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Costa D'oiro Ambiance Village 3.5

Lagos, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet residential setting, a five- to 10-minute walk to Praia Dona Ana
  • Rooms range from classic hotel rooms to contemporary apartments
  • Standard features include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and balconies or terraces
  • Apartments include kitchenettes
  • Excellent restaurant serving traditional Portuguese fare and wine
  • Massive free breakfast buffet with tons of local dishes
  • Multiple pools, a sauna, Turkish bath, and simple fitness room
  • Beach towels are free for all guests
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Off-street parking lot

Cons

  • Old-school key system does mean a bit of hallway noise carries
  • Lagos' old town is too far away for most to walk

Bottom Line

The Costa D'oiro Ambiance Village is an 85-unit upper-middle-range property with a mix of hotel rooms and apartments that's a five- to 10-minute walk to gorgeous Praia Dona Ana. Its multiple buildings are built into a quiet residential area, and interiors range from classic to contemporary. Standard features in all rooms and apartments include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and balconies or terraces. There are several pools, a simple fitness room, and beach towels are free. The restaurant is a real delight, and the free breakfast includes a massive spread of locally produced dishes. It's a bit of a hike into Lagos' old town, and travelers wanting to be closer to the action should consider the Hotel Marina Rio, where rates are lower, though the property is more basic.

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Scene

Village-like hotel with a blend of classic and modern styles and lots of Portuguese character

This hotel is an unassuming place that almost seamlessly blends into the quiet residential neighborhood that it calls home. Brightly painted buildings are scattered along two streets, interspersed with other unaffiliated homes and villas, lending a locals-only vibe to the place right off the bat. While there is a central complex that includes the hotel's main pool, restaurant, and terraces, the activity is spread among different buildings, which helps keeps things quiet and intimate. Additionally, given that the hotel is broken up into multiple buildings, the decor and style varies -- some have modern interiors and others are more classic, though all are well-kept and homey. The hotel prides itself on offering an authentic Portuguese experience to its guests. To that end, the restaurant is justifiably popular, and is packed for breakfast and dinner. It's a nice step up from the other nearby properties, most of which go out of their way to cater to British and German tastes, often at the expense of Portuguese authenticity. Given its array of room categories and casual atmosphere, the hotel attracts all types of guests, though most are mature couples and younger families. 

Location

Near Ponte da Piedade, a five- to 10-minute walk to Praia Dona Ana

The Costa D'oiro Ambiance Village is part of a quiet residential community outside of downtown Lagos. As such, the immediate area feels decidedly un-touristy, though aside from a mini-mart and a couple casual bars, there's not much in the way of entertainment nearby. However, beach lovers are in luck, as Lagos' picture-perfect Praia Dona Ana is a five- to 10-minute walk from the hotel. Alternatively, Praia Camilo is a 10- to 15-minute walk away. A 15-minute walk to Ponta da Piedade culminates in some of the Algarve's most iconic views, as winding paths along the cliffs look onto seaside caves below. Those who don't mind longer strolls can make the 20-minute walk into Lagos' old town, though it's all uphill on the return trip (it's a five-minute drive). The closest airport is in Faro, an hour away by car. Lisbon and its airport are a two-and-a-half-hour drive away.

Rooms

Range of rooms and apartments come in classic or contemporary styles

As the hotel has been built in various waves, there's an expected disparity in the style from one room to the next, though all are spotlessly clean and well kept. The traditional rooms look a bit dated, with pastel hues, color-washed wooden furniture, and country-inspired art work. We prefer the more contemporary rooms, which embrace a range of styles from urban chic to funky Scandinavian minimalism to Moorish. As the surrounding neighborhood is essentially silent at night, the rooms and apartments are mostly quiet, though you may occasionally hear neighbors fumbling with the old-school keyed locks on their doors.

Standard features include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, free safes, and terraces or balconies. Many rooms include minibars as well. While some of the larger beds are two twins pushed together, we didn't notice a seam and the mattresses were yielding, yet supportive. Apartments have kitchenettes with sinks, two-burner stovetops, toasters, and empty mini-fridges plus dishes and cookware, though all rooms lack electric kettles or coffeemakers. Bathrooms -- like their respective rooms -- vary in style, and while some have rainfall showerheads, others do not. Castelbel toiletries from Porto are provided in all rooms, and there's a good amount of counter space in every category.

Features

Great restaurant and free breakfast buffet, multiple pools, and simple wellness facilities

Without a doubt, the highlight of a stay here is the hotel's restaurant. The management has gone out of its way to provide as many Portuguese flavors as possible, which isn't always the case in a region where many hotels simply cater to the tastes of their international guests. The free breakfast is a massive affair. A wide array of hot and cold dishes include an entire table filled with local dishes like cheeses, pastries, octopus salad, sausages, and other items. Dinner is, likewise, an all-Portuguese event, and the varied a la carte and daily specials are complemented by a Portuguese wine list. Light snacks are available throughout the day as well.

There are multiple pools throughout the property, so that regardless of where guests are sleeping, they are never far from the water. One is covered for year-round use, and all are ringed with lounge chairs. The vibe was calm at all of them during our visit, and there's a shallow pool for kids. The hotel has a simple, but modern, fitness room with a few pieces of cardio equipment and fitness balls. It's attached to a sauna and Turkish bath, and massages are also available.

Beach towels are free for all guests, and the lobby is open around the clock. Parking is free in a lot or on the street. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.

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Address

Lote 38 Rua da Costa D'Oiro, Lagos 8600-544, Portugal

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