We stayed at the hotel whilst renovations were underway. We would not recommend that anyone expecting a 5 star hotel stays there whilst this work is being done.
The hotel lobby was closed so there was no access to the hotel from the car park. The only functioning entrance was via an external staircase to the grill restaurant. This is also not convenient for the rooms which are then accessed via the emergency exit staircase after negotiating further stairs and corridors. To our knowledge there were no useful lifts which meant that golf clubs and trolley batteries had to be transported long distances up and down stairs before and after each round of golf.
There were limited restaurant facilities too. In fact, one evening the only dinner available in the hotel was a valentines special in a small room which was fully booked, so we were forced to go and eat elsewhere. Not what we expect from a 5 star hotel.
The hotel offers a lunch at the golf club to make up for the inconvenience. The lunch is served buffet style, choices were very limited and had been out for some time. We opted for coffee with our lunch and this was charged, surely one basic drink should have been included!
The hotel advertises free wifi. This was done by means of a ticket with a code which had to be resubmitted every 10 to 15 minutes. This was very frustrating and inconvenient.
The hotel staff were very good and were working very hard to try to make up for the inconvenience of the renovations, but it is our opinion that the management should have closed the hotel at least whilst the lobby is being done.
There are a number of pictures of the new rooms in reception. To our knowledge these rooms are not yet available, so it really felt like our noses were being rubbed in it.
We are not in the habit of writing poor reviews but we feel very strongly that anyone wanting a good hotel in the Algarve should go elsewhere until the renovations are guaranteed to be finished. This is not likely to be soon.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Firstly, we would like to thank you for the time you have taken in writing your review on Tripadvisor, even though the feedback reported was not the most positive. Your review and reservation process were analyzed and we would to like be able to comment and answer all the points reported by you.
It is indeed of public knowledge that Dona Filipa Hotel is currently undergoing a major refurbishment/investment plan, and even though very well planned for, it may sometimes affect some guests such as yourself.
Regarding your comments of the lobby and access to the rooms, we would like to clarify that the temporary Hotel entrance is currently the main external entrance of the Dom Duarte grill Restaurant (having been chosen to be the most adequate and direct access for guests entering the Hotel); to where the room access is concerned: the emergency staircase you have mentioned is the Hotel’s main staircase (to note that all emergency exit staircases of the Hotel are external to the building); further to this, all rooms effectively have elevator access via the corridor of the third floor (corresponding to the ground floor of the Hotel). Unfortunately, you mention that you had to carry your golf bags to your room, however, we are still operating our individual golf lockers at the entrance of our conference rooms, as well as using a temporary facility (located in front of the temporary lobby) to conveniently accommodate all our golfer guests bags and equipment; our porters, always very prompt to assist in carrying and storing luggage and golf bags.
We would like to confirm that none of the restaurant facilities have been affected by the refurbishments, and both our restaurants are open and functioning normally. The “small room” operating for Valentines evening, was the Dom Duarte Grill Restaurant (that is always opened on Friday evenings), nonetheless, we have always recommended guests pre book this Restaurant, due to its usual high demand. The referred evening, the Restaurant was successfully fully booked, but a second seating (for later time) was alternatively available for guests to book, especially due to the fact that many wanted to celebrate Valentines evening. Given this, a special menu was elaborated by our Food & Beverage Department, even so, we always extend the a La Carte menu, for guests not wishing to dine from special event menu.
We are at present offering all our guests a complimentary lunch at one of our golf courses, which has been very successful and well accepted. It did, in fact come to a surprise when your review mentioned that the food appeared to be there for some time. Our Executive Chef, as well as head of the Food & Beverage team are very adamant on quality, and we reassure you that the food displayed on the buffet is gradually prepared and trays are substituted various times to guarantee the freshness of all produce.
As for the wifi, as you may understand a 46 year old building’s infrastructure was not prepared for certain technologies, yet, as part of the refurbishment plan the wifi system will be upgraded and changed to better fit our guests needs.
The rollup used in our temporary lobby to promote our rooms has been very applauded by guests that are able to see what Dona Filipa Hotel will look like in the near future. We truly apologize for the fact that you found this offensive, but as you may understand we do feel the need to inform and showcase the new product to all visiting the Hotel; so everyone may see what awaits, hopefully, next time they visit the Hotel. Having justified this, we would like to inform and confirm that all public areas will be terminated by the end of March, and the East room wing during the month of May.
To conclude, we would like to, once again, apologize that your experience was not the most positive, nonetheless trust you understand that the points you mentioned are temporary, and therefore, hope that you will visit us, once the refurbishments are terminated, so you may truly experience the Dona Filipa Hotel to the fullest.
With kindest regards
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.