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More Portuguese resorts for your consideration

16 January, 2023
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Jim McCann

More Portuguese resorts for your consideration

We embarked on our resort golf feature last January and thought we could maybe publish five or six articles for this topic. It turns out now, a year later, we’ve produced more than a dozen write-ups, with scope to revisit a few more mainstream European countries that still have more to reveal.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll dive back into the Spanish Costas and take another look at France and Italy, but first we’re going back to the west side of the Iberian peninsula to sunny Portugal. We’ll start in the north, near Porto, then travel down past Lisbon before finishing in the south coast Algarve region.

Vidago Palace

Vidago Palace was built by King Carlos I in the early 1900s but it never became the monarch’s intended summer retreat as he died before it was completed in 1910. Instead, this regally appointed building became a hotel and in 1936 a 9-hole course (designed by Philip Mackenzie Ross) opened for business. In 2010, after a 5-year refurbishment of the entire property, the course re-emerged as an 18-hole layout with six of the original holes intact.

The hotel boasts 60 guest rooms (41 Classic, 16 Superior, 3 Privilege), along with 6 Junior Suites and 4 Suites. In addition, there are 4 bars and restaurants, with breakfast served in the stunning Winter Garden on the ground floor. The spa offers hydrotherapy and thermal treatments, complemented by indoor and outdoor swimming pools. All told, Vidago Palace is a magical place to visit, presenting visitors with a unique journey back in time to a forgotten era of elegance and grandeur.

Bom Sucesso

One of 28 worldwide golf facilities in the European Tour Destinations roster, the resort of Bom Sucesso lies near the medieval town of Óbidos, with an 18-hole layout designed by Martin Ebert when he worked with Donald Steel. Holes on the golf course occupy a property close to the Lagoa de Óbidos, where fairways weave between substantial residential clusters, with water coming into play at a couple of holes.

Accommodation comprises a range of 77 fully equipped villas and townhouse – created by 23 masters of contemporary architecture – which are set around the resort. They all feature a private furnished patio and access to an outdoor swimming pool (private or shared). There’s also a variety of other sports on offer, including 4 tennis courts, 2 padel courts and a multi-game court.

CampoReal

The course at Dolce CampoReal Lisboa is located around a 45-minute drive north of the capital in the Torres Vedras district, and it’s another early millennium production from Martin Ebert when he and design partner Tom Mackenzie were with Donald Steel’s company. Host venue for the LET’s Ladies Open of Portugal in 2010 and 2011, CampoReal is a fine test of golf, with holes laid out across rolling terrain.

The hotel has 151 guest rooms and suites available for stay and play golfers and these extend to 133 deluxe and superior deluxe rooms, 11 suites and 7 premium rooms. There’s also self-catering apartment, townhouse and villa options outwith the main hotel building. The spa includes signature massages by therapists and a “water circuit” with sauna, jacuzzi and Turkish bath.

Aroeira

Aroeira Golf Resort on the Setubal Peninsula incorporates the Pines Classic course (formerly known as Aroeira 1) and Challenge course (renamed from Aroeira 2) and both 18-hole layouts are routed around a sandy-soiled pine forest which lies only a couple of kilometres from the golden sands of Praia Fonte da Telha.

Both courses staged editions of the Ladies Open of Portugal between 2002 and 2004 and the Open de Portugal on the men’s professional circuit was also held at the older Pines Classic in 1996 and 1997. 

The nearby 4-star Aroeira Lisbon Hotel opened a couple of years ago now and it’s already established a reputation as one of the best in the area. The accommodation amounts to a total of 66 double rooms in three varieties (standard, pool view and garden view), plus a couple of large suites. Massage therapists operate in the hotel’s wellness centre and there’s a handy shuttle service to both the clubhouse and the Aroeira Beach Bar.

Morgado

Russell Talley designed the course at Morgado Golf & Country Club when he worked with European Golf Design twenty years ago. This 36-hole golf facility is run by NAU Hotels and Resorts, who also operate another 18-hole course (called Álamos) at the same location near Portimão on the Algarve coast. The par 73 Morgado layout was first to appear here – with the par 71 Álamos unveiled three years later in 2006 – and this course hosted three editions of the Open de Portugal from 2017 to 2019.

The on-site 4-star hotel has 98 air-conditioned guest rooms in total – 16 Standard (30m2), 52 Superior (36m2), 25 Deluxe (88m2) and 5 Duplex rooms composed of two rooms connected by an internal staircase – and the buffet restaurant can seat 90 residents. There’s also a lobby bar with terrace and a clubhouse snack bar. During the summer, all four outdoor swimming pools are popular, especially the two that are reserved for children.

Salgados

The Salgados course is situated 30 kilometres east of Morgado, laid out within a coastal Nature Reserve near Albuferia, where the palm-fringed fairways are set around quite a few large and testing water hazards. It’s also owned by NAU Hotels and Resorts so if you like alternative styles of golf then combining games at Morgado and Salgados is a great idea.

All sorts of exotic birds reside in the small lakes, ponds and streams that are strung out along this stretch of the Algarve shoreline and if you factor in the fresh sea breezes that often blow in off the Atlantic then it can be quite a challenge to try and finish with the same golf ball that you first teed up on the 1st hole.

The 5-star Salgados Palace hotel is positioned next to the course, with 228 guest rooms that range in size from 41 to 148 square meters. All the rooms – whether it’s a standard double, double with pool/sea view, or one of the various suites – have space, light and view in common. The spa has a 15-metre heated relaxation pool, jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath and there are four outdoor swimming pools.

If you have any comment to make on the above article then please use the “WRITE A RESPONSE” link at the bottom of this page.

Jim McCann

Editor

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