of those. There were some problems with guaranteed benefits and there was also the very unpleasant spa experience.

A little welcome present will always await you at the Grande Real Villa Italia

A little welcome present will always await you at the Grande Real Villa Italia

But apart from that, the Grande Real Villa Italia once again proved to be a good choice, even in low season when the outdoor pool is rarely usable. The staff is so-so with some very good exceptions (e.g. they organized horse-back riding for our party) and some bad ones (e.g. they were not able to tell us the right way to the horse-back riding). All in all, the Grande Real Villa Italia is a really good hotel if you opt for the right room category. The Seaview Retreat definitely makes every stay perfect!

Book your stay at the Grande Real Villa Italia now:

 

You like this review? Be sure to check out our other hotel reviews!

Advertisements

One Comment on “Hotel Review: Grande Real Villa Italia Cascais

  1. Pingback: Looking back on week 30 | travelux

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: