Stella Maris Hotel Apartments
Travel Blogs from Albufeira
... impressive biceps. They were young, animated and of course good-looking (when is a surfer not). In the water they effortless skinned the ocean and ripped up the waves over and over. Thumbs up from them and you were chuffed, giddy even.
Like I mentioned, over the past week we attempted to master the basic technique of surfing. From moving across the wave to changing direction and attempting to Eskimo roll. ...
... as well. It was quite the walk back up the stairs to the top though- we felt like we needed another swim once we reached the top! We really enjoyed our four nights here and it was a great way to refuel to the energy before hitting London as our final stop before home. Lagos is definitely a place I'd love to come back to for a good 2 weeks of holiday to visit more of those gorgeous beaches and do a few trips to some other small towns in the ...
... of the cave was huge with another 5 kayaks piled up behind us in what was the equivalent to a James Bond car chase scene where the cops all pile on top of one another.
We pulled in at a secluded beach and I attempted some snorkeling and hoped the ice cold waters would cool me off after the beating the hot sun had given us. The beach had bluff above it, which we climbed and got a photo or two on Briony’s phone. After the break we had a quiet, quiet ride ...
... Henry was not impressed because it was my idea to check out Lagos. But the place in it's entirety was pretty special. The little town was so neat and trying to drive through the narrow alleyways was an experience in itself. We ate at a small local restaurant owned by Scottish Billy who was the coolest chef/waiter around ...
So. Lagos. Party central of Portugal...the Bali of Europe as some say. Now, I've never been to Bali, and in two weeks I'll be on the d floor in a club in ibiza....so the fact we only went out once doesn't really bother me. Yep. We only made it out the first night! And it's not cause we were soooo hammered we couldn't face alcohol. It was due to the fact that Jed's 'man flu' has developed into conjunctivitis, and my snufferly nose has become a rotten cold. So ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Stella Maris Hotel Apartments Albufeira
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday the Stella Maris is the place for you! The hotel deserves its four star rating as it is beautiful. The hotel was spotlessly clean & the staff very friendly. On arrival we could not believe the size of our room & balcony they were huge!
The resort itself is very quiet though this may be down to the time of year, we were told its much busy in the summer months. There are a few restaurants & bars situated in a small square close to the hotel all of which were very nice. Portugese food is very nice, I recommend the shrimps!
The beach is absolutely stunning. It is a five minute walk from the hotel & well worth a visit. It's backed by red sandstone cliffs & runs for miles.
Vilamoura marina is very close buy & definately worth visiting. You can walk along the beach to get there, it takes about 45mins. It's quite a walk in the heat however its between 10-15 euros for a taxi which the hotel will phone for you. There's lots of nice restaurants & bars there, plus lots of stunning boats.
If you are looking to relax, sample local cuisine & have a few drinks this is the ideal place for you!
Hope you enjoy your holiday!
Wir buchten sehr spät über first choice.co.uk und kamen im Stella Maris unter. Dieses Hotel ist das beste, in dem ich jemals war.
Unsere Unterkunft wurde uns erst bei Anreise offenbart, und wir waren so froh, dass wir hier gelandet sind.
Das Zimmer, das Personal, die Bar, der Pool und die lokalen Zusatzleistungen waren super.
we booked a late deal on first choice.co.uk and ended up at the stella maris. this is the best hotel i've stayed in.
we had allocation on arrival and were so glad to be placed here.
the room, staff, bar, pool and local ammenities were great.
Really lovely 2-bed apartment and fantastic staff
We booked this as a last-minute replacement to a rejected reservation elsewhere, and I'm really glad we were bumped from the first one!
Our 2-bed apartment was as clean as any hotel room I've ever stayed in (a lot on business all over Europe) and was extremely spacious. The maid service was excellent with clean towels and linen daily, and the reception & bar staff were fantastic. Their recommended local restaurant "O Pinhal" (in the second-closest little town) was a bit dodgy looking from outside, but was full of locals and the food was exceptional (much better than the Sheraton Corta Cafe, which was over-priced and not nice at all).
The local beach is a 10-minute walk or a 2-minute drive and it really is a cracker. You can see for miles in each direction and the red-cliff backdrop is stunning. The drive from Faro airport took about 40 minutes and we also did a fair bit of exploring off to the west - recommend St. Raphael beach for drama and craggyness and Alvor beach for space & cleanliness. Vilamoura marina was really nice too!
