Situated in the affluent Quinta do Lago – a gated community and golf resort in Almancil, the Algarve region of southern Portugal – the Magnolia Hotel stands out with its neon lights, pink and turquoise hues and cool, retro vibe. Fresh and funky, everything about the hotel’s bright and bold design is inspired by the glory days of the 1950s American motels that gives it a sense of fun.
The hotel is within easy reach of the endless beaches of Quinta do Lago, its golf courses, water sports on the nearby lake and its brand new Campus – a sports centre for athletes and people of all fitness levels that offers an incredible variety of children and adult camps with professional sports stars.
It is ideal for families as there is so much much on offer. It is also a perfect base for sports enthusiasts.
The hotel comprises of 74 rooms, three suites and seven cottages. The rooms are housed across two blocks surrounded by pastel-coloured facades that give them a retro vibe.
With splashes of pink (the pillow cases) and aqua blue (the bathrooms tiles) everywhere you look you find a touch of the Palm Springs colour palette. All rooms have super comfy beds with 300 thread count cotton sheets, steam showers and TV. Standard rooms are available for two guests, suites for two adults plus a child and cottages comprise of two bedrooms and a lounge and kitchenette (suitable for four adults and two children)
My bedroom was spotlessly clean, bright and airy. The bathroom had a huge walk-in shower with plenty of fluffy towels.
Food and drink
The central restaurant (where both breakfast and dinner is served), feels as though you have walked into a 1950s diner, with seating booths and retro furniture scattered throughout.
Although both menus are not as varied as other hotels we have stayed in, all meals were not only fresh and beautifully presented but extremely flavoursome too. At the helm here is chef Tom Briggs, ex-Soho House and Hoxton Grill, who was very considerate when I told him of my shell-fish allergy, offering up instead some other fresh fish options.
Breakfast offers a range of fresh fruits, yogurt, pastries and bread, with an egg station for omelettes or scrambled eggs. What we loved most was the midnight toastie service where grab and go toasties were available from 10pm throughout the night.
Another option-for guests visiting The Campus (see below) is the on-site restaurant Dano’s- the new sports bar that has a vast menu full of fresh salads, poki bowls, fish and a children’s selection too.
The hotel has everything to suit kids of all ages, including a gorgeous outdoor heated salt-water pool (we loved the pop of yellow and white pinstripe parasols at the poolside bar), a gym, cinema room, spa and jacuzzi, tennis court and complimentary bikes.
It also has a games room which is equipped with Xboxes, ping-pong tables and a soft football area.
As the season warms up, there is live music and a DJ once a week by the pool as well as movie nights under the stars with cocktails.
Is Wi-Fi available?
Yes, it’s free throughout.
Rooms start from £84 a night, including breakfast.
The sea is less than a minute a way. Rio Formosa nature park, a stunning reserve is local. There are 3 championship golf courses and a mini golf course close by too.
There’s also the stunning Campus sports and wellness resort and complex opened in 2018. Designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer pre-season and Europe’s midwinter break, it has become popular with Premiership football and rugby teams, Olympic and Para-Olympic squads, performance athletes and coaches who are taking advantage of the climate and using The Campus as their winter training base. There’s also a junior racquet academy, a football school, gym, outdoor swimming pool, yoga on the roof and endless beautiful tennis courts. It is accessed by a complimentary hotel shuttle service.