The Magnolia Hotel Quinta do Lago in Portugal could not be more my style. It’s like a kitschy, retro American motel but with all the essential luxuries of a hotel. There’s pineapple-print wallpaper, palm-print tiles, pink furniture, cactus lights and all sorts of things that I now want in my future home. From the moment I saw the giant neon sign outside I knew I was going to take A LOT of photos in the Magnolia Hotel. It is an incredibly “Instagrammable” spot! So what else do you need to know about this picture-perfect hotel? Allow me to give you the low down.
The Most Instagrammable Hotel in Quinta do Lago
About Quinta do Lago
Quinta do Lago is an area just twenty minutes from Faro airport, which makes it easily accessible from Ireland and the UK. Luckily the Magnolia Hotel have their own drivers so transfers to and from the airport can be organised.
Quinta do Lago is known worldwide for its award-winning golf courses, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The resort has been built around the Ria Formosa nature reserve so there are plenty of great walks and scenic areas to explore.
Quinta do Lago is exclusive, to an extent, in that it is a bit more expensive than other parts of Portugal and there are giant villas dotted around everywhere. However, it doesn’t FEEL stuffy. I felt completely comfortable there and the prices in the restaurants were still cheaper than what I’d pay if I ate out in Dublin.
There’s very much a health and fitness vibe to the resort due to its association with sports. I LOVED this aspect of it as all the food tasted incredible and was relatively healthy in comparison to what you might normally eat on holiday. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge, but it’s easy to eat well too. ANYWAY, let’s talk about where I stayed, the Magnolia Hotel.
The Magnolia Hotel
The Magnolia Hotel is a 4* hotel within the Quinta do Lago resort. Like I mentioned before, it’s a visual delight. But it’s not all style and no substance, this hotel certainly delivers. The staff are super friendly. There’s great facilities. The food is incredible. I’m a bit in love with the place. Here’s why.
We stayed in a standard room and it was lovely. The bed was incredibly comfortable. For ground floor rooms like ours there’s a small patio area outside with bushes surrounding it for privacy. Other floors have balconies. The bathroom is modern and sleek with a powerful shower. The toiletries are large pump bottles so you won’t need to ration them. Also they don’t make your hair feel like straw so there’s no need to bring your own.
There are UK plug sockets and USB ports on each side of the bed (such an important thing!). They even have Irish channels on the TV, an ode to the Irish owner I believe. There’s air-conditioning in the room and great Wi-Fi. Oh and there’s a hairdryer so no need to bring your own! Standard rooms start from £70/€78 per night on a B&B basis so it’s extremely affordable. There are also suites and cottages available if you’re in a group or like a bit more space.
This hotel has SO many facilities. There’s a gym, a sauna, a steam room and even a cinema room. There’s also a games room with ping pong tables, Playstations and bean bags. The pool is outdoors and is heated. If you need a massage there’s a treatment room available and spa treatments can be arranged. They also have these cute old-fashioned bikes available outside reception that are free to use so you can cycle to the beach.
In summer they will screen classic movies outdoors by the pool and host DJ brunch events. And if you get bored of the facilities within the hotel there are plenty of things to do outside the Magnolia. You could head to The Campus, a state of the art facility, to play a game of tennis or padel. Padel is A LOT of fun. I’d never even heard of it before my stay at the Magnolia. It’s a bit like a cross between squash and tennis.
There are also water sports available in the summer like kayaking etc. Or you can just head for a walk through Ria Formosa national park, you might spot a flamingo if you’re lucky. Gigi beach, just across the wooden bridge, is definitely worth visiting. The president of Portugal and numerous celebrity sports personalities have been spotted there.
Food & Drink
Within the hotel you’ve got to have a cocktail at the “Oi,Linda!”, or “Hello, Beautiful!” bar. Or, if you don’t fancy a cocktail, try one of their classic 50’s style milkshakes. I loved that they served iced coffee with flavoured syrups.
They also serve lunch and dinner at the hotel with plenty of healthy and vegetarian options. I tried the superfood salad and the squash & spinach lasagne and they were both delicious. My boyfriend had the burger and the grilled chicken (on separate occasions) and was suitably silent while devouring them. For dessert we had the red velvet sundae and black forest sundae and could barely finish them.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and is one of the best I’ve ever had in a hotel. Eggs are made to order any way you like. My scrambled eggs with cheese was served as a huge portion with brown toast. What I thought was amazing was the SMASHED AVOCADO available at the breakfast bar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen avocado at breakfast
There are a variety of healthy options too. I loved the homemade chocolate granola with acai yoghurt and pineapple lumps. There’s also various flavoured waters and juices. My favourite was ginger-infused water.
If you fancy eating outside the hotel there are plenty of options. I’m going to do a separate post on this but for now here are some of my favourite. For lunch make sure to check out Pure and The Shack. For dinner you have to head to Casa do Lago and, of course, Bovino. The Campus also has a lovely coffee shop/ juice bar on site.
See For Yourself (VIDEO)
I’m more than happy to recommend this hotel and resort area in general. I’d definitely go back!
Thanks to the team at the Magnolia Hotel for hosting me for three nights at their wonderful property. However, as always, all opinions are my own.