The insider’s guide to Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo…

This week’s blog is the insider’s guide to the lovely Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo Golf Resort which is situated in the centre of the Vale de Lobo estate. When looking for your next golf escape to the Algarve there are very few other places which can offer you the experience that this resort can in terms of activities, golf and service. This week’s blog is to show you what you’re missing and what you could have if you choose to book a golf break to this fantastic resort.

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The hotel boasts a superb location being just 200 yards from the stunning Vale de Lobo beach and with Vale de Lobo plaza right on its doorstep. The resort is also just under 7 miles from the bustling town of Vilamoura which means that there are endless bars and restaurants to enjoy either in the plaza or just a short drive away. The rooms at the hotel are a mixture of old-age Portuguese style and more modern designs but all are spacious and welcoming. Guests here will enjoy high-class service and luxurious rooms, fitted with all the amenities expected of a hotel of this rating, and communal areas as well as the beautiful surroundings. The hotel overlooks the 17th fairway of the Vale de Lobo course so guests can enjoy spectacular views. Guests can enjoy a massage at the spa, the tennis courts, the outdoor pool which overlooks the Atlantic or of course, the beach. With Vilamoura just down the road, Faro just a short drive away and two fantastic golf courses within such close distance there really isn’t anywhere else that you need to consider apart from this resort when booking your next golf holiday to the Algarve when looking for relaxation, superb surroundings and fantastic golf.

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San Lorenzo golf course is a world class course and is often rated as one of the best in the Algarve and even in continental Europe. The course is set alongside the Atlantic Ocean and is built upon sandy, undulating terrain with the long fairways being bordered by pine trees and the Ria Formosa bird sanctuary making this a picturesque course which is very in tune with nature! The course is laid out in a figure of eight which explains why you have to navigate so many dog-leg holes and explains why this course tests your precision on each hole right from the tee. The 5th and the 7th hole dominate your attention during the front nine as all you can see are the saltwater lagoons and the bird sanctuary with the Atlantic in the horizon but the finish of the course is equally as strong. With the opposite side of the Ria Formosa coming into view in the last three holes and the 18th being a long, spectacular risk-reward finish to the round there is no question as to why this course is ranked so highly. Make sure to complete your holiday to Dona Filipa with a spectacular round at this memorable course.

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The second course that golfers usually play during a stay at the Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo resort is Pinheiros Altos. This course is split into three parts which are all fantastic but are all laid out very differently making you feel like you could be playing three separate courses! The front nine is set out across a sandy hillside with pine trees lining the fairways and is referred to as the “Pines” nine. The second nine, is referred to as the “Olives” nine and is laid out more as a parkland course set out over flatter terrain and borders the Ria Formosa sanctuary where there are huge expanses of water which are laying in wait to catch errant shots. The feature hole on the front 18 is the 17th which is a par 3 and will require the upmost concentration to score well on what with its island green, vast lake and deep magnetic sand trap all contributing to the difficulty! In 2007, the course opened a further nine holes called “Corks” which is an easier addition to the course with the only challenges being the last few holes. This 27-hole course is a superb challenge in great surroundings which can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. A perfect course to compliment San Lorenzo and a stay at the Dona Filipa.

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With Vilamoura being so close to the resort it is no surprise that many guests choose to venture into the town to enjoy meals and drinks out. The town features a large choice of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and cafes making it perfect for a day trip or night out from the resort. It is normally suggested to use a car but there are always taxis available to be booked both to and from Vilamoura and the resort.

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With many different activities in the area including horse riding, golf, biking and various watersports to try out – you could never be bored with this town so close by. If you are more looking for relaxation when coming into the town of Vilamoura then you must try several of the different restaurants where you will be able to find traditional Portuguese cuisine to oriental cuisine to a full English!

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We hope this blog has opened your eyes to what you could be enjoying in the Algarve. From spectacular golfing opportunities and other sports to the fantastic array of bars and restaurants that are waiting for you to enjoy! This resort holds a superb location and a holiday here is definitely not to be missed out on.

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The insider’s guide to Praia d’el Rey

If you’re looking for your next luxurious golfing break to Portugal there is nowhere better than the Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf and Beach Resort which is situated near the fabulous medieval town of Obidos and just an hour’s drive from Lisbon. This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to this great resort.

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This stunning resort is just a stones throw away from one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe as well as being right next to an 18-hole championship golf course – what could be better? All the rooms at the hotel are decorated with a traditional Portuguese theme and are fitted with all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel as well as breathtaking views on to the Atlantic Ocean and the Praia d’el Rey golf course. Not only can guests enjoy round of golf on a world-class golf course but also other golf courses in close proximity such as Bom Sucesso and Royal Obidos. Guests can also enjoy the Kalyan Spa which features a fitness centre, a Turkish bath and two pools. The hotel boasts three restaurants where guests can enjoy spectacular buffet dishes or a la carte restaurants which serve traditional Portuguese dishes as well as other delicious cuisines. With two fantastic cities just a fifteen-minute drive away (Peniche and Obidos) it is no surprise that this is a prime location for your next golf break to Portugal where there are countless activities to enjoy and three superb golf courses within close proximity which means that golfers and non-golfers alike will be thoroughly spoilt for choice!

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The Praia d’el Rey course is regularly ranked within the top 20 courses in continental Europe and it really isn’t hard to see why. The course is a well-designed mixture of parkland and links holes which makes it an enjoyable and interesting round for golfers of all abilities. The course is laid out across dunes and cliffs and is set out as two loops of nine holes through lush vegetation as well as many running along the coastline. The course features spectacular views of the nearby Berlenga islands and of the Atlantic Ocean but golfers shouldn’t be distracted by these views as this course requires concentration and accurate shots. The stretch from the 12th hole to the 15th hole is a beautiful coastline one as well as a stern challenge which can be made worse with a strong Atlantic breeze! With strategically placed bunkers and pines waiting to catch errant shots this is definitely not a course to miss out on when next in the region.

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Royal Obidos golf is close by and is another well-known and well respected course in the region. Right from the first tee this is a tricky course with the first hole being a difficult dogleg which sets up for the rest of the holes which look over the beautiful Lagoa de Obidos. This course is entirely different from the Praia d’el Rey course but is no less fantastic or any less of a challenge. Throughout this course you will get to experience holes that you will with you could play over and over again. The tee shot for the 2nd hole is truly spectacular as you face the lagoon to take your shot. Another beautiful hole is the 7th which is a long par five and boasts views over the massive lagoon making is a scenic hole just like many of the others. Watch out for the 10th hole where even the most discerning golfer has been known to lose a few golf balls in the many water hazards that are so prominent on this hole. With the back nine being a stern finish to the course but definitely a beautiful one this course is a perfect play for your next golf break to the Obidos area.

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The third and final course that golfers usually choose to play when staying at the Praia d’el Rey resort is the fabulous Bom Sucesso golf course. This course features more of an old fashioned layout but fits perfectly in with its surroundings. The first nine holes are played out on fairly level terrain but when you embark on the back nine the greens are much faster and undulate throughout the last nine holes. The course is well-designed with strategically placed bunkers and other hazards making it difficult to score well on unless you are consistently hitting accurately! The closing holes are the most spectacular on this course with the 16th being a tough uphill hole which leads to the highest point on the course before you come crashing down during the 17th hole before finishing up with the 18th over a couple of lovely water hazards! This course is what could be described as a fine but fair challenge and is definitely not to be missed when staying in the area.

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Within 15-minutes’ drive of the Praia d’el Rey resort is the lovely town of Obidos. This town is full of history and spectacular architecture that really isn’t to be missed. It is one of the most picturesque towns in Portugal with cobbled streets and traditionally painted houses as well as lovely, little bars where visitors must try the cherry liqueur which Obidos is famous for called Ginja de Obidos. There are also some great restaurants in the town and some beautiful monuments to be enjoyed such as walking the town walls or visiting the Porta de Vila. Make sure to try A Nova Casa de Ramiro which is decorated beautifully and serves some of the finest traditional Portuguese food which all will definitely enjoy! With this interesting town so close it is no surprise that Praia d’el Rey is a favourite destination for a great golf holiday to Portugal!

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the resort of Praia d’el Rey but also your golfing options and the lovely town of Obidos which is so close by! This really is the perfect resort for your next golf break to Europe and not one to be missed out on.

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5 best destinations with short airport transfers…

When choosing your next golf break one of the things which may be a concern is how long you will have to spend travelling in order to get to your final destination – your hotel. This is the case especially when you are only going on a short golf break and want to enjoy every moment either on the fairways, at the bars or lounging by the pool or on the beach! This is your guide to some of the best hotels which have short airport transfers so that you can enjoy every second of your next golfing holiday abroad.

