After a wonderful stay at luxury Country House Fazenda Nova in the eastern part of the Algarve, we made our way west and up into the beautiful mountains around the small town Monchique. We spent a few days at the recently completely remodeled Macdonald Monchique, not to be confused with the golden arches…
Macdonald is the name of the Scottish luxury hotel group that owns this luxury resort, which consists of three buildings built against a hill for maximum privacy and enjoyment of the incredible view. From our very large room, with a living room, two bathrooms (the boyfriends’ dream!) and separate bedroom, we could see all the way down to the costal town Portimao and the ocean. I spent more time than usual in bed, however, because it was super comfy with the type of large, soft pillows that I just love!
Since it was low season, it was nice and quiet in the hotel, and to be honest that’s the way I like it. The staff is probably always friendly and attentive, but I thoroughly enjoyed the special care and time they took to describe all the various dishes on the menu. The Mon Chic restaurant is one of several restaurants in the hotel and I strongly recommend dinner here, even if you somehow don’t stay at the hotel. The food is just spectacular and in the summer, when the sun sets later, the view from the terrace over the valley towards the ocean must be fantastic.
We especially liked the bar above the Mon Chic restaurant, that serves a unique type of sweet dessert coffee that I adored and offers a sweeping panorama over the mountains around the hotel. The outdoor pool is just underneath it, but don’t be mistaken: you only see a small part of it, because there is a beautiful large spa with indoor pool that you really only see if you spend some time in the spa. Which I obviously recommend, since I love massages! The products used at the spa were Espa, that you’ve read about on my blog before, but I also thought it was wonderful that the spa uses Monchique products, a local brand that uses the special water that springs from wells just up the road. Make sure to do the Spa Circuit, with a variety of showers and steam baths, because it is a treat!
Somehow lounging in the lovely bed made us even more ready to be active than usual, so the boyfriend and I not only participated in an intensive fitball class (fun, but ouch!) but even enjoyed an 8 kilometer walking tour/hike up to Monchique. Note the use of the words ‘up to Monchique’, because it took a few hours and the tasting of local sweets and drinks at the end of the tour were really appreciated by us and the other guests on the walk!
I can’t stress enough that the Algarve and especially a luxury resort like Macdonalds Monchique, is an all year destination. Portugal has so much more to offer than the beautiful beaches and I am sure we will be back here many, many times!
LOCATION // Macdonald Monchique