The Best Resort Hotels in Spain and Portugal in 2016
Set in a 545-acre national park, Portugal’s Penha Longa Resort offers guests a comfortable escape from urban life, with two golf courses, three swimming pools, and (of course) a spa. But what might be most striking is its location.
“What a wonderful surprise to find such a fabulous hotel — and only 30 minutes from Lisbon,” wrote one reader, who helped vote Penha Longa the best resort on the Iberian Peninsula.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort hotels based on their locations.
Penha Longa, which boasts a 14th-century monastery on site, marries present-day comforts with historic charm. The same is true of Convento do Espinheiro, which nabbed the No. 2 spot in this year's awards. Built in a 15th-century convent, the resort now has its own wine cellar and on-site sommelier. Nearby is the Portuguese city of Évora, home to a medieval cathedral and cloisters, Roman baths, and restaurants serving Alentejan cuisine.
The top property in Spain, Marbella Club Hotel, an hour from Málaga, was established by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe of Spain in 1954. Readers were charmed by its Andalusian-style villas, manicured gardens, spa, golf course, and views of distant Gibraltar and North Africa.
Read on for the full list.
No. 3: Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, Marbella, Spain
No. 2: Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Évora, Portugal
No. 1: Penha Longa Resort, Sintra, Portugal
In addition to 194 spacious guest rooms, this estate in the rolling hills near Portugal's Sintra Mountains offers six restaurants, three pools, a Six Senses spa, two golf courses, tennis and squash courts, and horseback-riding trails. Once a retreat for the Portuguese royal family, Penha Longa is minutes from Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage city of pastel manors, misty forests, and its own fairy-tale hilltop palace.