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“Wonderful hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel

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Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sesmarias
Leicester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week stay at this hotel and we thought it was wonderful. We had read mixed reviews on tripadvisor and were unsure what to expect but our first impressions on arriving like being met with champagne and very efficiently checked in reassured us quickly. The fantastic reception area was amazing so stylish and modern and spacious. When we were shown to our suite room we were very very impressed. It was fabulous with 2 large balconies 2 bathrooms 2 large screen TVs, 2 sinks, and the massive bed was so comfortable with wonderful pillows! We thought the food in the hotel was great with a really good choice - always lots of variety and nothing that should have been hot was cold. We enjoyed fantastic weather the whole 2 weeks and were lucky enough to be able to eat every meal outside on the terrace with a sea view.
Staff in the hotel were very friendly, efficient and always quick to help. It was my birthday whilst I was there and they delivered a cake with a candle and sparkling wine to the room which was really a lovely touch.
Entertainment in the hotel was brilliant. The resident duo Willjamin entertained us a great deal and are very good acoustic guitarists and singers and Gemma was fabulous too - I enjoyed the morning yoga and tai-chi sessions she held and also her singing in the evenings. We loved the Elvis tribute who was such good fun and although we missed the Portugese dancers we hear they were very good too.
All in all we had such a fabulous time at theCS Sao Rafael Atlantic and feel sad that some people seem to find fault that we had to write this review and thank all the staff for their kindness and attention. Sue and Keith Rumble Leicester.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking your time to post such valuable feedback concerning you recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I was very pleased to know that you were satisfied with your holiday at our/yours Hotel. I was glad to read that our Hotel rooms suits you in the best way, they are very modern with large balconies with views over the sea and beautiful gardens. Our Hotel Team was delighted to know that you appreciated their friendly and professional services. Gemma and Willjamin were also grateful for your mention. I am thankful to know that you enjoyed the Birthday Cake, it is a gesture made to shine even more your special day.

I will be very happy to welcome you back again in a near future.

Yours Sincerely,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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610 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

I have to say I was cautious about this hotel due to 'poor' and 'terrible' reviews it has received but it was lovely from beginning to end.
The staff were attentive, taking extra time to prepare me decaffeinated coffee in the morning as I am pregnant and we could have spent hours over breakfast with the variety they had on offer. Sometimes there was a short wait for some items to be replenished but we would far rather wait for fresh food than eat something that had been sat for hours!
The lunch and dinners were not Michelin starred but were still very good.
The pools were cooler than some hotels we've visited but we found them refreshing and spotlessly clean.
A bar-to-sunbed waiter service may have been appreciated by some but personally we enjoyed not being pestered.
The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful, exactly what we wanted from a couples retreat.
The short walk up a very slight hill to the nearest shop/bus stop/bar was far from arduous.
Being able to swap our half board dinner for lunch enabled us to try some local restaurants which were lovely (we highly recommend the beach bar/restaurant on the next bay, Sardinha for dinner).
Our walk into the Old Town did take about 40 minutes but I was relieved we were that far away as it was all neon lights, kareoke bars and sports pubs.
The rooms were immaculate and towels were replaced daily despite us trying to insist we could use the same towels for more than one day.
Quiet and peaceful isn't the type of holiday we would normally go for but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel if that is what you are looking for.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel let me take this opportunity to thank you for your valuable review about your recent stay with us.
I was glad to know that you had a lovely holiday from “beginning to end”. Thank you very much for your comments about the Hotel Team, I already pass them your inspiring words and they were as much I was very proud to know that you appreciated their services. I was glad to read that you enjoyed our Hotel room, they are concept in a stylish design with modern furniture just to make your stay even more enjoyable. It is true, the tranquility of our gardens and the peaceful of our Hotel ambience are very much appreciated by our guests.

Knowing that you will not hesitate to recommend us is without a doubt our best Award.

