On the beach, and walking distance to central Alvor
Bright contemporary rooms with private balconies
Indoor and outdoor pools plus kids' pool
Beach bar, pool bar, and cocktail bar with live music
Kids' club and daily activities
Spa with sauna and Turkish bath
Indoor game room and outdoor sports
Restaurant with free breakfast buffet
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Pool bar and kids' club close in low season
Fee to use in-room safe
The Pestana Hotel Group has the market cornered on upscale hotels in Alvor, and the Dom Joao II is one of its most noteworthy properties. The 384 contemporary rooms are colorful and have private balconies, though not all have sea views. The hotel offers direct access to the great Tres Irmaos Beach and is within walking distance of restaurants and shops in Alvor. There's a lot here, from indoor and outdoor pools to a game room to outdoor activities, though some of the amenities are available only in the summer. Travelers looking to spread out should check out the Pestana Dom Joao Villas, which shares the same property; it's also worth comparing rates and features at the much newer Pestana Alvor South Beach next door.
Family-friendly beachfront hotel with sunbathing lawns
The Pestana Dom Joao II doesn't look like much from the road, but around the back its gardens and pristine sunbathing lawns paint a prettier picture. Cobbled stone paths pass under shade trees to the wide sandy beach, dotted with thatched umbrellas. Inside, the common areas are understated and dated, but bright and filled with comfortable wicker furniture. The hotel caters to families and couples of all ages with activities on and off the water. Groups of golfers are also especially common guests, booking time on the fairways at nearby courses owned by the chain.
The Pestana Dom Joao II is one of the top hotels in Alvor, falling just behind the more modern Pestana Alvor South Beach next door, which opened in 2015. The villa buildings are technically a separate property, Pestana Dom Joao Villas, but they shares the facilities here and feel like a part of the hotel.
On the beach, walking distance to dining and nightlife
The hotel is located right along the popular Tres Irmaos Beach (Three Brothers Beach), between two of the Pestana hotel chain's sister properties along with a few other upscale hotels and apartment buildings. Central Alvor is within a 15-minute walk, where guests can find riverfront seafood restaurants, shops, and nightlife that caters to tourists. The old fishing town also has historic attractions including Alvor Castle and the 16th-century Matriz Church. There's a bowling alley about a two-minute walk down the road, and several golf courses are in the area within a 20-minute drive (including Pestana's Alto Golf course). The Algarve region's largest town of Portimao is about a 17-minute drive away, while getting to Faro Airport takes closer to an hour by car.
Contemporary rooms with private balconies, most with sea views
Most of the hotel's 384 rooms and suites have sea views, though a number of them are only partial side views, and some face inland. All of them have small furnished balconies with high frosted-glass partitions for privacy. The decor has a bright, beachy vibe with pinstriped walls and colorful artwork. Rooms also have sitting areas with small couches, but real desks are absent in favor of built-in ledges with cube stools. The ledges are just big enough to accommodate small flat-screen TVs, phones, and hotel booklets. Mini-fridges and safes (fees apply) are tucked away in attractive cabinets. The bathrooms have colorful tile accents, bidets, and shower/tub combos with rainfall showerheads.
Direct beach access, indoor and outdoor pools, full spa, kids' club, seasonal bars, free breakfast
With a backyard spilling onto the beach, access to the sand is even easier here than at many of the other hotels along the coast. Rows of thatched umbrellas provide shade for the beach lounge chairs and there's an on-site dive center where guests can rent scuba gear. The outdoor pool is surrounded by a stone sundeck, and there's plenty more sunbathing space around the sprawling lawns. The full spa includes a small indoor pool, along with a steam room, a sauna, and a Turkish bath. There's also a fitness center with cardio machines and free weights, plus free aerobics classes. Kid-friendly amenities -- including the kids' pool, outdoor sand-filled sports court, game room with a pool table, and kids' club -- are conveniently clustered near each other. The kids' club has supervised activities and a daily entertainment program, but it's only open during the summer high season (June to September).
Ice cream and snacks are available at the beach bar, though like the kids' club and the poolside bar, it's only open seasonally. The main cocktail bar stays open throughout the year, with a small stage that hosts nightly live entertainment. The sole restaurant gets favorable reviews for its free breakfast buffet, but the a la carte lunches and dinners are less loved. There's also an Internet corner with a pair of computers at a shared desk, and a meeting room with capacity for 100 people. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
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