An Oasis of Greens
The Dona Filipa lies in splendour at the heart of the iconic Vale de Lobo estate, embedded in the immaculate greens like a jewel in the Algarve’s crown. Recently renovated, it still exudes a sense of classic sophistication that simply can’t be replicated. A sandy beach lies just a couple of hundred metres away, and excellent spa and wellness facilities provide much needed R&R after a long day on the greens.
And what greens! The estate offers two courses of exceptional standards, with an effect that, for the serious golfer, just can’t be topped.
San Lorenzo: A League of Its Own
The brainchild of iconic US architects Rocky Roquemore and Joseph Lee, San Lorenzo is reserved exclusively for hotel guests. Suddenly the dream of a private golf course comes one step closer. Its 18 holes are arranged in a notoriously tricky figure eight, as if lying in wait for the golfer who’s bold enough to tackle them.
The play here is of a serious standard – in the European course rankings of 2016, San Lorenzo came out in a highly respectable 15th place. Indeed, it’s been showered with awards and accolades since it first opened in 1988.
Pinheiros Altos: Pin-Point Accuracy Required
Not satisfied with doing things the old-fashioned way, Pinheiros Altos takes golf up a technological gear or two, offering the latest in gaming kit. The golfer looking to hone their swing can take advantage of a post-performance analysis in the video bay or attend a bespoke golf clinic for extra fine-tuning.
The course itself has 27 holes, arranged in three segments (par 36). As such, you can move through the course in a variety of figurations, playing the game your way. My personal tip would be to bring a camera with you. Pinheiros Altos provided the best opportunity I’ve had so far of a world-class action shot: mid-swing, set against the backdrop of the Atlantic.