Faro is often unfairly overlooked as a holiday destination. Visitors use its airport as a gateway to the Algarve but don’t often think to stay there. Well, we think they’re missing a trick because Faro has plenty to recommend it, including plenty of luxury hotels to stay in.
The city is a vibrant combination of old and new and offers plenty of cultural, natural and historic sights. Explore inside the ancient city walls, visit the Cathedral of Faro or the sinister-sounding Bone Chapel. Then head to the waterfront for dinner overlooking the marina or cocktails at a lively bar. Take a boat out into the saltwater lagoons of Ria Formosa Natural Park and explore Faro’s sandbar islands. Not usually known as a beach destination, Faro actually has beautiful golden sand beaches, some accessible only by boat.
And if you decide to give it a try, why not stay in one of our top picks for the best hotels and resorts in Faro.
This five-star gem is the best of the urban-luxury hotels in Faro. Guests may never want to leave its rooftop terrace which features a stunning infinity pool, outdoor bar, gourmet restaurant, large sun-lounger terrace and outdoor fire. All of which command views of the city of Faro and the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
If you do decide to venture inside, you’ll find a second bar and another restaurant with a relaxed Italian vibe. You can also make use of the full-service spa, massage service, Turkish bath and fitness center before you return to your suite or room complete with a hydro massage bath or jacuzzi.
All this luxury is located in downtown Faro, walking distance from all the cafes, bars, restaurants and shops of the city. You’ll also find such favorite sights as the Faro Archaeological Museum, the Cathedral of Faro, the marina and the São Luís Stadium all within a five-minute walk from the hotel.
The 3HB Faro is the newest and most exclusive of the chain’s Portuguese locations. Reviews of their other locations praise the high level of service by their staff.
Address. Rua Vasco da Gama nº33, 8000-442 Faro, Portugal.
Best For. The height of luxurious urban living.
Rating. 5*. 3HB’s other locations received an average of 9.5/10
Golden Beach Guest House, Faro
This small but luxurious hotel is located only steps from the sand on one of Faro’s most beautiful beaches. With only a few rooms the Golden Beach Guest House prides itself on its boutique nature and friendly, personal service. Most rooms have sea views while a few look out onto the Ria Formosa river. All rooms are sleek and minimalist with stunning coastal artwork.
There is a sun terrace located almost on the sand and protected from the wind. You’ll also find a cocktail bar and coffee shop on-site and restaurants specializing in seafood and Mediterranean cuisine a short walk away.
The Pria de Faro beach is on the only one of Faro’s three islands connected to the mainland by road. The easiest to get to, it is also the most organized and offers lifeguard service, shops, cafes, restaurants and watersports. With 10 km of golden sand and a wide expanse of calm, azure water this beach is a beautiful spot to spend your vacation. If you fancy a change, regular buses or a short drive will take you to the center of downtown Faro.
Reviews praise the location, the intimate nature of the guesthouse and the friendly service.
Address. Praia de Faro Avenida Nascente Nº2, Praia de Faro, 8005-520 Faro, Portugal.
Best For. Being as close to the beach as possible.
AP EVA Senses, Faro
The four-star AP Eva Senses is all about location and views. Situated on the very edge of downtown, it boasts the best 360-degree view of all the luxury hotels in Faro. You can choose to have your room and private balcony look out over the city, the marina, the sea or the Ria Formosa Natural Park. And then you can head to the roof to enjoy the entire panorama. With a rooftop pool, sun terrace and bar you’ll want to spend all your time up there anyway.
When you do leave the roof it might be to keep yourself in shape at the fully-equipped fitness center or to luxuriate in the elegantly appointed spa, massage rooms and Turkish baths. Round off your day at the on-site restaurant serving local specialties, or have your meal sent to your room to enjoy with your view.
If all that staring out at the water gives you a taste for the ocean then you’re in luck, proximity to the marina means that boat tours out to Faro’s sand spit islands start only a short walk away. For those who prefer the land life, stroll into the thriving heart of Faro to discover the old town and all its highlights.
Reviews praise the views from the balconies, the rooftop pool and the personal service.
Address. Avenida da Republica 1, 8000-078 Faro, Portugal.
Best For. Magnificent panoramic views of Faro.
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
Perfect for those who can’t decide if they want a city break or a beach holiday, Hotel Faro & Beach Club will deliver the best of both. The hotel is located in downtown Faro close to all the tourist sights, the beautiful old town and the buzzy nightlife. Enjoy the rooftop pool and sun terrace with views over Faro city, the marina and out to sea. And make sure to eat at the Ria Formosa restaurant. One thing that puts this Hotel amongst the best luxury hotels in Faro, is the fine dining experience they provide. Taste for yourself the innovative gastronomy on offer while you enjoy views out over the water. And it’s not just the food that’s imaginative. After dinner head up to the rooftop Cosmopolitan bar to sample some unique signature cocktails.
