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“Perfect bargain break” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dunas do Alvor Apartments

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Dunas do Alvor Apartments
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Estrada da Barca, Alvor, Portimao 8500-588, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 26 hotels in Alvor
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Perfect bargain break”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We stayed at the Dunas 21 – 28 April, 2013. When we arrived at the apartments - earlier than check in time - we were delighted to find our room was ready. What struck me first was just how clean the apartment was. It was light, airy and plenty big enough for just the two of us. Our room was room 137, and whilst initially slightly disappointed to be facing the road and not the pool area, it soon became clear this was actually a good thing. The bars adjacent to the pool, whilst not terribly noisy, did prove to be somewhat noisy of an evening so the road side suited us just fine.

In terms of the apartment facilities, there is a hob, microwave, kettle and toaster. No hair dryer or iron, so if you want these be sure to pack them! Also, the charge of a safe lock is €20 week + €10 deposit.

The pool area was nice, however even in the low season we struggled a little. There were plenty of loungers by the pool though only 6/8 had the stretchy fabric to offer some comfort, the others were just hard plastic. The pool man, Gollum, as we nicknamed him, was less than happy about providing mats. Every day we arrived at the pool to see him closely guarding a few mats, on one occasion I saw a couple arrive and he picked up two mats – I thought he was taking them over to them, but no he in fact locked them away, as he did most days! I don’t know if things are different in the height of summer, probably, and it certainly didn’t cause us too much of an issue though a little comfort from a mat would have been nice.

There is a small convenience store within the complex, however there is a larger supermarket at the top of the road (no more than 2 minutes’ walk) which has much more choice and is cheaper than the convenience store on site.

Bottom line; I would absolutely return to the Dunas! It is in a great location for the beach, boardwalk and the centre of Alvor which has some fabulous restaurants, and by comparison to other hotels/ resorts is extremely budget friendly!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Location.. The Dunas is ideally located within a 10 minute walk to the beach and a 5 minute walk to the town centre, the centre has an abundance of bars and restaraunts open from early morning to early in the morning. the quaint harbour town has several day trips available and fishing expeditions plus cave tours around the area

About the Dunas..
you may read on here that the Dunas Du Alvor in Alvor Portugal is a little basic in its accomodation and this is true, the apartments themselves are functional with basic cooking facilities, such as a toaster, microwave, kettle and 4 ring hob with no oven, but remember that this is a 3 star hotel complex and whilst the apartments are sparse in their offerings it is the location and the facilities which in my opinion makes this a hotel more than worth staying in and going back to year after year.

The bedroom arrangements are made up of 1 or 2 rooms with 2 single beds and a pull out bed settee is available in the main room of the apartment, whilst they arent the comfiest beds in the world they are more than adequate for sleeping on as i can tesitify having stayed there for the last 4 years.

so lets discuss the complex, well to start with its clean and tidy through out with Maid service either on a schedule or they can be requested via reception if need be, we found ourselves with a broken TV aerial cable which was replaced immediately by the lady on reception, Internet access is available in the downstairs reception area although a little pricey and other such facilities can be found elsewhere on the complex usually cheaper.

Whether...we usually go to Alvor at the end of August beginning of September and we have yet to have a temperature lower than 30 degrees, for obvious reasons i can't guarantee it to be this hot but it has been for the last 4 years we have been there, in fact in 2010 it hit a high of 38 for the 2 weeks we were there, even the Alvorians couldnt take it, evenings are cooler with temps in the range of 25 -26 degrees which makes drinking outdoors a pleasure, however the downside is that is hard to sleep as the complex doesn't offer Air conditioning in its apartments, however i do believe that you can have a fan for your room if you ask at reception.

Facilities... (see my video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUJFZtv22bs)

The Dunas has several places to both eat and drink, you have probably heard about the Catus II bar, this is run by a chap called Mark and his wife, he likes to play guitar and sing in the evening for the entertainment of his guests and to be honest the guy is good at what he does, he is a funny bloke with a great sense of customer knowledge and you are guaranteed a laugh and a good night of fun, his drink prices are 1 euro for a beer from midday until 9pm and he does a nice set of cocktails both alcoholic and non alcoholic so the kids can join in.

