The uplifting hippie-chic Memmo Baleeira was one of our favourite places to stay in the western Algarve due to its rural location, calm and soothing atmosphere and very simple contemporary interiors. Run by a die-hard surfer, the hotel is also host to several surfing events and exhibitions, which gives it a completely different ambience. This sleek yet relaxed hotel has a retro feel about it - when the owner, Rodrigo, decided to take over the hotel, his main aim was to keep the hotel's original 1980s character, which works wonderfully for a chic yet relaxed young clientele.
Located in the small village of Sagres close to the harbour and right on the beach, the Memmo sits in a prime spot facing the sea. Sagres is a small surfing village and because this area is so far from Faro airport (about a two-hour drive), it hasn't been influenced by tourists as much as Albufeira and Portimao, and has therefore retained an authentic atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere in the Algarve.
In terms of things to do in the area, there isn't much going on, which makes it perfect for a complete break.
As Sagres is a couple hours' drive from Faro airport, most guests will need to come by car; there is a private car park outside the hotel and it is complimentary to use.
Also, the advertised rates include breakfast.
Upon first impression, the hotel looks like a typical resort that is typical of the mass tourism trend, however, the owners have done a great job at giving the Memmo a different atmosphere. With an upmarket beach house look, with white walls and wooden panelling, the hotel also boasts fantastic sea views.
In terms of facilities, the hotel has Wi-Fi throughout as well as two computers connected up to the internet in the lobby - both are free. To the left of the reception desk a long corridor leads to the open-plan bar and restaurant. Bay windows line the entire restaurant, letting in plenty of that glorious Portuguese sunshine, and especially the spectacular views of the beach just down below. There are two pools at the hotel - an outdoor pool located on a raised platform looking out to the sea - and an indoor pool for colder days. Guests also have the choice of curling up with a book in one of the cosy couches in the games room also on the lobby floor. This area doubles up as a library, television room and card playing area. For something a little more active, there is a surf club for all levels.
There are 144 rooms in total, including 33 suites and six two-bedroom suites, either with garden or sea views. Extremely cosy and uplifting due to the crisp white walls and bed linen, with touches of blues, we found the Memmo's rooms extremely simple but appealing. In the day, the sea views and glorious sun shines through the large sliding doors to a balcony, creating a lovely warm holiday glow.
There are also 39 suites for guests needing a kitchenette - six of the suites have two bedrooms. Otherwise every room has either a sea view or garden view and all the usual mod-cons one would expect to find at a four-star hotel, including an in-room safe, a mini-bar (of local products, which is a huge plus in our books), a flat-screen television, and most rooms have bath-tubs and Memmo Baleeira own-brand bathroom products.
There is a disabled access room on the ground floor.
There are no meal plans here, so don't expect to find an all-inclusive clientele. The hotel does bed and breakfast and there is a beautiful restaurant and bar with lovely large bay windows lining its entire length, letting in the views of the bay just below. The food served here is reasonably priced and includes salads to fish and sandwiches at lunch, and a few more elaborate options in the evenings, including a meat dish. The restaurant is open throughout the day, but most guests tend to venture outside for lunch and dinner, which is the owners' aim; guests exploring Sagres is important, so that the local community can also benefit from tourism.
The hotel is located right up close to the beach and next to the harbour. The beach is sandy, lined by wild shrubs and the water is turquoise and calm, so ideal for going to the beach with the little ones. Note that the sea takes all summer to warm up, so it is deceptively cold throughout the summer until September. Also, as Sagres isn't sheltered, like the rest of the Algarve, it can get quite windy, so leave any floppy hats in your room unless you don't mind taking the risk of it blowing away.
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