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palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

It’s all about the weather and wellness – sustainability and sunshine – in this corner of Portugal. Pauline Brettell checks in to The Magnolia Hotel to explore all that is on offer at the Quinta do Lago resort, where the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Park combines seamlessly with contemporary design…

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

The Ria Formosa Natural Park in Portugal forms part of the protected coastal lagoon, which provides the context and backdrop to the Quinta do Lago, resort, and has been key to informing its commitment to sustainability and the environment, on all levels, throughout the resort – from critically assessing its landscaping and golf course management, to developing a culture of farm-to-table that has permeated all of the resort restaurants. The resort makes it clear that luxury can be sustained by sourcing locally, and integrating the local landscape rather than superimposing a resort onto it, and this is key to the ethos of luxury behind Quinta do Largo.

In the heart of the resort is The Magnolia Hotel – a stylish, family friendly boutique hotel designed by London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, and modelled on the iconic motel designs reminiscent of Palm Springs. Driving through the entrance punctuated by the retro swimmer diving through the air, lit up in equally retro neon, the mood is set.

“The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings.”

There are bright sorbet colours as guests walk in nods to Hockney on the walls, and an abundance of palm trees that all contribute to the feeling of laid-back motel living with a note of luxury. The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings with its tiled reflections of the surrounding palm trees, and forms the focal point of the hotel, inviting you to dive straight into your holiday. Quality and comfort are the backbone to the vibrant and relaxed décor of this design, which is made up of a combination of 74 comfortable guestrooms, and a further seven vintage style cabins. The focus throughout is on laid back comfort, teamed with quality, along with a focus on wellness that runs throughout the resort. This wellness focus has been integrated on every level of design, from the bicycles at your disposal, to the Sleep Hub in your bedroom – I must confess to getting a little addicted to the sounds of waves crashing on my bedside table!

While The Magnolia Hotel is all about creating a relaxed family zone, the Reserva is a low-rise, cutting edge development made up of 26 luxury apartments. Designed by Portuguese architect João Cabrita, each unit has its own swimming pool, with panoramic sea views framed in a modernist composition of glass and natural stone. The Reserva complex remains true to the original plan of the resort with its low density design that is ecologically driven by its location on the edge of such striking natural scenery.

With wellness being the cornerstone to the entire resort, its state-of-the-art, multi-sports complex, The Campus, is an integral part of the experience, on both a design and a facilities level. The Campus is not simply about getting a bit of exercise in on your holiday, it is also about the lifestyle attached to that. The facilities are geared towards professionalism and performance, and are perfect for everyone, from high energy kids on holiday, right through to professional athletes needing to train in recovery, and pretty much everything in-between. For me, it was simply about a wonderful outdoor yoga session in the late summer sunshine, followed by a few laps in the comfortably heated pool.

state of the art sports centre

Image credit: Quinta do Lago

You can’t, of course, escape the golf course culture as you head down to the Algarve, as it is key to the hotel industry there. Importantly, Quinta do Lago has spent time looking critically at how their state of the art courses are impacting on the local landscape, and where possible, making improvements to minimise their impact. I am no golfer, so it was all about admiring the landscaping and negotiating the buggy for me, but if I was tempted to pick up a club or two, this would be the place to do it! The credentials and awards speak for themselves, as the South course on Quinta features regularly in Top 100 golf courses of Europe lists, and has also been awarded best golf course in Portugal on more than one occasion!

One thing is certain (and this is a subject I feel a little more qualified to offer an opinion on than golf), guests won’t be going hungry during their stay here! The resort is home to a wealth – 13 in total if I am sticking to the facts – of restaurants. Each one a signature aesthetic and ambience, created by different design teams appropriate to the concept. Again, design is considered in every nook, from craft-led crockery to locally sourced finishes.

japanese restaurant with jellyfish sculpture

Image credit: Laura Caroco

No where is the resort’s ethos of sustainability clearer than in the F&B experiences, as it is clear that all the chefs and their teams are passionate about sourcing and using local produce. On your way to your morning tee off you go right past the Quinta farm where chefs and gardeners collaborate to grow and develop fresh seasonal produce for all the restaurants.

