This is an all apartment hotel housed in 6 buildings, in a quiet area overlooking the old town. They have all the amenities, indoor swimming pool (for the indoor you must wear a bathing cap which they will sell you for 2 1/2 euros) and several outdoor pools, a bowling alley, sauna, Turkish bath, outdoor children's pool, tennis court, bar, and restaurant. The location is good if you can handle the infamous 96 steps and several inclines. They do offer a shuttle bus at certain times of the day but this is really a town for people who are able to walk. Certainly I'm in better shape now than when I arrived! People at the front desk are rather detached and cool but polite. They for some reason omitted giving us our tour company welcome package so we missed out on the information session for the first week. We didn't realize that we got one so we felt very abandoned by the hotel. Once you are handed your maid cleaning schedule and the shuttle bus schedule you a totally left on your own with no other information. I didn't know until I went back to ask, that irons are available from the front desk (for 1 hour at a time) or that they will lend you a hair dryer.
Our one bedroom apartment (room 317 in the main or "Garden" building)was good sized had a lovely fridge, cooktop, oven, dish washer and clothes-washer built in (no dryer). You had to hang things on the balcony clothes-bars to dry but everything dried quite quickly. There were adequate dishes, pots, and glasses but was lacking other small things like a veg peeler, small knife etc. It wasn't possible to use the dish washer as there weren't enough dishes to fill it so I hand washed what few we had. There was a coffee maker, toaster, kettle and microwave. No teapot. Bring a dishcloth as they don't supply them and they are hard to find. They supply a dish towel and toilet paper. Everything else is your responsibility. There is a "mini mercado" on site but their hours are very erratic perhaps due to the early season. It wouldn't have hurt the hotel to have left us a small supply of coffee and some creamers seeing as the market is always closed on Sunday when most of us Canadians arrive. Remember to bring your own bar soap and shampoo for the bathroom, as well as face cloths.There is a wall dispenser in the shower but not sure if it's soap or shampoo. Bathroom is large and the counter will accommodate all cosmetics etc.
There is no clock of any kind in the apartment, no instructions on how to use the appliances, no reading lamps so reading after dark is out. There is a phone which we were advised not to use as costs are very high but there was no phone book so you couldn't use it anyway. There was an adequate closet in the bedroom. There are no hooks to hang your towels (changed daily except Thursday) in the bathroom or anywhere else. Jackets were hung on the back of chairs or on door knobs. A dollar-store over-the-door hook or two would have come in handy. The bedroom had a few drawers and enough space to store your empty suitcases. Bedside lamps again were so dim no reading was possible here either. Beds were two twins pushed together but made up separately. They were extremely hard! Pillow tops have never been heard of here! I asked about foam pads which of course they didn't have and I even went looking at hardware and linen shops in hopes of finding something. I never did, so folded the extra blankets had to suffice. It helped some or I would have had to sleep sitting up for 3 weeks. The patio doors from both livingroom and bedroom lead out to a large balcony.The balcony has three chairs and a small table. Sunbeds would have been a definite plus. We did however, spend many pleasant afternoons there listening to churchbells, enjoying the view of the ocean and reading.
Livingroom has a couch/daybed and one matching chair. There are two side tables one of which we used as a coffee table. There are no side lamps just an overhead light. The tv is small, offering BBC1 and BBC2, Skynews and CNBC Europe, a business channel. There are occasional movies with English sub-titles on Portuguese stations. No DVD player.
This hotel does not recycle but there are dumpsters in various places around town where you can do it yourself.
We were given a single key on a huge fob that didn't fit in a pocket. Only one key allowed per apartment and they encourage you to turn the key in each time you leave. This means many extra steps back to the front desk so we didn't do it.
You might tuck a small salt and pepper into your suitcase as well because there don't seem to be small sets available. The "mini mercado" sells fresh buns every morning that are very good. There are several grocery stores within walking distance. Lidl is only a 10 minute walk and the walking is relatively flat. It is very reasonably priced and you can buy passable wines here for less than one euro. Modelo is 20 min away but the walking is a bit more challenging especially carrying groceries. The prices are higher but selection is much better. There is another large grocer across from Modelo but we never used it. There are also plenty of mini markets down in the old town. Most staff speak good English and were very friendly.
We never tried the restaurant as it was quite expensive and there never seemed to be any other patrons. An extensive breakfast is available off the lobby near the computers for 6 euros.
There is a safe in the bedroom closet at a cost of 10 euros per week. We were warned about pick-pockets on the square and at the crowded gypsy market but on the whole we felt quite safe, even walking at night.
There is internet access in the lobby for 1 euro for 8 and 1/2 minutes. There are loads of internet cafes in the old town. One next to the Bizarro bar across from the elevator to the beach and one up across from Modelo charge 1 and 1/2 euros for a minimum half hour. You will have to play around to find the @ symbol as it is in different locations. Usually you use the "alt" key rather than the "shift" key.
On the whole this place does not deserve the 4 star rating that they claim (some of the other 5 buildings have a 3 star). My guess is that they are able to claim 4 star not because of the apartments but because of the extra amenities like pools and saunas. If you want a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle but close to downtown this place would be fine. I do feel though that Cerro Mar is not one bit accommodating to their guests. Their attitude seems to be "this is an apartment hotel we don't have to treat people the same way as a regular hotel" so take it or leave it!
I will say yes below "I would recommend this hotel to a friend" but only with the previous comments.
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- Also Known As:
- Cerro Mar Atlantico Touristic Apartments Hotel Albufeira
- Cerro Mar Albufeira
- Cerro Mar Algarve
- Cerro Mar Apartments Albufeira
- Cerro Mar Hotel Albufeira
- Cerro Mar Atlantico Touristic Apartments Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve