Putting Portugal on the map for world class spas: our experience at Serenity – The Art of Wellbeing

Pine Cliffs Resort Portugal Spa Review

Serenity – The Art of Wellbeing
Pine Cliffs Resort – The Luxury Collection
Algarve, Portugal

Driving in to the impressive grounds of the 5* Pine Cliffs Resort, you know it’s going to deliver. This cliff edge family resort is home to the award winning spa brand ‘Serenity – The Art of Wellbeing’. This was the main appeal for us but we learnt that this resort has something for everyone.

The resort is set on over 70 acres of beautiful, well manicured Algarve landscape and offers extensive leisure facilities from golf and tennis to culinary diversity. There’s a pirate ship for kids to play, beauty salon, shops and a gym. All in addition to the world class Serenity spa.

Serenity – The Art of Wellbeing

The Serenity Spa is a brand that is the brainchild, concept and vision of Maria D’Orey, the Spa Director for the Serenity brand. Having traveled the world to find her muse for the spa brand, she created much more than just a spa, or rather a hotel spa, she created a complete experience. Here you have everything – the vision for wellbeing is reinforced by the resort, with healthy eating options at Zest, the onsite eatery and all of the sports and activities such as tennis, swimming, water sports etc. that can be enjoyed to give you a holistic wellbeing experience that extends beyond your time at Serenity.

This haven of wellness puts the Algarve firmly on the global map of truly world class spa destinations.

The welcome

Serenity is located in the Ocean Suites part of the resort – an extension of the hotel which was completed in 2016. The entrance to the spa is surprising for a hotel. It’s airy with open ceiling space the height of 2 floors, and spacious, with a collection of world renowned high-end products to peruse through while you are attended to.

The registration form tells you a lot about the spa. The questions aren’t typical. Instead of asking if you have this or that, they ask instead how you want to leave feeling, what you’re looking to achieve…the focus is on your serenity and experience.

We were shown to a locker room to change in to our robe and then led down to our treatment room to meet Catalina, the head therapist at Serenity. The moment the door opens to the spa zone (past reception), your journey starts. The ambiance was set with earthy sounds and intentional guiding lights as well as hanging shells and pools of rocks which bring nature indoors.

The treatment

Serenity offers treatments traditionally found at a spa, with an Algarve twist, such as the Senses of the Algarve treatment that we experienced, which uses all natural ingredients sourced from the grounds at Pine Cliffs Resort. Each of the 13 treatment rooms is given a unique style and design that compliments the type of treatments provided in them, for example there is the Japanese-inspired Sakura room for oriental treatments such as Shiatsu, Thai and Ayurvedic massage; a Hydro-bath room; Dry Flotation Bed and marble Hammam treatment room.

We like to experience treatments that are unique to the region we visit, so here we tried the signature spa treatment Senses of the Algarve. This 80 minute treatment stimulates the senses, working to re-energise body and mind. The ‘Senses of the Algarve’ conjures up a blissful journey of the region utilizing the very best it has to offer. Using sea salt and sand from the cliff-lined Falésia Beach prepared by Serenity therapists, the treatment begins with a revitalizing exfoliation before a body wrap rich in carob is performed. One of the region’s most plentiful native products and rich in antioxidants, the wrap powerfully draws on carob’s qualities to promote proper elimination. This is followed by a full body massage where Algarvian Orange Essential Oil – abundant in antioxidants – is applied and manipulated to intensify the carob body wrap, fight free radicals and prevent premature aging.

From the sea-salt and sand scrub to the carob wrap, the products were as natural and local as they come (literally they are found on the grounds of the resort!). The treatment room that we were in was designed to showcase nature which really helped bring the scents of the products to life. One of the most enjoyable moments of this treatment was during the carob wrap process, where the high-end spa treatment bed deflated to leave us ‘floating’ on a bed of water while the carob did its magic for 10 minutes. This was pure bliss. Deep relaxation. The kind where you think you’ve been sleeping for an hour, when its only been 5 minutes.

Throughout the treatment music is soft on the ear in the background and flows through a sequence that again compliments the part of the treatment you’re receiving. Just as Maria D’Orey intended, your senses are all ignited during this journey of serenity.

We loved our therapist Catalina. She kindly talked us through the treatment once it had sadly ended and spoke with the kind of enthusiasm you’d expect from someone just starting out! She clearly has a passion for wellbeing and it showed through the wonderful Senses of the Algarve treatment she provided us.

We also enjoyed the delicious lemongrass tea, made using lemongrass from the gardens on site. This was the perfect way to end the Serenity experience.

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The amenities

Serenity has something we haven’t seen before. An Aurum Suite. This is a magnificent private suite for couples or friends seeking the ultimate indulgent spa experience. Gleaming gold leaf and a glittering Swarovski chandelier illuminate this ‘spa within a spa’, which features its own private treatment room, Jacuzzi, experience shower and relaxation area.

It also has the thermal oasis which was thoroughly relaxing post treatment. This sanctuary extends your spa experience beyond your treatment by offering a place of relaxation and rejuvenation complete with hydrotherapy pool; sauna with Himalayan salt; experience showers; steam room; ice fountain; Kneipp therapy pool; al fresco Jacuzzi; and spacious indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. We enjoyed the use of all amenities, particularly the al fresco jacuzzi and ice fountain following the Himalayan salt sauna!

Check out all of our photos below and a video walkthrough on our YouTube channel here.

Serenity spa’s are located at Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, in Albufeira, and Sheraton Cascais Resort, both in Portugal. For more information visit: serenity-spa.com

– Jackie, WSR Co-founder

Copyright Pine Cliffs Resort Portugal

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