We ended our stay at Quinta do Lago with an intricately crafted tasting menu at the Michelin-recommended Casa Velha. The attention to detail and the passion that head chef Alipio Branco puts into both the produce and the presentation, epitomises the ethos of the resort. The menu is inspired by the surrounding Ria Formosa as are the plates and bowls on which they are served, all sourced from local artisans and craft people, who, like all the designers and architects of this resort, take their inspiration from the dunes and the waterways of the estuary.

wooden boardwalk crossing natural lagoon at Quinto do Lago beach

Image credit: Quinto do Lago

“Sometimes when you look at a property you have an instant view of what you are going to do,” explains Andre Jordan, the man behind the idea that was to become Quinta do Lago, “I had to drive along trails and through pine woods until I came to a high point overlooking it, with the ocean on the horizon. Within 10 minutes I had the concept for the whole project in my mind. I wanted to create a high quality resort that reflected local character and style.” It is this idea of remaining a part of, while safeguarding, the local landscape that does in fact set Quinta do Lago apart. With the Ria Formosa running through it, and the strong sense of community as its foundation, Quinta do Lago has established itself as a leader in the world of low impact, luxury real estate, incorporating considered design at every turn.

Main image credit: Quinta do Lago

Bryan O’Sullivan Studio reveals The Magnolia Algarve design inspirations

1024 683 Katy Phillips

‘The best of Palm Springs in the Algarve with a spin on the iconic 1950s motor-hotel aesthetic’.

Interior design firm Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has lifted the lid on its inspirations for The Magnolia Hotel, which recently opened in the Algarve resort of Quinta Do Lago in Portugal.

The idea was to play on the heritage of the resort as a holiday destination and a place for relaxation and enjoyment – The company says its choice of Palm Springs opened design possibilities with the freedom of using as much as colour, texture and items of visual interest that would work well naturally in a warm environment.

The hotel itself attracts a younger demographic looking for a relaxed, affordable and fun new way to experience the Algarve. As alternative accommodation option, The Magnolia Hotel objective is to bring a new energy and character to the well-established Quinta Do Lago resort, appealing to fitness fanatic and gourmet enthusiast alike.

Fresh & Unseen

Bryan O’Sullivan, the design lead for the project, said: “The design brief for the Magnolia Hotel was to bring something completely fresh and unseen to the Algarve. The design is light, playful and inviting for lazy days spent sipping cocktails by the pool or grazing fresh local dishes in the restaurant. First-hand experience during our recent trip to Palm Springs helped shape the design, taking the glory days of the 1950’s American Motel with the pastel art deco hues of Miami’s downtown to create a bright, glamorous travel spot to this beautiful corner of Portugal.”

The existing architecture of The Magnolia Hotel already lent itself to a classic mid-century motel format. The bedroom blocks are separated from the main reception with an outdoor pool and dining area. The theme of Palm Springs starts with a two-tone pastel hued façade on the drive-way entrance, intended as a direct link to classic 20th Century American architecture.

Above the façade is a neon feature of a diving girl, once again connecting the theme with the surrounding environment of the Algarve.

Updated Decor & Amenities   

The Magnolia Hotel offers 74 guest rooms each with a private veranda, 3 suites and 7 exclusive cottages. Each room offers twin or king beds, steam showers and modern appliances, including 300 thread count cotton sheets and high-speed Wi-Fi. All suites and cottages can sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children.

The guest rooms are pink and white in colour scheme, with the signature Magnolia red acting as accent colours on the bedroom furniture and amenities. Each of the individual rooms feature new integrated fabric upholstered headboards and retro industrial-style furniture bringing together comfort and contemporary pieces.

The interior of the Lobby and Bar Area sports a graphic striped ceiling and a custom-made botanical tile mural on the main bar by Surface Design Studio. The dusty pink scheme reigns strong amongst an eclectic mix of retro-style furniture, lighting and brightly coloured kilim rugs.  

At the heart of the hotel is the outdoor heated swimming pool area which is punctuated by yellow and white pinstripe parasols and bespoke outdoor furniture. At night the space is complemented with an array of strung festoon lights and a live DJ.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, Portugal

Magnolia Hotel launches in the Algarve, Portugal

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

Introducing an exciting new property to Portugal’s Algarve region, The Magnolia Hotel is a unique Miami Style Boutique Hotel which opened in October 2017.

Boasting the hottest Café del Mar style beats, this is a place to truly be yourself, relax and experience the Algarve in a new way. This hotel is turning heads with it’s cool neon signs and quirky motel design aspects. The hottest hangout in the Algarve is now poolside at The Magnolia Hotel.

