‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – Conrad Algarve, Portugal (bookable on Hilton points)

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Portugal.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for PointsYou can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.  This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.

Today’s hotel is the Conrad Algarve.  As part of Hilton Honors, this is a hotel you can book with points.  It is reader Matthew’s favourite hotel and here is his review:

Overview

Conrad Algarve is a modern 5* hotel and one of the most luxurious hotels in the region. It has won countless awards, including most recently ‘Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Resort’ for 2019 at the World Travel Awards.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

Location

Conrad Algarve is located on the edge of Quinta do Lago, a beautiful private resort which plays home to a number of world-class golf courses and has access to stunning sandy beaches.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

One of the key selling points for me is that the hotel is only a short 20 minute drive from Faro Airport, which means you can be off the plane and on a sun lounger in no time at all!

Reception / Arrival

As soon as you pull in the driveway, you will be wowed by this hotel. Valet parking is all part of the service and you are escorted through to reception for check in. You are offered a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, which is very welcome after a tiring journey.

Staff escort you to your room and give you the full tour to ensure everything is to your satisfaction.  As usual, Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members are entitled to a series of benefits at the Conrad, including complimentary breakfast and room upgrades.

Staff

Before I go on to talk about what this superb hotel offers, for me it is the staff that make this place as good as it is. They are so well trained and every single one of them from the receptionists to the cleaners goes out of their way to provide such an amazing customer experience.

Just a handful of examples include rolling out your towel and bringing you ice-cold water when you arrive at the pool and leaving little gifts in the room throughout your stay. One year I had broken my sunglasses and, without me noticing, housekeeping had taken them to a local opticians to have them fixed and placed them back in the room.

Rooms at Conrad Algarve

The hotel has 154 contemporary styled rooms and suites and they exude luxury. Each room features a huge bath complete with a TV for kicking back for a long soak, a separate rain shower, A Nespresso machine, minibar and a balcony. Amenities are from Shanghai Tang.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

The rooms are all light, bright and airy and even the entry level rooms are a spacious 38m².

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, PortugalFacilities

Conrad Algarve has an extensive list of facilities including two stunning outdoor swimming pools, an indoor pool, a luxurious spa, a fully equipped gym, daily exercise classes, a tennis court, sports lounge, golf concierge and much more.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

and

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

The hotel also offers a minibus shuttle down to the nearby beach.  At the beach the hotel has an agreement with a local restaurant to provide a private section of the beach with sun loungers, towels and bottled water.

Next to the hotel is a shopping complex with a supermarket, bars and retail outlets.

Food and drink

Conrad Algarve has a wide selection of excellent dining options. The stand out option is Gusto which serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine under the aegis of three-star Michelin chef Heinz Beck. I highly recommend splashing out on the tasting menu, which is a real experience.

Louro Restaurant offers all-day dining and hosts the hotel’s most incredible breakfast, which can be taken inside or out by the pool. When getting to your table, two traditional Portuguese pastries are already waiting for you and the buffet contains everything you could ever want.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

Other drinking and dining options include the Lago Lounge, Dado and Sereno pool bars.  The hotel also offers an extensive room service menu.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

Families

I was staying at this hotel long before I had children, but as the hotel caters so well for families it means that it has adapted with us.

There is a kids club on site, playground, children’s pool, babysitting service, and in room baby facilities including cots, bottle warmers, monitors and toiletries.

Review Conrad Algarve hotel resort, Portugal

Conclusion

If you are looking for a relaxing holiday in luxurious surrounds where your every whim will be looked after, then you should certainly consider Conrad Algarve. Prices are not cheap during the summer months, but if you go in the shoulder months of April/May or September/October you will be paying around £250 per night for an entry level room.

As a points redemption, it seems to cap at 89,000 Hilton Honors points per night.  With cash prices this Summer reaching €480 per night, this is an outsized return of 0.45p per point.

The hotel’s website is here, if you want to find out more.

Booking

If you are booking Conrad Algarve for cash and not with points, you can access a special deal via Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant, the Head for Points luxury hotel booking partner.

