My partner and I have just returned from Vila Rosa today. We are in our 30's and have been fortunate to have experienced some wonderful holidays, so can be a tad fussy. As we had already spent a lot of money on our earlier summer holiday we were travelling on a budget and only chose to go away again due to the fact that this holiday was so cheap and also came highly recommended.
We paid just under £400 for flights and accommodation for one week - amazing!. We went not really expecting much due to the price we paid but we were pleasantly surprised. Firstly the weather was fabulous, hot with a lovely constant breeze. I am soft and feel the cold and thought it was freezing on an evening. Even my partner shivered a few times and we were well wrapped up. We have arrived back this evening, very sad to leave it all behind. I would definitely return, tomorrow if I could. This place is a wonderful find and would highly recommend it.
The hotel was recommend by my partners parents who travel 10+ times per year and have been there 4 times. Experienced travellers recommendation cant be far wrong.
We flew with Ryanair - what a performance that was - delays, terrible service and more delays. Once finally in Faro we queued for over two hours and had to wait in a mile long queue to be told where our transfer coach was. One man dealt with every passenger??? madness!!
Once finally on the coach, which was modern and air-conditioned the transfer took over an hour and we were the very last to get dropped off. It was 2.30am ( we arrived in Leeds airport at 3.30pm to fly at 4.30pm and the flight was only 21/2 hour long - so you can see we had a lot of waiting around) - we were waiting around for 8+ hours.
We were shown to our room by a mute man who I can only presume was very tired like us, and he never offered any help or even a smile. The room was really tired and dated and had a uncomfortable feel to it but we thought for the money we paid we will have to put up with it. Anyway the next day, it felt worst - it was small and dark so we asked to be moved as we could not bare to be in the room for any length of time. The reception staff were so friendly and helpful - particularly Tania and Sonia. We were offered a superior room for £150 for the remainder of the week. The superior rooms are so much nicer with a small garden over looking the pool but we did not want to spend that much so we asked for an alternative and we were given, for no extra, room 403, lotte 4 - it was so much better. Though very dated and basic it was fantastic compared to the other one and it has a huge balcony. The view was not that spectacular but with the sun and long distance views it was more than enough. The room was on the top floor next to the lift. The lobby area was lovely and light sensors were activated once you entered. The lift was perfect and did not disturb us as first thought.
The room was huge. Small kitchen (no oven) but everything else. Table and chairs. Sofa Bed and chair. The TV was a small naf portable and we could only get BBC1 but it had a perfect picture and was fit for purpose. The bathroom, only a tad tired was clean and always had hot water. Both a shower and a bath and clean fluffy towels were provided every day and the apartment was kept spotlessly clean daily.
The beds are not that comfy and no double beds, two singles. There are extra pillows and blankets. But again we soon got used to it (and I am a bit fussy) . A huge wardrobe and a patio door onto the balcony. It was bliss once you got past the dated decor. Light and airy and huge. 2 further patio doors in the lounge area.
You need to take a hair dryer and a iron if you are staying in the standard room - if you are lucky enough to get a superior room then I noticed that they provided an iron, ironing board and hairdryer - also the superior room has an oven. It was much more equipped and modern.
The pool area was lovely and compact and peaceful. The pool water was like ice and only the brave dare enter. It was so relaxing with only a few couples scattered around the pool. So tranquil. The majority of people staying they were over 50 with a odd few young couples with young children.
The hotel is in a great base and only 10 min walk to main strip and the glorious beach. The main strip is a bit tacky and very expensive. The Irish Bar on the corner did the most enjoyable breakfast and fresh orange. It was not cheap at 6 euros for the breakfast and 3 for the orange, not far off £20 for breakfast is a bit steep but it was nice and it over looks the sea and the service was second to none.
The beach was lovely, there is a charge 10 euros for two plastic sun beds so we decided to do what the locals do and lie on our towels and it was perfect. We even had a picnic which again, was surprisingly enjoyable. The walk along the beach is so lovely and if you follow the decked path to the end it brings you out to a more cosmopolitan marina and restaurant area. Sadly we only found this late on our last night.
There is a great bus service, surprisingly expensive but again you can over look this when travelling in comfort. We travelled to Alvor which was a 15 min bus ride and I am told you can walk there across the beach front but it was too far for me. The bus fare was for 7 euros for 2 one way - we ended up getting a cab back which was 9 euros. Alvor was a quaint village with some lovely restaurants and buildings. Well worth a visit, again more cosmopolitan. Lots of fresh fish for the fish lovers. A lovely place to stay. I had a curry, my partner did not fancy one - I thought it was a bit steep - ½ bottle of house white wine, 1 curry , rice and nan bread £26 and the restaurant was very tired and it was just ok - we were tricked in there by a very friendly Indian man who told us it had a lovely sea view - we actually saw a brick wall with graffiti on but it did amuse us.
Alberfuria was 1 hour bus ride, 17 euros return for two. Once a the bus station there is a 15 min walk to the beach front. This was the old town. This was just ok - the beach was not as nice and the shops were pretty much the same, expensive and tacky but slightly cheaper that Praira but I am told it is really nice so there must have been parts that we did not get to see. You can catch a funny looking blue bus that looks like a childs train to the new town and main strip which we were told is more for young people.
Portamao is a 30 minute walk from the hotel and it is a lovely walk along the marina and well worth a visit. Take the steps by the pink entrance and turn left, then left again and you can either bare left of continue straight on across the round about.
The main strip in Praira is a bit tacky and the restaurants weren’t that great - the best one being the Chinese call Asia - the service and food here was brilliant.
If you are still reading this, I will be surprised lol. If you have any questions feel free to ask. It was my first visit to Portugal and will definitely be returning for more adventures - it would have been even better if we had of hired a car and the roads look so easy to drive along. Well sign posted but you are fine on foot and on the bus. Enjoy!!!!
If you are going soon - we were told it stays warm/ hot, through the day up to November.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Vila Rosa
- Vila Rosa Hotel Praia Da Rocha, Portugal - Algarve