The Romantik Hotel Vivenda Miranda is a boutique resort on Portugal’s Algarve coast, a couple of kilometres from the centre of Lagos.
On checking in I was offered a welcome drink but declined, preferring simply to drop my bag and head straight out to enjoy the sunshine, with a long walk along the nearest beach. The location of the Romantik Hotel Vivenda Miranda is one of its key attractions and Porto de Mós beach is just a short distance away. Though I kept pausing to photograph the sun-bathed scenery it took just 15 minutes to stroll to the beachfront Campimar bar and restaurant, perched above sand that really can be described as golden.
A hotel on the Algarve coast
Returning towards the Vivenda Miranda – plodding through deep, soft sand – gave me an opportunity to appreciate the hotel’s clifftop setting from below. The hotel occupies the site of a seventeenth century nobleman’s house, clearly a man who enjoyed views and understood the concept of “location, location, location”.
Hand-painted tiles in the reception area depict two fully rigged sailing ships battling with a heavy sea. Who knows, perhaps the original owners played an active role in Portugal’s overseas empire? Numerous expeditions departed from Lagos, a major port during the Age of Discoveries.
Views of the Atlantic Ocean
The gates at the back of the hotel garden open to clifftop paths that overlook the Atlantic Ocean onto which those explorers of long ago set sail. The stratified cliffs of this region have a rugged appearance, varying in colour from pale honeycomb to deep orange according to the time of day and warmth of the sun.
The Vivenda Miranda’s clifftop gardens are well-tended and the lawns kept trim. I explored them by following the property’s traditional Calçada Portuguesa – meaning ‘Portuguese pavement’ – pathways. This type of path is constructed by the time-consuming process of laying together thousands of small stones; much like constructing an open-air, all-weather jigsaw. The paths snake around the garden, which provides panoramic views of the cliffs, ocean and beaches at Porto do Mós.
Sea sounds and bird song
I stayed in one of the hotel’s 14 Deluxe Double rooms. The hotel has 25 rooms in all. The decor of my room was classically Portuguese, with a pastel colour scheme and a tiled floor. The king-size double bed stood opposite doors that lead out onto a patio terrace, where I read. The sound of Atlantic waves breaking far below provided a relaxing soundtrack. My only interruption was a pleasant one; a red-breasted robin hopping onto the chair opposite.
The front desk is open from 7.30am to midnight and I was provided with an access code to the hotel, in case I decided to head out for a late night.
Breakfast in the Mirandus restaurant
That did not happen and I rose early to enjoy a filling breakfast in the 60-seat Mirandus restaurant. Juices and cereals were available at the buffet and a selection of fresh fruits, breads, cheeses and meats was brought to the table by the waitress. Eggs were offered but I declined, reasoning that those in the Pastel de Nata would suffice.
The restaurant overlooks the sea and the hotel garden, in which palm trees and spiky evergreens grow. On warmer days – which common here – the terrace would have been in use.
Wellness centre and a swimming pool
Later I descended the staircase into the wellness centre. Guests can use the sauna, steam room, foot bath and heated chair without incurring additional costs. Massages, body wraps and facials are among the options that can be booked in the three treatment rooms. The hotel also has a pool but – on the coldest day of the winter – the covers were on.
If you’re wondering why the words “Romantik Hotel” appear in the name of the Vivenda Miranda, it relates to the property being a member of the international Romantik Hotels and Restaurants group. The group is particularly popular in German speaking countries and member properties tend to offer a setting or ambiance conducive to relaxation, in places that discerning people will enjoy spending time.
Literary attractions and golf
Look out for the literary festival, Arte Poetica, held at the hotel, celebrating the work of Swiss writer Max Frisch. Readings are held in the restaurant and at spots along the cliffs. Volker Weidermann, Frisch’s biographer and a renowned literary critic, is among those who have participated.
The Algarve is popular with golfers and Vale de Pinta and the Penina championship course are just two of the golf courses within easy driving distance. The hotel offers packages aimed at golfers. One includes the green fees at five of the nearby clubs and another includes coaching.
Faro International Airport is approximately 85 km (53 miles) from the hotel and drivable within an hour. Lisbon is a three hour drive away.
View the Romantik Hotel Vivenda Miranda for further information, prices and availability.
For more about the region, see the Visit Algarve website.
If you want more information about Portugal in general see Visit Portugal.
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