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“Boutique hotel in resort surroundings - excellent!”

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Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel
Ranked #9 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 June 2010

As with all our trips, we researched on TripAdvisor where we would like to stay and we're glad we did. The outstanding reviews on here are entirely justified and this hotel is a breath of fresh air compared with the normal resort hotels found in Spain and Portugal. We arranged our own flights and booked our hotel through lowcostholidays after an exhaustive search to find the best price and obtained an excellent bed and breakfast rate.

As for location, the hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the bottom of the strip, positioned as it is in Santa Eulalia. The old town is a further 25 minute walk on. However, we made use of the tourist train which can be caught three-quarters of the way up the strip and travels on a circular route between there, the old town, and the Modelo supermarket opposite Mcdonalds. We also used taxis, which were easily found and very cheap, working out more economical than the tourist train when you factor in the walk from the train stop to the hotel which obviously you don't have with a taxi. Also, taxis are essential if travelling back from the old town after the tourist train finishes at 10:40pm.

It wasn't necessary to walk to the strip or go on to the old town to find good restaurants though, because Santa Eulalia has plenty of restaurants on the doorstep of the hotel that we would recommend. Turn right out of the hotel, cross the road at the pedestrian crossing next to the roundabout and follow the road with the supermarket on your left to find a host of quality restaurants on the left hand side. We would particularly recommend the Italian (the first one you pass) and the traditional Portugese next door to the Dutch bar/restaurant. Also, follow the path out of the back of the hotel down to the beach (a 5 minute walk) where the cafe/restaurant is also open in the evening, serves excellent authentic kebabs and seafood within yards of the sea.

Going back to the hotel itself.... the service was excellent - the staff could not have been more helpful, all speaking excellent English and nothing being too much trouble for them. They booked all of our excursions for us from brochures available in the hotel and only use established operators who provided a good service for us (we would particularly recommend the jeep safari).

Breakfast was varied and plentiful in buffet style. It was served 7:30 to 10:30, but was particularly busy in the last hour. Seating was available outside and inside. There was a full range of food, allowing continental or cooked breakfast, and as near as you will find to a full English in a Portugese hotel if that is what you're looking for. The local speciality cake and excellent coffee provided a nice alternative too. Asti spumante was available for free, chilled and unlimited, and very nice mixed with orange juice!

The outside patio area and pool area were modern and clean, as with everything else in the hotel. One complaint would be the same as in most other resort hotels - inconsiderate guests reserving sun loungers with their towels at breakfast and leaving them there all day, depriving others of using them. But we always found seating available outside when we wanted it, as neither of us wanted to spend huge amounts of time by the pool. The nearby beach was clean and had many loungers available at any time in any event.

Our ground floor room was the standard rather than upgraded type, which was all we wanted so no complaint there. It was on the side of the hotel, so our balcony overlooked some undeveloped common land and was by no means an unpleasant view. The sea could just be seen over the top of the trees. The room was serviced daily and kept clean and tidy as you would expect, with fresh towels as and when requested. There was a fantastic shower, albeit with a slight leak under the bath but this did not present us with a problem. The room had a safe at no extra charge and air conditioning that worked well and didn't disturb us at night whilst operating. We did have two single beds pushed together, but this is generally the norm so no surprise to us. The decor of the hotel is ultra-modern and the style would look absolutely in keeping with a typical European boutique hotel in a major city, which was a breath of fresh air compared with the typical resort hotels all over Albufeira.

I have answered 'yes' to there being a fitness centre as one appears close to opening as equipment was installed on the roof, but was not operational whilst we were there. Wireless and wired internet was available in the room at an additional cost. Don't miss the bar on the roof which is not well publicised but available from the stairway nearest the restaurant.

Other recommendations around the area would include to visit the restaurant upstairs at Wild & Co. on the strip - the steak is expensive but to die for and the atmosphere a million miles away from the tackiness of the strip and more in keeping with a top notch restaurant in a capital city.

Overall, as a fan of the Algarve, when I return to Albufeira, I would not stay anywhere else as the location was perfect for us as a young couple and the hotel outstanding from start to finish and great value for money.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MKB5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,442 - 1,448 of 1,779 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2010

This is a strong four star hotel. The rooms were nice, the hotel was extremely modern. It was also very close to both the strip and the beach. The breakfast was nice, and the staff were amazingly friendly.

And all for a really great price, too.

