Southern Portugal is without doubt one of my favourite destinations; I love the climate, the unspoilt coastline, the charming towns and of course the great food. Little wonder its home to one of Europe’s finest golf, sporting and residential estates, Quinta do Lago (QDL). The privately-run area is said to be about four times the size of Monaco, and home to some of the region’s finest golf courses, sports facilities, fine-dining as well as upscale villas and 5-star hotels.
The Magnolia Hotel is the latest addition to the QDL portfolio and it’s really mixing things up!
The property has a young, fresh feel yet with lots of photogenic vintage touches. It is sort of like where 1950s motel Americana meets contemporary European chic. It’s not at all elitist, in fact quite the contrary, offering visitors to the QDL somewhere different and stylish to stay, at a competitive price.
The hip 1950s style neon hotel sign sets the scene for a retro chic aesthetic that includes plenty of ‘Instagram-friendly’ design elements.
The lobby bar has a US road-trip vibe; with accents echoing at one moment Miami, and then maybe Palm Springs the next. The bar space flows from inside to outside pool terrace, adjacent to the light-filled restaurant.
The Magnolia Hotel is great for guests that like to be active. There’s the heated pool, a tennis court, bicycles for exploring the area, and a new, very well-equipped gym.
When you want to slow it down, then guests can book a treatment in one of the holistic rooms, or just layout in the sun by the pool, enjoying the tunes from the resident DJ.
Check-in & Welcome
The heart of the hotel is the main lobby bar. There’s no reception here; instead head straight to the bar for an on-trend swift check in, a friendly welcome – and a refreshing drink too. The team look smart, in their cool, bright red & white checked shirts and designer’s jeans and trainers. They help set the tone for a relaxed stay.
At check-in, guests receive a welcome goodie bag including a cool pair of beach/pool flip flops in vibrant red – perfect for use around the all-year, heated pool.
The property has a motel feel. Ground floor rooms that have their own direct entrance from the parking or garden terrace. Whilst first floor rooms are reached by a corridor. The suites are on this level.
The overall style is light, fresh, uncluttered and contemporary.
I was pleased to see no dusty bed throws or cushions on the bed. Instead expect a high-quality, 5-star standard bed, fine linens, and thick plush bath towels that feel big enough to wrap both of you up in! The hotel has kept things simple yet invested in quality where it matters.
There are thoughtful details like the USB charger point, UK socket and European socket all positioned above the night stand, so they are easily accessible – no need to crawl under furniture to find a point to charge your iPhone or tablet here.
The flatsrceen TV had international channels and the Wi-Fi was fast.
The style and design features of The Magnolia Hotel makes me think it’s a property well suited for millennials and the young at heart.
In addition to the ground floor and first floors rooms and suites (which have a separate living area with sofa), there are also some ‘cottages’ set amongst the pine trees.
These pastel-coloured cabins offer the flexibility of self-catering accommodation. Ideally suited to guests looking to book a longer stay with a view to training at The Campus; or simply making the most of all that this corner of Southern Portugal has to offer.
The Magnolia Hotel restaurant offers a fresh healthy breakfast with whole meal breads, granola, fruit, cold cuts, cheeses and hot dishes prepared to order at the show cooking platform.
For dinner expect a well-priced menu. When I was at the hotel in January a three-course dinner was just 20 Euro – that’s superb value for the super upscale Quinta do Lago area.
Quinta do Lago
As a guest of The Magnolia Hotel, one has access to all the facilities of the exclusive QDL estate. That means golf courses, the sailing lake, the beautiful beach, the exclusive shopping boutiques, elegant restaurants, healthy sports cafes, and nightlife.
If you fancy eating out, then QDL has a wide selection of smart and stylish eateries from a cool lakeside cafe bar called ‘The Shack’; upscale fish restaurant ‘Casa do Lago’; a superb steakhouse ‘Bovino’;a healthy eatery called ‘Pure’ – and many more cafes and restaurants.
Read our article on Quinta do Lago here for further inspiration. The property is also close to a smart shopping centre and convenience stores, including a pharmacy, bank etc.
The Magnolia Hotel can arrange a shuttle for guests wishing to dine at a QDL restaurant.
Quinta do Lago is embracing the travel trends of the 21st century and part of the estate’s major investments for the new season includes The Campus.
This elite sports complex it’s set to be the destination for international sports teams, elite athletes and visitors that love sport.
It’s also a great place for guests to simply rent a sporty bike to enjoy the trails and routes across the area.
The Magnolia Hotel is set to make the Quinta do Lago area more accessible than ever before. I loved the atmosphere, the design and found the team to be relaxed and genuinely friendly. This is a place where you feel on holiday as soon as you arrive. It’s also a cool choice for sportspeople and those interesting in wellbeing thanks to its on-site facilities and its proximity to The Campus.
Address: The Magnolia Hotel, Estr. Q.ta do Lago, 8135-106 Almancil, Portugal
A Standard Room is from €78/£70 on a B&B basis.