How do you know that a hotel has done everything right? When on the last day of his holiday, a guest hugs the staff so warmly, it’s as if he’s saying goodbye to good friends. He felt so comfortable in the TUI Sensimar Falesia Atlantic that he’ll come back next year when it’s the TUI BLUE Falesia. I watched this scene during a visit in mid-September when I spent a few days in the Algarve. I got that holiday feeling too, just what you can expect starting in February 2018 at the new TUI BLUE Falesia on Portugal’s rocky shores.
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Switch off properly – for adults only
A small tip in advance: book a room with a sea view. The views of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and the spectacular cliffs of Praia da Falésia can’t be beat. The hotel will be the largest TUI BLUE hotel to date with almost 350 beds, which is explained by the fact that it was originally a RIU hotel. Does that sound uncomfortable? It’s actually not. The first thing I noticed at the TUI Sensimar Falesia Atlantic was the incredibly relaxed atmosphere. No one was stressed out there, and most guests just wanted to soak up some sun by the pool or chill out on the lounge furniture with a drink in-hand on one of the raised decks. Since it was a hotel for people over 16, and remains so as the TUI BLUE Falesia, the noise was accordingly quiet. The staff spoke German and/or English and always had smiles for the guests, no matter how stressful the workday had been at the fully-booked hotel.
The most beautiful beach in the Algarve?
The future TUI BLUE Falesia sits on the cliffs next to the huge beach Praia da Falésia and above the small beach Olheiros de Agua Doce, and therefore has fantastic views over the Atlantic Ocean and the shoreline. No matter how nice it is at the pool, you should pull yourself from the lounge chair and head for the kilometres-long Praia da Falésia, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. There are 300 steps leading down to the beach (I counted), and – unfortunately – back up again. You wouldn’t even need to take part in a fitness class with a BLUEf!t Guide at the hotel, since step aerobics are included. There’s really no excuse (unless you’re disabled) not to visit this beautiful beach every day, jump into the cool waves, walk for kilometres along the bizarre, rocky landscape, and feel the wind in your hair. Speaking of wind and hair: if you have a delicate hairstyle, take hairspray. Tons of hairspray. It can be quite windy on the Atlantic shores.
Petrified curtains and watering eyes on the beach
The rocky coast at Praia da Falésia is a protected natural area, so nothing can be built there. There are a few rental chairs and a bar on the beach, but you won’t find much else. Even in the absolute peak season, you should be able to find a quiet place on the 7-kilometre-long beach. Even if you don’t want to swim in the ocean or spend a day at the beach during your holiday at the TUI BLUE Falesia, you should still take an evening stroll along Praia da Falésia. Those colours! As the evening sun illuminates the ochre, creamy white, and terracotta cliffs, it paints the steep walls in all the warm orange and red tones you can imagine. The rock in the cliffs is porous and has taken on a strange shape due to wind and weather. It looks like wax that’s dripped down a large candle or a petrified curtain. When the tides recede, a branching pattern that looks like a river delta on a map is left in the sand. At low tide, the beaches of Praia da Falésia and Olheiros de Água Doce become connected and you can observe a phenomenon at the latter that gave it the name “watering eyes”. Fresh water, which the locals used centuries ago as a source of drinking water, bubbles up out of holes in the sand.
Sea air makes you hungry
All right, enough raving about the beach. After I had photographed every rock and seagull on Praia da Falésia, it was time for dinner. Right next to the hotel, without even taking the stairs down to the beach, there’s an unpaved viewpoint that’s great for taking photos. Please don’t back up while taking selfies on the edge of the cliff. Back at the hotel, I was impressed by the lobby of the TUI Sensimar Falesia Atlantic/TUI BLUE Falesia. Despite the size, the plethora of cosy seating created a welcoming atmosphere. To the left was the bar and the hall where evening events took place. To the right was the buffet restaurant. What will be available to eat at the TUI BLUE Falesia? Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine, lots of healthy fish, plus vegetarian and vegan options. And many tasty little things you can sample. The restaurant and bar has a large terrace overlooking the pool. The buffet restaurant will look a little different than in the TUI Sensimar Falesia Atlantic. The à la carte restaurant, which is located to the right of the pool, will be expanded even more. Here, multi-course, gourmet, Mediterranean meals will be served with international and modern influences. Enjoying a fancy meal in the à la carte restaurant will be included in your TUI BLUE Falesia holiday if you have the all-inclusive package.
