With over 300 days of sunshine a year the Algarve makes the ideal destination for a golf holiday any time of the year. And one our favourite places to stay is the Ria Park Hotel & Spa, this 5* hotel is the perfect place for a golf break in the Southern Portugal as it has access to the famous golf courses on the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo estates.
Ria Park Hotel is nestled in an area of superb natural beauty – encircled by tropical gardens, waterfalls, palm trees, a dense pine forest just a couple of hundred yards from a gorgeous sandy beach! All of this and its only a 20 minute drive from Faro International Airport, and a couple of hours drive from both Lisbon and Seville. It could not be positioned better for UK golfers looking for bit of 5* golf in the sun.
Every room has a balcony or a terrace with beautiful views overlooking the gardens, the swimming pool or the azure Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel itself manages to perfectly combine a laid back and relaxing atmosphere with the opulence of a true 5* hotel. It is able to boast a total of 175 guestrooms, nine of which are luxury suites. All are furnished to the highest of standards and provide guests with a balcony or terrace which overlooks the the gorgeous Ria Formosa Natural Park, the hotel’s private gardens or the spectacular Atlantic Ocean. The spacious rooms are inspired by Mediterranean characteristics that define the rest of the resort. All are well equipped with direct dial telephone, minibar and electronic safe.
Hotels with superb dining and drinking options are something that Portuguese hotels are renowned for, and Ria Park is certainly no exception. Whether you’re looking for distinctive regional specialities or refined international cuisine there is sure to be something to suite your mood or appetite. The two distinctive dining options at the hotel are Flamingo and Lusitano – both offer wide ranging menus and even allow you to enjoy your meals on refreshing al fresco terraces which provide great panoramas of the majestic ocean and Ria Formosa Natural Park.
The two superb restaurants are enhanced by the three separate beverage outlets: the Cocktail Bar, Lobby Bar and Pool Bar. Often popular throughout the day, these bars offer the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day on the golf course, with either a refreshing cocktail or a delicious freshly squeezed fruit juice.
There is also a complementary shuttle service all year round to take you to and from the Garrão beach.
World-class accommodation and gastronomic delights are not all that the hotel has to offer, it is also boasts superb leisure facilities which include the brilliant Spa. Here you will find a heated indoor pool with massage jets, a Turkish bath and (male and female) saunas, a fully equipped gymnasium, in addition to 12 massage rooms. Not only this but the Ria Park is within touching distance of the magnificent Garrão beach (just 800 metres from the hotel). The beach itself is one of the most exclusive in the Algarve, and as a guest in the hotel you will have access to towels, sun loungers and beach umbrellas as part of the package.
Now, obviously, to be recognised as a world class golfing destination the hotel will need to be located within close proximity to some excellent golfing facilities. The Ria Park Hotel is certainly no exception! In choosing Ria Park as the base for your Algarve golf break you will have access to the world-famous golf courses at Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago!
There are three unique courses at Quinta do Lago and two at Vale do Lobo, so you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding which one to play first!
The dream of entrepreneur Andre Jordan in the 1970s, Quinta do Lago is now synonymous with the game of golf in Portugal, having been honoured with numerous prestigious professional and amateur events since its opening. It has three championship courses: the South Course, North Course and the recently opened Laranjal Course. “Manor estate by the lake” (to which Quinta do Lago roughly translates) spans some 2,000 acres and is well and truly established as one of Portugal’s greats.
Quinta do Lago’s South Course is one of the most famous in the Algarve – it has hosted the Portuguese Open a total of eight times!
Vale do Lobo, on the other hand, is similar to Quinta do Lago in the fact that it is one of the most well-known and well-established golf resorts in the Algarve. Founded in 1962, it is currently the largest luxury resort in Portugal. It has seen much change since Sir Henry Cotton laid out the first course at Vale do Lobo. His original layout has been split in half to form two new courses: the Royal and the Ocean. Undoubtedly the star of Quinta do Lago is the par-3 16th on the Royal Course.
This cliff top signature hole stretches to 224 yards from the back tees and is arguably the most photographed hole in Portuguese golf – to play this hole alone makes it worth the trip to the Algarve.