50 Years of Golf in the Algarve is Commemorated by the Golf Resort that started it all!
At the end of November 2016, Penina Hotel & Golf Resort - which boasts the first ever golf course to be constructed in Portugal - hosted a milestone gala event to commemorate the occasion of its 50th birthday. Notable guests included Eduardo Cabrita, Minister of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and Isilda Gomes, Mayor of Portimao. The party was given by Penina's owners, JJW Hotels and Resorts, a company which has been heavily investing in the Algarve tourism industry for over 30 years.
The evening began with a VIP cocktail reception held in a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly and completely transparent - awning, designed to give guests the feeling of dining al-fresco, as well as allowing them to view a range of entertainment laid on in throughout Penina's grounds, which included a dazzling light show which was projected into the sky and onto the Hotel's exterior.
Inside, the place settings had been laid out to honour the array of famous guests who have stayed there over the years and included tributes to luminaries including Neil Armstrong, Nigel Mansell, Sir Henry Cooper, James Morrison and David Hassellhoff.
Following a welcome cocktail designed especially for the event, guests sat down to a gala dinner created by two of JJW Hotels and Resorts' leading chefs: Bernard Lussiana from Penina; and Luis Batalha from Dona Filipa Hotel in Vale do Lobo. For the occasion they served their unique - and updated - take on the menu used for Penina's original inauguration way back in 1966.
Entertainment was provided by a variety of performers, including a fire breather and an aerial silk artist performing acrobatics from one of Penina's 50 year old pine trees, as well as a host of living statues. Whilst music was offered up by a pianist - playing on a piano that was once belonged to Queen Amelie of Orleans and a band.
To officially commemorate this 50 year milestone, a memorial plaque was unveiled by Eduardo Cabrita, Minister of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. On the 11th of December, the hotel will receive further recognition when it is presented with the Gold City Medal of Honour by the Mayor of Portimao, Isilda Gomes, who on the evening declared herself ' proud to have a hotel of this quality in the Algarve'.
Also speaking at the event, Minister Cabrita reminisced how he remembered Penina opening the year after Faro airport and 'began a new era for the Algarve,' full of international oppurtunities and exciting new challenges. Whilst Desiderio Silva, President of the Algarve Tourism Board spoke of how proud he was of Penina's achievements and how 'it has been an icon, not only for the region... but for the whole country'.
Ruben Paula, Chief Operating Officer for JJW Hotels and Resorts in Portugal paid tribute to the visionary golf architect Sir Henry Cotton and the Stillwell Family - who built the hotel - declaring, that 'without them the Algarve would not be what it is today'. Ruben Paula also used the event to announce a range of JJW initiatives taking place in the Algarve, which include: the further development of Pinheiros Altos Golf Course, which has seen a new Titleist fitting centre recently added... and in conjunction with business partners Eurologistix and Opcao Global, the plan to construct a new 1500 square meter events pavilion at the Penina Hotel which will be able to host over 1000 guests, and be arriving in May 2017.
To round off the evening a scaled cake replica of the hotel was ceremoniously cut, as the band performed the 'Penina' song, originally written about and dedicated to the hotel by former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney.
About Penina Hotel & Golf Resort Set within 360 acres of perfect grasslands and natural beauty, the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is the original home of golf in the Algarve. With three golf courses - including the Algarve's first 18 hole Championship course, this luxury five star Algarve hotel leads the way in high-class service, Portuguese charm and exceptional golf. Perfect for luxury Algarve golf breaks, relaxing family holidays and corporate retreats.
About JJW Portugal's Executive Chefs
Bernard Lussiana, Executive Head Chef at Penina Hotel & Golf Resort: Born in Burgundy, the Chef Lussiana has worked his way around some of the best restaurants and Michelin starred kitchens in Europe, winning a range of Gold and Silver medals along the way. He has been the guest chef, cooking at a host of gastronomic events around the world - the highlight of which being for the State Banquet held for Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Warsaw in 1996. He has published a number of recipe books, opened the well-respected Le Meridien Tour Hassan in Morocco and spent the last 30 years cooking at the very highest level.
Luis Batalha: Executive Head Chef at Dona Filipa Hotel Responsible for all the restaurants of Dona Filipa Hotel, San Lorenzo Golf Course and Pinheiros Altos Golf Course, Chef Luis Batalha leads and brands the Dom Duarte Restaurant with his signature dishes. An expert in fusion Mediterranean cuisine, the chef blends classic regional flavours with exotic spices and ingredients... and is heavily influenced and inspired by historic Portuguese exploration. He has worked at some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants around the globe, from world leading 5-star resorts, to Michelin-starred restaurants...gaining a litany of Gold Prizes in a range of competitions along the way. His most recent accolade was that of the coveted 'innovation Chef of the Year'. Chef Batalha joined JJW IN 2015.
About JJW Hotels & Resorts JJW Hotels & Resorts is an international leisure enterprise operating a range of hotels, resorts, golf courses and cruise ships across Europe and the Middle East. The company conducts business in Austria, Egypt, France, Portugal and UK. JJW own and manage a range of luxury properties, with long traditions, loyal customers and outstanding reputations. These hotels are exclusively for those who demand the highest standards of luxury, coupled with flawless service and classic design. The majority of these hotels are considered historical landmarks in their own right, and can be found in prime locations within the worlds' most popular destinations.
For the past 30 years, the company has been successful in delivering the highest quality services, whilst nurturing a loyal and ever growing client base. Thanks to the way the business operates, employees are able to develop skills that provide practical solutions to the many challenges faced within the hotel and leisure industry. JJW Hotels & Resorts is committed to developing this talent, investing in people and striving to deliver only the finest standards in hospitality.