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Which of these Algarve hotels in April school hols?

(28 Posts)
SirNiallDementia Sun 21-Feb-16 16:40:43

We've booked flights to the Algarve (10 days) and a hire car so now just need to find a hotel and there's too much bloody choice! DC are 4 and 8.

The 8 year old would like some other kids his own age to play with so a busy-ish place with kids club would be ideal.
Not in a "Blackpool" type area.
Nice beaches, walks and restaurants nearby.
Heated pool.
Not too expensive (liked the look of Vila Vita Parc, Epic Sana etc but too ££)

The shortlist so far is:
Rocha Brava (Carvoeiro)
Monte Santo (CArvoeiro)
Grande Real Santa Eulalia (Nr Albufeira)
Cascade Wellness (Lagos)
Vila Gale (Lagos)

Which would be best or can you suggest anywhere else?

Many thanks x

wannabestressfree Sun 21-Feb-16 16:57:27

Will it be warm then? We are looking too but were told to aim for canaries....

SirNiallDementia Sun 21-Feb-16 17:32:53

It won't be hot but I'm sure it will be warmer than the UK! It's 17 degrees in Faro today apparently.

I did think about going to the Canaries but I think I've been put off by my 1 trip to Tenerife, I hated it! I'm sure there are lovely bits though.

Where are you looking at in the Canaries <nosy>?

rookiemere Sun 21-Feb-16 18:37:41

We've stayed at the Grande Real. It was a nice hotel - we stayed in the aparthotel bit and at the time I'm not sure it was worth the high price tag. It does feel quite upmarket though. There's a full on children's club but if memory serves me right it's inside and downstairs so DS refused to attend it.

The beach there is lovely - far too hot when we went in July, not sure if the pool is heated, didn't matter when we went.

The hotel isn't within walking distance of other restaurants and so forth, you get the hotel minibus. I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed with Albufeira - we go to Tenerife every year and really like Costa Adele, Albufeira felt a bit downmarket in comparison ( probably will get told off for this comparison).

So in essence it was nice, but we haven't gone back.

SirNiallDementia Sun 21-Feb-16 18:52:28

Thank you Rookie, The Grande Real does tick the heated pool and kids boxes (and I get a good rate on an apartment as I work in the travel biz) BUT my main concern about being near Albufeira is exactly what you say, that it is a bit downmarket and there are far nicer towns to be near!

I'll check out Costa Adeje, thank you!

rookiemere Sun 21-Feb-16 18:58:04

If you're checking out Costa Adele, check out the Iberostar Anthelia - lovely hotel, but sadly have put their prices up hugely since we were there - you might be able to get a decent deal on adjoining rooms through though.

SirNiallDementia Sun 21-Feb-16 19:05:56

Eek, £4,500 for the 10 days, that's a bit over out budget! But it does look great though. Bloody school holiday prices!

Twinsareplenty Tue 23-Feb-16 17:23:40

No clue on any of them except the Grand Real - never stayed there, but we've stayed in and around Albufeira loads. It's on a main road out of Albufeira so should be fairly quiet, but will be a taxi to either Eulalia beach (hill is quite steep coming back up from the beach) or the centre. We always hire a car - better beaches, better nightlife (or lack of it). We usually stay at Oura View Beach Club - fantastic pools/slides and kids about all year round - but it's changed owners so isn't as visible on etc as it used to be. Club Praia D'Oura is same company and location but the rooms look like caves.
Have you tried holiday lettings - that seems to work best for us now, and a lot of apartmentos's are in complexes with other families/kids about.
Only point I can really help with is check 100% that the heated pools are heated - and outdoors - I suspect some that say they are heated in April will either not be/be freezing, or they will be smaller indoor health club-type pools that won't be very receptive to an eight year old and his inflatable giraffe*

*other inflatable jungle animals are available

Behooven Tue 23-Feb-16 20:44:45

The Euro hotel in Altura is lovely for families and right on the beach,but I don't think the outdoor pool is heated.

