Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas to all Friends of the CPO

Friends of CPO would like to wish all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

New Acquisition - Forte da Oura

MGM Muthu Group began with just six European hotels in its portfolio. Since then it has expanded its presence, particularly on the Algarve where last year it took on the luxurious Forte do Vale. Now the CPO "family" has grown further by the acquisition of the magnificent Forte da Oura, one of the largest and most popular hotels on the Algarve.

Forte da Oura is a spacious and sought after 4-star hotel with 115 modern and fully air-conditioned apartments each with a private balcony, a large outdoor pool with a private area for kids and a dedicated pool bar, a stylish restaurant, wonderful entertainment, a children's play area and a tennis court. It is situated directly beside MGM's Oura Praia Hotel.

As well as the leisure market, Forte da Oura offers a full range of services for business travellers and meeting planners.

Some Reflections from a Weekend at CPO

This is the first post on this blog, hopefully of many, that has actually been made from the CPO itself. Having arrived on Friday night for an untypically short weekend visit, I was determined to see whether anything had changed very much since my last time here, for better or for worse.

One of the "for worse" parts is that the weather is pretty dire - dry, but cold. There's no feeling homesick for Blighty while it's like this.

But there isn't really very much the management or the team at the Clube Praia da Oura can do about the elements. One piece of bad news that does come from within is that the hard-working and ever-popular entertainer Bruno has moved on to pastures new. Bruno was an absolute legend and an institution at CPO, a real character who personified everything that is fun about the resort, not only providing entertainment and laughter in the evenings but also calling the numbers at bingo (in the days when it was permitted by the Portuguese government), helping to run the pool parties in the summer and even managing activities such as archery during the day. Bruno will be missed by many and we wish him all the very best in his new work.

The CPO itself continues to excel in its service to its clients. The room as always is spotless and the small but thoughtful "added touches" - some basic foodstuffs in the fridge (for which one is always grateful after the flight and transfer in), bottle of wine, toothbrush and other little bathroom essentials, are always much appreciated.

CPO's portfolio of entertainers would appear to be expanding, and the strategy of encouraging cross-patronage around the family of resorts and hotels would appear to be progressing well.

Obviously this week there is a Christmassy feel as well, although I will have missed the carols in the open air by arriving too late on Friday and departing too early on Monday.

It is always a pleasure to be at the CPO and always a sadness to leave. Three nights are never enough to completely rediscover a feel for a place but there is clearly much to be optimistic about.

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Oura Praia Hotel

The Oura Praia Hotel is part of the CPO "family" and is situated just a short walk from the CPO site as one exits the north side of the site.

The hotel boasts a veritable array of leisure facilities and activities for guests. Outdoor pools, a sauna and jacuzzi, tennis court and gymnasium are available for use and indoors the Café Latte Bar and Trevi Restaurant serve a range of food from breakfasts to evening meals as well as hosting (at Trevi) night time entertainment, often with Bruno the Club Praia da Oura's lead entertainer. There is also a bar at poolside where one can choose from a range of soft drinks or cocktails.

The 126 self-catering apartments are all newly redecorated and are equipped throughout with satellite television and air conditioning. From the balconies and the furnished terraces guests can enjoy views over the pool and Oura village.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Weddings at MGM Hotels

CPO owner MGM Hotels is offering a range of wedding packages to suit most budgets and provides a dedicated Wedding Team to help organise the whole event from start to finish.

Up until 31st March 2015 MGM is offering a "Stay 5, Pay 3" deal on new bookings only and subject to availability.

Contact Hotel Reservations on +44 (0)845 4680164 (UK) or +351 289 249 850 (Portugal).

Monday, 1 December 2014

Rui Sá - Saxophonist

Rui Sá - or Rui Sáx to use his popular stage name - is a saxophonist and entertainer who regularly performs at the Piano Bar at the Clube Praia da Oura.

A long-time favourite of guests, Rui is appreciated both for his instrumental talent and for his slightly eccentric style, in which he interacts with his audience and personally "serenades" individuals wherever they may be in the bar at the time!

Musically he is invariably note-perfect, and whether he is playing classical or modern he always perfectly captures, indeed creates, the mood. His impressive array of saxophones, which he always has lined up and alternates between, gives of an impression of a man who really does take his task seriously.

Although his family background is in music, 52-year-old Rui once traded his musical career to go into sport, where he competed in the triathlon, as well as supervising at hotel health clubs.

Returning to music in 2005, he undertook work in hotels and bars, which is where he is today. In 2012 he completed a degree course in Saxophone at the Conservatory of Music in Lagos (Portugal).

