We stayed at Porto Bay Falesia in early July as a young couple. If you are looking for a quiet relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings then look no further.
When we arrived (around midday) to our surprise our room as already ready! We weren't expecting it to be ready until 3pm. Another couple's room was not ready just yet and the hotel gave them a free bottle of wine to enjoy while they waited (how lovely!)
We stayed in a "mountain view" room which as other reviewers have mentioned is not a view of a mountain, but a view of the car park and other hotels. However this was not a problem for us, as we didn't spend much time in the room. I imagine the sea view rooms are gorgeous, if you want to pay the extra.
The room itself was spacious and meticulously clean (and kept this way throughout our stay by the very thorough housekeeping staff). Fresh bath towels (white) and pool towels (beige) were provided every day, and the bed sheets changed every day. On the second day we were surprised to received a bottle of complimentary red wine in our room (no particular occasion for this) but we really appreciated this kind gesture. I also liked the towel art (a swan) and sweets left in our room everyday. It's the small touches.
The room had air conditioning which worked fine, and the bed was very comfortable (Double beds are two single beds pushed together - this actually turned out to be nice as there's so much space.)
The hotel's pool and gardens (as you can see from the photos) really are beautiful. The great thing about this hotel is that there are multiple areas to relax and sunbathe/read/whatever you fancy. There are all the sunbeds around the pool, then there's a separate large grassy area filled with sunbeds, 4 gorgeous double beds on a little terrace overlooking the beach (you've seen the photos of this - truly beautiful), a few bean bags, and another terrace with sofas again overlooking the beautiful beach. What more could you ask for!
The food at the hotel is very good. The breakfast is particularly impressive. In fact it is the best breakfast with the largest choice I have ever had at a hotel in Europe. Freshly squeezed Portuguese orange juice to drink, or a glass of champagne if you'd prefer! Hot tea and coffee always offered. Cereals, yoghurts, LOTS of fresh fruit (kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, bananas, apples, pears, melon, watermelon, pineapple), big fry ups with bacon, eggs (scrambled, fried, omelette), beans, sausages, a delicious courgette cabbage mix, then pancakes with different sauces, a bakery section which changed each day and included (during our stay) - croissants, pain au chocolat, muffins, doughnuts, plenty of bread, some delicious algarvian custard tarts (so delicious - my mouth is watering at the thought of them) and more. The breakfast has something for everyone, and the staff are very attentive, clearing plates very quickly.
We never ate in the Madeira (buffet) restaurant so I can't comment on that. However we did eat twice in the hotel's Italian restaurant "Il basilico". I have to say we were very impressed. Part of the italian restaurant is on one of the terraces overlooking the beach, so you can enjoy the beautiful views whilst enjoying some olive bread and fresh olives. We ordered the chicken and asparagus risotto and a mushroom tagliatelle - both were beautifully presented and the service was excellent. We highly recommend the Italian restaurant.
The pool bar "Bar Falésia" runs all day and we had a few mixed experiences there. The first 2 times we ate there, we found the service to be poor. Not because the staff are lazy but because they seemed rushed off their feet trying to multitask too much, on one particular occasion we were waiting 30 minutes just to get a menu, and after asking 3 different staff we finally got one. We then had a long wait to take the order, to have our table cleared and to receive the bill. What should have been a quick snack then back to the pool turned into a long stretched out lunch, with a lot of waiting around. However, all that said, I don't want to put anyone off, as we decided the give the bar another chance and in the further 2 times we dined there service was significantly quicker and we were satisfied. So perhaps we were just unlucky the first couple of times. The food is good and I would recommend trying one of the milkshakes (topped with whipped cream- the strawberry one is made with fresh strawberries).
The village Olhos de Agua is very small with not much to show for it. As you walk down into the village from the hotel you pass a few restaurants (next to the road) which look a bit shabby. Down next to Olhos de Agua beach is a nice little square of restaurants and a few little shops. Aside from this there isn't much to the village. But this did not bother us as the hotel was so beautiful we happily spent our days around the pool etc.
All in all we were DELIGHTED with our stay. It is very quiet and relaxing - we were grateful for this especially when on the walk down to the beach we passed a neighbouring hotel which had loud music playing all day long and screaming kids - we experienced none of this at Porto Bay.
I must just mention the beach. If you are not convinced from my review so far then please look at the photos of "Praia De Falésia" which is the beautiful beach down the steps of the hotel. It truly is a stunning beach, red cliffs, clear water, with only 2 of 3 cafés the whole length of the beach (7km long!) - there are sun-loungers in sections of the beach but other sections are almost completely empty, so it is not spoilt by noise or tourist stalls or anything like that. It's just such a shame that the sun sets at the opposite side of the cliffs as we didn't get to see a proper sunset, but the beach is truly beautiful and if you enjoy being by the sea you will adore this beach.
Stay at this hotel- you won't be disappointed, we had a memorable holiday and would love to return in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel stands overlooking Praia da Falesia in the charming town of Olhos de Agua, close to Albufeira in the Algarve. Surrounded by abundant green areas, the hotel enjoys direct access to the sea and the exceptional 8km long beach which is washed by the clear, calm waters of the Algarve sea. After a refreshing drink at the waters edge, a reviving plunge in one of the pools, a trip to the beach, a game of tennis or an invigorating massage, sit back and enjoy one of the Algarves most beautiful views from one of the hotel's restaurants. Make the most of your holidays to relax. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Bay Falesia Albufeira
- PortoBay Falesia Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal