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STROKE OF GENIUS Monte Rei Golf and Country Club, Portugal


MONTE REI GOLF and Country Club might have won accolades as the number-one golf course in Portugal for its Jack Nicklaus signature course, but it offers far more than just a golfing experience. According to General Manager Salvador Lucena, some of its visitors, who include a mix of families, friends and small corporate groups, have no interest in the sport at all. “In the summer months,” says Salvador, “many people come for a family holiday, to enjoy the sun, the sea and the landscape, and very few of them play golf. However,” he adds knowingly, “occasionally a father and son will sneak out for a game.” Set in more than 1,000 acres of unspoiled


countryside, Monte Rei enjoys views that are unparalleled in the whole of the eastern Algarve. Situated between the towns of Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira, it is just a short drive away from the golden beaches of the Atlantic coast. To the north, it is dramatically framed by the Serra do Caldeirão mountains. For keen golfers, Monte Rei provides a top-


notch experience. The course, which was first opened in 2007, was personally designed and supervised by champion golfer Nicklaus to be in harmony with its environment; and to be used by both the seasoned and the amateur player. A par 72 Championship golf course, it features an enjoyable series of eight par-4s, five par-3s and five par-5s in a challenging and distinctive layout. With water


128 A LEGACY OF LUXURY


coming into play at the 11th and 18th, each hole blends effortlessly into the natural canvas of the course, which was named Portugal’s number-one golfing destination by Golf Digest magazine in 2016. “The course is the anchor of the resort,” says


Salvador. “We welcome golfers, valet park for them, unload their clubs from their car, have buggies prepared, offer water and towels, clean the clubs – we do everything a professional golfer would expect and offer the highest level of service, which includes a large clubhouse with two restaurants. “In fact, gastronomy is something we take very


seriously,” he adds. “The resort’s food and beverage operation is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Albano Lourenço, who is one of the most respected chefs on the Portuguese culinary scene. Vistas, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers a complete gourmet experience, providing the ultimate in gastronomic delights with a unique ambiance and uncompromising standard of service.” This fine-dining restaurant not only serves up impeccable cuisine, it also delivers stunning views out across the manicured fairways and lake to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The second of the clubhouse’s culinary offerings,


Monte Rei Grill, is a less formal affair. Serving a range of light dishes from breakfast through to the early evening, Chef Lourenço’s menu makes use of the best regional products to create a selection of enticing local and international delicacies.


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