Internet Cafes - 2
Another Internet Cafe and Bar is Augustos Sports Bar, in the Old Town, Avenue Liberdade. Here you can have a drink at the bar, or sit outside and have a meal too. Nice atmosphere.
Prices: 1.50 Euros for the first half hour, 2.50 Euros for up to an hour.
So many restaurants to chose from, it's likely that you will try one or two on a personal recommendation from someone else. Annabelle's was only a couple of minutes' walk from our apartment. Annabelle is English, and has lived here for 12 years. She runs the restaurant with her daughter, and has built up a reputation for great food and hospitality. We were to spend quite a bit of time at her establishment.
Not all that glistens is gold...
"The Auramar Hotel..."
... a place of disappintment.
I have been here in the Algarve now for the past 5 winters and done some travelling around, staying in a variety of Hotels. So, when visiting a friend of mine who is staying here at the "Auramar" Apart Hotel for most of the canadian winter, I visited him in this Hotel which has also accomodations for longtime stays. At first I very much liked what I saw - even if the beach is not half as nice for excample as the one in Praia Rocha about 35 km west of Albufera.
The location is grand, (right along the water) and the outside with the pools and other amenities seems most relaxing., but there are things that make me not wanting to stay there again.
My G-friend and I decided to stay here for a weekend, to get away for a day, so here is what it was really like:
We arrived in time for the 2:00 pm check-in time, and had no problem parking the car free in front. The first oddity at checking in was a 10 Euro deposit for the room key. We were assigned a room in the "B" complex # 206".
Upon entering the room, we immediately were not very excited about the bedding. Old and what to us looked dirty bedcovers (well used) as well as the old and grimy looking blankets on top of the sheets sure did not seem very inviting. I found hair under the sheets, so I am not certain that the sheets even had been washed, perhaps they were just pressed to look smooth again.
None of the windows could be opened, so at first I was bothered by the lack of fresh air which made me caugh. Sleeping with the balcony door open may invite unwanted mosquitos. In the bathroom one may look in vain for any electrical outlets to plug in a hairdryer or shaver, they just don't exist. So I used the one in the main-room by unplugging the TV.
During the day, AND at night one is exposed to a terrible and un-nerving loud noise right above that apparently comes from the operation of some machinery from a nearby elevator. It sounds like a diesel truck is being started and then shut off again, every time someone uses the elevator.
At 40 Euro/night breakfast is included in the room, which is nothing to write home about. Beans, french fies, eggs, slimy ham, greasy bacon,simple bolognia, some fruit and cheap slices of cheese, Nescafe from an automat and a couple choices of juice.
Since we did not want to walk to town for dinner, we opted for having dinner at the Hotel restaurant. At 15 euro ea. (without drinks) the buffet was not much better than the breakfast. Beer at 2 eu, same for a small Pepsi (they don't have Coke) and glas red 1.50 euro.
Btw, the restaurant being on the ground floor and a long walk away from the main building with many steps in between may be a challlenge for handicapped people or worse - in a wheelchair.
So, in the end we had a 36 euro dinner that was less palatable then if we would have gone for a simple outing in just one of the food courts of which "PANS" is most recommendable. A "Full-board" plan at 100 Euro/day in my opinion is NOT worth the money.
During the evening (it was sunday night) there was a most enjoyable typical Algarvian Folklore show right in the hotel lobby, which was the highlight of the whole stay and towards the end called for the participation of the audience, great pleasure for all.
During our stay we overheard others complaining to the front desk about a variety of issues, but the staff at the counter did not seem to be too interested in listening to it, or perhaps they were tired if hearing too many. Upon talking to some other visitors, (mostly english and of middle aged or older) we learned that some found cockroaches in their room and in one instance even in their hot chocolate drink.
One lady we spoke to had booked a 2 week stay and actually was considering cutting it short, unfortunately she was committed and most likely would NOT receice any refund.
So, in a nutshell, we wont stay there again - ever! But the bi-sunday folklore shows shows are well worth a visit.
... and the participation of the audience.
.. excellent location right by the water, even if the beach is not the best.