Fee for use of indoor pool and hydrotherapy area at the spa
Fee for fitness classes
In-room coffee not replenished (available for a fee)
Only one chair on the balcony
Located right on Vilamoura Beach and a short walk from the marina, the 323-room Crowne Plaza is one of the most luxurious hotels in the area. Stylish rooms have elegant beach decor in neutral tones and with wicker accents, and feature free Wi-Fi, upscale bathrooms, and furnished balconies with great views. The grounds are sprawling and beautiful, with a large lagoon-style pool, big lawns dotted with loungers, and several restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. The spa is a highlight here, with an indoor pool, a great treatments menu, and a gym -- but there are fees for fitness classes and for access to the pool (common in Algarve). A kids’ club, a kiddy pool with water features, and a large ship-shaped playground keep children busy. Other top resort options include Hilton Vilamoura and Blue & Green The Lake Spa Resort, but neither are directly on the beach, giving the Crowne Plaza a significant edge.
Family-friendly hotel with stylish interiors and lovely outdoors
Although boxy and somewhat plain from the outside, the Crown Plaza has stylish contemporary interiors in a white and natural wood color scheme. Low arched doorways and vaulted ceilings make the spacious, airy lobby feel a bit like a cave -- a stylish and cozy one, that is. It has beige floors, white walls, and warm lights, and large mural photos decorate the wall behind the small front desks. Adjacent to the reception area is the lobby lounge, decorated with white and pale wood furniture, and a colorful patchwork-style rug with myriad patterns and hues. Small stump-like side tables and lamps made of twigs lend the space a natural feel, while comfy white armchairs and floor-to-ceiling windows make it bright and appealing. This decor style and soft palette continues in other common spaces, especially in the hotel’s several restaurants and bars.
The grounds are similarly appealing and relaxing, with beach views and large lawns dotted with loungers and umbrellas. Although mostly geared to couples and families, the hotel also draws golfers with a central location near several great golf courses and free shuttle service to many of them.
On Vilamoura Beach, a short walk from the marina’s many restaurants and bars
The hotel is located directly on Vilamoura Beach, a lovely stretch of sand with loungers and straw umbrellas. Vilamoura Marina, home to plenty of restaurants, bars and shops, is just an easy five-minute walk away, and the town’s famous casino is right next door to the hotel. Several golf courses can be found within a short drive of the Crowne Plaza, and the hotel provides free shuttle service to a few of them, including the Oceanico Golf. Quarteira, known for its many restaurants along the town’s 1.3-mile sandy beach, is a 15-minute walk away, and there are a number of other lovely beaches a short drive away, including the Falesia Beach and four smaller ones between Vilamoura and Albufeira. The Crowne Plaza is a half-hour drive from Faro Airport, and transfer services can be arranged at front desk for a fee.
Sunny, clean rooms with stylish decor, expansive views, and great bathrooms
The hotel has 323 spacious, sunny rooms with wooden floors and large windows opening onto balconies offering expansive garden or ocean views. Decor is stylish and contemporary throughout, with a soft neutral palette and a couple of pops of black. Lamps are decorated with pebbles and twigs, which combined with a few wicker accents in desks and chairs lend rooms an elegant beachy feel. Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes. All but standard Superior units feature Nespresso machines, but coffee pods are only replenished for a fee after the first day. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. Marble-clad bathrooms are sleek and upscale, with large walk-in rain showers, Havana toiletries, and wall-mounted hairdryers. A glass wall separates the bedroom from the bathroom, but there are shades for privacy. Superior and Deluxe Suites are duplex units with beach views, and the rate includes one pass to the spa per stay.
Large outdoor pool, small spa, four restaurants and bars, and a kids’ club
The hotel’s centerpiece is a large lagoon-style pool ringed with loungers, palm trees and shrubs. It is unheated and some guests complain that it is too cold to be comfortable during the winter months, but the deck around it is a great sun trap year-round. Additionally, the hotel features an indoor pool inside the spa, but there is a fee for access to it, and kids are only allowed a few hours a day. The spa fee also includes use of a sauna and a hydrotherapy area, and there are several massage rooms where guest can book an array of body treatments. The fitness center is small but well-equipped, with cardio and strength-training machines; group classes are available for a fee. There is also a multi-sports court and a putting green for those who prefer to work out outdoors.
Cataplana Restaurant serves a varied buffet and a la carte options, and seasonal Caravela offers seafood, fish, meat and salads by the pool. In the winter, Caravela Bar and Lounge serves cocktails and hot drinks in an airy space with a fireplace, and in the summer, the poolside bar offers drinks and light meals. For families, the hotel provides a kids’ club with daily activities, and a cute kiddy pool with a large ship-shaped playground. There are also three meeting rooms with audiovisual equipment, a business center, and free on-site parking. Free shuttle service to several nearby golf courses is also available.
There is a gate at the pool area leading to the deep, sandy beach, where sunbeds are available for a daily fee and a beach bar offers food and drinks.
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