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Vila Bela details

In Albufeira’s old town, this authentic Portuguese pension comes with a side-order of sea views.

Vila Bela Residencial means ‘pretty villa’ in Portuguese and it couldn’t be more apt. It’s one of the oldest hotels in Albufeira and it’s about as authentic as they come. You get your first hint to what lies inside as you make your way to reception - stone steps hemmed by blue and white-tiled walls lead the way up to the whitewashed guesthouse.

Indoors, it’s equally rustic. The reception, with its terracotta floor tiles and exposed stone, is typically Portuguese, and the creepers that weave across the ceiling give it a real outdoorsy feel. And the bar is a something of an Albufeiran vintage, too. It’s reputed to be one of the longest running drinking dens in town, and while it’s a bit basic by modern standards it’s still a great spot for a nightcap.

The bedrooms are split across two wings, one slightly newer than the other. As such, they either come with original parquet floors or terracotta tiles. Most come with a feature wall decorated with azulejo tiles. And a balcony or terrace completes the simple set-up.

The real talking point here though is the rooftop swimming pool. It’s fairly small, but more than adequate for the number of rooms, and its lofty perch gives it grandstand views of the coast. Better still, the hotel is a grown ups-only zone so it’s a really peaceful spot.

In terms of where you’ll find it, it’s set on a hill in Albufeira’s old quarter, surrounded by Moorish-style fishermens’ cottages. The town’s famous sands, old town centre and the new marina are all less than a 15-minute walk away, and it’s downhill all the way. It takes a bit of legwork to get back up, but you can always order a taxi instead.

Location
• Hilltop setting • 50m to the nearest café • 350m to the beach • 350m to the resort centre with its shops, bars and restaurants • Local market on the first and third Tuesdays of the month

Transfer time
1 hour 45 minutes

Swimming pool
• Rooftop swimming pool • Sunbeds

Meals
• Continental breakfast

Entertainment
• Popular Javali bar, one of the oldest in town, with satellite TV

There is a number of steps within the hotel complex so it may not be suitable for the elderly or those with walking difficulties

Bookings for under 16s will not be accepted at this hotel

Room facilities
Standard rooms have 2 beds with a balcony or terrace. Single rooms without a balcony or terrace are available.

Rooms:
40

Lifts:
None

Official rating:
3 Star Residencia

Extra Local Charges
Some facilities may incur extra local charges, please see the A-Z Guide

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