I can understand why the Four Seasons gets such a great Trip Advisor rating as it's a really nice place. It isn't a Hotel as such as it is basically a Time Share complex that has a mixture of regular guests (who own set weeks of a time share) or guests that, like us, rented accommodation for a period of time in a vacant apartment.
The amenities are the same as a hotel and you wouldn't know the difference although the apartments are massive compared to an average hotel. We had a two bed appt for a family of four and it was huge and very well equipped with kitchen, dining area, balcony, two bedrooms and bathrooms, flat screen TV with Sky (handy for The Ashes!) and all the British channels you could want (our 7 year old found CBBC within five minutes of arriving).
The pool area is excellent with three really nice pools, one gently sloping large children's pool, a small middle pool (also children's depth) and a large deep pool plus bar for drinks and ice creams and there are plenty of sun beds for all guests. There's also a good indoor pool and jacuzzi.
The restaurant is set by the lower pool and serves a good quality breakfast and a large range of lunch options (salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, burgers and light meals) that are all very good and fresh. Dinners are typically based around a theme night and often include a barbeque. I think if you ate there regularly you'd find it a bit repetitive, so we ate out for seven nights of the ten.
Locally there are some nice restaurants (recommend Zanzibar, Princessa and Casa Do Largo are all good - we were told to avoid the O Bar) and a small supermarket.
If you want to go further afield you will need to walk or take a taxi into Vilamoura centre / marina and this is where the only problem arises. If you have small children (ours are 7 & 11) then you need to take a taxi (it's a brisk 15-20 minute walk) and the reception staff will justifiably say they have no control over the taxis. However, in the peak month of August the wait can be up to an hour, especially in the evening peak, and you can't even get an estimate of how long it will be so you are waiting around outside.
I'm not sure what the solution is as the taxis aren't the hotel's responsibility but maybe the Four Seasons should look at running a mini bus shuttle between hotel/beach/marina as the nearby Hilton does. Even if this was for a fee it would be worth it during the peak months to avoid the taxi problem.
Other than this the Four Seasons is an excellent choice and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The staff are excellent, the amenities are also exceptional and all round this is a very good holiday location that I would certainly recommend and return in future.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are pleased that we have lived up to the expectations that you reached as a result of our reviews, and pleased that you posted one yourselves. Thank you.
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We are very glad that you made use of our facilities and services, and are grateful for your flattering compliments.
With regard to the taxi dilemma; the problem is not just with the taxis, but the amount of time it takes to negotiate traffic between 19:00 and 21:00 hrs. A shuttle service would encounter the same congestion. There is a land train that leaves the resort at 19:12 and 21:12, but this will also have to deal with the same problems. Ultimately, it is best to avoid vehicular travel between 18:30 and 21:30 hrs. I am sorry that I can not be more accommodating. Bicycles, perhaps! I sincerely hope that the traffic and taxis will not deter you from visiting us again and hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.