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“Great location”
Review of Hotel Sol e Mar

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Hotel Sol e Mar
Ranked #39 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Reviewed August 5, 2013

First impression were that the hotel was quite shabby, and in need of a refurb. However, I sort of expected this after reading a few reviews and seeing pictures.

The room itself was fairly dated, have stayed in worse – but also better. Would say 2 star would be fair as the bathroom was dated and a tad smelly on first impression (whether this was the drains I’m not sure). Saying that, I only required someone to sleep, shower and change so it was adequate enough.

The rooms were cleaned promptly and daily, with fresh towels supplied and beds made. Didn’t use the TV as its not what I go on holiday for, but the TV was also quite dated and balanced precariously on a corner tv stand. The Air con (although also dated) was very good, and kept the room nice and cool at all times.

The sea views from the balcony where stunning, and each rom has this view overlooking the beach and sea. 5 star views for sure. The bars below could be a little noisy but usually wrapped up around midnight. As the only night I wanted to sleep before midnight was the day prior to travelling home it didn’t cause me any issue. I just kept the door shut and air con on – problem solved.

The breakfast was average, no real complaints as it’s the usual buffet style you receive in European resorts.

The hotel bar was dead each day and night I went through – which was a shame as the layout and décor were nice. The free wi-fi within the bar / reception area was fantastic (could even receive a signal on the beach). Very quick and nice to see a hotel not ripping off its guests with extortionate wifi charges.

Ate out each night for dinner so can’t comment on the hotel food, there are plenty of nice restaurants within easy walking distance. Even a nice thai restaurant just opposite the main entrance.

All in all the hotel itself is in a superb location in a great holiday resort – I would stay here again, but can see why its not to everyone’s tastes. Definitely not a 4 star hotel however.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank H0lidayMakerEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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758 - 764 of 1,296 reviews

Reviewed August 3, 2013

Just back from 10 days here, and as mentioned in another review its really a 3 star hotel but with a 5 star location and views.
Room and bathroom are basic but very clean with good air con and a useful fridge.The breakfast was pretty simple,bread rolls,cereals,yoghurt,cheese and a choice of hot items but I just stuck to the continental nothing fancy but it was fine.
The location is very handy for the old town with several nice restaurants and bars within 5 mins walk.The hotel bar was quiet during our stay but is a nice space if you just want to sit out of the sun for a bit, the stained glass above the bar and the lights set into the concrete patterns on the walls are fantastic pieces of retro cool.Free Wi-fi in the bar/lounge area.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Liam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

This is barely a 3 stars hotel in reality, with old and very small TV, shabby duvet covers, and a wardrobe that is painted on the outside, but very antique and scratched on the inside. A safety deposit box and a hair dryer!! have to be asked at the reception, they are not offered by default in the rooms. I was provided a hair dryer, but it didn't work but for 5 minutes..it was so bad quality that it got heated fast and stopped working..

The breakfast is also disappointing, with a very narrow selection of food, and very bad quality of coffee.

The personnel was bored and showed little consideration for guests' needs.

There is only one thing that I considered a big plus…the fact that it had a very convenient location on the beach and right next to city center, offering easy access to all terraces and restaurants.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Ramona B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

View from room is straight out to sea, lovely. Rooms clean but basic. A lot of very steep steps and the surrounding area is quite hilly. Xmas gala meal was very long winded and didn't finish till gone 10pm. Food was good quality and plenty of variety. Staff very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Low Cost Holidays
4  Thank Nigel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights and enjoyed the location of the hotel for the direct beach access as well as back entrance into Old Town. Location is everything about the this property - as the rooms, service and breakfast buffet would not get 2* in North America. Staff were abrupt, tactless and unconcerned, excepting for when the plastic resin chair on the balcony collapsed under my weight (I am not a big or heavy guy) and I crashing onto the concrete balcony and my elbow caught me from hitting my head. The chair as it turns out would collapse even with 10 points on it - the plastic legs had fatigued. But there is was for us to use. They did come up and replace these though. It is now almost 4 weeks later and the elbow still hurts. Breakfast buffet included, but frankly it was horrific - and not worth getting out of bed to have. The pool is a disgusting dark and dirty place that should be filled in with concrete. It would make a great shaded spot - particularly in the 40C heat and hot as hades sand we experienced on our visit.

This hotel has some unique architectural features that would make it worthy of creating a boutique hotel. As it is, and with this location it is a wasted business opportunity and is a cheap stay for budget travellers and a cash cow for the Owners as they invest nothing into maintaining the property. Everything in the hotel and beachfront has been outsourced to own or operate, so the hotel is left with beds only. Given the condition of the hotel this is probably just as well.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank CanadianBoys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Had my first visit there 3 years ago so returned based on the previously visit. Weirdly i was in the extact same room (117) which was nice.
Brill points of the hotel are -
1- the location, 2nd to none on the beach, all rooms have beach view.
2 - view from your room and even better from the top floor
3- the staff, so friendly especially loved the barman who worked tues - sat, he'd worked there 23 years and was fab, made the best cocktails ever (a steal at 5 euros so worth a purchase)
4- rooms are large and airy with air con, balcony is great to chill out looking onto the beach
5- location, some steps and a street back from the main square
6 - it gets slated but i loved the breaky, you cant expect english bacon and sausage when in Portugal so don't winge about the lack of, plenty of hot stuff (they rotate franfurters with there bacon each day) eggs, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, etc etc plus the normal contental stuff. Coffee machine does a mean latte.
Downside is that is it rated as a 4 star hotel so anyone who doesn't read reviews before hand would be disappointed, 5 star views but the hotel i would rate as a decent 3 star and the bathrooms a low 3 star, bathrooms need a massive refurb, don't get me wrong they are spacious, clean and the showers are always hot and powerful but it is NOT a 4 star bathroom. The tiles were marked, the bath had bad staining on, just NOT what you would expect with the rating the hotel has. That said it was given the rating back in the day and all the 'awards' on the wall outside the restaurant for 'top hotel' 'gold awards' etc etc are from 1988 - 1989 etc.

All in all i would still stay here again, you can't beat the location.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank misscalder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

excellent location, great view. all rooms with sea view. good English breakfast. A/C old and noisy. smelly bathroom. furniture quite old. clean heated swimming pool. every evening they organize traditional dinner. in November hotel was full with elderly people. noisy disco at top floor.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank julie212000
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:
#26 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#30 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: $61 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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