On cliffs above Praia da Rocha, close to bars and restaurants
Spacious rooms with balconies, some featuring sea views
All rooms include air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs
Large outdoor pool with separate kids' pool
Poolside cafe-bar with TVs and a big screen for sports
TV lounge with free Wi-Fi
No free Wi-Fi in rooms
Style is dated throughout the hotel
Breakfast buffet is limited
Fees for safes
Hotel Luar is a two-and-a-half-pearl property set in a quiet spot atop the cliffs above the sands of Praia da Rocha's western end. It's within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants, and the beach is just down a set of steps a one-minute walk from the hotel. Nice gardens include a pool and kids' pool, plus a cafe-bar that serves food all day. The buffet breakfast is limited and the 140 rooms could do with an overhaul, especially the bathrooms, which are rather shabby. Standard features include air-conditioning and tiny flat-screen TVs, though there's no in-room Wi-Fi. Guests looking for more facilities could take a look at Apartamentos Jardins da Rocha, which has sports courts and rooms with full kitchens, though it's a block back from the seafront.
Clifftop property with a laid-back atmosphere and superb sea views
The Hotel Luar makes an attractive first impression, particularly when viewed from behind, where shelved balconies and angular detailing are surrounded by lush green lawns. In fact, the outdoor spaces here are quite lovely -- unfortunately, the style inside the hotel is dated. The lobby is large, with a similar geometric style to the hotel's exterior, centered around an octagonal water feature, plus several pockets of sofas and armchairs. Views reach right across the bay to Lagos, and guests can watch the sun set over the ocean. Perhaps its greatest asset is its location -- with a front entrance on the main road through Praia de Rocha, and gardens backing onto the beachfront path. The hotel has a quiet setting that's just far enough away from the nightlife of Praia da Rocha, and the atmosphere is relaxed throughout. Depending on the season, you're liable to see either mature couples or families here.
On a cliff above the beach, within a short walk of bars and restaurants
Hotel Luar is located at the western end of Praia da Rocha, right on the seafront road and a one-minute walk from the steps down to the beach. This part of town is just slightly removed from the busier areas, though the bars and restaurants along the main drag are only a few minutes away by car. It's about a 20-minute walk along the beach promenade to the marina at the other end of town. There's a bus stop within a 10-minute walk of the hotel that connects to central Portimao in 30 minutes, or the same trip can be made in five minutes by car. Lagos -- a harbor town that has way more charm than Portimao -- is about a 30-minute drive away, and Faro's airport takes 50 minutes to reach by car. Budget around two and a half hours to reach Lisbon and its airport.
Simple rooms -- some with sea views -- but style is dated and bathrooms are tired
Rooms are fairly spacious and come in basic twin or double configurations. All feature a balcony, though the layout of the hotel -- in a U shape -- means that there are limited ocean-facing rooms. With that in mind some have partial ocean views while others look onto the town or other rooms. Decor is dated and the floral curtains are a bit chintzy -- particularly alongside the mid-tone wood furniture -- but there's an ample amount of storage space. Standard features include flat-screen TVs (though these are small and hidden in the wardrobe), air-conditioning, desks, mini-fridges with a small selection of minibar drinks, and safes -- which require a fee. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi isn't free in rooms and the signal is weak. Extra beds for children can be arranged. Bathrooms are tired and showing wear, though all feature shower/tub combos, toiletries, and towels.
Large and secluded pool with kids' pool and poolside cafe-bar, but the breakfast buffet is limited
Hotel Luar has a large outdoor are that includes a kids' pool, a main pool with a mushroom waterfall, and a patio area with loungers and table seating. Food is available from the cafe throughout the day, either by the pool or inside where there's also a bar with sofas, vending machines, TVs, and a large screen that shows sporting events. The daily buffet breakfast is a bit of a let down, and previous guests have been especially disappointed in the lack of fruit. There's a separate TV and chill-out area off the lobby with pockets of comfy chairs, sofas, and some board games. Wi-Fi is free here, though it can be slow (and costs extra in rooms). The reception desk is manned 24 hours a day and offers useful services such as laundry and transfers.