Vilamoura in southern Portugal is a popular destination for golfing and gambling, but it’s also wonderfully family-friendly, with gorgeous sandy beaches, a huge marina with water activities, and hotels with large pools and kids’ clubs. Take a look at our expert picks for the best kid-friendly hotels in Vilamoura and start planning your family getaway!
Directly on Vilamoura Beach, the 323-room Crowne Plaza is one of the most luxurious hotels in the area. Stylish rooms have elegant beach decor, free Wi-Fi, and furnished balconies with great views. The grounds are sprawling and beautiful, with a huge lagoon-style outdoor pool, big lawns dotted with loungers, and several restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. A kids’ club, a kiddy pool with water features, and a large ship-shaped playground keep children busy.
Family-friendly and upscale, the 176-room Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa has a bright, contemporary style with a touch more personality than many Hiltons. Most of the spacious rooms feature details like artsy hand-painted traditional tile art, and all come with private balconies and marble bathrooms. Some have full kitchens and washing machines. Features are numerous and include six pools, three restaurants and bars, free shuttles, and dedicated off-site beach space -- most of which are seasonal. Kids can run loose at the Paradise Island Kids Club, with a small kids' pool and shipwreck playground, is free for supervised children. Otherwise, there's a team available (for a fee) with lots of planned activities.
Attached to the famous Vila Sol golf course, the 189-room Pestana Vila Sol is an upscale resort with a large pool with bridges and a kiddy pool. Suites are housed in villa-style buildings, and feature furnished patios and stylish details such as exposed stone walls and wooden beams. The restaurant serves a decent buffet for breakfast and dinner and the kids’ club is open seasonally, but there is also a playground and a games room with arcade machines convenient for the winter months.
The 375-room Vila Gale Ampalius is an upper-middle-range hotel with one of the best locations in Vilamoura: right across the street from Vilamoura Beach and adjacent to the bustling marina. The Vila Gale's sunny, clean rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges, and many feature panoramic ocean views, but decor is a little plain and bathrooms could use an update. The restaurant serves buffet and a la carte options for all three meals, and the indoor and outdoor sports facilities keep active guests of all ages busy. There are two pleasant outdoor pools -- including one for kids -- and a kids’ club, playground, and game room.
A short walk from the beach and marina, the 266-room Dom Pedro Golf Resort is an upper-middle-range hotel with a private area on Vilamoura Beach, complete with a restaurant, loungers, and umbrellas. Rooms are clean and have expansive views and flat-screen TVs, but decor is dated, and extra fees for Wi-Fi and safes may be annoying to some. The hotel also has several restaurants, an appealing outdoor pool, and kid-friendly amenities such as a kiddy pool, a playground, and a kids’ club.
The Four Seasons Vilamoura (not part of the luxury Four Seasons brand) is an upper-middle-range time-share property located adjacent to a golf course, but a bit far from the beach and marina. Decor is a little dated throughout, but families should be comfortable in one of the 114 spacious, self-catering apartments, with full kitchens, washer/dryers, and balconies. There are several large outdoor and indoor pools (including a zero-entry one for kids), three restaurants, a playground, and daily activities for all ages, making the property a good year-round destination for families, couples, and golfers. Free parking is convenient for those exploring the area by car, but there are fees for in-room Wi-Fi and for use of the kids' club.
Apartamento do Golfe is a mid-range hotel offering good value a short drive from Vilamoura’s marina. Its 59 Studios, One-, and Two-Bedroom Apartments all have spacious layouts featuring basic kitchenettes, living areas with sofa beds, and balconies. Decor and amenities are basic and there is a fee for Wi-Fi, but rates are competitive year-round, and units are clean. The pool is a lovely spot for a quiet day (there is a separate kiddy pool with a cute dolphin mosaic), and the restaurant serves decent international cuisine in a cute dining room with large windows. The location near several golf courses is convenient for golfers, and the hotel offers free shuttle service to the lively marina -- but those looking to spend a lot of time at the beach or marina may want to look elsewhere.
Pinhal da Marina is a friendly mid-range apartment complex geared towards families and couples seeking some peace and quiet. Its 128 units range from Studios to Three-Bedroom Apartments, all featuring full, well-equipped kitchens, spacious patios with loungers, and air-conditioning. Decor is dated throughout, but all rooms are clean, and housekeeping is available six days a week. Three outdoor pools (one of them a kiddy pool); a snack bar; a kids’ club with activities, video games, and a playground; and great sports facilities -- tennis, ping-pong, beach volley and bocce ball, plus a multi-sports field -- keep children busy and entertained. The restaurant has a short international menu, as well as a bar area and outdoor seating, and there are plenty of other dining options in the marina, about a 15-minute walk away.
The 243-room Vila Gale Marina has a great location a block from the lively marina and a short walk from the beach. Rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges stocked with water, and air-conditioning, but decor is plain and dated throughout, and Wi-Fi, though free, is spotty at best. The large pool deck includes a playground, ping-pong tables, a hot tub, and a rectangular family pool connected to a kiddy pool with an island featuring a palm tree and loungers. Daily activities are available at the kids’ club.