Destination Portugal – Conrad Algarve review part 2 – dining, spa & how to stay cheaper

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Yesterday I looked at the Conrad Algarve hotel, location and rooms in this article. Today I will be looking at dining, facilities, what to do and how to stay cheaper or even free.

Dining

The Hotel has 2 main restaurants as well as poolside service in the summer. The Gusto by Heinz Beck restaurant was closed during my first stay. Heinz Beck holds 3 Michelin stars for his restaurant La Pergola in Rome. In part three I will look at that restaurant specifically, which is one of the best value fine dining restaurants I have been to. I dined in Louro, the more casual restaurant in the evening.

Breakfast

Conrad Algarve review

This was included due to my Diamond status, but was worth including even if you had to pay extra.

As you sat down at the table you were brought a basket of pastries including the traditional custard tarts which were to die for! Some of the best orange juice I’ve had was also offered which was freshly squeezed with their machine from local oranges. You could have regular coffee (which was a bit weak for my taste) or specialty coffees such as espresso or cappuccino which were excellent.

 

On the buffet there was a great choice of 2 types of salmon, charcuterie, salad, cheese, fruit, yoghurt and pastries. If you wanted hot food, a full English was available as well as waffles and pancakes. There were also a few items you could order such as eggs and omelettes that were included as well as other dishes such as Eggs Benedict that carried a supplement.

I ordered the Conrad Omelette with chorizo which was very tasty.

There is even sparkling wine and a great choice of juices to make a Bucks Fizz for breakfast.

If the weather is warm you can dine outside overlooking the pool which is a lovely way to start the day.

 

Dinner at Louro’s

Louro during the day

I ate at Louro as Gusto was closed. You can read my review of Gusto on a later visit here. (spoiler – it was amazing!)  It was still a fine dining experience and the food and service were both excellent. The free bottle of wine was selected for me (sadly that has now gone as a Diamond perk) and was actually very enjoyable. 

I started with an amuse-bouche of sweet potato topped with octopus and aioli which was a flavour packed way to start the meal. Next, I had ordered seafood ravioli with local red prawns. This was very delicately flavoured with the prawns being raw and finely chopped so that when the hot soup was poured on top, it cooked them instantly. It was a lovely light starter with plenty of seafood.

For my main course, I ordered the Portuguese steak. This turned out to be a fillet steak with Pata Negra ham and a vinegar sauce. The fillet steak was perfectly cooked and high-quality meat. It came with a generous selection of vegetables as well.

 

Overall the food at Louro was high quality and imaginative. Prices were average for a 5* hotel restaurant.

Local restaurants

If you are staying a while or fancy something different there are plenty of restaurants a short drive away as well as some within walking distance. 

 

What to do locally

http://www.sao-gabriel.com/restaurant-thai-garden.html

Quinta do lago

The Conrad Algarve prides themselves on making memories for their guests with their range of unique local experiences. These include clam picking and vineyard tours. Nearby there are also six internationally renowned 18-hole Golf courses located just five minutes from the hotel.

It is worth going down to the water at Quinta da Lago to see the wooden bridge .

The beach at Quinta do Lago is a beautiful three-kilometre stretch of white sand backed by sand dunes, and is accessible only by crossing a picturesque wooden bridge over the tidal lagoon. It borders the Ria Formosa National Park.

 

Hotel facilities

Conrad Algarve review

The Dado pool (summer only)

The hotel has a multitude of facilities which means on a short break you could quite easily never need to leave the hotel. These include a tennis court, indoor pool and jacuzzi, 3 outdoor pools (2 heated in winter) and a kid’s playground.

Ornate indoor pool

 

Spa

Outdoor pool at spa that I swam in

The spa is one of the big attractions for me. Although it is quite small, it is a lovely relaxing space with a perfect sun trap in winter outside. 

Cold plunge pool

I visited the spa as I had free access as a Diamond member but also to have an aromatherapy body massage. The facilities consisted of a steam and sauna, indoor hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, outdoor pool with loungers and heated indoor stone loungers. Plenty of towels and water were available. I spent a very enjoyable time swimming in the outdoor pool, and lounging in the hydrotherapy pool. The massage used the Aromatherapy Associates products and was excellent. They do have male and female therapists working there so make sure you request a specific therapist if you want a particular gender. In summer you can have treatments outside as well.

Video

You can see more of my stay at the Conrad on YouTube here or below including my cocktail experience videos.

 

When to go

The average high temperatures for Faro for the next few months are:

September – 27°c

October – 23°c

November – 19°c average high

December – January 16-17°c

February – March 16-19°c

When I was there in February and November it was 16-18°c and warm enough to swim outside in the warmest part of the day but very chilly at night. Obviously during the rest of the year, it will be warm as per most of the Mediterranean.

 

How to stay there for less or even free

When staying at Conrad there are a number of things you can do to get this hotel cheaper or top up your Avios balance at the same time. I paid €156 a night through Hilton during their sale. At the moment I can see rooms as cheap as €144 over the winter.

The options to save money are:

  1. Use Top Cashback – if you book through someone like Expedia or Ebookers and time it right you could get around 10% cashback on your booking. You would not get any benefits with Hilton Honors though or earn points. 
  2. Book direct through Hilton after joining Hilton Honors. If you join their frequent stay program which is free,  you will get a discounted rate and free internet access too. Plus with Honors new points and cash program you will soon have enough points to get a discount on your next stay, particularly if you sign up for promotions.
  3. Use your Hilton Honors points. This hotel is good value at 45,000 points per night in the winter versus the London Conrad at 80,000 points per night. Outside the peak season obviously you are not getting as much value for money as the London Conrad costs about £230 a night but during the warmer months, this is a good value redemption. You could also use points and pay if you don’t have enough to cover the whole stay. Don’t forget that if you have status, you can get 5 nights for the price of 4 when you use points. You need to book the whole stay in one go online and the points will show as the lower total for the stay.

Conclusion

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at The Conrad Algarve and the delightful staff only made it better. The rooms are large and well equipped and there is plenty to do both on-site and nearby. I am already planning to return later this year!

You can read part 3 about Gusto by Heinz Beck and my return visit here. 

 

6 Comments on "Destination Portugal – Conrad Algarve review part 2 – dining, spa & how to stay cheaper"

  1. Nice review, I’ve considered a weekend here before but never booked as I wasn’t sure about what else there is in the local area. Think I will give it a go later in the year based on how good it look here.

    • Thanks – glad you enjoyed the review. I really loved the hotel and the staff were amazing. There’s lots to do nearby, especially if you have a car. I have stayed in that area for a week before and done lots of local sightseeing. I just wish I could have stayed longer at the Conrad!

  2. Is the buffet breakfast being offered in.these difficult times? Also the spa?

    I guess Hilton Honors’ 5 nights for the price of 4 is good for HH status members. And complimentary breakfast for Gold as well as Diamond.

    You may have sold us a stay here!

    • Not sure about the buffet breakfast. In some hotels it is still there but staff serve you. In others it is brought to the table. Yes you can use the 5 for 4 on redemptions.

  3. Just for readers info Sao Gabriel and Thai garden closed a year ago . The whole site has been totally refurbished and is now a fusion restaurant called Bamboo -which is by the way a great restaurant with good food and a fun atmosphere

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