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“This Hotel has potential --Greater than Average.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Porta Nova

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Hotel Porta Nova
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua Antonio Pinheiro, Tavira 8800-323 , Portugal (Formerly BlueBay Porta Nova)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Fleetwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“This Hotel has potential --Greater than Average.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

Stayed for a month, that embraced both medium and low shoulders, due to a good value AI deal for a solo traveller.
Upside.
The hotel is clean from top to bottom, rooms spacious with a variety of options and views.
The food although at one stage scant, was generally well prepared and varied, if suffering from ineffectual buffet deck heating.
Clearly talented and imaginative chefs. The fresh ingredient soups, being a delicious speciality. Situated on the outskirts of Tavira yet only a 5 min walk [down] up to 10 [back] from the Roman Bridge.
Ideal for couples and singles---Children would not be well impressed and parents a challenge.
As with most hotels in Tavira some distance from the beautiful Ria Formosa beaches and islands.
Downside
Whilst recognising and sympathising with current fiscal problems facing the delightful Portuguese people, the Executive of this small group should recognise that a reputation and aspirations can be irreversibly damaged, if basics such as the following are neglected.

The hotel has six floors, the main bar being on the uppermost---With the absence of an open poolside or ground floor bar, it was necessary to mount six floors for the most basic of beverages---A major inconvenience when for over three days, two of the three lifts were not operating, locating which, was also a nuance.
The friendly staff, clearly wished to extend hospitality despite understaffed circumstances, there being a very obvious aire of foreboding amongst them--- as if "The Sword of Damocles" were about to fall.
Entertainment was almost nonexistent --a solo musical performer on three evenings a week.
Ironically, although the sixth floor bar had a sun deck, it was not permitted for anyone to sunbathe shirtless ---at any time.
The indoor pool was not atall inviting, resembling something similiar to a puddle, in an under ground car park.
Although not the most necessary requirement on holiday.Wifi was only available in the reception area where the two installed computer stations were inevitably not working and the signal for those with, very erratic..
The managements lack of interest, or informing authorities, that a very large tourist coach with mechanical failure, was kept noisely running, as being serviced, for some six hours of the early morning opposite the hotel and its residential environment.
Could not be described as 'the icing on the cake'.
Overview
If serious about the hospitality industry, the non resident Executive, would benefit by addressing the needs of the market niche this hotel potentially has---before freefall. .

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool area and end facing Tavira, are preferable to those above the entrance face...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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529 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

We've stayed in Tavira many times and this year owing to a lack of Villas available we decided to stay at the Porta Nova on an All inclusive basis.
On arrival we were told that our room wasn't ready which was fine so we got changed and went by the pool, my son was Hungary so I ordered him a sandwich which I had to pay for as the AI didn't start till 2pm it was 1 45 pm the barman got quite aggressive when I explained that we were AI great start I thought !
When we got to the room my son didn't have a bed they then brought him a camp bed which was older then him (8 years) and looked it the room was very dated and badly in need of a make over.
We ate in the dining room a few times but the food was very samey (sic) and only really used it for breakfast which was good.

The One issue that really annoyed me was the staff who apart from a Girl that worked behind the bars and the English manager were rude and uninterested in there PAYING guests, and made it feel like they were doing us a favour by being there I work in avert good Hotel and can say without hesitation that people would've fired if they behaved like them.

Overall it was Ok but nothing more Tavira is a beautiful place and we'll certainly be back. Just not to the Porta Nova which really is a shame as it could be fantastic with a bit of effort !

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartlepool, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed over the first week of july 2013 and had a wonderful stay, Firstly the food, we must have been lucky in that they provided a good variety of meals which allowed you to find something you would like, so hats off to the chef who worked hard with his staff to provide it. The wine at the table was of a good quality as was the beer, at least you felt relaxed when you sat down to eat and where not pressured in anyway. We found the staff very accomodating and pleasant in all areas of the hotel. The hotel was exceptionally clean even though it could do with a little more cleanliness around the pool and general maintenance for? the upkeep. All in all we found it totally relaxing as what we wanted and would definetely go back.

Room Tip: Pool side is a must for your room
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Tavira, Portugal
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We spent a week on AI from July 5th -12th. this was our second visit, the previous one being last September. Since that visit, in our opinion the hotel seems to have a tired look and feel about it.

Most of the negative comments we have made are down to the lack of attention to detail. The exterior of the building looks as though some fresh paint would smarten it up considerably, and create a mini face-lift. The awning over the terrace outside reception overlooking the pool is extremely faded and tatty - as is the marquee awning above the pool bar which looks even tattier. The areas around the pool are being neglected. Grass is left to grow - although on our last day someone did use a sit and ride mower, but for only a small area of the grass. Weeds are healthy, the grass is untidy and patchy, litter is left around (a cigarette packet and loose newspaper pages were at the side of the steps, from reception to the pool, for days - still there when we left). Around the sunbeds there are cigarette ends in the grass and between paving slabs. Some waste bins are filled quickly, but not emptied until the next morning. We did see the pool being cleaned every morning which was good to note. Basically, this sort of maintenance seems low on the list of priorities or budgets that the hotel have.

