I stayed at this hotel for the last week in Sept/ first week Oct 2012 as a solo traveler, exploring the Algarve for the first time.I don't normally go on ‘beach holidays’ and usually spend my time on mountains.
Overall, I think the hotel is good value for money. I would definitely go back. This is not a five star hotel but you are staying for a week for the price of one night at some other places.
Everything depends on your personal circumstances and what you are looking for in the holiday. This hotel is not situated in the middle of the town (this is why I choose it). Therefore, there is a walk to get the amenities or you need to hire a car or use a taxi to go further in the evening.
For the first 7 days I hired a car and looked round the Algarve and for the next 7 days I was on foot.
The staff were friendly and many spoke English. I had no problem with my room even though I arrived very late at night.
I stayed in a studio apartment. For 1 person it was good. For 2 people it would have still been fine. For 3 people, it would have been a squeeze. The third bed is a pullout type from under one of the two single beds in the room. I did not notice that the bed was hard and slept without problems. I am 5'11" and the beds were long enough with room to spare.
The flats are clean and have a good sized balcony. The walls are quite thin so if you have quiet, friendly neighbours (which I did) it is not a problem. If the neighbours had been noisy then it could have been different.
There is a fridge and two rings on which to cook. For pasta or rice dishes this is more than adequate for one or two people. Lots of plates and pans were provided. There is a TV with Sky news in English. I used a laptop to play English language DVDs.
The kettle is the type that boils on the electric ring. For making tea / coffee in the morning, I put the kettle on the stove, went for a wash and it was ready. No hardship really.
There are two pools and a bar. They seemed fine. However, I did not use any of these as the hotel was used as a base to explore the local area. I did not meet anyone else in the hotel apart from my neighbours and the staff as I just used it as a base to explore. There were many people who seemed happy to relax around the pool, so it can't have been too bad.
There is a 5 min walk to the local town from the end of the hotel complex. [There is a 250m stretch without a footpath - if I had had small children with me this could have been a bit of a worry a night. For me as a single traveler, there was no issue]. The local town had two good supermarkets and several restaurants. As I cooked for myself in the evening, I only used the supermarkets. They were OK and I found everything I needed.
There is a 15-20 minute walk to both Olhos de Agua and the beach. There are more restaurants there. There is also a free minibus service to the beach. I did not use this as I preferred to walk. Also, there is a nice beach walk to Vilamoura. It took about 80 minutes along the beach. Got very nice views of sunset walking back as the cliffs turn red. There are beach bars along the way. I always went at low tide, not sure how far up the beach the water gets at high tide.
Also there was a good bus service to Albufeira, Vilamoura, Faro and Santa Eulalia during the week, Sat & Sun having a reduced service. It is around 4.50 Euro to Faro and 2 Euro to Albuferia. Note that the bus from Faro does not actually leave from inside the bus station, it leaves from the road outside. This caught me out as the electronic display board is inside the bus station and I was waiting for a stand number to appear for the bus.
This hotel is right on the edge of the countryside, so there are sounds of dogs (and I think that I heard a donkey in the distance). I'm not sure if they are from the farm, neighbours houses or the 'dog pound' (I didn't see it if it were there). Was I aware of them in the background? - yes. Did they bother me? - no. I was out all day and used the hotel to cook, wash and sleep in.
There are mosquitoes which will give a bite during the night. However, a scented candle on the balcony got rid of them when I was out there. In the apartment, a cheap electronic mosquito killer finished them off easily. I didn't use insect repellent during the day and there were no bites.
Overall, I thought it was good. It was clean, the staff were friendly and it was reasonably priced. I would go back.
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- Also Known As:
- Vale De Carros Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
- Vale De Carros Hotel Albufeira