Sublime spa treatments and world-famous golf in Estoril

by Sally Joyce
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One of Portugal’s most prestigious hotels, Hotel Palácio Estoril has been welcoming guests from all over the world since the 1930s – and it’s clear that practice makes perfect. Beautiful decor, professional staff, lush gardens, and the highest standards of hospitality imaginable, make this a unique experience.

We wanted a relaxing holiday in the sun where we could simply rest and enjoy ourselves, and that’s exactly what we got. Our room looked out over the pool, with a well-sized balcony and everything we could possibly need; we felt looked after and were impressed by the staff’s attention to detail. There’s no pretentiousness at this hotel.

Every morning we woke to a plentiful and healthy breakfast before choosing how to spend our day; the beach is nearby, with views of the sea from the hotel, but we preferred the peaceful swimming pool area for lazy luxury. We also took advantage of the fantastic facilities – the Banyan Tree Spa being one of the best I’ve visited while abroad. My partner chose to practise his golf while I indulged in a treatment – there really is nothing better than trusting yourself to the skilful hands of a therapist and giving in to the ultimate in relaxation.

Young or old, if you want a sophisticated stay with all the boxes ticked, the Hotel Palácio Estoril is the perfect choice – an unbeatable combination of luxury and hospitality. For a round of golf in the most picturesque setting in Portugal, the Estoril Golf course is the one to beat. Situated just 1km from the hotel, it is set among pine and eucalyptus trees, and was designed by golf architect Mackenzie Ross. With both 18- and 9-hole courses, as well as a large clubhouse, restaurant, bars, swimming pool and driving range, it’s no wonder that the hotel has hosted some of the most prestigious golf competitions in Portugal, including the Portugal Open and the Estoril Ladies Open.

Being new to the game, we took it easy and began by practising on the 9-hole course. It’s a great place to learn new skills, and far grander than any other course we’d been to. We made use of the facilities; what with the golf, my numerous spa visits and the elegance of the Hotel Palácio, it felt like three holidays rolled into one unforgettable week. There are also other golf courses further afield where you can challenge yourself and perfect those skills. Golfers really are spoilt for choice in Estoril.

Golf stats

  • Estoril Palácio Golf Course, 5313m, par 69
  • Quinta da Beloura, 5774m, par 73
  • Penha Longa, 5926m, par 72
  • Quinta da Marinha, 5845m, par 71
  • Oitavos Golf, 6303m, par 71

A temple of wellbeing, the Banyan Tree Spa focuses on holistic techniques and has highly-trained therapists who bring techniques from around the world to Estoril. The Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Indonesia, Thailand and China are responsible for turning out the very best practitioners – and their expertise shows.

I chose the day package, and I felt completely stress-free for the first time in ages. With polishing body scrubs, massages, and a facial all included in the package, my skin felt silky soft and smelt divine. The day included a delicious and healthy lunch, and I could really feel the benefits of my pampering experience during the holiday – it made a welcome change to be able to have such a treat in quiet, relaxing surroundings. Visit the spa as much as you can on your break – you’ll never want to leave, but when you do return home you’ll feel totally refreshed.

Spa highlights
  • Banyan Day
  • Ayurvedic Retreat (for him)
  • Thai Beauty (for her)
  • Javanese Lulur (for her)
  • Rainmist Delight (for him)
  • Anti-Ageing Facial
  • Island Dew Massage
  • Lomi Lomi Massage
  • Banyan Cleansing Facial
  • Brazilian Bikini Wax

Hotel facilities

  • The stylish Grill Four Seasons offers international dishes and local flavours
  • Bar Estoril and the Poolside Snack Bar offer drinks and light snacks
  • Chauffeured transfers, guided tours and reservations for the Casino Estoril
  • Banyan Tree thermal spa is on-site offering spa and beauty treatments
  • Seven golf courses within the Estoril-Sintra area, including the hotel’s own Estoril course

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