THE BEST HOTELS FOR GOLFING HOLIDAYS IN VILAMOURA
Including: Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, San Lorenzo & Vilamoura.
Tivoli Marina Vilamoura*****
The Tivoli Marina dominates Vilamoura both physically and in terms of quality: a large hotel that has just about everything to make your holiday as comfortable as possible. On one side is the marina, on the other a pool garden between the hotel and the Mediterranean, with direct access to the beach.
Without a doubt, one of the best Vilamoura hotels that will make you Vilamoura golf holiday a comfortable and stylish trip. The bedrooms are spacious and nicely furnished, all with balconies – either overlooking the marina or gazing out to sea.
The Tivoli Marina has indoor and outdoor pools, a first floor piano-bar with commanding views over the marina, two restaurants – the larger of which (Chilli) offers an extensive buffet each evening, the other restaurant (Peppers Steakhouse) offers a-la-carte dining designed to appeal to golfers in modern surroundings with full length picture windows overlooking the Vilamoura marina.
On top of all this (or rather underneath!) there is a row of shops on the ground floor and plenty of parking too, should you not be taking advantage of the free Vilamoura shuttle buses to and from the golf courses.
Crowne Plaza Vilamoura*****
The Crowne Plaza is one of Vilamoura's oldest newest hotels. That might sound a little odd, but what happened in 2009 was the shell of one of the oldest hotels on the seafront was gutted and completely restructured internally to become one of the best hotels in Vilamoura: modern history.
Styled in Moorishesque whites throughout the bright airiness of the entrance lobby, reception lounges and bar are a breath of fresh air on the Vilamoura scene. The bedrooms are modern and delicately decorated with large marble encrusted bathrooms. Deluxe bedrooms and Suites have glass partitions into the sleeping areas (with modesty screens).
The gardens around the Crowne Plaza Vilamoura have a large swimming pool and plenty of space for a host of sun loungers on the bermuda-grassed lawns that lead down to the beach.
When it comes to dining the restaurant on the ground floor is very good and it is only a very short stroll to the marina with its multitude of restaurants and nite-spots. One of the most surprising features of the hotel is the large domed spa building that houses a good-sized indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, hammam and plenty of treatment rooms for massages and beauty treatments (should you feel you need them!).
Dom Pedro Marina****
In the centre of Vilamoura the Dom Pedro Marina is probably the smallest hotel on the quay and and as such has an almost family run feel to it. It's certainly our favourite four-star hotel in Vilamoura.
The standard rooms all have their own small balconies: in the Suites the balconies overlook the marina and are much larger with plenty of room to spread out inside and out under the wicker sunshades on their verandahs. (Huge Presidential Suites are also available).
The garden bar and pool behind the hotel makes a fairly private spot for some post match therapy. Later things gently enliven with occassional strolling musicians known to make an appearance.
The restaurant serves a delightful mix of Portuguese and Italian cuisine, while the marina is only yards away with a full range of other dining/drinking/dancing options.
The Dona Filipa hotel is part of the history of golf in Portugal. Now owned by the JJW Hotels chain, who also own the San Lorenzo and Pinheiros Altos golf courses, this is the best place to stay in order to play golf at the fabulous San Lorenzo. Although, in something of a geographic pun, the hotel borders the 15th hole of the Vale do Lobo Royal course.
The bedrooms all have balconies and by retaining their original dark wood furnishings and polished tiled floors they have a classical feel. In contrast, other areas of the hotel are decorated in lighter pastel shades bestowing an airy ambience.
The hotel's main restaurant opens out onto the compact sunny garden with its swimming pool, from here you can wander on down to the beach just a few hundred yards away. Upstairs there is a second, smaller, more gastronomic restaurant.
The Dona Filipa hotel also has seven very spacious modern suites available, but being so few in number they do need to be booked well in advance.
Quinta do Lago*****
At first sight a perplexing building, dazzlingly pink, close to the ocean on the South side of the Quinta do Lago resort area. Once inside the hotel the thought behind the design is evident as the crescent of balconies on the ocean side peer out across the Ria Formosa nature reserve to the hotel’s private beach beyond (complete with beach restaurant).
Should you not wish to take the short stroll over to the beach, you will find the outdoor pool at Quinta do Lago on the first floor with plenty of space for sunbathing close to the poolside bar: there is also an indoor pool.
The intimate gastronomic restaurant the “Ca d’Oro” is based primarily on Venetian cuisine: the larger, main restaurant has a more relaxed atmosphere and features regional dishes.
Standard bedrooms are very well sized, with balconies or patios on the ground floor, luxurious suites are also available (pictured).