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“Not four star” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa

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Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corcovada, Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200, Portugal (Formerly Dom Pancho Aparthotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #96 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not four star”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Went to this hotel on the 13th of September for one week ,we had a short wait to get into are room but nothing too drastic reception staff really nice and helpfull.

Upon walking into this hotel we were a bit dissapointed as the reception area looked a bit drab and outdated very 1970s,but the room we were allocated 313 on the third floor was lovely newly refurbished very clean and comfortable. When booking i requested a couple of extra pillows which were waiting for us when we came back from dinner that night.

With regard to the resturaunt dont really no where to start on the first two nights we ate from the limited menu then it went downhill thereafter, There is no buffet option at all
We where given a sheet of paper with only a handfull of choices on it , starter was soup or salad if they had it
Main course was either 1 meat dish 1 fish dish 2 pasta dishes or pizza you had to emphasize strongly if you wanted veg otherwise you got salad with everything or nothing at all. The sweet menu was the same every night four options from a chiller

They chose a meat and a fish dish to put on the menu if you didnt like them then that was tough.
If you were paying for your meal on the night you got the choice of another menu so much for half board this hotel is really set up to be a self caterer as per cooking facitliys in the room.

If you have children 5 upwards your not goin to like this place as there is no menu variations at all and it doesnt cator for kids.

Very little to do in this hotel day or night, except sunbathe which we did for 3 days the pool needed a really good clean as it had 1 inch of black mould around the top of it, i think they did do try a bit but just enough to get by.

The corridors could do with updating as they wre very dark and gloomy.

Although on a good point we had 7 nights good sleep whilst there and everything worked although the water was red hot regardless of setting ( Try cleaning your teeth with hot water )

In our opinions its ideal for self caterers . close to strip. 5 out of 10.been to much better close by.

Room Tip: Stay in 313
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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547 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Me and my fiancé stayed in this hotel the first week of September on a self catering basis. Whilst the apartment had everything you would need to be self catering, we also had an army of ants that seemed to appear from nowhere, search until they had found food, then attempt to run off with it. Not only were the ants in the kitchen, they were on all the floors, in the bathroom, the bedroom, we even had them crawling on us as we sat on the sofa!!
Yes the apartments were cleaned everyday if you wanted them to be, but we found ourselves asking them to just leave it some days as they came either whilst we were sleeping, or getting ready to go out for the evening. Surely this is too late to be cleaning somebody's room?
The pool area is absolutely ridiculous!!!! Unless you are up stupidly early, don't expect to get a bed or even space on the ground for your towels. Each day we went down the pool there was no space, even though about 75% of sun beds weren't in use, they just had towels on from the other greedy hotel guests.... So we weren't able to use the pool all week! I usually spend a lot of time on my holidays in the pool, but couldn't even dip my toes in to test the temperature of this pool, this ruined the holiday slightly for me!
The hotel itself was clean, and quiet at night (even in an apartment facing the main road like ours) but the staff we spoke to weren't particularly the most friendly, yes they were helpful and answered our questions, but it felt like we'd interrupted their busy day of sitting at a desk doing nothing. The only noise we had was the unbelievable noise that came from the air conditioning, especially during the night while we were trying to sleep, the noise was so bad it resulted in us having to turn it off which meant it was then too hot to sleep... It's a lose, lose situation.
The strip is a great place to go for drinks, there are plenty of places to choose from, especially a little karaoke bar that had a great atmosphere and drinks were fairly priced (don't remember the name of it). The restaurants on the strip were a bit hit and miss, we found one that we really enjoyed called Wind Surf, and ate there a few times for lunch or dinner. However the best place to go to eat would have to be in the old town, we just hopped on the road train (3.50€ each for an all day ticket) and there are plenty o places to choose from. We went to The Rock Cafe a few times as it does the BEST chicken and pineapple kebabs I have ever tasted, it is in a lovely location, facing the square in the centre of the old town, and if you get there at the right time, they have a few tables on a balcony, overlooking the great atmosphere. This was our favourite place to go with extremely friendly and helpful staff.
The beach is quite a distance from the hotel, and we had to walk down quite a steep hill until we found a bit of a shortcut that isn't quite as steep, but it feels and looks as though you are walking through the grounds of a hotel, however it is a public road. Once we got to the beach, we chose ourselves 2 sunbeds and enjoyed the sun, waiting for the man to collect our money for the beds... But then came the shock... 15€ for 2 sunbeds, REALLY?? That's a joke! Of course, that was the only time we did that!
During the week we went on a few trips, one to the zoo marine which is a fantastic day out for all ages, but I would advise getting a locker whilst there to keep cameras/phones/wallets in whilst on the water rides there. We also went to a waterpark, Aqualand, which has now closed for the season, but this was a big dissapointment! After paying a certain amount to get into the park, you had to pay extra for sunbeds, the food was also extortionate! I totally understand why so many people had taken cool bags with lunches in. The rides were only open at certain times, e.g the wave machine first opened at 12.00 and only turned on once an hour! The third trip we went on was to the sand sculptures Fiesa, whilst the sand sculptures themselves were great to look at, we were disappointed as we had booked to go here in the evening as they get lit up and it looked nice on the leaflet, but the time we had been given for this trip, they were just beginning to get lit up as our transfer came to pick us up which was a big let down.
Back to the hotel, every time we booked a trip, or got a taxi, and said the name of the hotel, Albufeira sol, we got looked at like we said we were staying on mars! The local people only seem to know it by the old name, Dom Pancho, so it's useful to remember this name.
Also, the name of this hotel makes it sound like there are spa facilities, spa? What spa? Don't be fooled by this as it didn't seem to exist while we were there.
Lastly, when we booked out of the hotel on our last day, there is a luggage room next to the reception desk which you need a key for, however once that room is full, there are luggage rooms on each floor which are UNlocked at all times, so try to check out early enough to get the locked room!
Overall I would definitely not give this hotel 4 stars, and won't be visiting again, the only thing it has going for it is the location.

