This hotel is tops
I have been to this hotel x 3 and the Rocamar x 3 these are both in the the old part of Albuferia but after 6 trips to there I decided to try the new town known as The Strip I stayed at Clube Praia De Oura but I will not go there again it lacked the charm of the old town and it did not feel inviting enough for me. The Do Cerro and Clube Praia De Oura have pools and sauna facilities but the Rocamar has use of the sea.
Loved the Rocamar
Had a wonderful week in the Rocamar. The staff were superb and the location we would say was the best in Albufeira. Minutes from the old town square and quiet at night. We loved the promenade bar restaurant with the views second to none. We were on the 4th floor with a sea view and I would recommend it. The food was good and the buffet breakfast was more than ample to set you up for the day. There are plenty restaurants in the old town but if you feel like eating at the hotel, they do an evening buffet for 12 euros inc large glass of wine (eat as much as you want). Bar prices were unbelievably cheap. Glass of wine 1.50e, large beer 2e, cocktails from 3e.
We reccommend it for a quiet stay. We are in our 60s and if you do not want to be kept awake at night with revellers then this is the place for you
Eileen and Bill McIntyre (Edinburgh)
Just The Job...........
Well what can I say.........Fab Fab Fab. We have just returned from the Rocamar which is situated in a prime location.
I scoured the internet searching for a decent hotel not to exspensive but in the heart of everything (well a stone's throw away) and Hey Presto .... I was not disapionted! Excellent breckfast with lots of choice, we even had an evening meal (buffett style) plenty of choice and no restrictions on how many times you visit the buffett all for 12Euro's.
I wont hesitate to book there again, in fact I will probably book there again for a late one this time next year. So best stop bigging them up or they shall be putting there prices up!!!!!
Good on ya Rocamar. C U next year..................
PS. "Girls" Plenty of surfers on view......... :-)
Great location, but......................................
We have just returned from a week at the Rocamar - the hotel's location is second to none, however unfortunately the hotel itself fails to live up to expectations. Most of the staff are surly to say the least, the exception being one barman, the rooms are no more than adequately cleaned and rarely before 4pm, the cleaners themselves shout down the corridors to each other whilst working knocking any thoughts of a siesta on the head! Breakfast is adequate, but cannot comment on the evening buffet as we didn't try it. It also annoyed us that they did not open the door to the restaurant until 8am and the outside terrace until after 10am meaning that if you wish to take an early morning stroll you must exit the hotel from the main entrance and walk all the way around to the front, this in itself isn't a huge crime but when added to the rest contributed to our disappointment with the hotel.
3 star hotel with wonderful views
We stayed in mid october, we booked the Rocamar after reading many reviews.
Our first visit to the Algarve and cannot make up my mind whether we will return. A bit like a continental flavoured cornwall with higher temperatures.
So now to review the Rocamar...
Positives..the views are amazing....recently redecorated...rooms cleaned every day...great location, short walk to the old town.....quiet location ( apart from the sound of the waves on the beach all night......better than counting sheep)..short walk to sandy beach much better than decked area next to hotel pool
Negatives...I am used to staying in 4 star hotels and this is not a 4 star hotel so it is difficult......i guess unhelpful staff would be the number one...dining room is too small for size of hotel...some days guests waited 15 minutes for a table for breakfast.....some people writing here rave over the breakfasts, they are not 4 star standard, they are adequate...rooms do not have fridges...some en suite bathrooms are small (it's pot luck)
Advice.......only book sea view rooms......do not book half board...if you want to eat at the hotel at night you can pay at the time but only 2 main courseson the menu ......plenty of very good restaurants in the old town, eating out at night was a pleasure....do not stay here if you like a pool side holiday
Recommended for mature couples for a restful holiday
My husband and I stayed at the Rocamar last week of September. It's got a great location right on the beach cliff tops - only a short walk down to the beach and a more strenuous one up! The pool is nice - only small with a decked area but none the less very nice and we always found there to be plenty of room to sit in the sun.
The rooms are very comfortable if not a little on the small side but cleaned every day - and we found all the staff to be very helpful and friendly.
The breakfasts are lovely - more that you could ever eat - eggs (varied) bacon, tomatoes, sausages etc - also different types of hams and cheese - plently of rolls and bread- fruit juice, tea, coffee etc - the works - very nice indeed !
The Old town is only a short stroll away and the little train to the New Town also only a short walk away.
The hotel also does airport transfers which may be a cheaper alternative to a taxi.
All in all an excellent little hotel - one which I would definetly stay at again.
Not worth the carbon emissions
Just returned from a long weekend at the Rocamar and thought I’d add a few words for what they’re worth. We always read the reviews here carefully prior to booking as we’re independent travellers , but we took a bit of a gamble this time as the hotel had been refurbished and the staff changed, so all the earlier reviews were meaningless.
