Quinta da Marinha Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Andrew Picknan who visited Lisbon in Portugal in September 2016.
Quinta da Marinha is resort golf at its best. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and opened for play in 1984, the course is complimented by a wonderfully appointed and presented five star hotel. The service and cuisine within are exemplary, boasting facilities of a matching high standard.
The five-star hotel – which opened in 1999 and was extensively remodelled in 2014 – is situated in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Overall, the resort comprises 198 rooms and suites, plus 40 villas.
Inside, the Five Pines Restaurant offers international buffet meals and Rocca serves gourmet Portuguese cuisine made from organic vegetables grown on-site. Live music can be heard at the Trent Jones bar, which adds to the atmosphere.
Onyria also owns the nearby, much-acclaimed Monte Mar seafood restaurant which has been frequented by many A-list celebrities, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
At the spa, guests can enjoy a relaxing pedicure or body treatment. There is also a fitness centre, health club, indoor pool and 11 meeting rooms, offering something for everyone.
In terms of its location in the coastal town of Cascais, Quinta da Marinha Resort is just a 35-minute drive from Lisbon and only four kilometres from Guincho Beach. A courtesy transfer to Cascais is offered to resort guests.
Sample Package: Quinta da Marinha’s Eagle Package offers four nights’ accommodation, breakfast, one dinner, two rounds at Quinta da Marinha and one weekday round at neighbouring Oitavos Dunes (€30 weekend supplement) for €483pp (Jan-Feb 2017), €554pp (Mar-Apr 2017), based on sharing a twin or double room.
Quinta da Marinha Golf Course
I believe that the recent layout modifications of the course add value to the quality of the course. The finishing hole concludes in front of the hotel based gallery, which adds greatly to the experience as there are plenty of seats to observe and (sometimes) ridicule those coming behind!
The opening hole is from a tee that is framed by trees, creating the impression of starting through a narrow tunnel. The hotel itself forms an implacable barrier to the right, ensuring that it's not an easy introduction to the course.
Before you play, the starters hut is adorned with dozens and dozens of golf club membership tags that are nailed to its sides. This is a truly international resort given some of the names on display.
The course is fun to play our group of players loved every minute of it. This was unquestionably helped by the weather, as the area is blessed with a wonderful mico climate that is ideally suited to the needs of the year round golfer.
It's obvious to see why the Lisbon golf coast area won awards in 2007 and 2016 recognising this locality as being the IATGO best golf destination in Europe. The resort itself is located between Cascais and Cabo da Roca. It provides fantastic views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Sintra Mountains.
Situated only 25 km from Lisbon, Quina da Marinha has featured as part of the highly successful publicity campaign done by the Portuguese Tourist Board to encourage golfers from around the world to visit.
Overall, I liked the balance and tempo of the course following its re-routing in 2016. It features cleverly located bunkering, raised greens with tight, sloping shoulders and fiendish dog legs.
The third is of particular significance due to the jaw dropping beauty of the views of the Atlantic Ocean in the background, which sets you up for the fourth, which is a memorable par three over a ravine to an acorn shaped green. Treacherous slopes gather the ball away from the green, making it a great short hole.
On the back nine, the 13th is another par three. Water is in play from an intimidating tee shot, with the umbrella pines protecting the green from wind, ensuring that club selection is a challenge.
Concluding your round, the 18th is a cracker. It’s one of those holes that will always be in your mind. If you have a good score going it will be measured against the issues challenged by the design. An intelligently imagined closing hole.
Post Round Thoughts
This course has been used for formal events by PGA Seniors Tour, Ladies Masters Tours and the Challenge Tour. Away from the hole, Cascais has a vibrant surfing community and there are opportunities to include golf and surfing at this location.
When visiting, make sure you check out some of the absolutely superb seafood restaurants that are available in the area, and I particularly recommend the Monte Mar, Cascais. They provided immaculate seafood, including crabs, prawns and baked sea bass that was to die for.
Try and visit the old harbour town housing the marina of Cascais. It is a fascinating area with great food and night life but also steeped in European history. It was one of the first ports of call for the slave ships and there are some interesting monuments and museums detailing those times.
To summarise this is a great resort facility with superb hotel facility and food. Well worth a visit. If you can’t have fun playing golf here there is something very wrong.
Our group of golfers travelled from to Lisbon from Gatwick then returned via Faro using Monarch Airlines scheduled flights.
Lisbon: Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Lisbon from Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, from £44 one way (£79 return)
Faro: Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Faro from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £49 one way (£94 return)
For further information, please visit www.monarch.co.uk.
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