Quinta do Lago is probably one of the most well known Golf Resorts in the Algarve. It has three high end golf courses and is located only 20 minutes from Faro Airport. With several types of accommodation this destination has been very popular with English golfers, but Scandinavians, Germans and other European golfers seem to be visiting more and more.
Quinta do Lago is constantly improving and extending its offers. The latest addition is a medium budget hotel called Magnolia’s. It is a 1950’s themed place that reminded me of the art deco style in Miami’s South Beach. They have about 80 rooms and 7 cottages and it’s the first hotel owned by Quinta do Lago Golf, so nice stay and play deals are available. The rooms are not super large but big enough, nice large towels and a great bed. There is a good pool, a bar with nice G&T’s and you can also have dinner there at night. Regular shuttles drive to the courses and other facilities from Quinta do Lago.
Quinta do Lago has three golf courses. The oldest course is the South Course (designed in 1974 by William Mitchell), the North Course (1974) also designed by Mitchell but renovated in 2014 (by Beau Welling & Paul McGinley) and Laranjal (2009) designed by Santana da Silva. We played Laranjal and North this time.
Quinta do Lago’s Lovely Laranjal
Laranjal is just a short drive away from the club house at the North and South Course. It’s my favorite course at Quinta do Lago although the others are more eye candy. Laranjal is in my opinion, the most joy for a golfer. Due to its more open nature and less undulation it is very playable and hard to lose a ball. This doesn’t mean it is easy to make par as you still need to bring your A-game. The large greens might seem easy to reach but then the dificulty begins. Sometimes greens are very undulated or they have hidden ridges which make every 2-putt a great achievement.
What I also really like is the way the course is built between the Orange trees (hence Laranjal=Orange) and the beautiful blue lakes. Sometimes the bunkers end in the lake like a beautiful private beach. The bunkering on the course is amazing (unless you’re in it of course 😉). But seriously, the shapes of the bunkers and how they blend into the course and affect your choices how to play are great.
If there is one thing I would change it is hole 9. In my op opinion the designer Jorge Santana da Silva went a bit over the top here. A double dogleg par 5 with lakes on both sides and the a green bordered by water. If you play it the first time you have no idea. But for the rest I really enjoyed my round there and would love to play it again.
Challenging North Course
The North Course (totally renovated in 2004 by Beau Welling & former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley) starts with a relatively easy par 4 dogleg left. You turn from a tee-box into a kind of valley and then it is almost 90 degrees left to the green. The par-3 second (174 meters from yellow) is quite a challenge with its lenght, water on the right and a slope on the left. I Think this is a hard hole for many players.
Other notable holes on The North Course are No. 12, a nice par-4 with lots of water on the left and a pretty challenging approach that is 150+ meters over water depending on your drive. Hole 13 is a driveble par-4 where a good drive can get you on or close to the green as you can cut it off a bit and the tee is higher than the rest of the hole.
The North Course is a nice course but in my opinion a bit more difficult than The South Course and Laranjal. I also find the last two more fun to play, there are fewer roads through the course and the houses are a bit further away. But if you are staying at Quinta do Lago for three days, I recommend that you play all three and decide for yourself what your favorite is.
Memories of the South Course
I played the South Course in 2016 but just to complete this blog I have added my experience from then. I had to start on the 10th with 3 guys in two buggies and I was walking. The maintenance was excellent and I loved the design. Pretty wide fairways and nice undulated greens. Although it was busy we completed 18 holes in less than 4 hours. There were huge villa’s next to the course but not really in play (unless you’re me and you slice it so bad that you end up in the garden of a 5 Million+ mansion 😲 I did not dare to make a divot in the perfectly manicured lawn…).
The service at Quinta do Lago is great. A cart is driving around the course to supply with drinks and some small food items. I really liked the South course with lots of height differences and a lot of water. Long par-5’s, some reachable in two and nice par-3’s.
Quinta do Lago: a must visit!
The service and variety of restaurants at Quinta do Lago is amazing, they have over 20 (!) restaurants. One of them is built on the new campus (where football teams can prepare for their next big match). It’s called Dano’s and I had one of the best cheesecakes I have ever tasted. There is also a great fish restaurant, Casa do Lago, on the lake and a very good meat restaurant, Bovino.
The clubhouse is conveniently located and the salade niçoise is excellent. There are plenty (9) of different kinds of accommodation Magnolia’s, Conrad a Four Seasons Hotel, apartments etc. for everybody there is a fitting place. The service at reception is amazing, the staff is very friendly and almost everything is possible. So, if you visit the Algarve, Quinta Do Lago is a must play facility!
Quinta do Lago has three courses: the South Course, the North Course and Laranjal.
Quinta do Lago is 20 minutes by car from Faro Airport.