We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Booked a short break (four days) in Portugal just to remind myself what the sun felt like. Chose Stella Martis Aparthotel due to pictures seen on the internet. I was not disappointed at all. The hotel is spotless. The cleanliness is fantastic. Cleaners came in every day and left the room looking fresh. Balcony lovely. Booked on a bed and breakfast basis. Breakfast was nice but it got a little boring having same everyday and it helped me realise that I am not an All Inclusive type of person. Staff are helpful when required but otherwise unobtrusive. About 800 metres from the beach and on the way you pass a little bar called Neptuno which does the most fantastic grilled chicken salad going. Local beer is 1 euro and beers like Heineken/Carlsbert 2.50 euros. Not an expensive night out. Went into Albufeira which is very touristy and saw the Old Town. Good bar called Bank which has live music at times and another bar/eatery called Buddies. I would recommend this hotel and area to anyway.
A pleasant surprise
We had originally booked a 7 day stay at the Balaia Atlantico through Hotelopia but they overbooked (I assume) and sent us over to the Stella Maris for the first 2 nights of our stay. This was a bit of a bother as we were travellng with a 2-year-old and wanted to minimise packing/unpacking. Still, the Stella was lovely, nicely furnished and nicely landscaped. We didn't try the pool and only used the restaurant once for breakfast.
Our appartment had a double bed and a sofa bed. the kitchen was a separate room that could be locked (a plus with a toddler) and was well furnished with all the cookingh essentials. The only oddity was the table ware for 3... three glasses, three cups, three plates... the appartment was on the 4th floor and had 2 balconies, one from the living room and one from the bedroom. the playground was very appreciated by our 2-year-old. the restaurant breakfast was nothing special, the staff seemed a bit harried and had problems with billing the food to the room...
Falesia beach is within walking distance (about 15 min) and very lovely. The so called supermarket nearby is only good for emergencies, for real groceries we went to the Modelo or Pingu in Albufeira. shops and restaurants nearby were ok but nothing exceptional.
The night manager that signed us in was very nice everyone seemed to speak good english, the maid service was excellent.
We have just stayed in a studio for a week and found the place very clean, linen and towels changed frequently without asking.
Well equipped and great value for money
Several restaurants within easy walking distance and well stocked supermarkets should you want to cook and eat in
For breakfast we usually had fresh coffee and marvellous patisseries from the cafe 200m up the road
Recommend the Stella Maris
We have just come back from a week's stay at the Stella Maris, which was very enjoyable and relaxing. Having read the only review before going and reading it again after returning, I find it a little harsh. Perhaps their experience was because it was newly opened, but we found it a different place.
The hotel is new, nicely funished with very spacious apartments. We had a studio, which is as big as a 1 bed aptment (which has a dividing wall between the bedroom and dining area). Studios have twin beds (put together to make a double), a nice dining area with table seating 4 and then a lounge area where there is a bed sofa and 2 armchairs. Separate kitchen well equiped, only thing missing is a microwave. Large balcony with table and chairs, but I do agree with previous writer that the air conditioning unit is placed on the balcony. Some balonies have solid walls and some have rails, so if you have children then why not email the hotel or through your booking agent request a balcony you think suitable. Bathroom is large with good shower over bath, bidet etc.
Maid service was every day for changing of towels and making of beds, with sheets changed every other day.
The hotel's restaurant is small, as it is really an aparthotel, most guests seem happy to buy from supermarket or eat out. It's menu is limited and is good for lunch snacks when around the pool ie toasties 2 euros, burger and chips 4.80 euros etc.
There is a kiddies pool and a small play area suitable for younger children. Main pool has loungers and shades around sides, but we found the best place was on the grass up from the pool where you got natural shade from the trees and also a lovely breeze.
The beach is about 10 mins walk, the last part of which is a number of steps, so someone with walking difficulties might find that a problem. Warning... beware of the cost of hiring parasol and sunloungers, charge is 12.50 euros a day, the highest we have ever paid during our holidays. Why not buy a parasol for 7 euros from the shop.
All the staff we found to be very pleasant and helpful, speaking good English. Staff in reception were very helpful in arranging our airport transfer for us, I contacted them by email, it cost us 27.50 euros each way for a private transfer. They will also arrange taxi's or private transfers into Albufeira, 10 euros ew, Vilamoura 15euros ew (prices based on 2 sharing) etc.
To get the best out of this area I would recommend you hire a car as main towns like Vilamoura etc are about 8km away and as the other writer said it opens up the opportunity to eat elsewhere, get to a larger supermarket and also see places of interest.
In the area are many golf courses and this hotel would make a great base for that. It's good for those wanting a quiet location but being in reach of larger towns.
