Pine Cliffs Resort Review

Honeymoon or Destination Wedding in Albufeira

Pine Cliffs Resort sits on a stretch of coastline that has become synonymous with Europe’s best beach locations. The Algarve in the south of Portugal sees sun worshippers from around the world flock to this area, and it is easy to see why:

  • Stunning clifftop views over the Atlantic Ocean
  • Long stretches of sandy beaches
  • Mouth watering gastronomy
  • Affordable and delicious Portuguese wines
  • Warm hospitality from locals and businesses alike

Whether you are coming here for a vacation retreat, honeymoon, or destination wedding, what more could you ask for?

Editor’s Note

Full disclosure: we were provided two nights accommodation and breakfast at Pine Cliffs in exchange for this sponsored stay review.

That being said, prior to our two night stay, we stayed as paying guests in the Pine Cliffs Villas for 4 nights with other members of our family. By doing so, we were able to anonymously obtain an independent feeling of the resort complex in addition to our time spent as (sponsored) guests.

The opinions expressed as part of this review are solely our own, taken from the total time spent at Pine Cliffs Resort.

Getting Acquainted With Pine Cliffs Resort

After landing at Faro airport and driving the short 30 minutes to the resort property, we were warmly waved through the entrance security gates and greeted by a beautiful tiled fountain.

Don’t be alarmed if the entrance gate seems a little relaxed. We were originally a little concerned that a security gueard did not check who we were upon entering (because we were in an upgraded Mercedes rental car?). We were later informed that the hotel is open to the general public, and the security guards are mainly taking note of work vans entering the property.  Fair enough.

With 72 hectares of beautifully manicured resort, it can be easy to get lost without a map. As it happened, we had detailed instructs from a family member on how to find the villa we would call home for the next 4 days. Don’t worry, traditional blue Portuguese tiled direction signs will guide you to wherever you need to go around the resort.

The clifftop resort overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by aromatic pine woods and endless gardens.

This review is not specifically about the villa properties. However, we spent four nights in the 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath, self catered villa and want to menton a few of the amenities should you decide to choose the villa option for your destination wedding accommodation purposes. The Villas are privately owned, but are managed by Pine Cliffs Resort. They come complete with:

  • Private outdoor pool and hot tub
  • Billiards table off the main foyer entrance,
  • Outdoor BBQ pit area
  • Daily cleaning service just like a regular hotel room
  • Access to all the facilities the resort has to offer

Needless to say we had an amazing time with our family during this short stay!

Once our four days had come to an end, we said goodbye to our family and departed the villa. In between our next check-in time, we explored the nearby seaside towns of Portimao, Ferragudo, Carvoeiro, as well as the castle town of Silves.

We made our way back to Pine Cliffs for our 2pm hotel check-in. The check-in process was smooth, and within 10 minutes we were off to find our room.

Meandering through the hallways of the sprawling resort, there seems to be a perpetual view of either the ocean or a beautiful courtyard filled with perfectly timed hedges, running water features, fountains, and tropical flowers.

Having already spend 4 days at the villa, we were acquainted with the property amenities such as the pool areas, restaurants, and access to the beach front. One thing that struck us as we walked to our room were the beautiful murals and exquisite hand painted Portuguese tiles adorning the walls, complemented by traditional style architecture. 

The Verdict

We visited the property during Britain’s Spring break and did notice a lot of kids around the property. However, because the property is vast there are plenty of areas for children to play away from adults. We never felt overcrowded or inundated by young kids. As a honeymooner or destination wedding couple, you may want to plan accordingly.

With 12 different restaurants you likely won’t need to step off the property.  If you are able to host BBQ nights (at your villa) like we did, there are a few grocery options. A small supermarket outside of the entrance gate is stocked with the basics. Otherwise, larger grocery stores are only a short drive away towards Albufeira town.

