Over the course of the 7 nights I spent in Portugal, I stayed in 5 different hotels and had the chance to visit another 6-8 properties to get a feel for some of the offerings in both the Algarve and Lisbon areas. We use many of the properties already with clients however we are constantly on the lookout for new properties we believe will work well for you and that was the objective of many of my visits.
Each hotel presented a unique experience and, with the exception of 2 hotels I will not mention, represent properties we will confidently propose for your trips, depending on the specific experience you are looking for on your trip.
The first resort I stayed in was Monte Rei
Monte Rei is not only home to the #1 rated course in Portugal but also to low rise apartment and villa style accommodations located around the property. Units are available in 1, 2 and 3 bedroom configurations sleeping up to 6 people. Each unit contains full kitchen and living room facilities and have loads of space for gathering as a group or getting away from it all.
The resort features 3 restaurants, including the Michelin Star option Rui Silvestre, 2Xpools, Spa with treatment rooms, tennis courts and, of course, world class golf
With 5* accommodations and service, this is perfect for groups looking for large amounts of space and a bit more isolated environment as it is a bit off the beaten track (although there is a lovely town a few minutes drive away with restaurants, beaches and bars)
The next property I stayed at was the Tivoli Marina in Vilamoura
The Tivoli is also a 5* experience, albeit a more traditional hotel experience. The hotel features good sized standard room, and suite upgrade options, and all rooms offer either a seaview or marina view. Facilities include multiple restaurants and bars as well as full spa facilities, a large outdoor pool area and a private beach area for guests.
Tivoli Marina is perfect for groups looking to be close to all the action while also being within a short drive of some of the best golf in the region. You can always get some sleep after the vacation!
Next on my stay list was a quick 1 night trip to the Tivoli Carvoeiro
While we never recommend 1 night stays anywhere, this trip was all about exploring new options and am I ever glad I stopped in this hotel for a 1 night stay– what a property! Located just a short drive from the Palmares and Faldo courses and no more than an hour from most of the other great courses of the Algarve, this stunning 5* property all the amenities you would expect including pools, beaches, spa and amazing food (the foie gras appetizer and salt cod main I was offered were unbelievably good) while also featuring some of the best views I has on the entre trip.
This hotel / resort is perfect 3 or 4 night home for groups looking for access to great golf while enjoying 5*plus level accommodations and service in a somewhat quieter town (relative to Vilamoura anyway!) where you can hardly wait to wake up in the morning to see the views again.
Next on the agenda – The Oitavos Hotel / Resort
Located about 30 minutes outside Lisbon in Cascais, The Oitavos is another example of great 5 star accommodations in a more unconventional form. I jokingly commented to my hosts that I felt like I was entering a James Bond movie as it had a that modern you get in some of those movies with large, concrete hallways and modern décor (including a Porsche in the lobby!) while still maintaining a cozy feel.
The rooms at The Oitavos are exceptionally large and each is exactly the same inside featuring every amenity you could ask for (and some I would never have thought to ask for…) with the only difference being half feature sunrise views while the rest have sunset views – are you a morning or evening person?
The hotel facilities include everything you would expect with 2 restaurants on site, full spa and recreational facilities and one of the truest examples of links golf outside of Scotland, Ireland or Wales that I have ever experienced. There are also several restaurants close to the hotel and a trip to Cascais, or slightly further afoot to Sintas, would not be a waste of anyone’s time – they are both amazing towns worth exploring.
The Oitavos, while close to Lisbon, is a bit isolated and works well for groups looking for a quick 2 night stay to play the resorts world class course and then maybe venture up to play one of the newest world class courses in Portugal, West Cliffs (we haven’t played there yet but by all accounts, it is spectacular), before heading into Lisbon to explore that amazing city.
And I did head into Lisbon next with a stay at Hotel Mundial.
Not as luxurious as some of our other offerings in Lisbon, Hotel Mundial is a nice 3 or 4* property that features comfortable rooms, and maybe a few less facilities that you get at 5 star properties but is has one of the best locations in the city.
The hotel is located steps from all the action including Rossio Square (which had Lisbon’s Christmas market set up when I was there) and both Avenue Liberdade and the pedestrian road of Rue dos Sapateiros (and the surrounding side streets) that feature some of the best shopping, dining, and night life in the city.
You are also centrally located to visit Old Town, the waterfront and all the unique areas of the city that are begging to be explored. The hotel truly does have one of the best locations in the city, plus one of the many roof top bars you will find in Lisbon featuring amazing view of the city.
7 nights and 5 hotel stays – safe to say a whirlwind tour of hotels!!! I also had the opportunity to view many other properties on my travels and can confidently say that Portugal has hotels that can meet every golf groups needs. The diversity, and quality, of properties is world class and you can’t beat the weather, culture and hospitality (plus world class golf) you will experience when travelling through Portugal.