Spent a week in this hotel in the first week of June. Was very happy to see the beach, the Praia Donna Ana, was at its doorstep. The welcome at reception was smooth and lovely and we were given a key for the room and remote for the TV straight away.
The room we had included the bed (twins pushed together), two side tables, a wardrobe cupboard, balcony with two chairs and tables, and the shower room. We faced the garden (roses, orange and lemon trees and a high white wall). Some people have complained about not having a sea-view, which obviously would be nicer, but we weren't bothered. The garden was pretty and we got sunlight on the balcony mostly at the end of the day.
Lovely, clean. Clean sheets. Very nice to see some Lagos artwork in the room. Generally, the room was well colour coordinated, and looked quite modern. There is aircon. The TV was a flatscreen on the wall, unfortuanetly has minimal channels, and our one had no English channels. There is an Algarve/Lagos channel in English though, which gives lots of information on all the types of touristy and activities you can get up to including watersports etc. Might be worth a watch for 20 mins (it mostly repeats itself).
The TV had a USB slot, so your iplayer etc and could attach that for music etc.
Generally, it was quiet. Could hear people next door every now and then, but I think the type of people this hotel attracts are families and couples, not party-animals, so I think that's why there wasn't any noise trouble.
The room was cleaned every day and we used the little 'please clean room' sign on the outside door knob to make sure it was. Our sheets were not changed and neither were the pillow covers, so I think if you want this, you have to request it. Other than this, room was always tidied and cleaned.
The only thing I was a little annoyed by was the lack of tea making facilities. There is also no hairdryer or iron. You have to go to reception to borrow - free of charge - the hairdryer and iron (which worked absolutely fine and looked new). I'm not sure why they do this, might be because previous guests stole things or broke things. But I think there is only 1-2 hairdryers and irons, so sometimes when I went down for it, it was being used by another guest in the hotel. I would recommend grabbing it on your first day, iron everything and hang everything up in the wardrobe.
A lovely shower room. Clean. The shower head was large and had good pressure. Water was hot all day. Clean towels provided. The bathroom did not have a sign saying to leave dirty towels on the floor and reusable ones on the rack, but we left the dirty ones on the floor, and when we returned to our rooms, found all of them were changed. So I think the cleaners change everything.
Breakfast was adequate, but didn't always feel there was much for vegetarians. There was fruit, yoghurt, bread, cheese etc, but I like a proper hot brekky with vege sausages and eggs. but there wasn't really much like that. Svrabbled eggs were provided on one day. There is a selection of meat slices, bacon etc, so I think the meat-eaters were happy. A couple of times they did mini meat sausages. There is also cereal (cornflakes and coco flakes). Some organge drinks were there too, chilled, but I didnt like them. The coffee was lovely. There is a machine that makes you hot chocolate, cappucinos etc, and also gives hot water if you prefer tea (teabags provided - from early gre, english breakfast, to cammomile flavour etc - all tetley brand).
Even though I sound like I'm complaining about the breakfast, it was adequate. I didn't feel starved and I still had a litte choic, but would have been nicer for more.
Pool and pool bar:
Pool is on the rooftop. Pool area was clean, water was clean. It is 1.45m deep. Unfortuanetly, it isn't heated, and is very cold to touch. We jumped in anyway (brave!) and after a little swim you do warm up and it's fine. Other people did the same, jumped in anyway. But if you really don't like it, you probably wont use it.
The pool bar is located just next to the poor. It's small and cute, and the staff have a menu from soup to sandwiches and pizza. They do hot and cold drinks. All very reasonably priced. e.g. soup was 1.50euro, can of cok 2euros, pizza 6euros (large enough). All the food was tasty! We ate there several times. I have to praise Monica's soup making skills too! I had it all the time and it was delicious! Should have gotten her recipes!
Beach (Praia Donna Ana):
Beautiful beach. Lovely rocks in the water and a large one with a cliff separating the beach into two lagoon-like features. It wasn't too busy when we were there, but it was definetly used. There is a small beach bar reasonably priced and nice. Sea was very cold. The sand was fine, a bit grainy but still very soft to lie on and walk through.
Warning: some toplessness.
Travel to town from hotel on foot:
To get to the town, it is just a 10-15min walk away. The reception staff are lovely and give you easy directions into the town, with a free photocopied map.
Once outside the hotel, turn right and walk up to the main road. From here, turn right again and keep walking straight until you find the 'camping' site (there is a massive CAMPING sign, you wont miss it). From the camping side is a little side road on the right, walk through it. At the end you'll find some stairs, walk up those, then turn right, and keep walking straight down. You'll see a few more beaches on your right, the marina up ahead. Then across the road, you'll see the front of the town which has some beautiful white buildings including the cathedral and slave museum. Once you've found that (which you won't miss) then you can go and explore all the restuarants and shops. It's a very easy walk there.
At night, it was very safe. Unfortuanetly, there is a large building which used to be a hotel next door to the Carvi Hotel, which can look a little scary, but we never had any problems and just ignored it. Please don't be put off by this building, it is just a little nick, but did not spoil our holiday at all.
Initially we were going to get public transport and taxis to the hotel, but the transport times are irregular and would have taken us too long to get to the hotel, which we thought was a waste of time on our first day.
We opted to be picked up by the hotel's transfer service from the airport (Faro). We were greeted by Marcio, a lovely man, who was our driver. Very clean car, aircon, lovely banter in the car with him. It was a private transfer, so no other people with us. Overall was about an hour journey. It cost 85euros, and you can arrange this by emailing the hotel and providing them with your flight arrival time etc. You pay the hotel when you get there, not the driver. The drive was nice, Marcio gave us a bit of a mini tour which was very appreciated.
On our way to the airport on our last day, we decided not to get the car transfer and opted for public transport. The train station (Lagos station, located at the Marina) goes to Faro city every 2 hours. We had a night time flight, so we checked out of the hotel early, caught a train at a reasonable time, and went to Faro City (journey time hour and half) and spent the entire afternoon there. Was lovely, with many shops and restauraunts, all cheaper than Lagos! There is a marina too, but the beach is a stretch away (we didn't visit it). I think Faro is worth a visit by train, easy to get there. Just pay for your ticket before you board. If you are at the marina browsing, you could go to the station and ask for the timetable and they will happily print it for you for free. The single journey ticket cost per person was 7.20euros.
From Faro city, we grabbed a taxi to the airport, which cost 11euros.
The staff are absolutely lovely and very veRY friendly. They are very professional. This is the best hotel I have stayed at out of 6 countries I have visited so far, and that is because of their friendliness. It's nice to just have a little chat with them at reception, or at the bar. They leave you to it, but are very open to guests for a chat. I had injured my foot after kayaking in the middle of my holiday, and they were very caring and gave me ice bags and made sure I felt like I could ask for more ice at anytime. They were very kind.
As with all holidays, there are things that arent perfect, but nothing really is. Holidays are what you make of them, and this holiday was fantastic. We stayed at a lovely hotel, with lovely staff, by a beautiful beach and in a gorgeous town.
I strongly recommend this hotel, and I strongly recommend you visit Lagos, Portugal. For couples and families in particular, this place is fantatsic!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in one of the most beautiful beaches on the Algarve coast, south of Portugal, is the Carvi Beach Hotel. Lagos, a city with more than 2.000 years of history, like many coastal towns in Portugal, Lagos has a special relation with the sea that is firmly established in history, culture, architecture and gastronomic patrimony. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lagos Carvi Hotel
- Sol e Praia Lagos