Vale Do Lobo
The rich and famous have been flocking to Vale Do Lobo for over 40 years.
The resort is very popular with the Tennis circuit set, John McEnroe and Pat Cash are regulars. Golfers (professionals and us mere mortals...) England football team and English Premiership Clubs are regularly seen training here. England's No.1 skier Chemmy Alcott, England national cricket team captain "Freddie" Flintoff, jazz legend George Benson and Manchester United footballer - Christian Ronaldo have all been spotted in Vale do Lobo in recent months.
At the recent 2005 'Homes Overseas Awards' industry awards Vale Do Lobo won the following accolades: 'Developer of the Year', Gold award for the 'Best Portugese Apartment', three silver awards for 'Best luxury Development', 'Best Portugese Villa,' 'Best Landscaping' and a bronze award for 'Best Golf Resort'.
With continuing investment and improvement over the years, Vale do Lobo, has maintained its position as one of the foremost luxury resorts in Europe. It is now the largest luxury resort in Portugal.
Vale do Lobo Resort has excellent sports facilities including: two 18 hole championship golf courses, the largest tennis academy in Portugal, with 14 courts, public swimming pools and 2 well equipped gymnasiums with sauna and physiotherapy services. Golf and tennis teaching programmes are offered at all levels for adults and children.
Parque Do Golfe which is the Reception for the Royal and Ocean golf courses is a 5 minute stroll from the apartment there are also many shops including beauty centre, a most wonderful health spa (can vouch from experience), hairdresser, wine shop, golf shop, cash point, Hertz, post office & newsagent selling daily English newspapers and magazines also a café and a bar.
The Penguin Children's Club, Vale do Lobo Beach, Royal and Ocean golf courses, Barrington's Health Club and Tennis Academy and the Praca which is the nightlife/beach front area of Vale do Lobo are all about a 15 minute walk away.
There are also numerous restaurants, bars, shops and clubs, beauty centre, health spas, hairdresser, Hertz car hire, newsagent, real estate, office post office, Bank and 3 cash points within the Vale do Lobo Resort.
Vale Do Lobo Royal Spa opened in October 2006 it is an ultramodern health and wellness facility of 4000 sqm. The Royal Spa offers a wide range of treatments including herbal therapies, reflexology, shiatsu, also the latest vitamin-enriched treatments and cosmetic medicine. Both oriental and western techniques are represented, with holistic and physio-therapies, traditional Chinese medicine and aqua-fitness being practiced side by side.
Additional Facilities include saunas, a hammam, Turkish steam bath, Vichy shower and calendarium (room with cooling stone seats and footbaths, for use between heat sessions), a naturally lit pool, with water jets for aqua massage, a poolside jacuzzi and loungers on a deck which is outdoor in summer and covered by a glass roof which retains the winter sun during colder months. An indoor relaxation area, with loungers, waterfalls on two sides and quiet music, completes the facilities. The Royal Spa also integrates a Beauty Centre offering a variety of nail treatments, waxing and a full-service hair salon. Pure, the Royal Spa restaurant and bar, offers a nourishing spa cuisine menu. Adjacent to the Royal Spa is a Fitness Centre equipped with top-of-the-range machines and a private fitness training area.
Royal Spa, Beauty & Fitness Centre is located in the Parque do Golfe complex, in the heart of the resort only 5 minute stroll from the Apartment.
Vale Do Lobo Beach
For sun-seekers, the beach is an easy 15 minute stroll through the Resort - it is a safe, clean, blue flag beach for families, life guards are on duty most of the year. In April 2006 the beach underwent a 2 million Euro upgrade which has widened and extended the beach reclaiming several million tonnes of sand now making it much larger and better than it has been in recent years. There are sunloungers are for hire.
Restaurants and Entertainment
Vale do Lobo has a range of excellent cafés and restaurants offering a selection of international gastronomy. Vale do Lobo Resort hosts regular live music and dance shows at the resort's main square to classical concerts and art exhibitions at the resort's auditorium, there is something to suit everyone.
During the months of June, July, August and September there is free live music every evening from 8pm to 11.30pm in the Praca. Plenty of variety can be expected with live acts alternating between jazz, Dixieland, Brazilian and reggae sounds as well as cover versions of the most popular hits of the 60's, 70's and today.