It is often noted that even people who are not often attracted by his genre of music - the author included - find his sets compelling and make a special effort to come along when he is playing.

Rui has a website which can be seen by clicking here. Not unreasonably it is in Portuguese so non-speakers will need to use an online translator.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Watching the Dolphins off Praia da Oura

We have already featured Zoomarine, where visitors to the Algarve can swim with dolphins in captivity. But for those who would like to see the mammals in their natural habitat we strongly recommend Ski Molhado, a water sports club right down on Praia da Oura, which organises an excellent combined excursion to see the dolphins off the Algarve coast, followed by a trip to the caves.

Trips are paid for in advance but the service is reliable and the trained and qualified staff offer an unhurried tour, providing information in English along the way.

As well as the dolphin trip the company offers parasailing, water skiing, jet bikes rental, pedal boats and kayaks.

Ski Molhado offers a comfortable and friendly service, in which safety always takes precedence. At the end of the trip a DVD is offered at a small fee featuring highlights from your own excursion.

For more information about Ski Molhado please click here.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Long Stay Promotion at CPO

Book a stay at the CPO for 21 nights or more online and receive a 25% discount. All taxes are included.

Full non-refundable payment is required to guarantee the booking. This offer is only available for new bookings and cannot be retrospectively applied to existing reservations.

Promotion ends on 31st March 2015. See the CPO website for more details.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Portugal - Some Basic Facts

Mainland Portugal is located at the far south-west of Europe but the country includes the Azores and Madeira archipelagos in the Atlantic. The mainland occupies an area of nearly 89,000 square kilometres, is 218 km wide and 561 km long.

The Azores lie in the Atlantic between Europe and North America, have an area of 2,355 km2 and comprise nine islands - São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo.

Madeira has a total land area of 741 km2 and lies in the Atlantic some 500km from the African coast and 1,000km from Europe. It consists of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, as well as the uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens islands.

The climate in mainland Portugal varies considerably from region to region. Much of it enjoys mild winters, especially the Algarve.

Closer to the Spanish border the winters are cooler, although the temperatures are still mild in comparison with much of Europe. There is some snowfall, primarily in the Serra da Estrela mountains - the highest point in mainland Portugal.

The summers are hot and dry, especially inland. Temperatures are slightly lower in the coastal areas due to the influence of the sea.


Portugal's population is around ten million. As could be expected density is highest in Lisbon and its suburbs, where about 1.9 million people live. The second largest city in Portugal is Oporto in the north of the country. Generally more people live in the country’s coastal regions than in the inland areas.

The majority of Portuguese people are Roman Catholic, however the Portuguese Constitution guarantees religious freedom and there are many different religions practiced in Portugal.

Portuguese is the third most spoken European language and the native tongue of about 250 million people. It is the national language of Brazil.

Amanda's Bar

Although CPO and its associated resorts boast a number of bars where one can enjoy a drink and some good entertainment, for many Amanda's Bar is where it's at when one wants to wind down for the evening. It is designed as a medium-sized entertainment venue and its various shows, talent contests and karaoke events are usually well-supported by holidaymakers at the resort.

A long, well-staffed bar with ample seating and open till 1.00 am, when Amanda's was undergoing refurb earlier in the year many felt the resort was missing a certain something. It's great to see it back in use.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Zoomarine Theme Park, Guia

If you are visiting the Algarve it is worth going along to the wonderful Zoomarine theme park, which is In Guia just a few kilometres from the CPO site.

The venue promises a full day of fun, the highlight of which is probably the opportunity to swim with the dolphins - always a massively popular attraction for kids and adults alike.

The park also boasts a 4D cinema, and a wave beach with sand and water slides. This is as well of course as all the living attractions including sharks, seals and sea lions, tropical birds and birds of prey. Plus there is a whole lot more to do - remember, this is a theme park not just a collection of animals.

The easiest way to get to Zoomarine is simply to book up with Reception at the CPO. They will make all the arrangements, including transport to and from the venue.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Restaurants and Bars at CPO

Club Praia da Oura currently has three functional bars, each offering an entirely different experience. First of all there is the Piano Bar, which abuts the Reception area. A large screen TV shows major sporting events while light entertainment is provided around the piano, or by the popular local saxophone player Rui Sá. The Piano Bar opens till late - usually 1.00am - which is handy for those arriving late from the airport at the start of their holiday.

The Pool Bar serves the area around the open air swimming pool, and is especially popular during the summer months when pool users and sunbathers are able to enjoy a pleasant drink in the sunshine.

