A well kept secret in Portugal
Located half an hour from Lisbon, this solid state resort has wonders to uncover.
Yes, it’s true that it has a vintage charisma in its essence, but that is also them magic of the establishment itself.
Built in the mid of the sixtties this hotel had come a long way to what it is today. From lodging portuguese coming from the african colonies from 76 to 78 the hotel grew in height and space and came triumphant into the 80´s where it securely embrace golf, hippodrome for dressage and the famous Termas do Vimeiro. All this was achievable also with a private aeroport (now converted into a parking lot).
The nineties continued the status of this amazingly located place on a kind of peninsula with glorified vision to the ocean and mountain. And the place got small reconfigurations accordingly to the magnitude of the size (252 rooms over 12 floors!). So families and group visitors filled the place looking for a sizeable beauty with ocean view, a magnified restaurant (able to serve about 1000 meals!) and an almost semi olimpic interiour swiming pool (24mt) with a view to the beach aside to die for.
So the 21’s century came and as most projects dedicated to tourism with such a long history the times asked for a reconfiguraton to the market of resorts and in the mid 2000 the private hotel came into possession of the O’hotels for the matter of the current times. And into the management of O’hotels we came to visit the hotel praia Mar in 2017.
All the described facilities are somehow there in their essence but the current status of such a place is like it as always been: the amazing location over the ocean and the easy access from Lisbon for a low profile rest.
The room we stayed was a nice suite with a king size bed room with a side view to the sea. The suite had also a nice hall where you could go either to the room, the small living room with a tv or the bathrooms. One bathroom dedicated to the bath other, smaller to a w.c needs exclusively. The balcony was very pleasent with a view to the oceans an into the green mont fields. The AC is central but we can’t complain of any abnormality and the wifi worked perfectly. Well, yes, it is not a five star resort, the mini bar didn’t exist and we didn’t try the room service, but the placement itself and the absolute generosity of the guest service is something to cry for compared to most resorts in the market today.
The service is the center of the status quo of this hotel, being dedicated, attentive to the guest needs and able to host with perfection.
We arrived late friday and got a drink at the hotel bar, a copy of an english style bar that once existed in Lisbon (Bachos) and somehow by the capricious magic of the hotel story got to exist in form a perfect copy at the hotel. The bar is a late 70’s gem in style and a perfect 21’s century corner to the ocean (added later to the construction) where we tried the perfect gin creations of the bar and got ready to the dinner.
The restaurant “Bombordo” is a buffet. Well, a buffet by form but by grace and perfect homemade cooking and service we experienced the unexpected: a buffet of traditional homemade cuisine in a supersize restaurant with a view to the ocean. Well it was nigh but we had it in the same table next day at lunch and the surprise was a compliment to the service and cooking experience. The service was perfect and fluid and the only complain is that such a kind of buffet is much more than it is expected and announced deserving a unique review for the quality of the food and the respect for traditional portuguese cuisine.
Another surprise was the hotel gym. Yes, a real gym, not a fitness center, but a full equipped gym with all sort of machines to a full body workout of dozens of different exercises with a view to the ocean.
The gym is even better equipped than some small town gyms. An asset to respect and underline as a great point to visitors who look to keep their workout when having a weekend or holidays in a hotel. That along with the interior swimming pool are two of the great points to consider in hotel Golf Mar. The market of hotels and resorts have a great competition here to look at because this place has one of the best hotel gyms we have seen in Portugal (able to put to shame so many 5 star resorts/hotels gyms) and the swimming pool (interiour) that is spectacular and exquisite in the architecture and location (there are also 2 exterior pools that we haven’t tried).
So, the spa is also a point to consider. In the spa we tried the dry sauna, turkish bath and specifically the hot stone massage by the hands of Rute Nunes and we were sold and rebuild to the veneration of the technique and professional skills of this therapist massager expert. So good we suggest any outsider to book in advance a massage there even if only for that service because it can actually make your body new again and free from all stress you might have.
It deserve a status of it’s own in the current market and the three star is not fair to the service, the restaurant, the bar, the spa or the gym and yes, the swimming pool.
But hey, that also makes this place a bargain compared to what its real value is, a perfect rescue from Lisbon, an hidden resort to any tourist visitor and a true gem of portuguese history to meet. Keep this secret and make your visit to Portugal a quality time for you and your family having a money value offer that will make a perfect stay.
What to expect:
The hotel has a bar, restaurant, gym, interior swimming pool, exterior swimming pool, exterior kids pool, exterior pool bar (opens summers only), Spa, Disco club, Snooker, table football, Bycicles, Kids Club (free activities for kids), Beach, Vimeiro Clube Aventura (right outside the hotel with paintball, archery, slide, climbing, slack line, roller ball, mini golf, BTT, scooters, inflatables, traditional games and other actities for teens and kids), Good Love Good Surf Academy (Surf and Bodyboard academy), Equites (actitities with horses), Vimeiro Thermal Waters (More than 15 treatments available a few miles away).