Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve, hotel review: elegant family-favourite doesn’t disappoint
Family-favourite Pine Cliffs Resort has bagged the headland over one of the best beaches in Southern Portugal, an area known for its wonderful Atlantic coast.
Since opening in 1992, the resort’s extensive sports facilities, best-in-class spa and wide choice of accommodation has provided quality active holidays to an international clientele.
Where is it?
Thirty minutes from Faro airport between Albufeira and Vilamoura, perched high above the red cliffs with the nine-hole golf course hugging the clifftop. A long wooden boardwalk and gentle steps lead down to Falêsia Beach with a lift for the top section. The hotel is on an especially dramatic part of the Algarve coast, a long, wide stretch of clean sand with Atlantic waves rolling in. Immediately outside the resort there is a supermarket and several restaurants.
Fresh, elegant and inviting the resort is low-level and authentically Portuguese with blisteringly white walls, gentle Moorish fountains and acres of glossy tiles inside and out. Informally landscaped gardens open into lemon tree-filled squares and paths meander under umbrella pines leading to the red cliffs and the Atlantic coast.
Take a deep breathe because the list of activities at Pine Cliffs is long. There are 8 pools, a football pitch, mini golf and the largest Kids Club in the Algarve. The Annabel Croft Tennis Centre has 5 good quality courts and 1 padel court with more planned. The golf course, while only nine holes, is challenging and immensely scenic, famous for the dramatic Devil’s Parlour, a par-3 hit across a ravine. There’s also a golf academy, driving range and putting area. The Serenity Spa has 13 treatment rooms and a wide range of treatments – try the Senses of the Algarve to be wrapped in cacao – and the focus on health and wellbeing continues with the Studio Active fitness studio, two gyms and the Bootcamp Active circuit training. Pilates, yoga, spinning, meditation: you name it, Pine Cliffs probably has it.
The extensive list of activities means many guests never venture off resort. For those keen to explore, top trips include exploring the traditional market town of Loulé (30 minutes away), hiking in Monchique or touring the marina at Vilamoura (15 minutes). For family days out, try the Zoomarine oceanographic park in Guia and Aquashow Water Park in Quarteira, both 20 minutes away. There’s pottery in Porches, karting in Almancil and endless water sports on the Algarve’s magnificent Atlantic coast.
Food & drink
A week would not be long enough to sample the full range of restaurants, 11 in all, at least three of them open year-round, covering everything from a pastel de nata and espresso to a gourmet feast. Start the day with an extensive buffet breakfast in Jardim Colonial and end it with some of the Algarve’s finest seafood (and that’s saying something) at O Pescador. In between there’s a piri piri steakhouse, Japanese restaurant, juice bar and informal restaurants on the beach and at the golf clubhouse.
In the central square, MIMO Algarve is a cookery school running relaxed classes that transforms into an event space offering wine tasting and tapas and Chef’s Table for wine pairings.
The choice of accommodation is equally wide. Top options focus on Marriot’s Luxury Collection of 217 rooms and suites in the hotel and 148 Ocean Suites, one and two-bedroom apartments, both pleasingly close to the Atlantic and most with sea views. 154 Pine Cliffs Residences, two and three-bedroom apartments, are set slightly away from the hotel. In addition, there are more apartments, villas and suites in the 72-hectare grounds, a total of around 817 units.
With the super-sized Kids Club and wall to wall sporting facilities, Pine Cliffs is an obvious and winning choice for active families. The variety of accommodation and wide range of things to do means there is something for everyone and every age from golfing groups to tennis fiends, spa devotees to beach fans.
Pine Cliffs Hotel from £225 per night Bed & Breakfast based on 2 adults sharing.
Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites from £335 with breakfast based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing a two-bedroom suite.
Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve, Praia da Falésia, Albufeira, Portugal
Tel: (+351) 289 500 100; pinecliffs.com