A Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Outside Lisbon

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Plan For A Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Outside Lisbon

We planned a luxury stay at Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa when we returned to Lisbon and looked for a treat.  

The resort was located out of town, close to the charming town of Sintra.  We found so many amazing experiences on the resort.  And even with a 6 day stay, we did not enjoy everything the resort offered.  

We hated to leave the resort.  But we did not want to miss a first visit to the stunning castles of Sintra.  And we were delighted when we returned to Sintra on a very special excursion from the resort.

A luxury and pampering stay was an amazing way to start our return visit to Portugal.

Heading To Penha Longa Area Outside Sintra

We had a lovely cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon.  Our ship did an overnight in Lisbon and we just enjoyed being back in a city we loved.  When we finally disembarked, we grabbed an Uber and headed out of town.

The Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort was located on a massive property in the countryside.  It was close to the small town of Sintra.  And a quick and cheap Uber ride was perfect when we visited Sintra for the first time.

We visited Ritz-Carlton properties in many other places around the world.  We knew the customer service would be unparalleled.  So when we booked the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort for our first stay in Portugal, we knew it would set a very high bar for this trip.

The Uber took us through the gated entry and along the long winding road.  We were delighted with our first view of the isolated paradise we planned to enjoy for 6 days.  

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In Ritz-Carlton fashion, the hotel reached out ahead of our arrival and confirmed any special requirements.  At the front desk we met Carolina for the first time.  And at every point during our stay, Carolina was there and ensured our experience was exceptional.

A Grand Suite With A View

We left the cruise ship before 9am so we arrived very early for check-in at the Penha Longa Resort.  Our room was not yet ready.  But with a glass of champagne in hand we settled into a quiet spot in the elegant lobby.  

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Before noon Carolina came with our key and walked us to our sweet suite upgrade.  One of the great benefits of Marriott Bonvoy elite status was the opportunity for suite upgrades.  We were more than delighted that we got an amazing one bedroom suite for our stay.  Even with a busy schedule for our 6 day stay, it was great to have space to spread out when we finally made it back to our room.

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We slowly walked through our suite.  And were drawn out to the large balcony.  We had a lovely view out over one of the fairways on the 27 hole golf course on the resort.  In the morning we got sunshine and enjoyed this relaxing spot.

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When we walked to our suite, we met the world renowned chocolatier Chef Francisco Siopa.  David expressed delight that the hotel had developed its own custom line of chocolates.  But we were surprised when a box of chocolates showed up as a special treat.  It was the first but not last reminder of the Ritz-Carlton ethos.  This team definitely listened to clients and then delivered on unasked desires.  Always a way to ensure customer delight. 

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Our room was the first treat on our luxury stay at Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort outside Lisbon.  

A Busy Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa

We found so many things to see and do on our visit to the Penha Longa Resort.  It soon became very obvious that we needed to create a calendar.  

The resort was located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park so we were surrounded by countryside and scenic outdoor views.  The “long rock” (or Penha Longa) that this region was named for stood high on the horizon and was visible as we moved around the property.  There was even a hiking path that went up to the rock.

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Rock Close.jpg

If you were a golf enthusiast there was a 27 hole golf course with a putting green.  And even mini-putt for us non-golfers.  It was a good thing we were not golfers and did not have to squeeze golf sessions into our calendar.

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The weather was a bit up and down during our 6 day stay at Penha Longa.  But when we got a chance we wandered on the property.  There were many hiking paths of different lengths and we explored all the great sights around the property.

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We were fascinated when we learned that the Monastery of São Jerónimo de Penha Longa was on the property.  This was once the weekend residence of King Manuel and other royalty.  A tour of the monastery grounds was one thing we did not miss on our visit.

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Monestery Tour - Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Outside Lisbon.jpg

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It was soon clear that we would not get to everything on one luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort outside Lisbon.

Culinary Treats For Every Meal

The Penha Longa Resort was in the middle of the countryside.  But we never worried about going hungry on our stay at the resort.  There were many different restaurants that offered a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences.  

The breakfast buffet at Marcatto started our day with wide selection and some great local treats.  And the B Lounge was the spot for a quick snack through the day.  Or for a taste of the custom Penha Longa chocolate treats.  We were amused when we saw the chocolate golf balls and the chocolate Portuguese tiles.  For a casual meal, lunch was served by the pool.   And for one day we had a great selection of tapas for lunch at Arola.

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To sample a wide range of delicacies, on the weekend the resort offered a Pan Asian buffet at Spices and an Italian buffet at Mercatto.  Through the week we also sampled the a la carte menus.  

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Spices Asian Dinner - Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Outside Lisbon.jpg

For real foodies, there were two Michelin rated restaurants on-site.  Chef Sergi Arola created two very different Michelin experiences – Midori and LAB.  On this visit to Penha Longa, we missed the chance to try this up-scale dining experience.  But as destination restaurants, these are great choices for a culinary delight.

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On a luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort we ate well at every meal.

