My husband, my 3 year old son and I traveled to the Sheraton Algarve in early May 2012 and stayed for 5 nights. It was absolutely wonderful and was the highlight of our trip to Portugal. Apart from going to the drugstore, I don't think we ever left the resort!
Because my husband stays at Starwood properties for work, he was able to request an upgrade and we were given a lovely 2 story suite. It was nice and cool, with tile floors and white walls. A fairly comfortable bed and we had 1 1/2 bathrooms. We requested a crib for my son, which was a pack n' play, but if he was older, there was a pull out sofa he could have slept in.
Our 3 year old LOVED the kid's club and went each day for a few hours. They had all sorts of fun activities, including a huge pirate ship, a bouncy castle, ride on toys, crafts, trampolines, you name it. In hotter months they have a small wading pool for them. He would stay for lunch and we'd pick him up afterwards. The women that work there are extremely sweet and Charlie hugged them all goodbye on our last day. They took excellent care of him and having a break for my husband and I to get some time in together was awesome.
The beach has a really nice beach club where you can get lunch or ice cream. There are chairs and umbrellas on the beach and the turquoise waters were beautiful - if a bit too cold to swim. The sand is not powdery - some of it is quite course, depending on what part of the beach. It worked for building sand castles, though, which was what we needed it for.
There are several outdoor pools, which are not heated, so if you are there during the shoulder season, they may be uncomfortable for you. Since the weather was unseasonably cool when we were there, we made use of the indoor pool at the health club, which was heated and perfect for our son. They do require you to wear a swim cap in the indoor pool, though, so if you have one, bring it. The resort sells them for 4.50 euro.
We ate at all the resort restaurants that were open in May. Do not rely on the web site for this - check with the concierge. They told me they typically don't know which restaurants will be open until they gauge the number of guests the week before. This conflicts with the dates provided on their web site and I found that a tiny bit annoying.
We ate at the buffet every morning for breakfast (it was included in our rate) and one night for dinner. There is a different type of food each night and we ate the seafood. It was delicious. The breakfasts were very nice and varied, though we missed pancakes, waffles or french toast as an option. The omelet bar was very good, but sometimes required a wait. They set out champagne if you want a mimosa with your breakfast!
We also did the 5 course tasting menu one night at the Jardim Gourmet restaurant adjacent to the buffet. We were the only people there and had a great time with our waiter, trying different wines. That was my favorite dinner.
One night we went to Piri Piri and had steaks - also delicious and perfectly cooked. And we ate some lunches and one dinner at the Grill. It was fine - nothing to write home about. Our son was able to eat free when we at there because of a promotion they were running.
The resort's tennis courts are very nice, though a bit pricey to rent when you factor in equipment. We played on 2 different days. They keep the courts in excellent condition. They have no shade, though, so bring sunscreen!
My husband and I both went to the spa for massages and the therapists were very good. I went back a couple of days later for a facial and it was also very nice. The spa is very tiny. Just a few treatment rooms and the reception area. Still, for such a small spa, I felt the treatments were high quality.
The concierge was kind enough to set us up with babysitters at night so my husband and I could go to dinner after my son was in bed. The two sitters they sent were both lovely - one from the golf shop and one from reception. Both were long-term resort employees. I felt very comfortable leaving my son with them. They would come by and say hi when they would see us on the resort. Very friendly.
I would love to go back when the weather is just a tad warmer and enjoy the resort again. I think if you have kids, this is the place to go so that everyone can do stuff they enjoy. All 3 of us had a great time and I'm still dreaming of those Algarve sunsets....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort, formerly known as Sheraton Algarve, offers recently renovated rooms, enhanced and extended dining options, and a brand new, 1000m2 Serenity Spa, The Art of Well Being. Pine Cliffs Hotel has a stunning cliff-top location above Portugal's longest beach, Praia da Falésia. All of the beautifully decorated rooms and suites at Pine Cliffs Hotel include in-room entertainment systems with LCD TVs. All rooms also include furnished balconies with garden or sea views. The resort features 5 tennis courts, a 9-hole golf course, a beach club and a mini golf. For children and teenagers, the Junior Club provides a variety of activities such as mini-golf and football. The property is a 1-hour drive from Faro International Airport. Free on-site car parking is available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Albufeira
- Sheraton Algarve
- Albufeira Sheraton
- Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal