Tuesday 22 October 2019

Hotel for singles: Tour operator to build solo-friendly Algarve stay

Antrim-based Friendship Travel is taking solo holidays to the next level with Casa Rosa, our Travel Editor reports

Olhao, Portugal. Photo: Friendship Travel
Olhao, Portugal. Photo: Friendship Travel
Casa Rosa Bedroom (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa's living space (artist's impression)
Olhao Market
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Selling holidays to solo travellers is one thing. But how about building your own, single-friendly hotel for customers to stay in when they travel?

That's what Antrim-based Friendship Travel is planning for Portugal's Olhao.

'Casa Rosa', a three-star restoration of a 19th century townhouse, will open its doors exclusively to guests of the singles holiday specialist next June.

Friendship Travel is building the 14-bed boutique hotel itself and, in what will be music to the ears of solo travellers, rooms carry no single supplement.

Casa Rosa Bedroom (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa Bedroom (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa (artist's impression)
Olhao, Portugal. Photo: Friendship Travel
Casa Rosa's living space (artist's impression)
Olhao Market

Features include a courtyard plunge pool, a sun terrace with jacuzzi and an open-plan living space where meals will be eaten together around two large tables (its customers are typically aged 30 to 60, Friendship Travel says).

And the price?

Packages will operate from Dublin and Belfast, with seven-night options including flights and transfers, B&B accommodation and dinner with wine on five nights, from €965pp (Belfast prices start from £936).

Solo travel steps up

Founded in 1999, Friendship Travel specialises in sociable holidays for singles, with customers aged 25+ and holidays hosted by company reps.

Its new hotel comes as the number and type of solo travellers are booming, and pushing for options on everything from hotel breaks to cruise ships.

Casa Rosa (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa (artist's impression)
Olhao, Portugal. Photo: Friendship Travel
Casa Rosa Bedroom (artist's impression)
Casa Rosa's living space (artist's impression)
Olhao Market

Reflecting the trends, Casa Rosa is completely geared towards solos - from sociable dining and single rooms to an honesty bar and "virtually" 24/7 host services.

The hotel is set within a 10-minutes stroll of Olhao’s market buildings, the company says, and close to the embarkation point for island ferries.

"I am confident that Casa Rosa will be a huge hit, offering a fantastic combination of quality, location and value for single travellers," says Friendship Travel’s founder and managing director Colum McLornan.

Away to the Algarve

One of the area's most authentic towns, Olhao was hotly tipped on our recently Algarve Bucket List, with increasing numbers of Irish visitors cottoning on to its charms.

The Algarve itself remains one of Ireland's most popular year-round destinations, with almost 365,000 Irish visits last year seeing overnight stays jump 8pc, according to the Algarve Tourism Bureau.

Seven and 14-night Casa Rosa packages will be offered weekly between June 2 and October 20 of next year, Friendship Travel (friendshiptravel.com) says.

Read more:

Going Solo: The rise of solo travel and the art of going it alone

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