This April we took a little trip to the California-esque Quinta do Lago in Faro, Southern Portugal. Here the skies are the bluest of blue, the sun is shimmering hot, and we had the 1950s retro American The Magnolia Hotel as our base for a few days. We were here to experience The Campus at Quinta do Lago, set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa National Park and home to an exclusive golf course, multi-sport academy hub, well-being destination and elite performance venue. Cue game face.
The Magnolia Hotel is beautiful; the pastel colours, art deco vibes and giant roadside neon sign offers a slice of Miami in the Algarve. After seeing the retro cool of the lobby and gin bar behind the check-in station, we were glad we packed a Hawaiian shirt. The Magnolia Hotel has 74 rooms, three suites, seven bungalows, a heated outdoor pool (yes even in the Algarve), a gym, entertainment room, spa and onsite restaurant. With modern boutique decor and soft colours, just a 15-minute drive from the aiport and a stone’s throw from Quinta do Lago beach, it’s an ideal spot.[easy-image-collage id=107423]
The restaurant is stunning; pink velvet seating with bright yellow dining chairs has us seizing our phone for an #interiorgoals Instagram. Their resident chef Tom Briggs, who is ex-Soho House and previously of Hoxton Grill, caters for all appetites with everything from superfood salads to his signature ‘Mag Burger’. Our fave was the tuna tacos, which were next level, though the breakfast, with its spread of pastries, fresh fruits, juices and eggs available to order, was up there.
As we were inside the Quinta do Lago resort, we had easy access to The Campus, where we found pristine artificial clay and acrylic tennis courts. They also have bikes available to hire and a pavilion area in case you need a time out from the tennis. The aim of The Campus is to offer professional coaching to all and it’s the reason you will see world class athletes using these very facilities. There are some seriously good players here, including our coach Tennis Director and Head Tennis Professional Zé Pereira Lopes, who took us through a series of drills to perfect our skills and get us match ready.
After a day of tennis, we were introduced to the world of padel, a sport which is already huge in Spain and Portugal. It’s a cross between tennis and squash – you play on a smaller version of a tennis court with all four surrounding walls being in play. The game is super fast paced and fun, and just because you might be able to hold your own on the tennis court doesn’t mean you’re a natural here.[easy-image-collage id=107433]
With 300 days of sunshine every year it’s easy to see the appeal of this location. The Campus is a great destination for those who want to combine sports with their holidays, it’s family-friendly – lots of kids activities on offer from football to tennis – and is already popular with English Premiership football and rugby teams. Sat by the pool on a lounger it’s a no-brainer. Plus you have the town of Faro to explore, their old market and ten dining destinations within the Quinta do Lago resort itself.
To discover The Campus visit quintadolago.com. Standard room at The Magnolia start from £76 a night.
Estrada da Quinta do Lago, 8135-106 Almancil, Algarve, Portugal.