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When the Moors came to Portugal, they headed to “the west” — which translates to “al gharb” in Arabic. Nowadays, sunseekers make a beeline for Portugal’s southwest coast, these days known as “the Algarve.” While the region has an inland section, travelers tend to head to beachfront hotels from May to late October when sunny skies and hot temperatures complement the coast’s cliff-lined beaches.
During a recent visit, I skipped the busier coastal towns and stayed at the newly renovated Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort in Carvoeiro.
Those in charge of the redesign of Tivoli Carvoeiro, following the 2016 acquisition of Tivoli Hotels & Resorts by Minor Hotel Group, clearly understood its best assets. In addition to decreasing room count, designers gave the 248-room property an oceanfront terrace visible from the entrance — and that’s just the start.
Another very exciting development is Sky Bar, a rooftop hangout on the sixth floor. Here, jazz music plays as overnight guests and local Portuguese — who come from as far away as Lisbon — watch the sun set over the two limestone cliffs t located directly in front of the property.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tivoli Carvoeiro (@tivolicarvoeiro) on Apr 15, 2019 at 10:52am PDT
A post shared by Tivoli Carvoeiro (@tivolicarvoeiro) on Apr 15, 2019 at 10:52am PDT
The charm of Tivoli Carvoeiro comes from the feeling of being enveloped by the golden cliffs and the deep-blue Atlantic Ocean, and perhaps nowhere is this clearer than when sipping a port tonic at the rooftop bar. (The mini beach in between the cliffs, accessible from the property, is a close second.)
Though a few touches from the property’s former, more Moorish look remain, Tivoli Carvoeiro has embraced a clean and white design palette. Neutral nautical flourishes help place the spotlight on the setting.
Another great place to enjoy the view is the clifftop greenbelt that juts over the bay, directly across from the hotel’s second cliff. Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular destination for weddings.
Fortunately, I could enjoy the same vista from my balcony, my favorite part of my airy guestroom. But I could also see the ocean when brushing my teeth — so long as the restroom’s smart privacy drape was not down.
Only the promise of Algarvian wine could yank me from my balcony during sunset, and the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, One Wine Boutique, offers one of the area’s biggest selection of local wines, along with refined seafood dishes.
The wine scene in the Algarve might not be as well-known or developed as, say, the wine in the Douro Valley, but the hotel is determined to change that. Among the activities it offers guests is a visit to nearby Cabrita Wines for a tour and tasting, complete with meat and cheese.
My favorite excursion, though, was trekking along the hotel’s cliffs, which are part of a rocky mass that slices the Atlantic for miles. From up there, it’s easy to see how “the west” became a rallying cry.
The DetailsTivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resortwww.tivolihotels.com