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Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa 3.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Set within walking distance of nightlife on "the strip"
  • Spacious suites with cooking facilities and lounge areas
  • Huge swimming pool with plenty of loungers
  • Splash pool, kids' club, and playground
  • Spa with fitness room, treatment room, whirlpool tub, and sauna and steam rooms
  • All-inclusive plan with all meals and drinks
  • Two restaurants and two bars, one poolside
  • Free and fast Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • At least a 15-minute walk to the beach
  • Food is mostly average and some drinks are pool quality
  • Some rooms overlook car park 
  • Reports of poor entertainment
  • Fee for use of spa facilities
  • Deposit required for towels (though it's refundable) 
  • Only plastic cups allowed outside
  • Many guests reserve pool loungers early

Bottom Line

The Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa is a mid-range, all-suite property set in a mostly quiet east Albufeira neighborhood that's within walking distance of the town's renowned nightlife hub "the strip." This all-inclusive hotel provides all meals and drinks, though guests report that food is average and drinks are poor quality. Facilities are impressive enough though, with a huge pool, plenty for the kids, and a decent spa (for a fee). The 188 suites and Junior Suites are spacious, with modern renovations, cooking facilities, and lounge areas; the free Wi-Fi is also particularly good. The location is a bit of a way to the beach though, so for an all-inclusive beachfront option check out the Clube Praia da Oura.

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Scene

All-inclusive, resort-style hotel popular with British families and couples

Still looking fresh from its 2014 makeover, the whitewashed and curved glass facade of the Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel is smart and modern, though lacking much in the way of character. This could also be said of the hotel's reception area, which while bright and pleasant enough -- with terra-cotta-tile floors, potted plants, and a mixture of antique-style and homey furnishings -- certainly won't wow too many arrivals. The rear of the hotel grounds comprise a large pool surrounded by tidy lawns and rows of loungers, extending to some pretty, shaded gardens with colorful bushes and trees. This all-inclusive, all-suite hotel is relaxed, unpretentious, and family-friendly (potentially noisy groups are pre-warned), while also drawing plenty of -- mostly British -- vacationing couples on package deals.

Location

Set on eastern edge of Albufeira, 10-minute walk to "the strip"

The hotel is located in a largely residential area on the eastern outskirts of the popular Algarve tourist destination of Albufeira. While there's not a huge amount in the immediate vicinity, there are a few restaurants and a supermarket within a few minutes on foot. It's also just under a 10-minute walk from the famous "strip" which is full of bars, restaurants, and clubs; it's where most of the area's nightlife is concentrated. The beaches of Praia da Balaia and Praia da Oura are around a five-minute drive or 15 to 20 minutes away on foot, though it's all uphill on the way back. Old Town Albufeira is about a 10-minute drive away and the hotel also provides a free shuttle to its neighboring beach. Faro Airport is about a 35- to 40-minute drive.

Rooms

Renovated suites with kitchenettes and free, fast Wi-Fi

The hotel's 188 rooms (all of which are Junior Suites, Suites, or Executive Suites) received renovations in 2014, and feel fresh with simple, contemporary furnishings, tiled floors, and muted tones with splashes of purples. They are pretty spacious (starting at around 430 square feet) and all include separate living rooms with sofa beds, dining areas, and kitchenettes with microwaves, electric hobs, and small fridges with freezers. Junior suites can fit two adults and one child, while Suites can fit three adults and a child. All also open to furnished terraces mostly with views either over the countryside or swimming pool and distant glimpses of the sea (though some overlook the car park). Bathrooms feel a little more old-fashioned, but are clean and functional, with shower/tub combos, wall-mounted hairdryers, and decent toiletries. Other amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with some English-speaking channels, and free, fast, and generally reliable Wi-Fi.

Features

Huge swimming pool with plenty of loungers and child-friendly fun, spa (for a fee), and buffet and a la carte restaurants -- but food and drinks get poor reviews

The hotel's all-inclusive package includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner served buffet-style in the bright and modern Dine Divine restaurant, as well as afternoon snacks from the poolside bar and a range of soft and alcoholic drinks. Food has overall received average reviews and drinks are a lowlight for many, thanks to the local liquor brands and cheap mixers (some branded liquor can be purchased). An a la carte menu is also available at the Grill Restaurant, where guests can dine once per stay, though drinks are charged extra. There's also the Rossini Bar which puts on live evening entertainment, but feels somewhat dated. Many guests report that entertainment at the hotel is poor.

The huge swimming pool is certainly one of the larger you'll find in the area, and surrounded by ample cushioned loungers and a splash pool for children. Many guests reserve their favorite loungers early, but even so, there are usually enough to go around. There are also a kids' club, a playground, and animation teams that organize activities for parents and children. 

The on-site spa is pretty comprehensive, with a fitness room, three treatment rooms, relaxation area, whirlpool tub, and sauna and steam rooms -- but access to the spa incurs a fee. The hotel also offers reading/game rooms, two meeting rooms, and two tennis courts.

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Address

Corcovada, Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200-664, Portugal

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