New life for Monchique’s thermal spa resorts

Monchique’s two thermal spa resorts have been given a new lease of life. The Monchique Resort & Spa reopened on March 15 under new management while Villa Termal Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort is undergoing extensive renovations, the first phase of which is due to be completed by this Easter.

The resort located in the heart of Caldas de Monchique was recently taken over for €10.5 million by Adrian Bridge and Miguel Velez, the founding members of Unlock Boutique Hotels which will manage the resort, and Paula Nascimento, a shareholder of local company Água de Monchique.

“This operation took around a year to be completed. However, during this period we were able to invest in the renovation of the resort’s facilities, in its nature tourism branch, and its gastronomic experiences,” said Miguel Velez.

He added, “we have created a veritable wellbeing hub, which takes the resort to a new level of excellence”.

Villa Termal Caldas de Monchique will boast a total of 114 rooms, suites and apartments distributed among four hotel units once the revamp is completed.

The new Hotel Central will have 32 rooms and suites while the Hotel D. Carlos Regis will have 22 rooms and four suites. Both hotels boast a four-star status.

With a “modern and comfortable ambience”, the three-star Hotel Termal will have 46 rooms and is described as the “ideal location to enjoy unique and relaxing moments”.

The Hotel Central Suites is the resort’s local lodging (alojamento local) establishment. There will be 10 “spacious suites” and two villas to choose from.

“With these renovations, we want to reposition the resort and strengthen its touristic competitiveness,” added Velez.

The new owners also want the resort to gain a reputation for its gastronomic experiences. Caldas de Monchique’s central square will be home to four new restaurants, all inspired by regional gastronomy and using local and fresh ingredients.

The new Restaurante 1692, which pays tribute to the year when the Algarve’s bishops built Caldas de Monchique’s first guesthouse, will feature a menu that showcases regional ingredients like black pork and smoked sausages. All desserts will be regional sweets like the famous Dom Rodrigo (egg threads with cinnamon).

Visitors can also enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at the resort’s O Tasco while the Dom Carlos Hotel will have its own cocktail and gin bar.

Also due to open is another bar, called Bar PH 9.5, where visitors will be able to enjoy a “light meal and a refreshing drink”.

The new owners are also hoping to “revitalise the thermal section of the resort by creating holistic wellbeing programmes” by taking advantage of Monchique’s famous alkaline water, used to treat a number of diseases.

Further renovations to the resort are due to be announced this year.

All-inclusive resort
Meantime, at the Monchique Resort & Spa, now managed by DHM – Discovery Hotel Management, the biggest novelty is the “creation of an innovative concept” – an all-inclusive programme of activities.

Guests at the resort will be able to enjoy the thermal services as well as a wealth of daily activities which will include morning yoga, stretching classes and picnic hikes. Every day there will be four activities, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

“We have a team of Experience Managers focused on organising our day-to-day schedule based on four pillars: Wellness, Sports, Nature and Sustainability, and Local and Healthy Gastronomy,” said the resort’s general manager Duarte Cunha.

The resort boasts 185 suites, a spa, restaurants, bars, a kids’ club, indoor and outdoor pools and many other facilities. To celebrate its reopening, it is offering discounts starting at €59. |
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