Sean Moriarty: Curating Unique, Convenient and Quality Hospitality Experiences 

In the hospitality industry, which keeps looking for new ways to entertain guests and offer a wholesome experience, a luxury lifestyle destination offers the ultimate in comfort, elegance, and exclusivity. It is a place where you can indulge in the finest gastronomy, relax in the most lavish wellness facilities, enjoy the most thrilling activities, and explore the most stunning scenery. A luxury lifestyle destination is not just a hotel or a resort, but a whole experience that caters to the guests’ every whim and desire.

Luxury lifestyle destinations are gaining popularity because they offer affluent consumers a way to escape from the stress and monotony of their everyday lives and enjoy a unique and memorable experience. Luxury lifestyle destinations are not just about comfort and elegance, but also about authenticity, wellness, and social responsibility. Some experts suggest that luxury travelers are looking for deeper and more meaningful connections with the places and people they visit, as well as full immersion in nature and true disconnection from the routine. Luxury travelers are also seeking positive changes in their lives and are expecting luxury brands to do better for the people and the planet. Luxury lifestyle destinations that cater to these needs and values are attracting more and more customers who are willing to pay a premium for a holistic and transformative journey. A popular name in this rising category is of Quinta do Lago, Portugal.


Nestled within the Algarve and the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve Quinta do Lago is a clean and safe destination. The resort houses three world-class golf courses – including the €7 million upgraded South Course – which surrounds the award-winning real estate, sublime restaurants, a premier sports hub, a boutique hotel, and a golden sand beach. 

“For over 50 years, Quinta do Lago has been a leader in luxury, and can be described as an exclusive, modern lifestyle destination that is ideal for families, couples, and groups of friends of all ages. We encourage outdoor living and have an incredibly strong fitness and wellness offering across golf, tennis, cycling, birdwatching, and more – all designed with sustainability in mind. Our services include our award-winning golf courses and our multi-sports hub, The Campus which I mentioned earlier; these facilities allow guests to train and play at the highest standard, whilst also offering amateurs the welcoming atmosphere they need to take up a new sport and learn from high quality, experienced instructors. We also have 14 restaurants and bars all offering a new style of cuisine, our boutique hotel, The Magnolia Hotel, and a variety of exquisite rental properties. We also have a real estate arm and are launching some exciting new projects in 2024 including our final virgin plot development that follows significant demand and exciting, new opportunities for buyers.”

“We know our guests and our residents and have been delivering first-class service for over 50 years – combined with a laid-back feel that makes everyone feel at home,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO at Quinta do Lago

A Leader par Excellence

Sean began working when he was just 13 years old, working on a farm and cheese factory in County Tipperary, Ireland. This provided a very humbling start to his professional life, and he later moved into the food and hospitality industry where he worked for 20 years before moving to Quinta do Lago in 2016 as Chief Executive Officer. 

Having previously held senior positions with brands such as Quinnsworth, (now Tesco), Dairygold, and TOPAZ (Ireland’s biggest forecourt retailer – later acquired by Circle K), he played a leading part in these companies’ rebrands and development of their concepts. 

After working with such large companies and being successful in their development over the years, Sean decided it was time to venture further into the hospitality industry and he knew Quinta do Lago would be the perfect place to do this, as such a well-developed luxury destination, it was an easy decision. 

“Hospitality is a brilliant industry to be a part of, it’s fast-paced and people-centric but it’s one where you can really see the difference that every member of the team is making – and I can safely say that no two days are ever the same,” he says.

When Sean joined the Quinta do Lago team, his brief was to rejuvenate the resort and help transform its image from a traditional golfing resort to a sustainable, luxury lifestyle destination; a destination for all ages with a focus on culinary excellence and real estate developments in keeping with the master plan. A significant part of this regeneration was the opening of the multi-sports center, The Campus, in 2018. 

Since opening, The Campus has completely repositioned the resort’s lifestyle and reputation to Europe’s premier sporting destination for training, recovery, and rehabilitation. They now regularly host high-profile celebrity athletes and have welcomed over 1000 sporting professionals – whilst maintaining a welcoming and relaxed feel that embraces all sporting abilities. They also have 14 restaurants and bars that all have their own identity; from laid-back sports bar Dano’s to lakeside restaurant Casa do Lago, to the newly renovated Casa Velha serving traditional Portuguese cuisine, there is something for all their guests. The choice and high quality of these venues offer guests a unique dining experience.

Cruising the Pandemic

Being the CEO of a leading resort when the pandemic hit was not an easy task. Sean admits that it really was a terrible time for the travel and hospitality industry. Sean considers themselves to be lucky to recover quickly, and the Resort is continuing to adapt and embrace the post-pandemic way of living. Even throughout lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, Sean and his team ensured that they pivoted to make their model relevant – and looked after the staff and residents who remained on the resort. They also maximized the opportunity to invest in areas of the resort whilst it was quiet and renovated their seafood restaurant, Casa do Lago, the Clubhouse, and signature golf course, the South Course. 

