Penha Longa Golf Resort

Review of Penha Longa Golf Resort review by Varun Sharma

Follow in the footsteps of the Portuguese aristocracy who used to flee the Lisbon city heat for the cool peace and serenity of Sintra and stay at the magnificent historic estate of Penha Longa Resort. Located in a stunning 220 hectare protected National Park, the property comprises of a contemporary luxury hotel of 196 beautifully appointed rooms and suites; nine innovative restaurants and fine dining experiences including three Michelin starred restaurants, LAB by Sergi Arola, Midori, the only Asian restaurant in Portugal to be awarded a Michelin star and Eneko Lisboa; a serene 1,500 square metre Thai inspired spa with treatments and therapies by the renowned spa brand Natura Bissé and a Wellness Club overlooking the pool deck and the Sintra Mountains. The Club features an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, nutrition consultations and a personal trainer service. In total, there are four indoor and outdoor swimming pools at the resort plus a Kid’s Club with an extensive programme of activities for family stays. 

Within the grounds, there are also two Robert Trent Jones, Jr designed championship golf courses, a Country Club with outdoor tennis, padel and squash courts, a 14th century monastery national monument with private chapel (mainly used for meetings and events) and a historical jogging circuit around the estate. In May 2021, the property launched The Interpretative Centre on its grounds based within the former Pombal building, a venue dedicated to disseminating natural heritage and promoting the biophysical and landscape variety of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. 

With the coastline and historic Sintra just a short drive away and Lisbon also within easy reach, Penha Longa makes for the perfect short break destination.

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Close to the Portuguese Riviera with the beaches of Estoril, famous for its casino (and as the birthplace of Ian Fleming’s spy James Bond), Penha Longa is also a short drive from the buzzing, fishing village of Cascais and the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pretty town of Sintra. The resort is also relatively close to Lisbon City Centre (around 16 miles and a 45 minutes’ drive away) and Lisbon International Airport, about a 30-minute drive away. 

Nearby attractions include the flamboyant Pena Palace at the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains; the most westerly point of mainland Europe - the windswept cliffs of Cabo da Roca; Estoril’s Casino, one of the largest in Europe and Guincho Beach, a ten-minute drive away for one of the best places to surf, windsurf and kitesurf.



Penha Longa offers 196 beautifully appointed guest rooms including 46 suites, all enjoying private balconies overlooking the landscaped grounds, forests and southern Sintra mountains beyond. There are two categories of guest room – the Deluxe and the Deluxe Natural Park View – the latter also offering a complimentary tour of the 14th century monastery. 

All guest rooms are decorated in soothing neutral earth tones and offer 50 square metres of space with King or Twin beds and spacious marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, signature Asprey toiletries, twin vanities, hair dryers and plush terry robes with slippers. Each offers The RC Sleeping Experience with feather bed, duvets and Egyptian linen bedding, individual air conditioning and heating controls, in-room safes for valuables, Nespresso machines, bottled water, flat screen TVs and Bose iPod docking stations. 

There are seven types of suites available ranging from the Junior suite at 60 square metres of space right up to the Imperial offering an enormous 415 square metres with panoramic views over the resort and butler service. 

The Sintra and Cascais Suites look out over the Sintra Natural Park and Mountains with large living spaces and balconies whilst the Executive Suite has a favoured corner location with 180-degree views and a 67-metre terrace with a spacious lounge area ideal for entertaining, complete with guest powder room for convenience. For families, the corner Family Suite is the obvious choice and can accommodate up to seven adults comfortably at 162 square metres of living space offering a large floor plan to relax, work and entertain.

The Premier Suites are the Presidential and the Imperial Suites. The Presidential Suite features two balconies overlooking the golf course and Natural Park and offers a spacious open plan living area with an additional dining space seating up to six guests. 

The Imperial Suite at 415 square metres of living space offers balconies overlooking the resort or golf course and floor to ceiling windows flooding the space with natural light. With space for four adults, there is an office, living and dining spaces seating up to eight guests and a kitchenette.

Service & Facilities


There are two beautifully landscaped golf courses at Penha Longa designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The 18-hole Atlantic Course opened in 1992 and within two years, staged the Portuguese Open Championships. This undulating course features sweeping views away to Cascais, Estorial and the Atlantic Ocean. The nine-hole Monastery Course which opened three years later, complements its sister course, perfect for golfers of all levels. The Golf Academy has facilities for experienced players and beginners including a driving range, chip and putting greens and golf professionals on hand as required. Penha Longa’s Junior School is available for children aged from five to seventeen years of age. 