The hotel interior is better, all public areas and toilets were clean, although there is no air-con in reception which is a great pity if you have to wait for pick-ups or family. The Dining Room was generally clean, although one glaring issue is the dirty window at the far end facing the street. How a (General or Restaurant) Manager can let that horrible and huge stain stay there I don't know - it can be seen from the street as well as inside and looks worse when the sun shines on it. In the Panoramic Bar, there are large cracked sections of glass that should be replaced as a matter of safety for guests. Again. both are a lack of attention to detail. Our bedroom was cleaned well, although the balcony did get neglected - bird-droppings from the starlings nests didn't get cleaned for 5 days.......Beds are touch on the hard side, the tv is a bit dated, there is sufficient wardrobe and cupboard space. Air-con worked fine. The facilities for late check-out are still in the Dark Ages - the options we were given, by a lady at Reception, were either to use the showers in the pool toilets, or use the toilets in the lobby. When pressed, I managed to get a reluctant acknowledgement that the Gym showers and changing rooms can be used (as we did last year, and again this time). And you don't get given a towel to use either........unless you use your initiative ;) To seriously think that the offer of pool or lobby toilets is a suitable choice is absurd. Whilst we didn't expect to retain or use a room until we wished to leave (5pm), it is about time that hotels of any calibre and decent star rating actually wake up and smell the coffee and realise that guests are the ones who provide the profits, and need certain standards that can be found elsewhere .

It came to us that maybe the hotel is on such a seriously tight budget for costs and cash-flow (based on answers and comments from staff). On one day, the draught lager ran out despite orders being placed. Another day, no orange juice at breakfast. Another day, no bread for toasted sandwiches at the pool bar. Another day, no large bottles of water. - followed by the next day, you guessed, no small bottles of water! Don't bother hiring a pool towel (3 Euros a day) - we got 2 towels in the town for 14 Euros. In the restaurant the AI option didn't always live up to its stated food choices. There should be 2 soup and 2 meat choices at dinner. There was only ever 1 soup choice, and not always were there 2 meat choices. Some salad options were of limited choice, and then like the choice of desserts, became repetitive. For example, cheeses appeared for the first 3 days, but never seen again after that. - I guess they simply ran out and were waiting (to be allowed!.....) to order some more, just like all the other things they run out of!

The staff were, on the whole, wonderful. Some put a lot of effort into being conscientious and making the guests happy. A few are indifferent and let the others down. I'm sure that the loyal and long-serving members of staff are lip-biting but do not show their true feelings - they work under a lot of pressure and training new staff isn't easy - or working alongside those who couldn't care less. The "work-experience" student was progressing well during our stay - despite his long hours, being worked very hard and given the jobs others preferred not to do!

It is often said that the British talk loud to be understood by foreigners. However, frequently to our annoyance, the foreigners just talked loud - to each other. Around the pool it was always groups of non-British families who made the most noise, and took up most of the sunbeds - eg one family using 8 sunbeds and no less than 7 shades, who had no perception of decibel levels of their conversations.

There will come a time, quite soon I feel, that the Porta Nova will sink into becoming a sub-standard hotel that was once good in its heyday, and now has a need for an injection of money to raise its profile. Guests these days have higher expectations, and if a hotel wants to have people talk positively about it, and to return again and again, these points above need addressing quickly. The Porta Nova isn't the only hotel in Tavira. Its not classed as a budget hotel, but seems happy to park itself in that category, but charge 4 star prices. Location is its saving grace - and the good loyal staff.

Return to the Porta Nova? Not in July again (or August). And probably not on AI, but maybe B&B because of its location. Price will be a main factor when comparing the other hotel and accommodation options in Tavira, as we are not convinced that the Porta Nova will offer value for money unless it improves immensely and quickly.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Location good. Staff were just ok. I saw a disabled woman having trouble dealing with the staff due to a booking mix-up. We had to move rooms due to the smell of the sewer which is not acceptable for any hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winchester
Level Contributor
165 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Booked a couple of nights to fill gap between our holiday villa and flight departure. Incredibly cheap, £50 per night for end June.

The good: location, short walk into town; incredibly quiet, only a handful of people around the pool; lovely view from room

The bad: very basic rooms; quite a musty smell; stupidly expensive bar (£10 for 2 tiny coffees in polystyrene cups and two tiny lemonades); maintenance poor, lots of weeds growing through patio areas etc; all a bit faded/dated; stupid set up to get to pools, no lift access (although they are marked as such) which meant carrying a buggy etc down a large flight of steps

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

The 10 nights started well the food in the restuarant much better than most all inclusive in Europe, the house red wine was as good as it gets and plentiful, the bar upstairs had amazing views, however, too quiet sadly thus lacking atmosphere. On some days it seemed more staff than guests! We had been twice before and had asked for the same room 112, but since our last visit the staff room had been moved to next door and despite asking one of the Managers to ask the staff to refrain from slamming the door,this was to no avail and it became a real irritation, so be warned dont have room 112.
The rooms were clean and towels plentiful so no complaints there, it was as we had expected it to be from our previous visits its not 5 star but doesnt profess to be. The balconies were taken over by nesting swallows a wonderful sight if you like birds.
Acess to the pool area was awkward and had many stairs to go down unless you walked around the side of the hotel, the restuarant was on the ground floor and had doors to the outside pool area however these were locked and had to be opened by the staff which was willingly done but made it awkward to have to ask all the time.
The timings for the all inclusive drinks package was adhered too rigourously ie you could not get a drink one minute after 11pm, it is the rules however it felt a bit jobs worth with so few guests in the hotel. We also noted that previous guests who were not all inclusive did somehow manage to get free drinks dependant on bar staff, coloured arm bands were evident at all times for all inclusive so it wasnt rocket science to know the unarmed band brigade!
Would we return well we will see!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Porta Nova

Address: Rua Antonio Pinheiro, Tavira 8800-323, Portugal (Formerly BlueBay Porta Nova)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Tavira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Porta Nova 4*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Porta Nova, located on the hillside of a quiet hill in Tavira, southeast of Algarve, is perfectly integrated into the environment. It has 134 rooms and 3 Junior Suites, all with large windows from which to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the mountains and monuments. Thanks to its particular location at the highest point of Tavira, the hotel offers magnificent views of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porta Nova Hotel
Porta Nova Tavira
Hotel Porta Nova Tavira

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