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Real Bellavista Hotel & Spa 3.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet neighborhood between Albufeira's Old Town and nightlife of "The Strip"
  • Rooms have flat-screen TVs, sofa beds, and furnished balconies or terraces
  • Two outdoor pools, plus splash pools and a poolside bar
  • Two restaurants and bars; decent buffet breakfast included in room rates
  • Spa with heated pool, sauna and steam rooms, and whirlpool tub
  • Splash pool, mini-club, game room, and playground for kids
  • Fitness center and squash court
  • Meeting rooms and business center
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Free transport to Old Town, the beach, and "the Strip"
  • Bed-and-breakfast, half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive available
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Wi-Fi can be patchy
  • Little in immediate surrounds
  • Dining quality inconsistent
  • No sea views; 20-minute walk to beach
  • Extra charge for in-room safes

Bottom Line

The 195-room Real Bellavista Hotel & Spa is a mid-range property located in a peaceful residential neighborhood in the popular resort town of Albufeira. While there's little in the immediate vicinity, a free shuttle service ferries guests to Old Town, the beach, and the lively nightlife of "The Strip." Renovations throughout 2016 and 2017 updated all of the rooms (which are equipped with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and furnished balconies or terraces) and the main restaurant/bar (where free buffet breakfast is served), and added a new restaurant and outdoor pool area. The hotel's spa is a highlight and there's plenty for kids to do, but to avoid possible noisy groups consider paying a little more at the Porto Bay Falesia.

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Scene

Traditional mid-range hotel, popular with groups, with updated rooms and common areas

Built in 2002, Real Bellavista Hotel & Spa has typical mid-range hotel architecture for this region, with block-like or curving balconies and huge rooftop signage. Stepping inside, interiors are also in line with what you'd find at any number of three-pearl hotels in the area: there are polished tile floors, potted plants, heavy and mismatching furnishings, and a table of brochures for tours and attractions. The outside layout has a small (sometimes crowded) sun terrace with a swimming pool, splash pool, and pool bar, and a large quiet garden at the rear of the property, where two additional small pools were built in 2017 to address the fact that the main pool area was constantly busy. These additions were part of renovations that took place between 2016 and 2017 and updated many common areas (including the main restaurant and bar) and all 195 rooms, and also added a second restaurant.

Clientele consist of the usual mixture of vacationing couples and families with kids, while also attracting plenty of group bookings (including golfing and bachelor/bachelorette parties). Many past guests report that the particularly friendly and efficient staff are a real highlight. 

Location

Set in quiet residential neighborhood, a short drive from beaches

The hotel is located in a fairly quiet and residential neighborhood of Albufeira, with not much in the way of bars and restaurants in the immediate surrounds -- though there are a few within walking distance. Lively nightlife at the famous "Strip" of bars and clubs is about a 15- to 20-minute walk away, and it's around the same distance to Albufeira's more serene Old Town (with a steep walk back up). The hotel runs a free shuttle bus to both areas throughout the day, as well as to its sister hotel -- the Grande Real Santa Eulalia -- which is by the beach. The popular Praia do Inatel is a five-minute drive or about a 20-minute walk away. Faro Airport is around a 30- to 40-minute drive from the hotel. 

Rooms

Straightforward rooms, renovated in 2016, with balconies and mini-fridges

Throughout 2016, the hotel updated the floors, furnishings, and decor in its 195 rooms. Drab wall-to-wall carpeting was replaced with sleek wood-finish flooring, floral-print drapes were replaced with sheer curtains, and striped bed linens were replaced with simple white bedding with blue-tile accent pillows. All rooms have sliding glass doors that open to furnished terraces or balconies -- most overlook the garden, though some directly overlook the road and none have sea views. Amenities include deep red sofa beds (with blue-tile accent cushions), air-conditioning, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, safes (for an extra fee), and free Wi-Fi -- though reports suggest reception can be poor for both. Generic bathrooms have shower/tub combos, wall-mounted hairdryers, and soap dispensers. Bathrobes are provided in higher-tier rooms.

Features

Impressive spa facilities, plenty for younger guests, restaurant, and poolside bar

The hotel's main pool is certainly one of the smaller ones you'll find in the area, and the terrace around it (which includes a seasonal pool bar serving drinks and light snacks) can get crowded. To respond to this issue, the hotel added a second outdoor pool in the rear garden in 2017. Both the main pool and garden pool have adjacent splash pools. The spa area features a heated indoor pool and a large whirlpool tub, as well as sauna and steam rooms, a well-equipped gym, and massage treatments. Children of most ages are well-catered for, thanks to splash pools by both outdoor pools, a playground, a kids' club (for ages 4 and older), and a game room with billiards and table tennis. For business travelers, there are meeting rooms and a business center.

A decent buffet breakfast of hot and cold items is served in Real Cozinha restaurant, which overlooks the pool area. All rates include breakfast (bed-and-breakfast, half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive are available), and the all-inclusive option also covers snacks, lunch, and dinner -- though reports suggest the food can be repetitive and quality is sometimes poor. In 2017, the hotel also introduced another dining option, Bellavista Restaurant, which is open seasonally for weeknight dinners. Bellavista Bar provides evening entertainment.

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Address

Av. Do Estadio, Albufeira 8200-127, Portugal