I was actually having a cup of tea and Nutella on toast as I typed this (no chicken tacos for me, sadly!) and thought about how there was nowhere else I’d rather have been but I’m afraid I was fooling myself. I would much rather have been in the Algarve, Portimao, to be exact.
Earlier this month, Daddy and I booked a last-minute Summer holiday holiday and took Alex with us. Now normally, we book quite big properties when being out there due to always visiting with all the kids well as the in-laws.
Situated about a Fifty-four minute car journey from Faro, the property sits on the outskirts of Portimao and just off a dirt road filled with all sorts of Succulents and Cacti. Portimao itself is quite a big City and has the following:
- Two shopping centres
- Two Supermarkets and a British Supermarket stocking Iceland and Waitrose goods for those desperately missing goods from back home
- A hospital
- Slide and Splash, a local water park
It’s imperative that you hire a car if intending to book with this property. I’ll be doing a blog post on the company we used (not Goldcar!) in case you’re still looking for a car.
Fountain court is owned by an English couple from England who have retired to the Algarve and decided to renovate a property into a spa type retreat. They live on the property and are lovely, friendly and accommodating. Nothing was too much of a bother, even when we arrived late due to flight delays. You’ll occasionally see them around but they generally keep themselves to themselves .
Fountain Court is comprised of five self-catering apartments with total of up to eighteen people being able to stay. We stayed at the Bougainvillea apartment and it was quite a clean, tidy and airy apartment. All the apartments are connected by a courtyard with a fountain that lights up in the evenings.
Our apartment entrance had a small Bougainvillea tree adorning the entrance with a balcony overlooking the pool. It also had a gorgeous view of the coast and we found it really nice to watch the sunset from our beds and have breakfast on the outdoor table provided.
The bathroom was nicely decorated and had the basics; toilet, a sink and a spacious shower that was quite powerful. We never ran out of hot water too so that was a bonus.
The bathroom didn’t have any toiletries but then again, it is self-catering! I packed little hotel toiletries from prior stays into our suitcases to avoid having to buy first thing in the morning.
I do have to say that the drains in Portugal aren’t the best so the toilet occasionally let out a foul stench but having stayed in other properties in the Algarve with the same issue, I have to say that this didn’t particularly bother us that much.
The little Kitchenette was behind a sling door with a small fridge all the usual kitchen utensils. It also had a Kettle, microwave, glasses for both indoor and outdoor use and crockery too. There were some tea and coffee sachets as well as some milk to help you get settled in after your arrival(especially if it was an evening flight.)
I wouldn’t say it was a proper kitchen because there was quite a lack of bench space. This may be fine if all a person is planning to do is eat out at restaurants and cafes with merely using the kitchen for tea an coffee but we weren’t that kind of family.
We cook when staying at self-catering properties and did nothing of the sort whilst staying at the Bougainvillea because the kitchenette also didn’t have a cooker and that was a big thing because I enjoy cooking. The hosts did have an outdoor shared BBQ in the courtyard but we didn’t get to use it.
Although it states that the apartments are child-friendly, I don’t believe that very young children (babies and toddlers) would be comfortable staying at that particular apartment due to it only having a double bed and a standard single bed. Alex slept on the single bed absolutely fine as we put pillows on both sides of the bed so she wouldn’t fall off. This was such a success that we’re going to transfer her to big girl’s bed in general.
The property had quite a bit of facilities to tempt you into not venturing out beyond it and they were all empty the vast majority of the time we were there. We only ever shared the pool with one family at any one point and even that was rare. No TV is provided though so if one of the reasons you travelled to the Algarve was to watch foreign tv, you’ll be sorely disappointed!
Pool– The pool, unheated, was quite big and never really became busy even when all the apartments were in use. It also came with some pool toys too for a little extra fun!
There isn’t a shallow end for kids but Alex had armbands and they helped her float really well. It does help that the little tinker is made of hard stuff!
Jacuzzi– The jacuzzi was my favourite thing about this stay and yet it was only used twice by another group of people staying.
Steam Room and Sauna– Both also great although I preferred the steam room as it got me sweating more.
Gym Equipment– Wanting to burn the daily calories acquired by chomping on local delicacies? you can because the property also has a small gym where you can take full advantage of the treadmill, the rowing machine and an eliptical machine. For those that prefer weights to the machines, the property also provides these.
Spa Experience– If you’re looking to take your relaxation time to a new level, Fountain court offers quite a few spa treatments. This option is an extra so you will therefore have to pay separately. A price list is given to you upon booking your stay.
I had a facial and a hand massage that was given by the host (the wife, not the husband!) whilst listening to soothing sounds interspersed with Alex’s giggles as she played In the pool with daddy. Heaven.
Wi-fi– The property apparently comes with Wi-fi however we couldn’t find any networks. It didn’t really bother us as we had our own internet connection on our phones and it proved successful enough. We could have had a word with the hosts who would have been quite happy to help but we weren’t really bothered so just left it.
The property has a gated entrance and with ample space for parking.
I’d definitely stay at Fountain Court again but in one of the bigger apartments that has proper cooking facilities. I don’t regret booking this property at all, especially seeing as it was last minute. I’d also probably book the entire place and have a big family holiday.
You can find prices and dates for the Fountain court Spa here. I’ve had a look at the link and the prices seem a bit doolally and certainly not what we paid for it so if you’re thinking of booking it in the near future then check with the hosts first