Golf escapes: Dona Filipa, Portugal

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Escape to guaranteed sunshine for a short break on the Algarve – where the star attraction is San Lorenzo...

Dona Filipa is a five-star golf and family hotel just 20 minutes’ drive from Faro in the Algarve.

With a large stretch of sandy shoreline just a short walk away, there are various bars and restaurants between the beach and this luxury JJW Hotel.

The hotel has been undergoing extensive renovations in recent years. Many of the rooms have been updated along with the communal areas, which boast modern décor and soft furnishings.

They have also refurbished their pool and dining areas. With a wide range of facilities, including tennis courts and a relaxing spa, this is one of the top hotels in the area.

Guests are also able to play golf at Pinheiros Altos. This resort has always been known for its outstanding practice facilities, including a driving range, a short-game area and super-quick and true greens.

The course itself has three loops of nine. The Corks and the Pines are made up from the original holes that were constructed in 1995. They are tight and strategic, with the additional nine holes built in 2007 being longer and generally faster.

Pinheiros also has a strong membership, unlike many courses in this stretch of the Algarve.

The clubhouse has a great 19th – the perfect place to relax looking out over the 9th green of the Olives from the terrace. Meanwhile, San Lorenzo provides more excellent golfing opportunities just a 10-minute drive or courtesy shuttle away from Dona Filipa.

The course winds its way through the pines with a good mix of par 4s and 3s, before you arrive at the 6th, the first of two stunningly scenic holes along the coastline.

This is a fun but challenging course that’s in great condition. The ideal climate means that it’s playable all year round.

The clubhouse at San Lorenzo serves up a tasty combination of traditional Portuguese fare along with the usual classics. Their local ‘green’ wine is a must if you have a few hours to relax outside on their patio.

The Algarve has some great restaurants away from the more touristy hubs such as Vilamoura and Quinta Do Lago. Almancil is host to some great eateries, Marufo’s in particular is a real hidden gem which does superb chicken piri-piri.

Back at the hotel you can enjoy a brilliant dinner at Dom Duarte, Dona Filipa’s fine dining experience. Their newly installed and award-winning executive chef has produced a superb-tasting menu to rival that of many acclaimed UK culinary experiences.

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