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“A bit dissappointed but at least we got some sun!”
Review of Ourasol Apartments

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Ourasol Apartments
Ranked #140 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Reviewed 24 June 2011

This apartment complex is very, very basic and the rooms are in dire need of an upgrade. We got a spacious 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony, 2 bathrooms, separate kitchen and living room area. Tiny television with only one English channel - Eurosports!

Some of the lights didn't work and the ones that did were very dim. It did smell a little but was clean which was the main thing and the location is good. Lots of towels but no toiletries, not even soap. Housekeeping seemed to clean the rooms in the late afternoon - we arrived at 2pm and our room was not ready until 4pm. Yet when we asked for a late check out on our last day we were told no.

Lady at reception is always smiling and pleasant but the manager isn't so friendly. There is also another member of staff who we approached as the internet in the lobby was not working - 1euro for 10 mins - but he didn't really know what to do and didn't even offer to refund our money. No wifi either.

There is an ok sized pool on site with sun loungers - you have to pay for the mattresses but can do without. The beach is very close-by - it's massive but there are lots of broken shells and pebbles - not suitable for kids and overall, not very nice. The water is absolutely freezing even in the scorching heat.

Food in the area is average and the "specials" seem to be either Peri Peri chicken or steaks. Beer is cheap - we found a place further up The Strip which was only 99cents a beer and 79cents for a soft drink. The apartments serve snacks and drinks. Breakfast is also available but we didn't eat there.

The Old Town can be reached in about 10/15 mins on the tram/train which travels around Albufeira - 2euros one way or 3.50euros for an all day ticket. The Strip consists of bars, restaurants and tacky souvenir shops, not much more. Perhaps it was the time of year we went but places were half empty, even during peak hours. We didn't mind so much though as we only wanted a few days away to relax in the sun. There is a small supermarket near the beach but we preferred to go the large Continente supermarket at Stop 3 on the train.

The best thing about the holiday was the weather - 27 degrees on our last night while we were having dinner! Golf courses are plentiful but a little far out and there is a zoo and some aqua parks. We went to a shopping mall called Algarve Shopping - not much there but worthwhile just for a change of scenery, It cost us 12 euros each way from The Strip.

Thumbs Up - Fridge and air con in apartment, location, pool, weather
Thumbs Down - more or less everything else

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank my_holiday_blues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 130 reviews

Reviewed 17 September 2010

The best thing about the hotel was its location. We were about 1 minute's walk from the beach, restaurants, bars, etc, but the street itself was a quiet one-way one. Staff were friendly and polite. The hotel was a little rundown, it has certainly seen better days, but it was still reasonably well-kept. The lifts were tiny and could not fit more than 2 people (not including luggage!) but both of them worked and we managed well enough. The lights on the landings didn't come on automatically so it was a bit difficult in the night time to find your way but once we learned where the switches were, it was ok. The room was a very good size, unfortunately smelt rather musty for the first couple days but this may have been due to the fact that we went at the beginning of the season. Bedding was fine, towels a bit threadbare and worn but clean. Floor could have done with another mopping but not too bad. The landing doors closed back quite hard so throughout the night if there were late arrivals, there were quite a few bangs. All in all, for the price it was quite good and we did have a good time. I would recommend this hotel if you are not expecting luxury but basic, reasonably clean accommodation.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank smashmash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2010

We travelled here for a short break for 3 nights. As soon as we got off the plane the heat was immense. This would have been a great start as our transfer time was supposed to have only been 40mins......2 hours later we arrived at our hotel, Ourasol. (Thanks a lot Sun4u for arranging that at 35 quid each)

The hotel reception was clean and well kept and there was always a member of staff available who all spoke english. There was a small bar and the hotel manager was so lovely, welcoming, kind and courteous throught. He gave us the keys and off we set down the pitch black corridors to find our rooms. There were lights though, once we found them dotted around that went off after about 20 seconds, plenty of time to get to the door and inside if you are able bodied. This was one of the things I had worried about after reading previous reviews. We didn't use the lift so no comment there.

Our apartment was on the very ground floor at the back so had no view and the was vey dark inside without the lights on. On the plus side we did have a small and quite private patio area which was swept and the plants watered daily. Fist impressions were not so good but after a couple of days we settled right in as we were enjoying ourselves so much. It was fit for the purpose and anyway, who wants to be inside with so much to do outside in the sunshine and with everything so close and convenient!

