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“magic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Forte de Sao Joao da Barra

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Forte de Sao Joao da Barra
4.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Sitio da Fortaleza | Cabanas de Tavira, Cabanas, Tavira, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Cabanas B&B and Inns
Antwerp Province, Belgium
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“magic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

I can only confirm what others have written: rarely have I staid in a place with so much character and such friendly reception. The view of the sea is gorgeous and, although the hotel feels isolated, it is actually only minutes away from town, where there is a good selection of restaurants. Breakfast was excellent. This is also one of the rare hotels with tons of character where nevertheless I would recommend taking children. I would love to come back and stay a warm summer evening to observe the stars with the telescope of the hotel (which was being repaired during my stay...). Modern rooms in courtyard of the hotel have floor heating. No television in the rooms (which is a plus, and, anyway, there is one in the large communal living room in the mansion). The hotel has wifi, but only in the mansion.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    17
    5
    1
    0
    0
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4
16
Solo
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vufflens-la-Ville
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2010

Huge charm, fantastic view and great service, especially by Cecilia

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2010

If you're looking for peace and relaxation in a beautiful setting then this is the place. The Forte is about 45mins taxi from Faro airport. I strongly advise bringing along directions as the taxi driver wont know where it is its so well hidden. The Forte is actually located near Cabanas which is a small village not far from Tavira. It's a beautiful coastal location with a lovely promenade. Once you managed to find the Forte you gain access via a small medieval doorway and the magic begins. You are welcomed by a beautiful courtyard which leads to the various rooms and suites. Off the courtyard is a terrace which overlooks the Atlantic where we had breakfast and evening drinks. As well as the stunning Forte, what made our holiday even better was Cecilia, the fantastic host. She couldnt have been more friendly and helpful. I definitely suggest asking her for recommendations for restaurants and excursions. I also suggest walking the cycle path from Cabanas (not always clearly marked but bear with it) to Tavira itself (took us 1.5hrs). Tavira is very pretty with lovely restaurants (higher quality and more varied than Cabanas). You can of course get a taxi which only takes 15mins. This is truly a wonderful place and we left feeling revived and very well looked after.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2010

Probably one of the best preserved Vauban style forts I'm Portugal. This very small fort (5000 sq. meters, approx.) dates from the 17th century, including the governor's house, which is not a colonial style, 20th century building, as you can read in a previous review. The rooms open to the yard in the center, which is an oasis of silence and calm. The governor's house raises above the ramparts, so you can take your breakfast out and eat it while enjoying the view to the Ria Formosa. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2008

The location is absolutely gorgeous - an early 20th century colonial style house built in an old sea fort behind a nature reserve.
We stayed in two of the 6 modern rooms built in the courtyard. The rooms are spacious and the architecture is beautiful. Air-conditioning would have been nice - it gets warm and the fan is not quite up to it, so you have to sleep with windows open (also the owner kindly offered to water the roof). We asked about mosquitoes and were told it's not really a problem - not quite true, so you should definitely bring anti-mosquito (some is provided, the one in our room didn't work).
Breakfast is a very nice buffet that you take on the castle rampart overlooking the sea.
You have to take a boat to get to the beach. It's a 5 minutes walk and the hotel provides a free boating service. As an added benefit, they will take you about 1 km east of the main landing point, so you avoid the crowds.
The hotel is family owned - we met the son - and the resident manager Domingo is very friendly and helpful.

  • Liked — Location and Friendly service
  • Disliked — Mosquitoes and lack of air conditioning
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2008

This is not a hotel but a magnificent B&B with and incredible service, location, etc. It was so lovely that it was hard to drag ourselves away from the hotel luckly we were allowed to stay as long as we wanted in the afternoon, and have been offered bikes for a nice ride close to the Ria.
The pool is wonderfull unfortunetly it was still not the time of the year that we could fully enjoy it.
I would say this is probably the best place we have ever stayed.
An absolute must especially for a romantic trip!
Just a little BUT, it is hard to find so make sure you arrive with day light!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — To find it
  • Stayed April 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Forte de Sao Joao da Barra

Address: Sitio da Fortaleza | Cabanas de Tavira, Cabanas, Tavira, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Tavira > Cabanas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Cabanas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Forte de Sao Joao da Barra 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A guesthouse for nature-loving people. Set in the magical scenario of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and lost between sky and sea, this 17th-century fortress that is now a family owned B&B that welcomes nature-loving people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Forte De Sao Joao Da Barra Hotel Cabanas De Tavira
Forte Algarve
Tavira Forte
Forte De Sao Joao Da Barra Cabanas, Portugal - Algarve

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