If you think of Quinta do Lago you’ll no doubt think of their award-winning golf courses which have been established over 45 years or the real estate development that dots £20 million mansions around like confetti; if neither rings a bell then let me introduce you to the sports resort you need to know about.
Based in the Algarve, Quinta do Lago is a sports lover’s paradise, besides the prestigious golf facilities they have also recently launched The Campus. Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa National Park, The Campus at Quinta do Lago, is a multi-sport academy hub, designed as a sport and well-being destination and elite performance venue. The Campus offers state of the art facilities for tennis and padel; a popular variation of tennis which is slightly addictive, along with private tuition from the likes of the talented Coach Ze. The design of The Campus was to meet the standards of not only novices (my hand goes up) but all the way through to Olympic athletes, The Campus also boasts national sports teams as guests.
Equipment including clothing can all be bought on site but Mantis Sport kindly provided us with top of the range tennis rackets for our visit which certainly helped my performance and allowed me to hit most of the balls.
At The Bike Shed you can rent bikes, suitable for competitive cyclists, and utilise the local natural beauty in Quinta do Lago on a bike tour which includes two eco systems (woodland and salt marshland), fish salting tanks and a sandy beach. Those with less athletic aspirations can still enjoy the scenic trail, especially on a sunny day, which accounts for 300 days of the year in Southern Portugal.
The biggest draw at Quinta do Lago is their well-established golf courses, when the sun is out (likely) it’s easy to see why; it has even won ‘Europe’s Best Golf Venue’ in 2015 and 2016. Irish professional golfer, Paul McGinley, opened his first academy at Quinta do Lago in 2011 and regularly visits the resort along with golfers like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. The resort also includes a driving range and a mini golf course that allows players to play golf on some of the best (miniature) golf courses in the world with the par to beat.
The Magnolia Hotel
While the rest of Quinta do Lago has a luxe feel to it, The Magnolia Hotel has purposefully been designed to be more affordable and less stuffy than its neighbour, the 5-star Conrad Hotel, without compromising on quality. The Magnolia Hotel has 74 rooms and 3 suites as well seven cottages for those in bigger groups such as sports teams. Although the weather is typically Mediterranean the hotel offers a heated pool as well as a restaurant and bar decorated in a Miami vibe so think lots of pastel pink, palm leaves and interesting art.
As with the hotel options there are a range of restaurants to choose from like the casual eatery Koko which has pretty views of the driving range that include pine trees and the town over the horizon, The Shack which overlooks a lake and suits for some more mansion spotting, and Pure that focuses on healthy eating. If you fancy something more high-end then Bovino ticks that box; the luxury steakhouse serves amazing food with great service, ironically, they also cater to vegetarians as Quinta do Lago prides itself on being inclusive of all of their guests. If you’re more seafood than steak then Casa Do Lago is the place to go, a short distance from The Shack, they both share a spot by the lake and therefore serve the freshest fish.
Quinta do Lago
Quinta do Lago provides an escape from reality whilst providing everything you could ever need; it’s deceptively large (over 3 times the size of Monaco) and yet still provides an element of privacy that professional sports men and women would crave. A brief jaunt into the local town will allow for a noticeable comparison to show you the level of perfection that Quinta do Lago strives for, gone are the perfectly manicured lawns and gardens with looming mansions on every corner.
To discover The Campus for yourself, visit www.quintadolago.com #TheCampusQDL #BringYourGame
Photo credit: The Campus, Quinta do Lago