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“Great service, food, rooms and location.”

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Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol
Ranked #13 of 152 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 January 2014

Situated about a 15 minute walk from the beach in front of the old town, this hotel also is conveniently located with a big supermarket next door to the right as you walk out of the front, and the tractor train stop just to the left, which does a circular route from here up to the strip, then round to the top of the escalators for the old town before returning to the hotel (2.50 euros for a single trip or 4 euros for a day ticket) so it's definitely well placed.
The rooms were great for what we wanted although not perfect by a long way so if you are looking for spot on luxury perfection then you'd best be looking at places on a higher budget. So yes, the bathroom looks a bit tired, some of the sockets are a tad dodgy, even the waterman brown for a while when first turned on (we stuck to bottled water for the entire stay for drinking), but for the money paid you get an wakeful lot compared to many I've stayed in. We had a decent sided bedroom for two (single beds pushed together) and then a hallway connects that to your apartment front door, past the bathroom and into a large living area, with two big three seat sofas, a dining table, and a kitchenette, with two ring hob, micro way, toaster and kettle and all the crockery and cutlery you might need. Even clean tea towels in the draw. A sponge or something to wash up with would have been nice but I'm not really going to complain over the 69 cents it cost to by one in the supermarket!
The lounge also had a decent flat screen TV which thankfully wasn't "crippled* so you could only use the hotels choice of channels but could also plug into the AV socket as we'd taken a tiny AVI player to plug in if it was a very rainy day. Big coffee table as well and the glass doors opened onto a reasonable balcony overlooking the pool and on down to the sea. Back in the bedroom it was a good setup for those that need a dressing table as there were sockets close and really good lighting in that corner. If you ran out of wardrobe space n the bedroom there was another out in the hallway, which also had a set of coat hooks.
So that was room 07 which may or may not be indicative of the *average* room, I'm afraid I didn't see any others :)
The rest of the hotel was also pretty good with the restaurant area being well 'shaped' (whether by accident or design I don't know) to reduce the echoing these area often have. The buffets there were just a small choice, which at first I looked at in dismay, but virtually everything I tried was well prepared and so I managed to eat 6 out of 7 nights there without an complaint and most nights was great enjoyment. There was usually two meat dishes and two fish dishes to choose from and then a couple of 'carb' dishes, potato or rice on one day and then chips or pasta on another, together with a couple of vegetable choices too. There was also a range of salad sides and/or cheeses. Desserts normally had at least three choices. As I say many hotels I've been in ha duchy more choice, but here I'd say 90% of the things I tried were prepared well enough I didn't need the extra choice. Breakfast too was not a huge choice, but still ample enough. And for the Brits abroad it was real sausage rather than the hot dog style that may hotels think are part of the 'full english' (not that I mind them at all actually). So there was always full English, croissants, cakes, cereals, yogurt etc.
As usual, for half board, any drinks taken with you dinner were charged, and so one warns is that if you see a tray with ready poured glasses of wine as you come in, don't think they are complimentary! You are welcome to take one, but you do need to pay for it :)
The bar was nice enough though nothing special, but then again if you compare it to many of the sport bars out in town, it was actually very nice indeed. One very good point was that prices in the bar were consistent with those outside the hotel.
The hotel had a lot of other facilities which we didn't use so I can't comment much on the pool, gym, tennis & squash courts, other than to say, if you want to use the indoor pool, take a swimming cap, as they are mandatory.
Internet was available and I think we paid either 7 or 10 euros for the week (per device) which wasn't expensive, but was also only very weak in the room.
Finally on the facilities, I'd recommend the 15 euros (+10 deposit) for the safe lock as I think the patio door catches that secured access from the balcony I could have opened with a small butter knife!
Staff at the hotel were all very polite and generally friendly. Marco in the restaurant was especially jovial and made the place much more entertaining. Of course they were not all laughing and joking with you all the time and occasionally the bar staff had a look like they. Wish they weren't there, and let's face it, Christmas week is the equivalent of the graveyard shift, so no doubt they would have prefered to be at home with their families, but a smile always returned to the face when you went to the bar to order.
Room cleaning could take a while some days with us waiting until 5:30 before they came round, which was puzzling as it only seemed to take then less than 2 minutes to do our entire apartment.
There is also a very nice cake shop which is just to the left of the main door whose terrace also overlooks the hotel pool. Whether this is run by the hotel or just the space in the building rented by the cake shop I don't know but it's convenient being just next door and has a great reputation, although unbelievably we never quite got around to trying the cakes.
One quite specific comment I have is the complete chaos of our gala Christmas dinner. The plus points were that at least it was part of the half board (I've been to a few hotel where they charge you extra for Christmas and New Year's Eve dinners even though you' em already paid for half board) and the food again tasted great, but the organisation was fairly disastrous with rather than tables being called up one at a time to a buffet table, there was just a general call of "food's ready!" and queue formed. The result was a tad chaotic and didn't equate to a pleasant dining experience. They entertainment consisted of a guy with a guitar and backing track singing cover versions who was good enough but nothing inspiring. Had a bit of a dance and enjoyed the evening, but I must admit it didn't live up to expectations.
So all in all the hotel was a great choice for our Christmas week away. A shame Albufeira itself didn't quite have the charm to make me want to return else I'd probably have been very happy to stay at the Brisa Sol again.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
6  Thank GreedyGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 January 2014

