Overbooking can be an issue; some guests will get moved to sister property
Charge for in-room Wi-Fi and safes
Noisy partiers can be an issue
Fee to use spa facilities and gym
Fees for towels and chairs at the beach
Worn loungers and umbrellas around the pool
Property slopes down to beach; expect some uphill walking
No elevator access to some rooms
Only one bar at any given time (pool bar during day, Sky Bar at night)
The Oura-View Beach Club is billed as a five-star property, but in reality it's an upper-middle-range resort complex overlooking the sea, with direct access to the popular Praia da Oura beach and a location a short walk from the strip. The 177 apartment-style rooms all feature well-equipped kitchenettes, dining and living areas, and terraces, though they're in need of renovation and housekeeping isn't every day. The outdoor pool is lovely, with ocean views, waterslides, and a splash pool. Fees for in-room Wi-Fi and access to spa facilities leave guests feeling nickel-and-dimed, however, especially those on all-inclusive rates. The hotel is very family-friendly, with a popular kids' club, but noisy partiers can sometimes be an issue. Due to overbooking issues, some guests get moved to sister property Clube Praia da Oura, which is larger and busier, with a kids' club and more in the way of evening entertainment.
Beachfront apartment complex with all-inclusive option and Atlantic views
Depending on which side you arrive from, guests first see either the long stretch of apartments blocks that makes up the majority of Oura-View Beach Club, or the top three floors of one of these blocks from higher up on the cliff. Inside, the decor is bright and fresh, with Moorish-style patterned tile flooring combining with crisp whitewashed walls and swirling metallic artworks. The extensive property slopes down toward a well-tended garden of manicured lawns lined with mature palm trees and various sub-tropical plants. The hub of the complex is a large two-tiered swimming pool surrounded by a tiled sundeck that overlooks a lovely stretch of sandy beach and the Atlantic beyond. This optional all-inclusive hotel is most popular with families and couples, though reports suggest it is also gaining popularity with stag and hen (bachelor and bachelorette) parties (that can get a little noisy). Those who aren't time-share owners can expect to pay extra for just about everything, from in-room Wi-Fi to use of the gym. For free Wi-Fi and no noisy groups check out the Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa -- though it's not beachfront.
Overlooking Praia da Oura beach and a five-minute walk from "the strip"
The hotel is set into the cliff overlooking the popular Praia da Oura beach in the Oura resort village just east of Albufeira. The hotel has direct beach access via a gate by the pool, though guests should expect a lot of stairs or ramps on the way to the pool and beach. It's also a five- minute walk from "the strip," the super-lively nightlife hub brimming with bars, restaurants, and nightclubs (take the elevator to the sixth floor to avoid the hill). There are also a few restaurants along the beach, while the pretty cobbled streets of Albufeira's Old Town (and more dining options) are around a 10-minute drive. The bus station is also 10 minutes away, while the train station can be reached in about 15 minutes by car. Faro Airport is around a 40-minute drive.
Studios and apartments with fully equipped kitchenettes and spacious balconies
The complex has 177 studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, most of which are finished in a nautical style, with a blue and white color scheme, tile floors, bamboo and wood furnishings, and striped fabrics. All come with kitchenettes with electric hobs, fridge-freezers, microwaves, and even dishwashers, as well as lounge and dining areas. Other amenities include in-room Wi-Fi (for a fee) and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. The views are a highlight; most of the rooms have terrific sea views, which are among the best in the area, thanks to the hotel's hilltop vantage point. Balconies or terraces are furnished with sun loungers. Bathrooms feature traditional Portuguese tiling, shower/tub combos, and wall-mounted hairdryers.
The standard Super Rooms are quite basic, with the most dated decor. The two-bedroom Penthouse Suites have been more recently renovated and feature a colorful mix of modern art, funky furnishings, and glittering metallic accents. The Superior Rooms sleep two, while the one-bedroom options sleep four and the two-bedroom options sleep six.
Many of the rooms are showing wear, and housekeeping is only every other day.
Two-tier swimming pool with waterslides and ocean views, plus a la carte and buffet-style restaurants
The hotel's two-level outdoor pool is a highlight, with beautiful ocean views, waterslides, and a splash pool for kids. There are umbrellas and loungers, though they can fill up during peak times and some are showing signs of age. A spa offers a large indoor pool, sauna, whirlpool tubs, and massage treatments, though access incurs a fee (even on all-inclusive plans). There is also a small, dated gym.
The main eatery is the bright and spacious Aqua Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet-style and opens to a terrace overlooking the pool and sea. Breakfast is a decent spread of hot and cold dishes including cooked-to-order eggs, though it is not always included in the rate. The contemporary-style Sky Bar & Restaurant provides an a la carte menu, cocktail list, and evening entertainment, plus an alfresco terrace. The entertainment is usually a singer, though there are sometimes activities such as bingo or quiz night.
There's a bouncy castle for kids in peak season, and organized activities, though for a full kids' club, consider the Clube Praia da Oura.
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