Down towards the coast and overlooking the sea the Ocean Bar is a pleasant setting in which to enjoy a drink during the day. In the evening this forms part of the M&M Bar, where there is a wide choice of entertainment during the week including dancing, cabaret, movies, disco music and sport.


Jac's is the CPO's restaurant for all occasions, whether you wish to partake of an English or continental breakfast in the morning, a snack at lunchtime or a full evening meal.

Off site, but still within the CPO family, there is the Aqua Restaurant at the Oura View Beach Club and Café Latte at the Oura Praia Hotel.

Holidaymakers can quite literally spend the week alternating between the various bars and restaurants around the hotel group's sites without even venturing out elsewhere and still not become bored. There really is something to suit every taste.

Monday, 13 October 2014

€27 All-Inclusive Promotion at the CPO

Owners MGM Hotels are offering an all-inclusive promotion deal at the Clube Praia da Oura and at the Oura Praia and Forte da Oura Hotels.

Prices start at €27 per person per day for a studio apartment. The all-inclusive service includes:

Breakfast 8.00 - 10.00
Lunch 12.00 - 14.30
Dinner 18.00 - 22.00

Snack times 10.00 - 19.00
Drinks 10.00 - 22.30 (local beer and wine, draught soft drink and water)

This promotion is valid until 18th December 2014. Minimum stay 3 nights. For more information please click here.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Albufeira and the Algarve

Albufeira rests under the jurisdiction of the District of Faro, which is in the Algarve province on the south coast of Portugal. It incorporates an area of approximately 140 square kilometres and boasts around 40,000 residents, including some 4,000 foreign nationals. In an average year Albufeira experiences around 3,000 hours of sunshine. Its golf courses and vibrant nightlife attract visitors in large numbers from all across Europe and beyond.

Tourism as a major industry began to flourish back in the 1960s. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. To accommodate its growing popularity the town has of necessity expanded into the once surrounding countryside areas. Montechoro, Areias de São João and Oura have joined the Old Town as centres of attraction for visitors, and the recent completion of the Marina has extended Albufeira's development from its eastern side across to Salgados and Galé in the west.

Some five million tourists visit the Algarve each year, with a good number of them traveling to Albufeira. Although this activity peaks in the summer Albufeira and the Algarve are perennial holiday destinations for many.

About the Clube Praia da Oura

Clube Praia da Oura is a hugely popular resort on the golden Albafeira beach in the Algarve. A combination of wonderful sea views, great facilities and an almost family atmosphere inspires many guests to return again and again, making friends both at the resort and with one another.

The site boasts two swimming pools, a sauna, a launderette, a restaurant, a children's play area and several bars, as well as being a short walk or bus ride away from Albufeira, both the Old Town and the famous Strip. It is also linked with four nearby hotels whose facilities are also available to CPO residents. Much of the site overlooks the beach; that part of it that doesn't is just a short stroll away.

Staff at the resort are without exception helpful. Whether you want information, need money changed or a transfer to the airport booked, or require something for your room, they are always just a 'phone call or a visit away.

A full evening entertainment schedule is provided, with many acts "touring" between CPO and its sister sites so guests are able either to visit their favourite acts across the locations or stay at "home" and watch a varied programme throughout the week. Regular acts include Michael Jackson, Elvis and Tina Turner tributes, a sax player, various vocalists, in-house Country & Western and Latin dancing shows and a great deal more. There are also regular karaoke nights and talent contents. During the day activities include dancing lessons, Portuguese language classes, archery and bird and reptile shows - to name but a few. A comprehensive list of outings and expeditions is also available each and every week, and guests can book day trips to Seville, Lisbon or Gibraltar as well as days at the market, historic adventures and safari tours.

For the British tourist the weather has appeal too. During the summer it is hot, and pool parties are held every weekday afternoon (especially enjoyable with a cocktail from the Pool Bar - Ed.). Even during the winter months it is often warm enough to sunbathe, and visitors are to be seen walking around town in vests and shorts (thereby conveniently distinguishing them from the locals, who think it is cold).

CPO really does offer the ultimate holiday experience in the popular and unspoilt beach resort that is the Algarve. Its growing "family" is testimony to the popularity of the site.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Friends of CPO

This new blog is dedicated to the Clube Praia da Oura (CPO), a leading holiday resort on the golden Albufeira beach on the sunny Algarve.

We hope to bring you news, views, information and articles, from CPO users and from all around the resort. Please feel free to leave a comment, or to send us in an article - if it's relevant, clean and in reasonably good taste we'll be happy to publish it.

Hope you enjoy the blog, and please do bookmark us and come back to visit us regularly.