A romantic golf break? It's possible!

by Jay Brown
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This luxury resort is the perfect spot for a leisure break – we wanted a holiday that didn’t just involve sitting by the pool, and there’s certainly no possibility of boredom here. From golf to tennis, spa treatments to day trips, you really are spoilt for choice at Hotel Quinta da Marinha.

Surrounded by 259 acres of exquisite countryside, the resort is based between Cascais and Sintra, bookended beautifully by the shimmering Atlantic Ocean and the greenery of the Sintra hills. We chose to stay in a suite rather than a villa, and we couldn’t have been happier. There was plenty of space so we didn’t get that cramped hotel room feeling – no need to live out of a suitcase at this resort.

The views were fantastic – we were overlooking the golf course and lake which was so peaceful to wake up to. The views also made an ideal backdrop as we relaxed on our terrace sunbeds and enjoyed the warm summer evenings. Everything about the resort was flawless – from the services to the leisure facilities and the well considered design.

There are five superb restaurants serving a variety of cuisines from around the world, and some cool bars for relaxing with an expertly made cocktail or a fine wine.

Spa highlights
  • Aromassage Corps Massages
  • Warm Up Golf Sports Massage
  • Aromatic Wrapping Rituals
  • Deluxe Wrapping Rituals
  • Clean Up Facial Ritual
  • Instant de Beaute Facial Ritual
  • Hydrotherapy Ritual – AquaRitual
  • Hydrotherapy Ritual – Spa Marine
  • Spa Manicure
  • Spa Pedicure

The resort houses the Ritual Spa, where you can indulge and rejuvenate during your stay, thanks to its superb facilities and services. Perfect for pampering, the spa offers a range of treatments, from massages to pedicures, that will leave you in a state of bliss.

The Ritual Spa has taken care of every detail to ensure a welcoming and comforting experience, where stresses are left at the door and a sensory journey begins. For a spa treatment to write home about, try the Deluxe Wrap Ritual, where you will be cocooned in your choice of a pearl or gold body mask for ninety minutes – perfect for getting your skin glowing and feeling silky soft. The ritual massages are also great, with plenty on offer from their signature treatment involving essential oils, designed to soothe body and soul, to their more vigorous sports massage for aching muscles.

You can also take advantage of the resort’s health club. There’s a Turkish bath, Swiss and tropical showers, and a fully equipped gym if you need to work off all of those gourmet dinners. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and indoor heated pool for relaxing dips or strenuous lengths.

Hotel Quinta da Marinha resort is based in the heart of a lush nature park, surrounded by greenery and countryside, and is renowned for its superb golf facilities. Whether the purpose of your trip is business or pleasure, it really should involve a round of golf on the immaculate course. The course was designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr, and boasts views of the ocean, enchanting pine woods, serene lakes and a picture-perfect view of the surrounding Sintra hills.

With expertly planned courses like this it’s no wonder the Lisbon Golf Coast area won the IAGTO Award in 2007 for Best Established Golfing Destination in Europe. The Quinta da Marinha golf course has seen its fair share of professional golfers in its time, playing host to many top competitions; it was here that South African Laurette Maritz-Atkins won the Ladies Masters in 1988, part of the Women’s Professional European Circuit, and England’s Denis Durnian won the PGA Seniors Tour Championship in 2002.

Watching the golf from our terrace was almost as much fun as playing. The course is reasonable for all levels while also providing challenges, giving us the chance to stretch our skills and pick up new ones. Beautifully designed, the 18-hole course is very user-friendly, and it was refreshing to play while surrounded by such beauty – the scenery of the area is stunning and the peaceful surroundings also helped us focus while remaining relaxed in the fresh air. The hotel also provides discounted green fees for some of the excellent golf courses nearby.

This five-star resort is not just for sporting types – if you’re after a restful break it has much to offer for a romantic getaway too. Whether you pick a suite for extra luxury or a villa for complete privacy, you can unwind and relax, enjoying each other’s company in the most picturesque of settings.

Honeymooners will be upgraded to a suite and receive sparkling wine on arrival. The hotel also offers a host of activities to enjoy, and the exceptional location makes the resort a great base for exploring further afield. For an unforgettable experience, go horse-riding together through the lush countryside and soak up the resort’s idyllic views. Alternatively, spend the afternoon mountain biking. Take the popular stunning coastline route and enjoy the glorious sunshine.

Our best tip was to rent a car and tour the sights. Lisbon is just a short drive away and we took in the culture, with art galleries and museums to keep us amused by day, before returning to one of the restaurants at the hotel.

Most evenings were spent with a nightcap on our terrace overlooking the lake, where we could reflect on our day. Sintra is also near to the resort, with its quaint old town and elegant palaces, and is the ideal setting for a romantic stroll along the beach.

Hotel facilities
  • Three restaurants await, including Five Pines, serving Portuguese cuisine; the gourmet Rocca, with a focus on the finest seafood; and Monte Mar, a seafood restaurant with views over the Atlantic. All restaurants use ingredients from the chef’s own kitchen garden
  • All rooms and suites have internet connection in case you need to check those emails while you’re away
  • The Ritual Spa on site provides a welcome relief after a day of sport and activities, with facilities and treatments to help you relax. There is also a health club on site
  • Sports are in abundance at this resort – take your pick from horse-riding, cycling, swimming, golf, tennis and jogging

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