Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Portugal.
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here. This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.
Today’s hotel is the Conrad Algarve. As part of Hilton Honors, this is a hotel you can book with points. It is reader Matthew’s favourite hotel and here is his review:
Conrad Algarve is a modern 5* hotel and one of the most luxurious hotels in the region. It has won countless awards, including most recently ‘Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Resort’ for 2019 at the World Travel Awards.
Conrad Algarve is located on the edge of Quinta do Lago, a beautiful private resort which plays home to a number of world-class golf courses and has access to stunning sandy beaches.
One of the key selling points for me is that the hotel is only a short 20 minute drive from Faro Airport, which means you can be off the plane and on a sun lounger in no time at all!
Reception / Arrival
As soon as you pull in the driveway, you will be wowed by this hotel. Valet parking is all part of the service and you are escorted through to reception for check in. You are offered a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, which is very welcome after a tiring journey.
Staff escort you to your room and give you the full tour to ensure everything is to your satisfaction. As usual, Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members are entitled to a series of benefits at the Conrad, including complimentary breakfast and room upgrades.
Before I go on to talk about what this superb hotel offers, for me it is the staff that make this place as good as it is. They are so well trained and every single one of them from the receptionists to the cleaners goes out of their way to provide such an amazing customer experience.
Just a handful of examples include rolling out your towel and bringing you ice-cold water when you arrive at the pool and leaving little gifts in the room throughout your stay. One year I had broken my sunglasses and, without me noticing, housekeeping had taken them to a local opticians to have them fixed and placed them back in the room.
Rooms at Conrad Algarve
The hotel has 154 contemporary styled rooms and suites and they exude luxury. Each room features a huge bath complete with a TV for kicking back for a long soak, a separate rain shower, A Nespresso machine, minibar and a balcony. Amenities are from Shanghai Tang.
The rooms are all light, bright and airy and even the entry level rooms are a spacious 38m².
Conrad Algarve has an extensive list of facilities including two stunning outdoor swimming pools, an indoor pool, a luxurious spa, a fully equipped gym, daily exercise classes, a tennis court, sports lounge, golf concierge and much more.
The hotel also offers a minibus shuttle down to the nearby beach. At the beach the hotel has an agreement with a local restaurant to provide a private section of the beach with sun loungers, towels and bottled water.
Next to the hotel is a shopping complex with a supermarket, bars and retail outlets.
Food and drink
Conrad Algarve has a wide selection of excellent dining options. The stand out option is Gusto which serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine under the aegis of three-star Michelin chef Heinz Beck. I highly recommend splashing out on the tasting menu, which is a real experience.
Louro Restaurant offers all-day dining and hosts the hotel’s most incredible breakfast, which can be taken inside or out by the pool. When getting to your table, two traditional Portuguese pastries are already waiting for you and the buffet contains everything you could ever want.
Other drinking and dining options include the Lago Lounge, Dado and Sereno pool bars. The hotel also offers an extensive room service menu.
I was staying at this hotel long before I had children, but as the hotel caters so well for families it means that it has adapted with us.
There is a kids club on site, playground, children’s pool, babysitting service, and in room baby facilities including cots, bottle warmers, monitors and toiletries.
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday in luxurious surrounds where your every whim will be looked after, then you should certainly consider Conrad Algarve. Prices are not cheap during the summer months, but if you go in the shoulder months of April/May or September/October you will be paying around £250 per night for an entry level room.
As a points redemption, it seems to cap at 89,000 Hilton Honors points per night. With cash prices this Summer reaching €480 per night, this is an outsized return of 0.45p per point.
The hotel’s website is here, if you want to find out more.
If you are booking Conrad Algarve for cash and not with points, you can access a special deal via Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant, the Head for Points luxury hotel booking partner.
Emyr can access Hilton’s Impressario scheme, which covers bookings at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and LXR hotels. At present, there is a 5th night free offer at Conrad Algarve which is only available via Impressario.
You also receive the standard Impressario benefits:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
- $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit
- Double Hilton Honors points
- Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
You will pay the same price as the standard ‘Best Flexible Rate’ room only rate showing on the Hilton website, and you pay on departure from the hotel.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)