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Ondamar Aparthotel 2.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A 10-minute walk from Avenida Sa Carneiro bars
  • Oura Beach is a five-minute drive away
  • Large outdoor freeform pool and children's pool
  • Indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, and squash court
  • Portuguese restaurant and poolside bar
  • Spacious apartments with full kitchens, living areas, and balconies
  • Hotel runs a free shuttle to Oura Beach and Albufeira old town
  • Free Wi-Fi in public spaces

Cons

  • Rooms are dated, and some need renovation
  • Fee for Wi-Fi in apartments, plus deposits for safes and remote controls
  • Fee for breakfast
  • No kids' club
  • Poolside seating sometimes scarce

Bottom Line

Ondamar Aparthotel is a two-pearl hotel that's a five-minute drive from Oura Beach and a 10-minute walk from the Avenida Sa Carneiro strip of bars. Its 92 spacious, affordably priced apartments have a bland and dated look, and many need an overhaul to address worn or old furnishings. All come with full kitchens, living areas, dining areas, and balconies or terraces. There's a charge for Wi-Fi in rooms, but it's free in public spaces. Features are fairly good, and include a large freeform outdoor pool with poolside bar, children's pool, indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, game room, and Portuguese restaurant. Travelers preferring something more modern and closer to the beach should consider the Areias Villages Hotel-Apartamento instead, though rates will be a bit higher and its features are limited.

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Scene

Apartment-hotel with dated style but decent features, draws a mix of families and couples

The overall vibe here isn't exactly surprising for the region, and the Ondamar is aimed squarely at budget-seeking tourists who plan on spending most of their time lounging by pools and hitting up nearby bars. The well-tended grounds feature expansive lawns, manicured hedges, and palms and other trees. At one end of the property is a scenic garden with a pond and waterfall, though the centerpiece of the hotel is the large outdoor pool and children's pool. It's crowded with guests when the sun is out, and has a pleasant, lively atmosphere. However, interiors are a let down, as the hotel is rather dated and unattractive in both the public spaces and apartments. Many furnishings are old and colors aren't very vivid. The Ondamar draws quite a few families, but it has no kids' club, so it's not quite as good for families with children. While bachelor and bachelorette parties are drawn here due to the hotel's proximity to the nearby Avenida Sa Carneiro strip, it's not a raucous party hotel. The feel overall here is that of many properties in the area: a somewhat unexciting, basic apartment hotel near the beaches and bars. 

Location

A 10-minute walk from Avenida Sa Carneiro restaurants and bars, five-minute drive from Oura Beach

Ondamar Aparthotel is surrounded by other hotels, a 10-minute walk from the bustling Avenida Sa Carneiro and its numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs. Oura Beach is about a five-minute drive or 15-minute walk. The same goes for Inatel, Alemaes, and Aveiros Beaches. Albufeira's old town should take around 10 minutes to reach by car for those who need more boozy options. A tourist train runs to the old town, and a stop on the Avenida Sa Carneiro is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The hotel also offers a free thrice-daily shuttle to Oura Beach and old town Albufeira. Aquashow Park water park and Zoomarine Algarve with its dolphin shows are both a little over a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Albufeira's train station is a little a 10-minute drive and Faro Airport is a little over 30 minutes by car from the Ondamar. Expect a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Lisbon and its airport.

Rooms

Spacious, but dated, apartments with kitchens and living areas

The spacious studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments at Ondamar Aparthotel have a basic, dated look, with cheap, dorm-like furniture and largely bare walls. Colors like beige, tan, slate blue, and pale green don't do much to perk up the look, and everything from old patterned bedspreads to heavy curtains look held over from earlier decades. Units are clean, though some guests have complained of wear and tear. Beds aren't very comfortable, and some double beds are two singles pushed together. There are occasional issues with the air-conditioning units being loud or not functioning well. 

Each of the apartments features a living area, dining area, and full kitchen with oven, four-burner stovetop, mid-size fridge, toaster, electric kettles, microwave, dishwasher, cookware, and tableware. All 92 units also come with smart TVs (not shown in our photos), but guests are required to put down a hefty deposit for a remote control. Wi-Fi is only available for a fee in the rooms. Living areas include sofas that double as beds, and rooms sleep three or four people. All units have balconies terraces, some with pool views. Bathrooms are spacious, and all come with hairdryers, bidets, simple toiletries, and shower/tub combos. Daily housekeeping is provided.

Features

Large pool and children's pool, indoor pool and hot tub, and a Portuguese restaurant

The Ondamar offers a decent range of property facilities. A large, freeform-shaped outdoor pool and adjacent freeform children's pool is surrounded by a large deck with sun loungers. Like most area hotels, the deck can get crowded, and lounge chairs can get claimed early. The poolside bar has foosball and billiards tables and serves drinks and light fare. There's also a small, freeform indoor pool and hot tub. Other features include a squash court, small fitness center, and game room with billiards, foosball, and a video game. Unlike many other hotels in the area, the Ondamar has no kids' club. The hotel serves an ample breakfast buffet (for a fee) with a good range of hot and cold items, as well as traditional Portuguese fare for lunch and dinner. Room service is available. The lobby-level bar serves a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and features a daily happy hour. Live entertainment is limited -- a blessing to some guests. The hotel runs a free shuttle to Oura Beach and old town Albufeira for those seeking some action. Wi-Fi is free in public areas, and parking is also free. 

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Address

Rua Miguel Torga, Albufeira 8201-918, Portugal

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