Which Luxury Hotel To Stay At In 2021 On Portugal’s Algarve (2022)

While Portugal is on the U.K.'s amber list, the U.K. government has confirmed that they are looking at eliminating quarantine for those vaccinated later in the summer. The most popular destination for a relaxing break in Portugal is undoubtedly the Algarve with its golden sand beaches and striking cliffs. With most hotels offering refunds and flexibility, it could be worth booking ahead now before prices start to rise when travel restrictions are eased.

There are many luxury hotels to choose from in the area, but which one should you choose?

The Pine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort by Marriott

If you are looking for stunning scenery and a large resort where you never need to leave, this is for you. Out of all the leading luxury hotels on the Algarve, this is the most picturesque set on stunning red cliffs towering over Praia da Falésia beach. The location is also ideally situated between Vilamoura and Albufeira, around 35 minutes from Faro airport.

The Pine Cliffs resort comprises a hotel, the more modern Ocean suites, and several collections of villas and residences. The main hotel was recently renovated, but the rooms have retained their local Portuguese feel with handpainted tiled headboards. Bathrooms are modern with walk-in showers, deep soaking tubs, and Byredo toiletries.


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This hotel has the most feeling of "place" than the other luxury options. As you enter the hotel through a cobbled orange tree-filled square, the stunning Moorish style central courtyard with its tiled fountain instantly tells you this is Portugal.

Amongst the 72 hectares, there are activities for all tastes, from a cooking school to an Annabel Croft tennis academy and golf course with a challenging but beautiful location on the cliffs. The hotel is perfect for families with a large kids club too. If you want to relax, the hotel spa is well equipped and has an exclusive private suite, the Aurum Suite, with its own steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, experience shower, double treatment room, and lounge area.

The Mirador champagne bar is at the heart of the resort and is the perfect place for a sunset glass of fizz or coktail underneath its champagne tree. There are multiple options for eating out if you don't want the hassle of venturing out, from Yakuza Algarve by Olivier, the Japanese restaurant, to the beautiful beach location of Maré with fresh fish simply cooked on offer.

The hotel's main drawback versus others is the lack of heating for any outdoor pools except that of the Golf Clubhouse. There is an indoor pool, but given the weather is warm to swim most of the year outdoors, some may prefer a heated outdoor pool for out of season visits. There is a lift partway to the beach for beach lovers, but it is still a long walk down multiple steps after that, so it may not be suitable for very young children or those with mobility issues. However, you don't need to leave the resort to visit the beach.

The Conrad Algarve

The Conrad has been consistently one of the best-rated luxury hotels on the Algarve and it part of the Hilton group of hotels. The location is inland and slightly less central than the Anantara and The Pine Cliffs but only 20 minutes from the airport. It is close to Val de Lobo and Quinta do Lago, which have several upmarket restaurants for those that wish to venture out.

The hotel is set around a central atrium with the Louro restaurant situated at the base overlooking the beautiful Algarve hillside. This hotel is perfect for a short gourmet break with its Michelin star restaurant by world-renowned Heinz Beck. The menu served at Gusto is similar to Beck's Rome restaurant which holds three michelin stars. Adjacent to the restaurant is the Gusto bar which serves innovatove cocktails inspired by stories and featuring unique blends of fruit and spcies.

For those looking for a holiday during the cooler months, the hotel heats its primary pool year-round and the spa pool, which is always a delightfully warm temperature. If the weather turns rainy, there is also an indoor pool.

Although the hotel is not situated on the coast, they offer transfers to their beach area during the high season. Ria Formosa nature reserve is also close by if you love to walk and has one of the longest boardwalks in Europe as well as lagoons and barrier islands to explore. For those with children, there is a children's club and children's pool.

One unique feature of the Conrad is its rooftop suite which has been named one of the most luxurious suites in Europe. With its sliding roof over the private central pool, huge roof terrace, and even a private sauna, it's not hard to see why.

The other rooms may be less grand but are still luxurious. All feature large balconies overlooking the pool or gardens, and the bathrooms reek of luxury with freestanding baths in some rooms and a built-in T.V.

Anantara Vilamoura Resort

Although Anantara Vilamoura is the most recently built of the hotels and looks very modern outside, it has touches of the Algarve throughout the hotel, from the coffee table based on fisherman's lobster pots to a bar made from cork.

Anantara hotels always have a strong focus on wellness, and this one is no different. Once you have enjoyed the hydrotherapy pool and thermal area, you can relax after your treatment on the large terrace overlooking the resort.

Rooms have a modern feel with open-plan bathrooms and the most comfortable beds on the Algarve. If you love a soak in the bath, they come equipped with a bath pillow and locally produced fine quality toiletries by Banho with lemon and verbena, giving it a refreshing scent.

In termsa choice of restaurants, this is halfway between Conrad and The Pine Cliffs. You would not need to venture out for a short break as the hotel has several restaurants, including the fine dining EMO, which focuses on pairing food with local wines. There's also the Ria seafood restaurant with its poolside terrace.

Like the Conrad, the hotel is not on the coast, but it's only a short ride in the complimentary shuttle to their beach club and pool at Pura Beach Club. The restaurant here has Miami beach vibes with its D.J., cool white interior, and modern fish-based menu. The Anantara has an adults-only pool if you are looking for peace and quiet, although this one is not heated, unlike the main pool.

If you plan to play golf, the hotel overlooks the Victoria Golf Course, where the Portugal Masters is held every year.

Bela Vista Hotel

If you prefer something more boutique and unique, the Bela Vista is a late nineteenth-century historical chalet converted into a luxury hotel in 1934. The Relais & Châteaux hotel is set over the Praia da Rocha cliff near Portimão, with direct access to the beach.

You could describe the hotel decor and ornate and eclectic, particularly the lobby with its embellished grand piano and blue-tiled wooden staircase. The hotel is aimed at adults only and described as "not recommended" for children. Each room is decorated in a quirky individual style, with mainly bright blues and yellow reflecting the Algarve's beaches and sunshine.

To fully relax, you can visit the only L'Occitane spa in Portugal with a sauna and hammam plus a relaxation area for after your treatment. Alternatively, enjoy the warm sun by the gorgeous pool overlooking the beach and be waited on by the hotels' bar staff.

Being a boutique hotel, there is only one restaurant along with two bars. However, given it's proximity to Portimão, dining out is only within a few minutes drive away.

Whichever hotel you settle on, it's worth considering how you book to get the best deal. Both the Conrad and Pine Cliffs are part of major chains, so you could use points from their loyalty program to book. If you are not a member of the schemes, you should certainly consider joining before you stay to earn some points back on your stay. One way to get the best value can often be through a luxury travel agent scheme such as Virtuoso, which covers some of these hotels. With this scheme, you receive extra such as upgrades, $100 hotel credit, and free breakfast. Although the rates may be slightly higher than the cheapest online agent, they are usually fully flexible, and the extras typically make it work out cheaper overall.

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