This is possibly my tenth visit to the Algarve and being up front, I'm a golfer! Sitting on hot steamy beaches in July or August with thousands of beery holiday makers has zero appeal. I'm also getting old so quality and value for money are more important than the number of clubs or bars nearby. Sermon over, just setting expectations as everyone is different and if my likes don't float your boat then this review probably isn't much use to you.
The simple fact me and my chums keep going back to the Algarve and more specifically Vilamoura is testament to what it has to offer the fun loving but discerning golfer. In truth it has more than most golfers see. Miles of fabulous beaches which in spring and autumn are usually empty. Great and I mean really great golf courses! Hotels which at this time of year are only 10-20% occupied so offer great deals and value. Plus more choice in cafés and restaurants than I've been able to fully sample in ten years. Local food is of high quality and a friendly welcome awaits all who engage with the locals.
This trip was a cheapy, using up loyalty 'freebies' and returning to one favourite haunt. So in one week I stayed in three hotels and I will post reviews of all of them as the comparison may help others choose where to stay.
The Other hotels were all five star so the Formosa Park was always going to be at a disadvantage by comparison. Nevertheless I keep coming back to the Formosa and will continue doing as it really is the best value golfing package available in the area. Look up the Birdie package and add up what it would cost you to source these elements separately. Three nights bed and breakfast, two dinners and two rounds of golf for how much? Plus an apartment with lots of room and lovely outlook over the pool! Not to be sniffed at. Not immediately obvious is the fact you can also add a round at half price on the fantastic San Lorenzo course which is by far my favourite course in this area - stunning doesn't do it justice!
I like the setting of the Formosa. It is out of the way and has a lovely stretch of ultra quiet and private beach only ten minutes walk away (2 minutes by car). It's close to several golf courses and the Formosa Natural Park which is itself a great day out (take the ferry from Faro to Isla Deserta for an amazing experience and eat in the fantastic sea food restaurant).
The hotel is basic but very clean and well kept. The staff are really attentive and friendly and the bar manager has been there forever so good to see him and to be recognised as a regular. The bar food is really good and prices are much better than in nearby Vale do Lobo or Quinta.
It is some way (20 minutes by car) to the Vilamoura nightlife and attractions but golfers can share a taxi very economically. Not an issue for me but some of my golfing buddies do prefer to be somewhere livelier. The only thing I would do if I was the management of the hotel is to upgrade the beds! Something more comfy would be welcome and preferably the option of a double rather than two singles pushed together.
But if you're planning a golfing trip and want somewhere that offers amazing value for money, decent quality and a warm welcome then this is my all time favourite and I can promise I will be back again and again. Oh I forgot, I am booked to go again with my golfing buddies in October!
Highly recommended and wins the best value for money award outright!
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- Also Known As:
- Formosa Park Hotel And Apartments
- Formosa Park Hotel & Apartments Portugal/Algarve - Almancil
- Formosa Park Almancil