Costacoffeeplease Tue 23-Feb-16 20:52:39

I live in Carvoeiro so know monte Santo and rocha brava well. Monte Santo is much newer and closer to the village, but a bit soulless for mesmile. I like rocha brava (our first hokiday here in 1987 was to rocha brava - and the restaurant there is still one of our favourites

Monte dourado also has a heated pool and is within walking distance of the beach/restaurants etc - no kids club though

If you don't want Blackpool in the sun, then I wouldn't consider anywhere near Albufeira

SirNiallDementia Tue 23-Feb-16 21:34:56

Thank you all for your advice and to Costa, I have found your other thread on Carvoeiro and it's been really useful. I'm going to print it out and take it on holiday with me, loads of great recommendations on there!

I think we'll go for Rocha Brava, seems to tick the most boxes (I like the sound of the restaurant and DH is a real foodie) plus we'll have a car to get out and about. RB claims there is a heated pool in the off season but Tripadviser reviews suggest it's Baltic cold so we'll see!

<gets inflatable giraffe ready>

Costacoffeeplease Tue 23-Feb-16 21:41:40

Brilliant - hope you have a great time - another 4* restaurant nearby is Bella Vita on Clube Atlantico - fantastic Italian restaurant, another of our favourites. Ele Ela is very good down in the village and a lot of people like Onze, although we still haven't been yet

If you like fish, try Rei Das Praias at Caneiros beach between Carvoeiro and Ferragudo - probably the best fish restaurant in the area - on stilts on the beach

We also have a recently awarded Michelin star at Bon Bon in Sesmarias - although we haven't been since the new owner took over

Give me a shout if there's anything else!

capet Tue 23-Feb-16 22:08:58

Have stayed in monte santo, think it was in May so off season and pretty quiet at the time. Weather was very warm for the time of year and we had a great time. We stayed in an apartment and it was immaculate. Housekeeping made beds/cleaned up- even emptied dishwasher which was great. Was nice having self catering with the freshly made bed etc!
There was a lovely indoor pool and hottub, nice playground. Not sure the kids club was running that early in the season though? We were travelling with a baby.
It was about a fifteen minute walk to the centre of carvoeiro, lots of nice restaurants. We rented a car and explored a bit further afield too- monchique, Lagos, alvor.
Had a great time and would really recommend it

Costacoffeeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 11:44:54

Talking of Rei Das Praias at Caneiros

SirNiallDementia Fri 26-Feb-16 22:07:12

Ooh Costa that looks great!

Can I ask whether we will need to book at restaurants for lunch or dinner in April or will it be OK just to walk in as I assume it's not so busy out of season?

Thanks x

Costacoffeeplease Fri 26-Feb-16 22:38:17

I would book at Ele Ela, Bella Vita, Rei Das Praias (especially after that reviewwink) but other restaurants should be ok. O Farol has a large terrace if it's warm enough to sit out

Costacoffeeplease Fri 26-Feb-16 22:38:38

Oh and Onze - but as I say, we haven't been there yet

SirNiallDementia Sat 27-Feb-16 20:12:41

Great thanks Costa, one more very dull question as we plan to hire a car, can you recommend a car hire company? We'll need to pick up and drop off at Faro airport and will need a fairly big car or people carrier as DP is bringing his road bike in it's massive coffin like box!

Thanks x

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 20:18:32

I know a lot of villa and apartment owners use algarve - or is it worth getting a transfer and a smaller car once you get here?

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Feb-16 20:21:19

It's 13 today near Faro and cloudy

SirNiallDementia Sat 27-Feb-16 20:23:06

Actually a transfer then hiring a smaller car might work out better as I do hate having to drive a big car round. Will investigate........

ineedaholidaynow Sat 27-Feb-16 20:31:30

We stayed at Monte Santo last year and really liked it, but didn't make use of the kids club.

Our favourite restaurants were Ele & Ela and A Vela. We tried Onze and although the food was good we preferred the other two.

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 20:35:12

There was snow in monchique last night shock the last time it happened was 2006 and all the local schools closed and took the kids up there in coaches! It causes great excitement!

SirNiallDementia Sat 27-Feb-16 21:33:13

Snow!?! Wow, I bet that doesn't happen often! <although I hope it warms up a bit by April> smile

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 21:45:27

No very rare, and never in Carvoeiro (monchique is about half an hour inland from here and much, much higher)

It's really strange as it's been an exceptionally mild winter - until yesterday when the temperature dropped and everyone got very excited about the prospect of snow smile. I've seen lots of photos on fb today of people who drove up there specially to see the snow- and it barely covered the ground - ah bless!

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