Food And Drink Experiences Tempted Us

We wanted to try all the special food and drink experiences offered at the Penha Longa Resort.  The first thing we booked was Afternoon Tea.  We sampled treat after treat with tea and champagne.  Custom boxes held even more tasty selections.  And the last box even had more of the custom Penha Longa chocolate!

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We started in the B Lounge with Frederico for our Gin Tasting eduction.  There was much to learn about gin and how to make the perfect gin and tonic.  And I was delighted when I found a perfect new choice with Brockmans gin and just a small amount of Mediterranean Fever Tree tonic water.  This was garnished with two raspberries and a slice of orange.  

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The last special food and drink experience we wanted to do was a wine tasting with a special local charcuterie tray.  But we simply ran out of time.  The helpful restaurant staff made sure we had several great Portuguese wine selections with our meals.

Amazing food and drink experiences made our luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort even more special.

We Even Left The Resort And Explored Sintra

With so many great things to see on do on the Penha Longa Resort, we really did not want to leave.  But even after our last visit to Portugal for 4 weeks, we missed a visit to the castles of Sintra.  So that experience was close to the top of the list for this visit.

We easily got an Uber from the resort for our first visit to see Sintra palaces.  We took the Uber to the highest point at the Pena Palace gate and then kept walking up until we reached the palace for our tour.  Inside and outside at Pena Palace was a treat.

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From Pena Palace, we set off along the road to the Moorish Castle.  Again we hiked up through the grounds until we were below the castle walls.  Walking around on the Moorish Castle walls provide amazing views of this spot and the local countryside.

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From the Moorish Castle we took a tuk tuk into the small town of Sintra for lunch.  After we were rested we headed out again for the walk to the Quinta da Regaleira and the famous well..  This last delight finished our first visit to Sintra.

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There were several other places we wanted to see around Sintra.  And we really did not spend enough time in the charming town itself.  But we know we will return one day and explore more of Sintra.  When we planned to leave a luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort, a day exploring the castles of Sintra was the perfect choice.

Customer Delight At Every Turn

We have always been spoiled with exceptional customer service on other Ritz-Carlton stays.  The customer service at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort exceeded all expectations of what customer service excellence looked like.  It was clear that the focus on customer delighted started with leadership and was delivered at every touch point.

We met so many of the Penha Longa team who stopped to introduce themselves and welcome us by name to the resort.  The customer experience team was attentive to every minor detail of our stay.  They made sure we enjoyed the many great experiences the resort offered.  

After we had a great tour of the Monastery of São Jerónimo de Penha Longa with Maria, she sent a special book on the monastery history to our room with even more detail.  She made sure all questions we had were answered! 

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Every restaurant encounter was a delight.  Nuno started us every day with great local Portuguese treats.  And before we finished one meal the team made sure our next one was booked!  

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The Penha Longa team made us feel welcome and special every day.  We were truly delighted when Sara made a special treat to welcome us.  She sure learned a lot about our love of travel!  And when Sara heard we planned to visit Sintra, she even got us a souvenir.  At every turn the staff listened and acted!

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One day we got another special treat.  Carolina and Chef Siopa took us out for a morning trip back to Sintra.  Our visit started with a few of the chef’s favourite spots for Portuguese sweet treats.  And then we were picked up in a tuk tuk for a special drive around Sintra to some special viewpoints.  It was such a treat for us.

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It would be impossible to detail every time our customer service expectations were exceeded.  But after a luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort we really never wanted to leave!

So Glad We Planned A Luxury Stay At Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort Outside Lisbon

We were so glad we planned a luxury stay at Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort.  The hotel was a lovely spot to explore.  We enjoyed so many amazing experiences on the property.  The customer service excellence delighted us and set a high bar for our stay in Portugal.  

Even with a wonderful six day stay, we were not ready to leave.  But it was time we headed south to the Algarve.

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60 Comments

  1. What a fantastic hotel! If I would stay there I would probably just reserve 2 or 3 days just to explore the property – it looks huge! I love that they developed their own range of chocolate – and that you found a box as a welcome gift in your room. How amazing is that! The food in the restaurants looks delicious as well. The afternoon tea even more, I’d definitely choose it as well.

  2. We love Ritz Carlton properties and this location looks absolutely stunning! The food looks incredible and I love the attention to detail. Portugal is on my bucket list so we might have to stay here!

  3. There’s nothing like being right in Sintra and also in a historic hotel that really stands out and is quite spectacular. I would have easily spent a few more days and enjoyed so many more of Sintra’s amazing historic sites to visit.

  4. What an interesting read! You really had a great and relaxing time at the Ritz Carlton Penha Longa. And this custom line of chocolates by chocolatier Francisco Siopa really looks divine. We visited the birth place of Caesar Ritz in Switzerland last year. They have an informative museum about the life of the founder of the Ritz Hotels there, which got me interested in the Ritz Carlton Hotels.

    • We always love our splurges at Ritz-Carlton properties. Penha Longa was a perfect example of the quality of service we have come to expect. And so many tasty experiences in a lovely rural spot.

