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Torre Velha Hotel 2.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A five-minute walk from scenic Castelo Beach
  • Affordably priced rooms with mini-fridges
  • All rooms have balconies or terraces, some with ocean views
  • Small outdoor pool
  • Continental breakfast and restaurant for lunch and dinner
  • Bar with TV soccer and open-air terrace facing pool
  • Huge whiskey collection with over 2,000 bottles
  • Lobby living room with TV, computer, and billiards table
  • Free Wi-Fi in public spaces

Cons

  • A bit far from old town Albufeira's old town
  • Dated style and amenities; rooms lack air-conditioning and Wi-Fi
  • Fee for breakfast and selection is limited
  • Mattresses are a bit hard
  • Fee for use of safes and hotel has no beach towels

Bottom Line

Torre Velha Hotel is a small, two-pearl hotel, a 10-minute drive from old town Albufeira. It's a bit off the beaten path, but is only a five-minute walk to Castelo Beach. Facilities are limited, with just an outdoor pool, restaurant, and bar. The 35 affordably priced rooms are spartan, though all are clean and well-maintained. Their chief drawback is their lack of air-conditioning and in-room Wi-Fi (though the latter is available in public spaces free of charge). All have mini-fridges and balconies or terraces, some with ocean views. Travelers looking for a better-quality rooms and a location closer to old town Albufeira might consider the Apartamentos Turisticos da Orada. 

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Scene

Basic budget hotel with low-key vibe away from the heart of the tourist hubbub 

Torre Velha Hotel is situated on small grounds with a lawn and palm trees, in a quieter corner of the Albufeira area. The hotel gets its name and a distinctive touch from a 16th-century watchtower, the ruins of which are still on the property. The public spaces and rooms are housed in a small white building with vines on one side. Interiors have a slightly dated look, but there are some interesting elements like the Portuguese azulejo tiling in the lobby living room, bar, and restaurant. Guests gather on the pool deck, and the bar is a lively space with soccer-related decor and televised soccer on three big-screen TVs. With the hotel's lack of specific kids' activities, it's not great for families with children. Instead, it draws mostly budget-minded tourists willing to trade a commute to Albufeira's bars and restaurants for affordable rates near Castelo Beach. 

Location

A five-minute walk from Castelo Beach, a 10-minute drive from old town Albufeira

Torre Velha Hotel is in the Evaristo area west of Albufeira, there are a number of other small hotels in the area, though it's a mostly residential development. A few restaurants and bars are within walking distance, and a supermarket is a three-minute drive, but the main draw here is the five-minute walk to Castelo Beach. The walk back is uphill and a bit strenuous. Evaristo, Coelha, and Mare das Porcas beaches are about a three-minute drive or 10-minute walk away. A bus to Albufeira is about a five-minute walk, but buses are sometimes infrequent, so it helps to have a car while staying here. Old town Albufeira is about a 10-minute drive away and the Avenida Sa Carneiro strip of bars and restaurants is a little under 15 minutes away by car. Faro Airport is a 40-minute drive from the hotel, and it's two hours and 15 minutes by car to Lisbon.

Rooms

Basic budget rooms with balconies or terraces, no Wi-Fi or air conditioning

Rooms at the Torre Velha have a simple, spartan feel, with largely bare walls, a few cheap pieces of furniture, and plain white coverings on the beds. Some rooms add a dash of color with green-painted bed frames or bright red curtains, but basically the rooms are colorless. Despite the budget-quality look, they're clean and well-maintained, and the main complaint of guests is the rooms' lack of air-conditioning. Yes, there are ceiling fans, but they don't always do enough to cool rooms. Mattresses are a little hard, and many rooms have only two twin beds. Each room has a balcony or terrace, some with partial ocean view. All 35 rooms come with mini-fridges and small tube TVs with limited channels. Rooms do not have electric kettles for instant coffee and tea, but these can be requested from reception (supply limited). A fee is assessed for use of safes, and Wi-Fi isn't available in rooms. Some bathrooms are a little snug, with limited counter space around the sink. All have bidets, hairdryers, and showers/tub combos.

Features

Small outdoor pool, restaurant, and bar with big-screen TVs and big whiskey selection

There are just a few features at this hotel, including a small outdoor pool that's a little over 10 meters in length. The deck gets good direct sun, and there are generally plenty of sun loungers for guests, but the deck lacks umbrellas for shade on hot days. Those heading to the beach need to bring their own beach towels as the hotel does not have them. The hotel serves a continental breakfast (for a fee), though the selection is a bit basic. The restaurant also serves fare like steaks, salmon, lamb chops, and pizzas for lunch and dinner. The spacious bar offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and features three big-screen TVs with televised soccer and occasional live music and karaoke. The bar has over 2,000 bottles of whiskey, and even has a separate whiskey room with huge display cases of bottles of whiskey. An open-air terrace overlooking the pool is a decent place for a meal or drink. The lobby living room has a billiards table, a shelf of books, TV, and computer. Wi-Fi is free in public areas, and parking is also free.

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Address

Praia do Castello, Albufeira 8200-388, Portugal

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