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After a four night stay at the Pine Cliffs Hotel, we had another two nights booked at the Anantara Vilamoura Resort – a couple of kilometres away, near the famous marina town of Vilamoura.
Anantara, a brand originally from Thailand, is mostly known for its resorts and hotels in Southeast Asia. In Europe, the brand has very few properties. It is part of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) and its Discovery loyalty programme. The resort in Vilamoura is also part of Virtuoso. By booking through an affiliated travel consultant, you can get some additional benefits. At this hotel, this includes an upgrade if available on arrival, daily breakfast for two, a 100 USD resort credit and early check-in/late check-out if available.
During my stay, there was a promotion which featured a double upgrade, confirmed upon booking, and an increased credit of 150 USD. This represented superb value, so we booked two nights in a standard Deluxe room, which was immediately upgraded to a room with golf course view – the highest non-suite category.
Note: during my stay some facilities and services were not available due to the reduced occupancy and COVID-measures. This review may not necessarily be representative. Contact the hotel for the latest information on the availability of services and facilities. The hotel takes part in the Clean & Safe program by the Portuguese tourism board.
Anantara Vilamoura Resort
The hotel is not located in Vilamoura itself, but rather in the middle of nowhere, in an area outside town with mostly holiday homes and golf courses. It’s about a 15 minute drive from the marina/centre of Vilamoura. A rental car is therefore very useful. There is also shuttle service to Vilamoura and a partner hotel, but depending on the hotel occupancy you may have to wait in order to use the shuttle. If you are coming by car, there is an underground parking garage. The hotel also offers free valet parking.
Upon arrival, we were immediately assisted at the reception. The agent explained the facilities of the hotel, shuttle service and possibility to visit their partner beach club, and confirmed the Virtuoso benefits. The Customer Experience manager also came by to introduce herself. The hotel is low rise with only three floors. We were assigned a room on the top floor.
All Deluxe rooms have the same size = 40 square meters. They are further distinguished by view; either resort, garden, pool or golf course. The hotel also has a range of suites. As is standard nowadays, the room was sealed upon arrival.
The resort is quite new and the room design is therefore sleek and modern, with lots of wood. Immediately after entering, there is a separate toilet on the right. On the left side, there was ample closet space in the wall.
The sleeping area featured two beds, seat and small table.
The bathroom has an open design with sliding doors. There was a large, excellent walk-in shower and separate tub. Amenities were by a local Portuguese brand, Claus Porto.
All rooms have a balcony with a daybed.
A welcome gift was provided. There was also a Nespresso machine. Disappointingly, there was an additional charge of €1,50 per coffee cup and even €3,50 for tea. In this type of hotel, this should be included in my opinion.
In the evening, turndown service was provided.
If you needed any additional items for the room, you could order this with the reception or housekeeping through an app. Very handy.
The hotel’s main restaurant is Victoria on the ground floor. Here, breakfast and dinner are served. Seating is both indoor and outdoors.
Due to increased hygiene measures, all buffet items are plated by staff. They improvised with the setup by separating guest and the buffets by a row of tables. The tables had signs on them with the dishes available. There were the usual continental hot and cold options, with some Portuguese specialities.
The quality of the food was very good and this hotel also had their coffee game on point; the hot beverages were excellent. Service was very friendly and proactive, which was a noticeable improvement over our previous hotel.
For lunch and dinner, the only options were the pool or lobby lounge/bar. The fish restaurant Ria and fine dining restaurant EMO were closed.
The hotel has two large pools. At the main pool were a couple of (very comfortable) sunbeds as well as cabanas and seats. Unfortunately, this pool was quite small and shallow. The Palm pool bar is also located here. I do wonder if the amount of sunbeds is sufficient if the hotel is at full occupancy.
There is also a small pool with a view of the golf course.
Located at the other hotel wing is another small pool in the shade.
There was also a sundeck.
Guests of the Anantara can also use the facilities of the Puro Beachclub on Vilamoura beach, next to partner hotel Tivoli Marina. Reservations through the hotel reception are required. You can take the shuttle to the beach club.
In the lobby was a small business centre.
The hotel also features a spa and fitness centre.