August 19, 2022

Tamba Park

Travel and Leisure

Best family hotels in the Algarve

9 min read

When it comes to family holidays in Portugal, one region tops all the rest. With miles of sandy beaches, one of the most reliably sunny climates in Europe and plenty to do for kids and parents alike, the Algarve’s popularity is richly deserved. Family hotels have healthy competition and the quality is high, both when it comes to facilities and service, with children made to feel welcome everywhere they go.

There’s plenty for all budgets, with good value properties in the more built-up central Algarve near Albufeira, immaculate luxury resorts among the golf courses around Vilamoura, and properties with more secluded settings in both the windswept west and the quieter east, between Faro and the Spanish border. Larger hotels and all-inclusive packages are available for those who’d prefer to stay on-site for the duration of their trip, but many properties also encourage you to discover the best of the region with curated excursion programmes, from boat trips and water sports to cycling in the Rio Formosa nature reserve or visits to a local farm.

Main photo: Aquashow Hotel

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1. Martinhal Sagres, Sagres

Best for whole family focus
Whether you have a seven-month-old, a 17-year-old, or both, this established family resort in the beautiful Western Algarve will have you covered. It’s not just the facilities that have made the Martinhal brand famous, though they are extensive — kids’ clubs from six months up to 17 years, football and tennis academies, swimming lessons, a games room, bike rental and a BMX-style pump track, five pools, tennis courts, watersports, playgrounds dotted around the resort — but the ethos, which prioritises not just kids but parents too. Recharge in the excellent spa and enjoy long lunches — restaurants all feature play corners, so you can have that extra glass of wine uninterrupted.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price £££

2. Octant Praia Verde, Castro Marim

Best for wild nature
The lion’s share of those coming for a family holiday in the Algarve go west from the airport at Faro. Head east, and the region is much less built up, with quiet beaches, traditional fishing villages and the wetlands and deserted barrier islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Praia Verde means “green beach” and this sleek, contemporary hotel sits among the shoreside pine forests that inspire the name. The approach is stylish but wholesome, from locally sourced food to the kids’ club activities, which include cookie-baking and treasure hunts. There’s a large excursion programme, from horse-riding and nature safaris to boat trips and a day at a farm.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price ££

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3. Vila Vita Parc, Porches

Less is definitely not more at this sprawling, clifftop hotel designed with a nod to Moorish style. There are ten restaurants, covering cuisines from Bavaria to Japan, including the two-Michelin-starred Ocean which justifies booking a babysitter. Menus are extensive and creative, and while even the relaxed beach shack serves Korean bites, there are always classic kid-friendly choices too. The resort provides turnkey luxury, with room, suite or villa accommodation; a creche, kids and teens clubs; multiple sports facilities; a spa and seven pools and even art and photography classes.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price £££

Four Seasons Fairways

4. Four Seasons Fairways, Quinta do Lago

Best for tiny tots
Travelling with very small children can be daunting, but this understated property in the well-heeled resort of Quinta do Lago is equipped to keep stress to a minimum. Accommodation is in apartments and villas, so there’s space to enjoy your evening once little ones are asleep, and a kitchen to streamline making up bottles or doling out snacks. Both outdoor and indoor pools are heated, so tiny splashers won’t get shivery, and in addition to the kids’ club for three to 12-year-olds there’s also a sensory play creche for those between six months and two with activities including story time, music and messy play. Babies can attend from three months if accompanied by an adult.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price ££

Cascade Wellness Resort is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Cascade Wellness Resort

5. Cascade Wellness Resort, Lagos

Best for sporty families
Families who can only spend so long on a sun lounger will love this clifftop hotel in Lagos. Get out on the scenic Pont de Piedade trail for a run or a walk, head off on two wheels from the on-site bike station, try stand up paddle-boarding or play tennis. There are football academies for five to 15-year olds in Easter, May and summer holidays, plus a less sport-focused kids club with its own pirate ship playground, and parents can hit the extensive gym with its outdoor spin studio, sign up for a fitness bootcamp or decompress at the spa.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price ££

 Memmo Baleeira is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Memmo Baleeira

6. Memmo Baleeira, Sagres

Best for budding surfers
At the windswept western end of the Algarve, Sagres is a surfing hotspot. This airy, minimalist hotel has its own surf school, with group lessons open to over 12s and private tuition available from six years up. The hotel also provides yoga classes and bike rental and can organise boat trips, scuba diving and windsurfing. It’s less than five minutes’ walk from the area’s most sheltered beach, and the outdoor swimming pool and many of the rooms, which include family suites with sofa beds, have gorgeous sea views. The restaurant focuses on local cuisine, plus wood-fired pizzas and a handful of kids’ favourites.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £

Pine Cliffs is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Pine Cliffs

7. Pine Cliffs, Olhos de Agua

Best for extended families
Holidaying en masse brings pleasures, but also pitfalls. Pine Cliffs’ sheer size and variety helps avoid any bickering. Stay together in a large villa, or give everyone their own space in the hotel or apartments. Kids can’t fail to adore the “children’s village” — hardly an exaggeration as it has a basketball court, bouncy castle, swimming pool, 18-hole mini-golf course and a playground with two life-size wooden pirate ships. Over eights are offered multiple sports at the Junior Club, from football and tennis to crossbow shooting. Parents and grandparents can head off to the giant spa, tee off on the hotel’s nine-hole golf course, play tennis or take a class at the on-site cooking school. The whole family will love the sandy beach, accessed by a lift from the cliff top.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price £££

Dona Filipa Hotel is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Dona Filipa Hotel

8. Dona Filipa Hotel, Vale do Lobo

Best for out of seasons stays
The Algarve’s reliably balmy climate extends well beyond the summer season, making the region a super-short haul shoo-in for early or late sun. There’s usually just one hitch — the Portuguese predilection for unheated swimming pools. Not at the Dona Filipa, however. The outdoor heated pool is a beauty, plus the Kangaroo kids’ club stays open right until the start of November, covering autumn half term. This established favourite is right on sandy Vale do Lobo beach, and next door to The Praça, a hub of restaurants, shops and live music, so it feels buzzy even in the season.

