Spread over 178 acres, Pine Cliffs Resort in the Portuguese Algarve is so vast it has even developed a special botanical handbook and walking tour for its guests. Aside from its diverse grounds, the five-star property also offers generous accommodations, it also offers 10 different restaurants and bars; a health club, a beauty salon, a children’s village and numerous boutiques and shops. And, located in Albufeira, the Luxury Collection hotel is only a 30-minute drive from Faro International Airport.
The impressive property is divided into six distinct sections—The Sheraton Algarve, Pine Cliffs Vacation Club, Pine Cliffs Suites, Terrace Pine Cliffs, Pine Cliffs Residence and Pine Cliffs Village—each with their own number of accommodations. During our stay we enjoyed a first-floor, two-bedroom suite at the Residence which comes with a large terrace, kitchen and generous living room.
Activities at the resort are just as diverse as its guestroom offerings and include golf, tennis, football and watersports. Pine Cliffs Golf Course and Academy is a nine-hole course, with mainly three and four pars, broad fairways, and is suitable for beginners. The property also hosts an Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, named after the British former Nr. 1, featuring five full-size ATP floodlit courts (two red clay and three acrylic). For more challenging watersports, Beach Club and Water Sports Center, at the resort’s Falesia Beach, offer training in surfing, catamaran sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet-skiing and wakeboarding.
For the more laid-back, the beach itself has sun loungers, parasols, changing facilities, a towel hut, Beach Club Pine Cliffs by Olivier restaurant, nearby. Gilt-head sea bream is a great option for lunch between sunbathing sessions. Served whole, grilled, with local sea salt and fresh pesto and a fresh tomato salad, it’s refreshing on a hot day.
Treatments at the resort’s Experience Wellness spa include a wide variety of packages, from Shiatsu, Thai and hot stone massage to four-day restorative treatments. There are also two health clubs and an indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi, with Maria D’Orey as in-house trainer.
Children are by no means neglected at Pine Cliffs. The property offers its littlest guests Porto Pirata village, a multi-functional space and playground centering around two life-sized wooden pirate ships. Other facilities include a basketball court, a dedicated children’s swimming pool, a racetrack for toys on wheels, a bounce castle, mini-golf, football, archery, arts and crafts, cricket and aqua-gym.
When it comes to dining, the resort has 10 different venues to choose from ranging from bars to casual dining and upscale cuisine. For an informal drink, Portulano is a cozy lobby bar with live music on selected evenings (try the amarguinha, a local concoction); and the Mirador Champagne Bar, with an impressive cliff-top location providing stunning views over the Atlantic.
O’Grill is a relaxed, informal restaurant overlooking the golf course where breakfast buffets are also served. During the early summer season Algarve Chefs’ Week is held there, as part of a collaboration between several fine dining restaurants in the area. Faced with the challenge of creating a menu based around several key ingredients, this year the selections were fleur de sel, orange figs, sweet potato and carob. Chef Osvalde Silva delighted the guests with a Santa Luzia octopus with sweet potato; wild grouper, razor clams and orange chowder served with crisp cockle polenta; carob and chocolate coulant with fleur de sel; and Algarvian fig delight, almond and Arabic spices dukka and lemongrass sorbet.
Pine Cliffs Resort also caters to corporate clients, with three conference rooms in the hotel, a boardroom for up to 12 people, an executive boardroom for up to 16, and the Pinhal Room for up to 800 people.
Awarded “Europe’s Leading Hotel Residences” last year by the World Travel Awards, Pine Cliffs Resort encompasses a little bit of all that makes Algarve such an attractive Portuguese destination. With lush gardens, sandy beaches, luxury accommodations, fine food, a sheer diversity of activities and a great location to explore the area, it’s a great choice no matter your preference.