So having spent 12 days and cycled 400 miles from Porto we arrived at Faro (from Lagos, by train) – our final city destination before we head to the Eastern Algarve for a week of rest and relaxation (perhaps with some local cycling and running – so not to undo all of our hard work!)
We had a 5-minute walk from the train station to our hotel ‘Eva’, perfectly located overlooking the marina! There ended what had been great up to that point. Firstly, having entered the lobby area wheeling our bicycles (no other hotel had batted an eyelid with us doing this), we were quickly met by concierge in the stark white and uber clean foyer, who immediately ushered us out of the hotel foyer, advising that we could store our bicycles elsewhere! We didn’t have so much as a hello and welcome to the hotel !
Walking a few minutes around the corner the said concierge took us to a large ‘unlocked and open’ warehouse type space – but which, essentially anybody off the street could walk into; and is regularly used by staff and suppliers to gain access into/out of the hotel. The said concierge expected us to leave our bikes there!
We had stayed in 12 different hotels up to this point with no issue, up to now! Having flown our bikes from the UK to then cycled them 400 miles, we were not just going to leave them in an unsecured area. Instead, and it took a raised voice or two, the hotel management agreed to put our bikes in a better ‘secured’ area of the hotel. Our impression of the hotel so far was not good (and certainly not what we were expecting to end our journey!)
It then didn’t end there, as having paid Euros 130 for a double superior ‘city view’ room we found ourselves in the oldest of rooms, and which clearly hadn’t been modernised since the 1960s/70s. What we were presented with was not the same as the Hotel’s website pictures. Four unanswered telephone calls to reception, it was down to reception to complain about said ‘superior’ room. [Note: there was no-one on reception and it wasn’t busy – but clearly no-one had wanted to answer the ‘phone!] A very surly receptionist was adamant that what we had booked was a superior room – eventually, and after asking, “why were the pictures of the rooms not like the room we’ve been given”, did she offer an alternative (twin) bedroom overlooking the Marina (the view was good if nothing else). We accepted. The new room had been largely refurbished (clearly only half the hotel has been updated and modernised), however it’s been done on the cheap. For example, a very old wooden cupboard had been left in situ behind the new wardrobe; there is nowhere to hang wet towels; and it hadn’t been well cleaned.
Breakfast the next morning was just average – it reminded us of a busy and noisy canteen. This is not a 4* hotel!! We will not be returning to Hotel Eva, and we would not recommend it.
On going out in thr evening to eat, we stumbled across an excellent restaurant, which served both tapas and regular Portuguese food, called ‘Petisqueira 3 Em Pipa‘. The quality of the food and wine here is superb; and the young man who served us was very attentive, knowledgeable, polite and professional. It is also a very popular place, so for us, we were lucky enough to have got a table having arrived a bit earlier. We will definitively go back to the restaurant and would highly recommend.