Let's leave these murky shores and venture further afield (we cried). Let's take in the winter sun at a reasonable rate - and while we're at it use a firm we haven't tried before. In the interests of this new-found adventurous mind-set we plumped for Portugal (never been) and Low Cost Holidays (never used).
After the usual mulling over various offers we chose the Brisa Sol for the reasonable price and (of course) good reviews in these virtual pages. After initial problems with the Low Cost website, which necessitated late night phone calls and dealing with the lovely Becky (who thought I sounded like Chris Tarrant!) we managed to get all our paperwork for Monarch Airlines, the Brisa and Greenbus transfers. With what seemed like a telephone directory in our case we set off by bus and train to Leeds Bradford - where we discovered that all Monarch really wanted was our passports! Half a ton of paper could have been saved. Greenbus did require our paperwork in Faro airport and kept us waiting whilst the unsmiling lady clerk (clerkess?) assembled our party. We hoped (and were correct) that not all the Portugese would have this sullen, unamused demeanour. Not impressed - particularly after a long journey.
On arrival at the Brisa we didn't need paperwork either. We were warmly greeted by a smiling receptionist, efficiently allocated our room and sent on our way upwards to the second floor to the studio. Oh joy - a hob, fridge, microwave, cups, saucers plates, glasses and a comtemporary flatscreen Samsung telly which worked. Safe was available at 10 euros for the week, plus 15 deposit. Value!
Our balcony was accessed by a separate door prior to a few steps down where metal furniture awaited and an ashtray indicating that if you really had to you could smoke outside. There was also a sliding window overlooking the balcony from the room from which one's partner could observe your every move! A nice view over the town and not far distant sea was a Constant Reminder of where we were.
The bed was the usual two singles pushed together, but was comfortable and sleepable. We also had two chairs and plenty of wardrobe and stowage space. Bathroom comprised bath, loo, bidet, washbasin and was a good place to be.
Just exactly what we wanted for our winter break and a good pad to retreat to if it all got too much, which at our advancing years, it sometimes did.
Enough of the room, already. let's look at the rest of the Brisa. The reception was on floor 0, and the games room on floor -1. This had a minigolf set-up, various games machines and an internet area. Toilets also here and lovely and clean. Floor -2 saw the dining room - I suspect this was cut down to half size to reflect the winter trade. From these minus numbers you would expect to be in the basement, but no - the hotel is built on a hill which meant that the restaurant overlooked the swimming pool and external facilities. More on the restaurant later...
The "Bar Algarve" situated on floor 0 opposite the reception was open from 1600. From 1700 to 2000 was Happy Hour with 30% off drinks. To be fair this was needed, as this would be my one, only and totally singular grumble about the Brisa. Drinks prices were more than at the airport going home - with Super Bock beer coming in at 3.80 euro for 50cl. Never mind though, there were plenty of bars in the Old Town flogging the stuff at around 1.75 for 40cl. We enjoyed the bar though, as it was - well - respectable.
Of course with having all the required assets in our room it proved economical and sensible to stock up on comestibles at the supermarket over the road, with special offers on both beer and port it would have been churlish not to! Oh, also bought a large suitcase to accommodate a large purchase for 15 euros.
The restaurant presented a limited range of foods to choose from. It wasn't a dash in and grab a seat job either. This had its own decorum. You would be greeted by either the boss or one of the waiters and the ritual of checking your room number would be punctiliously observed. Then you were allowed to choose your own seat and venture to the servery. If you wanted a drink, this would be brought to your table and paid for on the way out. It all worked very well - and magnificently enlivened by Marco - a young waiter with a better grasp of the English language than many people at home. He and the other chap (who was more reserved) were genuine, friendly, helpful and great ambassadors for the Brisa. The food was always good, and there was always something we wanted. Full marks.
There was no celebration meal for New Year's Day. Not a problem, as we all toddled down to Fisherman's Beach for a loud, raucous and enthusiastic welcoming of 2014. No trouble, nearby bar and toilet and great fun.
With January 3rd being my loved one's birthday I was entertaining all sorts of bizarre notions such as announcing the event at breakfast (excellent - just wait for the fresh fried eggs coming out). I chickened out on this, and just as well as the Brisa had other plans. With no action on my part, a bottle of champagne appeared in our room, courtesy of the manager and we had a complimentary drink and singing of Happy Birthday in the evening. Well done!
This brings me to the nub of it all really. The Brisa is a respectable, mature, extremely well-run hotel. The staff, without fail, were attentive, charming and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing detracted from the smooth-running of the place. It reminded me of a respectable (that word again) middle-aged, middle-class lady who knew exactly what she was doing and the right way to do it. If that sounds snobbish - tough. Riff-raff and yobbos need not enter - plenty of room for them on the tacky Strip. I know where we'll stay again when we venture back in a summer some time.
Not relevant to the hotel, but pertinent nonetheless - weather was variable, but not too bad. The tourist train stops outside and is 2.50 per ride or the preferred option would be 4 euros for all day hop-on and off. The Marina is a good walk away through the old town, but once you master the Giro bus system (1.40 euros for an hour) is accessible for boat trips. Tours are well-organised locally and very good value.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank HoToCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We normally celebrate New Year in Spain but decided to have a change & bring in 2014 in Portugal.

