We travelled to Velamar Hotel in Olhos d’Agua approximately 5km from Albufeira Old Town for 9 nights for our honeymoon. It is a nice quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of Albufeira.
The hotel is nice and the staff are very pleasant, reception is run by Luciano (General Manager), Ana and Susie who were helpful. We had emailed the hotel to book direct as the company we had originally booked it through had gone bust and Luciano was very helpful and gave us a great price for booking directly. We had informed them it was our honeymoon in advance but we are unsure if they took notice of this as we had a standard room that did not have tea/coffee making facilities, has had been mentioned in other reviews. However, we did have a balcony and I note from other reviews that this is an extra cost so perhaps that was their gesture. The room 218 had a nice view of the sea in the distance but did face the road which could be quite noisy at busy times, and it was directly under the breakfast room so from 7.30am we were awoken by the sound of chairs being dragged in and out from the tables. The bedroom was large, with a double bed, fridge, tv and nice balcony. The bathroom was large too with a hairdryer which is helpful. The shower head was replaced during our stay without being asked and it was much better after being replaced.
When we arrived at the hotel our room was not ready but it was fine for us to leave our luggage with them while we went for a drink to wait for it to be ready. On our last day our flight was not until late in the evening and again there was no problem leaving our luggage at reception for the day which was very helpful.
The hotel is spotlessly clean and the staff work very hard. Jose O and Paula seem to be there morning noon and night and are lovely.
The Wifi was great and available all around the hotel. It was down for 2 days (over the weekend) while we were there but the staff worked hard to get it fixed ASAP.
Entertainment in the hotel is not every day. One night we were there, there was a pianist and another night there was karaoke. We ended up going to either Olhos D’Agua or Albufeira (Old Town and New Town/Strip) rather than stay at the hotel in the evenings. Be warned that taxis in the area are a disaster. You cannot flag them down in the street, they can only be called to the hotel or you have to go to a taxi rank (approx. 500 metres up the road) and wait in a queue. Even when they are called by the hotel, you have no guarantee that they will get through and you could be waiting a long time. Buses are available from outside the hotel, but the timetable we got from reception appears to be inaccurate and really it’s just a waiting game at the bus-stop, one time we waited 45 mins. They do not run after approx. 8.30pm. Also something to be aware of if you are travelling in peak season like us, take out your cash for the weekend on the Friday/Saturday as by Sunday all machines in both Albufeira Old Town, Strip and Olhos d’Agua were completely empty and we had to wait until they were refilled on Monday morning! This caused utter chaos and we were upset that our last night out on the town had to be cut short as we didn’t have enough cash on us and had to return to the hotel where we could put the tab on our room.
Jose C and Jose O run the bar, they are both very nice and chatty. Jose C treated us to some of his magic tricks one night which was great fun.
The pool is small but there were plenty of sunbeds to go around (despite the usual eejits getting up at stupid o’clock to put towels out) and are lovely and clean. There’s a small pool suitable for children and a deeper pool for a swim.
The breakfast was not to our liking unfortunately. There are sausages, rashers, scrambled eggs and beans (not all on the same day, two each day) but they are different to what we have back home. There is champagne if you fancy a champagne breakfast and cold platter with ham/cheese/tomato/cucumber and a selection of breads and cereals. The coffee from the machine is lovely. The breakfast room has panoramic views and agree with other reviewers that it is a shame that it is only used for breakfast. Even being able to take a drink up there in the afternoon and sit in the sun on the roof terrace would be nice. There is a café just outside the hotel called Jollies that does a nice reasonable English breakfast and a Portuguese café 2 doors up from that that does a mean omelette and chips.
Across the road from the hotel is an Italian restaurant which I cannot for the life of me recall the name of but it does a gorgeous steak and pizza or pasta and also does fish dishes too. When they found out it was our honeymoon they brought us in and gave us a really lethal shot of something alcoholic and free drinks which was a lovely touch. Once you go once they give you a business card with a voucher for a free bottle of wine for your next visit.
The beach at Olhos D’Agua is 10 minutes walk away and has a nice selection of restaurants and shops. We spent a lot of time during the day down here in Pickwicks Tavern eating brunch, drinking Sangria and people watching.
We actually walked one day from Praia Olhos D’Agua, all along the beach (Praia da Falésia) to a town we saw in the distance (we like our walking) and afterwards found that it was a gorgeous town called Vilamoura with a beautiful marina where the rich people moor their yachts and there’s lots of restaurants by the marina where you can sit and watch how the other half live, well worth a visit, I suggest you get a bus €4pp or taxi €15 however as it is 8km walk away! We enjoyed it so much that we went back one night to enjoy the nightlife there.
We also walked to Albufeira Old Town another day but it is over an hour walk (approx. 5km) and long in the heat of the August sun.
There is a supermarket 300 metres down the road and a tourist office / excursions office called Expose that are very reasonably priced (Market in Loule on a Saturday €8pp). Ticket Shop also have reasonable priced tours too and if you book the day before they usually have better deals.
To sum up we would return to this hotel again, it is great value for money, clean, and the staff are friendly. We would probably request a quieter room however. It is better suited to couples rather than families.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened in 2002, the Velamar Boutique Hotel is located between the pleasant fishing village of Olhos d'Agua and the famous Santa Eulalia Beach, in Albufeira. This 3-Star Hotel has 73 Rooms and 2 Suites. It provides excellent facilities, including a breakfast room with a panoramic view over the Atlantic Ocean, an outdoor swimming pool and a free private parking. The Hotel is 900 meters away from Maria Luisa Beach and a stroll away from restaurants and supermarkets. Only at 6 kilometers away from the historic center of Albufeira, the Velamar Boutique Hotel ensures serenity and comfort to the guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Velamar Hotel Albufeira
- Velamar Boutique Hotel Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve