Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve, Portugal

The British have long had an affection for the Algarve, particularly the southern coast around Albufeira and Vilamoura. The long sandy beaches lie at the foot of steep cliffs and swimming is safe for the whole family. The Pine Cliffs Resort opened in 1992 and combines hotel rooms, luxury suites and apartments on a 72-hectare site, tastefully linked by paved paths among green lawns surrounded by pine trees.

It’s run by Marriott International through The Luxury Collection brand and as you’d expect the rooms are spacious, furnished to a high standard, with linens to die for. It has its own signature nine-hole clifftop golf course, floodlit tennis courts and eight swimming pools. The sea is always close and a panoramic lift takes you to the beach where you can dine at the Maré restaurant while watching the bathers. There is also a choice of 11 other restaurants and bars.

Who for

Families, couples and golf enthusiasts who come to enjoy the sun all year round.

Lodging

The Pine Cliffs Hotel has 217 spacious rooms and suites divided into five categories with views of the ocean or the gardens from the privacy of a balcony or terrace. In addition to the hotel, there is also accommodation in luxury apartments including Ocean Suites, Pines Cliffs Residence and Pine Cliffs Gardens.

We stayed in a deluxe resort view room with a large outdoor patio. Terracotta tiled floors and cool white walls enhanced the feeling of space. An electric kettle, free bottled water, and chocolates on the pillow when turning down the bed added to the feeling of luxury.

The king bed, with its Portuguese tiled headboard, was extremely comfortable and all the light switches are built into the bedside tables so no last minute panics late at night. Plus, a motion sensor activates the floor light when you walk into the bathroom. Here, there’s a deep soaking tub and walk-in rain shower, plus a sink with a large, lighted mirror.

food drink

A variety of cuisine is offered at the ten restaurants at Pine Cliffs Resort, ranging from seafood to specialty steaks and Japanese cuisine.

Breakfast is served at Jardim Colonial, a spacious, classically decorated restaurant that opens onto an outdoor terrace. The Piri Piri Steakhouse offers a wide selection of quality meats from around the world, grilled to perfection and accompanied by the best Portuguese wines. Located in the heart of the resort, Corda Café offers a more casual experience and serves international dishes.

Fish is definitely on the menu at O ​​Pescador in its elegant setting overlooking the cliffs and Maré, right by the beach. The focus is on fresh sea foods, especially local catches. Yakuza by Olivier Algarve is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the Algarve but is only open seasonally.

MIMO Algarve offers a variety of gastronomic experiences. During the day, it operates as an espresso bar, gourmet shop, and cooking school. I especially enjoyed learning how to make Cataplana, a seafood stew from the Algarve, and then sitting down to eat it with my teachers. In the late afternoon, there are tastings of delicious tapas and wine on the outdoor terrace. Every Saturday, a special food and wine pairing menu is offered at the Chef’s Table.

Located in the hotel lobby, Portulano is a great place to enjoy local drinks such as Amarguinha, a liqueur made from sour almonds, or a glass of the famous Port wines. For that late-afternoon cocktail, head to Mirador Champagne Bar, a terrace perched on the edge of the cliffs where you can enjoy the sunset over the ocean.

Facilities

There are seven outdoor pools dotted around the gardens: the main pool, which has a swim-up bar, next to the children’s pool; a peaceful, hidden infinity pool with terraces; one at the residences, another near the ocean suites and one near the golf course. There is also a heated indoor pool at the health club.

A variety of activities suitable for all age groups are offered to guests, including competitive tennis or paddle tennis at the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, with its floodlit courts. For the youngest there is the Porto Pirata Kids Club, while teenagers are cared for at the Junior Club.

The pristine Pine Cliffs Golf Course sits 200 feet above the golden sands, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and its 9 holes span 168 acres. The golf academy and pro shop offer everything the amateur golfer or tournament player could need, including a landscaped driving range and large practice green.

There are two health clubs, one inside Pine Cliffs Hotel and the other at Pine Cliffs Residences. Both are equipped with the latest Technogym equipment, including treadmills and elliptical machines. Water aerobics classes and a personal trainer are available, and both have a sauna and steam room.

Serenity – The Art of Wellness has been voted “Best Wellness Spa in Europe”. A luxurious, state-of-the-art 1,100m2 facility includes 13 treatment rooms, a full Serenity Thermal Oasis and the signature Serenity Aurum Suite. The spa also offers authentic signature treatments that draw inspiration from indigenous cultures, healing traditions and ingredients from the Algarve.

Whether for meetings or celebrations of a lifetime, 13 function rooms can be configured to accommodate up to 700 guests. There are also many flexible outdoor environments for bespoke functions and events, such as the clifftop Sunset Deck, the Tabu Garden Lounge and expansive gardens.

How much

Prices for one night at Pine Cliffs start from £189.00 (€216.00) based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Resort View room including breakfast.

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What’s nearby?

Ten minutes away is Albufeira, one of Portugal’s most renowned fishing and seaports, with some of the best beaches in Europe. 30 minutes away is Faro, the capital of the Algarve with its wonderful market and boat trips to offshore islands.

VERDICT:

Pine Cliffs Entrance

Pine Cliffs Resort ticks all the boxes to make your vacation a bit special. The seafood is outstanding, with an emphasis on local produce, and they’ll even teach you how to cook. Unforgettable are the magnificent sunsets over the orange cliffs, best enjoyed with a glass of champagne.

TECHNICAL SHEET

pine cliffsa Luxury Collection resort

FLY: EasyJet direct flights from Gatwick to Faro from £65.00 return.

MORE INFORMATION: Algarve Tourism has information about the area.

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