If you're seduced by Orient Express's 1930s promises & romance, Portugal's economic reality unfortunately pearces ugly 2012 truths through that fantasy. This place must cost a fortune to run, but then everyone staying has paid a fortune for the experience, which unfortunately has to make judgements more rigorous. (or maybe not everyone is paying the full pricetag, going by the dress & demeanor of some of the breakfast guests) Clearly they're struggling to balance the books & have made their operation more skeletal. Many of the staff are fantastic,many of them seem a little weary but in such a sartorial environment i object to being scowled at, for ten days, by juvenile waiters who clearly feel i didn't tip them enough. It boasts five restaurants, which actually equates to 1 daily lunch buffet & a choice of French Les Faunes or the more casual italian for dinner.(Winter) But beware, the Italian is popular & if you don't book you'll eat late (if at all). Unfortunately they also have problems with maths. Twice a week lovely Les Faunes is closed & more formal events occur - these also can create problems with maths. After 2 weeks frankly the food experience - great at first - has become repetitive & (if on 1/2 B) room service starts to look attractive. Booked sea view, got bush view.World class in-house pianist - seems to work daily. Can only get there on Easyjet which is another sharp jolt back into reality- horrendous (make sure you pack your biggest elbows) Spa girls are lovely, but it's disproportionately expensive. Last year we spent a week in a National Trust country house in UK, it cost about the same, but we didn't feel like cashcows, we felt relaxed, refreshed, serene - it didn't rain that much more either! I wonder that the problem is Orient Express, Les Quatre Saisons was similarly disappointing in similar ways last time we went. These places just don't seem to be what they were!
there are magnificent views available
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 23, 2012
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Many thanks for the visit to our hotel and review of your stay.
I was happy to read that most of our, more than 200, staff members were fantastic, as well as the culinary experience was great at first, using your words. We really like to hear from our guests, using their feedback to continually improve our services. The hotel has a skilled and experienced team, but nevertheless invests a lot on training, always aiming for more and better for our guests.
Definitely Villa Cipriani is a popular restaurant, and we would inform guests to book if they want to have a specific time, as it happens all over. I will be pleased to take care of the reservations, should you give us the honour of your visit again. In Les Faunes, besides the a la carte menu, we do have a daily suggestion, which includes a starter, soup, fish, meat and dessert, that rotates in a such a way that for someone staying for 2 weeks, it does not repeat the suggestion.
We have live music at several outlets and several timings, all of them of high quality, working the normal hours.
Still, as we have all our guests in great consideration, I would like to hear more about any shortfall on service and leave our direct email address firstname.lastname@example.org, as from the review we got somehow confused.
Definitely Orient-Express is a great collection of hotels and experiences, and we are proud of being one of the jewels.
With best regards from the Pearl of the Atlantic.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.