Sandy beaches and warm weather make the Portuguese seaside town of Albufeira a popular beach destination, especially for British travelers. It has a reputation for being party central, but families feel welcome here, too. In fact, several area hotels cater specifically to them, with features like splash parks, kids’ clubs, and apartment-style rooms. Here are the best hotels for families in Albufeira.
Clube Humbria is a favorite among travelers with kids, especially during school holiday periods and summer. The all-inclusive's 193 apartment-style rooms come with kitchens, LCD TVs, lightning-fast Wi-Fi, and balconies with views of the garden and pool. Outside of the standard kid-friendly features like a kids' pool and activities club, the hotel also has a mini-dance club, playground, and games room. At the heart of the resort, there's a lively pool scene with grassy knoll. This is the place to be during the day if you're not at the beach (the hotel is within walking distance to a gorgeous beach), and luckily there are enough loungers and grass space to keep everyone happy.
Alfagar II Aparthotel is an upper-middle-range apartment hotel located in the peaceful resort village of Balaia just east of Albufeira. The 90 apartments are modern and bright, with kitchenettes, dining/lounge areas, and spacious terraces -- most with views of the sea. Water-based facilities are excellent, and include a large outdoor pool, indoor pool, and water park for kids (and some adults). Alfagar's list of kid-friendly features fall a little short of Clube Humbria's; for example, there is no mini disco or kids' club here. Dining options are a little limited and some guests complain apartments can be noisy, but most find the property excellent value for money -- especially families who don't mind being a bit far from area nightlife.
The 500-room all-inclusive ClubHotel Riu Guarana is essentially its own village. Its lobby is larger than the dining halls of most properties, and between its abundant organized events and three pools (no water park, though, like Clube Humbria and Alfagar II), it's a mecca for families on summer vacation. Expect a full range of activities to keep kids and their parents entertained. For children, there's a Riu Land playground and activity center, complete with a ball pit, while adults keep adults can hop from archery, tennis, yoga, basketball, and a sandy beach volleyball pitch. Across the board, the entertainment team is enthusiastic and has something for all ages, from games from the kiddies, to aqua aerobics, bingo, and salsa lessons for adults.
Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa is a large, family-friendly resort complex with relaxed vibe overlooking the beach. On-site facilities are extensive, with four outdoor pools (though no water park, like our first two picks), multiple dining options with shaded terrace seating, and a large spa. The range of accommodation choices -- from sea-view rooms to great-for-families apartments with kitchenettes -- is also impressive but decor looks dated in places. The property also includes two tennis courts, a kids' club, and a playground. All in all, rates are competitive for everything on offer.
Opened in 2013, the Vidamar Resort Algarve is a 250-room upscale resort featuring fresh minimalist design. The resort sits between picturesque Salgados Beach and an 18-hole golf course, about 20 minutes from Albufeira by road. It's peaceful and secluded, though there's little within walking distance. Rooms are spacious and smart, with air-conditioning, minibars, coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi -- many offer sea views from balconies or terraces. (Families looking for apartment-style accommodations should look at Grande Real Santa Eulalia). There are three saltwater pools, but only one is heated during cooler weather (all of Grande Real Santa Eulalia's outdoor pools are heated). Four restaurants serve everything from Asian to Italian and seafood, and half-board packages -- including buffet breakfast and dinner -- are standard. Family-friendly amenities include a kids' club, kids' menus, and entertainment.
Falesia Mar by 3HB is a mid-range apartment complex in a private clifftop enclave. There's not a great deal in the immediate surroundings, though lovely beaches are accessible on foot. Its 240 apartments are roomy and equipped with basic cooking facilities, but they have dated furnishings and tube-style TVs. Most guests are on the all-inclusive option that includes decent if a bit limited buffet meals. A major gripe is the small swimming pool, which can get crowded during peak season, though kids do have a small separate pool. Grande Real has four heated outdoor pools in comparison to Falesia Mar's two small pools, and rates there are generally a bit lower, too.
The Adriana Beach Club is a sprawling, three-pearl resort just a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Praia do Poco Velho. This all-inclusive resort is a 30-minute drive from Albufeira, although it aims to provide for its guests’ every needs on site. The resort has two big pools (one for kids), three buffet restaurants and two bars, a mini-golf course and a beach volleyball court, activity programs for all ages, and a fun adventure playground for kids. The resort’s 438 rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, AC, and outdoor spaces, but also some dated decor, and bathrooms need a revamp. Large rooms have space for an extra bed for kids. In-room Wi-Fi is not available here; Falesia Mar offers it for a fee.