Spacious apartments with kitchens and one to three bedrooms
Restaurant and bar, plus pool bar and room service
Indoor and outdoor pools, and outdoor kids' pool
Direct access to beach plus playground and seasonal kids' club
Leisure center with sauna, steam room, solarium, and gym
Beach towels for a refundable deposit
Free parking and shuttle service
Free Wi-Fi in public areas
Only two buildings are air-conditioned
Rooms lack Wi-Fi and have dated elements like tube TVs
Breakfast is not included in rates
Restaurant food gets mixed reviews
Fee for kids' club
The 131-unit Jardim do Vau is a mid-range apartment-style hotel situated right on beautiful Praia do Vau. It's in a quiet residential area that's a seven-minute drive from the Praia da Rocha strip. The hotel also offers a free shuttle. Apartments come with one, two, or three bedrooms, and all have a full kitchens and balcony or terrace. Some guests may consider them dated, and air-conditioning isn't guaranteed. Wi-Fi is also limited. With indoor and outdoor pools and a full leisure center, guests can be active year-round. The kids also have their own pool, playground, and kids' club in season. Travelers who'd like to be within walking distance of more restaurants and nightlife could check out the Hotel da Rocha, where rooms are more modern but there's less for families.
Simple apartment-style hotel appealing to self-sufficient families and couples
This hotel is situated in four-story white-washed buildings with bright yellow shutters and trim. Nothing about it sets it apart from the glut of other mid-range aparthotel properties in the region, though the location appeals to those looking for something a bit quieter than the area near Praia da Rocha. Once inside, a large, open reception area features a vaulted ceiling with two huge chandeliers. Several seating groups with sofas and chairs give guests places to gather and hang out, though it's all really just functional, as most of the action here takes place outside. This isn't a fancy hotel, and some may consider it a bit dated, but it's welcoming and relaxed, and everything is well kept. Jardim do Vau appeals mostly to self-sufficient families and couples looking for a quiet beach getaway. Some groups come here as well.
Quiet residential area on Praia do Vau beach, a seven-minute drive to Praia da Rocha
The hotel is located in a residential area next to Praia do Vau. This is a quieter alternative to the more touristy Praia da Rocha strip, which is a seven-minute drive from the property. The colorful town of Portimao and the fishing village of Alvor also are about 10 minutes away, as is the Fort of Santa Catarina. There's not much immediately around the hotel besides the beach, so guests who want to explore will probably need to rent a car or take the hotel's free shuttle. The Slide & Splash water park can be reached in about 20 minutes by car, and the Algarve International Autodrome is a 30-minute drive away. Faro Airport will take 50 minutes to reach by car, while Lisbon is a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
Simple apartments with kitchens and furnished balconies or terraces, some with direct sea views
The hotel offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, all with full kitchens and a simple style that almost verges on dated. Decor is basic, with clean-lined light wood furniture, tile floors, and mostly white color schemes with a single accent wall featuring a bold color such as blue, teal, or orange. Abstract paintings give them a little character.
One-bedroom units have two twin beds in the bedroom and a separate living and dining area with a sofa bed, suitable for two adults and two children, or three adults. In the two-bedroom units, which can accommodate five people, one bedroom has a double bed and the other two twins. Kitchenettes are stocked with a mini-fridge, microwave, cooktop, coffeemaker, electric kettle, and toaster. Two-bedroom units have larger refrigerators, dishwashers, and a washer/dryer. Other amenities in all include old-style tube TVs and safes. Keep in mind that only units in Blocks B and D have air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi isn't available in apartments. Housekeeping is provided daily.
Bathrooms tend to be small and a little dated, but they are clean and come with tiled shower/tub combos, bidets, hairdryers, and hand soap. All units have a balcony or terrace furnished with cushioned plastic lounge chairs and a plastic dining table and chairs. Although most have sea views, the reception block has only partial ocean views and some have no sea views. In addition, in all apartments, one of the rooms overlooks the hallway.
Restaurant, pools, playground, kids' club, leisure center, library, and free Wi-Fi in public areas
Features here are on par with the area competition, though some are better than others. The on-site restaurant, O Jardim, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual space with oversized flowers and fruits painted on the walls. The menu feature Portuguese and international dishes, but previous guests give mixed reviews. The adjacent bar offers rattan seating, TVs, a large beach scene on one wall, and a pool table. There's also a bar by the pool open in warm weather.
The large free-form pool with a separate kids' pool is a popular spot for hanging out. Bright yellow lounge chairs and yellow and blue striped umbrellas are lined up on the stone pool deck, which is next to the beach. There's also a large grassy lawn where guests can relax on lounge chairs. The hotel has direct access to the beach, which is a beautiful and wide stretch of sand. Beach towels are available for a refundable deposit.
The year-round Atlantic Club leisure center offers a variety of activities, including a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, solarium with lounge chairs, and a basic fitness center. Massage and beauty treatments can be arranged. A library has books for guests to read in a solarium filled with green plants and seating at small outdoor tables and chairs. An on-site mini-market sells beach toys, souvenirs, food items, beverages, and travel essentials.
A Kids' Club for children age 3 to 10 is open from in high season and has games, toys, and arts and crafts (for a fee). The outdoor playground on a large grassy lawn has swings, slides, climbing gear, and a volleyball net for the older kids. During the warmer months, the hotel hosts activities at the pool and on the lawn.
Wi-Fi is free in public areas, including the lobby, restaurant, bars, pools, and library. The hotel hosts weddings in the garden by the beach, and planners are available to assist with details. There's also a local shuttle.