Self-service laundry, room service, and babysitting available (extra fees)
Free lobby Wi-Fi, in-room cable internet, and parking
Food receives poor reviews
Water park is closed seven months out of the year (October through April)
Only wired internet available in rooms (Wi-Fi available in public spaces)
Kids' club is unattended
The 148-room, upper-middle-range Aquashow Park is a theme park hotel that appeals to families, especially with kids ages 6 to 10. Though the water park is closed seven months of the year (October through April), year-round features include outdoor and heated indoor pools, up-to-date gym, outdoor massage hut, a hip restaurant, and bar serving cocktails. All rooms are colorful and spotless with contemporary decor, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. Large, four-bed Family Rooms are available with additional cots on request. Evening entertainment (think magic shows and karaoke), a game room, and unsupervised kids' club complete the children-friendly amenities. Travelers not keen on the theme park idea should check out Balaia Golf Village Resort, which is still kid-friendly and a five-minute walk from the beach.
A surprisingly contemporary family-friendly hotel and theme park
The Aquashow Park Hotel is Portugal's first theme park/hotel combo and is a popular choice for families with small children. Outfitted with hip and stylish modern decor, the hotel has a vibrant and fun vibe throughout -- and is surprisingly spotless for a kid-friendly spot. Reception greets guests with a bright, open atrium, while a glance upward reveals a geometric design in the skylight and rows of U-shaped glass balconies on each floor. Each floor has a theme and color scheme, while hallways have either colorful LED lights or all-white lamps presented as bowing human figures.
While most kid-centric hotels have restaurants designed for such, the on-site restaurant is refreshingly adult with black wooden tables and a black accent wall stylized with large, white words in Portuguese. The lobby bar, on the other hand, has various black couches topped with vibrantly colored cushions. Though the hotel is always boisterous with kids, it's particularly so when the water park is open -- May through September.
Not much in the immediate vicinity but within easy driving distance for day trips
Aquahow Park Hotel is located off the main N-124 highway in Quarteira. There's not much else around here except some residential homes and a few restaurants. The nearest beach can be reached in about 10 minutes by car and the closest golf course is about the same distance. Faro Airport is a short 15-minute drive from the hotel. It's possible to make day trips to Portimao (40-minute drive), Sagres (one-hour drive), and Faro (20-minute drive).
Spotless and attractive rooms with mini-fridges, modern bathrooms, and balconies
Aquashow's 148 double rooms are pristine and contemporary with polished cherry-wood floors, brightly painted walls, and stylish furniture. The first-floor rooms are painted green, the second in orange, the third in blue, and the fourth in purple. Beware that all beds here are singles (and a little firm), so the largest size is a double. Travelers that need more space can grab two adjoining rooms that sleep up to five and have the option for cots on request. All rooms have furnished balconies except for those tailored to guests with reduced mobility. Mini-fridges contain a few bottles of water and all rooms come with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, small tables alongside chairs, and desks. Bathrooms have basic toiletries, glittery mosaic tiles, makeup mirrors, and walk-in showers. Note that only wired internet is available in rooms.
Free daily entry to the adjacent water park but poorly reviewed food
Most guests come to the Aquashow Park Hotel for the free daily entrance to the adjacent water and theme park. Unfortunately, the park -- filled with water rides, slides, animal shows, a lazy river, roller coasters and other thrill rides, restaurants, shops, and more -- is only open from May through September. Nevertheless, during the off-months, guests still have a load of features for both adults and children at their fingertips.
Though they aren't as expansive as the water park, the hotel's three sparkling pools give guests a chance at soaking, swimming, and lounging in the sun. They include a heated indoor pool and an outdoor pool area with adjacent bar (which also serves lunch), loungers, a kids' pool, and decent-sized playground. During the warmer months, outdoor massage tents and a fish spa are available near here. The Aquafeeling Spa also provides indoor treatments. A small fitness room has up-to-date machines and a few free weights. Family-friendly features include an unsupervised kids' club and a game room with table and arcade game. While somewhat infrequent, nighttime entertainment such as magic shows and karaoke are offered.
The on-site Charme Restaurant is the spot to grab plates from the buffet, including a free breakfast. While the hip style is appreciated, the food receives mixed, leaning-on-bad reviews. In contrast, the Lobby Bar is a popular spot for guests for welcome drinks, tasty cocktails, TVs, and a few video game machines. Free Wi-Fi is available within the bar and restaurant vicinity. Conveniences include self-service laundry and dry cleaning services, a business center, meeting rooms, and on-site parking.
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