Quinta do Lago - Luxury and Exclusive Resorts in Algarve
One of the most acclaimed residential golf and beach resorts situated in the south of Portugal, only 20 minute drive from the Faro International Airport and 15 minute drive of the Marina of Vilamoura (map of quinta do lago)
Synonymous with elegance and privacy, Quinta do Lago is an exclusive golf and residential estate of nearly 2,000 acres bordering the Atlantic ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. In this privilege location magnificent golf courses and majestic villas blend with the green umbrella pines and the tranquility of lakes.
Quinta do Lago is the premier resort on the Algarve with avenues of fine homes with manicured gardens interspersed by the major golf courses of San Lorenzo, Pinheiros Altos, Ria Formosa and Quinta North and South.
Beaches and restaurants are central to the area - don't miss Gigi's set in the dunes overlooking the inlet - whilst Quinta Shopping offers a choice of designer clothing and luxury goods as well as a supermarket and banks.
The amenity of the Algarvean climate in spring led Andre Jordan through an unspoiled site of rolling pine wood terrain and beach ? he had been told that the Algarve was about to become a golden mine?
Quinta do Lago, then a 550 hectare-site, had been in the ownership of the Pinto de Magalhães family for more then three centuries; after some difficulties to find the place he stopped at the old farm-house known today as Casa Velha ? the view was astonishing and he said: ?That?s it!
And this was how a vision became reality. Negotiations for the purchase took about 12 months and Jordan surrounded himself with a group of collaborators of international calibre whose abilities he had long appreciated. The first Master Plan was drawn by a team of Portuguese architects and engineers directed by Pedro Vasconcellos and Luis Nobre Guedes.
The philosophy of Quinta do Lago was offer clients the option of privacy, tranquillity and seclusion when they required it and an active social and sporting life combined with a wide range of leisure facilities.
Publicity and marketing aimed at the international elite in USA and Europe started to reap rewards and Quinta do Lago was soon attracting an array of rich and famous names from the aristocracy, high society, the world of politics and business, sport and entertainment.
?It was a Boom period which started from the end of 1973 and buyers were coming from everywhere including Portugal, Belgium, France, ? over the Easter period of 1974 no fewer than 50 plots sold in one week?, said Capela, in Sales in 1972.
But Jordan?s dream turned into a nightmare with the military coup on April 25th 1974.
In 1975 the Portuguese state took over Quinta do Lago. Jordan returned to Brazil and until 1982, when we came back, only the golf course, under Mário Barruncho, stayed in reasonable shape. The real estate had dried up, the property ran down ?there were no sales and, of course, as a result of the Revolution some clients who had reserved plots withdrew?; said Capela.
But the working team never stopped believing in the future of the resort?.and in 1981 Planal was returned to the shareholders. Desperate to get Quinta do Lago back into a finantial healthy condition Jordan started sounding out big business looking for larger developments than individual plots and by 1985 the property?s 8 million dollar debt was transformed into assets of more than 30 million dollars.
In 1987 Jordan sold the Planal to a consortium of British shareholders headed by Roger Abraham and David Thompson and Quinta do Lago continued to enjoy the benefits of the crescent in real estate in the Algarve.
By 1989 Abraham withdrawn and Thompson appointed Domingos da Silva as Administrator of Planal and the associated companies.
Domingos da Silva had now a difficult task in hand: to maintain Quinta do Lago?s image and supremacy against a rising tide of competition from other luxury golf and leisure resorts springing up along the Algarve.
The 90?s has seen Quinta do Lago emerge as one of Europe?s premier resorts as well as a flagship for quality tourism in the Algarve and this has been recognised by a number of awards.
In July 1998 the ownership of Quinta do Lago changed hands the Thompson family selling Planal, S.A to the O?Brien family of Ireland, the present owner.
A Little bit of Quinta history
Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago are two of the most luxurious areas in the Algarve, as well as being amongst the best equipped in terms of golf courses.
Based on the original designs of the legendary Sir Henry Cotton and restructured by the highly regarded American architect, Rocky Roquemore, the Ocean Golf Course in Vale do Lobo has excellent conditions for playing the sport. Bordered on either side by stone pines and fig-trees, this gently undulating landscape stretches all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and includes a Par 72 course that, because it is a combination of links and fairways, provides a series of top-quality holes.
With one of the world?s most famous golf settings and considered to be one of Portugal?s most prestigious golf courses, the Royal Golf Course is most notably celebrated for its tricky Par 3 hole played over the cliffs ? the famous 16th hole, the most photographed hole in Europe. Inaugurated in August 1997, it was also designed by the American architect Rocky Roquemore, who based his work on the original plans drawn up by Sir Henry Cotton.
Very close to Vale do Lobo is the Quinta do Lago development, which includes four high-quality golf courses, all of them situated in an area that is characterised by its sandy subsoil, covered with fully grown pine-trees, gorse, wild shrubs and flowers. The San Lourenzo golf course was considered by the Golf World Magazine to be the best in Portugal and one of the best in Europe. Shaped like a figure eight, this 18-hole course borders on the nature reserve and the lagoons of Ria Formosa, offering golfers perfect playing conditions all year round.
The Quinta do Lago Norte course is the result of complementary work undertaken by the architects William Mitchell, Joseph Lee and Rocky Roquemore and includes some magnificent Par 5 holes that call for great power and accuracy, as well as some Par 4 doglegs that require very precise tee shots.
Also designed by William Mitchell is the Quinta do Lago Sul course, favourable to long hitters, but also requiring skill and accuracy in placing the ball if you want to achieve a good result. The first nine holes have some sharp bends and favour those who can play good draw shots, while the last nine holes are best played with fade shots.
Still in the area of Quinta do Lago is the Pinheiros Altos development, which also includes a golf course with the same name. Designed by the highly-regarded golf architect Ronald Fream, it is composed of two groups of 9 holes with quite different characteristics. The front 9 holes spread over a rolling terrain filled with tall pine trees (the translation of the development?s name ? ?Pinheiros Altos?), while the back 9 holes are set around the gently moulded Gondra, where lakes abound and dominate the strategy of the golfer.
A Little bit of Quinta golf
Information courtesy of general internet research and algarveuncovered.com, portugal-info.net, tripadvisor.com, algarve-guides.com and many more sources
Villa Rentals in Quinta do lago and holiday rentals in the Algarve Portugal in general are big business so you should expect to be treated with professionalism and with courtesy