There are many reasons why the Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Its breath-taking 200 kilometres of golden sand coastline, with honeycomb cliffs and spectacular rock formations, is home to scores of exquisite beaches, just waiting to be discovered. Long distance footpaths trail through countryside rich in flora and fauna. Crystal clear water and remote islands are a paradise for snorkelling and scuba diving and, if you enjoy water sports, there are endless opportunities for sailing, surfing and windsurfing as well as plenty of world class marinas for larger vessels.
There are dozens of internationally known golf courses, many designed by world famous players, and they are situated amidst the most beautiful scenery. And when the sun goes down there’s always enough nightlife to keep you up past dawn. Add to this over three thousand hours of sunshine per year and some of the freshest seafood you will find anywhere, and you have all the ingredients of a luxury holiday destination.
All that is needed is somewhere luxurious to stay and, fortunately, as with so many things in the Algarve, you really are spoilt for choice.
Luxury hotel or luxury self-catering?
Your first thought, when considering luxury accommodation, is probably a luxury hotel. After all, an upscale resort can do everything for you and can give you the best of everything. There is nothing quite like that carefree feeling that staying in a luxury hotel can provide along with a great location, beautiful environment, fine dining, excellent service and every facility you could possibly want. It is, however, an experience shared with strangers, and in these challenging times that is a consideration that you have to take before booking.
Luxury hotels have the highest standards of hygiene and will have doubtless put in place further measures to ensure the safety of their customers, but it is an inescapable fact that staying in a hotel, no matter how exclusive and luxurious it may be, requires a certain amount of contact with strangers. Indeed, in normal times that is one of the pleasures of a hotel stay, the people that you meet, but in the current situation it may be more problematic if you want to fully relax.
So, what sort of luxury experience could you have in self-catering accommodation? Well, for one thing, you have the opportunity to secure a property in a location every bit as stunning as that of a luxury hotel. In fact, you’ve probably a lot more scope to find exactly the sort of location that suits you the best. As for the quality of your environment, there are plenty of villas every bit as luxurious as a hotel, and that achingly beautiful pool? It’s all for you and your companions, you won’t have to share it with anyone else. You may not, of course, have an on-site restaurant, but in the Algarve, you are never far away from fine dining.
It all comes down to personal preference, many people wouldn’t trade the luxury of a great hotel experience for anything, but for others, the experience of their own luxury environment is the key to a relaxing break. Let’s take a look at some examples of mouth-watering luxury accommodation available on the Algarve.
Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa – Armacao de Pera
Choose from rooms and suites with sea views or whitewashed villas with private pools, all set in fifty-four acres of subtropical gardens. This clifftop sited resort provides a complete escape from the outside world. Gourmets will delight in the choice of ten restaurants, with Michelin starred options, six bars and a wine cellar of over eleven thousand bottles. The resort also provides its guests with use of a golf course, a private yacht, a children’s park and of course, swimming pools and a spa.
Conrad Algarve – Quinta do Lago
This five-star hotel is described by visitors as one of the world’s great luxury hotels and is rated in the top ten Hilton properties. Spectacularly sited and yet just minutes away from shops and restaurants, guests praise the faultless service and attention to detail which characterises this luxury experience. One of the most modern of the Algarve’s five-star hotels, the Conrad boasts breath-taking design and the highest standards of comfort and convenience. Guests can choose from five restaurants, including the Michelin starred ‘Gusto’ by Heinz Beck or relax at one of the three luxurious pools, the private beach, spa or fitness centre.
Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel
If you are a believer in the dictum ‘small is beautiful,’ this might be just the place for you. A four-minute drive from the historic centre of Lagos, this boutique hotel, overlooking the bay of Lagos, comprises just eighteen rooms and two suites. Sea facing balconies provide outstanding views and guests have commended the extremely friendly staff and attention to detail. The beach is a short walk away, and adjacent to the hotel is a twenty-seven-hole golf course.
Villa Albero – Pinheiros Altos, Almancil, Loule, Faro
This charming property, of traditional design, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms and is situated close to a beach. Set in beautiful gardens with plush greenery and a large pool, this accommodation provides its guests with spacious, comfortable luxury, in a tranquil setting. Expect an outdoor terrace with barbecue, a balcony overlooking the gardens, a separate dining area and an on-site restaurant too.
Croesa Villa – Vale do Lobo, Almancil, Loule, Faro
At the very top end of luxury, this stunningly modern five-bedroom villa, with its sweeping glass curves is full of space and light. A luxurious private pool looks out over spectacular, panoramic sea views and there is direct access from the garden to the beach. Interior design is of the highest standard and the facilities include a private garage, barbeque, hot tub, games room, TV room, bar and wine cellar.
Villa Romano – Vale do Lobo
This majestic property is situated near the beach and is a short walk from all amenities. The five-bedroom property has a four-car garage, attractive gardens and large pool and overlooks a nearby golf course. Space and style combine to provide a luxurious, private retreat, which sleeps nine to 10 guests. A fairly modern style inside and out, expect a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor terrace with flat screen TV, loungers and a barbecue area.