Lagos is easily the most attractive town on the Algarve coast.
I have visited the area regularly for about thirty years and some of the major developments include.... dredging the estuary and creating a new marina; relaying the whole promenade in those small stone blocks so characteristic of Portugal; cleaning up the town generally; and ensuring new developments are controlled- so as not to spoil the skyline.
Despite having become a busy tourist resort, commercialism has largely been avoided, although the recent advent of sales boards along the promenade and marina (promoting boat trips) is perhaps a sign of things to come.
The town's three small beaches- Batata, Praia D'Ana, and Camilo- are close at hand, but all holidaymakers should visit the magnificent Meia Praia Beach which stretches for about nine miles from the far side of the inlet towards Portimao.
Lagos has always offered a multitude of quality restaurants, but prices have rocketed in recent years, and meals are no longer cheaper than in the UK. A meal for two, including wine (but excluding starter and dessert) will cost 35-45 Euros.
One downside of Lagos has always been the absence of top quality hotels- despite innumerable quality villas and apartments. The 4 star Golfinho Hotel has long since closed down and the former 4 star De Lagos Hotel (now Tivoli Lagos) is a shadow of its former self- having had no refurbishment at all since the Tivoli Group acquired it in the late eighties.
As a result, I decided to try the smaller Solar De Mos Hotel....
The hotel is actually a very large and immensely attractive privately owned villa- situated in the residencial Torraltinha district and just over a kilometer from the town centre.
There is quite a steep hill to climb when you make your way 'back home' but you can take a taxi for 3-4 Euros.
There are 15 bedrooms on two floors, and ground floor rooms have a small patio c/w two sunbeds and a small table and chairs. Upstairs, some rooms have a balcony, although only one or two overlook the pool. The villa is reasonably private and its perimeter wall is bedecked with attractive, mature evergreen plants- which are illuminated at night by good wall lighting.
Indoors, the decor is olde worlde and traditional with mahogany furniture; high-backed fireside chairs; many tasteful ornaments and pictures. Likewise the bedrooms are traditionally decorated with attractive bathrooms and good power showers. However, storage for your clothes tends to be a little limited with one built-in wardrobe and two bedside cabinets.
The lounge, bar, and restaurant are all contained in one large L-shaped room, but arranged in a delightful way- with views over the pool.
The breakfast is essentially 'continental' and the only warm food on offer is scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, and frankfurters.
Fruit juices are limited to orange and apple, and the quality varied from decent to poor.
The bread consisted of traditional rolls (good), bread slices, and brioche (usually stale).
Cold fare consisted of two types of boiled ham (OK) and mainly mild, poor quality processed cheese; yoghurts; cold whole tomatoes.
The coffee machine served good, strong coffee, but the electric toaster was useless and, after taking about 5 minutes, dished up pieces of "rock."
Overall, I found the breakfast just about adequate, mainly because I filled up with rolls and scrambled eggs (always only lukewarm).
For those who want a good, hot English breakfast, then this is not enough.
I did not eat dinner here, having always dined out in Lagos.
Nonetheless, the prices were rather high and about 25-30% dearer than local restaurants.
Pork fillet was 14 Euros; Whitefish 11 Euros. All other meats and fish were more expensive.
Furthermore, most dishes had to be ordered 'in advance.'
Lena, the co-owner, is very helpful and amenable- and will respond to her guests.
Her brother was away for most of our eight day stay, and I only saw one other member of staff- a woman who made up the rooms ( usually quickly during breakfast) and other duties.
The patio table was filthy when we arrived (including a used filfthy ashtray) and only cleaned the day before we left. The patio was never swept and the sunbed mattresses were covered in surface dirt and obviously not wiped ongoing. The sunbeds themselves had deep yellow fitted canvas coverings but these had become well soiled (likewise those around the pool) and should have been discarded or replaced.
I should add that we had six days torrential rain and only two decent days during our stay.
Therefore, we didn't feel like sunbathing anyway.
Nevertheless, that shouldn't preclude cleanliness being a matter of course.
Owing to the mediocre breakfast; poor outdoor cleanliness; and an overpriced dinner menu; I cannot give this hotel more than three stars.
I can understand visitors liking it , but everyone must judge it based on what you want from your accommodation. I put food and cleanliness high on the agenda, and this hotel was lacking in those areas.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.