Unpretentious and relaxed. Traditional feel.
Informal and smart-casual dress set the tone. A general feeling of activity, whether from holidaymakers or golfers. You can relax by the pool with a drink, play golf or go to the private beach area.
Two types of standard rooms, designated Classic and Deluxe, and a series of suites - Junior, Deluxe, Atlantic, Ocean and Presidential. We stayed in an Atlantic Suite - very smart, unfussy and spacious, overlooking the pool and with sea views. The older rooms are due for refurbishment this year.
The main Primavera restaurant is located adjacent to the pool, and serves breakfast plus an evening buffet. There is also a grill room, the Dom Duarte.
Primavera serves a wide variety of daytime food to suit all tastes, and has an outside sitting area adjacent to the pool.
Breakfast is a very comprehensive buffet, mixing Continental and English.
What & where to drink?
The main restaurant serves drinks to pool users.
A dedicated bar, the San Lorenzo, is open from mid-afternoon until late. Simple dress code (no shorts etc) applies to this bar, which also has a large TV showing sports. It's a popular 19th hole for golfers.
Adjacent to the bar is a relaxing lounge area (with a pool table in a nearby room). Complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are served here in the early evening.
There are a number of other quiet sitting areas dotted around the hotel for a relaxing drink.
Why do you like the hotel?
The warm welcome and the range of facilities are appealing. A large part of the focus is on golfers, but the hotel is equally suitable for relaxing by the pool or beach. It's not a 'cool' or 'trendy' hotel by any means, but is ideal for family groups, especially those spanning the ages, as everybody will feel comfortable here.
What other facilities does the hotel have?
Golf - one of the best courses in the Algarve is right next door.
There's also a pool with an adjacent children's pool, a children's club, tennis courts, a hairdresser and beauty salon, and separate business centre and conference facilities.
What could be improved?
The public areas are currently going through an ongoing refurbishment. The majority of the bedrooms are also due for a makeover, scheduled for winter 2013-14. At the moment, parts of the hotel can look a little old-fashioned.
When to go?
Great for golfers, and seems to work for other groups, as well as individual visitors. Certainly an all-year-round hotel. There's no sense of it winding down outside of the summer season, as is the case with many hotels.
A short stagger, or a quick taxi ride, from Vale do Lobo makes it an ideal place to stay overnight if you are there for a late function.
Go expecting four-star comfort rather than five-star luxury and you won't be disappointed.
154 rooms and suites
Within the Vale do Lobo resort, within walking distance of the main restaurants in the Praca.
Lots of offers and packages, particularly for golfers. Check the website for full details.