Explore picturesque Portugal with Anantara’s first European hotel
Portugal is one of the year’s must-visit destinations – and nowhere more so than the Algarve in the country’s south. With the picturesque coastline’s dark blue ocean, the area is spotted with marinas and beaches, while the Algarve’s vast expanse of rolling golf courses and untouched Iberian coastline are merely the starting point of this region’s variety of well-preserved treasures. Selecting this stunning location for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas to debut in Europe, the launch of Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort brings to life Anantara’s ethos of connecting modern travellers with authentic destinations and ensures the brand’s signature Thai hospitality is paired with indigenous style and flavour.
Nestled amongst orange grove trees and undulating wetlands, the resort promises an authentically luxurious stay. Anantara Vilamoura has teamed up with local artisans from the TASA Project and some unique pieces can be found in the 17 Anantara Suites, with guests being able to appreciate the hand woven pool bags, locally sourced cork coasters and signature Algarvian ceramic fruit bowls. Further comforts include an in-room wine humidor, pillow menu and on-call butler service to attend to guests’ every need. Suite guests also have exclusive access to the indoor pool and sauna at the Anantara Spa, which looks out onto the rolling greens. The prestigious Presidential Suite offers an impressive terrace with a private dining area, a new Jacuzzi and a sundeck for enjoying balmy evenings with friends.
Guests can discover the well-kept secrets of the Algarve’s tiny towns and villages that envelope this delightful region. Embark on a tasting tour of the ubiquitous Ria Formosa with oyster shucking and freshly prepared seafood from a local fisherman; or escape to the countryside with a local guru who transcends your afternoon into a historical adventure through the local villages and towns surrounding the area, uncovering the fascinating origins and history of agricultural treats such as almonds, figs, oranges and olives.
Befitting its location overlooking the championship Oceânico Golf Course, Anantara Vilamoura boasts a one-of-a-kind Golf Guru, ensuring golfing holidays are not only seamless, but perfectly tailored to each golfer ́s needs, whatever their handicap. For those looking for a more leisurely experience, poolside guests can enjoy fresh food and chilled drinks without having to leave their chaise longue as waiters circulate the catch of the day within Algarvian wicker baskets and prepare them at the guests’ convenience.
Culinary excellence is at the heart of the Portuguese culture. Using his deep expertise in Portugal’s culinary traditions, Executive Chef Bruno Viegas has woven his passion throughout Anantara Vilamoura’s six bars and restaurants. A new wine oriented restaurant concept comes to life at EMO, where Bruno and the resort’s Wine Guru António Lopes have masterfully created a menu that reflects the terroir heritage of the region. Focusing on Portuguese grape varieties and local produce, the duo elegantly pair dishes such as Braised Turbot, Salt Cod Loins and Pata Negra Ham with a selection of over 300 accompanying wines from the region, allowing diners to truly savour the tastes of the country. The new lunchtime restaurant Ria will serve freshly caught fish and seafood emulating a traditional Marisqueira or seafood bistro, while the all-day dining restaurant Victoria preserves the hotel’s history as a warm meeting place, gathering cultures and tastes in one place for refined à la carte or lavish buffet style dining.
Anantara’s signature culinary concepts offer unique and engaging experiences. Presenting one of the most diverse Portuguese wine collections in the Algarve, resident Wine Guru António Lopes, who was voted Best Sommelier of Portugal in 2014, hosts tasting sessions which can include a private visit to a local vineyard. Guests can also experience the Wine Guru’s expertise when indulging in Dining by Design, which offers a choice of connoisseur menus coupled with idyllic settings, alongside the services of a personal chef and butler, ensuring a wonderfully romantic occasion. Travellers with a sense of adventure can learn how to create Portugal’s fresh and flavoursome dishes in a Spice Spoons cooking class which combines a visit to the nearby Loulé fresh food market with an interactive cooking class in an open theatre kitchen with the chef.
To make holidays a truly relaxing experience for parents and one that kids will remember forever, Anantara has partnered with World Wide Kids Company, the resort childcare specialist. The new Adventurers Crèche and the Adventurers Kids Club, which will open mid-May, will be fully equipped with everything for youngsters to have fun enjoying arts, cooking classes, open air cinema, adventure safaris and more, in a purpose-built club under the professional care of well trained staff, allowing parents to relish some quiet time alone. Teens will be able to make new friends and play it cool at The Hub, as well as take part in golf clinics and the dance academy.
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort’s unique signature appeals are matched by the distinct discovery of the Algarve. Famed as one of Europe’s most sought-after holiday destinations, this southernmost region of Portugal boasts a coastline of pristine beaches, sandy coves and breath-taking cliffs, whitewashed fishing villages and castle towns, olive groves, wineries and golf courses. A bastion of Algarve prestige, guests can take advantage of a sophisticated retreat that feels naturally exclusive, and offers unique destination experiences.