Four Seasons Fairways Resort, Quinta do Lago – Hotel Review

By Susan Springate

11 months ago

Everything you need for a perfect family getaway

Four Seasons Fairways Resort in Quinta do Lago is a family-friendly retreat far from the madding crowd, says Susan Springate.

Four Seasons Fairways Resort, Quinta do Lago – Hotel Review

Nestled within the Ria Formosa nature reserve in Quinta do Lago and just a 20-minute drive from Faro Airport, Four Seasons Fairways feels like a welcome retreat away from the crowds of the Algarve. Though more immaculate golf course than wild rolling countryside, this part of the Algarve provides all the space and amenities for the perfect family getaway. As well as first-class restaurants, bars and shops, there are pristine wide-open beaches and a network of walking trails, where you can while away the days playing in the crashing waves or spotting exotic birds on your morning stroll. So, who cares if your golf is below par!


Not to be confused with the luxury Four Seasons hotel company, Four Seasons Fairways was built in 1989, and is nearing the end of an eight-year long €10 million refurbishment, which has seen a total overhaul of its villas and apartments and Clubhouse area. The results are stunning. Crisp, contemporary lines and an underlying green palette that reflects the lush, landscaped gardens and surrounding golf courses. Local interior designer Astrid Schep has erased all traces of its original 80s vibe and replaced it with a cool mélange of Crittal-style doors, copper pendants and stylish modern furniture, upholstered in Peacock blue and dusty pink textiles.

With its sleek indoor-outdoor bar and glass-walled wine cellar, it feels more Californian than Portuguese, yet the resort itself has been designed along traditional lines. Whitewashed mini villas with terracotta roofs tumble down the hillside towards the tennis courts, through pathways exploding with bougainvillaea and hisbiscus. There’s a mixture of two-bedroom apartments with a terrace and jacuzzi or two and three-bedroom villas with swimming pools, fully equipped with all the modern amenities and comforts, including a gas-fired barbecue, dishwasher, washing machine and even a fireplace for the colder months. New on-site is the D’época Grocery Store, with freshly baked bread daily and a classic delicatessen. 

Rooms are light and airy, decorated in neutral tones with occasional references to the resort’s Portuguese heritage – and there’s even British and Irish television. 


The Four Seasons Fairways pride themselves on being a ‘home from home’ but they go one better in terms of childcare. With Upside Down World, the kids club for the under-12s, at your disposal, you really can relax by the pool with a good book or disappear for a massage at on-site beauty parlour Amelia’s for a couple of hours. No wonder families have been coming here for years. The Portuguese staff are super child-friendly and pool manager Antonio will keep an eye on your littluns while you soak up the sun or whisk them off for football on the tennis courts. If you’re looking for some action, there’s a gym and games room, as well as the nearby supergym the  Campus, beloved by sports stars Marcus Rashford and Mario Itoje – and most definitely my 15-year-old son! Back at base there’s a whole range of activities on offer, including bike hire, yoga, horseback riding and hiking in the protected area of Fonte da Benemola. And then there are the beaches – three kilometres of pristine white sand and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, accessed via a small wooden bridge over the tidal lagoon of the Ria Formosa. Bliss!


The resort has two restaurants: the more relaxed Vivo bistro, which serves breakfasts, lunch and dinner and snacks throughout the day, and is open to residents only, and the more sophisticated Amara, which is open to non-residents, and is fast becoming a destination restaurant in the area. Its brand-new al-fresco terrace offers stunning views over the golf course and across the tops of the parasol pine trees, while chef Nelson Candeia has created a stunning menu of fine-dining cuisine that redefines traditional Portuguese cuisine. Dishes such as Hamachi Fish Mosaic with Tomato tartar, or slow-cooked octopus with Romesco sauce, coriander emulsion, sweet potato purée and potato soufflé, are presented with such artistry as to befit a Michelin-starred restaurant – but at a fraction of the cost.  A three-course menu for €45 and a four-course tasting menu for €55, along with wine pairings, curated by charming Daniela Rodrigues, the youngest sommelier in Portugal.


A stay at Four Seasons Fairways offers the space and privacy of a self-catering villa alongside the luxury and service of a five-star hotel, located in the stunning natural surroundings. And you don’t even need to like golf!