THE BLOG

Spa and The City: Lisbon and Cascais

02/11/2014 19:07 GMT | Updated 02/01/2015 10:59 GMT

Rich in art, culture, music and gastronomic delights (it's not all salt cod and custard tarts these days you know - step forward the freshest fruits de mer and award-winning local wines) paired with sprawling white sand beaches and a year round mild climate, Lisbon and its neighbouring coastal villages are the perfect destination for a chic city-beach weekend break. On my recent inaugural trip to city and its cosmopolitan cousin Cascais I also discovered a thriving luxury spa scene...

Grande Real Villa Italia, Cascais

A former residence to King Umberto II, the last king of Italy, Villa Italia, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, retains a palatial feel; sleek Italian marble, sparkling chandeliers, and sumptuous furnishings don the entrance while a mix of contemporary and traditional rooms and suites, each unique in design, arch the bustling seawater pool and family friendly al fresco lunchtime hub.

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The Room

Regina Maria Pia. One of three penthouse suites, the contemporary 'seasuite' dressed in bold retro aqua prints mixed with gentle sandy hues, Regina Maria Pia is HUGE - a duplex loft style apartment - there's a dining room, drawing room, lounge, kitchenette, a decked conservatory with private Jacuzzi and day beds and three, yes THREE bathrooms!

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The Spa

Constructed using reclaimed marble from the original palace Real Spa Marine spans 1,000 square metres. A veritable haven of tranquility, with candlelit corridors and a rich décor of Romanesque pillars and earthy gold mosaics. The state of the art Thalassotherapy circuit - includes lymphatic drainage and reflexology jets. Treatments nod towards the holistic and include oriental reflexology, shiatsu and aromatherapy. Facilities include Vichy showers and ice fountains, a thermal suite, Hammam and relaxation room.

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The Treatment

Real Villa Italia Massage. A round of the thalassotherapy and thermal circuits to relax the muscles is followed by a deep lavender inhalation then a salt and lemon foot scrub. The light relaxing body massage using lava shells and warm almond oil laced with gold leaf to nourish the skin leaves me with a shimmering glow and completely zoned out. A pressure point head and foot massage completes the holistic journey.

To Eat

Poolside snacks, pizza and pasta at Mare Bar & Terrace. Portuguese a la carte, & posh tapas at La Terraza. Don't miss the wonderful Portuguese buffet at La Terraza every Friday night. In room dining available.

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Don't Miss

A stroll in to town to sample the famous ice cream at Santini's Gelato. Y.U.M.

The Deal: The Spa World 7 nights including a 6 day spa programme £530 based on two sharing

www.granderealvillaitalia.realhotelsgroup.com

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon

Just 20 minutes from Lisbon airport, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz sits proudly on a hillside at the top of the city. Towering 10 storeys above Eduardo VII Park and bestowing birds eye panoramic views of the city - with a stunning penthouse gym and rooftop running track for workouts with a view. Dating back to the late 50s there's an air of Hollywood glam - huge floral displays, chandeliers and shiny gilted mirrors dot the opulent grand entrance and cocktail bar, and smartly clad staff busily buzz to guests needs.

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The Room

736 Deluxe King. Decorated in soft neutrals with a splash of royal blue and gold chintz - there's a comfy bedroom-lounge studio room with doors to a balcony with spectacular city views. The marble bathroom with tub and walk in monsoon shower has a generous selection of L'Occitane products. Fresh fruit and mineral water are provided daily.

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The Spa

Spanning the basement The Ritz Spa sports a contemporary western design with an eastern influenced treatment menu. Seven treatment rooms sit along a tranquil candlelit corridor leading to an 18metre swimming pool with a relaxation terrace and floor to ceiling windows for beautiful garden views. Other facilities include separate sex steam and saunas an ice shower and spa café serving herbal teas and fruit.

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The Treatment

Portuguese Retreat, the spa's signature treatment, was created by the spa manager Claudia and is inspired by an ancient Portuguese tale -The Almond Trees in Blossom (which tells a love story of King Ibn Almudium). The treatment begins with a sea salt and almond oil foot scrub followed by a chime of the Tibetan bell for balance. A body scrub then a full body aromatherapy massage using nourishing almond and relaxing rose oil. It concludes with a pressure point Indian head massage and second chime of the bell. Portuguese bliss!

To Eat

Try the Portuguese buffet lunch - a plentiful banquet of fresh fish, grills, salads and mouthwatering desserts. There's also a bar and terrace menu and in room dining available.

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Don't Miss

A wander up to Barrio Alta for spectacular views and bustling bars and a trip to The Botanical Gardens where you'll find prehistoric plants and hidden dinosaurs!

The Deal

Double room from €375 per night with buffet breakfast (taxes and service charges included)

Portuguese treatment: €215 per person

 www.fourseasons.com/lisbon

TAP operates year-round flights to Lisbon from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester. Return fares for a weekend in November 2014 from London start from £141 per person.

www.flytap.com

www.visitlisboa.com

www.the-spa-spy.com