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Caloura Hotel Resort 3.0

São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Seafront location with steps leading to a secluded sandy cove
  • Trails around the hotel’s grounds take in stunning volcanic scenery
  • Pool terrace with views across the basalt cliffs down to the sea
  • Well-maintained rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning
  • All rooms have furnished balconies facing the sea
  • Free buffet breakfast of hot and cold fare
  • Bar and restaurant positioned to make the most of sea views
  • Gym, sauna, and tennis court available
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking

Cons

  • Dated rooms are in need of a refresh
  • Fees for use of tennis court and sauna
  • Fee for in-room safe
  • Steps down to the beach aren't suitable for guests with limited mobility

Bottom Line

Set on the outskirts of Agua de Pau, the three-pearl Caloura Hotel Resort is set up to make the most of its seafront location, with steps leading down to a secluded sandy cove and a pool terrace that overlook the dramatic volcanic basalt crags. A huge perk is that all 80 rooms have sea-view balconies, but their interior furnishings are dated. The hotel has a decently equipped gym in a boxy basement room, sauna and an outdoor tennis court overlooked by mountains and mature palms, but the last two require a fee. An a la carte restaurant and free buffet breakfast receive positive reviews. Travelers wanting more modern decor should consider the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, which is set within expansive, gorgeous gardens but lacks a beach.

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Scene

A hotel with stunning volcanic views but anonymous interiors

Perched high on deep black basalt crags, the Caloura Hotel Resort is set among some of the most dramatic volcanic scenery in the Azores. It certainly makes the most of its location, with terraces and plate-glass windows looking out over scree slopes held in place by hardy plants, and the Atlantic beyond. The outside is of the hotel undeniably has more characterful than its interior. The large atrium which houses the hotel’s reception is saved from anonymity by a jungle of ferns which hang from planters on the balcony, while the hotel’s bar and restaurant are both whitewashed, with pale, neutral furniture that is inoffensive, if nothing else, and does nothing to draw attention away from the view. While the hotel does attract some young families, its main customer base is couples without kids looking to pass their vacation in solitude.

Location

Secluded setting two minutes’ walk from the beach, and 15 minutes from Agua de Pau

Less than a two-minute walk away from the hotel is a secluded sandy cove nestling within dramatic cliffs, down a flight of stairs hewn into the rock. This walk, however, may not be suitable for guests who have mobility difficulties. There’s precious little else in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, which may be a blessing or a curse depending on how guests are inclined. It is a 15-minute walk, or a seven-minute drive to the center of Agua de Pau, where there are a few shops and restaurants. The coast road runs through Agua de Pau, however, making it easy to get around the island. The capital of the island, Ponta Delgada, is approximately a 25-minute drive away, while it’s a 20-minute transfer to Aeroporto de Ponta Delgada Joao Paolo II.

Rooms

Bland rooms which are in need of a refresh, but have terraces with stunning sea views

Although every room in the hotel has a furnished balcony with dramatic sea view, their interiors are rather bland and in need of a refresh. The only distinction between the rooms is the number and configuration of the beds, as the design across the board consists of gray patterned carpet and blonde-wood furnishings -- including a desk and chair, two armchairs, and bedside table -- and bed with tired red bedspread. Bathrooms are similarly dated but functional, with ivory ceramic tiles, shower/tub combo, bidet, and free toiletries. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, minibar, and air-conditioning, but safes require a fee.

Features

A large outdoor pool, free buffet breakfast, and a la carte restaurant

Easily the most impressive feature about the Caloura Hotel Resort is its pool terrace, which is perched atop basalt scree slopes held in place by hardy verdant shrubs sloping gently down to the Atlantic. Much of the hotel is positioned to make the most of these stunning views, including the two restaurants, one serving a free buffet breakfast and the other an a la carte lunch and dinner, while the bar has a large terrace facing out to sea. A tennis court is overlooked by mountains and mature palm trees, but it requires a fee. In a dull basement room is a decently equipped gym, plus there's a sauna that also is charged. There are a kids' club and a business center (fee) in the same room, much to the inconvenience of anyone hoping to get a few quiet hours of work done, but there is also free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

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Address

Jubileu , Azores 9560-206, Portugal

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