Room Tip: Ask for a top floor apartment as these have been renovated and are now modern.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
539 reviews 539 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 135 cities Reviews in 135 cities
311 helpful votes 311 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

The hotel does not encourage half board guests, whilst there, there were only three couples on half board so they did not provide buffet meals as normal, you had a poor choice fixed menu to choose from, which was almost the same every day (except for when the waiter said " No Lamb tonight sorry, there never was any Lamb, even though it was on the menu.) With so few restaurant diners you would think the service would be quick ........ not so, very slow service
and if you enjoy your puddings, think again, you could have a slice of melon or a tub of caramel ice cream. The breakfast choice every day was cornflakes, plastic ham and plastic cheese and there was a toaster that did two slices of bread very very slowly. Where were the fried eggs, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages etc you normally associate with half board so called 4 star hotels, well they were not provided ......... but wait, do you want fried eggs and/or sausages sir asked the waiter .......... oh good I can have them after all .... yes but you have to pay extra for them, what a total disgrace. The hotel is or will be good if you are self catering, nice pool area and swimming pool and the apartments have all you will need. But also be warned that even for their self catering guests, who by definition will have provisions in there apartments, all around the pool area the tables etc have notices saying guests own food cannot be eaten here, thats good for a self catering establishment, maybe they want to sell you some of the eggs the half board guests refuse to buy at breakfast. The beach is a long walk away, so think carefully if you have small children in buggies, it's also down a very steep hill, if you are young couples or groups then the famous "Strip" is a short walk away. The sooner this hotel decides and advertises self catering only the better, they will then avoid poor reviews like this.

Room Tip: For sunny balconies go for pool view in main block
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

I was told that this was a 3 star and it lived up to my expectations. It is very clean and has some parts that have recently been updated. The pool area was kept nice and tidy, there is a large pool for adults and a small kids pool aswell. I went in Sept so plenty of sun loungers, they even have a nice matress for them. Its like anywhere the early risers get the most comfortable beds. The apartment was cleaned every day and the bedclothes and towels every second day, this was a nice suprise as we had a self catering apartment. There was much in the way of night life in the hotel but I enjoyed the quiet nights to catch up on sleep. The strip which is the main night life area is a 5 min walk away, the old town is a 5 euro taxi journey away, the beach is a 10 min walk. There's plenty of lovely places to eat nearby and the staff are helpful when it comes to ordering taxis, day trips or tranfers.

Room Tip: Pool view rooms have to be booked in advance and they cost extra.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

I think some people have been a little harsh about this hotel, we were a little worried as having already booked to stay here bad reviews started appearing but we were in fact pleasantly surprised by how large and clean our apartment was, the only fault being that the pillows were a tad strange and the bed spreads could do with being up dated to match the new furniture. The location of the hotel is excellent no noise at night, short walk to supermarket and bus stop slightly longer walk to strip and beach. Good cheap eating place only 2 minutes walk away (the one on the left corner forgot to note it's name). We booked bed and breakfast not realizing it was continental breakfast but the orange juice and rolls were the best we have ever had. All in all for what we paid we were very impressed.