The hotel is minimalist , not boutique or even close to boutique as someone else suggested. It‘s totally devoid of atmosphere and personality and there isn’t the slightest hint of luxury, welcome or hospitality, even the chairs are uncomfortable. It isn’t just the décor that’s minimalist , the bar was unmanned throughout our stay and you had to try and find someone if you wanted a drink. There were 3 or 4 staff about , but they did their best to ignore you and would wonder off again as soon as they reluctantly served you. Never once did I see any of them smile nor fathom what they did on their wonderings. The maid, I assume they have one, we never saw, so be prepared to make your own beds and tidy up your room, because no one else will.
We booked half board , but it was also truly appalling. We looked at the meagre offering the first night and then ate out, breakfast was as bad, don’t waste money on half board, or breakfast you wouldn’t eat it even if it were free. There are plenty of places to eat in the old town , but Albufeira restaurants aren’t going to make it into any good food guides either. We’re more used to Spain where there’s an emphasis on quality, perhaps it’s a Portuguese thing and food and service just aren’t very high on the list.
If you’ve ever been to Brighton you’ll be familiar with the lanes twisting and where every turning brings another surprise. Albufeira old town is similar and very quaint and to add to the twists and turns it’s built into the side of a hill so you go up and down and through tunnels as well . Leave a trail of breadcrumbs on the first day otherwise you’ll get lost. It is though delightful and there’s a square to sit and have a drink while you watch the ‘lucky, lucky’ men try to sell their genuine ‘Rolex’s’ to the unsuspecting, unhindered by the police.
Albufeira old town is charming if you don’t have walking difficulties, but there wasn’t enough there to hold our interest for a weekend even though nearly everywhere was open. True it would be different in summer when you could use the beach, but there are much, much better beaches elsewhere if you want a beach holiday. It’s a day trip place really.
A train runs between the old town and the ‘strip’, it’s not really a train as there are no tracks and it uses the road, but it looks enough like one to please the kids. An all day pass is 3 euros and you can get on and off as often as you like. There’s only three stops on it’s twenty minute journey, but there’s nothing really to get off for at the ‘strip’, and only really makes sense if you’re going from the strip to the old town, but I’m sure you’ll do what we did and go and look for yourselves, realise there’s nothing there , then wait twenty minutes for the train to take you back 6 euros poorer.
In fairness the view from the Rocamar terrace is stunning , but there’s public access, in fact it’s a public right of way i.e. a footpath and not part of the hotel so you don’t have to stay there to enjoy the view. Which reminds me ,tread carefully as you walk the locals let their dogs roam freely and they use the path and even the old town square as a loo, and I can assure you there’s no shortage of dogs nor evidence of them in Albufeira.
The beach can be reached via a tunnel in the old town, also there are steps near the Rocamar, but they are very steep and anyone less than 110% fit wouldn’t be able to climb them. Can’t say whether or not it’s true, but we were told at least 10 people a year die from heart attacks using the stairs, and I see no reason to disbelieve it. In fact the stairs themselves had collapsed about a week prior to our visit, so I wouldn’t recommend them for the descent either.
Can’t speak for the summer, as we’ve only been this once, but there where lots of Portuguese holidaying while we where there, but it could be completely different in July/ August. We all tend to generalise, i.e. the Spanish and Greeks are friendly the French less so etc, all I can really say is the Portuguese we encountered weren’t exactly the life and soul of the party.
We used Resort hopper for the transfers and they were very efficient, but were tarred with the same brush. Not so much as a grunt from the driver when he picked us up. I’d sooner he turned up 10 mins late with a smile than early with scowl . He sat and watched a woman struggle with two cases and a push chair without moving a muscle to help her, and perhaps more importantly not feeling as if he should and that sort of sums up our weekend. We’re used to the laidback attitude and service with a smile of the Spanish and the nothing is too much bother Greeks, who both know what hospitality means, not the surly indifference we encountered.
To sum up the Rocamar is dire and the staff even worse than the food , and Albufeira in reality only a day out. After this weekend I feel I should give a totally unsolicited word of praise to the kind people at Travel Lodge, who’s sterling service I’ve sadly taken for granted over the years and now belatedly realise how professional they are.
I doubt we shall ever return to Portugal as we found the inhabitants less than welcoming. We don’t expect to be treated like royalty , but we like to feel we’re being treated as paying guests . Judging by the treatment we received the Rocamar obviously doesn’t want return guests , so it’s probably easier not to go there in the first place then you’ll save them the bother of discouraging you from returning. Although I’m sure lots of readers will be thinking it can’t be as bad as I say and will want to form their own opinion, by all means do so you’re perfectly entitled to ignore everything I’ve written and waste your own money finding out firsthand. I only wish I could be there after to say I told you so.
