The best beach hotels in Portugal

Portugal has many strong points, but the beaches have to be the biggest draw. Not only because of the dizzying choice and variety along the long coastline, but also because of their exceptional quality and cleanliness. Is it any wonder that the majority of Portuguese spend every minute of their free time on the beachhappy to lunch on the warm bola de Berlim donuts that boys bring, in boxes, as they weave nimbly through the crowd.

If you’d rather head to the beach than stay all day, here’s a selection of the best beach hotels in Portugal so you can dip and dive in the sand as well as the sea. And although these are located in the Algarve, so blessed by its golden beaches, those who want to combine coast and culture should choose somewhere near Silves, the Moorish capital of what was then Al-Gharb (the West) from the 8th to the 13th century. .

How we assess

Each hotel on this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, usually hosted free of charge. They stay at least one night, test at least one meal and try other experiences the hotel may have to offer.

Vila Joya is set among flowery gardens on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the kind of place people don’t want to leave once they’ve checked in. Ranked among the best luxury beach hotels in Portugal, this hotel has the feel of a private villa, with each of the suites individually decorated, and at the heart of the property a sitting room and dining room opening onto terraces. The gardens, complete with heated swimming pool, lead down to the beach and the facilities here are excellent. Listen to the sounds of the ocean at the hotel spa and choose between dining at chef Dieter Koschina’s two-Michelin star restaurant or the casual beach hut.

A turn-of-the-century villa provides the setting for this stylish boutique hotel, which is located right on Portimao’s main beach, Praia de Rocha. The hotel dates back to 1934 and many of the original decorative features have been retained to this day. These ornate interiors, with historic design details such as the bar’s painted ceiling and the original staircase surrounded by blue and white wall tiles, have been updated in recent years to provide nautical inspiration and references to the sea. Highlights of this characterful seaside hotel include a L’Occitane spa, outdoor pool and Vista Restaurant that focuses on the flavors of the sea.

Vila Vita Parc is a resort that has something for everyone with abundant lifestyle facilities in gastronomy, wellness and a range of sports. There are no fewer than twelve restaurants and seven bars spread across the resort, with culinary options ranging from local dishes with seasonal ingredients to modern Japanese cuisine. A state-of-the-art Sisley Spa, tennis courts, golf courses and a variety of water sports are among the on-site activities. To top it all off, there are six swimming pools and the resort offers direct access to Tremocos Beach, with many more golden stretches of cliff coastline in the area.

Set in a pine forest, Epic Sana offers direct access to the golden sandy beach of Falésia, which is dramatically framed by red cliffs. Despite being located in this quiet area, the area is quite built up, so the retreat is also suitable for those who want to experience the local nightlife. The hotel itself is a modern low-rise building set in gardens with five outdoor swimming pools. Two more pools can be found inside, along with a spa and fitness center for everything from yoga to boot camp. The hotel has six restaurants and bars, including the adults-only Al Quimia restaurant for tasting menus and Open Deck for Portuguese cuisine.

The chic Tivoli Marina has become a benchmark of excellence in this popular part of the Algarve with its location between Vilamouri Marina and the golden beach, and with plentiful amenities. Inside its bright, modern interiors, enhanced by Portuguese art, rooms offer expansive views over the marina and ocean. The extensive leisure facilities here include both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Tivoli Spa and the first Purobeach club to open in Portugal. Follow breakfast at the Voyage restaurant with lunch at the beach club or Parisian-style café and an evening meal at Pepper’s Steakhouse or the casual osteria Oregano.

Set in extensive private grounds on the edge of a lake, Domes Lake Algarve offers a beachside retreat between the vibrant marina of Vilamoura and the golden sands of Falésia Beach. From here there is also a regular shuttle service to one of the nearby golf courses. In addition to the 192 rooms in this lavishly designed hotel, there are extensive facilities including food and beverage options, a spa, multiple swimming pools and everything you need for a range of sports including kayaking and tennis. Highlights of the restaurant offering include the Nikkei-and-wine-focused Blend restaurant on the lake, and Topos for neo-Greek seafood dishes.

This boutique hotel, accommodating guests in just two pool villas and nine suites, is attractively situated on a traditional 50-hectare estate, close to the picturesque town of Tavira and many of the Algarve’s best-loved beaches. This property takes over a collection of restored farm cottages, the interiors of which exude a vintage atmosphere. Time at the hotel can be spent lounging by the outdoor pool, horse riding across the land or along the beach, and heading out to explore the trails by bike, with boat trips among other experiences on offer. Farm-to-table breakfasts and other light meals highlight the estate’s own produce, and there is an honesty bar open 24 hours a day.

One of the best seaside resorts in Portugal, this scenic retreat is perched on the cliff above the golden sands, amid the landscape of the Costa Vicentina Nature Reserve. Known for being family-friendly, the resort offers activities for all ages, from surfing, cycling and yoga to dolphin watching, tennis and horse riding, among many other options. Within this coastal enclave, five swimming pools and the Finisterra Spa are combined with a range of sports facilities including mini golf and a cycle station with riding school, and there are three restaurants and two bars offering a variety of dining options. You’ll want to spend much of your time on the golden sandy beach that this resort overlooks.

The family-friendly Suites Alba Resort & Spa is located on the clifftop overlooking the hidden bay of Albandeira, offering some of the best views in the region. Cobblestone paths lead from the resort’s terracotta-covered main buildings to each of the villas with balconies and flower-filled private gardens. The main Morgadhino restaurant serves Portuguese cuisine with ocean views and there is a wine cathedral for private dining and wine tastings. The resort has not one but three outdoor pools, an indoor heated pool, a Turkish bath and a sauna, with restorative treatments on offer at Spa Alba.

Grand House sees the revival of a 1926 built grand dame on the main street overlooking the Guadiana River, which divides Portugal and Spain. The town’s main square is just behind the hotel and the beach club sits above the sandy banks at the point where this river meets the sea. The characterful, Belle Époque-style hotel is designed to feel like a luxury residence with lavish decorative details throughout its 26 rooms and suites and communal areas, including a library, the Grand Café, found in the historic customs house, and the Grand Salon restaurant with a culinary journey through Portuguese culture.

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