In the Lagos Marina development, a 10-minute walk to the beach
Plenty of tourist-friendly restaurants and bars just outside the hotel
Many rooms have excellent sunset views over marina and town
All apartments have full kitchens, sofa beds, and balconies
Large pool and shallow children's pool
Casual restaurant for all meals, plus a free breakfast buffet
Spa, indoor pool, and modern fitness room
Gift shop selling Marina Club branded items
Free parking in a private lot
Slips in the marina can be rented
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Some of the apartments are more dated than others
Beach towels aren't available
Fees for using the fitness room and indoor pool
Beds in studios are converted sofa beds
No entertainment or activities (a pro for some)
The Marina Club Lagos is a solid bet for families seeking a self-catering escape near Lagos' Meia Praia and a 15-minute walk to the old town. The 176 apartments range from contemporary to dated, and all include full kitchens, air-conditioning, and balconies. Sunset views over the marina and Lagos can be excellent. There's a large pool, and while pool towels are free, the hotel doesn't offer beach towels and there are fees to use the modern fitness room and indoor pool. The hotel has a casual cafe and a restaurant that serves a free hot-and-cold breakfast buffet pus lunch and dinner. For apartments that are a bit more stylish, the Belmar Spa & Resort has contemporary interiors near Praia Porto de Mos, though it's farther from downtown Lagos.
Mostly modern apart-hotel with a quiet spot on Lagos Marina
Part of the mixed residential-commercial development on the east side of the Lagos Marina, the Marina Club is a mostly modern apart-hotel that's a fine bet for families seeking a bit of quiet relaxation in the sun. The property feels very much like a condo development, and most guests stay here on self-catering plans, meaning that the social vibe is minimal and quiet. The tiny restaurant and simple cafe are the only indoor public areas, and neither scream "Party!" -- which is a major plus for most guests. Instead, the pool is a hive of activity throughout the day, with families and mature couples taking up the lounge chairs all around. It can get crowded in high season, though the atmosphere is never loud. Expect to see lots of travelers from the British Isles and Ireland, as well as German guests as well.
Right on Lagos Marina, a 10-minute walk to the beach
For travelers who prefer to spend vacations in tourist-friendly surrounds with familiar food and drink at hand, the hotel's spot on the east side of Lagos Marina is hard to beat. Neighbors include holiday apartments, permanent condo residences, and tourist-friendly restaurants, bars, and pubs -- many showing U.K. and Irish sports (and with menus to match). There's even a wax museum depicting major explorers throughout history that's a five-minute walk from the hotel. Meia Praia -- the closest beach -- is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the hotel. Those looking for a dose of historic Algarve charm can make the 15-minute walk across the drawbridge into Lagos' quaint and bustling old town, which is packed with restaurants, shops, and bars. Destinations farther afield include Praia Dona Ana -- a 10-minute drive from the hotel -- and the gorgeous clifftop vistas at Ponta da Piedade, which is between 10 and 15 minutes away by car. The closest airport is in Faro, an hour away, though many guests also travel from Lisbon, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the hotel.
Spacious apartments ranging from dated to contemporary, many with excellent sunset views
Lagos isn't short on hotels, and the apartments at Marina Club Lagos are (for the most part) a nice step up from the more dated apartment-style hotels in the area. That being said, while the majority are either pleasantly modern or contemporary, some have a slightly dated look. Apartments in Marina Club I fall into the latter category, and while they're inoffensive, the kitchen appliances are older and details like striped upholstery aren't as stylish. Apartments in the other two buildings include sleek metal-and-glass furniture, contemporary wicker seating, light wood-veneer surfaces, and even a few design-conscious, brightly colored chairs that amp up the style. Without a doubt, the sharp apartments in the color-themed Marina Club II are the nicest.
All include kitchens, which are modern (and sometimes separate) in the Suite-Hotel Marina Club and Marina Club II buildings. All include microwaves, coffeemakers, full-size refrigerators, and stovetops, though the appliances in Marina Club I apartments are older. The hotel can arrange to stock the kitchens for a fee. Other standard features include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, powerful air-conditioning, large closets with anti-slamming hardware, and sofa beds. In some studios, the sofa bed is used as the bed. Configurations range from Studio units to Three-Bedroom Apartments. Two- and Three-Bedroom Apartments include DVD players. Furnished balconies are a nice plus, and most rooms have excellent sunset views.
Bathrooms include upmarket Anne Semonin toiletries and shower/tub combos, some of which have rainfall showerheads. There's a notable lack of places to hang hand towels in the bathrooms. Bidets come standard as well.
Lively pool, cafe and restaurant, and a fitness room and spa
There aren't a ton of features at this hotel, which makes sense as most guests are independent-minded travelers. The most popular feature is the pool, which is large and has a shallow children's area nearby. It's ringed by umbrellas and lounge chairs, and there's a bar in high season. Of course, lounge chairs go fast in high season, though the atmosphere generally stays quiet and calm -- there are no activities or poolside entertainment. The hotel also has a spa that's popular with guests -- we saw plenty of people checking in during our 2016 visit -- and it's attached to an indoor pool, sauna, and modern fitness room. Unfortunately, there are fees to use the indoor pool, sauna, and the gym.
The hotel has a simple cafe for snacks, drinks, and coffee during the day, and there's a restaurant -- Way Point -- serving all three meals as well. It has a Portuguese wine list and Mediterranean food for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is free and the buffet includes a standard selection of hot, cold, and continental options. Dining can also happen out on the restaurant's terraces. Room service is available.
A gift shop sells branded items, including beach towels, which is helpful as the hotel doesn't provide those for free. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property and works well. Parking is free in a lot across the road from the lobby.
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