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Colina da Lapa 2.0

Lagoa, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Village-style apartment hotel in quiet countryside outside Carvoeiro
  • Spacious apartments with full kitchens and separate bedrooms
  • Features include air-conditioning, fireplaces, and TVs
  • Nice pool with shallow children's pool
  • Kids' club and playground plus a tennis court
  • Free shuttle to Carvoeiro and Praia dos Caneiros in high season
  • Casual restaurant and a bar; free breakfast buffet
  • Mini-mart for basic necessities
  • Free Wi-Fi is available

Cons

  • Decor and features are both dated
  • Wi-Fi in apartments often barely works
  • Nothing within walking distance
  • We had ants in our room -- so have other guests

Bottom Line

The Colina da Lapa is a two-and-a-half-pearl holiday village hotel with 70 simple apartments. It's best for families, though services and features are slim. There's a nice pool and shallow kids' pool at the center of the property, which are flanked by a playground, kids' club, casual restaurant, bar, and mini-mart. During warm months, the hotel is bustling with kids and families. Indoors, though, things are underwhelming, and while the apartments are spacious, they're also dated. All include full kitchens, a terrace or two, and separate bedrooms and living rooms, though appliances are old and the free Wi-Fi is abysmal. While also dated, the Canavial Aparments have a lot more charm for those willing to stay closer to Lagos and its stunning beaches.

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Scene

Basic village-style apartment hotel for self-catering travelers

The Colina da Lapa has a certain appeal for travelers looking for a holiday village-style getaway without frills or pretension. Guests check-in just past the front gate, in a functional lobby with plenty of information on things for tourists to see and do in the area. Those arriving may want to take some notes from these postersl, because there's little to do on-site, and anyone wanting entertainment should head elsewhere. Instead, this is a quiet, family-friendly place to unwind in the sun for a week or so. A nice pool and a casual restaurant complex sits at the center of the resort -- serving as the de facto social hub -- and the duplex villas and apartment buildings are set along a series of parallel roads throughout the property. Wide lawns separate everything, and children can be seen running around during high season. The property sees families from all over the world, and many couples pass through as well -- with mature guests predominantly visiting in shoulder season. 

Location

A 10-minute drive to Carvoeiro and five minutes to Praia dos Carneiros by car

There's almost nothing to see or do within a walk of the Colina da Lapa, and the hotel is situated on narrow, winding roads out in the countryside. There's a supermarket a two-minute drive up the road, and Slide & Splash -- a popular water park -- is a 10-minute drive away. Expect a five-minute drive to Praia dos Carneiros. The closest town is Carvoeiro, which is a popular destination for British travelers and has a small beach, plus tons of bars, restaurants, and shops. Portimao, a larger city that has a few restaurants and shops along its marina, is a 15-minute drive from the hotel, while significantly more charming Alvor is a 25-minute drive away. The latter has narrow cobblestone streets, quaint Portuguese and international restaurants, and bars. It's a 45-minute drive to the Faro Airport, where most guests arrive, while Lisbon and its airport are about two-and-a-half hours away by car.

Rooms

Dated apartments with full kitchens and separate bedrooms plus air-conditioning and fireplaces 

For travelers who value space over all else, the massive apartments at Colina da Lapa might do the trick. However, the style is underwhelming, with dated bedspreads, old wooden furniture, and bland pastel wall art. The brown, off white, and green palettes don't do much to spruce things up. When features like old tube TVs are added to the mix, it's clear that these apartments need a little love. Air-conditioning, closets, fireplaces, balconies or terraces, and safes come standard, and while Wi-Fi is free, it doesn't work well in apartments or villas. All units include at least one separate bedroom (the villas feature two bedrooms) and a living room with a sofa bed. Separate kitchens are also standard, and include full-size refrigerators, electric ranges, microwaves, and coffeemakers, though many of the appliances are worn. Villas include dishwashers. Bathrooms are also massive, with shower/tub combos, long vanities, big mirrors, and bidets. Basic pump toiletries are provided. While it's not necessarily a common complaint, we found ants in our apartment, and other guests have noted the same during their stays. In any case, housekeeping is provided six times per week.

Features

A nice pool and children's pool, casual restaurant and bar, and kids' club

As the hotel is mostly used by travelers with cars who are here on self-catering plans, there aren't a ton of features on offer. A nice pool with a shallow children's area is the centerpiece of the property. It's flanked by a sandy playground, a kids' club, and a casual restaurant and bar. The restaurant serves all meals and snacks throughout the day, and there's a mini-mart on-site as well. A  free breakfast buffet is included in room rates. There's also a tennis court plus space for soccer, volleyball, and other lawn sports. The hotel runs a shuttle to Praia dos Caneiros, though it's not frequent, and a shuttle runs into Carvoeiro as well. Parking is free and while Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, though it barely works in the rooms. 

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Address

Sesmarias-Farragudo, Lagoa 8400, Portugal

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