As usual I spend hours surfing tripadvisor before choosing a hotel for my family holiday. This one sounded interesting, too good to be true. Via booking.com it offered me a 3 BR seaview suite for only €1665 for an entire week! It's about £80 to €100 euros or about £200 a night. I took a gamble and booked it. Read some talk of it being repossessed by the bank last year so hoped fingers crossed it would still be open when I booked in January for July. I also booked yellowfish for Faro airport to hotel transfer for €80 return.
I saw on the hotel website that meals cost €25 euros each! So I emailed the hotel asking about half board as booking.com only offered a room only rate. I was chuffed to read back that for a supplement of €288 our family of 5 would get half board! That equates to €5 each per person per meal and included a free glass of wine or soft drink with dinner!
On arrival to the airport after reminder emails from yellowfish that they would be there to pick us up (very helpful), we went to a chap in a yellow t shirt and were duly taken to our airconditioned minibus with free wifi!
It took about an hour to get from Faro to the hotel. On arrival check in was slightly awkward as I had emailed 6 months ago that I wanted a top floor in buildings 2 or 3 and had made this request on booking.com but instead was given a third floor and not top fourth floor in building 4.
Reviewers were right, wifi was poor in the rooms and sadly linked to the tv! The 3 BR suite only had a tv in the living room and one bedroom. Then after switching it on to Fox channel 31, the tv would go blank as it lost a signal. Made for screams from the children who would be in the middle of watching ghost whisperers or the world cup football. Then we had to tell everyone to turn off their iphone wifi in hopes the tv would turn back on. Usually worked if all ipad, iphone and androids wifis were turned off. Reception did warn us that the wifi would freeze if more than 3 devices were connected but did not tell us that included the television! Definitely not 5 stars! Okay good way to recover from IAD, internet addiction disease but starts family arguments over the tv and wifi limit on signals.
We were lucky with hot weather. The pools were freezing cold surprisingly but the sunloungers were ample. The beach is a 7 minute walk from the hotel on lovely wooden walkways. It cost us €24 euros to rent 4 sunloungers on the beach.
The buffet restaurant was fine. Not if you were paying €25 each but for €5 euros each, it was the deal of the century! The kiddie section had spag bol which is always a safe bet for me. The adult section had meat, fish, roast potatoes, chips, fresh fruit, bread, cheese, salad, soup and wee portions of desserts. Annoying to have your plate whisked away the moment you put your cutlery down. I had to tell them not to take away my husband's setting! A bit overzealous as he was at the buffet collecting his food and had not sat down. The red wine was delicious in a large wine glass. The white wine was palatable. Morning coffee was excellent. The OJ was freshly squeezed.
Breakfast was Portuguese, ie Portuguese chips, sausage, ratatouille vegetables, mushrooms, fried egg, cheese, deli meat, fresh bread, and fresh fruit and fruit salad.
Definitely have a 20 minute back massage for €15 in the tent on the beach. It opens from 10-7 and the Thai masseuse is really good. Opt for a soft massage if you are a lady as I had to yell in pain when I replied medium. My husband opted for hard when she asked soft, medium or hard. She then walked on his back!
The hotel has a spa building but at €55 a treatment it was too expensive. On the second to last day they offered a July special of 25% off so I went to the spa to book. I asked for same day. This then led to sorry no appointments today and the next one is 11 am tomorrow. I said we are checking out tomorrow (check out is at noon). So she replied with, hm next one is 2 pm! Left disappointed with the poor English and no appointment. Not quite 5 stars!
We tried out the beach restaurant on the right side of the reception walkway but was shocked to see the prices! €18 euros for spaghetti with clams! Wow. And even more shocked when the portion arrived the size of an appetizer! Try the golf club restaurant, a 10 minute walk from reception via the apartment blocks. Take the path by apartment 2A which is a shortcut. We paid €8 euros for caesar salad, tuna pizza or spaghetti bolognese.
The nearest supermarket is a 10 minute walk to the left of the roundabout in front of building 6. Good to stock up on water, soft drinks, ice cream, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, bread, Lays crips, chocolate as the hotel suite apartment comes with no cutlery or plates. Only glasses and teacups. No coffee. Only 1 teabag of each variety. No milk. No sugar. Yes to a kettle, empty fridge and empty freezer. No kleenex tissue box. Had to buy that too. Ample towels and the power shower is great. No bathtubs.
Yes the hangers are a pain. I can't reach! The built in wardrobes are made for 6 feet plus people. The hangers do not come off. Nice to get robes and slippers in each room and each room has an ensuite bathroom with power shower, bath gel, shampoo, soap, moisturiser but NO conditioner! Another trip to the supermarket.
Good hot holiday. If you have IAD and love watching television, you will go into withdrawal in the rooms as your wifi signal disconnects you every 5 minutes and you wait for never for it to return. Strong signals in the reception, pool bar and golf restaurant.
Lunch at the pool bar is good. No spaghetti. Only pizza, burgers, fries, icecream, salmon sandwiches and salad. Fries are €3.
For dinner you also get an option of dining once at the steakhouse which is the pool bar after 7:30 pm and once at the spa restaurant called L14. Only snag is that you are only allowed €25 each which gets you one main without a drink, starter or pudding. So we declined.
Checkout was strictly at noon, no leeway to extend. The bill was correct at checkout. No queue at checkout. Odd as I was there on time at noon expecting a long queue?
Now waiting for yellowfish to pick us up to take us back to faro.
PS book the easy dive for scuba diving for €310 for 5 dives and a certificate, if you are sporty. They pick you up and drop you back for €7. You book at the marina in Albufeira which is a €10-14 taxi ride each way. We spent one day in albufeira, download a free map from freemaps and we went to old town. Nice tourist stalls, one child got a €10 hair braid. Plenty of restaurants. Bit pricey on the beach. Very crowded.
The diving instructor explained that this hotel was bankrupt last year and taken over by the bank to complete and run. They have just bought the tennis court and football pitch. We were not allowed to use yet. It is a work in progress and when they sort out the tv and wifi in the rooms, it will truly be 5 stars. Until then, almost 5 stars or 4.5. And a great bargain for half board £250 for a 3 BR suite with seaviews! Better if we had got a suite on the 4th floor as requested 6 months prior and again closer to the time by email!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located right on the dunes of Salgados Beach, your holiday suites enjoy a fantastic tropical atmosphere, surrounded by extensive palm tree gardens. And it's precisely among the palm trees, with the sea in the horizon that you will be able to enjoy all the facilities the resort has to offer. Among others, you will find the 9 swimming pools, with direct access to the beach. Relax and enjoy the cuisine of Bossa Nova Restaurant, as well the cocktails at the Jazz Lobby Bar, fit for those cheerful nights spent with friends. When walking the short distance that separates the hotel from the beach, make the most of the wooden pathway, which can take you all the way into the nature reserve. For children, the Kids Club features a range of entertainment activities to assure your little ones have a fun filled time. This oasis is equipped with everything you need to enjoy your holiday with the utmost well-being. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Cs Salgados Dunas Hotel Albufeira
- Salgados Dunas Suites Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve