Paul’s Review of Penha Longa Resort in Sintra, Portugal

My wellness break at Penha Longa; a secluded retreat in the countryside outside Lisbon made me feel like royalty. A sophisticated and large golf and spa resort with 194 rooms, set among the spectacular Sintra Mountains and in the beautiful grounds of a 14th-century monastery and, later a 19th century palace. Penha Longa resembles nature, history and luxury with world-class service, spreading over 220 hectares of pine forest in fairy-tale hills, just 15 minutes north of Cascais town and beach.

On arrival to Lisbon, I was greeted by my driver and taken to resort in a luxurious car. The reception was beautiful and all the staff friendly, I was lucky enough to be staying in the Imperial Suite; a large and comfortable room with beautiful views, which I felt so relaxed in. I chose the Penha Longa BodyBreak for my 3 night stay to recharge, so I could enjoy spa treatments, a yoga class, tennis lesson and personal training. For those staying longer and wanting a more tailor-made wellness holiday, try the Fusion Fitness programme.

Penha Longa view

View from Paul's room

I arrived in time for my Signature Six Senses Oriental massage, a de-stressing treatment combining a full body massage with acupressure and stretching techniques. As my therapist pulled and stretched me I felt my tension and knots disperse, the aromatherapy oils helped balance my mind and body to leave me glowing. My post-treatment pot of ginger tea was delicious and I reclined in the gardens observing the beautiful scenery around me before a healthy dinner.

After a perfect night’s sleep, I awoke for my morning yoga lesson with teacher Vania; a gentle Vinyasa flow session uniting san salutations, standing poses, arm balances and hip openers linking breath with movement. We ended the lesson with Pranayama (the yoga of breath) to calm our minds and refocus.

yoga at Penha Longa  yoga at Penha Longa

Paul having a yoga lesson with teacher Vania

Therapist Sandra (who’s excellent) then gave my entire body a refresh, with a sacred nature face and body ritual (an amazing therapy using product range Comfort Zone). This deeply nourishing and replenishing treatment uses organic ingredients offering anti-aging efficacy for both face and body, leaving me radiant and renewed. Try the Penha Longa Sense of Balance programme for various spa therapies along with yoga, guided walks and horseback riding, for those wanting a luxury spa break.

After lunch I went to Cascais Shopping Centre for a few hours (only 5 minutes from the hotel and open till 11pm). It was nice to come back and enjoy the Health Club which has a fully equipped and good size fitness centre, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. That evening I had a fantastic dinner at Arola restaurant (serving Portuguese and Spanish tapas) with excellent service and an intimate setting. Penha Longa has four other restaurants; IL Mercato for Italian, Midori for Japanese and sushi, B Lounge for light meals and Aqua by the pool for lunch.

The resort is also a golfer’s paradise with two stunning 18 hole courses within the 545 acre grounds, against dramatic and mountainous scenery, making it a good destination for a luxury golf break. The Atlantic Course is ranked in the top 30 courses in Continental Europe with breath-taking views.

Tennis at Penha Longa  Golf at Penha Longa

Tennis courts (left) and golf course at Penha Longa (right)

For tennis enthusiasts looking for a tennis break, the Val tennis country club at Penha Longa has six tennis courts, plus three squash and two padel courts, with options for private lessons and clinics, so you can perfect your technique on their tennis programme. My lesson with coach Stefano (who’s fantastic) made me realise I wasn’t as rusty with the racket as I thought, he concentrated the lesson on my backhand and serve whilst giving me great techniques to help improve my game.

After tennis, I headed to the spa for my final treatment; an Indian head massage which I’m told improves blood flow, nourishes the scalp and induces deep relaxation. It did all three and the therapists are massage experts so you’re in safe hands. I relaxed in the Spa gardens with my mint tea whilst listening to the soothing waterfall, there is also a platform over the pool for yoga, Qi-gong and two gazebos for meditation and treatments. For those who like to meditate try the beautiful meditation Labyrinth; a unique feature of the spa garden, where a specialist practitioner is available to explain how and what you can expect to get from following the meditative pathways.

Spa at Penha Longa

Six Senses Spa at Penha Longa

The resort grounds are great for hiking, heritage walks and running with the fresh air and sounds of nature, in lush gardens with exquisite woodland and countryside to explore. There is also a 16th Century beautiful chapel on resort where weddings are hosted. Penha Longa offers the perfect destination for spa and sport-goers to get in shape on a healthy break.

How to Book

To request a quote or for more information visit our Penha Longa page

Talk to one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your perfect wellness holiday.


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