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“back to the sixties” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Sol e Mar

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Hotel Sol e Mar
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua Jose Bernardino de Sousa, 12, Albufeira 8200-146, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #45 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Dundalk, Ireland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“back to the sixties”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

you only have to look at a picture of the hotel to realise it has a fantastic location so no point in repeating what several others have said in previous reviews so ten out ten will suffice.So now lets go behind the facade, the rooms were clean thanks to the hard working and very polite cleaning staff, however we couldnt get over the state of disrepair these rooms are in and how easy it would be to spruce them up,sure it is acceptable what is there, but a couple of coats of paint, a new bath, fridge,and a few screws and hinges here and there would go a long way without taking anything from the hotel.the state the rooms are in at the moment does not say much for what management think of their guests
The upstairs bar is lovely very relaxing, excellent bar staff, really quaint athmosphere we wouldnt touch it and the resident dj provides a nice mix of music.
The reception area is really sixties or even fifties again a touch up here and there wouldnt go a miss.
What annoys us about these standards is that it would take very little to rectify these issues I would imagine a couple of thousand euro per room would go a long way especially as the labour costs in Portugal are very low .
On to the food. only ate breakfast cannot understand how any chef can manage to consistently turn out fried eggs to this standard, the yokes would bounce of the floor, could they not cook five or six at a time and replenish on demand, to make matters worse at my last breakfast the eggs were stone cold .A bit of imagination on the chefs part wouldnt go a miss,
It is strange but five floors below in the same establishment you can get a fairly good English/Irish freshly cooked breakfast at a reasonable price
The cafe/bar at ground level is very nice and relaxing again friendly staff with good food and drink however this area is open to the general public and on two occasions we were asked for cigarettes by the local layabouts who sat on the wall eyeing up victims only when the police went past did they move on .We stayed over xmas and it was nice and quiet but I would imagine it could be difficult to get a seat in the peak season.
To sum up this hotel is sitting on its laurels, how many hotels can boast a full house in the low season ,the cafe/bar did a very good trade over xmas .Despite our issues we loved it and plan to return this year but would like to see the owners putting something back into the hotel

Room Tip: not really for the younger generation
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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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688 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (243)
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English first
Fraserburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Went on a budget break inJanuary and was astonished at the value for money this turned out to be.Hotel in a great location, rooms big and clean , breakfast good. Staff very friendly and helpful.
Surprised how quiet albufeira was in January but still had a great holiday. Watch out where u park as we used a space which we thought was for hotel residents and got wheel clamped.! This cost us 94€ so that was disappointing. Looking on Internet seems to be common with tourist cars so be very careful where u park.

Room Tip: All rooms would have a great sea view!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Spent a week at this hotel. It was in the perfect location, right on the beach. Friendly staff from the receptionists to the staff in the restaurant. Food was not, in my opinion, of four star standard but there was enough choice. The room was clean and tidy and the views were spectatular as all the rooms faced the sea. Not many places open due to it being out of season, but enough to do. Would go there again.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor which was okay for us, but as all the rooms faced the sea, I do not think...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I really wanted to like this hotel. The location is great, right on the beach and easy walk to shops, bars and restaurants, and the staff was friendly. Everything seemed OK until we saw our room. Two little twin beds, one small mirror and one small painting on the wall, really old tv hanging from the corner. There was not even a clock on the nightstand. The worst part though, was the bathroom. Really old bathtub that was all scratched and gray, and same thing with the sink. The light flickered before coming on, and when it did, it was dark and depressing. We had pre-paid for two nights, but with little discussion, my husband and I agreed to leave after only one night.

We saw a plaque in the lobby of the hotel that said it opened in 1965, I believe, and it is clear that they have not done much to upgrade anything since then. It is a shame, as it could be so cute, with that great location. It did seem fairly clean, considering, and the staff was friendly. If you are on a budget and just want a place to crash, it may not be bad, as long as you are not expecting a four star hotel, as it is advertised.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Old Town Albufeira is the place to be, unspoilt charm. The Sol E Mar Hotel is the most perfect location with its retro 60's charm. We stayed for our third New Year visit in December 2012. The staff at this hotel are fabulous, from reception to the bar. The round Rainbow Bar offers the most special place to meet for per dinner cocktails - Lois and Lucio really do know how to mix you a drink.
The rooms are spacious with very generous bathrooms. Always plenty of hot water too. The views from your balcony are exceptional, and ALL rooms have a balcony - so no surcharges for the privilage. Yes, some areas of the hotel are a little 'worn' BUT, this adds to its charm and it's all about ... Location, location, location!
The Gala Dinner served on New Years Eve is great fun. The staff worked so hard to prepare the function areas with balloons and to ensure we had a fabulous night. The wine flowed free and bubbley for midnight too! The Party finally finished at 3:30 am, the staff were still there until the early hours cleaning everthing away - so when we guests came to breakfast later that morning EVERYTHING was back in its place. Well done all of you!
There are many restaurants and bars on your doorstep. Casa De Fonte on the steps leading down from the hotel to the tunnel serves delightful food in a unique setting. On Fishermens Beach the Cabana Fresca and Flavours restaurants overseen by Ulf bring a touch of class in the most special setting - excellent food served with true style. There breakfasts and lunch menus are inexpensive and very tasty. Five Stars to these guys.
Steps Bar also on the steps leading from the hotel has the friendliest bar staff in town.
We will definitely be heading back there next year!

Room Tip: Reception is on the top floor, so a room on a higher level is preferable :-)
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

we stayed at the sol e mar in january after getting a super online deal. the hotel is perfectly located in the old town and right on the beach. the hotel is build into the cliff face so all rooms face the beach. because it was out of season all the lively bars in the old town were shut but all the smaller bars/cafes were open. the hotel has no outdoor pool but a small indoor heated pool which wouldnt be suitable for small children. food is tasty and reasonably varied and the staff are simply excellent.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmeloord, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Wonderful Hotel, Pleasant & helpful staff, Central location for both town & beach, Wonderful view from rooms directly out onto beach, we had a three week stay, I would recomend to anyone, Restaurant overlooks beach/sea iin fact it is only the reception in this hotel which does not have a seaview.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Sol e Mar

Address: Rua Jose Bernardino de Sousa, 12, Albufeira 8200-146, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#33 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Sol e Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on the beach in the centre of Albufeira, the 4-star Sol e Mar Resort features 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a heated indoor pool. The Sol e Mar rooms benefit from private balconies with sea views, as well as a TV with satellite channels. Every room has a refrigerator and an en suite bathroom with a hairdryer. Sunrise Restaurant serves lavish buffet meals accompanies by sea views; Sunset Restaurant offers a la carte regional and international cuisine. There is also a cocktail bar, an ice cream parlour and live evening entertainment. Hotel Sol e Mar is just 3 minutes' walk from Albufeira's Archaeological Museum. Bicycles can be rented from the hotel - perfect for exploring the old town and picturesque clifftops. Free Wi-Fi is available in its public areas. Faro International Airport is 30 minutes' drive from Hotel Sol e Mar. On-site car hire is available. Free public parking is available within 400 metres from the hotel ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol e Mar Hotel
Hotel Sol e Mar Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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