W Hotels Splashes Down in the Algarve

The brand’s inaugural Portuguese outpost combines its signature whimsy with a dash of local flair.

The poolside WET Deck at W Algarve. (All photos courtesy of Marriott International)

W Hotels’ newest European property has opened just in time for the 2022 northern summer season, when Portugal is expecting an influx of post-pandemic travelers from other parts of the continent. Looking out over coastal woodlands west of the whitewashed town of Albufeira in the country’s southernmost region, the resort pairs low-key relaxation with the energetic vibe expected of the fun-loving brand.

W Algarve has 134 west-facing guest rooms and suites, alongside 83 branded residences. All feature large private balconies with ocean views; interiors channel the local culture through curated artwork, custom-made furnishings, Portuguese-influenced lanterns and headboards, and traditional Algarve tiles. Premium rooms include 10 WOW Suites with their own rooftop terraces, and the 195-square-meter Extreme WOW Suite also comes with an infinity-edge lap pool, a DJ booth, and an outdoor dining space.

Traveling gourmands have six dining and drinking outlets to choose from. Overseeing them all is the talented Portuguese chef Nuno Goncalves, who has just returned to the Algarve after spending 13 years at some of London’s top restaurants including Quaglino’s, Aqua Shard, and The Wolseley. Market Kitchen dishes out southern Portuguese cuisine with a twist, plus modern interpretations of globally inspired classics made with fresh ingredients from both land and sea. SIP @ WET offers nutritious dishes, quick bites, and cocktails beside a two-level infinity pool.

Inside a 61-square-meter Wonderful room with a king bed and balcony.

Sea Sky, a rooftop open-air bar at the resort.

Market Kitchen is W Algarve’s all-day restaurant.

Dining alfresco on the terrace is a must-do at rooftop venue Paper Moon, which affords panoramic views of the grounds and the Atlantic Ocean beyond; the eatery is a spin-off of Paper Moon Giardino, a Milanese restaurant lauded for its authentic Italian fare. Right next door, Sea Sky is the place to kick back with a pre- or post-dinner cocktail. Guests can start or end the night at W Lounge, which serves up fresh petiscos (local tapas-like snacks) and a selection of drinks ranging from single-origin Portuguese coffee to libations made using vinho from the country’s leading female winemakers.

A staple at any W property, AWAY Spa features six treatment rooms including a couple’s room, as well as a hair salon and mani-pedi bar where guests can enjoy facial LED mask treatments and pre-dinner touch-ups at its “express booths.” The spa also incorporates a wet area with sauna, steam room, whirlpool and a tented outdoor relaxation lounge overlooking the resort gardens.

High-intensity workouts and boot camps are offered at FIT, an on-site gym stocked with the latest TechnoGym equipment and an Olympic Power Rack. The fitness center also has more than 320 square meters of outdoor space, an ideal spot for sunrise yoga sessions and other group workouts.

Doubles from US$530; marriott.com

Locally inspired furniture and contemporary artworks adorn W Lounge.

On the terrace at W Lounge.

W Algarve’s front drive is clad in traditional Portuguese calçada paving.

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