For many travelers, direct beach access is the holy grail of hotel amenities. Take a look at these three Alvor hotels -- all with the Atlantic Ocean in their backyards -- and find out why we named them the area's best beachfront properties.
With grounds that spill onto the beach, access to the sand is even easier here than at many of the other hotels along the coast. Rows of thatched umbrellas provide shade for the beach lounge chairs and there's an on-site dive center where guests can rent scuba gear. The outdoor pool is surrounded by a stone sundeck, and there's plenty more sunbathing space around the sprawling lawns. Most of the contemporary and colorful 384 rooms have sea views; all have private balconies. The beach and pool bars are only open seasonally, but the main cocktail bar stays open throughout the year, hosting nightly live entertainment. The sole restaurant gets favorable reviews for its free breakfast buffet.
Situated on a cliff on the outskirts of town, the upscale Pestana Alvor Praia is surrounded by landscaped gardens with direct access to one best beaches in the touristy Algarve region. The romantic property is well-suited to couples, and has indoor and outdoor pools, a Portuguese restaurant, and a pool bar. Most of the 195 rooms have balconies with sea views. It is a bit farther from downtown Alvor than the Pestana Dom Joao II, but its rooms were renovated more recently.
Prainha Clube is an upscale apartment hotel set back from the cliffs above Prainha Beach. The grounds are beautiful -- with sunbathing lawns that slope down toward a cliffside pool -- and the 61 sleek, sparkling white rooms furnished balconies for enjoying the view (as well as flat-screen TVs and kitchenettes). Several dining options include a beach bar and restaurant built into the cliff, but most are only open seasonally. Note that there are plenty of fees for things like Wi-Fi, gym access, and pool chairs. Guests can access the unique Prainha beach via a walking path from the hotel or by taking an elevator that's built into the cliff. It's smaller than the town's main beach, but more picturesque, thanks to the stunning rock formations.