Quarteira was one of the first small fishing villages in the Algarve, Portugal's foremost beach destination, to be developed into a vacation community. As a result, little remains from the town's original character as it has become a place of high-rise buildings and bargain basement package tourism. But amid all the over-development, hotel options offering character and high standards still exist in the village.
While the seafront promenade, the working fishing port, and the adjacent fish and vegetable market have some character, most of Quarteira is made up of concrete apartment blocks. The sprawl has swallowed up neighboring Vilamoura, so the two towns are often considered to be part of the same beach vacation area. Travelers in search of a scenic beach vacation need to avoid the center of Quarteira and look outside of town. Doing so also means renting a car, since even those hotels situated in the middle of an Algarve suburb rarely have dining options within walking distance.
The Atis Hotel is Frommer's top choice for those choosing to stay in Quarteira itself. The rooms are on the small side, but clean and appointed in a simple-yet-comfortable, pleasant, mid-range fashion. All rooms come with balconies, and those on upper floors and facing toward the south have an unobstructed view of the sea. The Atis Hotel is also conveniently located only two blocks from the town's urban beach, Praia de Quarteira.
Dom Pedro Golf Hotel
The Dom Pedro is something of an adult playground, set in a curved, 10-story building in Vilamoura. In addition to the hotel's golf course (guests receive a discount on green and driving range fees), the Dom Pedro is also within walking distance of the town marina, the beach, and Vilamoura's casino and disco. Rooms at the Dom Pedro are neatly appointed with an earth-toned, Euro-modern decor. The hotel is a favorite of British and Nordic travel agencies, and is therefore sure to be crowded in the summer season.
Tivoli Marinotel Vilamoura
Rated as "Exceptional" by Frommer's and as a five-star by Turismo Portugal, the Tivoli Marinotel is the best hotel in the area and among the best in the Algarve. The hotel sits on an expanse of manicured gardens and enjoys direct access to a secluded beach. As a result, each of the luxurious rooms has an unobstructed view of the sea from its balcony. As is typical of some of Tivoli's hotels, the public spaces at the Tivoli Marina are a bit on the garish side.