With an exuberant spirit, this new addition pays homage to Miami’s iconic motels, offering affordable yet luxurious accommodations and a new energy in the heart of the Algarve. Offering an unbeatable location just moments away from Quinta do Lago, but without the price tag to match, the Magnolia Hotel offers an idyllic base to sample world class golf, shopping, beach, nightlife and the new elite performance centre, The Campus.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, Portugal“Quinta do Lago is a unique lifestyle resort and the latest addition to this, bringing a totally new energy is The Magnolia Hotel. This vibrant property will bring a new perspective to the area, providing visitors with a completely different way to experience Quinta do Lago. We have always been committed to delivering high standards of hospitality and customer service, and this will continue to be reflected in The Magnolia Hotel” states Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, Portugal“We are very proud to be launching the Magnolia Hotel with its fun and vivacious character as the new kid on the block. We’ve created a truly unique design hotel offering for the Algarve that is sure to excite our guests, from the fitness fanatic to the gourmet enthusiast,” adds Mark McSorley, General Manager of The Magnolia Hotel.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, PortugalThe Magnolia Hotel offers 74 sleek guest rooms, each complete with a private veranda, 3 suites and 7 exclusive cottages. Each room offers sumptuous twin or king beds, steam showers and modern amenities, including crisp 300 thread count cotton sheets and high-speed Wi-Fi. All suites and cottages can sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, PortugalThe motel style shines through with more than half of the accommodations having direct access to the car park and 30 rooms offering side staircase access.

Magnolia Hotel - Algarve, PortugalFor the ultimate ‘home away from home’, the wooden cottages provide a haven with an expansive bedroom, bathroom, lounge, as well as kitchen and patio areas. Perfect for families and large groups.

With health and fitness being two of the key focuses at The Magnolia Hotel, guests will be spoilt for choice with a variety of both sporting and relaxation facilities available within easy reach.

Four Seasons Fairways

Four Seasons Fairways, Algarve to begin €2m refurbishment project

801 504 Daniel Fountain

In Quinta do Lago, nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, lies Four Seasons Fairways.

This discreet and elegant private resort and clubhouse – with 132 colonial style villas and apartments set in beautifully landscaped gardens is currently undertaking a major €2 million (£1.84 million) investment programme, designed to ensure the resort maintains its prestigious status.

Four Seasons Fairways
Last Winter, 32 of the villas underwent a complete refurbishment marking the beginning of a total overhaul of the entire resort. These extensive villa renovations cleverly blend authentic Portuguese style with a modern and vibrant interior décor and furnishings, new state-of-the-art kitchens and lighting design that is both functional and atmosphere-enhancing. Fresh blues and greens bring the beauty of the outdoors into the living space.

Designer furniture, granite bathrooms, bespoke artwork and custom interior fittings personalise each villa in individual, comfortable and stylish fashion. The focus is on easy living, relaxation and a home from home villa lifestyle.

By the start of the 2018 summer season a further renovation of another 20 villas along with the entire club-house facilities including the restaurant, bar, indoor and outdoor pools, kids club and fitness suite will be completed.

What sets Four Season Fairways apart is the privacy guests are given whilst enjoying all the facilities of an established and well-connected resort. Unlike anyone else in the area, Fairways offers private pools or Jacuzzis within each of its accommodation options, that range from two and three double bedrooms villas or apartments, catering for individuals, couples or family groups. With the Algarve enjoying 300 days of sunshine a year, each villa is also equipped with its own BBQ for al fresco dining all year round and the modern kitchens are fully-equipped for every culinary task.

Four Seasons Fairways is much more than a villa complex. Its clubhouse has a reputation for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There are large indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, steam room, a well-equipped gym, tennis, golf booking office and a beauty & wellness centre as well as a restaurant serving local and international fare.

www.fourseasonsfairways.com

Pestana announces a new Pousadas de Portugal for the Algarve

Pestana announces new Pousadas de Portugal for the Algarve

1000 631 Daniel Fountain

Pestana Hotel Group will build a new Pousada de Portugal located in the historic centre of Vila Real de Santo António, in the most eastern area of the Algarve, thus continuing its investment in the Portuguese region.

This investment will provide the historic heritage building with 57 rooms, 114 beds and create 30 new jobs. The official opening is scheduled for summer 2018.

Luís Castanheira Lopes highlighted the historic nature of the new Pousada, saying: “The Pestana Hotel Group will restore the buildings in full harmony with its architectural relevance allowing visitors to experience its very rich cultural legacy, a core characteristic at the heart of the Pousadas de Portugal brand DNA that celebrates 75 years in 2017.”

