The Cascade Resort is a large scale resort or 'village', if you will; as well as hotel rooms, it also includes residential villas. During our visit the resort was still being finished and was in its soft opening period. The finishing touches were done to a high degree, unlike many resorts of this type and of this scale, so as far as large resorts go, Cascade is a fairly good choice if this is the type of hotel you are looking to stay at while holidaying in the region. With large gardens and endless space, the resort caters to a wide-ranging clientele, from couples to families.
Porto Mos is a residential area located in Lagos a short drive away from the main town centre. On a slight hill, the area spans across the cliff tops of Porto Mos beach. There isn't much else in the area apart from a few golfing ranges. Lagos is a great base for exploring the western Algarve coast as it sits midway between Portimao and Sagres, the lovely wild surfers' paradise. From Faro, the drive is about an hour and a half on the N-125.
The owner of the Cascade Resort also runs the smaller, more intimate Vivenda Miranda, also in Porto Mos, but closer to the beach.
Although the hotel's monumental was a little too big for our liking, the resort is of a very good standard as far as resorts go. Still being finished during our visit and in its soft opening phase, we were relieved to see that the finishing touches were of a good standard as opposed to the shoddy work at a lot of resorts. As far as vegetation is concerned, trees have been planted but take time to grow, so when we visited the resort still looked very bare.
The resort has lots of terraces for guests to sit and sunbathe or read, or just have a drink. On the ground floor (the floor below the reception area), you will find the Senses buffet breakfast restaurant, on the lobby floor is the Purpur bar and the main Senses restaurant is also in this area. As the hotel is built in a horseshoe shape, there are ocean views from most areas of the hotel. The freeform main pool sits in the centre with a lawn separating the main building and the cliff edge. In terms of facilities, there is a second pool (also outdoor) with a hot tub acting as a Jacuzzi at the spa, which is just around the back of the resort. The spa has a contemporary Asian theme, with colourful strobe lighting, but still remains relaxing. The products used throughout are of the high-end Babor brand, which is a definite bonus. Otherwise, there is also an outdoor sauna. In terms of business clients, there is a small business centre with two computer terminals. Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel is included in the room rate.
The spa is a lovely addition to the resort and boasting the luxurious Babor brand is definitely a bonus. The theme is modern Asian with bright pink and green strobe lighting - however, the spa remains calm and soothing, especially in the treatment rooms which have a simpler rustic look with stone floors. We were not able to try the treatments so we cannot comment on the quality of the spa. Otherwise you will find a second outdoor pool just out front surrounded by smart dark decking. There is also a hot tub and sauna in this area. These are free to use by guests.
Although the resort looks enormous, most of the buildings away from the main cluster of activity are actually convention centres and residential or holiday villas that are separate to the hotel. There are 86 rooms in total spread over an endless amount of categories from a simple double to the presidential suite. The accommodation corridors run like a maze in the horseshoe shape of the main building and there are four wings, with each one decorated in a different theme: South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, which is a clever way of catering to broad range of clientele.
The rooms, like the rest of the hotel are perfectly finished, with quirky details like the handmade pain effect on the walls - every single wall was done by hand. The rooms are comfortable, spacious and luxurious, no matter which theme you decide to go for. The theme we found most appealing was Africa with a four poster bed and large bathrooms with freestanding bath tubs, double vanity areas and a free-standing separate shower cabin for suites. Otherwise the amenities are all the same and include bathrobes, slippers, televisions, mini-bars and safes. Every room has a balcony and either full or part sea view.
Breakfast and dinner are served as a buffet every day in the Senses restaurant on the ground floor (one floor below the reception) and includes the usual hot and cold options at breakfast and at dinner there is usually a local fish and meat option that change daily. The dining room is bright and light and has lots of outdoor seating lining the pool and looking out to the horizon. Otherwise, the second part of the Senses restaurant is found on the sale floor as the reception, through the bar. Here food is served through the day and provides an à la carte option in the evenings. The Purpur bat also serves drinks throughout the evening. For something more intimate there is the Adega wine cellar, where wine tastings and private dinners can be organised, and for the utmost privacy, the hotel offers room service.
There is outdoor seating on the terrace, which can get a little hot in the summer, but is pleasant in the evenings. The food here is of good quality and varies from seafood to well-filled hot club sandwiches.
The beach is a five-minute walk down a dirt track that lines and descends the cliff the hotel sits on. The beach of Porto Mos is the closest to the hotel, and although it doesn't get too crowded outside of season, watch out for local families during the peak summer months.
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