Half-board or all in?
I forgot to mention that in TUI BLUE Falesia you’ll be able to choose between half-board and all-inclusive meal plans. In addition to the breakfast and dinner buffets of the half-board plan, the all-inclusive package includes the lunch buffet and snacks at the pool bar. And the drinks, of course (the selection that’s included). Check it out on the TUI BLUE Falesia’s website. If you’re not sure whether HB or All-In is the right one for you, ask yourself the following question: “Do I want to stay in the hotel most of the time and just relax?” All-inclusive. “Or do I want to use the hotel as a base for day trips to the Algarve coast and the hinterland?” Half-board.
TUI BLUE Falesia, a Garden of Eden
I then walked through the garden a bit, which was very well maintained. It seemed more like a botanical garden than a hotel complex. Bird of paradise flowers, olive trees, cacti, angel’s trumpets, palm trees, and many other plants were passionately tended and maintained by the hotel gardener at the TUI Sensimar Falesia Atlantic. A small herb garden also provided fresh organic ingredients for the kitchen. Following the path to the right behind the à la carte restaurant, going left at the fence separating the hotel grounds from the edge of the cliff, a bocce field and an area for yoga and stretching will be installed at the TUI BLUE Falesia. All accompanied by the sounds of the sea, of course.
Yes, I will
Are you secretly dreaming of a romantic marriage proposal for your partner? Come to the TUI BLUE Falesia, let the hotel team in on your plans, and they will take care of it. There’s a perfect place in the hotel that’s already been the scene of proposals several times. I won’t say any more about it – otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Want a bit of the sea?
Which of the seven room types is the most beautiful? This depends, of course, on how much space you’d like to have on holiday and which view you’d prefer. All the rooms are very spacious (28 to 46 m²) and of course the junior suites and suites are even bigger. The decor is pretty subtle and you’ll feel right at home. The patterned pillows are really cute. If you prefer a double bed with two single mattresses, ask prior to arrival at the hotel. There are also rooms that have a king bed with separate mattresses. As I already mentioned, the surcharge for the sea view room is definitely worth it. Not that the garden view is bad, but if you’re like me and can spend hours on the balcony soaking up the ocean view, then this is your chance.
In bad weather, only wellness helps
If the weather in the spring or fall is too cool for the outdoor pool, that’s no problem. The BLUE Spa at the TUI BLUE Falesia has an indoor pool and a sauna. You can be pampered even more with a massage. From gentle soothing to vigorous kneading, there’s something for everyone. Of course, there are also partner massages in a hotel primarily for couples.
Olhos d’Agua – wonderfully calm
What does the town of Olhos d’Agua have to offer? The place is pleasantly ordinary and after a ten-minute walk you’ll reach some restaurants, bars, and shops with everything the tourist and local heart desires. If you like it very touristy with one souvenir stall after another and nights of partying at trendy bars, you can find it in Albufeira. The approximately 7-kilometre drive there can be done with a public bus or a taxi from the Hotel TUI BLUE Falesia. Albufeira also has a cute old town and it’s worthwhile to pay a visit to the city during the day. Albufeira Marina launches boat tours down the Algarve coast. I took a look at the fascinating caves and grottoes of the Algarve from the water on a quick speedboat tour.
Strike out from TUI BLUE Falesia – it’s worth it
It would be an outrage to do a holiday at the TUI BLUE Falesia without looking at the highlights of the Algarve. If guided tours aren’t for you, then you can take a car on your own journey of discovery: the last bratwurst before America at the Cabo de Sao Vicente, the southwesternmost point in Europe, hiking in the Monchique Mountains, the cosy old towns of Lagos, Faro, and many smaller towns. Ask the BLUE Guides at the hotel for tips. Nobody can give you better insider tips. If you want to sit back and enjoy an organised excursion, I can definitely recommend the great “Sunset & Moonlight” excursion to the Algarve hinterland, which my colleague Dirk and I did. We learned a lot about Portuguese traditions, ate and drank typical Portuguese fare, and experienced an indescribably beautiful, cliche sunset high above the coast.
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Feel like trying it now? You can find all the information about the TUI BLUE Falesia on our website. We visited in the third week of September and the hotel was fully booked. The Algarve coast has gained in popularity in recent years. So be smart and book fast!