There's not even a robe and slippers lacking at Loulé Coreto Guesthouse

This was the first hostel to open in the city of Loulé, five years ago

Photos: Hugo Rodrigues|Sul Informação

A adventure it started five years ago and, although it has not always been easy, it is well worth it, believes Mafalda Franco, the owner of the Loulé Coreto Hostel and Guesthouse. This week, the accommodation unit celebrated its 5th anniversary and took the opportunity to officially open a guesthouse full of local traditions and luxury hotel treats.

Located on Avenida Costa Mealha, right next to the bandstand – as the name suggests -, this hostel and now also guesthouse, was the first of Loulé.

Since it opened, it has been asserting itself not only among those who visit the city, but also among the local community, with whom it has always interacted. There were, in fact, many friends who were this Thursday at the Coreto Hostel to sing congratulations to the space, some of which have been won over the last five years.

«The balance I make is positive. Of course it wasn't easy. I don't know the reality of other countries, but Portugal is a bit complicated in terms of bureaucracies and laws, as well as financially, with regard to taxes, for small companies that are just beginning their activity», he told Sul Informação Mafalda Franco.

On the other hand, says the businesswoman, there is the old problem of seasonality. «The Algarve has a lot to offer, but winter is still a big problem, although things are a bit better. Here in Loulé, we are lucky to have many events and that helps us», he said.

 

“That's why we launched the guesthouse, as we realize that we have customers looking for more comfort, a room with a private bathroom. We want to get this customer, especially the one connected to the business world, which comes a lot during the winter», added Mafalda Franco

And if the philosophy of the young Algarvian businesswoman Mafalda Franco was, from the beginning, to offer a service with quality above normal, this characteristic was accentuated in the new valence of guesthouse, which is located in the same building as the hostel.

A Loulé Bandstand Guesthouse it has seven rooms, five of which are en-suite – a room with a private bathroom – and two that share a bathroom. "It's a space that has another type of comfort and pampering, which most of the time is only found in 5-star units, such as the robe and slippers".

«We try to give extra comfort, in a space that is cozy and familiar. Hence our breakfast, which focuses on regional products. We make a point of disclosing what is ours, what belongs to the land. We also have a hot service at the moment, very personalized and with more quality, of course», explained Mafalda Franco.

 

This new valence comes after the "brutal investment" made about a year ago. “We put in air conditioning, which was something we didn't have. This being an old house, we noticed that, in winter, it became very cold. We also bet on greater care in terms of aesthetics and invested in mattresses, which are very good. There are many customers who emphasize this, because, as they travel all over the world, they will not be used to hostels with such quality».

“Our goal is to try to give as much as possible, at a nicer price”, summarizes Mafalda Franco.

Na Guesthouse now officially inaugurated, the care in terms of aesthetics and decoration has gone even deeper.

“Here, we try to transmit Loulé culture and tradition. So I looked for local partners, more precisely two artisans, and together we tried to find a product that conveyed comfort, simplicity and elegance», he explained.

 

The work that has been done by the Loulé Coreto Hostel and Guesthouse was important to create a market that did not exist in Loulé before.

«We were the first and, nowadays, I think we are the only ones, because the other hostels that were opening, unfortunately, ended up closing. I say unfortunately because I'm not afraid of competition. On the contrary: if we go more, we can also promote the destination more and bring more people», said Mafalda Franco.

Mafalda Franco believes that this inability that other businessmen had to assert themselves is closely linked to the characteristics of the city. «Loulé, for the hostel market, it's hard to work. In summer, beds sell very well and occupancy, fortunately, is always close to 100%. In winter, it's not so easy».

It's because? “Because Loulé is a destination most sought after by people of an older age group – although many also book beds. But there are those who are looking for tranquility, hiking», who are looking for a different offer.

For the latter, there must be a more differentiated offer. With the opening of your guesthouse, Loulé Coreto definitely enters this game.

“Come and experience it, because our breakfast is delicious (laughs)”, challenged Mafalda Franco.

 

Photos: Hugo Rodrigues|Sul Informação

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