great apartments, helpful staff.
Just returned from great 7 night break with family and friends. the complex is new and very good quality and rooms are very spacious. Situated between the strip and the old town its a good location. Taxis back from old town at night cost only 3.90 euros. Didnt use hotel restaurant but plenty of decent ones within 10 min walk. Hotel bar has happy hour with large beer 1.5euros and glass of wine 1euro.
Lovely Hotel/Apartments - Food Service Awful
Forte Do Vale is located right bang in the centre of the new and old town (but slightly closer to the new town/strip), about 10 mins walk from the hotel. Taxis to the Old Town take only about 5 mins (approx 4/5 Euros if you book from reception, 3.90 Euros from taxi rank), 20 mins to walk but it is quite hilly. The taxi ride from Faro airport takes approx 35/40 minutes and cost us 40 Euros. There are a couple of beaches close by, about 10 minutes and 15 minutes walk. The pool area, consisting of 3 swimming pools is lovely and big.
The hotel/apartments are kept lovely and clean, very luxurious. Very spacious apartment on the whole. The maids cleaned our room each day but it was about 4pm before they came around. The breakfast service on the other hand was diabolical. Another guest in the restaurant informed us that you had to ask for what you wanted. That even included hot water for a cup of tea as the water that was left out on the "buffet style" table was cold.
I would highly recommend staying here for the accommodation (and opt for the self-catering option) as we had a separate living room area in the apartment with a tv which had a good few English tv channels and a good size kitchen area.
We (2 people) stayed at the Forte Do Vale in early April during the first week of the Easter holidays. We arrived around 12:30pm and were told that the room had already been cleaned so we could check in straight away! We found that the beds had not been made but shortly after getting in the room the maids came round to finish off (we didn't have to tell reception). The safety deposit box was about 2 Euros per day plus 10 Euros deposit.
We had a one bedroom apartment, which was very spacious and clean. There is a large foyer area upon entering, with a kitchen that has a large fridge/freezer and plenty of cupboard space. There was no kettle but this was not needed (there was also two bottle openers, a washing machine and a dishwasher).
The bathroom was a good size with a lovely powerful shower that did not run out of hot water. The bedroom had two single beds with lots of cupboard space, and had a door out to the balcony. The living room was huge, with a settee / bed, dining table and 6 chairs in total. It had a door to the balcony and a large window. The tv had several English channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Sky News, CNN and a gambling channel). There was air con in the living room and bedroom. The balcony was perhaps a little small considering the size of the apartment, it had a table and two chairs.
The apartment was west facing, above the children's pool so depending on how many kids are there could be a little noisy! The sun was on the apartment from early afternoon to sunset, and had a pretty good view over Albufeira (you could also just see the sea!).
We didn't experience any problems with noise from the road. Unfortunately on a road nearby there was a dog barking most hours of the day - we could see it chained up to the fence by a bungalow and I don't think it was ever let off! It got quite annoying by the end of the holiday, and we saw someone from the hotel going over to complain (I think). Depending on the wind direction there was also a bad smell of sewage at times, it seemed to be coming from over the road near the supermarket, so the hotel couldn't really do much about it.
The pool area was very clean, and there was also sunbeds free any time of the day. There was a bar and a restaurant on the bottom floor of the hotel, the restaurant only served one set menu in the evening and we hardly saw anyone in there. The bar was also very quiet, it had a large screen tv and served (pre-made) paella and pizzas. Also downstairs were some pool tables and an computer with internet access.
We found all the staff very polite and helpful. It's possible to book trips at the reception, we decided to go to the ZooMarine and the bus picked us up outside the hotel by the roundabout. I don't believe the spa and indoor pool has opened yet.
It's about 10-15 minute walk to the Old town area, going right at the roundabout, then down and up a couple of hills. The strip was 5-10 minutes walk. We didn't find there was to much difference between the two areas, with restaurants and bars pretty much having the same menus. We were offered drugs, watches and jewellery several times in the old town square (and we were only there 30 minutes!), and offered drugs on the last day when we were walking near the strip.
There's a few restaurants near the hotel, one place to try is Johnny Hoopers saxaphone bistro (you have to book on a Tuesday or Friday), great live music, great atmosphere and good food. Do NOT go to the "Australian" restaurant near the hotel, it's quite tacky with poor food and it is very overpriced.
The nearest supermarket is very close, go out of the entrance by the bar and turn right. Further up the road to the roundabout is a larger supermarket. The shopping centre Modelo is fairly near, but it's really not got that many shops.
We found the people who worked at the hotel and in restaurants to be nice, but outside of those situations felt that the locals were quite rude and arrogant. It's probably a good idea to hire a car to see the surrounding areas, as there's really not that much to do in Albufeira.
The beaches are nice, the sea was very cold at the time we went!
Would we stay at this hotel again? Yes, one of the best we've stayed in! Would we go to Albufeira again? No.
Excellent accommodation - but noisy floors!
Stayed at Forte Do Vale - last minute deal, really cheap so can't complain. Rooms are excellent but if you are planning on self-catering the self-catering bit is limited - no kettle either. Excellent daily maid service, and clean towels. Floors are all tiled and those clip clopping with their heels in the early morning, back from the clubs, make a huge noise which echoes throughout. Don't use the small supermarket nearby called Blue it's about 3 x as expensive as the large one about 10 mins walk up the road called Mercardo. Beaches are lovely but a bit of a walk - Old Town is excellent but loads of beggers and touts. Had great fun one afternoon with a Timeshare guy!!!!! Overall for what we paid, it was an absolute bargain which gave us what we wanted - sun, sand and a break.
