The Penha Longa resort is simply one of the most sublime hotels to visit on the Iberian Peninsula. Boasting not one, but two Michelin starred restaurants, a 27-hole world-class golf course, as well as a 1,500 sqm wellness centre and spa, the word luxury has never been more relevant than when referring to the Penha Longa. Situated in the former grounds of the eponymous monastery, and bordering two of the country’s most notable gated-communities, whilst just a short drive away from the beautiful capital of Lisbon.
For those who may be somewhat deterred by the grandeur of the Penha Longa have no fear of the resort being too exclusive. Mega-celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Bryan Adams may own houses nearby. The pupils and families from the famous Carlucci American School may also frequent the resort, yet the Penha Longa is very much open to all comers.
A Focus On Food
I have mentioned the restaurants. Whilst there are a dozen different gastronomy experiences to try during your stay I’ll focus on the two that stand out immediately. Having one Michelin star restaurant in a hotel anywhere is a significant achievement in the world of hospitality. Having two is nothing short of sensational. LAB by Sergi Arola is famous for its incredible fusion dishes that have been rumoured to reduce some diners to tears thanks to the overpowering emotions that the combined flavours can bring. It also boasts a wine cellar that features an overwhelming 550 references from around the globe.
I dined with LAB’s Michelin counterpart, which is the Japanese (with a slight touch of Portuguese) restaurant, Midori. Midori was my first true experience sampling Japanese cuisine. That was seven years ago and I am still comparing every subsequent foray into Japanese cuisine to that. The food was incredible, the Saki almost blew my socks off, but the overall experience was like nothing I’d ever had in dining up until that point. I will forever associate the word precision, with the methodical, time-honed skill that the chef applied to prepare every dish as it came out for our party as I watched him. It is one of the signature joys of Japanese cuisine that you are able to watch the chefs at work so intimately, and it is a joy I first experienced at the Penha Longa.
Golf, Yoga, Event, Repeat.
The facilities at the Penha Longa aside from the restaurants are equally exceptional. The golf course as I mentioned in the beginning, is world-class for a reason. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, and home to 27 glorious holes amid the ruins of the medieval monastery. It’s easy to see why the course has hosted half a dozen major golf tournaments. The Wellness Centre boasts two outdoor pools, a heated indoor pool, Turkish bath, sauna, Jacuzzi, as well as some fantastic treatment rooms. You can also find a host of daily fitness activities to participate in whilst there. Yoga, Pilates, and outdoor fitness classes all run regularly and are available to guests to join in during their stay.
For accommodation, the hotel offers 194 luxury rooms and suites, all coming with their own balconies. The Penha Longa is a former royal palace of the Portuguese monarchy, and as such has a number of function rooms. These can cater for up to 600 delegates, and in total, there are 25 meeting rooms of different size. The Hotel is just a short drive from both Lisbon city and airport, but also the coastline. High praise must be reserved for the staff at this fantastic resort. Despite the wealth in abundance which resides in close proximity to the Penha Longa, the staff are exceptionally accommodating, towards all guests. Polite, attentive, and genuinely welcoming towards all guests.
The Final Word
The Penha Longa is an amazing location for any event or occasion. Its history is one of opulence and luxury but also quiet and solidarity. It has been a place of worship for both deities and dynasties. It encourages wellness but also indlugnece in some of life’s simpler pleasures. A place open to formality and family. Now all that’s left is to decide when you will go!
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