12 Jun Pine Cliffs, a luxury family resort in the Algarve, Portugal
A few years ago during dinner with friends we talked about family vacations in Portugal. They recommended the Pine Cliffs family resort in the Algarve which they described as spectacular. We finally visited it at Easter 2019 with 4 families and we were delighted. They offer a wide range of services like their own Golf Club, a Tennis Academy, a huge Kids Club, and all kinds of accommodation ranging from hotel rooms and apartments to villas. It is also perfect for a stay with your partner or with friends. On top of this, it’s also a beachfront resort. What else do you want!!!
The Pine Cliffs Family Resort is located in the Portuguese Algarve region in the Albufeira area, in southern Portugal; It is the most touristic region in the country. To the east it limits with Spain with the province of Huelva and to the north is the Alentejo region. In another post about the boho-chic destination Comporta you can read more about some holidays we spend there. Super recommended too!
The Pine Cliffs is located near the town of Albufeira on the beachfront.
The Pine Cliffs Resort
The 5-star resort occupies an area of 72 hectares and is part of “The Luxury Collection“; a Marriott brand that brings together luxury hotels and resorts around the world, offering a mix of high quality services with local experiences. The resort is described as “one of the leading and award-winning Luxury and Family Resorts in Europe, is truly an exquisite hidden jewel”.
As indicated by its name, the resort is in a privileged situation surrounded by pines, high above a cliff. The views are amazing with the orange coloured cliffs that contrast with the green of the pines, the sandy beach and the blue sea.
Accomodation at the Pine Cliffs
Within the resort, different types of accommodation are offered, some more aimed at a family audience or people looking for some independence, and other typical hotel accommodations. Do you want to spend each holiday at the resort? Then you have the option of buying your second residence within the resort.
Pine Cliffs Gardens appartments
We stayed at Pine Cliff Gardens, a newly built apartment building. The accommodations are ideal for a stay at a resort with the family in the Algarve. They are spacious with a modern and elegant design with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms; ours was a 2 bedroom appartment.
Each appartment has its own kitchen. For us, this is essential because we get tired of always eating out. And sometimes our children stayed at the appartment with their friends while we adults a few steps away had a drink in one of the hotel terraces. So everyone happy!
We booked a ground floor apartment so we had a nice garden. Others have a balcony.
The buildings where we stayed are surrounded by well-kept gardens and have quick and easy access to all of the resorts services, facilities and the beach. They are also next to the Porto Pirata Children’s Club.
These apartments have their own pool although you also have access to other pools at the complex.
Other accomodations at the Pine Cliffs
- Pine Cliffs Hotel: 217 rooms and suites. All modern but with touches of Portuguese culture such as the headboards of the beds that have tiles painted with typical Portuguese motifs
- Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites & Spa: 148 elegant apartments with 1 or 2 bedrooms, some with sea views.
- Pine Cliffs Residence: they are residences with 2 or 3 bedrooms with their living room, kitchen … They are behind the golf course a little further from the central facilities.
- Pine Cliffs Village & Golf Suites: One of the families in our group stayed in the Townhouses. We all met there one night for dinner because they were spacious on different floors and with a separate living room, dining room and kitchen. I found them very welcoming, like being at your own home feeling. Maybe the kitchen was a little dated but I liked the rest. They also offer modern large 4-bedroom villas with pools. The Golf Suites have been recently renovated and are also perfect for a family stay. They overlook the golf course.
Praia da Falesia, a spectacular beach
One, among many, of the resort’s strengths is its direct access to Playa da Falesia, which for many is one of the best beaches in Europe.
To get to the beach, you can take an elevator or by stairs and then walk down a nice wooden path between the cliffs. On the beach the resort offers sun loungers, towels, and has its own restaurant “el Maré”. You also have the option of practicing water sports such as water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, banana riding, ……
We got up early a few mornings and took a walk on the amazing and still empty beach.
Restaurants, bars and terraces at Pine Cliffs
I start with the best from my completely subjective point of view; the terrace of the Mirador Champagne Bar, located on the edge of the cliff. Perfect for some lounging and meanwhile enjoying the sunset with a glass of champagne or a cocktail in hand. Every day they indicate the time of sunset on a clock at the entrance of the bar.
In second place would be Maré, the resort’s restaurant on the beach. We had the bad luck that it was inaugurated the day we left. So I don’t know about the quality of the food, but the place itself and the location were ideal. We will have to return to try it.
Mimo Algarve is the cooking school. You have to book early, because it fills up quickly. The idea is to cook your menu first and then enjoy your meal right there. It also has its own gourmet store with cooking related products.
Corda Cava is a restaurant with an informal atmosphere and offers a children’s menu. We went several times and it is a nice family restaurant with a terrace and views of one the pools. Perfect for children to play after lunch or dinner while adults have a coffee (or another glass of wine…).
For the days that the boys stayed in the apartment for dinner, we bought some pizzas for the children at a pizzeria on the road in front of the resort. I don’t remember its name, but it was very practical.
Services & Facilities at the Pine Cliffs family resort in the Algarve
This family resort in the Algarve offers all kind of services and facilities for the whole family. And if you want to spend some quality time with your partner or spend some time at the Serenity Health & Spa Club, you can leave your children to the fun Porto Pirata Kids Club.
