Quiet location within walking distance to restaurants, markets, and attractions
Large apartment-style rooms with full-size kitchens, balconies, and living rooms
Two sunny outdoor pools, including an adult-only pool
Casual bistro-style restaurant with outdoor seating and a snack bar
Covered outdoor table games area with pool table and air hockey
Mini-bus service with stops in the town center and Porto de Mos beach
Fee for Wi-Fi
Room decor is a bit sparse
Beds can be a little too firm for some guests
Non-heated pools can get chilly in the winter
Vilabranca Apartments is a conveniently located and affordable mid-range option for self-catering families and groups looking to explore Lagos on foot. Dining options, the beach, and attractions are all within a five- to 20-minute walk. From the outside, the building resembles architecture from a traditional Algarve village, while interiors are contemporary and colorful, albeit simple. The 86 rooms come with stark decor, extra-firm mattresses, full-size kitchens, flat-screen TVs, and both dining and living areas. On-site features include two (non-heated) outdoor pools, a pool bar, a restaurant and bar, and free parking. The charge for Wi-Fi is a downside, however. This place books up quickly for summer, so if they're full, check out the Dom Manuel Hotel down the street -- though you'll trade the self-catering kitchens for more character, free Wi-Fi, and possibly a higher price tag.
Traditional apartment-style buildings with lots of light and space to relax
From the outside, Vilabranca Apartments has the look of a traditional Algarve village residence. The squarish, sun-bleached white buildings have faded pops of color in their terra-cotta tile roofs, latticed terra-cotta brick accent walls in the outdoor stairwells, and light-blue and peach window trimmings. Vibrantly colored accent walls pair against stark-white and polished natural-wood furniture. The hotel's all-tile floors and airy architecture is two-fold, giving both a feeling of space and circulation. Overall, the vibe here is social but not party-heavy, since the hotel mostly attracts budget-minded families or groups of friends. Vilabranca's apartment design helps to foster a relaxed and welcoming environment, plus it offers enough space to give guests room to breathe and not be in each other's way.
Convenient location, walking distance from a few supermarkets, restaurants, the beach, and most attractions
Vilabranca Apartments is located on the westside of Lagos, a block from the SuperEureka Supermarket and within five to 10 minute's walking distance to a few restaurants, a cafe, and larger supermarket. Several of the village's attractions are also within a 15- to 20-minute walk, including the Castle, historic center, Mercado de Escravos (the 15th-century slave market), and the Dono Ana beach. The Lagos Zoo is an 18-minute drive, while a day trip east to Portimao or west to Sagres will only take 30 minutes by car. Faro Airport is the closest airport at just under an hour's drive away.
Spacious and clean, but sparse, rooms with full-size kitchens and balconies
There are two types of apartment-style rooms at Vilabranca: The ones with terraces and the ones with extra-large terraces. Expect a lot of white and cream tile -- floors, walls, countertops, bathrooms -- and contemporary, clean furniture that feels a bit thrown together. The sparseness of the decor and blank walls help the already large rooms feel spacious, but it also lacks a warm and cozy element that some may be looking for in an apartment-style room. The kitchens are full-sized and well-equipped with a full gas stove, oven, microwave, and a good amount of glasses, plates, cutlery, pots, and pans.
Several guests have commented on the extra firm mattresses, and most find the sofa beds uncomfortable. There are several different layouts to choose from, ranging from a small One-Bedroom Apartment with or without pool view to a Three-Bedroom Duplex Apartment that's nearly five times as big. All rooms have flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, coffee- and tea-making facilities, safes, and furnished balconies -- some with pool views. Bathrooms are equipped with shower/tub combos, bidets, and free basic toiletries.
Simple but appreciated features that add some entertainment
Vilabranca Apartments goes light on features, but feels stocked enough for its affordable price and mid-range rating. The hotel's biggest draw are its two outdoor pools, located in separate, sunny areas of the property. The hotel's main pool is split into two separate sections with a shallower and deeper side. Children are allowed in both pools. Blue and white plastic loungers line the adults' pool on one side, and there are a few adjustable umbrellas among the chairs. Just off this pool is a covered area with a pool table and air hockey. The other pool has a quieter atmosphere and is a bit larger, set in a peaceful courtyard setting. Beware in winter that these non-heated pools can be chilly.
Though rooms are self-catering, the hotel has a casual restaurant and pool bar with a slightly rustic Italian vibe thanks to the red-brick bar and wood top. At the bar, visitors can grab chips, peanuts, ice cream, and drinks. Indoor and outdoor patio seating are both available. Parking is free but Wi-Fi isn't. The hotel also runs a mini-bus three times a day that stops in the center of town and at one of the area's best beaches, Porto de Mos.
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