EXTEND the Summer
Enjoy the pleasant warmth in October and do something for your health and well-being at the same time. This is possible at the Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel in the Portuguese Algarve. So off we go to the small town of Alvor, a district of Portimao.
At Faro airport, I take a rental car. In good 50 minues, I am at my architecturally interesting wellness retreat, which is perched on a hill above Alvor. The friendly head receptionist Miguel accompanies me to my room. On the way I already learn the most important facts about the hotel. "We only have 70 rooms, a very pleasant size. Now is actually the nicest time of the year, the temperatures are still very mild, and the occupancy is ideal for relaxation." He is so right! .
CHIC ROOM WITH GLASS BATHROOM
My room is modern and unfussy, just the way I like it. The highlight are the glass walls in the bathroom, so you can watch your partner doing certain activities. No worries if you don´t like that, just lower the blind and you have the privacy you want. The wooden room card is a fantastic idea to avoid plastic. The scented candles in the room, as well as in the entrance area, are also pleasant. The aromas go well with the soft music. It is quite quiet in the entire hotel area - no wonder, as children are not allowed. They probably would not do much with the health and wellness facilities either. - Wi-Fi is free and works very well everywhere, much to my delight.
I enjoy my first dinner at the Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel in mild temperatures on the terrace, a vegetarian snack in the late evening. It is accompanied by a local organic white wine, which is delicious. The waiter tells me that the food is basically healthy, even the (organic) meat. As a near-vegetarian, I prefer to leave it alone. I quickly look at the chic infinity pool right next to the restaurant before I fall into bed and sleep blissfully. Fantastic, the peace and quiet in the hotel!
As expected, the breakfast at the Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel is at my level of expectation. The selection of healthy "goodies" such as chia, spirulina, and all kinds of grains and nuts is terrific, and the espresso tastes great. Two or three dishes of the day are also offered at the table, mostly egg dishes or porridge with soy milk and wild berries - delicious!
Enjoying the Infinity Pool
After the morning treats, I naturally have to walk around the infinity pool to enjoy the magnificent view, which sweeps over Alvor to the sea and the small town of Lagos in the background. The first guests are already making themselves comfortable on the loungers on a gallery above the pool - no wonder with the 27 degrees C on this October day. The flat cushions are very comfortable, but it's hard to get up (I'm not that young anymore...). Some guests are always on the move with their laptops - remote working is the latest trend, and I do it too. The Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel is a perfect place for this.
How should I spend this day? Pool, spa, beach, or a first exploration of the place? I decide on the latter and discover the charm of the fishing village of Alvor, which attracts an international crowd of guests. In about 20 minutes I'll be in the centre with its many boutiques and restaurants of all stripes. Fantastic: I haven't seen Starbucks, Macdonald's, or any other big chains. On the highest point in Alvor is a pretty church you should not miss. I stroll down to the promenade along the lagoon, where one restaurant follows the next. In the fishing harbour you can watch the fishermen at work (it smells fishy...) and then walk on to Praia de Alvor, the long, fine sandy beach.
PRAIA DOS TRES IRMAOS - TYPICAL ALGARVE
At the east end, you will find Praia dos Tres Irmaos, which I liked best. Here you will find the rocks famous for the Algarve, with sandy coves. Through an impressive double arch rock, you reach the small picturesque bay of Prainha. The surf is very powerful on this day. I go into the sea at pleasant temperatures, but swimming is somewhat out of the question with the waves. No matter, I enjoy the refreshment and look forward to a bit of sunbath afterward. There are snack bars at Praia dos Tres Irmaos ("Beach of the Three Brothers" - meaning three rocks), in case the fresh breeze makes you hungry or thirsty.
PERFECT RELAXATION IN THE SPA
After so much beach, wellness is the order of the day at the hotel. Even the chic entrance promises absolute well-being. I allow myself a few minutes in the Epsom Saline with its changing, very soothing colours and breathe in the mist-filled with Himalayan salt. A quick walk (well, more like wiggle...) over the pebbles on the "Reflexology Hydro Path" before heading into the detox pool. You press buttons, and it starts bubbling everywhere. The water gently lapping your body from below, above, and from the side relaxes. It helps your muscles to regenerate.
