beautiful location, can't get any better! Waking up to the sea was a treat every morning. cocktail bar was great, awesome bartender. Very clean hotel. Only negative is that reception staff were not always welcoming but this did not take away from a beautiful place to stay
My Husband and I stayed here for a week half board in July. I had read all the Trip Advisor reviews before I booked this hotel so I knew that it was in need of some updating but as the location was literally on the beach I booked this anyway but when we arrived and entered the hotel and seeing it in the flesh, it was still a bit of a shock!
Reception was old and tired but the lady on the desk was friendly and smiley and explained everything to us and also gave us our key, YES key to our room, it had the biggest keyring I have ever seen attached to it, so whilst we were there we took this off as I couldn’t get this in my bag. We had to go up about 6 steps to get to the floor where the lifts were and the bar was, if you do have mobility problems this may be an issue for you as we didn’t have any help with our cases from staff but I am sure if you asked they would oblige. Reception is on floor 5 so too is the restaurant for breakfast and dinner and the bar area so all the rooms were on the lower floors but are facing the beach. We stayed in room 108 which was the bottom floor for the rooms.
On entering the room we were a little disappointment for sure as it was VERY basic but as the days went on it didn’t seem so bad. It was very clean though with lots of cupboard space, old air con unit but it worked a treat, TV, phone although this was very old but we didn’t use it anyway, no tea coffee making facilities but I knew this so i took my travel kettle and drinks. There was also a fridge, again very old which was inside the cupboard and it got very hot at times so it didn’t really keep our drinks that cold only cool. The balcony was spacious, the table and chairs were old but served their purpose but we couldn’t fault the views! The long stretch of beach and the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean was lovely to see after travelling for many hours. We couldn’t believe that we were going to wake up listening to the waves from the sea for next 6 days. It was fantastic!
Housekeepers come in daily to make the beds, empty the bins and replenish supplies. The bathroom was clean, with fully tiled walls and floor, it had a bath with shower over although the shower was not as powerful as it should have been, it just dribbled out but the water was hot if you wanted it hot. Clean towels too.
The beds are twin so if you are a couple you have to push them together. The mattresses were very hard though, I found it difficult to sleep on them and my husband had to ask for an extra pillow as there were only 3 in there. The rooms get very stuffy at night because as the hotel is on beach front is does get very noisy at night so you can’t leave the patio doors open and the air con is rather load too.
There is a beach bar that is open all day for breakfast, lunches and drinks in the evening so you can hear people until gone 1am. Plus we had a few nights over the weekend where we were woken up at 4 and 5 in the morning from people having beach parties, loud music and shouting. The people who came back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning were also not very considerate, talking loudly and shouting through the corridors as they walked to their rooms at 3am. So all in all we didn’t sleep at all well during our stay.
The dining area in the hotel was also a little tired but the tables and table cloths were presented well and very clean and the staff were friendly and obliging, you do get a good panoramic view of the beach though and there is an outside balcony if you like a smoke with seating and ash trays . The food was buffet style for both breakfast and dinner and I can’t fault any of it to be honest, some reviews said that there was not much choice or the food was horrible but both my husband and I found something we enjoyed at every meal. You do have to pay for the drinks at your evening meal as you do in a lot of places. They also have a pool table which we used one evening; you get the balls and cues from the guy at the bar when he is there. This is near the dining hall. You pay at the end of your session so it’s up to you how long you play for.
The hotel does an indoor pool only a small one; we didn’t use this as the beach is about 1 minute away. We saw a family use this but you are overlooked by everyone who is walking around outside and who are sat at the sun set beach bar outside the hotel near the beach. Not much in there apart from a few chairs, this is accessible via the door at the beach bar which I find very bazaar.
The hotel is central to everything though. Great location, there was a door on the ground floor that lead you to the beach, the outdoor bar area, ice cream parlour and few others places, to get back in you used the code given to you by reception so the security was good. There is a tunnel to the right of exiting the hotel on the ground floor, it was lit up at night and this took you to the shops and bars and also leads you to the main square. It was lovely to see the old cobbled streets with the little shops. There was also a small supermarket is case you need water or other drinks, for you room at very reasonable prices seeing as it is the Algarve.
All in all we did enjoy our stay apart from the lack of sleep but I would recommend this hotel just for the location and the views, it was a great base for all the things you can do in Albufeira old town.
