We Explored Portugal, and the Christian Louboutin Hotel, in the Ultimate Range Rover Sport SV

The ultimate luxury is to live a designer's vision. A trek through Christian Louboutin's hotel and the elegant power of the Range Rover Sport SV were a perfect trek through Portugal's Algarve.

Range Rover Sport Sv
The Range Rover Sport SV performed like a boss on the track. Photo: Kristin Shaw

Range Rover is the Royal Family’s Standard, and We Can See Why

Wearing striking red tunics and tall bearskin hats since the 17th century, the Grenadier Guard regiment stands watch day and night at Buckingham Palace in London. Red, Royalty, and Range Rovers are the three Rs of the British nobility, and members of the royal family are often seen inside the luxurious cabins of Rovers wherever they go. It’s a vehicle fit for a queen. 

I’ll bet that even the queen of England never got to take the Range Rover Sport SV on a Formula 1 track, spinning around the corners and hitting the straightaways at over 100 miles per hour. That would have been too risky for the royal family, but not for me. 

Related: 2023 Range Rover Sport Evolves

Comfort Options On The Multimedia Screen.

Comfort options on the multimedia screen. Photo Kristin Shaw

As Relaxing as a Spa Day

The Range Rover Sport SV is as capable as it is beautiful. It fits into the luxury lifestyle seamlessly, from the sleek lines of the body to the plush cabin. And there’s a lot to like about this vehicle’s available Body and Soul seats (or BASS, for short), which pulse in time with the music you’re playing on the audio system. It’s not just a booming subwoofer, though; the brand says it’s influencing heart rate variability, which is the variation in time between each heartbeat.

Like a high-end spa, the Range Rover Sport SV includes wellness features to keep you relaxed and still energized for safe driving. Of course, your passengers can just sit back and chill. And chill I did, as a driver was assigned to take me from Lisbon to the Vermelho Hotel. I couldn’t help but fall asleep in the reclining back seats for a lovely nap.

Related: Why Queen Elizabeth was the Car Girl We All Want to Be

My Beautifully Appointed Room At The Vermelho Hotel

My beautifully appointed room at the Vermelho Hotel. Photo Kristin Shaw

Christian Louboutin’s Gorgeous Hotel is the Perfect Fit for a Range Rover

Vermelho means red in Portuguese, and for renowned fashion designer Christian Louboutin, red stands for success. The red-soled soles that have become Louboutin’s signature are instantly recognizable across the globe. What I didn’t know until last month is that the celebrated icon also designed a five-star resort in Portugal called Hotel Vermelho and there are touches of luxurious red everywhere.

It’s the perfect place for the exclusive Range Rover Sport SV, a mind-blowing SUV that’s equally at home on the street as it is on the dirt or even zooming up to 180 miles per hour on a track. I got to test it out on all of those surfaces across the gorgeous countryside of Portugal, and it seemed fitting when I pulled up to the gates of Vermelho Hotel in Melides, a charming burg that reminded me of the tiny Greek village in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.

Related: The Land Rover Range Rover Luxury 3-Row SUV Is Quiet-ish Luxury

Range Rover Sport Sv

The Range Rover Sport SV has a beautiful aesthetic. Photo: Kristin Shaw

If Performance Is Your Choice in Luxury, You’re in Luck

The Range Rover Sport SV is the most powerful Rover ever built by JLR (Jaguar Land Rover). Under the hood, a mild-hybrid twin-turbo V8 is good for 626 horsepower, and it rides on 23-inch carbon fiber wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires. Range Rover has always been known for its off-roading prowess and its standing as a favorite with the royal family in the UK. Astonishingly, this Rover can also crank it up from zero to 60 miles per hour in as little as 3.6 seconds.

Not one to be shy, while the Range Rover is beautiful, it’s also powerful. The Sport SV model we drove can also crank it up from zero to 60 miles per hour in as little as 3.6 seconds.

Range Rover Sport Sv

The key to my room. Photo: Kristin Shaw

Step Inside Christian Louboutin’s Lifestyle Hotel

When we reached Christian Louboutin’s impeccably designed hotel and checked in, the hotel desk handed out old-fashioned metal keys attached to a red leather tassel. Inside the room, the furniture was hand-painted, the bathroom decked out in marble, and a basket of fruit sat on the desk like a Matisse still life painting. Dinner was served at Xtian (a play on the name Christian), and both the food and the atmosphere were… *chef’s kiss.*

Range Rover Sport Sv

The Range Rover Sport SV performed like a boss on the track. Photo: Kristin Shaw

Now For a Different Luxury: Putting the Range Rover Sport to the Test

The next morning, our group was off toward southern Portugal, where we’d push the limits of the vehicle trackside. At the Algarve International Circuit, affectionately called the Portimão Circuit, the Range Rover Sport SV really shows off its chops. The high-end air suspension system keeps the SUV planted on the asphalt, and when taking corners at 60-70 miles per hour, I could hardly believe I was in an SUV. On the straightaways, my instructor prompted me to go for it, and the speedometer kissed 140 mph.

After wringing out the SUV on the track, it was time to test the Range Rover Sport SV’s off-road capabilities. Spotters led the group up steep hills and down concrete stairsteps, wading through a deep puddle (the SUV can ford water depths of up to 35 inches) and across bumpy and rocky terrain.

Range Rover Sport Sv

We put the Range Rover through its paces on the course. Photo: Kristin Shaw

When the Destination is the Luxury, Getting There is a Must

Finally, it was time for a road trip from Portimão north to the ethereal Praia do Canal Nature Resort in Aljezur, Portugal. When you walk in the door of this tranquil retreat, staffers meet you with a cup of tea and a warm cloth for your hands. The resort is located on 543 acres of lush, grassy land near the Vicentine coast, and while the rooftop suites with 360-degree views are the most impressive, the standard rooms are also stunning. There’s no question the Range Rover fits into this lifestyle.

Range Rover Sport Sv

The interior of the Range Rover Sport SV is clean. Photo Kristin Shaw

And Then, Turn it Up

The last leg of the Range Rover Sport SV test drive led us from Aljezur back to Lisbon, a three-hour trek. I experienced the even feel of the suspension, the incredibly planted feel of the body, and the BASS system that kept me alert. Be sure to choose your favorite music to really feel the effects of the Body & Soul seats; I didn’t really get it until I chose a hard rock song that pulsed through my body. Others prefer jazz, country, or pop.

Range Rover Sport Sv

Behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport SV. Photo: Kristin Shaw

If You Want a Range Rover Sport SV, You’ll have to Wait

Unfortunately, this limited-edition Rover, priced from $181,775, is sold out for this year. But even if you can’t get this version, there are many luxuries to be had in the rest of the Range Rover lineup. Or, stay tuned… the brand has suggested that another version may be coming our way.

Range Rover Sport Sv

This Range Rover is capable of a great many things. Photo: Kristin Shaw

Disclosure: I was Range Rover’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

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Writer. Car fanatic. Mom. Kristin is the co-owner of auto review site Drive Mode Show and a nationally-published writer... More about Kristin Shaw