A beautiful setting, family friendly with the biggest kids club in the region and in-house babysitting (members of staff), this resort makes for a fantastic location for a destination wedding. The self catered villas can offer friends and family the ability to stay together on-site while still enjoying the amenities of the resort.

The spa complex is simply heaven. Although we didn’t get to experience the spa ourselves, we did take a quick tour through and can see why it was awarded Portugal’s Best Spa 2018.

Overall verdict: we would definitely stay again at Pine Cliff. We appreciate why it was rated Europe’s best luxury ocean view resort in 2018!

About Pine Cliffs Resort

The iconic Pine Cliffs Resort is located at the top of the dramatic Algarvian red cliffs. Stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean lead down to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Praia da Falésia.

Moorish influenced architecture and decor means the hotel has an ornate feel, with indigenous tiles details that distinguish it from any other hotel in the region.

The hotel features:

  • 217 rooms and suites
  • 9-hole golf course
  • Tennis and padel courts
  • Award winning spa
  • Porto Pirata Kids’ Club
  • 8 swimming pools
  • A wide variety of dining options

Pine Cliffs Cat Village

Pine Cliffs cat villageCat lovers will be pleasantly surprised to discover that Pine Cliffs operates a cat village on-site.

Some hotels in the Algarve area might find stray cats a nuisance and inhumanely solve their “problem”. We love that Pine Cliffs embraces the cats and works in partnership with the Association of Defence of the Animals, Nature of Albufeira, and the City Hall of Albufeira. Each cat is sterilized, receives prophylactic and medical treatmen, and can access food at designated feeding stations around the property.

As a cat lover, I absolutely love this program.

Instead of seeing the cats as a nuisance, Pine Cliffs have accepted these feline friends as part of the uniqueness of the resort. If you aren’t into cats, that’s okay too. The cats lead a very independent life and tend to stick to certain rugged areas around the resort.

The Rooms at Pine Cliffs

The property’s 217 rooms and suites were last renovated in 2016.  Each room combines Portuguese tiles and Moorish heritage with a modern and fresh feel.  Every room either looks over a beautiful garden, pool area, or the Atlantic ocean.

The hotel offers several connecting rooms, ideal for families.

Note for honeymooners: be sure to request a non adjoining room.

All the hotel rooms have access to 24-hour room service and nightly turndown service.  A good chocolate on the pillow is rare to find nowadays!

Our Pine Cliffs Room Review

Our deluxe room included a queen bed, bathroom, and a large sliding glass door that lead to a private balcony overlooking the manicured resort ground.  

The room was tastefully decorated in warm cream colors and touches of blue accents. The room felt clean and inviting with Portuguese terracotta floor, refined wood furnishings, and a crisp white bed that I couldn’t wait to dive into.

Room amenities included:

  • A writing desk
  • High speed internet access
  • Telephone with voicemail
  • 40-inch LCD television
  • Kettle with coffee and tea
  • An empty fridge perfect for bottles of Portuguese beer and white wine
  • Individual air-conditioning controls for those hot nights
  • Private safe
  • Nightly turndown service

The pièce de résistance was the hand-painted blue Portuguese tiled headboard called “azulejos”.  It was quite unique and stunning in all its glory over the bed.

The bathroom features a separate walk-in rainforest shower, bathtub, magnifying mirror, blow dryer, robes, slippers, and my favorite — luxury bath amenities by the brand Breydo.  You will smell good for days!

Breakfast at Pine Cliffs

A morning buffet breakfast is held daily from 7 – 10:30am in Jardim Colonial. Located on the first floor of the hotel’s main building, Jardim Colonial provides both indoor and outdoor seating in the courtyard garden, which is enclosed by a rock wall. 

We ventured down for breakfast around 9:15am and it was a full house at that time of the morning. However, speedy service from the staff meant we got a table right away.  

Breakfast items included an assortment of cold cuts, yogurt and cereals, pastries, an omelet station as well as hot items such as sausages, bacon, and scrambled eggs to name a few. Servers offered freshly squeezed orange juice along with tea or coffee. 

