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Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol 3.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet setting within walking distance to old and new towns, and beach
  • Self-catering rooms with AC, decorative tiles, and furnished balconies with views
  • Outdoor pool surrounded by small splash pools, plus indoor pool 
  • Restaurant, diner-style sports bar, and seasonal pool snack bar
  • Health club with sauna, hot tub, and small gym (fee)
  • Game room with mini-golf, table and arcade games, and PlayStation 
  • Tennis court, small soccer field, and squash court
  • Train stop outside with transport to beach, new town, and old town
  • Free parking

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi, which is reportedly spotty
  • Fee to access health club's facilities, including gym
  • Dated furnishings could use an update
  • Balconies can get warm due to air-conditioning unit fans

Bottom Line

Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol is a solid mid-range option with an excellent, walkable location between the old and new towns and near to a beach. The 174 self-catering studios and one-bedroom apartments come with small kitchenettes, semi-private balconies, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs. The place has some contemporary touches, but most areas could use an update. Overall, the vibe is casual with a lack of organized activities, leaving guests to use the two pools (plus, a few shallow paddle pools), health club (fee), tennis and squash courts, and large game room at their leisure. There are also a restaurant with international cuisine, diner-style sports bar, and seasonal pool bar. Compare details with the nearby Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa, which has free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. 

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Scene

A resort-like property with many spaces could use an update

Hotel Apartmento Brisa Sol exposes its hand right away, with a big and striking, though visibly dated, exterior. It reflects a '60s mod-style that plays out through waves and rivets of white walls and the smooth bumps of the rooms' semi-private balconies. The travertine floors, thick area rugs, and dated furniture of the entry spaces feel like a time warp, while the outdoor patio takes you into the present with contemporary wicker furniture and mosaic tile floors. It's a hodgepodge of style that spans decades, but somehow manages not to offend. The array of amenities lures both couples and families, but the atmosphere is generally laid-back.

Location

Conveniently located between the old and new town, a 10-minute walk to the beach

Hotel Apartamento is ideally located for people who want to be within walking distance of the area’s nightlife, restaurants, new town, old town, and Praia do Inatel beach. When hunger strikes, you can find a handful of American fast food restaurants, two large grocery stores, and a few small cafes within a two-minute walk. Trips to the bars, restaurants, and shops of new town will take about 10 to 15 minutes by foot, and it's another five to 10 minutes to reach the old town. Beach bums can be oceanfront in a 10-minute walk, though expect a cardio workout on the way back up the cliff. There’s also a tourist train stop right outside the hotel with transport to all areas, plus the shopping center around the corner from the hotel. Faro Airport is a 30-minute drive east.

Rooms

Clean and simple rooms with basic kitchenettes and slightly dated furniture

Hotel Apartamento's 174 rooms are clean and simple, outfitted with small kitchenettes, hardwood floors, and air-conditioning. Old-school electronics, like telephones and hairdryers, and kitchen equipment could use an upgrade, as do the vinyl leather sofas and chairs in drab blue and mustard-yellow. Blue- or red-and-white elaborately painted headboards are old-fashioned but attractive, as are kitchen backsplashes and mosaic tiling in the bathrooms. The small kitchenette's mini-fridge, two-burner hob, microwave, and toaster work for easy dishes, though probably aren't enough for more elaborate meals. 

Also provided are coffee machines, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs with 13 channels, and well-maintained bathrooms sporting walk-in showers or shower/tub combos in upgraded rooms, as well as bidets, toiletries, and hairdryers. Most rooms have spacious balconies that can get hot from the expelled AC air; "Pool View" rooms are key for guests wanting to avoid looking over the parking lot. Wi-Fi requires a fee and tends to be slow. 

Features

Lots on on-site activities, but some for a fee

Hotel Apartamento is packed with activities and features, though some spaces could stand to be updated and require a fee. The hotel has a big, sparkling outdoor pool surrounded by a few small shallow pools for kids or just dipping your feet. White plastic loungers are neatly setup on the surrounding grassy grounds, and during high season it's a fight for first-come, first-served. For a small daily fee, travelers can hit up the hotel's health club, which has a small indoor pool with a frosted-glass dome ceiling, a Turkish bath, sauna, whirlpool, and small gym with dated machines. Massage chairs are in the main hotel lounge.

There are no dedicated kids' club or organized activities here, but there is a game room stuffed with a mini-golf set, pool and air hockey tables, a few old arcade games, and a PlayStation. More active games take place on the outdoor sports field with tennis court and inside on the squash court. Guests can catch an on-screen game at the casual, diner-styled Bar Algarve or just grab a cocktail, while the seasonal pool bar serves up snacks and drinks in warmer months. No free breakfast here, but guests can opt-in for meal plans or go a la carte for the hot buffet breakfast and international dishes served for lunch and dinner. 

Wi-Fi requires a fee and it can be slow and unreliable. There's also a small business center with computers and printers (fee) set up near the lobby. Parking is free. 

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Address

Rua do Municipio, Lote 27, Apartado 2054, Albufeira 8200-161, Portugal

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