I quickly enjoy the rainforest shower before going to the relaxation room or to a lounger in the beautiful palm-fringed garden. Although I don't use the hammam and sauna, I rub my body with ice cubes, which is supposed to be good. I am sure that this day will give me a longer life ;-)! The Longevity philosophy is interesting - it is not only about more extended life, but above all, about the quality of life in the later stages of life, free from illness. By the way, this is also the goal of David Sinclair, one of the world's leading scientists in this field. Please have a look at my article on this.
THE MAN WITH THE MAGIC HANDS
All this was nothing compared to my session with an osteopath recommended to me by the manager Sofia Gouveia. I will be grateful to her for that tip - not exaggerating - for the rest of my life. Ricardo Rosa is among the 19 best healers worldwide (!), according to Condé Nast. He takes a lot of time for a personal conversation, during which I already learn a lot about my body, some aches and pains. During the subsequent treatment, Ricardo quickly feels some weak points and explains which organs they are connected to. The man has magic hands! I could go on and on about this session, but you'd better come and experience Ricardo and his holistic approach. One thing is for sure: I will travel to the Algarve again to be treated by him.
The Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel offers endless possibilities to learn more about your health condition and get treated accordingly. "We work together with the neighbouring private hospital, which opens up many possibilities," explains Sofia Gouveia. In a 25-minute session, you can have your lifestyle analyzed and get valuable advice. The check-up on anti-aging (or better smart aging) or your metabolism is a little more expensive. In addition to conventional medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, is used here as well as endless possibilities for doing something for your health, with an integrative and preventive medicine philosophy. Take a look at the complete offer.
EXERCISE AGAINST THE AGEING PROCESS
In the small but nice gym you can get active, if necessary also with a personal trainer. I tried it out, of course, and observed the friendly yoga teacher Bárbara at her outdoor class. "Most of the guests are trying yoga here for the first time," Bárbara tells me. In addition to the asasnas, stretching and mindfulness classes, meditation and much more )free for hotel guests) are also offered, mostly in the fresh air.
CULINARY DELIGHTS AT THE LONGEVITY HEALTH & WELLNESS HOTEL
The food at the Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel is delicious and healthy at the same time. I mostly had my meals on the lovely terrace. "We don´t serve pork or sausages and we have our own version for an English breakfast," says manager Sofia Gouveia. "Instead of sugar, we use coconut, agave juice, dates, honey and stevia." This is noticeable in the delicious desserts, they are not too sweet and are just my taste. The cocoa and pistacho brownie with wild berries is particularly delicious. My favourite of the vegetarian main courses was a sweet potato pie with veggies. But as I said, fish and meat lovers also get their money`s worth.
HOW DO I GET TO THE LONGEVITY HEALTH & WELLNESS HOTEL?
I recommend renting a car, which I booked via Check24 (236 EUR for six days, including comprehensive insurance - but it can be cheaper). There is so much to see in the area, so a car is a good idea. My tips on the hotspots at the Algarve will follow in another article. - A taxi from Faro airport to to Alvor costs about 80 EUR (as of October 2022), and the journey takes a good 50 minutes. There is plenty of free parking at the hotel.
The Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel is a very special tip for all those who wish to enjoy their holidays in an adults only, chic luxurious, but casual environment and do something for their health and well-being, or even just to relax or come for a long stay away from colder countries. I am definitely planning another stay at this oasis of wellness.
You may wish to combine your stay at the Portuguese Algarve with a few days in Lisbon, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The Portuguese capital is only a good three hours (by train or bus) away. Should you need tips for Lisbon, have a look at my article.
The photos with me were taken by Dave Sheldrake. The friendly photographer from the UK has been living in the Algarve for several years and knows all the hotspots in the area. If you need high-quality photos of your stay in the Algarve, I can highly recommend him. His wife Alyson curates a great blog about the Algarve with many insider tips.
*My stay at the Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel was at the invitation of the hotel. However, this did not influence my rating in any way."