A short walk from pretty sandy beach, dining, and nightlife
All apartments have separate bedrooms and cooking facilities
Large outdoor pool complex with waterslide and kids' pool
Buffet restaurant, seasonal snack bar, and TV sports bar
Optional all-inclusive plan covering all meals and some drinks
Poolside animation program (seasonal)
Dated complex with some maintenance issues
Many apartments prone to noisy traffic
Old-fashioned apartments in need of makeover
Can feel overcrowded during high season
Charge for Wi-Fi, sun loungers, and parasols
Poor-quality buffet food and snacks
The huge Clube Praia da Rocha is a tired, budget apartment complex overlooking a main road in the Algarve district of Portimao. While the immediate surrounds aren't attractive, the pretty Praia da Rocha beach is a short walk away. The proximity of dining options is also useful, as food quality is generally very poor, especially the buffet dining. The 627 one-bedroom apartments are spacious with cooking facilities, though amenities and decor are seriously dated, plus many are prone to traffic noise. All things considered, it is certainly cheap, though so are the nearby Apartamentos Jardins da Rocha, which are also clean and more modern.
Huge, budget-friendly aparthotel with drab and outdated interiors
Even set among a cluster of high-rise apartment buildings, the 14-story twin blocks of the Clube Praia da Rocha dominate its surroundings. While its facade is painted in cheerful reds and yellows, it's hard not to find its sheer size rather imposing and unwelcoming. Stepping inside, the lobby is basic with a dated-looking combination of wood paneling and marble floors, and a drab, functional feel that continues throughout. The property has a whopping 627 apartments spread across the two buildings, meaning guest numbers can reach the thousands during peak season. And the hotel clearly struggles to deal with such high capacity, with frequent reports of poor cleanliness, overcrowding, and maintenance issues. This all-apartment hotel is centered around a spacious pool complex, which does have a lively, family-friendly atmosphere, though minimal plant life and it's prone to shade from the surrounding buildings. British families make up the bulk of the clientele, as well as some couples on bargain-bin package deals.
Overlooking busy road, but walking distance from beach and nightlife
The hotel overlooks a busy main road in a high-rise neighborhood, less than 10 minutes' walk from the lovely stretch of golden sand of Praia da Rocha -- part of the Algarve town of Portimao. The immediate surrounds consist of mostly other hotels and apartment blocks, though five minutes' walk away is a semi-pedestrianized zone with numerous restaurants, bars, and shops. Guests can walk to the Fort of Santa Catarina in about 15 minutes. It's a five-minute drive to downtown Portimao, which has a slightly scruffy, but authentically Portuguese vibe, and charming Ferragudo is 15 minutes away by car. The popular Slide and Splash water park is about 20 minutes' drive away. Faro Airport is just under an hour away by car, and the capital Lisbon is about two-and-a-half hours away.
Spacious, balconied one-bedroom apartments in need of makeover
With separate bedrooms, spacious bathrooms, and semi-open-plan lounge, dining, and kitchen areas totaling around 645 square feet (60 square meters), the 627 apartments are at least spacious. Interiors, however, look like they haven't been renovated in decades, with dated furniture, garish fabrics, and numerous signs of age. Guests have also complained about uncomfortable beds, and hot water is capped. Some amenities are similarly decrepit, with tube-style TVs (remote extra) and rusty old safes, though cooking facilities include modern microwaves and fridges (kettles and toasters are available to rent). All apartments open to balconies either overlooking the pool, neighboring building, or busy road; street-facing rooms can be prone to traffic noise, especially those on lower floors. Tiled bathrooms have shower/tub combos, bidets, and very limited toiletries, as well as exposed pipes and dirty grouting. No in-room Wi-Fi or room service is available.
Large pool complex with waterslide and separate kids' pool
The hotel's main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving meals buffet-style in bright though old-fashioned surrounds. Most agree the buffet dining is mediocre at best. Breakfast is only included as part of the optional all-inclusive plan. A snack bar opens in the afternoons (over peak season), serving the likes of burgers, chips, and sandwiches, and opens to a poolside terrace with picnic-style tables. There's also a bar with yellow walls, terra-cotta tile floors, and black faux-leather seating, offering draft beers, TVs airing sports, and some evening entertainment. The outdoor pool complex features a waterslide and is just about large enough for the volume of guests over high season, though the surrounding terraces can feel overcrowded and get afternoon shade. Lounger and parasols are available for a small fee, and an animation team puts on a program of poolside activities through the day. There's also a separate splash pool for smaller kids. Wi-Fi is only available around reception and it's not free of charge. A supermarket can be found in the hotel complex.
Optional all-inclusive plan with limited snacks and drinks
The hotel's optional all-inclusive plan covers buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as various hot and cold snacks at limited times (though no free ice-cream). Drinks include draft beer, house wine, and soft drinks throughout the day, with non-premium spirits only available in the evening. AI plan does not cover Wi-Fi, kettles, safes, TV remotes, or sunbeds. Although quite cheap, many guests still feel the plan is not a good value.
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