Take a look at our favorite wallet-friendly hotels in Lagos, a beautiful and historic beach town in southern Portugal.
Although there aren't a ton of hotels right in the center of Lagos, what's on offer at the 36-room Hotel Marina Rio makes it a solid mid-range option by any measure. At first glance, the bus station-adjacent setting won't inspire much hope, but once inside, this hotel is a gem. Interiors are humble and homey, with dark tile floors and subtle nautical accents. Plus, the hotel is well soundproofed, so there is no evidence of the busy station or road outside. Everything from the fast, free Wi-Fi to the rooftop plunge pool add value to a stay here. Features are otherwise limited, but do include a free hot-and-cold breakfast buffet.
The outskirts of Lagos are packed with plenty of small-scale properties, but the quaint, 49-room Dom Manuel manages to pack a lot of charm into a compact package. Its villa-style buildings are filled with a blend of Mediterranean design, classic Portuguese elements, and modern touches. Common areas are tucked away and packed with antique furniture, vibrant tilework, full suits of armor, and handsome paintings. Outside, flower and plants burst in nearly every common area, from the pool to the breakfast room and terrace. The hotel is a 10- to 15-minute walk from Old Town, but most guests here are pleased with the quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Dom Manuel's location is nowhere as central as Marina Rio's, and its rates are generally higher (though they include breakfast, as well).
Travelers who prefer boutique-sized hotels with lots or personalized charm are in luck at Solar de Mos. This popular, family-run property is a quiet place to kick back in the sun, and within a reasonable walk or drive of Lagos' prime draws, the beaches and the lively Old Town. Separated into two buildings arranged around a pool, the hotel has a home-like atmosphere that feels removed from the touristy trappings of much of the Algarve. The vibe is quiet, and even when the hotel is full, there's not much in the way of noise. Like Marina Rio and Dom Manuel, Solar de Mos offers free breakfast and free property-wide Wi-Fi, but rates here start a bit higher than our first two picks.
Vilabranca Apartments is a well-located and well-priced mid-range option for self-caterers looking to explore Lagos on foot. From the outside, the building resembles architecture from a traditional Algarve village, while interiors are contemporary and colorful, albeit simple. The 86 rooms come with stark decor, extra-firm mattresses, full-size kitchens, flat-screen TVs, and both dining and living areas. On-site features include two (non-heated) outdoor pools, a pool bar, a restaurant and bar, and free parking. A drawback of this place over the first three hotels is that Vilabranca charges for Wi-Fi.
Costa D'oiro Ambiance Village is an 85-unit upper-middle-range property with a mix of hotel rooms and apartments that's a five- to 10-minute walk to gorgeous Praia Dona Ana. Its multiple buildings are built into a quiet residential area, and interiors range from classic to contemporary. Standard features in all rooms and apartments include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and balconies or terraces. There are several pools, a simple fitness room, and beach towels are free. The restaurant is a real delight, and the free breakfast includes a massive spread of locally produced dishes. Rates here can be a little higher, and it's a bit of a hike into Old Town.
Upon first glance, you might not even know you'd arrived at the Canavial Apartments, as its low-rise buildings blend in with the quiet residential neighborhood. That's part of its charm, though, and despite a no-frills, dated style, most guests are here for the home-away-from-home atmosphere. This family-owned property is well cared for, and each compound is surrounded by hedges and walls, giving it a bit of privacy. You might hear children playing in the pool or on the lawns, but on the whole this is a tranquil place for unwinding in the Algarve's abundant sunshine. All 35 apartments here include kitchenettes, outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping, and air-conditioning. Neither Vilabranca or Canavial offer the free breakfasts found at Marino Ria, Dom Manuel, Solar de Mos, and Costa D'oiro, but both have self-catering kitchens in the rooms.
Apartamentos Turisticos Marsol is a two-pearl property in a peaceful neighborhood outside of historic Lagos. It’s a 10- to 15-minute walk to Old Town's shops and restaurants, and a five-minute drive from Praia Dona Ana. The 31 apartments include studios and one- and two-bedroom units with kitchenettes and furnished terraces. Units are dated, like Canavial's, but they lack Canavial's free Wi-Fi. There’s also a small outdoor pool with some comfortable lounge seating. Inside, guests can relax at the bar, which doubles as a TV room. There's no on-site restaurant, but there’s a communal barbecue and picnic area to prepare meals. Canavial Apartments are nearby, and offer beach access and more amenities than Marsol.