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“Great value, great views, great service - few niggles.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Real Marina Hotel & Spa

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Real Marina Hotel & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida 5 de Outubro, Olhao 8700, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Olhao
Falkirk
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Great value, great views, great service - few niggles.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Well worth considering if going to the Algarve, especially if you want to avoid the busier locations. This is a large and modern hotel with many rooms enjoying views across the yacht marina and Ria Formosa to sea. We booked a suite with sea view and were delighted with the huge corner suite on the fourth (top) floor. While perhaps not as luxuriously decorated or furnished as some we have enjoyed this was certainly one of the largest we have ever stayed in. Simply styled in white and muted shades of brown the suite came with two separate bathrooms, one with both bath and shower the other with a large drench shower. The separate lounge area is larger than in many modern houses and is equipped with couch, table and four dining-style chairs, desk, fridge and wall-mounted tv. A minor issue would be that the tv is a little small for today's tastes especially when viewing from the couch. The bedroom is even larger with very large bed, dressing table unit, wardrobe etc (additional wardrobe/drawer storage is available off the hallway). Temperatures can be separately controlled in each main room and controls are straightforward. Here too there is a wall-mounted tv with a good number of channels including main terrestrial UK channels. Again the tv is perhaps a bit small. Ceiling to floor patio doors in both the lounge and bedroom give great views and access to the large balcony which stretches the length of the suite. Full length curtains give a good degree of blackout at night. Sound insulation is not, however, total though we did not find noise a problem.

Breakfasts were average for the familiar buffet arrangement now used by so many hotels.
We stayed on a B&B basis and were glad we'd retained the option of using local cafes and restaurants for most meals. Off-season as our stay was these were often pitifully quiet. On the two nights we dined in the main hotel restaurant we found the food mostly good and though more expensive than in town still good value. The disappointment was the vegetarian lasagne which was more liquid than solid and with few vegetables. However, on complaining it was removed from the bill. The jazz guitarist playing one night was good as was the Fado singer and guitarists on another night though they started late and were quick to take breaks.

Staff were very helpful and friendly. Admittedly we were staying off-season and the hotel was quiet, but nonetheless they explained well and helped provide answers to our requests. Service in the dining room on the nights we dined was friendly, polite and efficient. Staff are a real asset to the hotel.

The town is easily reached in less than 10 minutes stroll. There is a long, flat, promenade which takes you past the marina. Cycle hire is available. Olhao off-season is quiet as is the Real Marina. In town, market Saturday apart, there is a sense of emptiness among the cafes and restaurants. This is not unique to Olhao; Faro and Tavira both were much quieter than in peak season on our day visits. This has advantages but the lack of a 'buzz' may not suit everyone. The market in Olhao on Saturdays is lively and good fun. Faro and Tavira are easily accessible by train at amazingly cheap prices. The railway is rather run-down but the trains we took were internally clean enough and we enjoyed the views over water, through vineyards and orange groves. Olhao has a modern, very attractive, arts centre/auditorium which stages musical events and art exhibitions. It is walkable from the Real Marina and the concert we attended was high quality.

Niggles: this is another 5 star hotel that charges for wi-fi. The Vodafone cards are not that expensive but the very fact that the hotel charges guests at all is very annoying, especially as several cafes in town provide it free. There is no kettle or tea/coffee making facility in the room.

We thought the Real Marina represented excellent value for money. We would also wish to record our appreciation of the Champagne, fruit and pastries sent up to our suite on arrival - a lovely start to the holiday.

Room Tip: Well worth considering a suite.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your kind and detailed review of the Real Marina Hotel & SPA and Olhão.

We are glad that you enjoyed both, the Hotel and town, and especially the friendliness and helpfulness of our team. It is always gratifying to read that their efforts to make our guests stays as special as possible are not only recognized, but so much appreciated.

Thank you also for your suggestion to provide free Internet and tea and coffee facilities. It is true that Internet is charged, as we otherwise wouldn’t be able to guarantee a flawless, reliable and secure Internet connection for a Hotel of this dimension. Please note however that we do supply kettles upon request. Just contact our reception upon your next visit and if one should be available, it will be placed in your room.

