Whether you want to get active, learn a new skill or simply hit the beach, there’s a hotel for everyone in Portugal's Algarve region. We've sussed out the area's best affordable options that won't break the bank.
From luxury resorts to independent stays, we explore the best budget-friendly hotels in the Algarve for every traveller.
1. For sports fans: The Magnolia Hotel
The vibe: If you like to combine your downtime with exercise, look no further than The Magnolia near the golf resort of Quinta do Lago. A 20-minute drive from Faro airport, this Palm Springs-style bolthole caters for all fitness levels offering everything from gentle cycling to training with top athletes.
The Magnolia Hotel/booking.com
The hotel has brand new facilities including a gym, spa and tennis court. You can join classes such as spin, yoga and tennis or make use of complimentary bikes on a self-guided two-wheeled tour of the neighbourhood.
Any extras? Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s free transfers to The Campus – the Algarve’s high-tech sports and wellness facility, where you can try your hand at padel, a hybrid between squash and tennis.
This multi-sports arena is where athletes including the England football team come to train so you might just bump into heroes like Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll, Judy Murray or Rio Ferdinand.
But it's not all hard work – a guided mountain-biking tour to see the Ria Formosa Natural Park, where you'll see impressive birds such as colourful purple swamp hens, is as relaxing as it gets.
When you need some refreshment The Campus is also home to Dano’s, a new sports bar and restaurant that serves a delicious braised ox cheek, best sampled with a pint of Guinness.
The details: Prices at The Magnolia start from £92 per room per night.
READ MORE: Explore the best of Faro with our guide
2. For learning new skills: Casa de Mondo, Boliqueime
The vibe: Tucked away in the hills beyond Boliqueime, Casa de Mondo is a family-run guesthouse that's all about getting creative. Owners Mondo and Harriet Pena run both five-day residential courses and one-day courses in cooking, writing, art and horse riding with specialist teachers. Bedrooms are individually designed with features including stone floors and hand-painted furniture.
Casa de Mondo/booking.com
Any extras? Plan your stay to coincide with one of their fun themed parties. Whether they're celebrating Cinco de Mayo or Mardi Gras, you’re guaranteed a good time in a magical setting with tasteful decor, twinkling lights and great food.
The details: Prices at the Casa de Mondo start from £52 per room per night.
3. For food and drink: Anantara Vilamoura
The vibe: Overlooking a golf course this hotel is near the marina town of Vilamoura (main picture) with its glittering yachts and bustling nightlife too.
But the highlight is the hotel’s Emo restaurant, which featured in the top 100 in the world at the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards in 2019.
Whether you opt for coffee-cured duck breast with pear and hazelnut or steamed sea bass and seaweed, sommelier Tiago Samarro will find the perfect wine to compliment your meal from the cellar of 350 bottles, including those from highly regarded Portuguese wineries such as Luis Pato.
Any extras? Other perks include the hotel’s beautifully decorated suites, a tuk-tuk on hand for local tours and several glamorous pools. For keen golfers, the resort also has direct access to the prestigious Victoria Golf Course where the Portugal Masters takes place every year.
The details: Prices at the Anantara Vilamoura start at £108 per room per night.
4. For families: Tivoli Carvoeiro
The vibe: Travelling with kids? Check out the Tivoli Carvoeiro that earned the ‘Best for families’ title by Condé Nast Johansens UK and Europe Awards in 2019. Following a full refurbishment the hotel has three grades of room designed specifically for families with space for two adults and two children. Kids from aged four to 12 can join indoor and outdoor activities as part of the supervised kids' programme too.
Any extras? You'll struggle to find a more charming spot in the Algarve than this. Bigger kids should venture out to the seaside and make the most of the dolphin watching tours, exploring the Benagil Caves and scenic cliff-top hikes nearby. Plus the resort is a short drive away from Zoomarine, a water theme park and aquarium.
The details: Prices at the Tivoli Carvoeiro start from £92 per room per night.
5. For a luxury spa: Conrad Algarve
The vibe: The Algarve is surprisingly low on large hotels with top-notch spas but you can always rely on the Conrad Hilton for the perfect luxury stay with added pampering.
The treatment menu features body treatments from high-end brand Aromatherapy Associates, facials from Intraceuticals and a choice of Shiatsu, Swedish and Ayurvedic massages.
Indulge in the VIP couple’s spa suite or chill out in the outdoor private cabanas that overlook& the pool. Excellent extras include an ice fountain for hydro-thermal therapy, a manicure and pedicure salon and experience showers.
Any extras? Deluxe rooms come equipped with a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a Nespresso coffee machine and a grand marble bathroom plus rain shower.
The details: Prices at the Conrad Algarve start from £128 per room per night.
6. For a country retreat: Casa Porta Azul
The vibe? Positioned in the hills outside Faro, this 19th-century farmhouse has been converted by a Dutch couple with impeccable taste. Casa Porta Azul's sub-tropical gardens are teeming with exotic flora while rooms are simple yet chic with a private terrace for views of the surrounding countryside. If you fancy a swim, there's a heated pool and hot tub to unwind in. Plus there's the option to self-cater too in one of the three apartments.
Casa Porta Azul/Facebook
Any extras? Plenty of nooks and crannies in the garden make for opportunities to relax, read in the shade and share a drink with other guests. But it's Sylvia’s delicious home-cooked four-course dinners and healthy lunches that add an extra special touch. Although while it feels remote, the guesthouse is only a few minutes' drive from the sea too.
The details: Prices at the Casa Porta Azul start from £63.32 per room per night.
7. For water sports: Memmo Baleeira
The vibe? Thanks to its location near Baleeira habour in the western Algarve near Sagres, this is the ideal spot to hop on a board and hone (or indeed learn) to surf in the froth of the Atlantic. There are two sandy beaches in striking distance and the hotel has its own Surf Centre run by Freeride Sagres Surf School, so you needn’t go far to get your board and wetsuit.
Any extras? There are plenty of on-land activities including cycling, yoga and walks in the Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The 1960s building is light and spacious, with wood-fired pizzas that are highly rated by guests.
The details: Prices at the Memmo Baleeira start from £81 per room per night.
READ MORE: Explore Sagres with our full guide
Main image: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock
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