Last week I jetted off to my 43rd country to go explore the Algarve coast of Portugal with my girlfriend Cat. We were bound for a short wellness getaway staying at the Epic Sana resort. The resort promotes a daily fitness schedule and wellness program for guests looking for an active break.
Just meters from the roaring waves of Portugal’s gorgeous beaches, the hotel’s light and airy atmosphere combined with the contemporary architecture makes for a perfect setting for a luxury wellness escape.
Here are a few highlights from the stay:
Just a short 30 minute drive west of Faro airport, Epic Sana was hassle free to get to. The hotel is situated in-between Villa Moura Marina and Albroueira and will cost you about 35 euros in a taxi. The hotel is very secluded with no neighbours insight but if you do feel like venturing out, either towns are around an hour’s walk along the beach or 20 minutes by taxi.
Cat and I shared a generous sized Seaview room which featured an open-plan bathroom and a deep white tub to soak off the day’s activities. I loved the use of natural wood throughout the room and despite the lime green toilet paper in the bathroom, the room couldn’t have been more perfect. There was copious amounts of hanging space and cupboards for two ladies, a huge plasma TV and the rooms are complete with private terraces that feature stunning garden views and the sea in the far backdrop. Little extras that ticked our boxes were white fluffy robes, a normal sized hairdryer and toiletries from the Aromatherapy associates.
On the wellness front, the hotel has all the usual suspects: 3 pools, a small gym, a sauna, a fitness studio and a spa. There are about 3 complimentary fitness classes per day including a mix of HIIT style bootcamp, spin, yoga and pilates which were all 60 minutes in duration. We tried out one of the 90 minute yoga sessions which was more of a YIN style class, however you should know that this is charged at an additional 15 euro per class.
Cat and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and we moved our “salutes to the suns” outside each morning for a bit of vitamin D and self practice. I would have liked to have the option of taking some of the offered fitness classes outside for a change of scenery.
From what we sampled at the buffet style breakfast, the food was fresh with lots of variety. Eggs, waffles, fruit, pastries and cereals completed the picture. I’m a sucker for an omelette station while Cat ventured over to make her own bircher bowl. There was a devilish display of cakes and croissants which included the famous Portuguese tart (yes I had one and it was delicious). Other than soy milk, I was disappointed that there was no other milk alternatives for this wellness bunny.
I would have liked to have seen a fresh juice/smoothie station, mini healthy elixir shots or some lemon wedges to make a hot lemon tea in the morning. If you are looking for a wellness escape as a detox, it might be better to order breakfast to your room to avoid all the temptations.
We also had some light lunch by the pool which included a fruit smoothie and a healthy salad. After we were told that there was powered milk used in the smoothie, they were happy to swap it out for yoghurt for us. They were also happy to swap and add ingredients to enhance our salad choices.
As the hotel is perfectly perched just meters from the sea, there are two coastal walks you can take. Either along the white sandy beachfront, or take the high road along the orangey red dusty trail. On day one we took to the beachfront, stopping off along the way for “photo opportunities” and dipping our feet into the freezing cold water. There were day beds for rent as well as little drink and ice-cream stores. We managed to find a little beach restaurant which served a range of yummy salads and a garotto sized coffee (it’s a cortado in Portuguese).
On day two we took to the edge of the cliffside for a different viewpoint. We stopped for moments of yoga, meditation and again many many photo opportunities. Cat and I would promise each other that we wouldn’t stop again for a photo until we got to a restaurant, and then next minute, we were both snapping away on our cameras. I think we took about 25,600 photos each (no joke), but the view was just too good to miss out!
Both days, the walk took us over an hour as we were procrastinating along the way. However, we still had a sweaty workout, stopping at Nofoto Agua on the second day for lunch and then again in Villa Moura for a sneaky gelato.
If soaring in the clouds above is your thing, the sky was filled with game paraglider’s taking in the dramatic landscape from a Birdseye view.
Overall the hotel grounds and amenities exceeded my expectations. The laid back glamorous environment is exactly what I am after for a luxurious getaway. In terms of it’s wellness offerings, I would say that the gym could have been bigger as there was no free weights or floor space to workout. Also some proper yoga mats would be a great addition to their studio. And in terms of food, there is a little more work they need to do in order to make it a wellness hotel destination. If you’re wellness savvy and are in the know how of what to eat when detoxing or focusing on wellness, you will be fine. If not, you may be led astray by all the yummy food options. I would definitely go back to Epic Sana, most likely for a romantic getaway or hosting my own yoga retreat as it was a balanced mix of wellness, relaxation and luxury. If you’re looking for a strict detox or wellness program, this may not be the place for you.
A big thanks to Epic Sana for hosting Cat and I and big kisses for Cat for being my wellness partner in crime slash photographer slash travel buddy.
We both flew to Faro Airport with Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, which operates flights to Faro from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £59 one way (£164 return)
Have you been to the Algarve?