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“A GEM OF A HOTEL” 5 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
Warrington, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A GEM OF A HOTEL”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Dont know what some of these people want or expect when booking these hotels, this was by far one of the best locations in the Algarve, the rooms were adequate and exactly what you need, would go there again, but a bit later in the year when more busy.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 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.
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686 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 (242)
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Pudsey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We booked this holiday 'at the last minute' - at 36 hours notice to be exact and got the last remaining room which was one of a few on the roof above the dining-room. I think it must have been at one time part of the staff quarters as it had a lounge area as well as the usual bedroom. The view was the best I have ever seen in over forty years of holidays abroad and the room was very comfortable indeed. Breakfast was fine with hot food as well as the usual Continental. To say the hotel was full, the bar at night was very quiet so we spent most nights in the old town and one bar thst was busy was the Rock Cafe which opened until 4am with a live band every night. All-in-all a very unexpected holiday in February with superb weather.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nottingham, UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

The hotel commands a prime location on the beach and has the most fantastic views, that is it's best feature and to be honest, the only thing going for it.
My wife and I stayed there the second week in Feb and stayed in a room on the third floor.
Well where to begin: the maids did a terrible job of cleaning as we noticed hair from previous occupants still on the bathroom floor and bidet, where it remained for the next few days, despite being so called "cleaned" a further 3 times. The mirrors were filthy and even the glass entrance doors to reception were filthy. The decor is extreemly dated and indeed the wardrobes in the room were in an apauling condition and would not close. The fridge/mini bar has not worked in years and was sticky and smelly. The bed and pillows were as hard as rocks (it would not cost much to replace them every now and then).
There was building work taking place next door when we were there and the noise was deafening, yes I know that it is outside the hotels control, but it does bring me onto the next issue, "soundproofing", or lack of it. We could hear someone using the toilet in the next room. Also despite being two floors below the entertainment, the noise was so loud that we couldn't even hear the television.
Their website says that each room has a hairdryer, not true, you have to ask at reception and be loaned a naff travel hairdryer that does not work very well and started making sparking noises by the end of the week. ladies be warned "take your own".
Now I have left the best to last, please please please do not eat in this hotel, the food was abysmal, the choice was non existent and what was there was yesterdays leftovers made into some new and equally unpalatable rubbish. We ended up having to go and eat out in the town despite paying for half board.
Believe me this hotel would not rate as even a two star in any country, how (and when) on earth did it get awarded four stars I don't know. They even had the cheek to have a sign in the reception saying that they won " The award of excellence for 2012" by Tripadvisor - In my opinion Obviously a fake that they downloaded and photoshopped.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Ormskirk, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Just returned from our 2nd fabulous stay at the Hotel Sol e Mar. Fanatastic weather to say it was the first week in February - even spent time on the beach. The hotel even though dated (some may say Retro!) is very clean and comfortable. Bed linen and towels soft and clean. The breakfast buffet has plenty of choice and as much as you want to eat. The evening menu not to our taste but there is no shortage of good restaurants and bars in close proximity. The staff at this hotel are all very friendly and helpful which all adds to the overall good experience. To update this lovely hotel would take away from it most of its appeal, the lounge bar in particular which has a hint of the "cruise ship" about it. The only improvement I would make would be to supply rooms with a hairdryer (although they`re available from reception) and a kettle. Great value for money - looking forward to our next stay!

  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Stayed early Feb 2013 and weather was fantastic. Hotel is brilliantly placed being right on the beach, it was so good we slept with the balcony doors open every night so we could hear the waves lapping the beach. Rooms were huge and had everything we needed. Went B& B, but only went down once for coffee, as we preferred to eat our breakfast down at a restaurant on the beach in the sunshine - it was fabulous. Hotel was less than 5 minutes from the Square if you wanted to go in, which was quiet at this time of year, but in the summer it would be heaving.

Room Tip: We had room 408 which was high enough that noice below on the beach would not have disturbed us.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sosnowiec, Poland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed in Sol e Mar hotel for 4 nights in January/February 2013. The hotel is located in the center of old town which has both an advantage as you can reach all you may need like shops, restaurants and cafeterias on foot and a disadvantage too, as there is not possible to park your car in front of the hotel and you have to find a parking spot somewhere else among the winding, narrow streets of Albufeira. The hotel is rated 4 * although it hasn't been renovated for years and overall showing some signs of wears. The rooms are specious, clean but a bit of smelly. Nevertheless the view from the balcony overlooking the ocean and beach, compensated anything you may have found unpleasant. Once you walk out of the hotel and step down the stairs you may easily reach the old town and beach, just going through the tunnel the opposite way. Unfortunately, the internet Wi-Fi access is possible only in the hotel lobby bar on 5th floor and works rather slow, you need to reload web pages several times to make them open. The breakfast served from 8 to 10 was good enough and you can find plenty of food both hot and cold, ranging from scramble eggs, beans, sausages, toasts, baked tomatoes, fruits, cereals and sweet pastries. Overall we were very satisfied with our stay in this hotel. Location, sufficient breakfast, comfortable rooms, magnificent view from the hotel are making this hotel worth considering to stay in, while planning on visiting Algarve coast. Besides I would recommend on renting a car and driving along the coast which is spectacular and amazing. I was blown by the beauty and incredible scenery of the Algarve coast. Great holidays and great experience.

Room Tip: Incredible view from the balcony
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Belfast
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We got a very good holiday deal in January from EasyJet and the Sol e Mar was a great choice of Hotel in Albufeira, one of our favourite destinations. Approached on foot in the old town there are steep steps up to the front door, but go through the archway/tunnel on to the beach patio and you can take the elevator up to reception (residents have a code to unlock the door from the ground floor cafe. The cafe patio is a lovely place to sit and take in the sea air and sun.
We were very satisfied with all amenities in our room and in the hotel generally. All rooms have a spacious balcony overlooking the beach. At breakfast there was a wide choice of hot and cold food and the hot breakfast was varied from day to day. The cereal choice was more limited, but adequate. You may have a short wait at the coffee machine and the toaster (it's all self service). Although we were B&B we took dinner one evening in the hotel and it was a sgood as you will get out on the town and only 10 Euro incl free wine - great ! All staff are very friendly and spoke English.
Some reviewers have commented that the decor is a bit tired but we didn't think it was too bad at all and the bar and reception areas are very classy. There is obviously some refurbishment going on because we were greeted by the sound of electric drills every morning at 8.00, but the hotel was pretty full, mostly with senior citizens like ourselves, so they must have been doing just one room at a time. The Wi-Fi, available in the main public areas was reliable, but a bit sluggush. We brought our own travel kettle as we knew from previous reviews that none is provided. The bedroom had planty of powerpoints fro charging phones and iPads etc. There is a number of card tables adjacent to the restaurant and it seemed a pity that no attempt was made by the hotel or any of the residents to organise some Bridge...judging by the age profile of the clients there would have been some takers.
We enjoyed our stay in Sol e Mar. We were lucky with a full week of sunshine in January, and balmy temperatures during the day. We would recommend the Sol e Mar and would go back anytime.

Room Tip: Any room will do, go low if you want quick access to the beach, higher rooms are nearer to reception...
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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
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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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