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After arriving at the gateway to the Algarve, Faro airport, I picked up my hire car and drove west along the coast to Lagos, where Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda is located. The ‘scenic route’ took about 1 hour 40 minutes (rather than the 50 minutes it should take on the motorway).
On arrival at the 4* boutique hotel, I received a welcome drink (G&T of course to ‘recover’ from the drive), whilst my bags were taken to my room – one of the double rooms with an ocean view (room 2) – an endless, blissful, blue paradise to admire.
Besides the view, features inside the room that I was most impressed with were the walk in wardrobe with pink mirror – well my arrival was planned in advance after all, soothing rain shower and mood colour lighting, which could be controlled from the comfort of my super king bed.
The ethos and approach at Vivenda Miranda is centred around health and relaxation, which the owner, Urs Wild, explained incorporates spa treatments, food options focussed on (but not exclusively) vegetarian, vegan and raw and most importantly a relaxed approach to hotel service.
With only 25 rooms, it means guests never feel overwhelmed or rushed and staff very quickly learn preferences and tastes (whether your routine or menu choices).
The health offering at Vivenda Miranda is primarily in the form of spa treatments, which exclusively use Neal’s Yard products (the only spa outside the UK to offer this) and include all over body treatments and massages, complimentary therapies (including aromatherapy and reflexology for the feet) and of course the usual finishing touches in the form of manicures and pedicures.
Complimentary for all guests is the use of the sauna, Turkish bath and the solar heated pool – blissful to cool down in after a sunbathe. Whilst the pool is by no means olympic-sized, it is perfect to do a few lengths before returning to your pressed juice (or bubbles) in the sun.
If you’re really keen to work up a sweat, there is a small gym area, although the best way would be to take a hike around the cliff paths to the local beach, enjoying the scenery at the same time.
Dinner offerings come in the form of a taster menu (which changes daily) or a small à la carte, served in the Mirandus Restaurant, which is the heart of the hotel from which all rooms and amenities unfurl.
One evening I opted for the à la carte that included a starter of tagliatelle with truffle and smoked salmon – a portion large enough for a main course itself, a main course of potato-crusted hake fillet and a carob cake with sorbet for dessert.
Having also sampled the taster menu, both are equally as tasty and use locally sourced ingredients served in a simple, honest way.
Breakfast offerings are from a wide selection of anything from continental to poached eggs and bacon to (you need to ask for these) to cereals with endless nuts, seeds and fruits as toppings. As well as the fresh fruit, there is also a juicer for you to concoct your own detoxifying breakfast juice.
Vivenda Miranda hosts a variety of wellness courses for guests as part of a retreat-like package including yoga, nutrition and later this summer (25 July – 1 August) Cuban Salsa classes. These classes will be run by the Swiss salsa champions from 2014 to bring together a week of red-hot Cuban salsa under the fiery Algerian sun.
Guests will be able to try something new and discover the passion and joy of feeling alive with the six 75-minute salsa lessons. Prices start from 990€ per person for the 7-night package. More details and booking for this offer are available here.
The Algarve region of Portugal is most noted for its 200km coastline with temperatures easily reaching 30C in the long summer months, beaches, golf (being one of the top destinations in Europe) and boasting some idyllic natural landscapes. This is therefore my top destination for the summer, whether it be for Salsa, spa or simply the sun.
If you’d like to book your trip to Algarve, visit vivendamiranda.com to book your stay at Hotel Vivenda Miranda.