About 3/4 mile down the main road between Vale Do Lobo & Quinta Da Lago there a good selection of restaurants including the Sao Gabriel - a Michelin star restaurant and the Thai Garden restaurant also highly recommended.
Between Vale Do Lobo and Quinta Da Lago is the famous 'beach shack' area known as 'Julias' these beach side restaurants are low key reminiscent of the 50's (but the food is definitely up market - though the prices are not!) it is an easy stroll along the beach from Vale Do Lobo, apart from a choice of several fabulous restaurants there is also a children's play ground and during summer there is a life guard on duty...a leisurely day spent here is highly recommended.
For those who love to shop, a selection of exclusive boutiques can be found in the heart of the resort at Vale do Lobo Shopping. The Quinta da Lago Shopping Centre is about 2 mile down the road, here there are many exclusive designers shops and some lovely restaurants/cafés. There is also a Italian restaurant that delivers pizza and pasta (and a bottle of wine) to the apartment....the menu is in the folder...for those nights that you just can't be bothered to cook. There is also a pharmacy here that can dispense medicines as well.
For the Children
There is an excellent children's club facility- The Penguin Club - located at the Praca. The Penguin Club has absolutely everything that a child could ask for to keep them entertained for hours - including it's own private supervised swimming pool. During summer it is opened upto 11pm at night - just perfect if you want to have a leisurely dinner in the Praca. The Children's Club generally requires no more than 24 hours notice for booking. The children's club can arrange private babysitting in the apartment for a very reasonable price. All staff are fully trained with the appropriate accreditations.
Getting Around and About
The Supermarket is only a 2 minute walk - about 150 metres - it is a very well stocked local supermarket. The supermarket has a bakery, cheese and small goods delicatessen and butcher. Fresh fruit and vegetables are restocked daily and the Off Licence has an extensive offering of Portuguese wine and other wine producers from around the world, local and imported beer and spirits.
There is also a café in the Supermarket where you can grab a quick latte and croissant before you decide what lovely goodies you are going to eat and drink.
Located in front of the Supermarket is a cash point and the Medical Centre is next door. It is a 15 minute walk to Barringtons Health Club and Tennis Academy from the apartments.
The bus stop to over 25 destinations along the Algarve (and to and from the airport) also departs from outside the Medical Centre. It is not necessary to have a car, but, if you wish to explore the Algarve it is a good option. Car hire can be arranged at Hertz located at Parque do Golfe in Vale Do Lobo or Faro Airport. Car hire companies offer baby car seats and child booster seats. Car hire companies will also deliver and collect hire cars from the apartment.
You can hire bicycles for your stay for only a few Euros a day and this makes a very good option to have some transport if you prefer not to have a car.
Golf tee off times can be arranged. The courses with discounted rates are:
- Vale do Lobo Royal
- Vale do Lobo Ocean
- Quinta da Lago Norte
- Quinta do Lago Sul
- Vila Sol
- Vilamoura Old Course
- Vilamoura Millennium
- Vilamoura Pinhal
- Vilamoura Laguna
- Qinta Da Ria
- Quinta de Cima
The current rates are available please email me for comprehensive course details, costs and distance details.
Special Interest Holidays
There is good bird watching options in the Ria Formosa with covered areas for watchers (or are you twitchers?) This is about 10 minutes drive away. The inlets and lagoons of the Ria Formosa are well worth a day trip on a boat.
The sand dunes from Vale do Lobo back towards Faro are fabulous for wildlife spotting. From Vale do Lobo you could (if you felt energetic) actually walk for over 20 miles of beach (I know this because my somewhat silly husband ran it until he ran out of puff ...) there are some fabulous cliff walks past Vilamoura.
Tennis is very well catered for all year round in Vale Do Lobo. A calendar highlight is when Tennis fever takes hold every August, when the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions ATP Seniors Tour event arrives. This clash of tennis titans brings some of the world's biggest names to centre court at the resort's Tennis Academy, with many players returning year on year to compete for the title.
The good humour and fantastic tennis which is characteristic of the Seniors Tour draws spectators from all corners of Europe to enjoy what is fast becoming "Wimbledon on the Algarve".
Previous winners include Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jeremy Bates, Michael Stich and Jim Courier who have beaten worthy opponents including Richard Krajicek, Yannick Noah, Henri Leconte and many other leading names on the Seniors Tour.