Finding a perfect holiday location for families or groups can be tricky. Some want to wake up early, keen to explore and be active, while others (me) sleep as long as possible and then mostly want to eat. This usually means a lot of compromising. But I may have found the perfect resort to solve this challenge – a stay at the lovely Four Seasons Fairway to ensure everyone’s wishes are fulfilled.
Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Quinta do Lago, Portugal, the Four Seasons Fairways resort proved to be the perfect autumn getaway. While the UK turned grey and rainy, we enjoyed the famous Portuguese hospitality in typical Algarve sunshine and balmy temperatures. The resort exceeded our expectations, offering not only comfort and relaxation, but also plenty of activity options and a true sense of community that made our stay feel like a home away from home.
The resort’s newly renovated 132 villas and apartments, each with 2 to 3 bedrooms, offered us everything we needed for a week away: elegant bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, cosy living rooms and dining space, a fully-stocked kitchen (and I do mean fully-stocked, it even had an automatic orange juice press!) with the bonus of an outdoor BBQ, and either a private pool or a private jacuzzi.
There is also a well-stocked shop, which really enhanced the convenience of our villa – everything we could have wanted was just a few steps away. It allowed us to experiment with the flavours of Portugal in the comfort of our own home, grilling local meats and seafood on our terrace, and then relaxing under the stars in our private jacuzzi with a crisp glass of wine. If that’s not a holiday, I don’t know what is!
But nothing we cooked was anywhere near as delicious as the culinary delights of the resorts fine-dining restaurant, Amara. I have eaten at many restaurants in many countries, but Amara stands out to me as one of the best and most reasonably priced meals I’ve had in a long time. Every single bite of the two different four-course menus we chose was utterly delectable, from zesty mosaics of fish to sumptuous meats and desserts that taste like the very best version of a Snickers. We may have licked our plates, which the charming staff overlooked – I assume they see it a lot. If head chef Nelson Candeias ever opens a restaurant in the UK, I will be first to queue. The meal was further elevated by the wine pairing offered by Daniela Rodrigues, Portugal’s youngest sommelier.
One of the standout features of our stay was the palpable warmth and sense of community at Four Seasons Fairways. We struck up conversations with fellow guests who echoed the sentiment of feeling perfectly at home, many coming back year after year, and happily sharing local recommendations, such as the restaurant 2Passos down on the coast, overlooking the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and famous for its excellent grilled fish. Whether by the outdoor or indoor pools, at breakfast in the clubhouse or during one of the resort’s organized activities like cocktail-making classes, the staff were genuinely welcoming and kind.
For avid golf enthusiasts, Four Seasons Fairways is a haven, as it is nestled within the world-class Quinta do Lago course. The greens are beautiful and perfectly manicured, surrounding the resort and trailing all the way down to the coast. Even for a novice like me, playing the course was a real pleasure, with stunning vistas around every corner. I may have taken quite a bit longer than the professionals, but I doubt that they had tried as many wines the night before.
For the non-golfers, there are the nearby towns of Faro, Almancil and Loule to explore, as well as the resorts’ tennis courts, in-house private trainer and gym. Or hop on one of the resort bicycles and cycle (or walk) along the Algarve coast, past sand dunes and the peaceful nature reserve Ria Formosa. We spotted flamingos and storks, stand-up paddleboarders and canoeists, as well as some of Portugals most opulent coastal properties.
Our stay at Four Seasons Fairways in early November was a treat. From the comfort of our villa and the welcoming atmosphere to the convenience of the local shop and the culinary delights at Amara Restaurant, everything just felt right. If you’re seeking a retreat that feels like a home away from home, Four Seasons Fairways in Quinta do Lago is undoubtedly the ideal destination for you.