Areias do Seixo
What We Love
- Sunken bathtubs and wood-burning fireplaces
- Nightly wine and conversation around a communal bonfire
- Generous extras, including baked goods and bike rentals
What To Know
- There’s not much within walking distance of the hotel, so you’ll need to rent a car for any excursions
- The eco-friendly ethos means no air-conditioning in the rooms
- Free WiFi
The environmentally conscious but ever-stylish owners Marta Fonseca and Gonçalo Alves designed this secluded retreat as if it was their own home, juxtaposing a hyper-modern, concrete-and-glass building design against the wildness of the area’s crashing waves and verdant lawn – it’s nature, but nicely tamed. Nature plays its own part inside, where chic spaces are defined by gnarled driftwood, open fires, and pebble walls. Polished cement floors support mismatched furniture in lavish fabrics, while elegant outdoor showers contribute to the feeling of being at one with the surrounding land.
For each of the 14 individually designed rooms, the design is upscale beatnik: think lots of driftwood, dangling lamps, and fabric wall hangings, plus modern suspended fireplaces, raised platforms for mattresses, and colorful cushions. The views through the floor-to-ceiling windows are of the lawn, with the sea in the distance, and each has its own wooden patio. Larger groups looking for a bit more privacy will dig the three-bedroom villas, which sleep up to six and have private swimming pools, barbecue areas, and full kitchens.
The ayurvedic spa has a dry sauna, Turkish bath, and outdoor pool for use before or after an aromatherapy treatment, facial, or massage. A cozy movie room stocks piles of DVDs and freshly prepared snacks – a perfect pick-me-up on rainy days. All meals are served in the small restaurant, where you can face the busy kitchen or the chilled-out terrace, depending on your mood. Many of the menu’s simple yet fresh ingredients come from the hotel’s own gardens and greenhouse. The adjacent bar has a fire pit and views of the sea, making it easy to while away an evening over cocktails muddled with homegrown herbs.
The combination of sea, sand, and farmland means there’s plenty to do at the hotel, from picking vegetables (or learning how to pickle them) to walking the beach, but those looking for an excursion can take a boat to Berlenga Island, cruise to one of the nearby beaches, or learn how to surf – ask about the hotel’s local surf school connection. With Lisbon just an hour’s drive away from Areias, it’s possible to take a day trip by car to the capital and still be back in time for a glass of red by the communal bonfire.
How to Get There
Ok, so maybe I am rating this hotel a 4 because it seems there should be a bit of balance in the reviews and someone booking with all these 5s should be made aware that the hotel isn't flawless.
Service is adequate, the grounds are nice and the tour of the garden is very cute. Wine with a bonfire at sunset is GREAT and the lobbyish/restaurant area is relaxing.
That said, this being a destination hotel, the location is not great, if you go for a longer walk you are in industrial farm land. And the rooms definitely seem to make an effort to look special but aren't super functional. Huge shower that is basically open to the rest of the room, everything seems to be well intended but done by first time hoteliers without expert help so there's quite a few friction points in the room itself. We tried to go to the pool, but there are not enough chairs, alternative was a dirty bean bag type thing.
So conclusion: should you go? Yes, if the rates are reasonable during your dates and your expectations are moderated, you will have a great time!
A very special hotel with such an interesting design concept. Location is stunning set on dramatic sand dunes - a place unlike any other we have stayed. Service was absolutely lovely and professional. Food of a very high quality. Note that this is a modern / eco hotel so you won’t get comforts such as air con and the bathroom is more of an open plan design. We loved our stay.
Lovely decor in the common areas and the hotel rooms. We stayed in a "golden room" and it was beautiful, shower room was magical, no door to the toilet door though and I'm glad there wasn't a heatwave since there's no AC (which we knew when we booked).