Rising up from the golden sands of Vale do Lobo, the five-star Dona Filipa Hotel is surrounded by lush greenery and panoramic ocean views that stretch for miles. Newly refurbished to the highest standards of luxury, the hotel blends modern design with classic Portuguese style… and is perfect for family holidays, glorious golf breaks, corporate retreats and relaxing beach getaways. Guests can choose to play a wide array of golf courses, including Dona Filipa’s world famous San Lorenzo and Pinheiros Altos courses.
San Lorenzo Golf Course is tucked away in the beautiful south-eastern corner of Quinta do Lago. With great views of the Atlantic, it meanders through natural lakes located in the Ria Formosa estuary. The course, from above, can be seen as a figure-of-eight. The modern clubhouse is located in the centre of this figure, and it hosts a welcoming bar/restaurant as well as changing facilities and a pro shop.
Immediately, the player’s technique is tested as they are met by a long par 5 on the 1st hole. After negotiating holes two through four which are set in a forest of pine trees, the coastal surroundings take centre stage by the 5th hole. The shortest hole on the course is accompanied by stunning beach views.
Just like many other courses in the Algarve, lakes pose a problem for every golfer. This is particularly the case on the par 4 18th hole which requires an accurate shot to avoid the vast body of water. Considered one of the best golf courses worldwide, San Lorenzo Golf Course provides a stiff test for even the most experienced of golfers.
Pinheiros Altos is a 27 hole course featuring three groups of nine holes, which can be played in any combination to make up 18. This choice makes it a course which can be played to the difficulty desired by the golfer. The three groups are named the Pinheiros (pines), the Sobreiros (corks) and the Oliveiras (olives). All groups take the player around beautiful beach scenery and between forests of pine trees, with routes beginning and ending at the impressive clubhouse. With 18 holes designed by Ronald Fream, and a further nine devised by Jorge Santana da Silva, the magnificent championship quality course was opened in 2007.
For a tougher game of golf, make sure to take on the Sobreiros course. This is generally seen as the trickiest of the courses, and includes the infamous par 5 8th hole. This is an almost 600 yard long double dog-leg, with plenty of danger around both bends.
The Oliveiras course is perhaps the most picturesque, with the holes interspersed between sparkling lakes. The original back nine, it is home to most of the diverse birdlife in the area. Birdwatchers come from afar to catch a glimpse of some of the species around Pinheiros Altos Golf Course.
The classic front nine, the Pinheiros course, is named after the pine trees which make it so challenging to navigate. After the course opening in 2007, more than a thousand additional pine trees were planted to blend with the older ones.
*All dates in July / August are subject to 5 night minimum stay – please ask for prices.