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Belver Boa Vista Hotel & Spa 2.5

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet hillside setting with views of Albufeira and the sea
  • 10-minute walk into Albufeira's buzzy, touristy old town
  • Most rooms have sea-view balconies; all include air-conditioning
  • Free breakfast buffet with hot and cold options
  • Simple spa with sauna plus cardio equipment
  • Lovely outdoor pool with sea views
  • No children under age 16 allowed
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Decor and amenities in rooms are dated and cheap
  • Not directly on the beach
  • Food is average, at best
  • Children not allowed (pro for many)
  • Small and slow elevators

Bottom Line

You want views? At the adult-only Belver Boa Vista Hotel & Spa, you're in luck. The hilltop location means vantages across the city and sea are spectacular from many spots throughout the hotel. Ultimately, though, while this two-and-a-half-pearl property does have a lovely pool with sea views, it's seen better days. The 84 rooms are dated and have a cheap, rickety style, though they include free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. The best rooms have balconies with sea views. There's a clinical-looking spa with a Turkish bath and sauna, as well as a basic fitness room with cardio equipment. Breakfast buffets are included in rates, and the restaurant serves lunch and dinner as well. For an adult-only alternative with more style, check out the Falesia Hotel, though it's farther from Albufeira.

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Scene

Dated, simple hotel for adults only, with views of the city and sea

Let's start with the good: The views across the sea and city of Albufeira from many spots in this hotel are excellent. During our visit, we saw plenty of guests taking advantage of strategically placed terraces to catch up with one another or grab a cigarette. There's also a good deal of coming and going throughout the day, which adds some life to the property. Mature couples chit-chat in the hotel's quaintly nautical lobby on their way out to Albufeira's bustling old town, or else sip coffees in the bar or catch rays next to the pool. Even so, this hotel needs some love, as its interiors -- particularly the rooms -- are dated and cheap looking. As such, it's no surprise that guests are coming and going, as hanging out indoors all day wouldn't be particularly pleasant. The 16-and-over age limit means that despite frequently hosting convivial groups of mature couples and friends, this remains a tranquil home base, even if rates could be lower given its quality.

Location

Hilltop setting outside Albufeira's old town, a 10- to 15-minute walk to bars and beach

For the quiet-seeking mature clientele that favors this hotel, the quiet setting outside of Albufeira's boozy old town is a big draw. That said, it also means walking to get to any restaurants, bars, or shops -- all of which will require trekking back uphill to get home for the night. The clifftop esplanade is a 10-minute walk downhill, while the fringe of the old town is also 10 minutes away on foot. Budget 15 minutes on foot to reach the town's busy, scenic beach. Alternatively, cabs can make the journey in just a couple of minutes, but for those using their own cars, parking in the old town area is scarce. It will take around 40 minutes to reach the Faro Airport by road, and up to two-and-a-half hours to reach Lisbon.

Rooms

Dated, cramped, and cheaply decorated rooms with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi; many with sea views

The rooms here don't offer much to love. When we toured the hotel, they were far and away the worst aspect of the property, and though they come in a range of styles, they're unified by their datedness. Expect cheap laminate furniture or a mix of off-modern country styles and garage-sale chic pieces, with incongruous color schemes, older fabrics, and tarnished metal work. Many do have balconies and, of those, the best offer sea views. Features have likewise seen better days and we spotted old tube TVs during our visit. Otherwise, they include air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and phones. Bathrooms are similarly old school, with colorful tiling, a good amount of counter space, and shower/tub combos. It's worth noting that the elevators are small and sometimes malfunction, making it hard to get between floors for those with any mobility issues. Keep in mind that most double beds are two twins shoved together, which isn't exactly comfortable.

Features

Nice pool terrace, restaurant and bar, and simple spa and fitness area

The features here are on par with most hotels in the Albufeira region, though some are underwhelming. The pool is the highlight, and the terrace overlooks the sea in the distance and sun loungers are arranged to take in the views. The restaurant and bar sit next to the pool, indoors. In high season, there's live piano music on some nights. A free breakfast buffet is included in room rates, and features hot and cold options, though food for all meals only gets mediocre reviews from previous guests. The hotel's spa is quite clinical looking, and small, though it includes a sauna. There's also a fitness room with just a few pieces of cardio equipment and some exercise balls. There are some charming parlor-style lounges on the same floor as reception, and we saw people retiring into these for some peace and quiet, or to check their email. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and garage parking is available for a fee.

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Address

Rua Samora Barros 20, Albufeira 8200-178, Portugal

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