Emyr can access Hilton’s Impressario scheme, which covers bookings at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and LXR hotels. At present, there is a 5th night free offer at Conrad Algarve which is only available via Impressario.

You also receive the standard Impressario benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit
  • Double Hilton Honors points
  • Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You will pay the same price as the standard ‘Best Flexible Rate’ room only rate showing on the Hilton website, and you pay on departure from the hotel.

You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of Head for Points.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Weird - some British Airways ex-160 tier point routes from Gatwick only show 80 tier points from Heathrow! (Updated)
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Comments

  1. I actually found this hotel rather disappointing. There’s no Executive Lounge and in summer I found the Honors Diamond benefits to be limited. The standard of room servicing was relatively poor and the Hotel slow to respond to errors. I received a fair refund of Honors points relating to my points stay, and a lot of points are needed, although once agreed these had to be chased. I feel the hotel and services are overpriced and exploit the Conrad label. So, for me, not a hotel I’ll revisit.

    • AlanC says:

      I agree Paul. No Lounge. Overpriced F & B. Erratic service standards at poolside. Minimul Diamond benefits.
      Breakfast was excellent though.

      • Pat the Postie says:

        I agree its very expensive even for the area where the prices are relatively high, service was ok. The best part was the Spa and breakfast for me!

      • David says:

        Minimul?

    • RedEyeDonkey says:

      Thanks for the heads up Paul. One of the best thing about these European Hiltons by the sea from the couple I’ve stayed in is the Executive Lounge a few floors up with a nice balcony and a much better selection of food than the UK ones. Having one in a location like that without a lounge and accompanying balcony and so on seems pointless to me.

  2. Geoggy says:

    Nice review.

    We had a different experience on a half board week long stay back in the day on an Avios holiday.

    Repetitive food, no room upgrade, noisy pools and a tasting menu disaster in Gusto who after agreeing to provide a menu with no fish or lamb proceeded to serve it several times and embarrass us.

  3. Carol says:

    Thanks for a great review. I am already looking at dates for next year since reading this! Is a car needed or are there other restaurants etc nearby?

    • Matthew says:

      There are restaurants within walking distance but Uber is readily available and costs less than 10 Euros to take you to nearby Almancil where there are loads of brilliant restaurants.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      We booked May next year on points. Shopping arcade just along the road with various restaurants, shops etc or more places to eat within 10 mins walk.

      • Carol says:

        Thanks to you both for the information. I can’t decide between May and June. Is it warm enough to sunbathe and use the pool during the second half of May do you know?

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          May is reported as a very good month, sunny and not so many people as June. Prices start to creep up as well as points redemptions. We got early May but showed the rest as fully booked using pts.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            If you want really hot then opt for June but beware will be lots more people staying at the hotel in that month.

            Can you pre book Uber from the U.K to pick up at FAO airport?

          • Matthew says:

            I don’t believe you can prebook Uber from the airport but you could use Uber to take you back. I recommend yellow fish transfers for easy reliable transport to the hotel. https://www.yellowfishtransfers.com/en/home

          • Pat the Postie says:

            You probably can’t pre book Uber but I never had any availability issues and was 25% of the hotels car cost

        • Matthew says:

          I’ve been in April and it’s been hot enough to sunbathe.

          • Peter K says:

            +1 for yellow fish transfers. On time to and from the airport, good drivers, decent prices, in-car wifi.
            When we arrived at Faro airport it was lashing it down with rain and we were the last ride of the day for our driver. He drove carefully and well for the weather, not just fast and eager to get home.

  4. Carol says:

    May sounds better for me as I would rather avoid the really busy times. Thanks again

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Are you paying cash or points?
      Points is dynamic pricing so going up & up in May we observed.

      • Carol says:

        I will be paying cash as have never collected hotel points. However I have just signed up to Hilton

    • louise says:

      May is nice, but can be cool in the evenings.

  5. Louise K says:

    I love this hotel, but I just feel it’s in the wrong place!

    However, lots of very good restaurants in the vicinity.

    • Matthew says:

      I think you are right but at the same time I like that it’s secluded away.

