Destination Wedding

Honeymoon Heaven: Anantara Vilamoura

Julia Smith

The winter nights have got us dreaming of the sunshine here at Team Brides Up North, fawning over the near and far-flung places we wish to visit. And one delightful destination which we loved that we MUST tell you about is the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve. Honeymoon hunting? Call off the search.

The Anantara Vilamoura is the hotel group’s debut offering in Europe and is not to be missed. Poolside champagne cabanas, alfresco decks, scintillating spa treatments and decedent dining make this the perfect choice for pre-wedding break, destination wedding, or dream honeymoon location.

Whilst the spacious hotel boasts nearly 300 modern, superbly equipped rooms, it has an air and ambience of quiet and calm, far away from the ‘resorty’ feel. It is a perfect blend of modern prestige and Portuguese tradition. A choice of four pools, you can spend your days lying in the Portuguese sun (it’s there for over 300 days a year) overlooking the fairway of the stunning Victoria Championship Golf course, sipping an Aperol Spritz or other cocktail of your choice from the excellent Palms Pool Bar.

Despite the sun loungers calling in the glistening sunshine, we could not resist a visit to the spa. Therapies using holistic Ayurvedic rituals and exotic Asian treatments, the spa facilities offer the pure indulgence, calming surroundings which are a must for any break. Priding themselves on their two-hour long spa journeys, you will lose yourself in their serene signature extended experiences, with facials seamlessly following full body massages – choose from an extensive treatment menu to relax and unwind in the most sumptuous of surroundings.

The hotel can be found a short drive from the marina, where you can wander amongst the majestic yachts moored for the summer or lose yourself on the long stretches of beach – the Mediterranean gently washing up on the golden sands. If a break from the sea or pool is needed, Vilamoura is the Algarve’s heart of golf, with six outstanding courses on your doorstep.

Anantara Vilamoura offers superb dining options throughout its hotel. You can enjoy three options poolside – both Palms and Cascades pool bars offer gourmet snacks or light lunches, all washed down with an exquisite drinks offering. Alternatively, you can dine at Ria, the hotels premium seafood restaurant, emulating a traditional Portuguese bistro. We enjoyed a long, lazy tapas lunch in the sun, sharing clams, prawns, fish tacos and oysters, all locally caught from the Ria Formosa area. The attentive but not overbearing service was great throughout, with our waiter pairing our food selections with an excellent local Albariño – so good, one bottle certainly wasn’t enough!

In the evening, we were treated to a culinary masterclass, as the chefs of Anantara showcased their skills with a delightful four-course contemporary Portuguese cuisine tasting menu. Octopus, seafood paella and Portuguese-spiced steak were the order of the day. Individual wines were paired with each of our courses, concocted in collaboration with the resident Wine Expert. The pairings were hand picked according to the dishes served resulting in an unforgettable dining experience.

Offering ‘Dining by Design’ for the ultimate food and drink extravaganza, the Anantara will tailor exceptional menu selections for you, whether that is a romantic setting over sunset, or a wedding breakfast that lasts long into the night. Anything is possible at the Anantara Vilamoura to make your trip special; we experienced our room being turned into an uber romantic paradise with dozens of candles, roses and chocolates adorning our room one evening – it definitely gave us the feels! Engagement perfection.

Whether you want simple and intimate, or a lavish ceremony, the resort is also the ultimate spot to get married, particularly if sunshine and blue skies are a prerequisite to your big day. The hotel will work with you seamlessly to personalise your day, and full stay, for you and your guests, making your destination wedding dreams come true.

If you’ve been to the Algarve before, you know what is on offer – striking coastlines, idyllic scenery, serene sunsets. If you haven’t, you are missing out. Either way, you need a stay at the Anantara Vilamoura on your travel bucket list.


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