Hostel Review: Well’come To Algarve, Faro
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Well’come To Algarve. The description on Hostelworld said it was Faro’s ‘newest place to stay’ and the price was a lot cheaper than the rest. Naturally, I didn’t expect much but it turned out to be one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed at!
My flight was delayed by nearly two hours and, being the ~seasoned traveller~ that I am (joking, obviously) I assumed Portugal was an hour ahead of UK time and called the hostel to say I would be checking in late. They were lovely but informed me there was a 10 Euro charge, which was fine because I’m sure the staff just wanted to go home. I landed, realised Portugal is the same time, arrived at the hostel in regular check-in hours and apologised profusely for unnecessarily causing them stress. They were all so friendly and said they were just happy I was there and my flight wasn’t delayed for too long.
The hostel was set out in a big, typical Portuguese-type villa with traditional tiles and ornaments, yet it still had a modern look and feel to it. The lobby was open plan with rooms coming off from all sides and there were travellers milling around, drinking and making friends. I hadn’t been on a solo trip for a while (and if you read this post you’ll know why) but the laid-back atmosphere instantly put me at ease.
I was then told I wouldn’t be staying here as they have a number of guesthouses. I would be staying in their ‘back yard’ house which was a 5 minute walk from there. I was given a map and was taken there by a member of staff. Another member of staff greeted us when I got there (and it was nearly midnight at this point). They were all friendly and professional and nothing was too much trouble. I was given a tour and shown to my room, which was a six bed dorm.
The Back yard house was still a modern yet traditional villa but it had, as the name suggests, a back yard. It was lovely to sit out there in the morning eating breakfast in the sunshine. The house also had a small lounge on the first floor, complete with TV, sofas, board games and lamps to give it a cosier vibe. I was also shown a rooftop by some other guests which offered a lovely view of the town. Apparently the rooftop doesn’t get used much but it definitely should as it was lovely to sit and relax, listening to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of Faro below.
The hostel was spotlessly clean as well. The kitchen was small but had everything you could need, including free coffee. There were two bathrooms on each floor which were also always spotless. The room was a good temperature; even without air-con it was cool enough at night to sleep under the covers comfortably. Each bed came with it’s own light (which you had to unplug if you wanted to use the plug socket but, hey, nowhere is perfect!). The lockers were very spacious too and came with their own key so it doesn’t matter if you forget a padlock.
Not to sound too much like a typical backpacker but there was just such a lovely vibe to the place. Everyone there seemed really friendly and chilled. It was so easy to get chatting to people, no matter where they were from. I got the impression that people who stayed here returned often and they came here to relax. There wasn’t much in the way of hostel activities (and I can’t really complain for £13 a night) but it was easy to meet people who wanted to go out to eat/drink/explore if you wanted to.
I’m going to write another post about why you shouldn’t skip Faro on your trip to The Algarve but it’s a lovely little town and Well’come To Algarve is the perfect, chilled out, central place to stay.
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