A 19,000-Sq.-Ft. Spa & Michelin-Starred Chef Are Just the Beginning of Conrad Algarve's Offerings

From www.justluxe.com by Sean Hillen
A 19,000-Sq.-Ft. Spa & Michelin-Starred Chef Are Just the Beginning of Conrad Algarve's Offerings

Bordered by sensuously-swaying palm and cypress trees, as well as a fiesta-like cluster of red and pink roses, the boulevard leading to the Conrad Algarve decorated with a white stone cupola is stunning. As we approached the circular driveway in a rented BMW, we felt just like royalty.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Columbia Hillen

Inside, the lobby was equally impressive with its airy and spacious interiors and high dome ceiling decorated with floral designs. High above, all six floors encircle the lobby and rise to a cupola above. The hotel was built to look like a contemporary palace incorporating distinct Moorish design elements. Within minutes, check-in was completed and we were greeted by General Manager Joachim Hartl, who has supervised the opening of seven hotels worldwide. While the luxury property felt high-end, it never felt stuffy or unfriendly.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Conrad Algarve

Of Conrad’s 20 properties across the globe, this Portugal hotel was the very first European resort. Dublin, Istanbul and London opened in the years following. When it comes to activities at this Quinta do Lago destination, there are no shortage of choices. During our stay, we participated in two one-hour yoga sessions, and there are daily offerings such as Pilates, aqua fitness, core and cardio classes and fusion strength. If that is not enough, there are four varieties of pools including the infinity and lagoon-style pools.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Conrad Algarve

The Conrad also has its own beach, Ancao Poente, a 10-minute drive away and against a stunning ochre cliff backdrop. The hotel provides transport to the beach throughout the day. With so many championship golf courses in the area, it’s also no surprise to find that the hotel offers a simulation play area to help guests work on their handicap. An on-site tennis courts, gym and spacious spa round out the amenities.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Conrad Algarve

At the 19,000-square-foot spa, the upper floor holds the treatment area along with a steam room, sauna, heated bathing pool with Jacuzzi jets, a cold plunge pool and hot reclining beds. The décor is a mix of blue and gold mosaics. We enjoyed a special de-stress muscle relaxation massage with Aromatherapy Associates' natural oils. There are also two enticing showers, the first offering a Swiss experience with 13 multi-level shower heads releasing hot and cold water at various times. The Jamaican variation is complete with bird songs, thunder noises and a light spraying motion. We spent several hours recovering here from a day of travel before moving outside to the terrace and infinity pool boasting lounge chairs views over the countryside. 

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Conrad Algarve

On the lower ground level on the manicured garden area, there are several more outdoor pools with chaise lounges and umbrellas. On Sunday afternoons, an open-air barbeque with live jazz music takes place. Our guestroom, one of 154 was spacious, with a high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. From the balcony of our grand deluxe suite, we enjoyed the sounds of a skilled saxophone player. 

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Columbia Hillen

Dinner at Gusto by Heinz Beck, the hotel’s signature restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Heinz Beck, was a sensual delight. We were seated close to the open kitchen, and delicious aromas flowed in our direction as we dined. The Scandinavian-designed eatery is decorated with round, oversized paper lanterns and large floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the city.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Columbia Hillen

From the first course of tonno tonnato to the chef’s signature fagotelli carbonara dish and pastry chef Giacomo Troisi’s “ode to chocolate” dessert, every item was delicious and impressive. The drinks menu was also delightful. The restaurant's back wall is designed as a gleaming, chrome-framed glass cave featuring hundreds of wine bottles. We enjoyed a diverse range of wines with our tasting menu, including a zesty, tropical Soalheiro, a Melgaço-based vineyard in the Vinho Verde region specializing in the Alvarinho grape variety. But the best was when our sommelier created a unique cocktail just for us featuring broccoli juice, vodka and gin.

conrad algarvePhoto Credit: Columbia Hillen

With its own private beach, spacious suites, multiple swimming pools and convenient location just 20 minutes from Faro international airport, Conrad Algarve is a luxury hotel fit for royalty. And luckily, even if you’re not a prince or princess, you’ll still feel right at home here.

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