I've just returned from a lovely trip to the Algarve in Portugal. I was already familiar with the area having holidayed there since I was young but we have always stayed in large family villas rather than hotels. On this occasion it was just myself and a friend travelling so we wanted to stay in a secure hotel with everything we needed close-by. We decided on The Conrad in Quinta do Lago.
The hotel is just a twenty minute journey by taxi from Faro airport. The car passed through fields of citrus trees - the Algarve produces the tastiest oranges - to the hotel’s large gates and long, fountain-lined drive up to the entrance. It’s an imposing hotel spread over six floors, with 154 rooms. The architectural theme is ice and fire. Brilliant white walls and flaming torches light up the entrance, like something out of a Bond film. It oozes grandeur and 5-star luxury.
Inside is just as glamorous. A large glass atrium floods the lobby with natural light. There are contemporary art works throughout with the hotel hosting exhibitions from international artists. The latest exhibition took the artist four days to install!
The room was huge with a large private balcony. It had everything we could possibly need during our two day stay including a 42" HD flat screen television with in-room entertainment and media centre, mini-bar and Wi-Fi.
The bathroom was stunning, fitted with an inbuilt television over a large deep bath and a separate rain shower. Our only qualm was that there was no lock on the door which isn't ideal when you're sharing the room.
Something that really impressed me was the Conrad Concierge mobile app which you can download to your phone. From selecting your preferred bath amenities or ordering your breakfast to be ready just as you arrive, you can customise your stay before and during your visit. If you’re looking for somewhere to be waited on hand and foot this is the place!
Source: The Conrad
There's a great range of restaurants and bars, from fine dining to more relaxed settings. Gusto, by Michelin-starred Chef Heinz Beck, is a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant with Scandinavian design. It features a Cuban Cigar menu, cocktail bar, extensive wine list as well as an alfresco terrace.
Louro offers Portuguese cuisine of local dishes. Dado is great for cocktails and a South American influenced menu. Lago Lounge is also worth a visit for drinks, offering everything from classic cocktails to Sri Lankan teas. We mostly opted for Sereno which offers light bites by the infinity pool, as well as the most delicious cocktails.
There are an array of pools some of which feature underwater music for guests. All have outstanding poolside service with fresh juices, water bottles in ice buckets and cold flannels arriving at your sun-lounger the moment you arrive.
If you fancy venturing beyond the hotel, the Quinta Shopping is opposite, a luxury, open-air shopping mall with more than 20 designer boutiques, cafes and restaurants as well as a supermarket for any home comforts you might have forgotten to pack. Also situated here are the world famous golf courses of Quinta do Lago.
If you want something further afield, the beautiful Algarve beaches are only a shuttle ride away (the Conrad puts on a complimentary shuttle service throughout the day). The Ria Formosa Natural Park is just a short journey as well as beautiful orange groves and quaint Portuguese fishing villages if you have a bit more time than we did to explore the local area.
The most indulgent aspect of our stay was a trip to the spa. We both opted for the Reflexology treatment which was incredible. The therapists are brilliant and the treatment rooms are the perfect place to relax with the sound of waves surrounding you during treatments.
Each treatment room has an outdoor spa option with it's own private cabana. The outside relaxation terrace leads you to an infinity pool with beautiful views across the Algarvian countryside, it's the perfect place to catch some sun in-between treatments. The spa also has an ice fountain, cold plunge pool and sauna but we were happy basking ourselves in the Portuguese sun to want to deviate from the temperature.
If you're looking for an indulgent few days of pampering and cocktails in the sunshine, this is the place!