  6. Simon says:

    I find the main stretch of the Algarve to be overcrouded, over-developed and sanitised. For more of a real Portuguese experience, you need to head 40 minutes west towards Sagres – think beautiful, wild beaches, open desert roads, great food…

    • Darren says:

      +1

    • cinereus says:

      Exactly. Absolutely blows my mind why anyone would stay in this area.

      • Lady London says:

        Sounds like Torremolinos with money.

        Someone did tell me Faro is excellent for upmarket shopping though.

        No mention so far, but is this hotel/ area attractive to Russians / Eastern Europeans?

        • louise says:

          I have found the Algarve is mainly filled wth Brits, you only have to look at the arrivals and departures board at Faro to see where the flights are coming from!

          Not sure about upmarket shopping either. Forum Shops at Faro is nice mall but mainly high st – H&m, Zara etc. There is also a huge mall near Almancil that has an outlet attached, but again, it is really high street shops. A few of the nice hotels will have boutiques.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Why LL?
          You not like the Russians?

          • Lady London says:

            Depends who, and where, I was wondering about the other poster’s comment about non-EU visitors as there was a hint some nationalities can be overwhelming when present.

        • Darren says:

          Mainly brits in this area, go west and it becomes more cosmopolitan with many Aussies, Scandies, Brits and recently Americans with the YouTube crowd focussing on this area.

  7. Crafty says:

    The points pricing really does feel disappointingly “dynamic” at peak times. Costing me 40% more than planned.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      That’s what we noticed. Literally between a week of research & booking on points it had increased by 3k a night. Might not sound much but that extra could of left you short.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      I did notice late in May / early June points redemptions had risen to the lofty heights of 70k a night OMG! 😂

      • Crafty says:

        It’s 89,000 a night in May 2021.

        • It was 89k for all the nights I looked at – which makes no sense really, because 89k is not meant to be a ‘level’. Bodrum, see the article today, is 95k which is what I would have expected.

  8. Crafty says:

    Could anyone who has visited with children please give a view on the feasibility on staying on points with a 4-year-old and a 6-month-old? The entry level room feels probably big enough, but will the hotel make a fuss? We have booked, but not yet contacted them, as I want to first ascertain whether contacting is advisable.

    • Matthew says:

      I personally couldn’t see an issue with this as long as you were all happy being in the same room. A suite would be better as there is a separate closed off living area which effectively could double up as a second bedroom

    • Isherwood says:

      We stayed with our 6 year olds for a couple of nights and took 2 rooms which were connected by a door. All worked out pretty well. Kids loved watching TV in the bath, the welcome pack including a huge lollipop and attacking the breakfast buffet. The shopping centre across the road is useful and includes a very good Italian cafe. But car is essential for getting to the beach, etc as hotel shuttle only runs only during peak months. Kids are keen to return to the Conrad but they’re out of luck as I prefer the Tavira area for our next Algarve family trip.

  9. Optimus Prime says:

    For £250/night in shoulder season I’d rather go to an Ikos resort – beachfront location and all-inclusive with great food.

    Also SPA is free (except treatments) – water circuit, sauna, steam room, etc

    • louise says:

      Yes, but getting to the Algarve is easier IMO.

      Multiple flights throughout the day / week, with business class options, 20 mins from Faro and no time difference. Can go for a long weekend, a week or however long you want

  10. Owain Davies says:

    anybody stayed at both this resort and the Park Hyatt Mallorca? if so how do they compare?

    • Matthew says:

      I’ve stayed at both. Both are high end resorts but it depends on what you value most. Park Hyatt wins the day with the quality and size of their rooms but is very remote and over an hour drive from the airport. However Conrad Algarve has superb customer service, restaurants and facilities close by and is only 20 mins from the airport.

  11. I was not overly impressed with this hotel. I don’t think I’d go back until 2021 at the earliest with the Corona restrictions. Breakfast for example is very good, but will be poor. The indoor spa, ditto. One positive will be a certain kind of clientele who are effectively banned from the EU suggesting it could be peaceful at the moment.

    The 5 for 4 is also available as a 3 for 2 but Algarve opted out.

    The Curio Porto looks interesting.

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