We went for a one bed apartment, half board, pool/sea view. I was surprised how large the apartment was, a little dated but clean. What lets it down is that the bedroom is situated towards the back of the apartment so you do get noise from passing traffic. We were on the minus floor so it wasn't such a major issue all we had to contend with was passing folk going to their rooms, which wasn't many at this time of the year but our friends who were on the forth floor had constant noise from the busy main road. I did suggest if it was an issue to use the sofa beds in the lounge area instead.

We were out most of the day so never got to use the facilities, a little too cold to use the pool. We did use the bar, a little pricey compared to the local bars but that is to be expected. Disappointed that there was no entertainment. We brought the New Year in on the beach with the locals, brilliant night, local band playing, fireworks etc. Take a brolly cus come midnight it rains champagne.

breakfast & evening meal was taken in the small restaurant. Food was very good always fresh something different on the menu each night. you will also get to taste the scrummy cakes which they sell in the very popular cake shop next door? The restaurant staff are a credit to the hotel especially Marco wish I cud say the same about the bar staff it may be the guy was having an off few days, we all have them but he wasn't the friendliest. Be aware of the cleaning staff can't knock them they work hard & do a very good job but even though we put the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door they still came in, can be a bit embarrassing as our friends found out.

This hotel is perfectly located central to the strip, beach & old town, McDonald's across the road (free wifi here which u don't get at the hotel, well not this time of the year) supermarket next door, bus stop for little train right outside, this is four euro all day.. bargain.

This is our first time in Portugal not sure if I would visit again. We stayed in Albufeira I found it too commercialised, it seems to be geared up towards hen/stag parties. Prices are cheap we found one bar charging 90 cents for a small beer, others free shots to entice you into their bars. You can understand why people party here. I tried to look beyond the bars & graffiti but it's difficult, it must have been a very pretty little town in its heyday. I'm glad we went out of season cus I can imagine it's heaving with folk come high season. The beaches & coves are amazing.

We did venture out to Lagos, Portimao, Vilamoura but NO it's not for us.

Room Tip: Go for pool view
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank seeitpackitgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Brisa Sol at the end of August. We had an absolutely fantastic time, made even better by the quality of the hotel. The staff were superb, always attentive and very friendly. The hotel was always kept very clean, including around the hotel poor area, where we spent most of our time! When we did venture out in to the city, the hotel was in the most perfect position, with the old town 5 minutes walk one way, the new town 5 minutes walk the another. We would definitely consider going back in the future, and would recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My best mate and I came here for a weeks girls holiday - lovely, clean room, nice pool area, no problem getting a sunbed! Food was lovely too, great value for money, no complaints! Great location too, and Albufeira is a very lively town!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Coconuts_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Stayed at the Brisa Sol Christmas week from the 21st December and very pleased with the hotel. We booked a suite and dare I say I was pleased with the large accomdation and cleanliness of the room. The hotel was great value and we found all the staff to be friendly and accomodating, so if I returned i would proberly return. We did a half board basis and I was very happy with the food side of things, evening meals albeit very few, we found to be very tasty and enough to fill us up with a reasonable choice of varied foods. The sweets are amazing and I was very pleased with these. Breakfast was fine with a good choice of cooked breakfasts and nice choice of pastries too. I must admit that we found our breakfasts to be perfectly cooked and hot - so no compliants there. Did the Christmas Gala Meal, nice food however a bit of a bun fight to get food as everybody was invited to go for food once the buffet opened - so you can imagine the carnage !
There is not a lot going on in Albuferia over Christmas week, so it was a bit of a ghost town, but there were plenty of bars and adequete restaurants open to serve us. Don't think I would do Albuferia again at Christmas, as not enough going on for us, but it was a pleasent escape.
Nicely placed hotel between the strip and old town so good for that.
Would like to thank Marco for his polite and courtious service throughout our stay - a great example of customer service.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

Transfer From Faro Airport with Yellowfish Tranfers = Fantastic Transfer with free WIFI

Fantastic stay at the Brisa Sol Hotel, rooms very clean, and of a good size lovely view of the beach and Albufeira when you take a pool view. Breakfast was very good whit a vast choice to chose from. Indoor pool a bit cool, but was clean, heath club was good value for 30 euros for a week. Staff were fantastic and very helpful.

Riviera cake shop well worth a visit fantastic cakes on offer & good coffee
http://pastelariariviera.pt/en

Room Tip: Pool View A Must
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank RangersBenfica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol

Address: Rua do Municipio, Lote 27 | Apartado 2054, Albufeira 8200-161, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Albufeira
#11 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#12 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £31 - £1,198 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol 4*
Number of rooms: 174
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Also Known As:
Apartamento Brisa Sol Albufeira
Apartamento Brisa Sol Hotel
Brisa Sol Albufeira
Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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