My girlfriend and I just returned from a week in Hotel Alte. The entire experience was fantastic, completely relaxing, all our needs catered for, and we feel fully refreshed - exactly what you want from a holiday.
The hotel is located about 1 hour drive from Faro, which has the main airport, and half an hour from Albufeira, the nearest big city. But the town of Alte, a 5 minute walk from the hotel, is a lovely (albeit small) place, which contains a fantastic cafe, a couple of nice restaurants, a swimming lake, a nice church, museum and a variety of shops. The town itself is very traditional, and not at all touristic - unlike Albufeira, which has more Chinese and Indian restaurants that traditional portuguese ones. Being a distance from the touristic areas means you can really escape for a while.
The hotel itself is staffed by a lovely group of people, who made our stay a pleasure. Even when I accidentally broke our room key, I was simply told "it happens", and the receptionist refused to take money to replace the key. The room we stayed in was a great size, with a lovely balcony which overlooked the pool and half of the Algarve. The room had a shower/bath with brilliantly hot water, air conditioning included (it is quite common for hotels to charge extra for this), and we paid 10 Euros to hire a mini-fridge for the week (which was placed in our room) allowing us to store our own food and beer, which was fantastic. Our room was cleaned every day, with the bed being made, towels replaced and the floor cleaned - a service which goes above a lot of 4* hotels I have stayed in, and truly appreciated by us. It is so nice to walk into a cleaned room every evening.
The pool is lovely, refreshing and kept clean. The garden area next to the pool is fully equipped with deck chairs and umbrellas for shade. There is also a large indoor and outdoor restaurant area with the same breathtaking views, as well as a small "games room" which is pretty empty, but I noticed it being used by some parents with young children. There is also a tennis court and beach volley-ball court - both are free to use.
Breakfast is a buffet, served until 10.30 (meaning you can have a late start) and always serves the same items - but there was enough choice to keep us satisfied for the week - croissants, bread, cereals, fruit, hams, cheese, jams, teas, coffee, yogurts, scrambled eggs etc.
The only two complaints I have are minor - the bed was slightly uncomfortable, and the restaurant food was not so good - From prior reviews I expected fantastic food, but we only had one dinner at the hotel on the first night, and it was so poor we decided to avoid it for the rest of the holiday. I had swordfish which, I'm sure, was cooked from frozen, and served with a tiny handful of boiled veg and some potatoes - flavourless and uninspired. But only having one meal there, we could have just been unlucky, and there are plenty of other places to eat.
In terms of general advice, I would suggest hiring some form of transport while in the Algarve. My girlfriend and I did not originally plan to hire a vehicle, but when we tried to take a bus to Albufeira the only bus left at 8.30am, and involved multiple changes - so we ended up hiring a scooter (for which you only need a UK car drivers license), which was fantastic, allowing us to visit the entire region with ease, and get to lots of places not accessible by public transport. It is also worth looking at local websites while in the Algarve, as we managed to get to see a Medieval festival and a folklore festival, just by looking at the local listings online.
Overall, a highly recommended hotel in a stunning location.
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- Also Known As:
- Alte Hotel Algarve, Portugal