I will admit, the breakfast was not as elaborate or memorable as other resorts we’ve stayed at in Portugal. Nonetheless, the food was tasty and gave us the morning energy needed to sit at the beach all day. 😉

Restaurants at Pine Cliffs Hotel

Pine Cliff offers 9 dining options and 2 bars including:

  • O Pescador: A seafood restaurant acclaimed as Algarve’s finest
  • Portulano: A cosy lobby lounge offering cocktails and live singer on certain nights
  • Maré at Pine Cliffs: (under renovation) Once completed, it will be a fantastic spot to grab a bite to eat or an ice cream on a hot afternoon
  • Corda Café: Enjoy drinks or a light meal while soaking up views of the pool, gardens, and golf course
  • Pine Cliffs Clubhouse: The place for golfers, the Clubhouse serves light meals and drinks
  • O Grill: Mediterranean food experience
  • Jardim Colonial: Buffet dining in a relaxed, family-friendly setting
  • Zest: A healthy option for smoothies, snacks, and meals
  • Yakuza Algarve by Olivier: Japanese restaurant

Mirador Champagne Bar

You can’t get any more romantic than this champagne bar. Stunning cliff top location offering views of the Atlantic coast and front row seats to an evening sunset.

We didn’t have a chance to stay for an evening at the champagne bar, but did view it in person and can say that the locale is unbeatable.

Destination Weddings at Pine Cliff Hotel

We met with the Pine Cliffs wedding coordinator, Patricia, who graciously took us around the entire property to showcase potential locations a bride and groom could hold a ceremony and reception.

A prime choice for any ceremony is near one of the cliff top location overlooking the ocean. Unless, on the rare occassion that it is raining in the Algarve, in which case there are indoor options.

After the ceremony, keep the party going outside under the pine tree forest until 10pm.  As Patricia told us, there are ample ways to customise your destination wedding on this property.

A dream wedding itinerary at Pine Cliffs

Hold your ceremony on Sunset Deck at the edge of the cliff top. These are some of the best views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The whole wedding party can walk from the hotel, meander through the pine tree forest path to the Sunset Deck. Don’t mind the sun bathers gawking as they take a peak at a beautiful bride and groom.

If more privacy is what you are after, another option is the Pine Tree Garden. Secluded behind a row of trees, this area still has fabulous cliff top views over the ocean and surrounding landscape.

Once the ceremony is complete, guests make their way over to Mirador Champagne Bar. Continue to take in the view for a drink reception, as the bride and groom take photos around the property.

Finally, take the elevator down and make your way along the boardwalk to the magnificent beach shores. The newly constructed Beach Club is the perfect spot to hold an evening reception.

The Beach Club was under construction at the time of our review and looks like it will be quite the stunning seaside building. It will be operational by Summer 2019.  A second floor is being added, along with a glass railing so as not to block the coastline view.

Finish the night off with a firework performance and you will have yourself quite a romantic Algarve wedding day to remember.

Amenities at Pine Cliffs Hotel

As one of Europe’s leading fully integrated lifestyle destinations, Pine Cliffs Resort boasts a wealth of exceptional leisure and sports facilities including:

  • Golf and tennis academies;
  • A world-class kids club; and
  • A comprehensive wellness experience at the Serenity, The Art of Well Being Spa

Pine Cliffs Location

Located in Southern Portugal, within a 2 to 3 hour flight from major European cities, the Pine Cliffs Hotel rests on an exclusive resort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Distances

  • Faro Airport – 35.4 km
  • Albufeira – 8 km
  • Portimao – 39 km
  • Silves – 34.5 km
  • Lisbon – 263 km

Best Time of Year to Visit

Patricia (Pine Cliffs wedding coordinator) says that the best time of year to visit is September. The weather is still warm, and most of the high season crowds have departed.

A honeymoon or destination wedding in September sounds like a dream!

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