ELBASARA

First up is Hotel Elba Sara which is a great four-star resort just 10-15 minutes’ drive from Fuerteventura airport and in an ideal location for golf and other activities. Not only is the hotel close to the airport but two fantastic courses, Fuerteventura Golf and Salinas Golf are just a five minutes’ drive away too which means that a round of golf can always be on the agenda. Next door to the resort is the Atlantico centre where you can find a wide variety of bars, restaurants and shops to enjoy or there are different options for food including the poolside grill bar, the hotel’s buffet restaurant and the grill bar at the beach to enjoy. Most of the rooms have beautiful views of the Caleta de Fuste beach which is just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the entrance of the hotel and is perfect for a post-round relax before enjoying a few drinks at the bar. With tennis courts, ping-pong tables, a wonderful spa area and modern, spacious rooms each fitted with their own private balcony this makes this resort a perfect location for your next golf break.

HOTELALICANTE

Next up on the list is Hotel Alicante Golf which is just a 20-minutes’ drive from Alicante airport and is set in stunning gardens as well as besides the 18-hole golf course which is on-site. Within the hotel there are some great options for food, including the Augusta restaurant which specialises in Mediterranean food and the Andra-Mari which has an extensive wine list! With Alicante Golf on-site this hotel is perfect for enjoying time around the pool and at the bars as well as managing to play a few rounds of golf in every stay. Playa de San Juan beach is just 900 yards away and the centre of Alicante is just over 4 miles away meaning that guests can easily explore the area around the hotel and enjoy meals out and the nightlife in Alicante. The rooms are nicely decorated with a contemporary theme and are well-fitted with all the amenities you would expect from a resort of this rating. Most of the rooms have stunning views of the 18th hole of the golf course which can be enjoyed from private balconies. This is a great destination for your next golf break to the Costa Blanca.

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Holiday Polynesia Hotel, situated in Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol is next up on the list and is just a 20 minutes’ drive from Malaga airport. The hotel features beautiful and stylish rooms which are decorated with an oriental theme and come with a hob and a microwave as well as a satellite TV and stunning views of the sea. The hotel boasts a beautiful lagoon-style pool, tennis courts, a spa and a gym. There are a range of restaurants to choose from at the hotel including the Uro Wok restaurant which serves oriental food as well as the Maeva buffet restaurant which serves a variety of different cuisines. With Torrequebrada golf course just a five minutes’ drive away from the hotel where you can enjoy a spectacular round of golf this truly is the perfect destination for a relaxing golf break on the Costa del Sol.

FORMOSAPARK

Next up on the list is the lovely Formosa Park Hotel which is just 25 minutes’ drive from Faro airport and just a five minutes’ walk from one of the finest beaches in the whole of the Algarve – Ancao beach. The hotel boasts a large outdoor swimming pool and a lovely terrace on which guests can enjoy an extensive breakfast whilst enjoying views of the pool and out to sea. The hotel is in a quieter area but there are some great restaurants and bars which are all within a five-minute drive from the hotel meaning that you can relax at the hotel or enjoy some more lively entertainment outside of the resort. With two fantastic golf courses nearby, Pinheiros Altos and San Lorenzo, guests can enjoy several rounds of golf during their stay and even get reduced green fees and preferential tee times at the former! This apartment hotel is perfect for those looking for a relaxing golf escape with some fabulous golf and beach time on the side!

SANDOSSANBLAS

Last up on the list is Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf which is just a 15-minute drive from Tenerife South airport. The hotel offers an all-inclusive board style as well as stunning scenery and luxury rooms. The hotel boasts eight swimming pools, plenty of different bars and restaurants as well as a fitness centre. The rooms are all beautifully decorated and feature a contemporary design as well as a hydro-massage bath and private balconies to enjoy the incredible views from. Amarilla Golf and Golf del Sur which are two fabulous golf courses are situated just a mile away from the hotel which means that travelling is definitely kept to a minimum at this hotel! This hotel is the epitome of luxury with a wide range of different activities for guests to enjoy such as kayaking, mountain biking and beach volleyball just to name a few! If you’re looking for luxury in Tenerife and a fantastic golf escape with some great golf then this is the perfect place for your next golf holiday to the Canary Islands.

 

We hope that this blog has helped you decide on the destination for your next golf break in the sun which will require minimal travelling in the car from the airports as well as where you can enjoy fantastic golf within just a short drive away!