Kids’ club Y
Pool
Y
Price ££

Anantara Vilamoura is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Anantara Vilamoura

9. Anantara Vilamoura, Vilamoura

Best for golfing grown-ups
Vilamoura, with its superyacht-filled marina and casino, is the Algarve’s most sophisticated resort, and the epicentre of the region’s golf offering. There are five courses within a kilometre of the Anantara (including direct access to the Arnold Palmer-designed Victoria course), and the hotel has its own Golf Guru to tailor your tee-off schedule. Despite its elegance, this is still a family friendly hotel, with kids’ and teens’ clubs, a dedicated family dining area and a children’s pool. It’s a ten-minute drive via the complimentary shuttle to the marina and beach. 

Kids’ club Y
Pool
Y
Price £££

Best beaches in the Algarve

Aquashow Park Hotel is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Aquashow Park Hotel, Quarteira

10.  Aquashow Park Hotel, Quarteira

Best for water thrills
If your family’s holiday satisfaction is measured in tubes, flumes and splashes, book in at the onsite hotel at Aquashow, the Algarve’s most thrilling waterpark. Unlimited access to the park is included, with its slides and rides ranging from extreme to serene. Thrill-seekers will be in their element, but anyone of a more nervous disposition will find a Jacuzzi and lazy river to retreat to, and dedicated areas for small children. The hotel has family rooms, its own pool, an unsupervised outdoor playground and indoor soft play area, and restaurant, with plenty more within a five-minute walk. It’s five minutes by car to Quarteira beach.

Kids’ club Y
Pool
Y
Price £

3HB Falesia Mar is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
3HB Falesia Mar

11. 3HB Falesia Mar, Olhos de Agua

Best for independent families
Families who like to do their own thing will find the free and easy atmosphere and excellent location of this hotel makes it the perfect base. With direct access to long, sandy Falesia beach, it’s just a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and shops in the pretty village of Olhos de Agua, and a short drive to the bright lights of Albufeira. The entire Algarve coast is your oyster, with Sagres in the far west and the Spanish border to the east both within an hour’s drive. Accommodation is practical, with one-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes and sofa beds in the living room. The pretty grounds host a pool, playground and a tennis court, and there’s also a games room and a pleasant buffet restaurant on site.

Kids’ club N
Pool
Y
Price £

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12. Vila Monte, Moncarapacho

Best for rural relaxation
More Soho Farmhouse than muddy-booted croft, Vila Monte is a converted finca set in acres of olive and orange groves, a 15-minute drive inland from the beaches of Fuseta in the eastern Algarve. Half the property is dedicated to families, with whitewashed, boho chic suites and one villa with a private pool and butler service. Children can run free through the gardens, swim in their own dedicated pool and in summer there’s a kids’ club. The whole family will love star-gazing, movie nights, a day at a farm, pottery classes and boat trips. Vila Monte’s gardens and the ocean supply much of the produce at the two restaurants, which focus on Portuguese cuisine.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price
£££

Conrad Algarve is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Conrad Algarve

13. Conrad Algarve, Quinta do Lago

Best for stylish parents
Guests of all sizes are received like royalty at this rather ritzy hotel, modelled on an 18th century Portuguese palace, on the outskirts of Quinta do Lago. It’s a spacious, elegant property, with sleek suites sleeping families of four, three swimming pools, a high-tech spa and stellar food and drink, including at the one Michelin-starred Gusto by Heinz Beck. Children have plenty to do on site, with a dedicated pool, sports courts and kids’ club, but the hotel has a lovely range of family experiences on offer, including a fishing trip, bike ride in the nature reserve and water sports on the lake.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price
£££

Be Live Family Palmeiras Village is one of the best family hotels in the Algarve
Be Live Family Palmeiras Village

14. Be Live Family Palmeiras Village, Porches

Best for all-inclusive action
This is one of the biggest all-inclusive family hotels in the Algarve, delivering maximum fun without blowing the budget. Upgrade to a two-bedroom Family Suite for more space, or go the whole hog and choose a Better Together room, which also has a Playstation and themed decor. Everyone should sleep well after packed days of activity — kids’ clubs cater for those from four to 12, plus there’s a children’s pool with slides, an adventure playground, indoor soft play and a games room. Parents aren’t left out, with an animation team organising daytime games and sports, and a host of evening entertainment. There are two buffet restaurants, three a la cartes and a 24-hour snack bar.

Kids’ club Y
Pool Y
Price £

Best all-inclusive hotels in the Algarve

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Best hotels in the Algarve

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Inspired to visit Algarve but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from Jet2 Holidays* and Tui*.