Retreat to a luxury resort in Portugal’s southern paradise, replete with championship golf courses, Atlantic seafood and golden sand beaches.
If the Algarve’s stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches and delicious food weren’t attractive enough, this southern corner of Portugal is also home to some truly indulgent accommodation options. If you’re planning a visit, take a look at our round-up of the area’s best resorts.
Sandwiched between the sea and a nature reserve, this five-star hotel offers pristine rooms with glorious views and direct beach access, and a wealth of dining options. The Ocean Restaurant has a sun terrace for breakfast al fresco, while the Primadonna serves delicious Italian fare. Facilities include three saltwater pools, along with a gym, wellness centre and children’s club.
With views across the treetops towards the sea, luxurious accommodation and fabulous wellness offerings, the five-star Epic Sana Algarve feels like a real retreat. The 229 rooms, suites and apartments have a pared-back, contemporary vibe, and most have ocean-facing balconies. Dive into the five outdoor pools (two for children), tuck into local delicacies at the four restaurants and pack your little ones off to the kids’ club.
There’s so much on offer at this five-star resort in Ponta da Piedade that you’ll be tempted never to leave its pink-hued walls. Activities such as boot camp and golf are on tap, while palm trees flank the outdoor pools. The Cascade Wellness Resort also has a gym, sauna and spa offering a range of treatments, along with a football academy and kids’ club. Rooms, apartments and villas are elegant with sweeping views, and you can taste your way through Portugal via the four on-site restaurants.
Set on the edge of Vilamoura, with its marina, golf courses and golden sandy beach, this family-friendly hotel offers a wide range of accommodation, activities and dining options. Children are well catered for with a supervised kids’ club, while adults can relax with a treatment in the spa. The apartments sleep up to six and are self-catering, but the à la carte and brasserie-style restaurants are right there if you don’t fancy cooking.
Overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and just a 10-minute walk to the nearest beach, this four-star resort is a great option for ocean-loving families and groups of friends. The accommodation comprises pretty apartments and villas with up to four bedrooms and either garden terraces or private balconies. Meanwhile, active guests can make use of the tennis courts, crazy golf and three outdoor pools. Other facilities include a small shop, restaurant, bar and fitness centre.
Superb sea views, self-catering accommodation for up to six guests and international dining are in no short supply at this resort, just metres from Porto de Mós beach. Most apartments face the ocean, and the largest (a three-bedroom option) has a private roof terrace. The Levante Restaurant serves everything from healthy breakfasts to seared tuna and fresh wraps. During the day, explore the nearby beaches and golf courses, or simply laze by the four pools.
Three of the Algarve’s top golf courses are on the doorstep of this resort in Quinta do Lago. But you’ll be well entertained inside the resort itself, with its large outdoor pool area, indoor pool, fitness centre, spa, hair salon and beauty rooms. Villas are decorated in muted colour schemes and have kitchens and living areas leading out to garden patios. Vilar do Golf also has a few restaurants and a seasonal pool bar, and free activities include birdwatching tours and sangria demonstrations.
Located near Portimão’s Praia da Rocha, the Bela Vista Hotel and Spa is a beautiful five-star resort within a 38-room mansion. Step straight onto the golden sand for a day of sunbathing and swimming. For those who prefer a sand-free swim, there’s an opulent palm-lined pool overlooking the ocean, as well as a terrace, perfect for sundowners. To truly unwind, indulge in a ritual almond bath with a salt scrub and detoxifying massage at the Spa by L’Occitane.
Modern grandeur is reflected in every Conrad hotel, and its Algarve outpost is no different. Spacious suites feature marble bathrooms, king-size beds and walk-in wardrobes, and some have views across the pool. Dine on fresh Portuguese seafood – such as grilled sea bass and Ria Formosa prawns straight from the Atlantic outside – at Dado Restaurant. For golfers, there are six courses within 4km (2mi) of the Conrad Algarve, which has a PGA-qualified golf concierge to arrange transport.
Geared towards kids, the Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort comprises a series of family-friendly luxury villas, some with private pools, and a whole host of activities. The little ones will enjoy the face painting, while teens will appreciate surf lessons, scuba diving and mocktail contests. The resort also has football and tennis academies for sports-oriented kids. Slip away with your other half to enjoy a quiet swim in one of five pools, or book an ayurvedic massage at the spa.
If your idea of a holiday isn’t complete without golf, choose the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort. As it sits next to the Victoria Golf Course, home to the Portugal Masters, you can be the first to tee off each morning. Inside the hotel, the suites come with butler service and views across the fairway – opt for the penthouse, with its rooftop jacuzzi, for the ultimate luxury stay. It even offers hot-air-balloon rides (complete with champagne) over the Algarve’s coastline and orange groves, in case you need to sweeten up your other non-golf-playing half. Pets are welcome, too.
Privacy is valued at Pine Cliffs, where multiple-room luxury suites with kitchens and laundry facilities are the norm. It’s ideal for families or large groups. With nine restaurants, six pools, a private beach with jet-skis and paddleboards, and a tennis academy and ocean-front golf course, you (and your kids) certainly won’t get bored. Yoga is a real focus, with classes ranging from traditional ashtanga and hatha to aromatherapy and kids yoga. During the cooler months, retreat to the indoor pool and spa with its Himalayan salt-rock sauna, ice fountain and steam bath.
If you want an all-inclusive deal with your five-star hotel experience, the Salgados Palace in Albufeira offers just that. It’s perfect for couples looking for a sunshine getaway or families who want to combine beach life with a multi-activity kids’ club. Rotate between four large outdoor pools before disappearing to the garden for a private outdoor massage with the sound of waves crashing in the background. Enjoy fine dining at the Moonlight Restaurant Bar, such as octopus with red-pepper ice cream or tuna teriyaki; there are also more family-friendly hamburgers and pizza for fussy eaters at the main restaurant.
At Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, you can choose between a room, suite or private resort villa for extra comfort and exclusivity. Our favourite is the Vila Praia with its mini infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic and cocoon-style cabanas to escape the midday heat. The resort has 10 restaurants (including a Japanese restaurant and German beer garden) and six bars with an expansive wine cellar, housing more than 11,000 bottles. Don’t miss its sunset sessions at the Armação Beach Club, complete with a resident DJ and creative cocktails.
Few locations offer tranquillity and relaxation like the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club on the eastern side of the Algarve. This five-star hotel sits on luxurious golf grounds and has residences and villas, four restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool and tennis courts. Golfers will be fully satisfied with the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course here, regarded as the best in Portugal. Take a day trip to the small city of Tavira, about 15km (9mi) from the hotel and one of the Algarve’s best-kept secrets.