With 3,000 hours of sunshine just three hours’ flight from the UK, the Algarve makes a delightful year-round destination. And situated in Quinta do Lago and nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, Four Seasons Fairways is the ideal setting for a memorable break.
This discreet and elegant private villa resort is set in verdant landscaped gardens. There are 132 traditional Portuguese-style villas and apartments and each villa features its own pool or jacuzzi, terrace or garden area and outdoor BBQ/cooking station. They cleverly blend authentic Portuguese style with modern, vibrant interior décor and furnishings along with new, state-of-the-art kitchens. Portugal’s history and culture is woven into the design, which references the discovery journeys of the 15th century, poems from Luis de Camões and the Fado singing, remembering Amalia Rodrigues.
The year-round resort has a clubhouse area that works for all seasons. It’s fresh and light, home to a stunning and spacious inside/outside bar area alongside intimate, cosy areas for dining and a spectacular fireplace. Crittall doors and windows have been cleverly designed and finished with a brushed copper effect to reflect the traditional Portuguese Cataplana, an item of cookware used to prepare seafood dishes.
Craftsmanship and attention to detail throughout is second to none. Everything has been made to measure, with the design team commissioning one-off handmade pieces and sourcing locally, with fabrics and furniture all made in Portugal. Handmade pendant lights with linked copper rings to emulate beehives hang throughout VIVO restaurant, designed to reflect the local area’s sizeable production of honey.
With the villas so well equipped for cooking and dining, many guests choose this as an option and the mini market on site is always stocked with the essentials – but breakfast at VIVO is too good to miss, with warm pasteis de nata, indulgent French toast or healthier options of feta and rocket with poached eggs and avocado.
Long lazy lunches can be enjoyed at VIVO too; outside by the pool is a favourite spot where you can indulge in local dishes such as chicken piri-piri, piri piri prawns or ria formosa clams alongside delicious salads, wood-fired pizzas and burgers. It’s worth mentioning too that you can order food and drink to be delivered straight to your villa.
A good tip is to hire a car. There are so many places to visit nearby: the beach, the hills, Faro old town and the food/farmers market at Loulé. Visitors to Quinta do Lago are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out but one of the finest experiences can be found at Amara, the fine dining/a la carte restaurant at Four Seasons Fairways. The views are spectacular, and the space is intimate and sophisticated. Flavours and dishes are contemporary with an emphasis on local produce.
Four Seasons Fairways is lucky enough to be surrounded by some of Quinta do Lago’s numerous championship golf courses and is a haven for those into the game. However, it’s not all about golf. The resort is just a stone’s throw from the stunning Ria Formosa nature reserve, a scenic swirl of seawater lagoons, sandy islands, salt marshlands and diverse bird life, making it the perfect setting for walking, running and cycling. There’s also a popular Active Living package throughout autumn and winter, and during November this year they’ll be welcoming Amy Williams MBE, former skeleton racer and Olympic gold medalist. Amy will host and lead a number of classes including stretch and mobility, HIIT, Full Body Burn, Core & Abs sessions and guests will have the opportunity to join her for a bike tour along the Ria Formosa as well as taking to the water for a kayak safari.
If you fancy extending your stay and you have the flexibility to work remotely, the blue skies, peaceful and private villa accommodation with hotel-style facilities offer everything you need for a ‘workation’. And if you’re travelling with the little ones, the resort is home to an ‘Upside Down World’ Kids Club, with classes and activities galore. Ultimately it’s the staff and the people who are the absolute gems throughout the resort. They radiate warmth and kindness, they welcome you like old friends and it’s clear to see why guests keep returning year after year.
The Active Living Package at Four Seasons Fairways (fourseasonsfairways.com/en/experiences) costs from £450/€517 pp and is available from October 2021 – April 2022. Price includes 7 nights accommodation, daily breakfast, fresh oranges delivered to your villa daily and complimentary extras such as bike hire, tennis court bookings, classes with the PT and even a jog with the GM.