The apartment itself lived up to in some respects, the poor reports I had read, however you have to remember, you get what you pay for so we were not too disappointed. I think some people just like to have a good moan. At 157 British Pounds each, flights included, an apartment with cooking and kitchen facilities and a comfy bed with comfy pillows was more than adequate for the purpose. My only sleeping complaint was the smell of dog. It was that strong that dreamed about dogs every night! The cleaners came once a week I think so we never saw them and had the same towels throught the stay but we didn't mind, just made sure we didn't leave them on the floor (which could have done with a mopping!)

As we were on the ground floor we made sure we got a key for the safe and immediately stowed our valuables. The only security was a catch to each patio door. I could have easily broken in myself with a nudge.

Feeling pretty grumpy after such a long transfer we dumped our bags and headed down to one of the beachside restraunts for a beer and some food. The food was expensive but very nice. The beer was also expensive. We soon realised that the small supermarket accross the road sold 6 bottles of beer for a few pounds so we put lots in the fridge to save money.

The beach was 3 or 4 minutes walk from the apartment. It was clean and packed out with holiday makers. It was so hot that one day we paid €15 for 2 sunbeds with umberellas....what a wonderful relaxing day. You could leave and come back as many times as you liked all day long, just pop a reserved sign on or leave your towels. We made the most of our €15 and stayed at the beach from 10am till 7pm apart from popping out for lunch. We bought lilos for around €10 each from the local store and bobbed around in the warm sea everytime the heat got too much. The water was warm and clean and safe for children due to the numerous lifeguards. The water was calm and fairly shallow at the beachside. The sun shone until it set around 6.30. Time to pop back and change into evening wear but no need to go over the top.

This time 4 mins uphill and at the top, 'The Strip....' 'WOW' ! It was like a mini Ibiza! Flashing lights, resteraunts, bars, shops and an amazing atmosphere, all a stonesthrow away from home. No chance of getting lost. Lots of security and police watching over which was reassuring as the Strip was heaving with holiday makers. We didn't go clubbing as at €15 euros a go it didn't seem worth it as all the bars stayed open really late and they all played the same music anyway lol.

We were only there for 3 nights so had a romantic meal out every night. A meal for two and a bottle of wine cost around €30 which worked out surprisingly at about 25 quid when I got home and checked my account!

Anyway just walking up and down The Strip popping into shops, stopping for a beer and choosing a resteraunt was exciting enough for us. We rolled in around 2am giddy and content with our evenings.

I would recommend this holiday and this apartment for couples who don't expect too much from a cheap apartment, who want to relax and spend quality time together. Its not the managers fault the owner is tight. I'm sure if he was allowed to he would make the neccessary improvements to stop people from moaning.

The kids would love it in the day but The Strip is not really for them in the evenings. I noticed several tourists battling with pushchairs through crowds at night. Their children didn't seem to enjoy that part at all. Some of them just looked absolutely terrified.

This was a fantastic short break. We could have easily stayed a week if we could have afforded to or if we knew then what we know now, so here are my top tips.


*Book a cheaper transfer than your travel company offer if you can. Smaller shuttles have less stops and are cheaper.
*If you can manage it, just take hand luggage. You won't be wearing much!
*Get a safe to stow your valuables and don't take expensive jewelery, no point.
*Check with your bank as I found that paying by visa gave a much better exchange rate.
*Buy your own beer and breakfast from the shop if you have a fridge. It will save you a fortune.
*Don't buy lunch by the sea. Its very expensive so eat in or buy snacks from the supermarket during the day so you can save your money for a romantic evening meal on *The Strip (4 mins walk away) its so worth it. Choose your resterant wisely. Some are much better than others.
*And finally, The speedboat and Dolphin Experience is one I will never forget. Book through the hotel or the office accross the road. It costs around €35 each with a €7 taxi ride each way but worth every penny so take my advice. Buy your own beer!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank lovelyjubbley007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2010

These apartments are very basic, and on a hill but you get what you pay for. I took my 6 month old son on his first holiday, and had no problems with the hill, it is a little steep, but once you've done it a couple of times its no big deal. The apartments are a 4 min walk to the strip one way, and the beach the other way. The pool is clean and nice, the staff are friendly, the rooms are cleaned regularly. They provided a cot for the baby and have black out curtains in the rooms, the balcony was a good size with a sea view. I will stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank MissLUFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2010

