SOURCE: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

August 18, 2005 18:36 ET

The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort Completes $25 Million Renovation; Historic 14th Century Portugal Retreat Restored

SINTRA, PORTUGAL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 18, 2005 -- One of Portugal's earliest cloistered communities, tracing its heritage to the 1300s, is the transformed setting for The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort in the wooded countryside surrounding Sintra. Now managed by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., and owned by Deutsche Bank, the Estoril coast destination resort recently completed a $25 million renovation. Among the special features added is a 16,000-square-foot Six Senses Spa housed in the original convent on the Palace grounds, and featuring an Asian-themed treatment garden.

In celebration of the renovation, the resort is offering two special packages available through the end of the year. The Bed & Breakfast Package includes accommodations in an upgraded Deluxe Resort View room, buffet breakfast for two, and all tax and service charges for 145 Euro, per night. Golfers of all levels will want to tee up for the Unlimited Golf package which includes accommodations in an upgraded Deluxe Resort View room, unlimited golf on either the Monastery or the Atlantic Golf Courses, and all tax and service charges. The Unlimited Golf Package is available starting at 145 Euro for single or 185 Euro for double, per night.

Set amidst the 545-acre National Park in the southern Sintra Mountains is 15 miles from Lisbon or a 30-minute drive from the Lisbon Lisboa airport. The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort reflects the historic characteristics of Sintra, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Originally settled around 1355 by Vasco Martins, a young disciple of the Hieronymus religious community, the Penha Longa name translates into "long rock." An iconic place on the estate, the ancient rock is topped by a simple large cross, visible from the wooded trails and architectural sites. For hundreds of years, Penha Longa served as a summer retreat for the Portuguese Royal family, where they hosted visiting dignitaries. To this day, the remains of The Papal Gardens and The Garden of Saint Goncalo offer visitors sites for meditation and reflection.

The $25 million renovation at The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort has restored the beauty of the original structures, while adding the conveniences and amenities today's leisure traveler, incentive/meetings customer, or business client requires. In the stately lobby, an oversized patterned carpet from Arraiolos in Portugal's Alentejo region suggests a "sense of place." A cast iron, medieval-style chandelier casts a soft glow over the Portuguese marble floors leading to an ornate staircase. The Lobby's upper level is distinguished by the addition of latticework screens, replicating the windows of the original Penha Longa monastery.

Portugal is renowned for its fine port, and the RC Bar has been redesigned as an intimate space for sampling a variety of 60 vintages before the inviting wood burning fireplace. Plush furnishings in shades of red and gold, and rich wall paneling provide a setting for comfort and conversation. Next door a cozy room with windows overlooking the estate is an ideal quiet place to sip tea and taste sweet savories.

The 177-guest rooms and suites at The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort have been completely refurbished and modernized. The Mediterranean style, pink hued main building offers terraces and porches with every room, affording views of the verdant gardens and sloping golf course greens. Although color schemes vary, all rooms are decorated in natural, soothing earth tones, accented by contemporary Portuguese art. The oversized beds are covered in San Pedro linens of 300 thread count caliber. State of the art technology is available with flat screen televisions and wireless Internet access.

Dining and Recreational Features

Dining options at The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort reflect the unique tradition of the long ago religious community. This includes Midori, a Japanese restaurant inspired by the visit to the monastery in the 1500s of four young princes converted to Christianity by visiting Jesuit missionaries. The menu at Midori includes all varieties of sushi and sashimi, an extensive collection of sake, and grilled meats and fish.

The three-meal-a-day AssaMassa derives its name from the ancient mill at Penha Longa, where local families used the large stone oven to bake their dough. Today, the breads are still baked in a stone oven, preserving the artisan grain flavorings and textures. Chef David Serus describes the culinary style as "tradition and discovery." While the menu changes with the regional specialties of the season, the AssaMassa dining experience is rooted in Portuguese heritage. A large terrace is available for al fresco dining overlooking the Palace grounds.

As part of the $25 million renovation, The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort has added The Serra Restaurant, a casual, dining spot open during the summer months. Offering burgers, kebabs and other "live grill" items, it offers a relaxed grotto-like setting by the tree shaded swimming pool.