- There are 8 pools in total between indoor and outdoor.
- Golf & Sports: we used many of its facilities by renting tennis courts one day (I recommend renting early because it fills up quickly). They also offer classes through the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy. Another day the children were playing golf in their duck out. It has a 9-hole course where beginners to advanced players can play. They also offer golf lessons. Another option is to practice paddle tennis.
- Porto Pirata: this is the Kids Club of the resort. Around two large pirate ships there is a 7,000m2 aerea where the monitors take care of children between 6 months and 8 years old. There is also an 18 hole mini golf. You see, it is the perfect resort in the Algarve to spend your family holidays!
- Junior Club: for children between 8 and 13 years old they organize soccer games, tennis, archery, water games ….. During our stay they organized for all the children of every age a chocolate egg hunt in their beautiful landscaped gardens. They had a great time!
- Serenity Spa & Health: it has a health club with a gym and they organize yoga classes, pilates ….., then there is an indoor pool, a spa and they offer treatments. They have special packages to do “retreats” to lose weight, detox programmes, etc.
- Shopping: There were several very nice clothes and accessories stores, Zen food to take away, a Gourmet shop, wine store, …
Things to do in the Algarve
The Algarve seems to me a perfect destination to enjoy its beaches, the sea, do sports and rest. And obviously a very important point; taste the wonderful portuguese gastronomy. But it also has some nice towns to visit.
Villages to visit in the Algarve
During our 5 day stay at the Pine Cliffs Resort we visited Faro, Loulé and Albufeira.
We weren’t thrilled about Albufeira. It’s not bad for a walk but we didn’t think it was very special.
In Loulé we unfortantly had bad weather and everything was closed for Easter so it was a bit a sad visit. But it is worth visiting on a fine day. Its ‘A Praça’ Market (a covered market) has been famous for over 100 years and is set in a beautiful Moorish architecture building in red and white colors. To enjoy the typical “market day atmosphere”, the best day should be Saturday. Besides the indoor market, they also set up stalls on the streets and squares in the surroundings.
We really enjoyed our visit of Faró. We took a walk enjoying its streets and buildings and laid back ambience. For a drink I recommend the terraces on the Dom Alfonso III square where there is a happy and relaxed atmosphere. We sat on the terrace of Villa Adentro; a restaurant and patisserie with an authentic Portuguese flavor.
Charming restaurants in the Algarve
During a stay at the Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve with children, I definitly recommend booking restaurants outside the hotel. Of the ones we tried, I want to recommend 3 restaurants that we enjoyed both for their charm as for their food and they were also very comfortable to take children because of their locations.
Gigi’s Beach Bar at Quinta do Lago
If you don’t know the Gigi’s, it’s not obvious to find. To get there you have to enter the luxurious Quinta do Lago urbanization. It is located in the coastal lagoon of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. After asking a lot (we couldn’t find our way) we left the car in a parking lot, and from there you have to cross the lagoon by a wooden bridge to reach our destination, Gigi’s.
Make a reservation in advance at Gigi’s! Really the place itself is not very special, it is a wooden beach bar with many outdoor tables and a few indoors. What makes it special is its privileged location on one side of a dune overlooking the lagoon and the urbanization. On the other side of the dune is the beach and the sea so take your bathing stuff with you!
The food was spectacular. Right there they show you the specialties of the day, especially fresh fish. How we enjoyed the atmosphere and the good food!
And if you like to see houses, you can take a tour of the Quinta do Lago urbanization since there are some spectacular villas.
Monte da Eira Restaurant
We were really lucky finding the Monte da Eira Restaurant. It was a rainy day and we decided to visit the Loulé village but there were no people, it was all closed, we couldn’t find any charming place to eat so we decided to leave. On the internet they recommended this restaurant some kilometres from Loulé, which luckily had space for our large group. It was a real hidden jewel because we loved everything; the typical Portuguese food, the place itself and how we were attended.
We sat inside due to bad weather but it had a nice terrace garden. That day there were only Portuguese and it is usually a good sign when there are many local people in a restaurant. How lucky we were to discover this charming restaurant!
Pezinhos N’Areia en Castro Marim
On our way back to Spain, we booked at Pezinhos N’Areia at Praia Verde. It is about 50 minutes from Pine Cliffs and very close to the spanish border.
The restaurant is a modern and well-kept beach bar. And I especially liked the terrace area with its round tables, curtains and views of the beach and the sea. They offer typical Portuguese food with lots of fish (which can vary every day), seafood and rice.
How to get to the Algarve
We come from Madrid so from my point of view the best thing is to go by car. You can even take advantage and spend the night in, for example, Merida and visit, among others, its Roman Theater. We stayed one night in Évora and visited the Chapel of Bones. All a curiosity!
From Madrid to the resort is about 7 hours. It is not such a long trip and thus you avoid having to rent cars, take planes, etc.
Don’t forget to buy the toll card in order to use the highway. For all the information go to Tollcard.pt. I don’t know if you rent a car at the airport if the toll card is already included, so don’t forget to ask!!!
Another option is obviously to get there by plane. The closest airport is Faro. From there it is not even 30 minutes to the Pine Cliffs Resort.
If you liked this article about the Pine Cliffs family resort in the Algarve, or if have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me through the comments or share the article on your social media.