Thank you once again for your kind feedback and we hope that we will be able to welcome you again to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA.

Kind regards



Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (385)
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Cork
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Fantastic hotel. Have stayed there 2 years in a row with my girlfriend. For our 2nd stay there, the staff were very welcoming and helpful.On the last day when I asked for an umbrella when it rained, I was told I coulld keep it for free which was a very nice touch. The start of our trip was a bit of a disaster due to there being a strike in passport control which led us to being delayed an hour and our bus was delayed by another hour as a result but it picked up when we go there to the hotel. When we arrived we were a bit early to check in but the receptionist sorted us out with another room with a pool view which we found out later in the trip was the same number as the haunted one in the Shining, Room 237 which was kinda cool due to the recently released documentary, it passed off without incident anyway :) The food for snacks during the day were very nice in the pool bar and the variety was excellent for breakfast. I would recommend eating in the bar in the evening as cheaper prices with normal food. We both felt the food in main restaurant was overpriced and poor selection (mainly fish and seafood which neither of us keen on) so we ate in the cosy and luxurious bar for 3 of the 4 nights we were there which was very enjoyable and reasonably priced. The spa, massage and pool facilites were also top class helped by half price offers during our stay :) Overall I would highly recommend this hotel as you would spend more in a B and B in rural Ireland for accomodation. A 5 star hotel @ 3 star prices :)

Room Tip: Pick a room with a pool view amazing
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

We really appreciated your kind and considerate review and are very glad that after a troubled start, your vacation improved drastically as soon as you arrived in our Hotel.

We are also relieved that you were not stressed out by the fact that you had room number 237, but that you really enjoyed the room and its view. In fact, we believe that no one ever linked it to the movie before, but you can rest assured that no ghosts have ever been spotted in this room or our Hotel, as far as we know.

We regret that you were not as satisfied with the food selection in our main restaurant as with the remaining services. It is true that we focus on fish and seafood, since Olhão is a fishing town and known for its fantastic, fresh fish and seafood, but we also try to offer good alternatives for meat lovers or vegetarians and will pass your comment on to our Food and Beverage Management, who will take it into consideration.

Thank you once again for your kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you again to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA, hopefully soon.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tunbridge Wells
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Opened only two years ago in the small Algarve fishing town of Olhao, the Real Marina prides itself on being the best hotel in town. Hard to argue with this as there are only a handful of other hotels in town, all very small and 2 or 3 star. Reception upon arrival was warm and efficient. I had opted for a Sea View room with balcony and the room was larger and airier than expected with a great view over the Marina. The hotel restaurant had a fair but not huge selection of meals and the quality was fairly good, while there are numerous restaurants and cafes in the vicinity if one tires of the hotel fare. Excellent hotel bar with a most impressive selection of cocktails. My only criticism of he hotel is that it very minimalistic throughout : no pictures or murals in either the public areas or rooms. However, I enjoyed my stay here so much I've booked eleven days here over Christmas and decided to splurge on a junior suite.

Room Tip: Try to book a seaview room. Or for not much extra you can reserve a suite.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review.

We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us so much that you already booked your next holiday with us and look forward to welcoming you back this Christmas for another pleasant experience.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
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Leeds, UK
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Very smart hotel with great service. Lovely pool and indoor pool (you need a swimming hat) and other facilities. Value for money superb. Great breakfast - loads of choice of everything - hot/cold/bread/yogurts/cakes/juices - you name it! £15 transfer for 4 from Faro airport. We had 2 rooms next to each other - 1 for the kids and one for us. Kids loved wearing the robes down to the pool! We would definitely stay here again and this price!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

It was a real pleasure to read your review and learn how impressed you were with the Hotel, the service provided and also the price. We strive to provide a high-quality service and memorable experiences at affordable, attractive prices and were therefore very glad that we were able to achieve our aim.

Thank you so much for your review and we look forward to welcome you and your kids back for another enjoyable stay with us.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We booked an appartment in Real Marina Residence, it was wonderful !!
In 10 minutes you walk to Olhao and find a lot of local restaurants. Visit the fish and fruit/vegetable market. Make a boattrip to the islands Culatra /Farol - Armona. Take a seat on the terrace between the markethall and enjoy the view.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review and also for giving us the opportunity to clarify some points about the Real Marina Hotel & SPA and the Real Marina Residence.

Since reviews of the Real Marina Residence are often posted on the Hotel’s site, we would just like to explain that the Real Marina Residence does not belong to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA, but is an independent property with stylish, high-quality apartments, ideal for anyone who instead of a Hotel with its traditional services and facilities, prefers an alternative that offers more privacy and independency.
Both properties share the same reception service, but since the Residence is not a Hotel, other services as daily cleaning, Room Service or access to the hotel facilities are not provided or included.

We are very glad that you have spent an enjoyable time at the Real Marina Residence and Olhão and hope that you will visit us again.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunboyne, Meath, Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Just back from a very relaxing stay in this hotel on a B+B basis. The hotel was really comfortable and spotless. A great selection for the breakfast buffet and we had one evening meal there which was really nice but we wanted to try the local restaurants also. We paid extra for a room with a sea view and it was worth the extra money with a lovely balcony that one could sit out on and watch the sun rise in the morning. Spa facilities were excellent but suspect would be strapped for space in the summer time when the hotel is more busy.Overall a very pleasant stay with friendly staff and a lovely quiet place if you are after peace and quiet at this time of year. We also took advantage of the 50% reduction on spa treatments which brought them into the affordable range and really enjoyed them.

Room Tip: Go for the sea view rooms as the view at the rear of the hotel is just the local houses.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

We really appreciated your kind review of the Real Marina Hotel & SPA and are very pleased that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us and especially the Spa.

If you are planning to visit us during the summer, but are hesitating because of the Spa, we are very pleased to inform you that there is no need to worry, since most guests prefer to take advantage of the good weather and spend the day by the pool or beach. So the Spa is actually quieter during the busier summer months, than during the autumn or winter time.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we hope that we will be able to welcoming you again to the Real Marina, hopefully soon.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

This review is based on the fact that we did not pay 5 star prices!

Stayed here mid October for one week half board. Room 419 with sea view was very comfortable and deserved a 5 star rating along with reception staff. If you expect 4 star from the rest of the hotel you will not be disappointed. Some of the furniture in the bar area and reception were decidedly uncomfortable. We found the staff in the rest of the hotel to be very friendly.

Of the 7 nights we were there for evening meal we had 2 nights buffet, 2 nights set menu when they had some entertainment and 3 nights a la carte. On the non a la carte nights drinks were included. We were also offered a la carte menu if we didnt like the set menu. Sometimes the service was slow but very friendly and we were in no rush on holiday!

Breakfast was busy but we always visited at peak times as we couldnt get out of the really comfortable bed.

Outdoor pool a bit baltic - indoor pool available though.

The location is 5 - 10 minutes walk from the main restaurants/ marina and old town although the immediate surroundings are a bit derelict however the view from the front rooms are fantastic.

Olhao is a mix of lovely old buildings, derelict properties and 60s architecture however it does have a certain charm. 10 - 15 mins walk to the train station for easy access to Faro and the rest of the Algarve. Travelling east to Tavira and Vila Real where you can catch a 10 min ferry across the river to Ayamonte in Spain. Transport costs very reasonable.

Would return to this hotel if it remains such good value for money!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your detailed review.

We are very glad that you have had a thoroughly enjoyable stay at our Hotel and were impressed with the quality of service.

Thank you also for planning to return if the value for money remains as good as it is now and we are confident that we will be able to welcome you again, since we are planning to continue trying our utmost to provide high-quality service, excellent facilities and memorable experiences at affordable prices.

We look forward to welcome you back and remain at your entire disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Real Marina Hotel & Spa

Address: Avenida 5 de Outubro, Olhao 8700, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Olhao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Olhao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Real Marina Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 146
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Real Marina Hotel And Spa
Real Marina Hotel Olhao

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