WORLD-renowned for its golden beaches and crystal clear waters, the Algarve has secured its place as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Quinta do Lago estate has long held a reputation for offering the very best of the Algarve.
The exclusive golf and residential estate, which spans an impressive 2000-acres, is synonymous with elegance and privacy, and its latest addition - the Monte da Quinta Resort - is ideal for a family holiday, couples break or golfing trip.
The estate boasts three of the country’s top golf courses, with preferential rates available to Monte da Quinta guests at the renowned Quinta do Lago North and South courses, as well as the heralded new Laranjal layout.
Despite its tender age, the Laranjal is already being mooted as a potential venue for the Portuguese Open - an event the South course has previously held on eight occasions.
However, if 18 holes on the green isn’t your idea of holiday bliss (and it wasn’t ours), there are plenty of other options to keep guests at Monte da Quinta entertained.
After spending five relaxing days at the resort in September, we returned feeling relaxed and invigorated – largely a result of Monte da Quinta’s Magnolia Spa, which offers guests a pampering paradise.
The luxurious complex is a tranquil retreat providing an array of treatments and facilities, including a Turkish bath, sauna, hammam, two Jacuzzis and a host of therapeutic showers.
Guests hoping to make the most of Portugal’s year-round sunshine can relax on a cushioned lounger by one of two outdoor pools, each of which has a bar situated just a few feet away.
There’s even a hairdressing salon, games room and convenience shop located on-site.
Monte da Quinta comprises a range of townhouses and villas, as well as a collection of 132 suites – one of the newest accommodation options in the Algarve – including one, two and three-bedroom layouts.
Our spacious one-bedroom suite boasted a kitchen, living room, terrace and two bathrooms, with modern extras including a coffee-making machine, dishwasher and two televisions with several UK channels.
Just one step away from the villas and townhouses sits Monte da Quinta Clubhouse, which features a healthclub offering another gym, hammam and sauna, as well as a heated indoor swimming pool - ideal for the whole family.
Energetic guests looking for an action-packed holiday can choose from a range of leisure facilities in Quinta do Lago.
Tennis, water sports and horse riding are among the activities available under the Algarve sun, while guided tours of the Ria Formosa nature reserve are also an option by boat or on foot.
For anyone hoping to burn off some excess holiday calories, Monte da Quinta also boasts a fully-equipped fitness centre, where sessions are available with the resort’s personal trainer.
This was one of few services that we did not make use of, though perhaps we should have after indulging in Monte da Quinta restaurant’s delicious buffet breakfast every morning.
With everything from a full, hot breakfast to cold meats, cheeses, fresh bread and pastries on offer, our expanding waistlines required no further explanation.
Lunch was served in the grill and pool bar, with everything from burgers and sandwiches to chicken and steak on the menu – and all at reasonable prices.
Come evening, the Monte da Quinta suites restaurant offered an a la carte menu from its acclaimed chef Pedro Bastos, with several tables overlooking the pool creating a romantic setting.
Although family barbecues were held on various nights, one criticism would be a lack of evening entertainment on offer for younger couples staying at Monte da Quinta.
Golf courses and luxury villas surround the resort, rather than bars and restaurants, with several guests choosing to hire a car during their stay in order to venture a little further than Quinta Shopping - just a five-minute taxi ride from Monte da Quinta – which features a handful of shops, restaurants and bars.
But the Magnolia Spa is open until 8pm each night.
Monte da Quinta Resort is distinguished by the high quality of its accommodation and facilities, allied to family-friendly service.
For anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday in the sunshine or a golfing break at one of the Great Hotels of the World, it really is a great choice.