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“Fantastic golf trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dona Filipa Hotel

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Dona Filipa Hotel
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Vale do Lobo, Almancil 8135-034, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Almancil
Certificate of Excellence
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic golf trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Stayed here for 4 days at end of February with 3 other golfers and had a great time. Yes there is a major refurbishment going on but 3 nights, 4 rounds at San Lorenzo, breakfast and lunch, car hire and flights for only £500 was great value. San Lorenzo is a top track with green fees normally 180 euros so to get to play 4 times included in the price was the main reason we chose to stay at Dona Filipa. Staff were exceptionally helpful, room was great, shower very good especially after 18 holes of golf. Breakfast at the hotel was buffet style with an egg station and was a great way to start the day. Lunch at the golf course was also buffet style with plenty of choice for all 3 courses. In the evenings we ate at Monty's which is a two minute walk for the hotel, where we could also watch live rugby and all sky sports channels. For what 4 avid golfers wanted this was a fantastic trip and we were lucky enough to play in shorts and polo shirts, a welcome break from our wet winter.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

Just got back from staying at the Dona Filipa, my advice is not to entertain staying until the so called renovations are complete which has to be months away the speed its going at. On arrival a circular is in the room suggesting the work will be finished by 16th March (this has got to be some sort of joke) we saw no finished room even though we asked to view one, reception has been relocated into a tiny room to the left hand side of the building, the east wing has huge holes in the outside walls, the "internal garden area" is a workshop and off limits. The allocated rooms are exactly the same as they were 20 years ago apart from a lick of paint, no tea or coffee making no sky TV same impossible to operate patio doors and they have the audacity to label this a five star hotel. Mnay of the staff are the same ones that have been there for years and its most unfair for them to have to cope with this sort of upheaval and still do a great job under extreme circumstances I think my "review" has said enough now, I could go on though.

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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caerwys, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

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.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JJW_Hotels_Portugal, General Manager at Dona Filipa Hotel, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Guest,

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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

Spent a week here as our base for golfing getaway, very friendly staff, very helpful and explained all about the refurbishment, they even included a free buffet lunch for the inconvenience at San Lorenzo Golf Club.
Location good for our needs, rooms very nice with view of 17th fairway at Vale do Lobo, I can imagine it gets very popular in the summer months, as just a short walk to the beach.
Would definitely use again as a base for our trips to Algarve

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

Spent 4 nights at the Dona Filipa while my husband was playing golf. There is a lot of refurbishment going on at this hotel at the moment which will be finished by the end of March 2014. But this did not affect our short break at this hotel at all. The staff are so friendly and the hotel has very cleverly adapted to the upheaval by re-organising various rooms into temporary bars and restaurants etc, so we didn't really notice too much going on behind the scenes and there was no noise. The location is lovely, close to the miles of beach. Obviously in January many restaurants and shops are closed but I would imagine that in the summer it is quite lively as the restaurants and shops are just a few minutes walk away. It is also a child friendly place. Our room was very spacious and clean and the breakfast and dinner was lovely with plenty of choice. There were mostly golfers staying and they can get a bit rowdy but it was all good fun. All in all a very enjoyable few days and when the hotel has finished its refurbishment it will be

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Very nice location, only a few minutes walk to the beach. The staff were very friendly and helpful on arrival, making us feel at home. Our room was spacious over looking pretty gardens, very clean and had everything we needed. Due to refurbishment we were given a free lunch at the golf club, both lunch and breakfast was very nice with a wide variety on offer.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dona Filipa Hotel

Address: Vale do Lobo, Almancil 8135-034, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Almancil
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Almancil
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Almancil
#6 Luxury Hotel in Almancil
#6 Romantic Hotel in Almancil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dona Filipa Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the Atlantic, located a mere 100 metres from the beach, and the proud owner of the renown San Lorenzo Golf Course, Dona Filipa Hotel welcomes all, with a touch of glamour and the essence of true quality and personalized service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo Golf Hotel Almancil
Dona Filipa And San Lorenzo Golf Resort
Meridien Almancil
Le Meridien Almancil
Almancil Le Meridien
Dona Filipa Hotel Portugal/Algarve - Almancil

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