Lagos, a small attractive town in the Algarve, is home to some of the region’s most tourist-friendly beaches and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to where to stay in Lagos. Many of Lagos’ hotels are on the cliff between the old town and the Ponte da Piedade headland, or near the vast Meia Praia beach, but the historical centre and marina offer splendid accommodation options too.
In this insider guide, I’ll give you an overview of each of these different locations to help you make a more informed decision, as well as my top Lagos accommodation picks for each neighbourhood. I’ve chosen some of the best places to stay in Lagos, ranging from luxury 5 star hotels to uniquely-decorated traditional villas to rent.
Whether you want to take in the view from a roof top pool overlooking the marina or pamper yourself in a spa here are my recommendations for the best Lagos accommodation.
Best places to stay in Lagos by area
That depends on your preferences and how you intend to get there and around.
Best place to stay in Lagos for cliff-backed beaches: Around Ponte da Piedade
If your priority is easy access to dramatically beautiful beaches and the convenience of having your hotel as close as possible to them, choose accommodation to the north of the old town centre in a neighbourhood called Torralta near Ponte da Piedade.
Note that access to some of these beaches, e.g. Praia Dona Ana, may involve steep steps but Praia de Porto de Mós is accessible for all.
It’s walking distance or a short cab ride over the hill from there to the shops, restaurants and bars and there are, of course, plenty of places to eat and drink in and around the hotels. It’s just not as ‘charming’ in terms of architecture as the old town but may be quieter at night.
Several of the accommodations in this area offer parking facilities if you’re planning to do some exploring but it’s not worth the hassle of driving into the old town in high season as you’ll struggle to find a parking spot. Walk or take a cab.
Best area to stay in Lagos for families: Meia Praia
Alternatively, there are several hotels along the road behind Meia Praia beach, which is wide and sandy and much easier to get to (i.e. no steps) than the cliff-backed ones nearer Ponte da Piedade.
All you need to do is cross the train tracks – the beach even has it’s own train station so you don’t need a car to get here. This is the best area for families to stay in Lagos.
Most central part of Lagos to stay in: Old town and marina
If you would rather be in the thick of things in terms of cute cobbled streets, outside cafés, tempting shops and traditional architecture, then the old town might be a safer bet, especially if you don’t relish a 20-30 minute walk back to your hotel.
The evening atmposhere is lively, especially in summer. Just make sure you’re not too close to a bar or nightclub if you want to get a good night’s sleep (read the reviews before you choose).
Perhaps my top choice is along the Avenida dos Descubrimentos opposite the Marina. This location is also great in that you’ve got the best of all worlds in terms of easy access to different types of beach, the eateries around the Marina, Lagos train station and the massive Meia Praia beach. Plus I’m a sucker for the tinkling sound of flagpoles clinking in the breeze.
So now you’ve got a better sense of which area will suit you best, read on to find your ideal accommodation in Lagos.
5-star hotels in Lagos
One of the best hotels in Lagos is the chic 5-star Casa Mae. This boutique hotel offers a relaxing and elegant environment with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and garden. Excellent customer service and careful attention to detail makes this a wonderful, tranquil place to stay in Lagos old town. Choose between city, pool or garden views
If you are looking for a little celebrity treatment with world-class service then the Iberostar Selection Lagos Algarve near Meia Praia is ideal. Rooms have a private balcony with views of the sea or garden. There is an outdoor pool with panoramic ocean views or, if you choose a premium suite, you can relax by the private pool. And if you really want to pamper yourself the spa offers a choice of treatments. Take a look at the photos.
If you are into the idea of playing golf in the Algarve, you should consider Boavista Golf & Spa – Bela Colina Village, a very special place set in a tranquil area of Lagos’ outskirts. This 5-star holiday park offers luxury villas with stunning views over Lagos bay and beautiful, landscaped gardens. As a guest you also have free access to the excellent wellness facilities. Check availability here.
If you prefer to be a little out of town (3 km from Meia Praia but a 10-minute walk through the golf course to a lovely beach), the adult-only Palmares Beach House Hotel is perfect for a peaceful time. The large, comfy rooms have a balcony with views over the Atlantic Ocean and the golf course. See the room prices and check availability.
4-star hotels in Lagos
Overlooking Lagos Marina, the Hotel Marina Rio has modern and warmly decorated rooms and is a mere 10-minute walk from the city center with its shops and restaurants and about 20 minutes walk to Meia Praia. This is a good option if you have a car as it’s easy to find and they have a private garage (at a cost). Check out availability.
Also opposite the Marina, you will find Lagos Avenida Hotel boasting a lovely rooftop pool and bar overlooking the marina. Rooms are clean and bright and come with a choice of either marina or city views. Breakfast is excellent, the staff are very helpful and they have parking facilities. Check availability here.
The Vila Gale is a luxury resort located right on the Lagos seafront at Meia Praia that offers all that you would expect from a high standard hotel. Of particular note are the indoor and huge outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and spa. Read reviews here.
If you prefer somewhere a little different then the Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village provides villas, gardens, terraces and swimming pools set in well-kept grounds near the stunning Praia Dona Ana beach on the headland. Rooms are clean and stylishly decorated and all have a private balcony or terrace to enjoy. The restaurant provides a wide choice for breakfast and dinner. Choose a room here.
Lagos Atlantic Hotel is situated on the headland, close to the beautiful and relatively easy to access Praia de Porto de Mós so it is ideal if you are after a quieter area to stay. Rooms are spacious and clean and you will see gorgeous large photos of local nature proudly displayed throughout the hotel. There is a welcoming pool surrounded by well kept gardens and you can even take advantage of the barbecue facilities if you feel the need. As a bonus, there’s free parking! Check prices for your stay here.
The vibrant and uniquely furnished rooms at Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda feature private balconies or terraces including beach and garden views. If you really want to treat yourself to a truly relaxing experience then take advantage of the wonderful facilities including outdoor spa pool, sauna and massage options. On the headland, this is even closer to Praia de Porto de Mós. Take a look at these photos – you won’t be disappointed!
Villas to rent in Lagos
For a special stay head over to Villas D. Dinis – Charming Residence (adults only) near Praia Dona Ana. The beautifully furnished and uniquely decorated traditional villas featuring private terraces, a pool with exotic gardens and private patios will make you want to stay even longer! Car parking is free and easy, it is close to several beaches and it takes about 15 minutes to walk to Lagos town center. Check out the range of accommodation here.
Another adults-only option in this area is Dom Manuel I Charming Residence, a beautiful hotel where you will see lots of Portuguese tiles and paintings decorating each room and where you can just relax around the outdoor pool (or sauna or steam bath) and forget about the world outside. Check availability and current prices.
Discover the fun you can have away from the beach in this guide to things to do in the Algarve.
And prepare for your trip with my insider tips for visiting the Algarve.
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