Octant Praia Verde

Castro Marim, Algarve, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £126 per night

Octant Praia Verde

Castro Marim, Algarve, Portugal

Cool, contemporary boutique hotel close to a long sandy beach (and to Spain); great for families

Cool, contemporary boutique hotel close to a long sandy beach (and to Spain); great for families

Here on the eastern coast, you'll find a rare pocket of the Algarve that hasn’t been over-developed. Set amidst protected pine forests, you're only a short hop across to Spain, and a 15-minute stroll down to a magnificent sandy beach with a handful of low-key restaurants and bars.

Most of its 65 suites have bijou kitchenettes and sofabeds, so it’s especially handy for families or as a base for longer stays. Design is sleek and clean, with good use of slate and mosaic tiles. This boutique hotel cleverly blends a homely, honest feel into a contemporary open-plan style. But there's a touch of soul, too. We found the service absolutely charming. Their popular restaurant A Terra serves hearty dishes from the wood-burning oven. For those in search of local produce (including the famous Castro Marim 'flor de sal'), there's a small deli corner which is great for gifts. We left with the following words chalked up on their reception blackboard: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page!" Indeed. Praia Verde is a page not worth skipping.

Highs

  • We loved the relaxed, friendly, open-plan vibe and delicious food
  • An easy 15-minute walk to one of the Algarve's best beaches and a collection of seasonal restaurants, kiosks and bars
  • A great, unspoilt location, with lots to do (cycling, dolphin watching, castles); and Seville is only 1.5 hours drive away
  • Affordable family suites and free kids club during the summer months
  • Less than a 45-minute drive from Faro airport

Lows

  • Closed for extensive renovations until autumn 2024
  • The long corridors are a little spartan: we thought they could do with some artworks
  • Pine trees obscure much of the view from lower-floor rooms
  • You'll probably want a hire car - there are few shops or transport links nearby
  • Suite kitchenettes are pretty basic but useful for preparing snacks
  • Disappointing coffee and Lipton tea at breakfast! Stick to your in-room Nespresso
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    Suites have a double sofabed for up to 2 children and space for a baby cot, too. When booking, a Family Suite is the same as the regular Suites but with the sofabed made up at around 7pm; choose from 1 or 2 extra guests. The top-floor of the hotel (Double and Superior Sea View Rooms) is adults only.

    Parents should know...

    The pools (a main pool and baby splash pool) are unheated. It's a good 15-minute walk to the beach, there is a golf buggy available to bring you back if needed.
  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Bath
  • Stroller
  • Potty and toilet seat
  • Changing mats
  • Steriliser and bottle warmer
  • Baby monitor

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Babysitters can be arranged through reception

Free kids' club space open year round for kids 4-10 year olds to play, paint and draw. Sometimes, depending on the season (eg Easter holidays) and numbers at the hotel, complimentary organised activities are offered such as: treasure hunts, Easter egg painting, pizza/cookies workshops, beach games, T-shirt decorating, baking days, decorating mugs, and cinema sessions and pyjama party nights in the evenings for the older kids. Sessions are usually 1000-1300, 1400-1800, 1900-2230.

Children's menus are available and the atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and friendly. The pizzas were a winner with our daughter.

  • Small playroom near reception
  • Books and toys
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Playground with swing
  • Movie nights with popcorn
  • Nearby sandy beach has shallow water (easy 15 min walk)
  • Bird or dolphin watching
  • Family bicycle rides
  • Introduction to golf

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 65 rooms
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Accommodation comes in 4 flavours. Suites on the 1st (ground) floor, look into the pine woods, while others on the 2nd floor have sweeping views over the treetops. All Suites share the same simple design; the beds are so comfy that I slept for 10 hours on my first night. You also have a balcony, separate living room with sofabed as well as a kitchenette with hob, microwave and Nespresso machine (chopping boards, toasters and kettles are available on request). Compact bathrooms are generally black slate with powerful rain showers; bathrobes can be requested. Either type can become a Family Suite when the sofabed is used; cots are free. All are the same size. The beds in Deluxe Mezzanine Rooms are separated from the seating area by a glass balcony.

On the top floor are the light-filled, adults-only Sea View rooms, where you can soak up ocean scenery from your balcony. They are considerably more stylish in decor, with designer lampshades, rustic desks, and pops of colour from beautiful patterned cushions. Sea View Double Rooms have a walk-in shower in their lovely all-white bathrooms; Sea View Superior Rooms and Deluxe Sea View Rooms have a standalone tub, too.

Features include:

  • Hairdryer
  • WiFi

Eating

The stylish restaurant, A Terra, offers tasty, rustic dishes such as braised baby chicken (with herbs from the garden), cod with chickpeas and coriander, or local fish stew served in a black Le Creusot casserole dish. Windows open out for alfresco dining and it has a welcoming feel, with big wooden tables, flexible eating times and a relaxed vibe. Don't miss the crispy pizzas from their wood-burning oven and tempting desserts including a carob crumble and homemade raspberry sorbet. We ate very well.

Breakfast is a buffet of delicious just-baked breads and pastries (don't miss the kiwi and pumpkin jams), cereals, fresh fruit, healthy juices and scrambled eggs. In summer you can get light lunches by the pool - sardine sandwiches, steak burgers - or of course head down to the beach for fresh fish or pasta. Back at the hotel, an impressive gin menu offers over a dozen varieties for a stiffening aperitif.

Just ask reception for local restaurant suggestions if you want to eat out, they have a list of good ones.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kids' meals
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head down to the sandy beach (15 mins' walk) - shallow waters, great sand-castling, and a scattering of seasonal bars and restaurants. In the evening for late-night clubbing hotel guests get priority access to Clube Praia Verde
  • The hotel can help arrange brilliant activities, including fishing trips, dolphin watching, picnics on the beach, bird watching in the marshlands, or golf tee times (there are 6 courses within 12km)
  • Lounge by the pool or relax at the pool bar; if it gets too hot there's plenty of shade
  • Visit Castro Marim (7km) for its castle and fort - the hotel can lend you bikes for a small charge; or drive to Tavira, one of the prettiest towns in the Algarve, (17 km / 15 mins' drive)
  • Pop across to Spain: the coast between Mazagón and Matalascañas has wild pine-shaded beaches and massive sand dunes; the town of El Rocio is like a Western filmset; and Seville is only an hour and a half away
  • Chill out at the hotel. Enjoy a massage in the dedicated treatment room, there's a menu of options; borrow a book from their collection, or enjoy a black and white movie projected onto a wall in the lounge area

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Dolphin watching
  • Golf
  • Horse riding
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Best Time to go

The hotel is usually open year round, and we think April and September are great months: the beach is almost empty, and room rates are lower. Be aware though that during the winter everything local is likely to be closed until February; the hotel's pool bar opens during the Easter season. The area can get crowded in August, though nothing like the central Algarve.

Our Top Tips

Try and book as high a room as possible. During the night you can watch the sea sparkle with lights from the boats fishing for squid.
Kid Friendly:

Location

Praia Verde is in a residential villa development near Castro Marim, in the Eastern Algarve, southern Portugal. It's 50km (45 mins) east of Faro and 8km from the Spanish border.

By Air
Fly into Faro (58km) then hire a car. You can also fly into Seville in Spain but make sure you're allowed to take your hire car across the border. You can park for free at the hotel.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Faro 58.0 km FAR
  • Seville 165.0 km SVQ

Other:

  • Beach 0.2 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

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Rates for Octant Praia Verde

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