This will the be the fourth Pousada de Portugal in the Algarve and the 17th Pestana unit in the region. There are currently 16 Pestana units in the Algarve, 13 Pestana Hotels & Resorts and 3 Pousadas de Portugal (Palácio de Estói in Faro, Fortaleza de Sagres and Convento de Tavira).

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort launches in Portugal

1000 555 Daniel Fountain

Making its debut into Europe, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas brings its authentic luxury to southern Portugal’s picturesque Algarve coast with the launch of Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort.

Nestled amongst orange grove trees and undulating wetlands, the resort brings to life Anantara’s ethos of connecting modern travellers with authentic destinations and ensures the brand’s signature Thai hospitality is paired with indigenous style and flavour.

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve

All of the resort’s 280 newly upgraded guest rooms boast soft touches reflecting the natural woods and fibres of the region creating a chic and comforting place to relax and unwind overlooking views of picturesque gardens, swimming pools and the prestigious fairways of the golf course. Anantara Vilamoura has teamed up with local artisans from the TASA Project and some unique pieces can be found in the 17 Anantara Suites, with guests being able to appreciate the hand woven pool bags, locally sourced cork coasters and signature Algarvian ceramic fruit bowls. Further comforts include an in-room wine humidor, pillow menu and on-call butler service to attend to guests’ every need. Suite guests also have exclusive access to the indoor pool and sauna at the Anantara Spa, which looks out onto the rolling greens. The prestigious Presidential Suite offers an impressive terrace with a private dining area, a new Jacuzzi and a sundeck for enjoying balmy evenings with friends.

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve

At a resort where indulgence blends authentic indigenous elements and international flair, the newly renovated Anantara Spa offers a wide selection of therapies including the signature Traditional Thai Massage in dedicated rooms, centuries-old Ayurveda rituals, and treatments using locally-sourced ingredients such as Algarvian citrus fruits, figs and almond powder. Healing continues through the wellness programme with yoga and tai chi sessions on offer. Keeping active on holiday is made easy with access to the 24-hour gym with dedicated Personal Trainers and tennis courts.

Anantara has worked with the local artisans TASA teams to design and develop unique products throughout the resort, showcasing the vibrancy of the region, and contributing to a more sustainable trade and workforce in this industry. Guests will be able to take part in workshops and make their purchases directly at the on-property boutique.

A rendering of the Living Room at W Algarve

W Hotels swims up to Portugal’s sun-kissed coast with W Algarve

1000 600 Daniel Fountain

W Hotels Worldwide, now part of Marriott International, has announced it will open W Algarve in 2018 on Portugal’s stunning sun-kissed Algarve coast.

Developed in partnership with Nozul Algarve, S.A., the vibrant oceanfront oasis will overlook the breathtaking coastline and the beckoning waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The debut will mark the third W Escape in the Europe, a newly created portfolio of W Hotels located in ski, sand and entertainment destinations around the world, that make the traditional ‘resort’ a last resort.

Located on a 250,000 square meters of beachfront on the central Algarve coastline, W Algarve is an escape for extraordinary experiences which is set to ignite the local scene with its electrifying style, innovative design, and full calendar of exclusive W Happenings, showcasing what’s new / next in fashion, music and design. The hotel will offer 134 stylish guest rooms and suites, including two Extreme WOW Suites, the W brand’s reinterpretation of the Presidential Suite.

W Algarve will also cater for those who need to mix a little work with play, offering two ultra-modern meeting rooms to elevate any meeting from ordinary to extraordinary. The 500 square metre state-of-the-art meeting rooms are complemented by extensive outdoor facilities ideal for vibrant open air events or beachfront celebrations. The brand’s iconic Whatever/Whenever service will be available 24/7, providing jetsetters with whatever they want — from late night manicures to speed boat experiences — whenever they want it.

For those looking for a permanent home on Portugal’s golden coast, Nozul Algarve S.A., the owner of the W Algarve, will offer 81 W-branded Residences for purchase, featuring one, two and three bedroom units with spectacular ocean views. The W-branded beachfront Residences in the Algarve are the first in Europe offering owners access to all W amenities and services, including preferred dining reservations and seating at the hotel’s restaurants, bars and lounges; in-residence dining and STYLE housekeeping services; a private W Residences pool and the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service promise.

These stunning Residences can enter an optional rental program managed by the hotel. In addition, there are 24 W branded “hotel-residences” within the main hotel building, where ownership is limited to specific periods of the year. Owners will have the opportunity to call W Algarve home while enjoying the full flexibility of a shared property system.