  5. You guys always stay at lovely hotels! I like the Ritz Carlton and know their hotels well. The small touches like the chocolate makes you always remember it. As usual, I want to eat and drink everything you tried here! I’ll remember this hotel when I’m next in Lisbon.

  6. All the food looks delicious. I’m not sure if I can eat them all. So I think it’s a good idea to explore outside the resort between every meal to prepare room in your stomach. Hehe… The chocolates look so tasty and how wonderful that they sent you a box of chocolate for a special treat.

  7. I LOVE Sintra, and I had no idea there was a Ritz Carlton nearby. It looks like such a beautiful place to stay, but that’s what that brand is known for, I guess. So lovely!

  8. Wow! This is indeed a luxurious stay. Your room looks wonderful. It’s awesome that you got an upgrade. Happy to know there are so many things to do. My husband would be happy to know that he can still play golf there. Food looks delicious too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience.

  9. Your stay at Ritz Carlton Penha Longa resort looks quite an exciting one as you got to enjoy the cozy interiors of the property surrounding the fairytale like Sintra palace, the Moorish castle.And it’s wonderful that you got to enjoy the delectable Portuguese treats and a world class customer service.

  10. The Ritz looks amazing, and it sounds like great exploring in Sintra. I know all Ritzes have a great reputation, but delivering chocolate to you? That would have won me over right away 🙂

  11. I’m not normally a fan of chain hotels but I confess I do love the Ritz Carltons. And what a great location – love Sintra. And one thing I really miss from my time in Portugal are those pastel de nata.

    • We sure do miss the pastel de nana as well. Great to be introduced to some new local treats when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort. A great luxury experience.

  12. Oh my goodness look at all that food! What an incredible place to stay! Visiting Sintra would be great wherever you stay, but staying at the Ritz Carlton looks like a whole different level of luxury!

    Good for you for treating yourself!

    • We were happy we booked an amazing stay to start our visit to Portugal. But it sure set a high bar that was hard for every stay that followed! It was hard to leave the resort but we were happy we finally made it to the Sintra palaces.

  13. You had me at the food experiences! And, they were plenty. I too would love the surprise gift of chocolates, and how unique that the Ritz has developed their own line. Were you star struck when you met chocolatier Chef Francisco Siopa? I would be! You expect nothing less from the Ritz in terms of service, experience, amenities and food. They earn their stars. Great recommendation for lux stay for touring Pena Palace.

    • We loved all the great experiences at the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort. It was lovely to spend some time with Chef Siopa and try lots of the tasty chocolates. A great luxury treat for sure.

  14. I would like to give myself a bit of luxury and stay in this Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort for a few days. The environment looks like a fairy tale. The apartments are so spacious, elegant, and comfortable that I would like to rest in them. But what tempts me the most as a foodie are two Michelin-rated restaurants on-site.

  15. Sintra is one of the nicest places in Portugal and always brings back nice memories! This resort looks incredible! I never heard about Penha Long before, but it looks great to explore the area

  16. Wow, what a hotel! I have never stayed in a Ritz-Carlton property before because I target other brands but this one is a beautiful one! I particularly love the Japanese inspired afternoon tea.

  17. This hotel sounds like a dream. It looks beautiful, and along with the food and the hiking trails I’d be in heaven. It’s great to hear the staff listened to you as well, the chocolates were a lovely touch. Thank you for sharing, I hope to make it to this area someday!

    • I hope you do make it to this area one day. The Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa is a great resort to splurge. The great food is truly a treat. And the property offers so many things to wear those great calories off!

  18. What a spectacular stay! The food and views look amazing! I would love to stay at a Ritz-Carlton property one day, and the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa is now at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Ahh, those chocolates! This definitely looks like quite the stay and all the food looks amazing! Glad you had an amazing stay there + so convenient that there’s so much to do/explore right at the resort!

  20. Wow! This looks like an awesome trip, and somewhere we’ve been planning to visit. Thanks so much for the tips, and the Ritz Carlton Penha Longa looks amazing! This will definitely help us plan our own trip in the next few months.

  21. I stayed at a Ritz Carlton once years ago in Florida. It was an amazing experience! I loved how every time I came back from being out they welcomed me by name. This Ritz Carlton looks beautiful. I love all the little special touches with the food. Would definitely want to stay here if I go to Portugal!

  22. I’m headed to Lisbon next month and am still on the fence about going out to Sintra since I’ve already been once before. But this blog post is definitely pushing me in the direction of visiting again! The Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort looks so serene and green! I’d love to stay in a one-bedroom suite that has a wide open view of the beautiful lawn. The culinary and drink experiences here also sound unparalleled! I love a carefully crafted gin and tonic and would definitely try one here.

    • We had a very busy day at Sintra and did not see everything we wanted. So we will definitely go back for another visit. And the Penha Longa Resort will definitely be our spot to stay.

  23. I remember coming across this resort when I was doing research for our Lisbon and Sintra trip. I really enjoyed reading about your experience staying here!

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