My husband and I have felt compelled to write to express our sincere gratitude to all the staff at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa resort for all their wonderful kindness and assistance during our stay over Easter, 5 – 9 April 2012. My husband and I travel regularly for business and leisure and this was the best hotel stay we have had to date.
From the moment we arrived, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the resort and the surrounding countryside and felt we had come a magical place. In fact we saw a double rainbow on our first morning at Penha Longa and a beautiful full moon on our first night. There is no doubt that the setting and the hotel are magnificent and we would like to compliment you on the sensitivity with which you have developed this beautiful area and on the comfort and luxury of the facilities.
All of this would, of course, been more than sufficient for a wonderful and relaxing break but what lifted this vacation from enjoyable to absolutely fantastic was the staff. Every person we encountered was courteous, helpful and smiling. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt welcome and contented from the moment we arrived until the sad moment of our departure.
Although all of the staff were absolutely excellent, we did want to mention a few truly exceptional people we encountered during our stay.
On our first full day at Penha Longa, I spent time at your Six Senses Spa where my husband had arranged a “Mother-to-Be” package for me. Before we even arrived, the staff contacted my husband to suggest that, given the fact I was 6 months pregnant at the time of our visit, I would be more comfortable dividing the treatment into 2 sessions. Such thoughtfulness and consideration was truly touching. Once I did arrive, I have to say that nothing was a disappointment. From the friendliness of my reception, the beauty of the building and the attention to detail and comfort, it was a truly relaxing experience. My therapists, Sandra and Vina, were fantastic and the treatments they had arranged really helped me to unwind. Sofia from reception was extremely thoughtful and, when the weather proved too cool for an al fresco lunch for my husband and I, arranged a lovely room for us to dine in. By the end of my time at the Spa I felt as if I had been on vacation for 1 week, not 1 day.
We also wanted to extend our sincere thanks to the Head Concierge, Victor, who’s knowledge, passion for the area and unbelievable enthusiasm were a key component in making this the best vacation we have ever had. He worked with my husband to arrange a wonderful outing to Sintra and Monserrat by carriage and they even went together to scout possible locations for our picnic in advance whilst I was enjoying my spa day. They did, indeed find the perfect spot with the help of Aidiris Rasmussen from Food and Bevereages and she created the most romantic and delicious lunch for us. From the 2 white horses of our horse-drawn carriage, the friendly driver, being dropped off and picked up by Victor himself and Aidiris’ fantastic picnic setting and menu, to the thoughtfulness with which we were left alone to enjoy our time together, though kind staff did check in on us regularly to ensure we wanted for nothing, it was a perfect day.
Victor also found us the most fantastic restaurant by the sea and managed to get us a reservation despite the fact it was Easter Saturday and extremely busy and even helped my husband check in for our flights when we had to leave. He was also a fount of interesting information about the region and really contributed to our determination to come back, not just to Sintra, but to Penha Longa.
We also wanted to compliment your kitchen staff on the excellence of the food – the breakfasts in particular were fantastic and we were very impressed by the ripeness of the fresh fruit and the variety of breakfast options available. The service was always impeccable and we never wanted for anything. My husband wanted me to mention specifically that the brownies he had from room service on our last night were spectacular.
The housekeeping staff were also extremely friendly and efficient and our room was immaculate throughout our stay.
The personal commitment of each member of staff at Penha Longa to the enjoyment of the guests was a revelation to us and it made our 4 day stay seem like a visit to paradise. In answer to Victor’s question as to whether we could now imagine the world without Ritz-Carlton our only answer could be no, we could not and nor did we want to. Facilities can be basic or top of the line but it is the staff of a hotel that really make the difference, during our stay at the Penha Longa we felt welcomed by friends.
In fact on our last night as I had not received an Easter bunny until then Ina from reception went out of her way to have two decorated chocolate easter eggs made up and delivered them to our room personally and this was as she was going off shift. This was just one example of the care and warmth that the staff of Penha Longa extended to us during our stay there were many more for which we unfortunately did not get their names.
We ask you to extend our thanks to everyone at the Penha Longa resort for creating the perfect vacation for us and assure them that we will come back, with our new child, just as soon as we can.
Timothy and Margaret Lowe-Price
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Walk in the footsteps of royalty along the gorgeous Estoril coastal region of Portugal. Penha Longa Resort traces its origins back to the 16th century, includes a landmark monastery that was built on its ground and has been a frequent retreat of Portuguese royal and foreign dignitaries. A graceful palazzo-style estate set amongst the spectacular rolling hills, lush gardens, and clear lakes of the southern Sintra mountains.The Penha Longa Resort features: 194 well-appointed guest rooms Five exceptional dining facilities Two world-class, championship golf courses A state-of-the-art 1,500 square meter spa Numerous indoor and outdoor recreational amenities ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Linho
- Penha Longa Hotel And Golf Resort
- Ritz Carlton Linho