In 1870, Cascais is “discovered” by King D. Luís, when he begins to spend the end of the summers in this fishing village. Its picturesque charm captivated the Portuguese aristocracy and bourgeoisie, with boat trips, picnics on the beach and the practice of sports, reserved for high society, such as sailing and tennis.
The Cascais and Estoril area then began to develop infrastructure dedicated to leisure, such as the “Praia Casino” in Cascais Bay and the “Sporting Clube de Cascais”. This leads to Estoril receiving in 1911 the title of “the Cradle of Tourism in Portugal”.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Cascais already had a great reputation in the tourism sector in Portugal. In a prominent place, next to the beach, was the “Café Tavares”, a meeting point for the royal family and all tourists in the region. It was here that, decades later, the desire to build the first hotel in Cascais was born, due to the ambition of João Soares.
Designed by the architect Alberto Cruz, this project began to be built on March 19, 1959, next to Café Tavares, a building that would later be demolished. On April 17, 1962, the Hotel Baía opens its doors for the first time.
After 10 years and having already become an icon of the town, Hotel Baía invests in its first expansion, in 1972/1973.
The restaurant and the living room move to the ground floor and a banquet/meeting room is built on the underground floor. The hotel now has a total of 87 rooms.
In 1975, following the “25 Abril Revolution”, the owners are illegally expelled from the management of Hotel Baía. For 8 years, the hotel underwent a “self-management” phase, until November 22, 1982, when the founders were once again recognized as the legitimate owners.
On November 18, 1983, the unthinkable happens. One year after the management of Hotel Baía returned to the rightful owners and huge investments were made in the facilities, the town of Cascais is flooded by torrential rains. The Cascais Floods of 1983 caused incalculable damage to the entire village, destroying the seawall in front of the beach and much of the equipment that was on the ground floor and the underground of the hotel.
In 2005, the third and most recent expansion was completed, with the renovation and the construction of an underground car park.
After 15 years of continuous evolution, with the emergence of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, Hotel Baía was forced to temporarily close for the first time since it opened its doors. Between April and June 2020, Hotel Baía was empty. It only woke up again when a tourist called and asked if the hotel was open – from then on, at first with only one room occupied, life at Hotel Baía and the village gradually returned.
On April 17, 2022, Hotel Baía turns 60 and we are ready to celebrate and remember the stories and history.