Stay the night: Longevity Wellness Resort, Portugal

There's not one, two but three spas at this bold new resort in Portugal's mountains, says Kate Simon

Everyone needs a spa these days. From the holiday cottage that engages the local woman with the collapsible massage table, to the five-star resort with over-water massage pavilion. But the Longevity Wellness Resort, now, this is serious stuff.

Longevity – a winner of a name for those who dabble in the dark arts of holding back time – has spent years formulating a plan to become Portugal's centre of wellness with the country's first in-resort medical spa.

This huge offering, by La Clinique de Paris, divides into three. The Wellness and Relaxation area has the usual facilities – pool, sauna, gym, etc – augmented by indulgent treatments. Beauty and Rejuvenation pampers with facials and the like. But it is the third section that stands apart; Health and Longevity is where medical evaluations tackle lifestyle, diet, genetics and pollution, "preventative medicine and ageing management".

Whether you buy into the idea or not, the owners have chosen their location well. The town of Monchique, in the Algarve mountains, is renowned for its thermal waters, first tapped by the Romans – though the spring is exclusive to a neighbouring resort. Plus there's all that fresh mountain air to enjoy in the surrounding pine and cork forests.

The rooms

The resort's design is as bold as its health-promoting claims. The vast modern building set in landscaped grounds hugs a hill, its central spine a hub for communal areas, off which splay angular, white accommodation blocks, their green roofs and local stone cladding attempting to blend in with the surroundings.

The interiors are saved from being too clinical by the judicious use of grass-green and earth-brown carpets and large floral prints on the walls. But the need to connect to different levels by lift (which I often couldn't get to work), and the access to bedrooms being via heavy fire doors, dislocates any organic flow sought.

The word suite doesn't do justice to what are, in fact, one-bedroom apartments. The designers' brown and white palette may be uninspiring, but the sheer glass patio doors brighten the mood with a welcome flood of light. The living area features a smart, well-equipped kitchenette and quality furnishings include a sofa bed and large flat-screen TV. The bedroom also comes with a TV and comfy bed, and both rooms lead out to a balcony area. There's plenty of storage space and two bathrooms, too, making this workable for a family of four or four very friendly adults. Wi-Fi, maid and room service and access to a concierge lead the five-star hotel-style facilities.

The food and drink

The resort's signature restaurant, Longevity Cuisine by Olivier, headed by Lisbon-based chef Olivier da Costa, prides itself on serving "healthy gourmet cuisine" using local produce in its pretty white dining room with mountain views. The chefs may go a bit lighter with the salt and butter, but the modern European fare tastes no less delicious for it. And dishes such as fillet of cod confit with black ink risotto, tarragon and tomato concasse are suitably showy. The nine-course degustation menu is well priced at €42 (£35); otherwise starters cost from €9 and main dishes from €18. The resort also has five bars.

The extras

As well as the spa, there's an outdoor pool, games room and library, plus a driving range and putting green where you can prepare for a round at one of the many local golf courses. The centre of Monchique is just up the road. Or climb to Foia, the highest point in the Algarve, for great views. Hiking, horse-riding, birdwatching and mountain biking are on offer in the forest. Portimao and the beaches of the Algarve are 15 minutes away by car.

The access

Disabled access with specially adapted rooms. Children are welcome. Pets not admitted.

The bill

Suites cost from €135 per night, based on two people sharing, including breakfast and use of the spa's facilities. I travelled to the resort courtesy of Monarch Airlines (, which offers return flights from Manchester, Birmingham, Gatwick and Luton starting at £83, and, which offers car hire out of Faro from £106 per week.

The address

Longevity Wellness Resort, Lugar do Montinho, 8550-232 Monchique, Algarve, Portugal (00 351 282 240 110;

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam