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“..the other view..” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Porto do Mar

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Porto do Mar
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Av. Sen. Dinarte de Medeiros Mariz, 455 | Parque das Dunas, Via Costeira, Natal, State of Rio Grande do Norte 59090002, Brazil   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #65 of 79 Hotels in Natal
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“..the other view..”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2008

We booked a week at the Porto Do Mar hotel on the basis of the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Perhaps, therefore, our expectations were too high, but certainly if you're considering staying at this hotel, there are some points not mentioned in the other reviews that are worth consideration.

I'll start with the bad as these points haven't really been covered in any of the other reviews.

In our opinion, the hotel certainly is not up to a true 3* standard.

The Bedrooms are dated and very tired. Ours had broken and missing electrical fittings, a rusty minibar and safe, cracked bathroom tiles with grey grout. Curtains were stained and towels were threadbare.

A minor point, but no shampoo's or hairdryer were provided in the bathroom.

On checking into our room, we found an army of ants in the bathroom. Tired and weary we said nothing until the next day when the bathroom could only be described as "infested". Our thomson rep didn't seem too surprised by this and talking to other guests, most had a similar story to tell. By the 4th day, the hotel had managed to rid most of the insects - but only after they'd migrated into our suitcases and still an off-putting start to the holiday.

Although a selection of alcoholic drinks are available from the pool-side cafeteria, the hotel has no bar.

We made the mistake of booking the half-board option. This is definitely not worth taking since the hotel offers only a very basic evening menu. There's no vegetarian option, and realistically only 1 chicken, 1 beef, 1 fish and 1 shrimp option. None are served with vegetables which feature no-where on the menu. Fine for one or two nights maybe, but it's not brazilian food. Even if you're not on half-board, then the restaurant is way over-priced. A standard chicken dish comprising grilled chicken, chips and rice was on the menu at 35 Reals (£10). Compared to the local Tabua De Carne restaurant (walking distance from the hotel) offering a wide selection of meats all with a smorgasboard of vegetables and side dishes for around 17 Reals (£5) per person.

Our final grumble with the hotel was it's location. A pleasant beach can be reached in a 15 minute walk, but the local beaches are littered with debris and junk. There is only 1 restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. Ponte Negra or Natal town centres can be reached by local bus cheaply. However, the service is infrequent and not for the faint hearted! A taxi to the town center came in at around £8 each way. Could certainly add up.

All that said, we still had a wonderful holiday in Natal. The weather was fantastic and the hotel does have some redeeming features, namely:

The views from both the rooms and the common parts are amazing. The hotel is right on the beach. The pool at the hotel is fantastic - lovely and warm (but why was the water never clear?).
The hotel is immacutely maintained on the outside, with pleasant and well cared for gardens. The maids made an excellent job cleaning the rooms and there was always a brigade of staff cleaning the common parts each morning.

The air con in the room was much needed and worked perfectly.

To summarise, I'd have preferred a more central location. On a lazy holiday, I like to enjoy a good meal and a relaxing drink at the hotel on the days that venturing into town in the heat seems all too much - certainly not an option at the Porto Do Mar. I'd recommend paying slightly more and trying elsewhere in Natal.. If you book the Porto Do Mar, expect a 2* and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  • Liked — Fantastic pool and views
  • Disliked — Tied between the poort choice and price of food vs. the awkward location of the hotel
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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90 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

I was taken here by my girlfriend as a suprise for my birthday. It was the best present anyone could have given me. The hotel was very clean with a pool that was always clean and warm. The staff was excellent and very friendly. They appreciated it greatly if you tried to speak Portriguese with them. The food in the hotel was fantastic and found us eating there quite a bit. (try the steak and egg burger with all the trimmings, boy I could do with that now ;-))
Ponte Negra is only a short bus ride away, there is a steak house diner right near the hotel and does very good food.
The hotel is overlooking the sea with wonderful views and easy access to the sea.
It is a very quiet hotel free from screaming kids so ideal for relaxation. There is a pool table and other games nearby the pool if you decide to chill out.
I also recommend to take a trip to Pipa which is a 2 hour ride by car or bus away from Natal. It gives you a wonderful taste of life outside of the tourist areas and also you can swim with the dolphins which is just magical.
I would highly recommend this hotel and cannot wait to venture back.

Stayed December 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bexley, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2007

Having read the reviews on here before we went, we were really looking forward to it-if not a little apprehensive.
The hotel itself was clean & well equipped with lots of Brazilian families staying there on their holidays.
We found the hotel to be in the perfect location & a short bus ride away from the centre of Natal or Ponta Negra in the other direction.
There was only 1 restaurant within reasonable walking distance to the hotel, but it was good & the staff were friendly.
As with other reviews on here state, not much English is spoken around Natal. To get on you'll need to learn a few basic words of Portuguese (Its greatly appreciated).
There are some fantastic bargains to be had-so dont overfill your case with clothes on the way out!!
The pol at the hotel is just perfect & he water is warm & clean. We didnt realise unti we got to the hotel that there is wireless internet access (if you realy cant live without your emails). We found that buying "Time" on the internet was a cheaper way to communicate with those at home (Rather than calling we used msn or yahoo messenger). There are also internet access points in the shopping malls (of which there are plenty).
We've already decided that were going to go back & visit again soon (Mainly due to the fact that the pc ruined the camera card & weve lost over 400 pics!!!!!)
The hotel is not really suited to people with limited mobility & theres not many children (So its ideal for people seeking a retreat from screaming kids).
Along with the Brazilian tourists (From "Down South") there are alot of Scandinavians staying at the hotel.
All i can say is its a great place to go, the hotel is great & thank god its not a "Little Britain"!!!!!

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterborough
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2006

My wife and I visited this hotel through Thomsons. It was only the second flight in with the company and so we were, i suppose, guniea pigs. The hotel was superb. Basic, but catered for all your needs. It was on the beach but please note that you MUST NOT take any valuables on there with you as there is a danger of mugging. Don't get me wrong it is very safe there if you have your wits about you we both went to the beach walking twice a day with no problems and watched the locals fish from the rocks but we didn't take anything with us and made sure no jewelery was in sight. Please don't let that put you off it's a wonderful place with fantastic people, lovely food, and cheap. Just go and enjoy, but, be street wise

  • Liked — clean and friendly
  • Disliked — distance from the main resort meant taxis every evening
  • Tips/Secrets — Enjoy it and don't forget the buggys
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2006

The Porto do Mar Hotel is nearer to old Natal than new but with the aid of a taxi or one of the local buses it does not distract from the enjoyment of the holiday.
The hotel is well placed on the beachfront of Via Costiera and enjoys the benefits of a cooling breeze, which can be quite strong at the frnt of the hotel.
Rooms are clean and comfortable and the staff are very helpful despite having a limited grasp of the English language. Food is excellent with a great variety on the breakfast menu, varying from local cooked meats etc to an abundance of bread, cereals and fruits.
A small internet area with two PC's provides "ticket" Internet access for varying lengths of access time (charged accordingly from 10 reals).
Whether you go left or right from the hotel front you will find beaches and great restaurants - watch out for a custom of providing only meals for two, annoying if you don't share the same taste in food! In the "Mall" there is a great self-service restaurant where you can take your pick of a great variety of foods and pay for it by weight - spoonful of this, a ladel of that!
Great place for a cheap, friendly holiday.

  • Liked — Just no problems with any aspect of our stay.
  • Disliked — Its location was a little out of the way.
  • Tips/Secrets — Remember staff don't speak English well - if this bothers you, ask yourself "Do I speak Portuguese?".
  • Stayed January 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Porto do Mar

Address: Av. Sen. Dinarte de Medeiros Mariz, 455 | Parque das Dunas, Via Costeira, Natal, State of Rio Grande do Norte 59090002, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio Grande do Norte > Natal
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Natal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Porto do Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 119
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Porto Do Mar Natal, Brazil

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