Really close to beach, apartments cleaned daily, large apertments, aircon, really friendly staff......Basic but ideal for a group holiday, not a place i would take children to though, think the hotel is aimed more for adults....the lift is a bit didgy to say the least, the corridors were dark constantly in the day....but all in all perfect for the strip and the beach if you are after a clean place to get your head down it is ideal!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cluckingbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2007

We just came back from a weeks stay at Ourasol, and were very pleasantly surprised having feared the worst after reading the other reports (after having booked the hotel).

Our experience was a slightly worn hotel, but everything that needed to be there was there. We had a large apartment, with view over the pool. Our balcony was sunny in the morning and to my experience the pool was in the sun the entire day until around 6:30 pm.

The service was excellent. The day we were to leave, we were allowed to have the room until four pm with no extra charge and also the sunbeds at the pool were free, “just because ”.

As others has noted The Ourasols biggest feature is that it is so close to the beach, and the lovely little supermarket and bakery just 100 m from the entrance.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RejsendeMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2006

If I had booked my recent holiday through a travel agent, then I would have been EXTREMELY disappointed if THEY had recommended this hotel as 3 star rated !!!!. . . It definately is NOT, in my opinion.

My room was on the 1st floor. I used the lift just the once, as I realised there was no inside door, just the bare wall as I went up. The room was half way down a poorly lit corridor. It had a slightly damp (possibly unused for a while) smell as I entered.
I had arrived late evening so I needed the lights on. Even with ALL the lights on it was still quite dull. Some of the tile flooring was chipped.

The room I had (109) was very basic. The furniture was a bit of this and that, nothing matching, and had odd cutlery and bits and pieces of other utensils. I bought some kitchen roll rather than use the tea towels provided. . . enough said!!
The cooker was clean, though I never used it, and the fridge had paint peeling off and had gone rusty around the door.

The bathroom had no tap in the sink and as this proved difficult when shaving, I resorted to using one of the odd mixing bowls from the cupboard.
The bath around the plug hole was cracked and discoloured, and the shower curtain seemed to be missing half of the curtain hooks. The shower itself was adequate. The towels were small and quite thin. . . well worn !!!

My bedroom again, even though the lights were on was dull, then I discovered that one of the bulbs above the bed was missing.
The bed sheets were clean, but the bed cover looked well worn. The bedroom "units..dressing table, bedside table etc, were actually a brick shelf running round the wall. (the living area also had a brick shelf running round it.)
No TV or microwave.

I thought. . "It will look better in the morning". . . I was wrong. It didn't !!!

The view from this room was of a partly painted wall of the ajacent building. There was a small balcony, but with THAT view there was no point even considering sitting out on it.
As a result of the proximity of the neighbouring building there was NEVER any sunshine in the room at any time of the day, and during my 5 days there, there WAS beautiful weather "out there" every day.

The staff were pleasant, but it seemed to be only 3 of them, and they worked long hours, often looking quite tired. When I asked the receptionist for assistance in making a phone call to confirm my airport transfer booking she just pointed to the nearby public phone. Maybe it was a long day for her. The room maids seemed to just come in and straighten any towels and put in a new loo roll, just as well I didn't mind making up my own bed.

What this hotel DOES have in it's favour is that it is only 200 yards from the beautiful Praia De oura beach.
Between the hotel and the beach there is a little group of shops including a mini market and a FANTASTIC little bakery who always had fresh bread and many varieties of rolls available.

As I said at the beginning, if a travel agency had sold me this hotel as 3 stars, I would have been VERY disappointed, but I booked it myself on the internet after reading about it in various holiday brochures where it WAS shown as 3 stars, so I only have myself to blame.

In future I will check "Trip Advisor". Would I recommed this hotel to any of my friends????. . . I'm afraid not.
No photos available at this time as I only came home yesterday.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled solo
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3  Thank Gerry67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ourasol Apartments

Address: Rua Oliveira Martins | Praia da Oura, Albufeira 8200-619, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #140 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Price Range: £27 - £70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ourasol Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Ourasol Hotel Albufeira
Ourasol Apartments Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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