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Falesia Hotel 3.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Adult-only resort with particularly peaceful ambience
  • Set in picturesque garden in a quiet, leafy neighborhood
  • Contemporary style with bright finishes after 2016 renovations
  • Rooms open to furnished balconies, most with pleasant views
  • Outdoor pool with swim-up bar and plentiful loungers
  • Spa with treatment rooms, heated indoor pool, whirlpool tub, and sauna
  • Restaurant serving all meals, including free breakfast buffet
  • Outdoor tennis courts 
  • Free beach shuttle four times a day
  • Free and fast Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Decor in public areas is outdated
  • Charge for safes in some rooms, and empty mini-fridges in all
  • Some complaints about food quality
  • Walk to beach can be strenuous

Bottom Line

The Falesia Hotel is a three-pearl, adult-only hotel located in a peaceful neighborhood between the popular resort towns of Albufeira and Vilamoura. Renovations in 2016 freshened up the 169 rooms and all open to furnished balconies. An outdoor pool is set in lovely gardens, while a heated indoor pool makes up part of the hotel's decent spa facilities. Dining can be a little inconsistent, but there are eateries within a short walk, as well as a lovely beach a five-minute drive from the hotel. All in all, it's a solid choice for mature couples who want total relaxation. Families or groups should look elsewhere, such as Clube Praia da Oura, a buzzy mid-range property on the beach, or the upscale Balaia Golf Village Resort, with six pools and a kids' club.

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Scene

Uber-relaxing, adult-only hotel set in pretty and peaceful gardens

A long, serene driveway lined with pretty trees and sculpted hedgerows leads up to the Falesia Hotel and sets the tone for this tranquil, adult-only property. The hotel occupies an imposing terra-cotta-colored building with white balconies and a mirrored panel at its center. Stepping inside, an office-building-like lobby with a ceiling skylight and mosaic-tile floor continues the calming vibe. The look is fairly dated, and while renovations in 2016 upgraded the style in guest rooms, public areas are still stuck in a previous decade. Expect to see lots of cream and oak tones, plus maroon fabrics and peach details -- in other words, it's still the '90s in some parts of the hotel. Thankfully, the lovely landscaped grounds do make a nice impression. Immaculately maintained lawns combine with finely tended tropical flora and pretty stone waterfalls that complete a scene of total relaxation. A child-free (over-16 only) environment certainly adds to the peacefulness, and clientele is mostly middle-aged couples and up, the majority of which are on a package deals from U.K. operators. While there's a gigantic outdoor pool, many guests set up their sun beds on the lawn within earshot of soothing waterfalls.

Location

Quiet and leafy neighborhood walking distance to dramatic Falesia Beach

The hotel is located in the sleepy, leafy, and largely residential area of Acoteias, about halfway between the busy Algarve resort towns of Vilamoura and Albufeira. There are still a handful of bars, restaurants, and local retail outlets a short stroll from the hotel. The long stretch of picturesque cliff-backed beach (Praia da Falesia) is around 20 minutes away on foot through the neighboring Pine Cliffs Resort. The walk, however, can be strenuous and the hotel runs a free beach shuttle four times daily. The drive takes about five minutes. The nightlife of Vilamoura and Albufeira are both around 15 minutes by car. Pine Cliffs Golf Course is a five-minute drive or 15-minute walk from the hotel, while Faro Airport is around 30 to 40 minutes' drive, depending on traffic.

Rooms

Smart contemporary rooms with free Wi-Fi and furnished balconies

The hotel has 169 rooms, all of which have been renovated in 2016 and feature casual, modern decor with natural wood floors, floral-print wallpaper, and simple modern furnishings. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit in 2015, they hadn't been overhauled yet. In their current state, they have palettes of beige and white with blue accents (or mustard with slate-gray in suites) -- it feels fresh and bright, providing a subtle hint as to the hotel's setting near some of Porutgal's nicest shores. Expect to see lots of light wood paneling and vibrant accent walls. 

In-room tech is fairly standard and includes flat-screen TVs (with some British channels), fast free Wi-Fi, and safes. There are charges for safes in some rooms. All rooms have coffee/tea facilities. Minibars are available, which can be used as mini-fridges for a fee. All rooms open to furnished balconies, some with pretty pine forest or garden views, while others overlook the neighboring hotel or car park. Junior Suites add bathrobes and slippers, plus free daily replenished water. Mosaic-tiled bathrooms are clean and contemporary, with walk-in rainfall showers and attractive square-shaped sinks. Toiletries and makeup mirrors are included. 

Features

So-so restaurant, large outdoor pool with swim-up bar, spa, and outdoor activities 

A decent hot and cold buffet breakfast is provided free of charge in the elegant O Lago restaurant, which extends to a sun terrace and is also open for lunch and dinner with show cooking. Not all guests have been happy with the quality of the food, though others rave about it. There are two bars, one featuring live evening performances, and a swim-up bar also serving ice cream. The outdoor pool is more than large enough to never feel crowded, and loungers are plentiful. A heated indoor pool is also available in the spa, which includes a whirlpool tub, sauna, and massage treatments. While most prefer to flop in the sun, daytime activities put on include lawn games and aerobics, and there's the nine-hole Pine Cliffs Golf Course just next door. The hotel also has a couple of outdoor tennis courts, and there's souvenir shop as well. Free shuttles run to the beach throughout the day, and iPads can be requested from the front desk. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, and parking is free as well.

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Address

Pinhal do Concelho, Praia da Falesia, Apartado 785, Albufeira 8200-593, Portugal

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