It was a lovely apartment in a brilliant complex. This was our second year going to Costa Cabanas and we love it there. Maria and the staff in the pool bar are great. The apartment is in the perfect location. However I do have to say after meeting other holiday makers that the price for this apartment was very high. It was 3 times the price of the rooftop apartment we stayed in accross the road last year.
We booked this last minute and got separate flights etc. We had apartment 52 which is a penthouse apartment which backs onto views of the pool.
The couple who manage the various let apartments and run the bar are an absolute delight - Maria and Armando. Nothing is too much trouble. The bar and pool is open until 1930hrs (7:30pm) and serves bar snacks (and ice cream for the kids) and cold drinks including bottled and draught Super Bock lager. Lovely. There's also free (high speed) wifi which I am using as I type this review.
The pool is clean and well maintained and even in peak season it's not too busy. No need to worry about a stampede for sun beds in the mornings. There's plenty of comfortable shaded seating around the bar and decent music playing at a non intrusive volume.
There's a lovely mix of cultures in the accommodation. French, Portugese, Irish and British whilst we were here. Classy and nothing crass. People are friendly and the kids got on very well.
The apartments are literally 300 yards from the sea front. They're very clean and have ample room for a family of 4 or 5... There's enough room to comfortably sleep 6 with the 2nd bedroom of Apt 52 having bunks and a single bed and the lounge having a sofa also suitable as a bed. Two bathrooms, one en suite take the pressure off shower time in the mornings and evenings. There are two balconies with seating (front and back) and a roof terrace. Air conditioning and a TV an DVD player... We brought a selection of DVDs which were great when the kids just wanted to chill out or if we wanted to watch some comedy before bed. There's no wifi in the apartment but we got by. It would be handy, though.
There's a BBQ on the front balcony and this was perfect. There are a number of good quality butchers close by as well as the fish and fruit market. We had balcony BBQs and played cards and board games whilst enjoying sea bass, ribs, chicken kebabs etc. We left the fuel we had remaining as the previous inhabitants had done for us. Great stuff.
Eating out was easy and restaurants are numerous and good value. With meals and drinks and desserts for the kids we rarely spent over 50 Euros... So fill your boots!
There's a great medieval festival nearby in Castro Marim (30 Euros by taxi each way) in late August...
Tavira is 10 minutes West by taxi and is a very nice place to visit with interesting little shops in lanes and alleys and restaurants aplenty.
The best taxi company to use by far is Pedros Taxis. Always on time. Recommended by Maria and very reliable. We suggest booking in advance to pick you up from the airport. A taxi from the cab rank ripped us off when we arrived. He would not negotiate a fixed price to Cabanas, his meter increased with a bingo bell and after a challenge he stopped the meter at €70! I gave him €80 and he short changed me €5...! The price through Pedros should not be more than €50...
In relation to the beach, it us necessary to get a water taxi the very short distance from the quay to the sandbar island... just €0.75 each way for adults... Kids are free. There can be queues in the mornings but nothing unmanageable. The cafe/bars on the island are obviously expensive and in August it's between €15 and €20 for two sun beds and an umbrella on the beach depending on location... Costly! A lot of people take their own sun parasols and cool bags. It's a lovely clean beach with professional, diligent and friendly life guards and the usual range of water sports activities. There were no vicious Atlantic rollers smashing in whilst we were there... The sand bar island seems to remove the worst of it.
If you want 'Linekers Bar' and all day English Beeakfasts, this place isn't for you. They can be found, but enjoy the friendly local stuff! Plenty of friendly Irish folk around! We'd certainly come back!
Great accommodation, family friendly complex and beautiful beach - couldn't ask for more. Resort holiday makers were mainly Portuguese, however, most menus where also in English . We also visited the local town, Tavira.