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Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa 3.0

Albufeira, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Within walking distance of beautiful Algarve beaches
  • Five-minute walk from numerous bars and restaurants
  • Contemporary rooms with decently equipped kitchenettes
  • Flat-screen TVs, dining tables, and outdoor spaces come standard
  • Large pool area with cushioned loungers under umbrellas
  • Poolside snack bar reportedly makes great cocktails 
  • Free covered and uncovered parking available on-site 
  • Spa houses a sauna, hot tub, heated pool, and steam room
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property

Cons

  • Have to pay to use spa facilities
  • Massages are only available upon request; no other treatments
  • No restaurant on-site beyond poolside snack bar
  • Proximity to the party district means that it can get loud at night 
  • Wi-Fi signal can be weak in some rooms

Bottom Line

The mid-range Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa's name is a bit misleading, as spa facilities are only available only at an extra charge, and services like facials aren't available (even massages are only available upon request). Still, the 130 rooms are contemporary, if generic, and come with AC, kitchenettes with microwaves and coffeemakers, and furnished outdoor spaces. There's no on-site restaurant, though a bar sells snacks and drinks. The property is close to beaches and a cheap taxi ride from the Old Town, but given the hotel's proximity to the main drag, it can be loud late at night. Those looking for seclusion should consider the more romantic, four-pearl Salgados Dunas Suites, though rates are higher. 

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Scene

The hotel doesn't live up to its name.

The Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa caters mostly to vacationing families and couples; although there are a few party hotels in the area, this isn't one of them. Although the hotel bills itself as an upscale spa property, decor, while mostly contemporary, is on the generic side. Plus, the spa facilities are only available at an extra charge and typical treatments like facials aren't available. Despite this, it's a decent self-catering place to put your head at night, providing easy access to area sights. The pleasant pool area is the standout here, and the vibe is generally relaxed. However, late-night noise from the nearby strip of bars can reach some rooms.

Location

Close to beaches and city's party street 

The hotel's location is its biggest selling point: it's located a 10- to 15-minute hilly walk from the Algarve's Santa Eulalia Beach and Oura Beach. It's also a five-minute walk from a supermarket, as well as the town's main drag, which is where most of the restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are found (Sizzling Stone restaurant is particularly popular. It's worth noting that this also means that the street noise at the hotel can be pretty loud late at night. The Old Town, which is a bit more quiet and charming, is a longer walk (about 25 minutes), or visitors can grab a taxi or tuk-tuk for a roughly 10-minute drive. Faro Airport is about 45 minutes away by taxi. 

Rooms

Contemporary rooms with basic kitchenettes

The hotel's 130 suite-style rooms each have their own small furnished balcony and decently equipped kitchenette. They're a bit on the plain and generic side, with neutral-tone walls, basic light-wood furniture, and either brown or silvery-blue accents in bed runners, drapes, and throw pillows. Some have more vibrant pops of fuchsia. Couches and dining tables come standard, as do air-conditioning, LCD TVs offering 20 satellite channels, and safes. The kitchenettes have microwaves, mini-fridges, stovetops, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and pots, and dishes, though some guests reported missing cookware. The kitchen spaces are narrow, however, and can be a tight squeeze. Bathrooms are well-sized, equipped with shower/tub combos, toiletries, and hairdryers. Note that some past guests have reported minor wear or maintenance issues. 

Features

Pleasant pool area, but it can fill up fast during peak season

Travelers attracted to this hotel for the spa moniker may be disappointed to learn that there's a fee to access its sauna, Turkish bath, hot tub, steam room, and indoor swimming pool with jets. Also on the downside, massages are only available upon request (there's only one massage room) and no other services are offered. The property centers around the large outdoor pool area, which has an unheated pool with a kiddy section. Cushioned loungers under umbrellas surround the pool, and an adjacent lawn (called a solarium on the website) has sunbeds and umbrellas as well. Unfortunately, they get snapped up a few minutes after the pool opens during peak season. Guests can borrow towels with a deposit. There's no full restaurant, but a poolside snack bar offers light meals and reportedly great cocktails. Wi-Fi is free (though weak in some rooms) and available throughout the property. Parking (both covered and uncovered) is available on-site for free. 

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Address

Estrada de Santa Eulalia, Albufeira 8200-269, Portugal

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