Your guide to Penina and the Algarve

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the wonderful Algarve region in Portugal and more specifically the fabulous Penina Hotel & Golf Resort. There is no denying that this is the perfect region in which to take a golf holiday and where could be better to take that holiday than the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort?

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The Algarve is the southernmost region in Portugal and is well-known for its sunny, Mediterranean weather, beautiful and sandy beaches as well as fantastic golf resorts. With some of Europe’s finest beaches, stunning nature and historic villages it is no surprise that this is one of the most popular tourist destinations around. There are lovely little coastal towns hidden away as well as those bigger ones such as Vilamoura which feature plenty of different bars and restaurants to provide entertainment for all hours of the day!02

Although the Algarve may be seen to have a reputation for more expensive golf courses than other great destinations and this may be true with the likes of many golf resorts here there are also those which are more reasonably priced. If budget allows, of course it is recommended to try some of the more expensive courses such as Vilamoura, Vale de Lobo and Quinta da Lago as well as the more reasonably priced which include the likes of Boavista and Monte Rei.03

The stunning five-star Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is set within lush gardens and scenery and is situated just outside of Portimão and the city of Lagos. This hotel is many people’s first choice for their hotel and it really isn’t hard to see why! With three fabulous golf courses on site, a wide range of leisure activities available and beautiful, modern and spacious rooms which are fitted with everything expected from a five-star resort, it really isn’t a surprise that this hotel is such a hit for those looking for luxury golfing holidays. The hotel boasts a lovely spa area where guests can enjoy a range of different massage treatments, the sauna or time in the well-equipped fitness centre before enjoying a delicious meal at one of the five restaurants on-site. The Penina has five different restaurants which serve a variety of different cuisines from traditional Portuguese to Italian to International dishes which means that you definitely can never go hungry here! There are also four different bars which are perfect for enjoying a light snack or a drink after a round on one of the great courses which are on-site here. The hotel features the largest private outdoor pool in the whole of the Algarve which has a lovely pool area around it and is perfect for relaxing by after a day at the golf course or exploring one of the towns around the hotel. Just five minutes’ drive from the hotel is the beautiful little town of Alvor which has a stunning beach as well as a great variety of restaurants and bars which is perfect if you want to explore a little and enjoy some time relaxing on the beach. There is no doubt that this is a fantastic destination for your next golf holiday to the Algarve and a stay of this luxury is not to be missed. 04

The Penina boasts the 18-hole Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course which is widely recognised as one of the finest courses in the whole of Europe and this is shown by the fact that it is a regular host of the Portuguese Open. The scene is set here with beautiful eucalyptus trees and the sun shining but this course is a very stern test of golf even to those with a lower handicap. The course is not a long one and is easily walkable as is mainly flat terrain which is great for those who like to savour their round and the scenery just that bit more. With strategically placed trees, water hazards and bunkers this course is a challenge from the outset for sure. The first tee is just a few metres from the hotel and the hole is a dog-leg left which leads to a very guarded and narrow green making it difficult to access. The star hole on the front line has to be the par five 5th hole which is a fantastic risk-reward shot where all those but the cleanest of shots will fall out of bound or into the water making this a frustrating but fun hole. The 12th hole is a great par four which measures 385 metres and is almost completely straight apart from when the golfer gets the green in sight they can see how the lake winds around the green making it difficult to access. To finish off the course there are two par fives which give the golfer a little break and are a bit easier to finish off what is a challenging and stunning Mediterranean style round.05

The Penina Resort course is a 9-hole which is played twice over by golfers so that they can enjoy a full 18-hole round and was also designed by Sir Henry Cotton. This course is also a stern test of golf with carefully placed water hazards and sand hazards meaning that accuracy is definitely key on this course. This course starts off close to the shore with the feature hole being the 3rd hole which is a par five and plays along the beach. The course’s fairways then move further inland and wind through a heavily wooded area before opening up again. This is a great and challenging course and a perfect addition to the resort.06

At the resort, as well as two fabulous golf courses there is the Golf Academy where guests can get great advice from the pros that work there as well as enjoy a few tester shots on the driving range before testing their skills on the golf courses.07

The Algarve is a beautiful region of Portugal and is ideal for sun, sea and surf but also for some of the best golf courses in the whole of Europe which are just waiting to be tried out by you. The Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Algarve and a luxury golf break there with fantastic golf, beautiful towns nearby and stunning service is really not to be missed out on.