Round the corner is the aptly named "Chill Out Bar", this is run by a nice guy called Lionel and as the name suggests there is no loud music just a chilled atmosphere, although he has Music playing on TV's facing outside and also shows the footaball matches as well, The Chill Out bar has beer again at 1 euro a glass and this is all day until he closes (usually only when its gone quiet). Lionel also does food from midday until 7pm and does a toasted sandwhich which he claims is the biggest in Alvor and i dont doubt it.

The complex has its own hair salon and mini market which sells a range of good, some prices are a little high, others are reasonable however there are several other supermarkets in the area and Pingo Doce (Asda/tesco) a short walk away. Or you can take a taxi to Portimao and visit the Continente shopping centre.

Other places to eat include a sandwich bar by the pool which does snacks and other hot food, a terrace bar facing out onto the road and marco's (see my review here http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g642199-d1791643-r141347316-Marco_s_Bistro-Alvor_Portimao_Algarve.html). where ever you eat the food is freshly cooked and is always hot and tasty.

The pool is no doubt the crowning glory of the Dunas and if you take the time to do a google earth view of the Alvor area you will see that it has the biggest pool in any of the hotels that are in the area, it starts out cold at the start of the year and as it is fresh water it warms up towards the middle of July, however when the temperature is hot a cold pool is a delight.

About the area...

The beach is no doubt one of things most of us go away for, and you wont be disappointed, its a couple of miles long and is breath taking, bear in mind however that it leads to the Atlantic which can be cold, however once it comes in onto the warm sand it makes paddling a pleasure,
Their is a little shop that sells cold drinks and cold beers if your thirsty, however again a little pricey so it may be best if you take a cooler box and take your own drinks.

All in all i would say that compared to the likes of other complexes around the Alvor area this one is definately the best of the bunch, just stay there one time and you will fall in love with the place.

Room Tip: Drink beer at 1euro, double spirits are 2.50 in the cactus or chill out bars before heading out to t...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stirling, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We spent the whole of January plus at the Dunas due to our first choice going out of business. Our travel company I'm sure to date still not aware we ended up there. Our Dunas appartment to say was tired is an understatement, cupboard doors were falling off, a terrible lack of utensils. We did have a toaster but had to keep pulling plugs out to use the kettle for instance. The cooker is stuck in one corner with No light at all, and just to keep you on your toes, there is a smoke detector ALMOST ABOVE THE COOKER. You get one heater with a choice of purchasing the use of the wall heaters which we refused to pay for, believe me, at that time of the year you will need it ( I'm stubborn) as the apptment was huge, we moved the heater and telly into the bedroom and were snug. Positives--ours was an end unit with a huge private sunbathing area with the sun all day. It has internet in the foyer which you pay for, if you have your own, speak to Edwardo who will give you what you need to log on, very obliging. To sum up, our apptmnt is not for an extended WINTER stay, too big- too cold and not comfy. LOVE ALVOR, BEEN GOING FOR YEARS.

Room Tip: ours was a corner unit, large and sunny
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

This is our second stay at Dunas self catering appartments in Alvor. We also stayed at the Dunas several years ago with our Children. Both have been good experiences. This time, we came in January 2013 for a 1 week bargain break with 'on-the beach' website, for a very good price. Alvor is as we remember it, a smaller, low key resort, but now with the addition of an amazing board-walk that takes you for over one mile through the sand dunes along Alvor's pituresque estuary and out to the sea. The Dunas itself is loctated on the eastern edge of the town, but that makes it an easy five minute walk to town, or just five minutes in the other direction to the middle of a massive sandy beach, so a convienient location with a good chance to park in the Dunas's own car park or in the nearby streets. Coments elsewhere here about dogs barking in Alvor are true, but it seems to be a couple of local residents who have noisy dogs, and that would affect many light sleepers in Alvor, it is not therefore only a problem for the Dunas but I guess, most other hotels and appartments nearby on the east edge of the town. The dog noise is intermittent, and is I suspect common to many towns on the continent. The Dunas appartments are a little dated and faded, however they are freshly painted and imaculately clean, and very spacious indeed, with a big sitting/dining room, a separate bedroom and a remarkably big bathroom, again all very clean. There's lots of hot water, (each appartment has its own hot water tank) and the kitchen is basic, and the hob slow, but it's very adequately equipped to make your own meals. (Kettle,Toaster,Fridge-Freezer,Microwave etc) (there are also plenty of places to eat within a few hunderd metres if you dont want to cook) The staff on the desk at the Dunas are friendly and we found them excelent. Most helpful, they all spoke very good English, and were polite even when we stupidly locked our key inside the appartment. (note - do not leave the room key in the inside lock!) and they quickly got a local tradesman on call-out to help us get back in to our room. As it was January we did not use the pool or tennis, but they all seemed to be available, and the pool and associated grass areas are very large, and has plenty of space for loungers when the weather is warm. From our perspective the Dunas was, and remains, excelent basic value, a most practical location, spacious, clean and friendly.

