This might not be much help, but my first ever visit to Portugal was a fortnight in Faro. It was however about 15 years ago, although I have been to Portugal about 10 times since.
I stayed in the Eva Hotel with a room overlooking the marina. From what I can remember, the restuarants were excellent, and the shopping pretty good too. As for places to visit, one of interest is the Chapel of Bones.
I was thinking of staying in Faro early next year to celebrate my 40th birthday, but found the hotels pretty expensive, so have opted for Tavira instead, but will visit Faro for the day.
I am sure someone will be able to give you a bit more uptodate info.