Anantara is one of the hotel chains that we are a huge fan of. The chain is mainly active in the Asian market and when we found out that they would also come to Europe, we were very pleasantly surprised. In 2019 we made our first visit to Anantara Vilamoura. We had high hopes for our visit as our stays in an Anantara resort are always perfect. See for example the review of Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman.
The hotel has a membership with Global Hotel Alliance. We are Black Members of GHA and are therefore entitled to a double upgrade on arrival, an early check-in and a late check-out (if available). In addition, we can redeem awards.
The Anantara hotel is located in a former Tivoli hotel. The hotel is located in the suburbs of Vilamoura about 10 minutes away from the beach and the harbor.
How to get there?
Vilamoura is located in the Algarve and the hotel is located a short distance from Faro Airport (approx. 30 minutes by car). Lisbon airport is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes away. The drive from Lisbon to Algarve is a ride on the toll roads. Since the hotel is located in a suburb, it is wise to go here by car or take the hotel car from the airport. Public transport to the hotel is difficult, but since this is a 5-star deluxe hotel, not many guests will come by public transport, I expect.
There is a shuttle bus to go to the harbor, the beach or the town of Vilamoura. There are no fixed times when the shuttle bus leaves. This leaves on request. At the reception you indicate that you want to go to the city and usually a van drives up within a few minutes. It sometimes took 2 minutes for us to drive the van and it took 15 minutes once. The van drives to the Tivoli hotel in Vilamoura, if you want to go back, you can arrange the return journey via the Tivoli reception in the same way.
It is very nice to visit the port of Vilamoura.
When we entered the hotel, we immediately saw that this hotel was not built as an Anantara hotel, but as a Tivoli hotel. The whole atmosphere still exhaled Tivoli, despite the management changing the style and making enough adjustments. The hall is large, therefore somewhat impersonal. In the other Anantara resorts where we stayed, there were more seats and a more intimate atmosphere. Although we arrived around 3 pm, our room was not ready yet while the hotel was not fully booked. This was unfortunate, but it can happen. The wait for the room took too long and unfortunately we were not offered anything to drink, so we set out to explore the hotel grounds.
The hotel has 280 rooms. There are 4 types of Deluxe rooms. The difference is the view. In terms of size and layout, the rooms are the same, but the view determines the type of room. The rooms are 40 m². You can choose, among other things, a view of the garden, swimming pool or golf course. We had a room with a view of the golf course. There are also suites.
The rooms are reasonably modern decorated. The king size bed is large and comfortable. All rooms have a Nespresso machine, a large bathroom, a table with chairs and a balcony with a daybed.
The view from our room was very beautiful. We overlooked the golf course built by Arnold Palmer. Because we looked at the golf course, our balcony was quite private. The balconies overlooking the pool are less private.
There are 3 outdoor pools and one indoor pool. The outdoor pools consist of a general pool, an adults-only pool and a children’s pool. The indoor pool is located in the spa area. The indoor pool is only accessible to the suite guests. We have always been at the general pool when we were at the pool. The pool consists of 2 pieces which gives it a playful character and does not feel big.
There are plenty of sun beds next to the pool and a number of cabanas. The cabanas are occupied fairly quickly, but the sunbeds are very comfortable, so it is not a punishment to spend a day by the pool. There are also large comfortable sofa beds where you can lounge in.
The adults only swimming pool is located in a quiet part of the hotel. Here it is wonderful to stay. Let the champagne flow.
Fitness en spa
The fitness area is also located inside the spa area. The fitness room is large enough and contains all the equipment you need to do your workout. The equipment is from LifeFitness.
We did not go to the spa, but did have a short tour through the spa. The spa area looks very nice. Spacious. The roof terrace has great views over the golf course. There is a steam sauna, dry sauna and an indoor swimming pool. This indoor pool is only accessible for suite guests.
There are several restaurants in the hotel. We have eaten twice at Emo’s fine dining restaurant. The food is very good, the wine list is phenomenal. We have exchanged a Discory Award and chose a 3-course dinner with wine and champagne. The surprise menu was very good, the matching wines were superb.
Ria is the fish restaurant, open for lunch and located next to the pool. Delicious fish dishes are served here. Nice to sit in the shade next to the pool and enjoy dishes.
Victoria is open for breakfast and buffet in the evening. We have not been to the buffet restaurant. The breakfast is very extensive. Try to get a table in the garden.
Although not at the hotel, but 10-15 minutes away, hotel guests have access to Puro Beach. Puro Beach is the beach club of Tivoli in Vilamoura. DJs play music at Puro Beach, there is a good atmosphere and you can lie on the beach. Guests of the hotel can also use the shuttle service for Puro Beach. Pretty trendy beach, good music and good atmosphere. The beach chairs / lounge sofas are wonderful.
A good hotel, nice addition to the Algarve, but unfortunately not completely the Anantara style as it is in Asia. We could tell that the hotel was a former Tivoli hotel. Hotel definitely has the potential to become a grand hotel, the service is very good, especially at the pool and the restaurants.