Just back from a fantastic 2 weeks in Albuferia Portugal. We stayed in the Hotel Sol E Mar.
Our stay in the Sol E Mar was nothing short of being fantastic and I would like to take the opportunity to share our experiences while there.
as nearly 100% of previous customers stated you will NOT find a better location than this, right on the beach and within 100 meters of the old town. We also noted a point that I had not seen in any previous comments about the Hotel. When you go into the old town the amount of entertainment and our immediate reaction is how loud it was and consequently we were worried about the noise going on all night and would prevent us from sleeping. Well let me assure you because of the Hotels position built into the side of the cliff and the rooms being down from the top floor reception even with the Balcony doors open at 1-00am you could not hear the music. The only noise to be heard was the lapping of the waves, which disappeared when the balcony doors were closed, (but oh boy wasn’t that a beautiful sound to waken to in the morning)
The Hotel Itself;
I cannot understand some of the comments where people complained about the food, yes you may get larger 4* Hotels with a bigger variety of food. But overall the standard of the food was very good, and we were Half/Board. The rooms were very large and again we read that the beds were very uncomfortable so before we went I contacted the hotel who informed me that bed toppers were available if required. When we arrived we did not ask for them until we tried the bed the first night. For the whole 2 weeks we both slept like a log and no toppers were required. The beds suited us but remember ask for bed toppers if you need them, and don’t wait until you come home and then complain, ask at reception and the will be very happy to help .again we seen a number of complaints about the condition of the rooms, well all we can judge it by was our room which was immaculate, no grimy tiles or no rusty or damaged bath and to support this I will either attach a video of our room at the end of this report or put in on Youtube. Entertainment why is people complaining when you can fall out the front door and within meters you can get Karaoke Bars, Country and Western, Rock Bars and also ones that I call, Head Bangers Bars. In the Hotel you have Piano music and downstairs you have a terrific Guitarist. Does people expect a hotel to cover everyone’s taste in music? So the choice is yours get up and get out and find what suits you.
to us this is one if not the most important parts of your Holiday package and again as most people have already stated they were No 1 from the Reception staff, the night security, the Bar Staff, the Maids, and the Restaurant Staff. The Chefs even took time to come out from their busy kitchen and greet you as well.
have we any complaints YES we were only there for 2 weeks. Would we go back (try stopping us). Top marks to the Hotel top marks for the Beach and a big thumbs up to Albufera. Hotel Sol E Mar – we hope to see you soon.
Had a great time here. You really can't beat the location. Right on the beach, even better all rooms overlook the sea and beach. Also right next to the old town where you can reach by going to the ground floor then through the tunnel. Or down a few steps through the reception. The hotel as many have pointed out needs a bit of tlc especially in the bathrooms and dining area but a planned refurbishment should improve these areas and the rest of the hotel. The food is ok in general a good choice of salads & we always found something to enjoy. Remember it's a buffet type not a 5star restaurant where the food is made to order. Breakfast same as many other type hotels. Can't anyone make decent bacon the bar area a little disappointing. Very under used just seemed to have a man playing the piano maybe an improvement here wouldn't go a miss. The staff are really friendly and helpful. The reception always available with help,advice on how to get around from finding the bus station to which buses to get. Even though the hotel is on a narrow street our tour operator provide a mini bus right to the door.it also takes a bit of getting used to the reception is on floor 5 (the top floor) then all rooms below that we stayed on 3rd floor no problem no real noise from the restaurant/ bar below.
We would definitely stay again looking forward to the refurbishment which will make this an outstanding place.
We were very disappointed with this hotel for a few reasons. The hotel advertises a pool however it's really an indoor room with no place to sit around it. It is totally closed in and no one uses it in summer. Don't expect to use it. Our room although they said was non smoking stank of smoke. They did try to spray it with freshener. The room was spacious but expect budget furnishings. The beach is beautiful from far but terrible close up. The sand is coarse and covered with cigarette buts and bottle tops. I didn't want to sit on it at all so we went to other beaches every day. I wouldn't choose this hotel or Albufiera as there are so many more beautiful places on the Algarve. The only positive were the staff at reception who were very helpful. If you are on a tight budget and expect 2/3 star accommodation then this is ok. You also get a hot breakfast which was fine.