Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort lies on a spectacular stretch of Portugal’s Silver Coast, between the small fishing port of Peniche and the Lagoa de Óbidos. It’s a stunning location within the nation’s Oeste Subregion, a mere 60-minute drive north of the capital, where the sandy shoreline stretches out for many kilometres along the Atlantic seaboard.
The Marriott Hotel’s 177 rooms – including 9 suites – have private terraces or balconies overlooking either the Atlantic Ocean or the hotel gardens and closing holes of the golf course. Guest rooms are luxuriously appointed with either a King or two Double beds and there’s a hair dryer and bathrobes included in every bathroom. All rooms are equipped with a valuables safe, flat screen television, minibar, free wireless internet access and a work desk for those travelling on business.
Designed in a contemporary style, the generously spacious townhouses in The Beachfront overlook the Atlantic Ocean, with direct access to the beach, featuring outdoor terraces to maximize the sunlight. Two-bedroomed apartments are arranged with the living and dining areas on the upper floor and ensuite bedrooms located on the lower floor whilst three bedroom triplexes offer living and dining areas on the middle floor with ensuite bedrooms split between the lower and upper floors.The whole family is catered for in The Village, where rooms are well-proportioned and furnished to a very high standard from locally sourced materials. All of these properties are modern, tastefully finished, and fully equipped with expansive living/dining and kitchen areas. The resort’s Clube Aventura also provides a safe and supervised environment where kids can run wild while parents relax nearby.
Whether you’re looking for a light snack, a romantic dinner or a formal family meal, the resort can cater to all of your dining preferences. Cuisine is taken very seriously at Praia D’El Rey and the resort chefs take both pride and pleasure in their creations.
The all-day Tempera restaurant offers a Portuguese and Mediterranean-oriented menu, along with daily thematic buffets which are very popular. And to complement the food, there are stunning views of the sea to savour.
The Emprata family bistro is open for dinner and it requires an advance reservation. The menu is extensive, with soups and salads for starters, a wide range of meat and fish dishes for mains, and a tempting selection of desserts to round things off.
Opened for lunch and dinner, the Contato Lobby Bar is the perfect place for relaxing and socializing. Dining options vary from snacks to salads and from club sandwiches to hamburgers. Of course, there’s also a wide choice of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails to accompany the food.
For many visitors, the best moments of their vacation are spent at the Pool Bar, having a few laughs and getting to know fellow residents. Light meals are available to order, such as toasted sandwiches, club sandwiches, hamburgers, wraps and pizzas.
Ten kilometres as the crow flies to the south, the traditional fishing port of Peniche is well worth a day visit. Before heading to the beach, you’ll walk through the historic centre, taking in the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Sanctuary, the São Pedro and Misericórdia Churches and the Peniche Fort, which was built in the 16th and 17th centuries to defend the coast, along with similar forts on Consolação beach and the Island of Berlengas.
The fort, now the Peniche city museum, has played a major role at different times in recent Portuguese history, most recently under the Estado Novo regime when it was used as a political prison to detain some of the most important people in the fight against Fascism. In addition to fishing, which has always been a major source of income for the local people, Peniche is also known for the art of bobbin lacework, perfected by the women at home while their men were out at sea.
The medieval town of Óbidos lies 10 kilometres inland from Praia D’El Rey and many think of it as one of the most beautiful of Portugal’s historic towns and villages.
It’s quite an extraordinary place – offered to Queen Isabel as a wedding gift by King Dinis back in 1282 – with cobblestone streets, whitewashed churches and buildings set on a hilltop, encircled by a fortified castle wall.Óbidos Castle hosts a traditional 'Medieval Market' every year for a 2-week period in July. Entertainers, jugglers, jesters and wandering minstrels all participate in the festivities and visitors can shop at the traditional handcrafts fair or watch medieval shows, horse displays and a costumed parade. And for those seeking sustenance, spit roasted hog, hearty soups and grilled meats are just some of the many medieval-style meals on offer at the pop up taverns and stalls at the market.
The Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort is the ideal venue for hosting an event – it could be a business meeting, a team-building session, product launch, fund raiser, social function or a wedding. The resort has 12,500 square feet of event space available in up to seven rooms, with a wide variety of meeting equipment and services on hand to support whatever venture is taking place.
There’s a state of the art fitness centre on site, featuring weights and cardiovascular equipment. Fitness classes are complimentary and there’s the option of yoga lessons and the use of a personal trainer. The indoor pool is open seven days a week from 06:00 to 23:00 and towels are provided for the indoor pool, outdoor pool and whirlpool.An appointment is required for the Kalyan Spa (open seven days 10:00 to 19:00), where you might choose a relaxing or invigorating massage or several beauty treatments, including a body wrap or body scrub. A suitable face treatment and deep tissue massage with essential oils often achieves the perfect synergy and balance between body and mind.
Praia D’El Rey sits in the Vale de Janelas – also known locally as the Sítio dos Belgas – and the resort takes its name from the Serra D’El-Rei (King’s Mountain Range) where the 14th century monarch Peter I of Portugal had a castle set aside as a secret place to meet his mistress Dona Inês during his reign.
A little of this history is reflected in some of the street names around the resort with the main street called “Avenida D. Pedro” and another nearby street called “Avenida Dona Inês de Castro”.
Dutch investors purchased the property in the late 1960s to develop commercial, residential and tourism projects in the UK, Portugal and Brazil and construction started at Praia D'El Rey in the mid-1990s including the first properties and facilities on-site.
Golfing visitors must not forget the new Cynthia Dye course at West Cliffs, which is currently managed by the Praia D’El Rey Beach Resort. West Cliffs is one of the most exciting golfing developments in Europe for many a long year and this course might just, in the near future, eclipse every single course in the country.
The Praia D’El Rey course is a late 1990s design from the renowned American architect Cabell Robinson which is comfortably ranked within our Continental Europe Top 100. Mixing great holes carved through inland vegetation with links-like holes that run along the coastline, this fabulous 18-hole layout exhibits something of a split personality but it all comes together beautifully with an inspired routing.
Here are a few review comments over the last decade from golfers who’ve played the Praia D’El Rey course:
“Praia D’El Rey is a beautiful place! Set along the Atlantic, it offers a great golfing experience with high-level service… It is a great place to enjoy the good weather, the beach and the great atmosphere to be found in that part of Portugal.”
“You will leave the course on an incredibly high note – the ravishing beauty of the last eight holes is intense.”
“I enjoyed the mix of links holes and those with tree-lined fairways which are much more typical of Portugal. I was surprised to find that the turf and the firmness of the greens on the holes by the sea bear similarity to British links courses.”
“This is the best course around Lisbon… it is not hard to understand the praise given to it. Praia D’El Rey lives up to expectations and never gets boring, even after many rounds.”
“I fell in love with this course as I too had heard so much about it and just had to experience it. It’s a nice mix, well groomed, great shape, tough when the wind is up.”
“This course is stunning. The front nine are inland and some of the back nine are along the shoreline with fabulous views. The course is both a challenge and fair at the same time. Definitely one I intend to play again.”
“A great golf course, some holes on the cliff tops with the Atlantic crashing and foaming below you, some through the pine forests and dunes.”
“Some of the holes are peaceful, pine-shrouded charmers, while others are exposed, totally breathtaking links-type holes along the coast… on many of the holes, one can’t see any other fairway, which makes it more beautiful.”