Room Tip: Rooms that face the pool are probably quieter, but our room faced south on to a side street and the...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

I stayed here from 29th october for 11 days. This was not my choice as my selected accomodation was closed down so was transferred to here. The appartment was big and clean but that was it. The appliances were all quite tacky. The cooker hob took at least 15 minutes to heat up and the oven had no racks so couldnt use it. Luckily I didnt intend doing much cooking. Did fancy egg and bacon though but gave up on the egg as the bacon took so long. There was a microwave, toaster and kettle, but only one socket so had to put toaster on floor in lounge if I wanted tea and toast.
There was no air con/ heating. Thankfully it wasnt too cold so didnt require any heat. Wouldnt want to stay in high summer with no air/con. Lastly it was quite noisy from the road noise. The street cleaner came a long every day at 7.30 and the fans from the Alisuper super market droned all the time. Wouldnt stay again out of choice.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
somercotes
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

I recently arrived back in england after an amazing hoiday in Portugal. I stayed in the Dunas Do alvor aparments and was more than satisfied with my holiday there. The bars around the apartments were great and the owners were extremely friendly. The cleaners at the hotel were unbelievable and cleaned our apartment and beds everyday without fail. We also was suprised about the reviews complaining about the pool as we found the size, range and depth perfectly satisfying. We also took advantage of the tennis courts they had there which were in good condintion. Overall had a fab holiday and we will surely return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedworth
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed here last september in a fantasically large apartment. I really cant fault these apartments and try to book into them every year because we just love Alvor. Just come back from staying in the club alvorferias but wanted to use the dunas pool as the rest of our family were there and our son wanted to be in the pool with their children. 22.50 Euros per day they charged us to use the pool. What a total rip off! We seen local people coming in late in afternoon and not been approached by the pool attendant to see if they had paid. We witnessed 1 english couple been thrown out, how humilating for them. It is a fab pool but make sure your staying at the dunas before you use!! Unless you pay fernando the pool attendant on the side which I also witnessed, quick backhander! Will not travel in August again because everyone seems stressed even leonel from the chillout bar.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dunas do Alvor Apartments

Address: Estrada da Barca, Alvor, Portimao 8500-588, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Alvor
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Alvor
#7 Family Hotel in Alvor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Dunas do Alvor Apartments 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dunas Do Alvor is a large, modern and stylish complex is located close to Alvors sandy beach and the resort centre. The spacious sun terraces that surround the pool have bars, shops and restaurants, making this an ideal choice for families and couples seeking a relaxing holiday. LOCATION-400m from Alvor beach; 300m to Alvor village; 50m to nearest supermarket; 3km to Alto golf course. FACILITIES-Free-form swimming pool and sun terrace; independently-owned shops, bars and restaurants. Holiday Highlights are free kids, subject to availability. ACTIVITIES-Tennis court. ROOMS-1 bedroom apartments (2-4 persons) have a separate twin bedroom, living area with telephone, TV, kitchenette with fridge, full bathroom and a balcony or terrace. Some apartments have a microwave oven (subject to availability). Prices are based on 4 adults sharing on Self Catering. CHILDREN-Splash pool; cots free. Child prices: age limit 16. Option Offers:- Great group deals available, pre-bookable flowers available - £33 and pre-bookable champagne available - £30. Please note: this property is located on a busy side road. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dunas Do Alvor Apartments Hotel Alvor
Dunas Do Hotel Alvor
Dunas Alvor

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