Can't fault it!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Daniel5153
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

This hotel was excellent and the staff were amazing. They are great with children, the beach a short walk only problem is that its next to the party place and you can hear the drunks coming back at stupid o'clock.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Banga077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

We stayed here during the first week of May. A wonderful experience! A uniquetly designed building within close walking distance to many inexpensive restaurants and bars.
The food in the hotel restaurant was lovely and the staff always seemed to be working their socks off to keep up with demand at meal-times but always with a smile on their faces.
Our admiration particularly goes to the reception staff (Diana, and Carlos, both of them) who answered our many questions with perfect patience and professional politeness.
We were cought up in the Volcanic- Ash debacle and whilst at the airport our flight was cancelled . We 'phoned the hotel and Diana reserved a room for us ( a special room!)
not only for that night but for a further two nights in case we could not get away. fortunately, thanks to BA we got away the following night. We remain very greatful to Diana for her assistance during that stressful time.
Return to this hotel ? Most Definetly !! The sooner the better!
John C. ( Southampton )

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank johca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2010

booked through travellers republic for one week from 13th may and had a lovely time at this beautiful hotel. Arrived late on thursday night but the reception were very polite and helpful and this continued to be the theme for the entire stay. the rooms were clean and serviced every day.our room overlooked the entrance but it was' t noisy at all. the pool was small and cold but perfectly adequate.The pool bar service was a little slow and slightly expensive but then it is a 4 star hotel.Beer and food is reasonably priced outside and you are spoilt for choice but a rule of thumb we found was if it looked busy it was probably ok Casa vella ,just of the roundabout. outside the hotel is a great place to eat with a lovely bar next door. great friendly service in both and be prepared to sing if you are in there when Gill, the owner fires up.We prefered " the old Town" to the "strip" as it had a more cosmopolitan feel with a marvellous selection of bars shops and restaurants and a buzzing nightlife.It is only a 6 euro ride in a taxi from the hotel. We also spent a day at "Slide and Splash" which was good but left it to late to go on the bus and payed 80 euros return in a taxi!!book in time.The weather was up in the mid eighties when we left but pleasant enough at night. I visited the beach on several occassions. Its beautiful but can be trickyto get into the sea because of the rocks/ all in all a terrific hotel and lovely area of Portugal.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank bcalm5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2010

We stayed in this hotel for 8days and we booked through the Thomas cook website. If you book the hotel and flights together, you get an excellent deal!

We had buffet breakfast all included and you have loads of choice! We didnt eat dinner at the hotel, if you want a taste of real portugese food (their fish is lovely), go to a restaurant called Palacete. It is about 10-15mins walk from the hotel, as at the reception. Their portions are huge and you will get a lovely welcome. we ate there almost every night.the price is very good also.

the hotel rooms are big and extremely clean, room is cleaned daily and towels are changed every day. the hotel staff are friendly and helpful. A lot of brits stay at this hotel so you will be right at home!

the hotel is in a great location near the beach (only a few steps) and also near the main albufeira strip (endless bars and clubs , you can party till 7am!)

you can book a transfer on easyjet website to and from the airport (only £14 return), and its a lot cheaper than getting a taxi! The transfer is from Faro airport and they drop people off on the way there.

All in all, we had a great holiday. I would recommend visiting the albufeira marina for a dolphin encounter tour, visiting the Old Town, visiting Loule market, and going for a trip to lisbon (20euros return, you need to find a good tour company to get the best deal, all available on the albufeira strip), and I also recommend eating lots of real protugese food, not the watered down versions.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank ToTheEndzOfTheEarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2010

Just come back (4th May) from this wonderful stay at the Aqua Pedros Dos Bicos. It more than met our expectations after an awful hotel experience in Crete the previous holiday. I would go as far as saying this is a Superior 4 star hotel, as the bathroom, fittings, fixtures, everything felt and sounded solid and well designed / built. The hotel was spotless and with a young infant this was just what we needed. Breakfast was plentiful and the staff were extremely friendly, especially with our young child.
The location is excellant, a short walk to the beach or the other way to the strip with its various places to eat / drink etc. Would recommend the cafe/ice cream parlour opposite the hotel that also offer take-away desserts at less than 4 euros (very useful if you fancy this in the room, rather than paying 6 euros in the restaurant downstairs).

On our first night the staff converted our twin beds into a double bed by laying a MASSIVE mattress across the two beds and re-laying the bed for us - it was the size of a SUPER QUEEN bed...!

The hotel lobby and reception areas were also stunning, a nice feature was the free internet access - which was useful to periodically check emails etc.

The baby pool also made it a great feature, our little one loved it in here!
Also a hidden gem was the views from the hotel roof, with Gym room. Great in the early evening with the sun going down and stunning landscapes across the Algarve.

I would truly recommend the hotel and would say it is one of the best ones we have stayed in, more than met our expectations and would not think again about booking this on a future trip out to the ALgarve.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank MazResh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel

Address: Urbanizacao Quinta Pedra dos Bicos, Lote 24 | Santa Eulália, Albufeira 8200-381, Portugal (Formerly Hotel Pedra dos Bicos)
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#7 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £35 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 142
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Aqua Pedra dos Bicos is an island of serenity in Santa Eulalia, near the busy Albufeira and at 500 meters from the famous "Strip", one of the main nightlife atractions. The direct access from the Hotel to the Bicos Beach - 400 meters away - and the inspiring view over the Atlantic Ocean complete this unique Hotel in the heart of the Algarve. This 4-Star Hotel, from Details Hotels & Resorts, features a daring and modern architecture, offering a memorable and relaxing experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pedra Dos Bicos Albufeira
Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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