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With year-round sunshine and a fantastic selection of golf courses the Algarve has long been a favourite destination for British golfers. And in the shape of the Suites at Monte da Quinta, within the gated community of Quinta do Lago, you can enjoy five-star luxury on a modest budget. Gi’s Carly Frost went to find out more

What do you get if you cross an upmarket boutiquestyle hotel with the benefits of a self-contained apartment with five-star facilities (a lavish spa, fine dining restaurant, heated outdoor pool and more) on your doorstep? Well, I’ve discovered the answer.

Welcome to the Monte da Quinta Suites, located within the leafy community that is the envy of the Algarve, Quinta do Lago. The notable bonus this clever concept delivers so beautifully is space. All of the rooms here are either suites or townhouses/ private villas with access to a private pool. To say the rooms are large would be an understatement – each is the size of a small apartment, equipped with a comfortable lounge area with sofa bed, great for families, a modern kitchen and luxurious ensuite bedroom decorated to an extremely high standard. On a golfing trip surely the best of both worlds – you can choose to dine in the hotel’s bar or restaurant one night and enjoy the home comforts of cooking for yourself the next.

For those ladies who enjoy the occasional spot of pampering (and I have to admit I’m not shy in checking out what’s on offer!), the Magnolia Spa at the Monte da Quinta Suites is relaxation heaven. Here you can sooth those weary golfing limbs in warm Jacuzzi pools, steam room, Turkish bath and sauna before reclining on a heated bed.

The Monte da Quinta Resort is literally surrounded by dozens of great golf courses but the beauty of staying here is that you can walk just five minutes up the road with your clubs on a trolley and onto the newly branded Paul McGinley Golf Academy practice ground or the first tee at Quinta do Lago’s North or South Course. With such convenience the hotel has teamed up with Quinta do Lago and created a bespoke ‘Women and Golf’ package , which includes two rounds of golf, one on Quinta do Lago’s Championship South Course (or on the easier North Course, should you prefer) along with the option of taking the short taxi ride to Laranjal, one of the latest additions to the Algarve that has received rave reviews.

Laranjal is Portuguese for ‘Orange Grove’, aptly named as the course winds through a former orange estate, the colourful orange and lemon trees lining the fairways adding a sweet aroma to the experience. Another notable feature of the course is that there are no villas surrounding or crowding it – a round here is enjoyed just as it should be amid the most beautiful natural habitat. The man-made additions are not easy to miss – the water hazards, which add to the challenge, along with the large American-style greens, many featuring tricky breaks, and those big bunkers that surround the slick surfaces ready to gobble up anything less than a perfectly struck approach shot. The sum of the parts is a course that ladies will particularly enjoy. Laranjal is not brutally long, features generous fairways and has a number of really interesting ‘thinking’ holes where you actually have to lay-up – it’s not just about bombing the ball with your driver here.

In fact, the same can be said for both Quinta do Lago North and South. Both courses are carved out of the indigenous umbrella pine forests and as such the premium is placed on your accuracy as many holes have tight doglegs and sloping fairways with sweeping views. The South Course almost reaches the coast and you can spot the sea in the distance, while the North is characterised by lush, rolling fairways. Both are typical resort courses and great fun to play, although during my visit extremely popular and pretty packed, so choose your tee-time wisely – go for an early morning start if you are only a two-ball.

If all that wasn’t enough to entice you to book the ‘Women and Golf’ package at Monte da Quinta then the free unlimited house wines and beer at the bar during happy hour each day, which is included in the package, along with one evening meal in the hotel’s restaurant, is a real deal-clincher. The menu has an excellent choice of local dishes including delicious fish, fine cuts of steak and the perfectsized deserts to just appease your sweet tooth at the end of a meal. If you have a late tee time and take the option of a liein and head down to the breakfast late morning you’ll not need to eat for the rest of the day! The quality of the food and presentation of the buffet is more five-star than four and rather unusually you’ll actually find proper English bacon and sausages among the hot cooked dishes on offer.

The Monte da Quinta ‘Women and Golf’ package really does tick all the boxes you could possibly want from a golfing break and the hotel certainly has the ‘wow’ factor.

Oh, and one more thing, the resort is even offering to refund 40 Euros back to all their guests this year if you have to pay to take your own golf clubs on board your flight, simply by showing your golf baggage receipt. What a great idea!

MONTE DA QUINTA WOMEN & GOLF PACKAGE

Three-nights B&B, one dinner with complimentary wine, free daily happy hour wine and beer, two rounds of golf (one on Quinta do Lago North or South Course, one on Laranjal (including a buggy), two massages and complimentary use of the spa (a 20% discount on further spa treatments), plus a few extras...

The offer is based on two people sharing a onebedroom suite and includes a welcome pack on arrival, late check-out facility (subject to availability) and free storage of your golf clubs.

Price: 522 Euros (approximately £435) - valid from until the end of October 2013, excluding June, July and August.

For further information, or to book a stay call 00 351 289 000 300,
email: mqreservas@mqclub.com or go to www.mqresort.com

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine





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