Two Robert Trent Jones designed golf courses, the 18 and 9 holes, have been improved and enhanced to create a world-class recreational attraction. A fleet of luxurious golf carts, which can be equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, make playing the course -- a past site of The Portugal Open -- a challenge and a pleasure. The comfortable Club House is a post-game gathering place for conversation and refreshments. The nearby Country Club at Penha Longa features bicycle rentals, tennis and squash courts, and horseback riding.

At the new Six Senses Spa, an atmosphere of tranquility and contemplation is achieved through holistic treatments. The Spa offers two dry and two wet treatment rooms, a pair of Thai massage salas and a deluxe Couples Suite. Within the quiet outdoor setting of the original Ladies Garden is a Jacuzzi, plunge and wading pool, waterfall, and a platform over the pool for T'ai Chi and Yoga.

The menu of spa treatments and services is creative. Reflecting the early religious heritage of the Penha Longa region, Six Senses Spa offers The "Hieronymite" Nourishing Experience. Inspired by the Hieronymite Monastic Order, the three-hour treatment begins with a gentle Jojoba Bead Exfoliation to polish and oxygenate the skin. The body is then cocooned in a mask rich in French pink clay, herbal tonics and plant essences for firming and conditioning. Lymphatic circulation is enhanced by Sodashi signature body and face massage. Spa therapists call the experience "a rebalancing of the mind, body and spirit."

Palatial Meeting Settings

Whatever the reason for a meeting, incentive trip or special event, The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort provides exceptional service in a setting of unique history and design. In addition to meeting rooms within the main building, the resort's Moorish inspired Palace houses several centuries-old buildings, modernized to accommodate any function, from a formal wedding to an al fresco cocktail reception in a quiet courtyard. The former royal stables have been converted into Viscondessa I, II, and III. Ranging in size from 2,200 square feet to a very intimate 450 square feet, the rooms are directly accessible from the courtyard and share a common reception area.

Also on the grounds at Penha Longa, within the Palace complex is a Roman Catholic Church with origins to the 14th century, later restored after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Tapestries and artwork, along with ornately carved statuary and altars, are rich reminders of the cloistered heritage. Small groups can arrange a visit to the church to enjoy a candlelit concert of age-old chants by monks from Sintra. The Church is surrounded by an eclectic group of meeting space, including "Nobre," with high ceilings, an impressive fireplace, and museum quality wall mural. Banquets for as many as 80 guests can be hosted in the grandly appointed room.

Other venues in the Palace include "Arcos," the original dining room. The painted ceilings and arched windows of the 600-square-foot Arabe (Arabic or Moorish) room provides an exotic setting for small banquets. In the "Armas" room, guests enjoy the atmosphere of what was once an old weapons room, with antique dining table and massive fireplace for added atmosphere and ambience.

In the "Coroa" (crown), the restoration efforts at Penha Longa have transformed what were once the sleeping rooms for the Portuguese Royal Family into a 7,500-square-foot ballroom with a grand staircase. Able to host as many as 500 dinner guests, "Coroa" is a majestic space, which blends original design with the latest technology, including a built-in sound system and reinforced floors strong enough to showcase new car launches.

Nearby Attractions

One of the many assets of The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort is its proximity to Lisbon and other recreational and historic areas for individual visits or off-site group events. In addition to nearby seashore resorts, the town of Sintra is renowned for the Castelo dos Mouros, constructed by the Moors in the 8th century. Located on two peaks of the Serra de Sintra, and surrounded by walls and turrets, the castle is a landmark of the region. A Gran Prix track at Estoril attracts racing buffs, and for a taste of authentic local color, The Fair of Sao Pedro takes place on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. The Penha Longa Spa & Golf Resort offers a variety of room packages for visitors. For reservations, or more information, contact reservations 1-800-241-3333, your travel consultant or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

* Photos available upon request

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Vivian Deuschl
    Corporate Vice President, Public Relations
    Tel: (703) 941-6225
    Cell: (202) 255-5786
    Email: Email Contact