“ Address: Cerro Alagoa / Apartado 2241 / 8200-917 Albufeira / Portugal / Rating: 4 Star „
Booked holiday through Airtours. Transfer from Faro airport was included and took about an hour as we had other hotel drop offs but if you get a taxi (not advisable as they are about 50 Euros) or pre book a transfer (much better at 25 Euros for the car - not per person) it takes about hald an hour on a good day - so much quicker. Could have taken longer than an hour for us if there had been more drops offs on the way but luckily there weren't and we were one of the first.
As we pulled up to the hotel we found it was close to lots of things - restaurants, bars, shops, etc. Check in was swift and organised - guy at front desk was very friendly. Hotel was great, rooms very spacious - we had a one bedroomed apartment for 3 people - two beds were in the living room so we took turns at one of us sleeping there, and there were two proper single beds in the bedroom. All the beds were comfy - even the one in the living room. As you walk into the room the bathroom is on your right hand side, you walk in through the bedroom which has shutters and a door through to the kitchen/living room - then onto the balcony. It was a little annoying walking through the bedroom when you entered the room as if one person wanted to come home early you'd end up waking them up. But if you're a family or a group of people that all go and come back at the same time its perfect really.
Kitchen was of a good standard, had everything you would need for a self catering holiday. And the rooms were clean - in the week we were there I think we had our bedding changed twice and the cleaners were in every day except for Sunday to make the beds and empty the bins etc. Our view was fantastic - overlooked the pool and you can see the sea also in the distance. Ask for a room on the front of the hotel not the back - otherwise the view may not be so good! Building work was apparently going on when we were there but we didn't hear a single thing! The rooms have a TV but no hairdryer although you can hire these from reception. You can also hire the safe in the room from reception - it was 10 Euros a week when I was there.
Hotel itself in a great location, 4-5 minute walk from the Strip (bars & restaurants) - but you can't hear any noise at night which is perfect really. As I said, the reception guy was extremely friendly and a good laugh! Pool was very nice and clean - there is a kids pool as well, and for a change plenty of loungers although of course people still put their towels on early to reserve them - they had a nice float in the pool!
Beach is a 5-7 minute walk, quickest route crossing the road and walking through CPO (Club Praia Da Oura)'s complex, and down onto the beach - this avoids the notorious Cardiac Hill, which is hell to walk UP - down isn't so bad but it's much easier to cut through CPO - just head towards the sea!
Only gripe with the hotel is that yes the rooms and standard of accommodation are definitely worthy of its 4 star status, but the bar, which was situated in reception (not in a separate bar area really) was tiny - with only 4 or 5 tables to sit on. And there wasn't really any entertainment.....so I didn't rate that particular part as a 4 star. But the rest of it is great - grounds of hotel are lovely and well kept - there is a beautiful water features with real turtles swimming around in reception too. There are a couple of shops just outside main reception which do drinks, supermarket food, lilos, etc all the usual stuff really - not too badly priced but if you walk down the road there is a cheaper supermarket - or get a cab to Modelos which is their equivilant of Sainburys really - much better.
We were 3 24 year old girls, and found there wasn't as many children in this complex, great for us, but maybe the time of year we went. We had a noisy neighbour (who were actually a family of five) but this was dealt with swiftly by reception.
All in all a great time to be had at Forte Da Oura I would stay again - perfect location, good rooms, and not too expensive either. Our flight package with Airtours (at the time which was 2006) cost us about £240 per person in early September which wasn't too bad at all!