Monte Rei Golf & Country club is as luxury as golf gets in Algarve. Located in the hinterland of Eastern Algarve, this secluded and private estate has one goal and that is to spoil their golfing guests. This starts from the very moment you drive up the lush green courtyard. All you have to do is hand in your car keys and the friendly staff takes it from there. While you check-in for Monte Rei North course in the well equipped pro shop, they unload your (golf) bags, set up your buggy and park the car.
The award-winning Jack Nicklaus signature course is spread over a vast natural landscape with great rural views. A true golf experience for those who love a testing game.
Also congratulations are in order, Monte Rei is once again considered the no. 1 overall golf club 2018 in Portugal by golf course review platform Leading Courses. Parabéns!
Stay at Monte Rei golf & country club
The usp of this classic style golf & country club is the stay experience package. As in play, stay, relax and eat, all within the well-kept premises. Sleep at Monte Rei means move into your temporary villa with five-star hotel service. We stayed in a large 3-bedroom-two-floor villa with parking garage. As in much bigger than home.
This one ticks all the turnkey boxes, from large fully equipped kitchen to a welcome fruit and wine box. Bathrobes, slippers and numerous Molton Brown amenities in each of the three bathrooms. Yes, mr. B. and I both claimed our own bathroom. I said chic, right.
A dedicated concierge is always on-hand to assist, just pick up the phone.
Spa, gym, tennis and pool at Veranda
In the heart of the Villa Village lies Veranda which houses gym and spa facilities, tennis courts (equipments available in case you forgot to bring your racket) and swimming pools. So, the perfect place to relax and socialize or grab a bite at the poolside restaurant.
Play at Monte Rei golf & country club
The only thing you have to do at Monte Rei’s North course is concentrate, avoid the water, and hit your next shot. Everything else is taken care of. From personal escort to the driving range, Titleist golf ball pyramids, pick-up when it’s time to go to the first tee. The towels at each hole are not only monogrammed with the Monte Rei logo but also includes the hole number. In case you’re lost.
Let’s talk about the impressive course. The holes are shaped by the environmental surroundings with native trees, natural wetland (saw turtles!) and hilly slopes in play. Signature Jack Nicklaus, like he did at The Kinloch Club in New Zealand.
“I let nature shape the holes, so they fit the terrain. Not forcing an idea on to a piece of land. Monte Rei is no exception. It is always our goal to design the best golf course possible, and if by doing so we create the best course in Portugal, everyone is pleased.”
If you are afraid of water, this isn’t your course. Water is in play on at least 11 of the 18 holes. Yes, challenging is the word. The greens were fast and ask for accurate putting once you’ve avoided the many bunkers. My favourite is hole 13. This par 4 descends and narrows down to the green bordered by one of the natural lakes. The second course, Monte Rei South, will open in 2020. Another great reason to stay and play.
18 holes – inland course – par 72 – green fees from 145 € in August for golf & lunch. Check pro shop
Let’s dine at Vistas restaurant
Culinary wise there’s a lot to look forward to while golfing from hole to hole. The Grill is the spot for breakfast and lunch, great food but in my humble opinion the decor is in need of some restyling.
For gastronomic delights Vistas restaurant in the main building is the place for a wonderful dinner. Classic old world charms decor as backdrop for culinary discoveries created by Rui Silvestre. A feast for the taste buds. Silvestre is the new executive – Portuguese – Chef and aims, after his international Michelin star career in France and Switzerland, for Vistas’ first Michelin star with his new exciting and ingenious menu.
That should not be aiming too high, loved every course and amuse that came along with the Tuna Tataki with fennel, pineapple, wasabi ice cream and pineapple vinaigrette as favorite dish. Or was it the Chocolate and Lime Symphony?
We enjoyed our dinner outside on the terrace, overlooking the course, lake and Atlantic Ocean while the sun set. What more can I say.
Only 30 minutes from Faro airport lies this secluded golf world, driven by invisible service, where the first thought after a great night sleep might be how to improve yesterdays score?
My stay and play at Monte Rei was by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty. We only accept invites that answer positive to the question: “does it match our lifestyle?”. I will not promote or review anything that I would not wear, eat, sleep or see myself. Authenticity is very important to me. Words, photos and opinions are my own.