For serious golfers, a golf passport scheme includes other courses nearby including Quinta da Marinha, Belas Clube de Campo, Golf do Estoril, Lisbon Sports Club and Quinta da Beloura. 

The 1,500 square metre Asian-inspired Penha Longa Spa is housed in its own separate building a short walk from the main hotel, offering personalised signature treatments and experiences aimed at relaxation and wellbeing with products by renowned spa brand Natura Bissé. There are two relaxation areas, nine treatment rooms and a suite reserved for those wishing total privacy. Set with the gardens, there are soaking tubs, a contrast pool and a three-metre waterfall. 

The Wellness Centre is located in the main hotel building and features a well-equipped 24/7 fitness centre with cardiovascular and strength training equipment and a free weights area. Other facilities include an indoor and outdoor family swimming pool, a striking infinity pool, an indoor soaking tub and showers, steam rooms and saunas. Other activities include swimming lessons, yoga, the Historical Circuit hike, fitness classes, Pilates and stretching. Penha Longa also has a number of trails for hiking or biking through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – six available varying from two to eight kilometres in length, full of information about the flora, fauna and animals you might see. There is also a Country Club onsite with outdoor tennis, padel and squash courts available.

There are a wide range of outdoor pursuits available from hiking to kart cross, jeep tours, surfing and other activities available within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and the mountain and surrounding coastline. Marriott Bonvoy experiences include Forest Hikes with picnics, dolphin watching tours by catamaran, private sunset cruises, Sintra Palace Hikes, Electric Bike Tours, Surf Lessons and tours of Cascais.

With such a focus on gastronomy at the resort, it is to be expected that culinary experiences are also available for guests to enjoy including Wine & Gin tastings, Cataplana Workshops, Market visits with chef, Cocktail, Mocktail, Sushi, Cookies and Chocolate workshops. 

For kids, the Penha Longa Kid’s Club offers toys and games and a wide range of age-appropriate experiences including use of the Club Room, Games Room, activities on the Estate and playgrounds within the gardens. Kid’s menus are available in all the restaurants, there are children’s bathrobes and slippers, children’s TV and even a Nanny Survival Kit!



Penha Longa is a hidden gem of a resort enjoying a relatively low profile but those in the know hasten to its doors. Just a short car ride from Lisbon and its attractions, Penha Longa offers access to some of Portugal’s most interesting history and heritage dating back to the 14th century, located within a stunningly beautiful landscape. 

With a comfortable contemporary luxury hotel offering a superb and diverse gastronomic offering as well as every kind of activity and pampering you can think of in the midst of one of Europe’s most beautiful estates, why stay anywhere else? It is operated by Ritz-Carlton, one of Marriott’s luxury brands, so courteous service with style is guaranteed. 

The coastline with its many attractions is close to hand as is the heritage and UNESCO world heritage site of Sintra where Lord Byron, Ian Fleming and Richard Strauss once roamed. Even such diverse personalities as Madonna, Scarlett Johanssen and John Malkovich purportedly have properties in the Lisbon/Sintra area. Where they lead, no doubt others will follow because this area is as intriguing and vibrant now as it was in the past. 

Well worth putting on your bucket list.

Restaurants & Bars


Penha Longa offers a world of dining choices with nine restaurants currently in operation both at the resort and in Alcantara.   

The elegantly contemporary Michelin starred LAB by Catalan chef Sergi Arola is a celebration of creative and gastronomy and features the skills of Vladimir Veiga as resident chef. Seating just 22 diners, the kitchen is on open view with magnificent mountain nature reserve views and a glass block 550 bottle wine cellar with vintages from around the world, exclusive cognac and Armagnac selections and a tea menu with 40 different varieties. There are three different tasting menus as well as à la carte options. 

Arola, the second of Sergi’s restaurants at Penha Longa, offers a contemporary twist on traditional Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine, offering unexpected contrasts of flavour and texture within his menus. During the day, lighter dishes are available and at dinner, Mediterranean tapas takes central stage. For those who love to watch chefs at work, head to the Chef’s Table for a custom meal available for up to five people for dinner only. Arola also offers wine tastings undertaken by its sommelier for a maximum of ten people. During the summer months, a resident DJ spins each evening, the music spilling out onto the outdoor terrace. 

Midori is Portugal’s oldest Japanese restaurant and the first to be awarded a Michelin star. Overseen by Chef Pedro Almeida and featuring an open kitchen, this venue hosts just 18 people and serves exclusive tasting menus inspired by his love of Japanese cuisine married with traditional Portuguese cooking and fresh local produce. 