Room Tip: Apparently all the suites have been refurbished
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Sorry Albufeira Sol ( ex Dom Pancho ) but if you claim to be 4* you haven't earned it yet.
The Pool Area - if people have to put towels on the grass to lay on, then there aren't enough sun beds....If the sun beds are hard, then there aren't enough mattresses....and only 12 parasols in total ? then it's only suitable for those that like to fry !! The 'no reserving' of sunbeds rule was not regularly enforced, only when the pool man felt like it. ONLY 3* FOR THIS.
The Rooms - ours was on the 2nd floor and more than adequate. Nicely furnished and reasonably well kitted out, the only negative was that the bathroom sanitary ware needed replacing. Towels were changed regularly, but the bed linen was only changed once during our 10 night stay. Lastly, although it probably depended on how far down the corridor your room was, not being cleaned before 6 p.m., or in one case 8.30 p.m., was not acceptable. ONLY 3+* FOR THIS.
The Restaurant - we were on Room and Breakfast Tariff, the breakfast was only basic Continental fare, boring and repetitive. It wouldn't take much to add a few more varieties surely.
Don't you do boiled eggs or something similar (except as an extra) and to ask for an English breakfast was an extra 4.50 euro's when you could get one outside, just around the corner, for 2.50 euro's. Please could you invest in a proper toaster, or more of them. a 2 slice pop-up toaster? you're having a laugh !! We didn't try the restaurant at night, although the menu and price looked to be O.K. ONLY 3* FOR THIS.
Entertainment - nothing poolside, although that didn't bother us personally. Evening entertainment was mediocre, and if half the guests go out of the hotel at night it would need to be something better than Karaoke, Elvis, or a Parrot Show to get them to stay in or to return earlier. ONLY 2* FOR THIS.
The Hotel Generally - location was good (at least for us ) although we struggled to make The Strip in the alotted 5 minutes. Enough bars and restaurants nearby covering a wide variety of tastes. Staff were reasonably polite, although it was hard to get the Pool Man or Pool Bar Staff to smile. Not sure about other peoples comments regarding Wi-fi because we come on holiday to get away from all that.
Would we return ? possibly, but attention to the above matters would be essential.
By the way, Spa, what Spa ?
Sorry, but overall we're struggling to give you 3+ at best.

Room Tip: We had a pool view 1 bed apartment on the 2nd floor, although the two of us could have managed in a...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Have just got back from a week staying at this hotel and couldn't be happier. Being a last minute booking my boyfriend and i were really struggling to find somewhere that had good reviews on here. We were originally going to stay at their sister hotel 'Santa Eulalia' but it was already booked up and we were so glad we didn't. It had everything we needed. The apartment itself was on the 5th floor overlookng the back of Albufeira and had beautiful views from our balcony, the room was spacious and included everything we could have needed. (Kettle, toaster, two hobbs, microwave and utensils...the only thing missing was an oven/ grill but it wasn't missed) The hotel is extremely clean, we had someone empty our beins every day and had our towels changed 3 times in a week) The pool is a good size and very relaxed, beds aren't hogged and the atmosphere is lovely, they had a massuse on the side a small chilled bar and one day even a parrot show, that they brought round to people sunbathing to hold them and take photos. The hotel itself is situated opposite a supermarket and only a 5 minute walk to the strip, 10 minutes to the beach and 40 to the old town (or 5 minutes 6 euros in a taxi) My partner and I took advantage of all of these, as we are both students we had a few nights on the strip and enjoyed a walk to the old town for dinner and drinks. We've been to Albufeira a few times between us and we both agreed its the best location and hotel we've stayed in. We'd definitely return.

Room Tip: Higher Floors have better views at the front and rear of the hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa

Address: Corcovada, Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200, Portugal (Formerly Dom Pancho Aparthotel)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#25 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#50 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 220
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dom Pancho Aparthotel Albufeira
Dom Pancho Portugal
Dom Pancho Algarve
Dom Pancho Albufeira
Dom Pancho Aparthotel Hotel Albufeira
Albufeira Dom Pancho
Albufeira Sol Suite Hotel & Spa Portugal - Algarve

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