Couldn't fault it.
We spent a week at the fabulous Forte Do Vale, from 10-17 of April. From check in til check out the staff were so friendly. Our room was serviced every day. We could not get over how spacious the apartment was. Great big bedroom, sitting/dining room, cosy kitcen and good size bathroom. Not to mention two balconies. Location wise, we really liked it. As others have mentioned it's a bit of a walk to the old town but we found it to be a pleasant walk. Considering we were pushing a pram all week, I didn't find the 'steep' hill difficult. The accomodation is situated nicely between the busy strip and the old town so you can take a walk in either direction for a choice of cafes, pubs and restaurants. Locally - The Koala Garden (Australian themed restaurant) is unusual but nice, try the Ostrich fillet! The 3 Palms does a wonderful starter of prawns in garlic butter and the monkfish kebabs are lovely. I would give this place top marks.
we have just enjoyed a two week stay in The Forte Do Vale... and we had an excellent time. The rooms were lovely, very spacious and clean..maid service was sometimes late afternoon, but they always got there eventually. The Manager who we had contact with several times was very helpful, polite and pleasant ., my daughter was ill one night and he was very caring. He also gave us a lift one day and told us if we need anything day or night to just contact him. We asked him about the gym, inside pool and sauna etc, he informed us that it should have been opened but had been delayed which he was very embarrased about. He does not actually own the hotel but rents it so it is not all his fault but something that he is trying to sort out. The breakfast menu...quite boring...but not the chefs fault, he is a lovely man who ended up doing special breakfasts for us after we complained. We chated to him on several occasions and found him very helpful. The pool is very cold, but that is the same in most hotels. The hotel was quite quiet, but still very early in the season.
Close to Old Town and New Town, and very close to lovely beaches. Very beautiful area, enjoyed exploring.
Lots of local restaurants, and i would recommend... 'o lavador' i think, just around corner from hotel, and 'bravos' in the old town.
Stay away from ticket touts though, as they are a bit annoying, but will have a laugh with you when they realise that u are not that dumb !!
We loved our holiday here and would go back again.
This apartment /hotel was a pleasure to stay in staff very helpful nothing too much trouble. Restuarant very good indeed . Three course dinner for 2 including a bottle of wine and a glass of port each all for an inclusive price of 30 euros cannot be beaten. Chef available to chat waiting staff very attentive .Anyone in the area must try this restuarant it is open to non residents.
Perfect for families, and single parents, however??
The hotel staff were lovely. The apartment was very clean and housekeeping came in every day and changed beds every second day. Lovely bar with attractions every night. Parrot shows, karaoke, country and western singers. A washing machine in the apartment made the holiday. Even the maid would put on a load for me when she came into do the room. However, the website said there was an indoor pool; and there was none!! Do go to American Diner off the strip for a beautiful meal and another restuarant on the strip done the Steak on a Stone, gorgeous.
Nice hotel !
There were four of us Maritimers (Canadians) staying here the last week of march and the first two weeks of April. We enjoyed the hotel very much, as it's in a good location. I also agree with previous posters that the restaurant was underutilized for some reason. We did not eat at the hotel restaurant so I can't offer an opinion on the food. The rooms are nice and cleaned often and very spacious. Some folks indicate there is not this and that in the kitchen but if you ask for it at reception they give you these items. Our first week there the place was all but empty !
The not so positive things would be the noise from the barking dogs at all hours of the nite ! And also folks on the floor above with high heels at all hours of the nite as the floors are all concrete and marble and all guests are not as quiet as some others !
There is a great bakery just down the street and also a great travel agent (Ana Rodrigues at ASALGARVE is very good). Lots of great restaurants also but one cannot be missed. We went several times for good decent well prepared food at reasonable prices. It is called "EXPRESSO" with a lady called Maryanne running the place. This is a very good place with specials everyday just under 5 Euro's ! There is also a great Indian restaurant called "Great India Tandoori" towards the strip which is not far also that serves very good indian food.
When I return I would go back to the same hotel for sure, but when making your booking try to get the top fourth floor because you won't have the noise above you !
Modern, clean apartment hotel ideally situated to avoid the tackier parts of Albufeira
Booked this on a whim for a bargain price so wasn't expecting too much. Was pleasantly suprised to find what our £130/person (including flights) had bought us. Very modern hotel with spacious apartments. All mod cons (air conditioning units with handheld remote; LCD TV; inbuilt radio system with speakers in both bedroom & living room; large fridge freezer; dishwasher; washing machine; hob; microwave with grill; toaster; hairdryer in bathroom). Staff very friendly - if you didn't have something you needed you just had to ask. Our apartment faced the street not the pool but was OK as we got the morning sun and had breakfast outside every morning.
Convenient location - shortish walk to "the Strip" (a road full of bars, restaurants & tacky souvenier shops); a bit further to beach & Old Town. Easy to find once you know the geography - look out for the roundabout with the giant wiggly worms. (Actually road signs are a bit of a nightmare as they consist of lovely glazed tiles embedded in walls - nice to look at but difficult to see from a distance).
Local restaurants not bad (probably better value for money as a bit away from the strip). Small local supermarket quite expensive. Better heading for the Modelo or (if you have a car) Lidl on the main road in.
If you have a car, a trip to Villamoura is well worth it. A big marina with lots of hugely expensive yachts (prices to match - 2.5 euros for a coke). The catamaran trips down the coast are good fun - free wine (don't be too fussy) & soft drinks & you get to swim off the back of the boat just below Sir Cliff's pad.
Would go again, but having exhausted the beach/pool/shops experience will probably be a bit more adventurous and see more of the area next time.