This was my first trip to the Algarve and I travelled with my husband and a group of friends age range from 15-65. The guys played golf in Vilamoura whilst we relaxed at the hotel.
The hotel has recently been refurbished and you can see as soon as you walk into the beautiful lobby. It is a four star. We had room 444 which overlooked the car park asnd other hotels but was fine with a big bed and nice bathroom. Next time we would pay extra for a sea view room on one of the top floors as the view is amazing. The room was cleaned every day with fresh towels etc. There is a minibar which is quite expensive. The blacony was a decent size so you could sit out if you wished and there is a clothes drier for wet towels etc. There is no iron in the room and you can't borrow one from reception, you have to pay for ironing to be done by the hotel (about 2 euros for a shirt) so take your travel iron with you! Pool towels are freef rom reception and you can chnage them for clean ones every day.
The staff are very friendly expecially Carlos (bar) and Raj (pool bar) who really went out of there way to look after us. There was never a moment when we needed something and couldn't find a member of the staff to help us.
Breakfast is buffet style with everything you could wish for, even champagne included in the B&B price. You can eat inside or outside if you manage to get a table. There was never a queue and everything is fresh, the only thing missing was an omelette chef and proper British bacon. If you miss your full english at all, the bar down the road (Pinoquio) does a great one for 4.50 euro all day.
We didn't stay half board but evenings seem the same with a themed buffet every night. I didn't hear anyone rave or complain about the food but I didn't try it muself as we prefer to eat out at night. The pool bar does lunch and although not cheap it is good, the best being club sandwich and french fries! Thye also do pizzas and salads and main dishes if you're hungry as well as ice creams. Service is excellent and fast.
The hotel pool is huge and clean with amazing view over the cliff to the sea. There are loungers by the pool and in the garden and plenty of them. I didn't see any of the usual saving sun beds as there are plenty to go around. There are about 130 steps to the beach and they are safe to walk down, concreted and not steep. The beach is lovely, no rocks or pebbles and miles of it - the best beach I've seen in Europe. Flags are put out for safe swimming and when the yellow flag is up it's perfect for body boarding.
Local restaurants - Pinoquio's is excellent, you must try their Chicken Sandwich which is a grilled chicken breast with salad on a fresh roll only 2.50 euro! I Fratelli (Italian) is amazing and S.Fratelli himself is a lovely man who lights up your evening. The food is delicious and it does get very busy so bboking advised, oh and their Pinot Grigio is great! O Licorne is just off the road to Faro about 10 -15 min walk from the hotel and is just off the road on your left. It serves Indian food and is beautifully decorated, fab service and lovely Indian food, we went back it was so good. They also do discounts for golfing groups. The best bar is Cabana bar - 2 pool tables, cheap cocktails, free popcorn and really friendly staff.
In Vilamoura (taxi 22 euro from hotel and 12 euro from the taxi rank opposite Pinocquio) I'd recommend Zu Yi (next to 19th hole) for Chinese, it is amazing. Vilamoura itself is lovely and there are lots of places to eat and drink. The marina itself tends to be more expensive than the side streets so it's worth looking around before eating. Do try the Haagen Daaz shop though as a treat the ice creams are yummy. There are lots of people outside restaurants trying to persuade you to eat in theirs but they take a polite No as an answer and don't hassle you too much. This is better than previous years apparently where you cannot get rid of them!
Golf was great according to my husband. They played Millenium, Victoria, Pinhal and Faldo (free buggy thrown in) for 290 euro each. The courses and clubhouses sounded out of this world.
It was a wonderful holiday and the only other ting I will mention is that everywhere seems so quiet which is a real pity. It really brought home that we are not the only country suffering from the credit crunch. We are definately going back next year and I only hope that the places I've mentioned are still there.
- 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