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back in a near future.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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Crewe, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

when arriving late evening to this Hotel all looked well, we had a very nice room all the modern cons very clean.next morning things were very different the breakfast was not up to much some served up cold that should have been hot,it was self service, it stated there was a courtesy bus when asked about it not in service, and to walk to a bar or shop would take 15min all up hill, if you walked to albufeira old town that would take you almost an hour and walking along a very dangerous road, and very steep hills, this hotel is not for a person who is not fit and active
maybe it will be the place for your if you just want to stay in the hotel and not got out, i would not return again this is not a 5star, Mrs B,

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to post your opinion regarding your recent stay with us.
I do regret to read that you felt disappointed with our five star Hotel services and facilities. I am glad to read that our Hotel room was up to your expectations. I was surprised with your comments about the Buffet Breakfast since it is normally an area where we shine on. We are located in a privilege area just a few steps to the beautiful São Rafael Beach and if you which to visit the Old Town our reception team is always pleased to order you a taxi at anytime you want or you can catch the local bus that stops just on the top of the road.

I do value your opinion it helps to improve the quality of our Hotel standards and facilities.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantwich, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

I have just come back from a weeks break at this hotel and to sum it up I would never go back or recommend it to other people.Myself and partner were not the only people who expressed the same opinion of this place. Room was great,can't really complain. Buffet food not up to much, had to constantly ask staff to top food up as opened up stainless steel containers to find them empty! I ask you....5 star not! Was informed by member of staff was Chefs fault....as if a paying guest cares one jot...just keep hot food hot (not cold) and also topped up. Also quality very hit and miss.I could go on but have better things to do. Gardens looked tired, empty glasses on table tops in gardens day after day. In the end we decided to spend as little time as possible at the hotel and used it as a place to sleep....one needed a good rest after walking into Albuferia old town as nearest place to escape. Don't think of courtesy bus...they weren't running. Taxis VERY hard to find as were local buses. If you are infirm or have a problem walking any real distances this place is to be well avoided if I haven't put you off already. Oh yes, before I forget, the Rep didn't seem to give a dam when we put some of our points to her so had to cut the conversation short and save my breath...Well that's me done...go elsewhere folks!

Oh p.s....forgot to say drinks very expensive and served with all the cheerfulness of a Albanian Firing Squad!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel. I do regret to read that you felt disappointed with your experience with us.
It is true our Hotel rooms are very modern with nice and comfortable décor just to provide you a pleasant stay. Concerning your comments about the food, I already pass them to our Executive Chef who is always looking after to our guest’s preferences and needs. I must mention that if you which to go out and visit the Old Town our front desk team can always call you a taxi at any time or you can catch the local bus that stops just up on the road. Please allow me to mention that the prices we practice at our Hotel are not even the normal prices for a five star Hotel, our prices dicreased and even with the 2013 VAT increase from 13% to 23% we did not increase our prices.

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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Wiltshire, England
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

My partner and I have recently returned from a week at this hotel which we booked through Thomsons. We were a little worried after reading some previous reviews but it didn't take long for those concerns to go away. The garden room was a good size and spotlessly clean. The only improvement I would recommend would be the addition of towel rails and hooks for the bath robes. The food in the restaurant was varied and of a good standard. It did get a little 'samey' but we visited the Al Fresco restaurant on 3 occasions and this broke the week up nicely. The staff at both restaurants were helpful and friendly, especially Joseph in the Al Fresco who gave us some great advice on local wines. Breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice and a relaxed feel. There was an occasional wait of up to 5 minutes for trays to be restocked but this is to be expected at busy times.

The entertainment was good and Gemma and the team were enthusiastic but never pressured people to take part in activities. The spa was fantastic and the therapeutic massage was so relaxing and great value.

A lovely touch by the hotel was to surprise us with champagne and a birthday cake in our room on my girlfriends birthday. Overall the hotel was great and we would recommend it. The only slight drawback is the lack of shops and bars within walking distance but taxis were cheap so it's not a big issue.

Was a lovely holiday and hotel but perhaps a little overpriced as we paid £614 each half board for 7nights at the beginning of October.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel thank you very much for sharing your review regarding your recent stay with us.
I was happy to read that overall you enjoyed your stay at our/yours Hotel. Thank you very much for your comments about the Hotel Team, I will share all your words with them and I am sure they will be delighted to know that you prized their services. Joseph was very thankful to know that you appreciated his suggestions. Our Executive Chef was glad to read that you enjoyed our food options.
I completely agree with you our CS Atlantic SPA is the ideal place to find tranquility and restore your mind, body and spirit. Our SPA Team was very happy to know that you felt really relaxed with the Therapeutic Massage. I am glad to know that you appreciated the Birthday Cake and Champagne in your room and that made your day even more special.

Knowing that you would recommend us is without a doubt our best award!

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back in a near future and pamper you with another “lovely holiday”.

Sunny Regards from Algarve,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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Belfast, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

So disappointing. We have stayed at other Thomson 'couples only' hotels and had great holiday, with good food, great entertainment and peace and quiet during the day. Not so this time. Good food - if you like it cold, so-so entertainment and music played all day. Having said that, the staff are lovely, the place is clean, and the shower in the bedroom - fantastic. We think it wasn't worth the money we paid for it.

Room Tip: Higher floors are brighter
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to post your feedback regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I do regret to read that you were not pleased with our Hotel standards and facilities. It is very disappointment to know that your expectations were not met. However I was glad to read that you appreciated the service provided by our Hotel Team. They were happy to know that their efforts were worth it.
I do value your opinion, it helps to improve the quality of our Hotel standards and specially to achieve our daily goal: our guest’s satisfaction.

Despite what you mentioned I do hope that you give us the opportunity to welcome you back and provide you an excellent holiday.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Just returned from a wonderful week relaxing here. From our first impression to our last the hotel and it's staff were fab - anything that they could do to help they would do from the minute we got there.

Greeted with a glass of bubbly on arrival - quick check in and off to our room we went. Fantastic room - super comfy bed and the wet room had the most amazing shower which was ace when coming back from a day lazing at the pool.

The three pools were very clean and well maintained although yes they were cold but through the day the sun did heat the water up. That said it was great for a dip to cool off when soaking up the sun on the loungers by the pool. It did get busy by the pool sometimes but then there are dozens of loungers and pods throughout the gardens

The staff throughout the hotel complex were lovely and friendly - always happy to help out. Felt bad for Gemma as the onsite entertainment as so many people didn't want to get involved in activities but she was keen to make sure guests were happy and enjoying their stay.

The Chill Out bar has the best view of all from the hotel over the sea - well worth a cocktail or two. Each evening there was happy hour in the bar so tried a few of them! Staff up there were great - especially when I lost my engagement ring into the floor boards (thankfully they were able to get it for me!)

Definitely recommend booking into the Al Fresco restaurant for a meal one evening - the food is fab and makes a change from the buffet in the Seven Seas restaurant. Whilst we were very impressed by the food at the buffet some people were not so happy - there was a good selection every night and was of a good quality through each of the themed nights. Make sure you have some of their ice cream. Waiters were all very friendly and chat when they could - thanks to Manuel and Maria for looking after us!

We did adventure to Old Town Albuferia and can heartily recommend stopping by the Marina when walking there/back for the yummiest ice cream ever! We did walk back from Old Town too - watch out for that last hill though as it is a killer..... (taxi's aren't that much though). We also adventured out across the cliffs to check out the views - be careful but definitely worth a go if you can work out the path to take. We also went along to Praia De Coelha which is well worth a visit, again for the views.

  • 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
    • 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.
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful review regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I was delighted to read that you would love to come again. I was glad to know that you were pleased with our Hotel rooms, they are very well equipped in order to provide you a comfy and relaxing stay. Our Hotel Team were so happy for your mention, they were very proud as much I was to know that their efforts were worth it. Our Executive Chef was also grateful to read that you enjoyed our food options, he always try his best to impress our guests and to achieve their tastes.

It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in a near future,

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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 Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel

Address: Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Sesmarias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sesmarias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 149
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel has a spectacular location overlooking the Atlantic sea, direct access to Sao Rafael Beach and only at a short drive to Albufeira centre. The interiors have contemporary design features with space and light throughout. The rooms are modern and have large balconies with views over the sea and gardens. The extensive gardens offer a beautiful mediterranean landscape with olive and palm trees. There is also a state-of-the-art SPA featuring leading wellness therapies and treatments. ... more   less 
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