Stunning Portuguese resort Quinta Do Lago offers a true taste of luxury

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NOW that we are traveling abroad again, people are looking for somewhere a little different and more exciting than their usual vacation destination.

The luxury resort of Quinta Do Lago in the Algarve, which turns 50 this year, ticks all the boxes and more, whether it’s a weekend break or two weeks under the Portuguese sun.

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The luxury resort of Quinta Do Lago in the Algarve turns 50 this year1 credit
Quinta has fabulous restaurants, bars, nature trails and a stunning beach

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Quinta has fabulous restaurants, bars, nature trails and a stunning beach1 credit
It has EVERYTHING a bespoke holiday destination should have.

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It has EVERYTHING a bespoke holiday destination should have.1 credit

Quinta, famous for its world-class golf courses and sports and wellness facilities, is also home to fabulous restaurants, bars, nature trails and a stunning beach, with plenty of family-friendly activities and glorious weather during most of the year.

The resort is a 30 minute drive from Faro airport and once there you won’t need to leave as it has EVERYTHING a bespoke holiday destination should have.

Our base for the weekend was the Magnolia Hotel, a great location to explore the area.

Unlike the chain sites that dominate the resort, the Magnolia is a boutique hotel. And although it’s smaller than its rivals, it has so much more to offer.

It has a Palm Springs/Key West vibe. When you walk into the lobby you get a strong feel of 1960’s Americana with a very modern twist.

This American theme continues with the perfectly sized retro-style pool area. A good sunbathing area with the bar and restaurant next door.

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Aft of the pool is the hotel’s spa, gym and cinema. Perfect place to relax after a hard day of sunbathing and swimming.

The hotel has 73 bedrooms and a selection of self-contained cottages, perfect for families or large groups.

My room was gorgeous – a huge double bed, a great bathroom with an amazing rain shower, and a private balcony to hang out with beers. Having all the Sky and BT sports channels on the TV was also a plus.

My early arrival in the Algarve and a busy weekend meant a quick check-in and a short drive from the hotel to the beautiful lakeside restaurant Casa do Lago for lunch.


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Located right on the water’s edge, it underwent a major refurbishment last year and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the resort’s most popular spots. Our group shared a tantalizing selection of locally sourced seafood, fish and vegetables.

Caso do Lago’s location is fantastic and the food and service more than matches.

Quinta is a golfer’s paradise all 12 months of the year, with pros and amateurs alike flocking to play its three highly rated courses.

We had the chance to take a look at the flagship southern course, which has undergone a £7million regeneration and refurbishment program over the past year.

It was already ranked among the best 18 holes in Europe, but the revamp has made it even more popular and environmentally friendly. The other two courses, Laranjal and North, have also undergone major improvements.

“LIVE LIKE CRISTIANO RONALDO”

Later we got a glimpse of the breathtaking new Reserva complex. Ultra-modern and high-end condos, apartments and penthouses have been quickly bought up, but the good news is that a few of them are available for rent.

And if you want to live like Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for a weekend or more, this is the place. Dinner that night was at Quinta’s newest hotspot, UMAMI.

The gourmet Asian-Fusion restaurant combines all the right ingredients for a special evening.

We started by tasting the delights of the Japanese cocktail menu. Then another sharing feast as we were treated to a selection of dishes from the chef.

Highlights were vegetable tempura, fish spring rolls, pork dumplings, chicken yakatori, tuna tartare, pork belly and sushi dishes, all accompanied by wines and other cocktails .

Like the 13 restaurants here, UMAMI uses local produce. It is a place that knows how to deliver an exceptional evening.

A MAJOR VENUE FOR SPORTS, LEISURE AND WELL-BEING

Quinta do Lago is also a major center for sports, leisure and wellness, with its CAMPUS facility one of the most sought after locations in Europe. Athletes and tennis stars as well as top football and rugby teams flock to use it.

There are several clay and hard courts for tennis as well as an area to play padel – a mix of tennis and squash for those who don’t want to be the next Andy Murray just yet.

I kickstarted my own Wimbledon dreams by taking a lesson from Coach Pawel – and I think I took him by surprise with a few forehand winners. Then he discovered that most five-year-olds had a better backhand than me.

After all that exercise, it was time to refuel. And one of my favorite parts of the resort was the beautiful Dano’s Sports Bar.

This massive American themed bar and restaurant really hit the spot. Great beers, world sports on every TV screen, and the best burger and rib combo I’ve had outside of Chicago.


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I must also mention the nature trails of the Ria Formosa Natural Park which surrounds the resort.

There is also a huge beach within walking distance of Quinta’s lakeside area that is well worth a trip to top up your tan and swim in the warm, inviting ocean.

Our trip ended with a visit to Bovino Steakhouse. It has established a reputation for its unique cocktails and we were lucky enough to be able to try a few.

No one seemed brave enough to try the most intriguing name on the list, Dr House Prescription, so I volunteered.

‘THE FOOD IS OUT OF THIS WORLD’

Served in a brown medicine bag, it was a unique and odd blend of Abuelo rum, mushroom liqueur, blue cheese, grape juice and coconut. Certainly not for the faint-hearted.

After two of these bad boys, I was grateful that we only had to walk 50 meters to Casa Velha, the oldest and most established of the Quinta restaurants. Delighting with chef Alipio Branco is an event.

The food is out of this world. It was a tasting menu like no other I have ever experienced. Each dish had a theme and, as the chef explained, all seafood meat and vegetables are sourced from the Algarve.

There was just time for a last drink at the cozy Magnolia bar before heading home the next morning.

We packed so much into an amazing weekend at Quinta do Lago. Next time I will stay much longer in this paradise.

Quinta do Lago is also a major place for sports, leisure and well-being

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Quinta do Lago is also a major place for sports, leisure and well-being1 credit
The perfect place to relax after a hard day of sunbathing and swimming

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The perfect place to relax after a hard day of sunbathing and swimming1 credit
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