With Spices, one of the newest restaurants for Penha Longa, the menu is pan Asian and focusses on cultural diversity with beautifully presented delicacies from Thailand, Vietnam, China and Japan. The restaurant offers a Japanese buffet on Saturdays. 

Penha Longa Mercatto is a family-orientated restaurant, serving Italian food and wine from all across the country’s 22 different regions. The freshest of ingredients are used to bring new flavour to classic traditional dishes. Wine tastings for up to ten people are also available. 

Aqua is a seasonal restaurant located poolside and overlooking the golf course and mountains beyond. The menu is casual with snacks, salads and an open grill. There is also a Penha Longa Ice Cream trolley parked here with a menu of detox sorbets and gourmet ice creams. 

The B Lounge Bar is located near the lobby where Afternoon Tea is served alongside innovative cocktails with Cuban cigars on offer. There are gourmet hamburgers and lighter salads sitting alongside one of 100 gin selections. A corner is dedicated to The Chocolate by Penha Longa. 

Enoko Lisboa and Basque restaurants are both located in Alcantara, share the same space and are under the toque of the six Michelin starred chef Eneko Atxa, who interprets Basque cuisine in his inimitable and contemporary style. Enoko Lisboa is a one Michelin starred restaurant, remaining true to the philosophy of the three Michelin starred Azurmendi Restaurant and enriched with local ingredients. Basque recreates the style of a typical Basque tavern with sharing dishes, traditional bar dishes and local wines. 

Penha Longa has also developed its own brand of chocolate under the leadership of Executive Pastry Chef Francisco Siopa. The Chocolate by Penha Longa range has a limited-edition mantra and is focused on developing the original chocolates with innovative and surprising flavours.


Penha Longa is situated within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and is home to more than 200 species including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. 47% of Quinta da Penha Longa is occupied by forest and in 2020, a Forest Management Plan was put in place to ensure maintenance and long-term protection against invasive species, pests and fire. There is an Observation Tower located at the highest point of the forest for expansive views over the entire park. In addition, in May 2021, an Interpretative Centre was opened at Penha Longa to publicise the destination, its heritage and the landscape with guided tours under the name “Connected with Nature”. It hopes to communicate the history, environmental issues and heritage of this special place. 

As the property is operated by Ritz-Carlton, a Marriott luxury brand, all Marriott hotels, with the support of ANPIWWF, are pioneering responsible fish consumption to create a more sustainable and responsible charter for the oceans. The brand also aims to purchase 100% cage free eggs by 2025. Penha Longa has also developed a Chef’s Sustainable Garden with Chef Vladimir Veiga and cultivates kale, spinach, leek, melon and some spices/herbs such as mint basil, thyme, parsley and coriander. 

Marriott is also committed to Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction for their sustainability and social impact programme. This aims to support the communities where Marriott operates and to sustain responsible operations reducing environmental impacts, building and operating sustainable hotels and sourcing responsibly. It also aims to empower through opportunity and to welcome all and advance human rights. In essence, Marriott’s hotels aim to reduce water usage, carbon footprints, waste to landfill and to use renewable electricity. They are looking to ensure that 100% of their hotels are certified to a recognised sustainability standard.

What We Love

  • Golf: From the first tee to the last green, the Atlantic Course is an adventure and great fun to play – irrelevant of your handicap. Even for a complete amateur (me), the course is one of the most memorable I have ever played. Not too hard … but not at all easy. And the vistas are superb all the way. It’s the kind of course you want to wake up to play every day!
  • Dining: Three Michelin-starred restaurants make Penha Longa a wonderful culinary destination. LAB, Arola, and Midori offer superb cuisine in delightful surroundings. Chef Pedro Almeida is a superstar – using the finest, freshest ingredients to conjure up beautiful dishes in Portugal’s oldest Japanese restaurant.
  • Location: There are 196 rooms & suites, but you never feel crowded. Set in 220 hectares of National Park there is “space”. The resort is just a hop to the beaches of Cascais, the magnificence of “old” Sintra and just 30 minutes from Lisbon International Airport. The finest golf/spa/family resort in Europe? Possibly ….

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Resort: The Penha Longa Resort is a truly magnificent destination, with 27 holes of championship level golf.
  • Family-focused: With activities celebrating nature and tradition.
  • A culinary delight: Including nine varied dining experiences, three of which hold coveted Michelin stars.

    Our first-class family holiday venue is just a short flight away.

    Oliver Key
    General Manager
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