CPO itself. Having arrived on Friday night for an untypically short weekend visit, I was determined to see whether anything had changed very much since my last time here, for better or for worse.
One of the "for worse" parts is that the weather is pretty dire - dry, but cold. There's no feeling homesick for Blighty while it's like this.
But there isn't really very much the management or the team at the Clube Praia da Oura can do about the elements. One piece of bad news that does come from within is that the hard-working and ever-popular entertainer Bruno has moved on to pastures new. Bruno was an absolute legend and an institution at CPO, a real character who personified everything that is fun about the resort, not only providing entertainment and laughter in the evenings but also calling the numbers at bingo (in the days when it was permitted by the Portuguese government), helping to run the pool parties in the summer and even managing activities such as archery during the day. Bruno will be missed by many and we wish him all the very best in his new work.
The CPO itself continues to excel in its service to its clients. The room as always is spotless and the small but thoughtful "added touches" - some basic foodstuffs in the fridge (for which one is always grateful after the flight and transfer in), bottle of wine, toothbrush and other little bathroom essentials, are always much appreciated.
CPO's portfolio of entertainers would appear to be expanding, and the strategy of encouraging cross-patronage around the family of resorts and hotels would appear to be progressing well.
Obviously this week there is a Christmassy feel as well, although I will have missed the carols in the open air by arriving too late on Friday and departing too early on Monday.
It is always a pleasure to be at the CPO and always a sadness to leave. Three nights are never enough to completely rediscover a feel for a place but there is clearly much to be optimistic about.