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Monte Santo Resort 3.5

Carvoeiro, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Relaxing location on the edge of town, a quick drive to dining and nightlife 
  • Suites and townhouses with full kitchens and jetted tubs
  • Six outdoor pools and an indoor pool
  • Multi-sports court (tennis, soccer, basketball) and a track
  • Restaurant with international cuisine and an outdoor terrace 
  • Lounge bar and poolside bar
  • Game room with ping pong and snooker
  • Kids' club and outdoor playground
  • Full spa with a hot tub, sauna, and Turkish bath
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free shuttle to town and golf courses
  • Free on-site parking

Cons

  • Not on the beach and an uphill walk back from town
  • Decor in suites and townhouses is a bit dated
  • Cramped fitness room 

Bottom Line

Though Monte Santo Resort has all the atmosphere and amenities of a romantic three-and-a-half-pearl property, it's also great for families. It's a short walk from town, and those not wanting to return uphill can take advantage of the hotel's free shuttle. The 133 suites and townhouses all have full kitchens and private balconies, some with sea views, though the style isn't entirely fresh. Features include a sprawling array of six outdoor pools, combined with an outdoor playground and a kids' club plus a full spa with a Turkish bath. Rates are cheaper at the nearby Vale da Lapa Resort & SPA, though it doesn't have as many great children's facilities. Travelers looking to be right on the beach might want to consider the Pestana Palm Gardens.

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Scene

Quiet garden grounds with dotted by pools and townhouses

There's a lot of secluded ambience at this property, in part because it feels more like a polished condo community than a resort. Located on 19 green acres, a waterway winds through manicured lawns and gardens, helping to create a tranquil atmosphere here makes this a popular choice in the Algarve. The architecture is entirely modern, with blocky two-color buildings relying with towering wooden pergolas, but together with the beautiful flora and well-kept grounds, the overall effect is impressive. There are numerous places to sunbathe or relax in the shade on the decks scattered between the buildings, or on terraces situated along the waterway. Pebbled paths connect the different areas of the property, and most of the common spaces are outdoor -- populated by families and younger couples with babies, along with golf enthusiasts making use of the close proximity to some of the best courses in Europe. 

Location

A five-minute drive to the restaurants and nightlife in Carvoeiro

Though the hotel is not located on the beach, it's within an easy drive of dining and nightlife in Carvoeiro. There are some dining options within a 15-minute walk of the hotel, though the walk back to the hotel is steep. It's a five-minute drive into the center of town on the hotel's shuttle or by car. Carvoeiro is a tourist center, brimming with dining, shopping, and local entertainment, especially in summer when the streets fill with outdoor events. The hotel is a popular spot for golf lovers as well, as it's just a five-minute drive to the Gramacho Golf Course, or a six-minute drive to Vale Da Pinta Golf Course -- both are considered among Europe's best. Several beaches are within a six-minute drive of the hotel, including Praia da Cama da Vaca, Praia do Vale da Lapa, and Praia de Carvoeiro. Expect a 45-minute drive to Faro Airport. 

Rooms

Upscale suites and townhouses with full kitchens and washer/dryers

The 133 suites and townhouses are spread across Monte Santo Resort's manicured grounds, and all are really more like apartments or condos. Expect to see bright, simple decor with light tile floors and mostly elegant white wood furniture that's mixed with contemporary accents like chrome table lamps. Still, there are a few design misses, including rattan chairs and other pieces with whitewashed wicker panels. The burnt orange palette also looks a bit dated, and wall art tends to be generic pictures of flowers. 

The living rooms have sofabeds, flat-screen TVs, and entertainment systems. Large and fully stocked kitchens include dark granite counters with refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, ovens and electric stovetops, along with washer/dryers. Coffeemakers come standard, too, while upgraded units add Nespresso coffeemakers. Suites either have covered patios or private balconies, while the two- or three-bedroom Townhouses have both (they also add a second bathroom). Other standard amenities include bottled water, seasonal fruit plates, and a bottle of wine on arrival. Unlike many hotels in the area, the in-room safes are free to use. Bathrooms are covered in large stone tiles, with a touch of marble, and have jetted tubs with handheld showerheads, along with bidets.

Features

Six outdoor pools, indoor pool, spa with Turkish bath, kids' activities, restaurant and lounge bar

The hotel's sprawling main pool wraps around an island feature with a pair of bridges spanning to both ends; the whole thing is surrounded by vast stretches of tiled sun deck with plenty of lounge chairs. Shallow areas provide space for lounge chairs to sit right in the water, and there are numerous umbrellas as well as covered cabanas. There are six outdoor pools in all, including a kids' pool and several smaller pools between the townhouses. There's also an indoor heated pool connected to the health club, which houses a full-service spa with a sauna, a hot tub, and a Turkish bath. The fitness center is underwhelming, with just a few cardio machines, free weights, and an elliptical in a small space that awkwardly looks out into the game room where teenagers can be found playing foosball or snooker. There's also an outdoor track and a multi-sports court. For younger children, the hotel has an outdoor playground with swings, next to a kids' club in a little wooden house, complete with it's own fenced-in yard. For dining, Monte dos Comensais serves international and Portuguese cuisine (with a kids' menu) and has an outdoor terrace. There's an attached lounge bar, and a poolside bar that serves snacks. A free shuttle can take guests to Carvoeiro beach and the nearby golf courses. Wi-Fi and parking are also free.

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Address

Rua Joao Paulo II, Lagoa, Carvoeiro, Algarve 8400-556, Portugal

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