Inside looks at the increase of luxury and lifestyle accommodation on offer in the area
Hitting the top of the “Best place to retire in the world” list for the fourth year in a row and topping several travellers’ bucket lists, the Algarve is definitely in the spotlight at the moment. Those in the know have been enjoying the best this region has to offer, along with investors who are canny enough to be ahead of the game and strike gold. In the light of the new wave of tourism with a more discerning palette, Inside found a few fabulous boutique type B&B, lifestyle lodgings and renovated hotels to bring the quality up a notch or two.
THE TIVOLI HOTEL
When Minor Hotel group took over the struggling Tivoli group, no one knew what to expect but based on their grand presence in Asia, hopes were high. The former Almansor underwent a total renovation and now has five-star status, a massive SkyBar, beautifully decorated lush rooms, a spa, gourmet restaurant, public bar and fabulous, bright, minimalist façade. Boasting family rooms, suites and stunning sea view rooms, the hotel is now able to offer something for everyone. All facilities are open to the public and the SkyBar will soon be accessible from the street, along with disabled access. It is well worth popping in and enjoying the view.
This old bakery has been taking form in the centre of Carvoeiro for a few years now and it was worth the wait. With a wonderfully sympathetic restoration, it boasts a reception area and ground floor with original tiles and wall decorations, where possible. A sweeping staircase takes the guests up to the five colour-themed rooms that are decorated in a blend of modern and classical styles. Due to the structure of the building, each room has its own shower and bathroom facilities at the end of the corridor. Comfortable communal areas, including a terrace, make it a great place to sleep in the heart of Carvoeiro. The Decadente degustaria/concept store is on the bottom floor and is an absolute treat for wine lovers, where everything, including the tables and ashtrays, is available for sale. It does however close before 11pm, so as not to disturb the residents of The Grand.
CASA DE LUZ DITE LA “MAISON VIRVAIRE”
A designer’s haven set in a villa in Solfeiras, Carvoeiro, created by the creative and colourful Interior Designer host, Thierry Virvaire. It offers three very unique rooms, all based on his travels, designer’s eye and Parisian style. You get a wonderfully welcoming reception and instantly feel at home in the gardens, pool and communal areas. Each room has its own private outdoor space and Thierry can be as involved or removed from your holiday as you like by catering for you, showing you his favourite spots, introducing you to local gems and information that you could otherwise miss on a short break.
Alternatively, he will leave you to your own devices to enjoy this beautiful home. The rooms are all very well priced and have their own facilities, with an Indian/Bollywood inspired room, complete with the obligatory disco bulb. The Azul room is dedicated to Rajasthan while the Terra Cotta junior Suite is all about lighting and the Suite being inspired by the traditional Ochre colour of Algarve. The focus here is really on design, lifestyle and enjoying the wonderful and generous hosting skills of Thierry, who will happily pick you up from the airport at no extra cost.
This is a true lifestyle destination venue, with four large and spacious three-bedroom townhouses with private front facing and roof terraces. In addition to this, there is also a selection of independent bedrooms, suites and a fabulous penthouse apartment, all built around an infinity pool with a very cool viewing window in the onsite music studio/bar area. Belgium owner Miguel is a very creative, outdoor loving guy, and has thought of everything here, offering use of his kayaks, sauna, hot tub, wine kitchen, poolroom and all communal areas, while providing private accommodation with all the facilities you might need to have a completely independent holiday.
One2Seven is a very dynamic place that can cater for lone travellers, families and groups all at the same time.
THE LAGOA HOTEL AND THE CARVOEIRO HOTEL
These two properties were very badly neglected over the years but thanks to Glamour Futur Hotels, the old Lagoa Hotel and Aparthotel Solfeiras are now bright and comfortable, modern, well-equipped hotels that offer value for money accommodation and good onsite facilities including restaurants, conference and meeting rooms.
Both hotels have self-catering options in all units and communal swimming pools, with 44 rooms in Lagoa and 68 in Carvoeiro. The Lagoa hotel also has a great, little hairdressers tucked in the back.
These are just a few of the accommodation options on offer around Lagoa, but we feel that they are of a high-standard and represent a good price/quality comparison in the area while giving the guests a unique, knowledgeable, safe and comfortable base from where to enjoy their time here.
People play a huge role in a holiday experience and we believe that the guesthouses and hotels listed here feature great personal touches that make their guests feel appreciated. Those opening guesthouses and rental properties are generally people who have fallen in love with this part of the Algarve and want to share their experiences and local knowledge with their guests.
Text: Mia Wallace