On the whole, it is a good aparthotel. Quiet location, small supermarket and restaurants within 5 mins walk. My only complaint was the lack of English speaking channels on the TV, only CNN and Eurosport, so nothing much for children.
a very good choice, great value for money.
close to a fabulous beach,
access to nightife and more varied restaurants requires a short taxi journey.
We booked our flights from Bournemouth to Faro on thomsonfly[--], and the Alpinus 4* self-catering apartments, Albufeira through alpharooms[--], and a transfer from Faro to Albufeira on low-cost-transfer[--].
Two weeks before departure, we were contacted by alpharooms[--] to state that there was damage in our booked apartments and they offered us the Stella Maris as an alternative. This was billed as a 4 star, brand new just built.
We found out during our stay that the Alpinus and Stella Maris are owned by a construction company-and this might explain some of the issues we faced, along with the fact this was a new hotel. Originally the Stella Maris was not going to be a hotel.
Time share compant Seasons had taken our rooms so beware.
The driver was not at the airport when we arrived, and we had to call low-cost-transfer.com in Portugal tofind out where he was-30 minutes later we found him. Not a good start, but then he couldn't find the apartments and this took another hour instead of 30 minutes.
Location-approx 8 kms out of Albufeira, this hotel is not far from a small selction of bars and restaurants, which to be honest were not that good. the mini-market was expensive and some of the staff were rude.
We hired a car so that we could get to Albufeira and Vilamoura.
We booked 2 bedroom apartment, for 5 people. The rooms were spacious with a fridge, electric cooker, 2 bathrooms, air-conditioning in 3 rooms. The maid service was sporadic, and the apartments were not cleaned well. There were 2 bedrooms with twin beds in each and a sofa bed. The furniture was nice and modern and we had 2 TV's. (Suggest taking a DVD player if you have kids). We had a lovely balcony, but halfway through my 3 year old daughter, managed to poke the whole head and shoulder through the end of the balcony. The engineer and duty manager admitted that the gap was too big, offered us an alternate room, and one drink on the house. The air-conditioing unit was alos out on the balcony, so sitting out with that blowing warm air in your face when it was 30 degrees wasn't much fun.
Extremely pleasant staff, most willing to assist, especially the bar and restaurant staff.
Not many staff, so pushed for time and had to wait for drinks service. The manager did not acknowledge the problem with the balcony and I was disappointed with her attitude.
Slow service (due to lack of staff), and the first 2 nights we had to send steaks, soup and pasta back. Other guests we spoke to also had issues with this. The restaurant and bar were small but well presented. No childrens menu andsome of the menu wasn't available. We didn't eat there again during our 12 day stay.
Childrens and adult pools - When we arrived, as one of the first guests, the pool was quiet and we managed to get a bed most days. However, during the last few days of our stay when the hotel was busy, there were not enough sun-beds to go round. I counted approx 40 beds. With 140 rooms and a possible minimum 400 guests when fully booked, this will be an issue-get down early, although the beach is a 10-20 minute walk. I complained about the pool not being cleaned at least 4 times, and I was told it was cleaned every two days! No wonder both my kids got ear infections and at €75 each to see a doctor-be warned. There was dirt in and out of the pool and we had to wear flip-flops, the bins weren't emptied every day either.
Due to the location we hired a car for approx £90 for 4 days from Best Deal Cars(make sure you fillup to the full line or it is expensive)-try the travel agency at the shops at the top of the road who did a good deal and you can negotiate the price. You can also book for ZooMarine, Aqualand and other activities. There is a local bus service if you can find the bus top.
Out and About
If you like bars and restaurants and tacky shops try 'The Strip' in Albufeira. OK for your momentos. Vilamoura Marina is lovely with a good selection of the above (and FIGO's bar), but better for families with small children. There were a number of small towns around all boasting nice restaurants and bars. Try the 'Retro De Isca' in Vlia Gale of 'Restaurant Luau' in old town Albufeira.
Lovely place would go again-locals seem friendly. Weather was great... hot and sunny. Beware of the Portuguese who go to the Algarve, we had a group who smashed up the bar and frightened families and guests, although I am sure most are OK.
Maybe the problems with the apartments were teething problems as t was new, but basics like pool cleaning, emptying bins, having the menu in place and enough staff to cope was an issue. If you wanta quiet holiday it might be the place for you. We wanted a pool holiday-we got it but had to fight for the sun-beds.
Personally I would return to Portugal, but not to this hotel-nor to any hotel in the TD HOTEL chain.