Good location

Nice views and lovely grounds

Friendly, helpful staff


Rooms looking a bit tired and could do with decorating

Choice of food limited and would get boring if you went all inclusive

Full Review

Auramar Beach Resort is situated in the town of Albufeira, on the Algave in Portugal. The Auramar is sold very much as a budget holiday and the cost per night is about as low as you are likely to find in Albufeira for anything half-decent so what's it like?

I visited the Auramar in April 2010 for a short break of five days and after reading various reviews on the Internet, I wasn't expecting anything too extravagant. On the whole, the reviews were positive with maybe 30% offering negative comments. To my mind this was a good ratio given that people are usually quicker to complain so if 70% of people have positive things to say, it must be ok! That said, my main reason for booking the Auramar was because it is situated pretty much right on the beach (well at the top of a smallish cliff overlooking the beach anyway).

If you are thinking of visiting the Auramar Beach Resort and have read some of the reviews online, you will be well aware of people mentioning a 'horrible smell' in reception. This seems to come up a fair bit in reviews so it was with some anticipation that I walked into the hotel lobby for the first time. Now I don't know whether I was just lucky but I wouldn't say that there was any unusual smell in reception worthy of mention. A couple of times I did smell something like cleaning fluid or bleach but certainly not something that bothered me or which I would have wanted to complain about. Maybe it gets worse as the temperature rises I don't know but personally, I wouldn't worry at all about the smell. Quite frankly, even if it does get a bit whiffy in the reception area, you only need to walk through it briefly – you won't be spending the week there!

The hotel bedroom and bathroom were kept spotlessly clean although they were starting to look a bit tired and dated and a bit of paint and general updating wouldn't go amiss. But you have to remember that this was a budget break so I don't think you can expect top notch fittings – cleanliness is the most important thing to my mind.

The Auramar offers a choice of all inclusive or bed and breakfast packages. I went for the latter and this was the right choice. Although there is plenty of food available, it would get a bit boring if you were eating there three times a day. The meals tended to be a meat dish (roast chicken for example) offered with chips, rice, veg etc. Chips are obviously an important part of the diet at the Auramar, you even get them with breakfast (which was fine to be honest, eggs, sausage, bacon and a choice of cereal and fruit).

Outside there is a good sized swimming pool and beautifully maintained gardens with a wonderful view across the sea from the pool area. There are plenty of sun loungers and sun shades so no need to get up early to reserve one with a towel (although some people did do this and often didn't actually make it to their lounger until early afternoon which is a bit selfish!)

In terms of overall location, the Auramar is about 10 minutes walk from The Strip which is the main street with plenty of restaurants, bars and a nightclub. In the other direction it is a 20 minute walk along the beach to the OldTown but watch the tides, if the sea is in you won't be able to get all the way. The hotel does have a courtesy bus which will ferry you to and from the OldTown a couple of times a day though.

In Closing

In summary, I would be happy to recommend the Auramar Beach Resort for a short break. It is a clean, well located hotel and an ideal base for a few days in the sun.