In between experiencing all that the hotel and city have to offer, take the free shuttle out to their second location. Hotel Faro has a beach club located on one of Faro’s sandbar islands, Ilha de Faro. There you can enjoy the delights of a second restaurant and bar or merely soak up the sun on this 10km long golden sand beach. From the beach club you can also take a boat out for a tour of the Natural Park and to the other, less populated islands.
Reviews praise the location, the generous rooms and the excellent, varied food. A few do comment on the distance of the beach from the hotel. Please note this hotel is not on the beach but provides a shuttle to their beach club located 7km away.
Address. Praça D. Francisco Gomes, Nº 2, 8000 -168 Faro, Portugal.
Best For. Getting the best of both worlds, the city and the beach.
Pousada Palacio de Estoi
Have you ever wanted to sleep in a palace? How about a 19th-century palace just outside Faro, renovated to include all the 21st-century conveniences expected in luxury hotels? Well, look no further than the Pousada Palacio de Estoi, restored from ruins into this magnificent hotel so that you can live out all your royal dreams.
Enjoy the incredible mixture of Art Nouveau and Neorococo architectures apparent in the dusky pink palatial building. Wander through salons decorated in the style of Loius XV with their abundance of frescoes, chandeliers and period furniture. Check-in at the reception in what used to be the Chapel, then wander through sculpted french gardens and tea pavilions, imagining yourself in a whole other era.
And when you’ve had your fill of the historic, enjoy the thoroughly modern at the outdoor pool, full-service spa, fitness center, hammam, restaurant or bar. And although the communal rooms of the hotel proudly showcase their historic roots, the large bedrooms are decorated in a modern minimalist style.
This beautiful, unique boutique hotel is located 10km outside Faro city in the pretty little town of Estoi. Enjoy the quaint, old-Portugal charm of the town, visit the well preserved Roman ruins or hop on the regular bus that connects Estoi to the city and all its attractions.
Reviews praise the architecture, the decor, the gardens, the history, the large bedrooms and the sheer novelty of staying in this splendid hotel.
Address. Rua São José – Estoi, 8005-465 Estói, Portugal.
Best For. A once in a lifetime opportunity to stay somewhere so unique.
Guest Mar, Olhão
This dignified, 19th-century building has been tastefully renovated into a clean and classy boutique hotel. Bright, airy and decorated in a classic Mediterranean style the rooms are elegant and simple with beautiful high ceilings. With only eight rooms available, the focus here is on small scale, personal service. The hotel offers a fresh breakfast daily in a shared kitchen. This space is then available for guest use should they wish for a little self-catering flexibility on their vacation. There is also a bar and roof terrace with views out over the Olhão old town.
Located just 8km east along the coast of Faro city, Guest Mar is in the traditional town of Olhão. Here, unusually for the Algarve, the focus is on fishing as the main industry, not tourism. It is a great place to see the Portuguese way of life as it would be if the region were not such a popular holiday destination. Watch the busy fishing boats from the Olhão harbor or hop on a boat yourself. This is a great place to take boat trips to tour the saltwater lagoons of the Ria Formosa and explore Faro’s sandbar islands.
Reviews praise the building, the decor, the service, the peaceful ambience and the breakfast.
Address. Largo São João de Deus 5,6,7,8, 8700-281 Olhão, Portugal
Best For. A quiet, elegant stay in a beautifully restored old house.
Monte Borboleta, Faro
This is the furthest of our hotels from the bright lights of Faro City but we think it’s worth it for the tropical, resort vibes it offers. Monte Borboleta – or hill of butterflies, is in quite simply a stunning location. Set atop a hill in a protected area of natural beauty this accommodation is surrounded by the splendor of the Algarve. The views commanded out over Faro and the coastline are breathtaking and you’ll want to sit in the outdoor pool or jacuzzi for hours looking at it.
The four-star accommodation is some of the best we’ve found in the luxury hotels of Faro. It’s in individual, detached units whose rustic molded-stone walls and terracotta floors are coupled with spacious bedrooms, comfortable lounges and well-equipped bathrooms. Each unit has its own private outdoor space with views of the mountains and coast and a fully equipped kitchen for the freedom of self-catering.
The resort offers breakfast delivered to your room, has an onsite bar and spa services. The nearest restaurant is 2km away and Faro City is 14km away.
Reviews praise the solitude, the privacy of the accommodation, the beauty of the location and view, the wonderful hosts and service. Some do recommend hiring a car to make the most of the area.
Address. Valados Goldra Santa Barbara de Nexe, 8005-487 Faro, Portugal.
Best For. Private villa resort-style accommodation with views to die for.