Portugal is cheap , certainly cheaper including the flight than staying a weekend at a 3 star hotel in this country, but the truth is I wish we had gone to Brighton it would have been worth the extra. Anyway I’m hoping my luck will now change having stepped in something recently, several things actually.
Almost forgot the building works next door. They seem in quite an early stage , so despite drilling on Sundays they’ll probably take awhile, but you’ll only really notice it if you look out of your window or use your balcony because it’s boarded from the path and behind the steel barriers used to cordoned it off, but I’m sure it will be worth all the noise and inconvenience when it’s eventually finished, although I must admit they didn’t seem to be in too much of a rush.
This is a beautifully located hotel, minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the old town of Albufeira. If you like lively towns with plenty of places to eat & drink but your hotel away from the crowds & noise then this is your place. Go for rooms with the sea views (well worth the money itself) however as a very big plus you get very welcoming, friendly and helpful staff, a lovely choice of hot & cold breakfast, relaxing bar area with comfy sofas and a resident singerfor most evenings. This hotel is in a prime location and you can enjoy meals/snacks/drinks on the terrace walkway taking in the views. We didn't have dinner at this hotel but did enjoy a lovely lunch. Rooms were cleaned & beds & towels were changed every day. The only downside (and this is very minor) is that the room could have done with a fridge but as I say this was not a major problem as a convenience store only 1 minute walk away had fridges full of cold water & beers and anything else you may need.
You can access the beach by a very convenient sloping walkway (not steep) which is practically opposite the entrance to the hotel.
To visit the Zoomarine all we needed to do was to buy our tickets from the reception (which covered the bus (returns) and entrance fee) and wait just a little walk up the road. A lovely air conditioned bus took us there which only took about half an hour (well worth the visit for the various displays of dolphins, seals&sea lions & birds of prey).
This was our first trip to Portugal and plan to return soon, I will not be trawling around for another hotel as I feel we have found one that gives us everything we need and will certainly use this one every time.
eceeded my expectations
Marvelous place. The view from the balcony to the promenade and beach below were truly beautiful. Rooms and hotel were spotless. Breakfast was OK and free! Buffet was great for 12E.
The decor was light and minimalist, Modern Moorish maybe?
A nice kitschy touch was a brass covered radio and selector knob built into the modular bed table. It had only one station, but played great songs. That together with the sounds of waves crashing on the beach from the open balcony door made it very romantic/restful at night. I walked all over Albufeira and did not see a nicer hotel in a better location.
Recommend walking to the Al Face Tapas and I-Cafe(walk right as you leave the hotel on beach side). It's a quiet bar, the owner Fernando makes superb SanGrias, plays great Latin music, and is a history buff if you are going to do any historical tours.
albufeira for single woman
I am planning to stay in albufeira 26Apr-10May
any recommendations for a central location (to restaurants, beach,shopping)
can you also give an idea as to cost of dining costs........not fancy restaurants just good food !!
any side trips that are a must or any to dismiss
all input is appreciated.
Re: albufeira for single woman
Re: albufeira for single woman
There are several hotels in the old town area very close to the beach, bars and restaurants. You can find plenty of information on the web:
Hotel Baltum - right in the old town, small rooms but very handy.
Sol e Mar Hotel - right on the beach; a few steps.
Rocamar Beach Hotel - above the beach (100 steps but a lift is being built)
Turial Park apartments - 100 yards from the beach. Flat access.
Estalagem do Cerro (Hotel) - about 5 - 10 minutes walk from the beach, bars etc in a slightly quieter part of town. Parking available
Hotel California - 50 m from the beach , in the bar street, might be noisy. NB NOT RECOMMENDED at the moment owing to extensive roadworks right outside!
Residencial Mansao Bertolina - 100 m from the beach
Hotel Vila Sao Vicente - a quarter mile from the old town centre and beaches. Small hill to climb. Underground car park for guests.
Hotel Colina do Mar - about six or seven minutes walk into the old town centre. Fairly stiff climb back up the hill afterwards though.
Vila Recife - about 5 minutes walk from old town square. Small pool and air-con. www.vilarecife.com
Belver Boa Vista - about 10 minutes walk from old town centre and beaches; recently refurbished.
Note that the old town of Albufeira is now a pedestrian zone and the only parking is a multi-storey car park for €1 per hour and this is usually full early during holiday season.
You should be able to find comments/reviews on these by searching previous forum items or through Google.
Dining costs - you don't say where you come from but if from UK expect to pay more or less the same! You can get good meals at smaller family run places for €10 but if you get dragged into the tourist traps (especially those on the very seafront) you will easily pay 2 or even 3 times that amount. There are dozens of restaurants in the old town of every possible type and cuisine.
Side trips? Depends whether you intend to hire a car. Buses are OK but your choice of destinations will be limited. Ask another question if necessary.
Re: albufeira for single woman
Bookmark for me too.