Take a stroll down the winding, cobblestone streets towards the waterfront and you’ll find shops, cafes, restaurants and some of the freshest seafood around (Olhão’s the Algarve’s largest fishing port, so there’s nowhere better to enjoy it). On a hot, sunny day, we had a hard time leaving the pool – the passionfruit mojitos had something to do with it – but there’s a lot to explore. You’re centrally positioned among the Algarve’s best beaches, with the Ria Formosa national park on your doorstep.
- Gorgeous courtyard and terrace overlooking Olhao – perfect for alfresco dining and lounging, with areas for sun and shade-seekers
- Lots of generous touches: big, comfy beds, eco-friendly toiletries, and a flask of herbal tea left at turndown
- Owners Colum & David will make you want to move to Olhão just to hang out
- Unlike other places in the Algarve, people actually live in Olhão so it doesn’t feel like a tourist town
- Good value for money which adds to the laid-back, welcoming feel
- The pool is small so you can’t swim laps, but it’s perfect for a relaxing dip
- Olhão has a lovely harbour but the closest beaches are a drive (or ferry boat/water taxi) away
- There’s no surf, but almost every other watersport is available
- There aren’t any TVs in any of the rooms, which we didn’t miss but some people might
- Shops and restaurants in Olhão are mostly closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 9 rooms
- Breakfast only; restaurants nearby
- All ages welcome
- Closed: 15 November - 15 March
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Roof terrace for yoga
Every room is painted Casa Rosa’s signature pink, with polished concrete floors, exposed wooden beams and a few warm, earthy accents - bamboo accessories, handwoven rugs - but not overly adorned. There are nine bedrooms in total, with a choice of Super King, King and Queen beds, plus an indoor communal lounge and dining area with a log burner for the colder months.
We stayed in a Deluxe King room on the street-side of the hotel, and loved hearing the atmospheric buzz of life during the day with the windows open. Crucially though – for light sleepers like me – it was a delight to close our soundproof shutters at night and not hear a single peep.
Elegantly simple ensuite bathrooms are all shower only; the Suite's comes with twin sinks.
- Air conditioning
- Turndown service
Weather depending, breakfast is served poolside in the courtyard; for the winter months, there's also a dining table in the guest lounge, which has a wood-burning stove. As someone who chooses sleep over pretty much anything – and happily skips breakfast most days – this was not a breakfast to be missed. We enjoyed still-warm croissants, a variety of Portuguese cheeses, fresh fruit and yoghurt, eggs made to order, and specialty coffees (a few of them). If you have any dietary requirements let the team know in advance and they'll be happy to make adjustments.
There’s an honesty bar in the dining area where you can help yourself to hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and a bartending service for a couple of hours late afternoon/early evening (don’t miss the passion fruit mojitos). You’re surrounded by restaurants and cafes so you won’t have to walk far for lunch or dinner – but it’s a good idea to book in advance. Olhão is small and it draws people from all over the area, so the best places fill up fast. On your return to Casa Rosa after dinner, you'll find a flask of hot herbal tea and a homemade biscuit waiting beside your bed.
- Kids' meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian options
- Go to the islands: swim, snorkel or just chill for the day on Ilha da Armona, Ilha da Culatra or Ilha do Farol, where you’ll find kilometres of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water
- Take a boat trip through the wetlands and lagoons of the Ria Formosa national park, one of Portugal’s “Seven Natural Wonders”
- Try kitesurfing or windsurfing on Fuseta beach (on Ilha da Armona)
- Stroll or cycle (there are two bicycles available for guest use), shop, eat and drink your way around Olhão town, the waterfront, fish market and Mercado de Olhão
- Explore nearby cities, Faro and Tavira – both make a great day out
Children are welcome. Note: there are some steep steps to access the first floor terrace and bedrooms, so parents with prams will want to stay on the ground floor.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The largest, most family-friendly room is the First Floor Suite, which has a superking bed and separate lounge area
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Airport: 15 minutes
- Hospital: medical clinic 5 minutes; hospital 15 minutes
- Shops: 3 minutes
Casa Rosa Villa Hotel is ideally located just 20 minutes’ drive from Faro airport and 15 minutes to Faro city.
Drive 25 minutes east of Olhão and you’re in the beautiful, mediaeval city of Tavira – a gastronomical centre known as the ‘venice of the Algarve’ with its own set of spectacular beaches. Or head inland 25–30 minutes and explore picturesque towns like São Brás de Alportel, Estoi and Almancil, which are well worth a visit.
Faro airport is the closest (15km) but you could fly into Seville (in Spain, 200km) or Lisbon (300km) if you don't mind a longer drive.
From the Airport
Take a taxi or hire a car – see our rental recommendations. You'll need to park on the street in Olhão.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Faro Airport 15.0 km FAO
- Beach 10.0 km
- Shops 0.3 km
- Restaurant 0.3 km