“There are certainly positive takeaways – for example, there is still much more interest in spending time outdoors in nature, which is something our resort has always lent itself well to,” says Sean.

Leveraging Technology for Better Services

Quinta do Lago has always stayed at the top of its game when it comes to technology, whether that includes security or facility and restaurant booking systems. They have their own team, ‘Team 6 – Vigiquinta’, of highly trained technicians that provide state-of-the-art CCTV and alarms across the whole resort which means they have the very latest advancements at their fingertips as do the residents and guests. 

Sean shares that they are also about to launch a wallet solution for guests whilst they are on the resort, as well as create a new booking engine for the sports and golf facilities, integrating technology processes with the guest’s lifestyles. “Our golf courses also make use of technology to be more sustainable and we introduced a state-of-the-art irrigation system. The way technology has developed even in the past twelve months – with the advancements in artificial intelligence – show the importance of keeping up to date here and I’m a firm believer in utilizing it to drive innovation and improve guest experience,” he says.

Achieving the sustainability goals 
Sustainability is a big focus for Sean and the team at Quinta do Lago and something that is not traditionally easy for a large and well-established golfing resort like theirs. Over the past five years, they have been developing new initiatives to ensure they are working towards sustainability and managing their carbon footprint. 

Through the renovation of the resort’s South Golf Course and working closely with the GEO – Golf Environment Organisation, the resort has launched a multi-tiered strategy to foster nature, conserve resources, and support the community. As part of this initiative, Quinta do Lago has made vast eco-improvements including installing a state-of-the-art irrigation system, nurturing current nature trails, and cultivating their own farm-to-table offering working with head chefs and gardeners of the resort’s own Q Farm. They have also teamed up with the local Wildlife Research and Rehabilitation Centre (RIAS) to help repopulate native species and return rehabilitated animals to the wild – as well as protect its natural landscapes. 

“We are fortunate to be surrounded by the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve which is made up of 18,000 hectares of tidal marshes protected by a 60 km long system of sand-dune islands that separate the land from the ocean – and we recognize the importance of looking after it,” says Sean. 
Trends and Challenges in the Industry

Sean believes that over the next five years, the luxury resort industry will increasingly focus on sustainable luxury, personalized guest experiences, and technological integration. Quinta do Lago is at the forefront of these topics, continuously adopting eco-friendly practices and sustainable sourcing, as well as ensuring their culinary offering is of the highest standard and ahead of the curve, introducing new menus and hiring the most experienced, personable staff. They are also enhancing their offerings to provide more tailored services and unique activities, specifically designed to meet the individual preferences of the discerning guests. Additionally, Sean believes that embracing digital advancements will be crucial for enhanced convenience and guest engagement.
Sean points out that the greatest challenge in the luxury resort industry, especially after the pandemic, remains recruitment. The pandemic caused a notable shift, with a significant number of professionals exiting the hospitality sector. The imperative now lies in attracting and retaining skilled talent, and ensuring they are trained to a standard Quinta do Lago requires. To meet this challenge, he suggests, it’s crucial to offer unique benefits within a trustworthy and supportive company environment. Quinta do Lago, for instance, provides the staff with comprehensive support that goes beyond conventional perks. This commitment includes access to an in-house doctor and flexible work schedules to support family life. “Additionally, we are collaborating with local authorities to develop housing and transportation solutions. Our goal is to demonstrate our care for our staff, emphasizing that Quinta do Lago is more than just a workplace – it’s a close-knit family,” he says.

Racing Ahead
At Quinta do Lago, Sean and his core team place a strong emphasis on continuous employee training and development to ensure that they are well-versed with the latest trends and skills in hospitality. Embracing technological advancements is also a key focus, as they integrate state-of-the-art digital tools to enhance the guest experience. Additionally, their commitment to active networking and industry collaboration helps them stay connected with their peers, fostering a culture of idea exchange and innovation.
Sean suggests that there are some really big projects in the pipeline for the next few years – including a brand new five-star touristic development that they are hoping to launch. Plans are in the works and the development should include residences, apartments, and villas – offer the very top end of luxury. In terms of the team, they are continuing to grow and launch new leadership schemes and task forces that encourage everyone to develop professionally.

“As mentioned, we are planning to invest more into our sustainability initiatives and continue our renovation program across all aspects of the resorts. This year we are also renovating our restaurant KOKO – a family favorite amongst guests and we will start to roast our own coffee – offering a complete experience to everyone,” concludes Sean.

Quote: “Continuous improvement is endless.” 

Quote: The perfect backdrop for you to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life, in this unique destination, you are invited to live a life full of possibilities amongst the beauty of Portugal’s southern coast.

Quote: I have an open-door policy and I favour a very flat structure which means I am involved from the top right through to the bottom; this encourages speed and clarity within the network, enables people to speak up and illuminates waste in communication.

Quote: I encourage all team members to think big and be ambitious. We’re big into communication, we’re big into involvement, we’re massively into empowerment.