Name of hotel
Crowne Plaza Vilamoura
Modern without being overly-trendy: low-key, neutral colours and plenty of open spaces, with wide, unfussy, well-lit public areas. Lots of natural light, with good use made of the outside spaces such as terraces, gardens and the pool. It also looks and smells brand new, having only opened in summer 2010.
Unthreatening - you don’t feel as if you are in a big hotel. In some ways it’s a blank canvas, and seems to be able to adapt freely between being a holiday and a business hotel. Reception, bar and restaurant staff are all very friendly, and it’s an easy place to find your way around.
323 rooms, comprising 116 Superior, 135 Deluxe, 8 Superior Suites, 9 Deluxe Suites, 54 Junior Suite Beach Front and 1 Infinity Suite. All the mod cons you would expect of a new hotel at this level, with sea views from the balconies.
The Cataplana Restaurant serves buffet breakfast, is the all-day dining facility and has an à la carte menu. There’s also al fresco dining, weather permitting.
The Caravela Bar & Lounge - bar-prop or find an easy chair. Drinks are also served out on the terrace in good weather.
What other facilities does the hotel have?
What could be improved?
A little more organisation on reception wouldn’t go amiss - the desk is often unmanned, which can be frustrating on check-in or check-out, or if you just want to ask a simple question during your stay.
Oddly-designed car park - you seem to have to drive around the houses to get out.
When to go?
It’s ideally located for the family holiday market, being within walking distance of the beach and the marina.
It also works well as a conference hotel in the shoulder seasons, with good meeting facilities, plenty of parking, an ample number of bedrooms, and in close proximity to other hotels (for larger conventions) and Vilamoura’s golf courses.
The hotel was formerly known as the Atlantis and the Vilamoura Beach Hotel. It has been rebranded as a Crowne Plaza (part of the same worldwide hotel group as Intercontinental and Holiday Inn) following an extensive remodelling and refurbishment.
More top-end four-star than the five-star rating it has been awarded - but that’s probably more a fault of the system, which tends to over-rely on a check-list of facilities, and also doesn’t have enough scope within it to distinguish between five-star and true five-star luxury.
Rua do Oceano Atlantico, Vilamoura - right on the beach, close to the Dom Pedro Golf Hotel and the Casino Vilamoura. Ample free parking.
Rooms from €95 depending on the season. See the website for further details and current promotions.