Guests report not enough pool loungers during high season
Restaurant requires reservations
Not directly on the water
Vale d'Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is an upscale resort set on well-manicured grounds with a backdrop of hills and two popular golf courses. Its 104 contemporary rooms have a red-and-white color scheme and include spacious townhouses with fully equipped kitchens. The restaurant serves delicious meals made with ingredients from the hotel's organic garden, and there's a small wine and tapas bar. Other features include a health club with a heated indoor pool, small gym, and free group fitness classes. There are two outdoor pools with sunbathing areas, plus a kids' pool and club. The property is a favorite among both families and couples, though it's fairly expensive for not being on the water. The Suites Alba Resort & Spa has steps leading down to the beach, though these can be tricky to navigate for some guests.
Relaxing property with well-manicured lawns, Moorish architecture, and residence vibe
The Vale d'Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is equally popular amongst families and couples, and has the look and feel of a residence complex. The Moorish-style buildings are full of arches, columns, and courtyards, while grounds have a stately California-desert look -- well-manicured green grass is dotted with tall palm trees, fountains, and rock gardens. Decorative brick-tile paths cut through the landscaping, leading to concrete benches or meandering around the acreage. The grassy spaces are large enough to kick around a ball or throw down a towel, though most sunbathing happens at the small pool area. Open-air courtyards feature Portuguese tiles hand-painted by local artists to reflect the desert motif, in warm hues of orange, yellow, and cream. Inside, the modern lobby features polished tile floors and bleach-white walls, plus welcome pops of color in blood-red seating. Overall, the vibe at the resort is relaxing and upscale, but not up to its advertised five-star status.
Centrally located property with its back against the Monchique hills and two golf courses
Vale d'Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is about a 45-minute drive northwest from Faro Airport. Though this hotel is not located on the beach, it's a popular spot for golf lovers. The Gramacho Golf Course is a 10-minute walk, while Vale Da Pinta Golf Course is a 10-minute drive, and both are among Europe's best courses. The tourist center of Carvoeiro is around a 10-minute drive away, and is a top spot for dining, shopping, and local entertainment. About 10 minutes' drive in the opposite direction is the charming fishing village of Ferragudo, with outdoor cafes and music bars. Several beaches are also within a 10- to 15-minute drive of the hotel, including Praia da Cama da Vaca and Praia do Vale da Lapa.
Contemporary rooms with minibars and small flat-screen TVs, some with kitchens
The Vale d'Oliveiras has 104 rooms outfitted in a contemporary style with abundant wood in both light and dark shades, tile floors, and beachy elements such as framed twigs and striped fabrics. Rooms range from hotel-style rooms and suites, to apartment-style Townhouses. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, safes, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Units have bathrooms with shower/tub combos and Azzaro toiletries, plus waffle-style robes and slippers. Standard Rooms have work desks, while Superior Rooms add extra seating space. Thoughtful extras include welcome fruit and turndown service with chocolates.
The 80 Townhouse units have one or two bedrooms, the latter with pool or garden views. These units offer full kitchens stocked with nearly every utensil and device -- even juicers and dishwashers. One Bedroom Townhouses are on the ground floor and have direct garden access, as well as covered, furnished patios. The Two Bedroom Townhouses also have their own private garden.
All the standard resort features, including two pools, a spa, and kids' club
The hotel has all the features you would expect from an upscale resort property. However, though the pool area is relaxing and includes a kids' pool, it's fairly small for the size of the property and many guests have reported that there aren't enough chairs. Still, the wooden deck is lined with chic cushioned loungers and umbrellas, in addition to a large grassy area with loungers just off the pool area.
Like the pool area, the gym is somewhat small, but it offers a diverse selection of modern machines, weights, exercise balls, and free group classes, inclusive of TRX, Pilates, and water aerobics. Also part of the hotel's health center is a whirlpool, sauna, heated indoor pool, and a host of sports facilities such as tennis, multipurpose courts, darts, and bike rentals. The resort's Lisvaya Spa has a steam room, several treatment rooms for massages or scrubs, a relaxation room, and a beauty salon.
Kids can expend energy through activities, crafts, and games over at the free kids' club. This space features a large, fenced-in playground area, as well as an indoor activity center with games, toys, and crafts. The hotel also has free Wi-Fi and free parking. There are also a 24-hour business center and five meeting spaces available, including the Lugano Meeting Room for up to 150 people.
Stellar restaurant using ingredients from organic garden
A standout feature of the hotel is The Olive Tree Restaurant, which serves Mediterranean cuisine in a casual but stylish atmosphere. Ingredients are sourced from the hotel's own garden, and there's a well-reviewed free breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets. Guests find the quality and value of this restaurant superb, often choosing to eat here repeatedly instead of exploring spots in Carvoeiro or self-catering in their Townhouses. Reservations are needed for dinner. Those who do want to cook at home can pick up a few basics at the conservatively stocked on-site mini-market. There are regular tours of the organic garden, as well as activities such as educational visits for children.
There's also a small tapas bar that serves wine and has a popular happy hour in an upscale, contemporary environment. The Jasmin Pool Bar is open from March through October.
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