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Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa & Resort 3.5

Monchique, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful and relaxing nature park setting with secluded vibe
  • Only thermal spa in southern Portugal with waters from Algarve mountains
  • Clean and comfortable rooms with 19th-century decor and mini-fridges
  • Spa with sauna, Turkish bath, treatments, thermal pool, and Vichy showers
  • Garden-set outdoor pool with adjacent kiddy pool
  • Full-service restaurant and rustic, cave-like wine bar 
  • Small gym with a few cardio machines and exercise balls
  • Honesty bar in reception, game room, chapel, and tiny library
  • Free breakfast; half-board option available
  • Free Wi-Fi (in limited areas)

Cons

  • Some decor and amenities are dated, particularly in rooms
  • Wi-Fi only available in the reception and restaurant areas
  • Mixed reviews of the restaurant
  • Gym is small 

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa & Resort is a family-friendly wellness property popular for its healing thermal waters and nature-filled setting. The 105 rooms are clean and comfortable -- if a bit underwhelming -- with mini-fridges, dated tube-style TVs, and hairdryers. The resort consists of five 19th-century buildings with simple antique decor to match. The spa offers thermal water treatments, a sauna, heated pool, Turkish bath, small gym with decent machines, and wellness programs. There are also free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, rustic wine bar, an outdoor pool, and an honesty bar. Wi-Fi is free but only works in reception and restaurant areas. For travelers looking for a bit more modernity but wanting to keep the seclusion, the nearby (though more expensive) Morgado Golf & Country Club might fit the bill. 

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Scene

A small village-like setting with early 19th-century style and peaceful garden grounds

Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchinque Spa & Report is a wellness-centric property popular with couples and groups. The spa's thermal waters contain bicarbonate and fluoride and are believed to heal certain ailments, especially skin conditions and respiratory ailments. Stone slabs resting on the floor of the business center suggest Romans used to visit the area to soak in the healing thermal waters. If you're looking for a bonafide thermal wellness experience, this is the only spot in southern Portugal to get it. 

Much of the property is decorated with typical 19th-century wooden furniture and bold fabrics, but it feels a bit basic and dated. Venturing farther into the five-building complex, the design becomes more classically elegant in some areas, like the colorful mustard-yellow and sky-blue Living Room with its heavy drapes, beautifully painted wood panel ceiling, and comfy couches. Verdant garden grounds contain cobblestone pathways, cement tables and benches, and pools surrounded by trees. Secluded inside the park grounds and with the closest town about 12 minutes away, the hotel has an intimate, self-contained village vibe. There's even a small stone chapel on the premises. 

Location

Slightly secluded nature park setting with beautiful mountain views; 20 minutes from Portimao

Part of Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique's draw is it's respite from the city. The resort rests within a nature park and the closest town of Monchique is about a 12-minute drive away. While there are a few other hotels within walking distance, travelers won't find too many shops or restaurants until Monchique. Portimao is a 30-minute drive from the hotel and day trips to Sagres can be made in around an hour each way. Faro Airport is an hour away by car. On-site parking is available.

Rooms

Comfy rooms with traditional and a bit dated decor

All 105 rooms at the Villa Termal das Caldas are clean and comfortable, but the traditional style is more dated than charming. Expect wood floors and furniture, accented by old-fashioned patterned linens, floral and landscape artwork, and brass lamps. Tube-style TVs and hose hairdryers continue the out-of-date look. Essential Doubles are the smallest of the bunch, outfitted with a double bed, desk, and chair and set, and located in the Thermal Spa. Classic Apartments, the largest of the bunch, are conveniently located in the center of the resort village and are the best option for families. These are equipped with a double bed, separate living space with a sofa bed, and a small kitchenette with microwave, four-burner stove, pots and utensils, and a kettle. Junior Suites are the most elegantly styled rooms, featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows, a balcony, Nespresso machine, upgraded toiletries, and minibars. All rooms have contemporary marble-style bathrooms with bidets, shower/tub combos, and toiletries. Also standard are air-conditioning, bottled water, garden views, and mini-fridges. In-room Wi-Fi is not available.

Features

Excellent thermal spa, two pools, and free breakfast in so-so restaurant

Without a doubt the hotel's standout feature is its thermal waters. Sourced from the Algarve mountains, these allegedly healing waters are a huge draw for guests. They're used throughout the spa's facilities, which include treatment rooms, Vichy showers, and a small gym, as well as a hydrotherapy circuit that consists of a heated thermal pool, Turkish bath, and sauna. There's also single or multi-day wellness programs that can include meal plans, therapy, and treatments. Additionally, an outdoor pool and adjacent kiddy pool are set in the pretty gardens, but loungers can be hard to come by during high season. 

The hotel offers free breakfast consisting of typical continental fare and half-board options from the on-site restaurant, but food receives mixed reviews. The rustic, cave-like O Tasco Wine and Beer Bar is typically the liveliest place in the resort, but the bar closes early. Anyone looking for an after-hours cocktail can grab something from the Honesty Bar in the Living Room. Other features include a business center, meeting room, small arts and crafts shop, and post office. Free Wi-Fi is limited to reception and around the restaurant.  

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Address

Caldas de Monchique, Monchique, Algarve 8550-232, Portugal

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