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“Fantastic hotel at an amazing price” 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
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic hotel at an amazing price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

My boyfriend and I chose this hotel for our first holiday away together and it did not disappoint. We booked through an easy jet agent and paid £260 each for our 5 night stay at the beginning of October 2013. On arrival I was amazed by how the hotel was exactly as the website described which often isn't the case on arrival. The hotel room was spotless and a great size with plenty of storage. There was a daily maid service and both towels and sheets were replaced every time. The bed was so luxurious and with black out blinds I was guaranteed 5 of the best nights sleep for a long time.

My only recommendation, and this is by no means a complaint, is that there weren't enough tea bags in the room and there were no milk either. We grabbed a few tea bags from breakfast though and got a small milk to put in the fridge in the room.

Now let's talk about breakfast.... A... Maze... Ing! Tonnes and tonnes of choice, an egg chef cooking eggs and omelettes on request and pretty much anything you would want for breakfast. Being British I didn't stray too far from a good old fry up and a cuppa each day but all of it was fresh, hot and replenished frequently. The sausages were incredible! We even had champagne on the last day (which was available everyday).

We experienced poor weather but we had hired a car and we're able to explore the Algarve and spent a couple of lazy afternoons in the hotel spa which was amazing. So luxurious and comfortable and very clean. I didn't mind spending 5 Euros on a swim hat as we used it several times and it made for a cheap lazy afternoon. It also made sure the pools were kept cleaner too which is never a bad thing.

We were also glad to have hired a car to get to and from the local town for the evenings. It's quite a distance and we would have racked up quite a taxi bill. The hotel does offer a shuttle service but we obviously didn't need this. There was parking at the hotel which was off road so that was good too.

Had an amazing meal at a really tiny and local restaurant in Albufeira Old Town which I shall also be writing a review about called O'Argos where we were served traditional Portugese food by a waiter completely run off his feet and with a steady stream of people quieting at the door.

All in all we had an amazing break at this hotel and would visit again and again and recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

We stayed for 1 week and had an amazing stay. Everything was superb, from the location to the service. The staff were accommodating and helped us with tours, transportation... We loved the spa services and the meal selection was fantastic. Rooms were clean. Our only complaint was that we were on the main floor, so we had no view from our outdoor patio; we looked at a cement wall.

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean, so just be surety go higher than 2nd floor, to have a view
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Widnes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

Stayed 4 nights end of Sept. Weather was not good at all. The hotel is in a quiet residential area ..few bars/restaurants close by BUT I guess if you are staying in a 5* hotel you can afford taxis to town.
The hotel is tranquil, the rooms are lovely, the service top drawer.
We stayed on a B&B basis. The breakfast is fabulous. We tried two restaurants close-by ... Fish restaurant on the beach (turn right out of hotel door walk 5 mins up road and turn right....dirt track road ....ace food. Fresh caught fish) 2nd was just along from the supermarket/Chinese/bar...had chateaubriand and was delish.
I would defo recommend this hotel for anyone looking for tranquility but with the option of the old town/strip just for a change.
We loved it.
THE BEDS ARE ACE TOO AND THE PILLOWS ARE LIKE MARSHMALLOWS.......OH AND THE SHOWER IN THE WETROOM IS SOOOOO GOOD

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolzano, Italy
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

I stayed with my mother for 3 nights at Sao Rafael Atlantic and it was a great experience. The hotel has an excellent location at one of the nicest beaches in Algarve and it is close to the town Albufeira. The rooms are clean, modern furnited and the bed huge and comfortable. Service staff was very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend a visit to the a la cart restaurant in the middle of the olive trees and on top of the coast. Facilities and spa are great, super comfortable and relaxing! Will visit this hotel again at my next Portugal trip!

Room Tip: Highly recommend a room with sea view
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Thank you very much for your review!
We are really glad that you enjoyed your stay and we are looking forward to welcoming you back!

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We have just returned from our holiday in Albufeira where we've spent 4 nights at the CS Atlantic hotel. The hotel is located in beautiful grounds with Olive trees, overlooking the Atlantic sea and short walk away from the Sao Rafael Beach, which is accessible with steps leading directly from the hotel to the beach. The only small downside is that the hotel is further away from Albufeira Old Town centre. It is however walkable, it took us about 40mins to walk (quite casually) stopping by the Marina on the way, which was also great. If you chose to take a taxi it cost about EUR 7 and takes less then 10mins in a car. Be sure to make it to the Old Town as it's really worth it. We dined in some great restaurants such as Atrium or the Casa de Fonte, which were worth the journey to the town. I preferred the more remote CS Atlantic hotel location as I came to Albufeira to relax and soak up the relaxing coastal atmosphere and this hotel suited us perfectly. I didn't want to be in the middle of the busy centre as I have plenty of that at home. The hotel has a fantastic SPA with excellent treatments and all the standard facilities such as gym, sauna, steam, jacuzzi etc. I have done yoga in the grounds of the hotel in the morning while watching the sunrise, which was spectacular. WIFI is only available in public places such as the pool, restaurants, bars or reception if you want to check your emails. Breakfast is excellent and offers both the classic British fry ups as well as the more continental varieties. Hotel staff was absolutely amazing, very welcoming and gone out of their way to help. Be sure to walk down the steps to the Sao Rafael Beach as the views a great. In the summer season you can also get a massage on the beach in a private tent, which is fantastic and I would highly recommend it. It's probably one of the best massages I've had, while listening the waves crashing on the beach.
The hotel also has a fantastic Alfresco restaurant overlooking the sea, offering lovely seafood and other delicious dishes. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a relaxing stay, with great restaurants, bars, pools, SPA, 3 min to the beach, overlooking see and so much more...

Room Tip: Visit to the beach is a must... Visit the SPA to relax. Try the lovely Alfresco restaurant.
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Neuchatel, Switzerland
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

we spent 3 nights in september, so, end of season. The bed room are really large ! nice furniture, modern, with great quality feeling. Huge bed, VERY confortable ! we had a nice balcony with view on the garden and also, partially, on the sea ! great athmosthere. May look a little cold at the beginning, but quality of the service, the large space, finaly turn it to a really relaxing experience. caipirinha served at the pool, were really tastefull! free fitness and spa, are well equipped. distance to town center is short enough to allow cheap taxi transfert (6€). San rafael beach is a nice one. with easy access!

  • Stayed September 2013, 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.
Belfast
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

Went for our wedding anniversary so splashed out for a suite. Wow. We could have fitted our whole extended family in there!! Didn't eat in the buffet for dinner. Ate for 2 nights in the Al Fresco restaurant. Had a great experience, good food and very good friendly service.
Pool was good and quiet when we went.
Great access onto the beautiful local blue flag beaches. Take a walk along the coast further along the coast away from albufeira and u can find some gorgeous coves. We climbed down into one and almost had a beach to ourselves! Be warned though the coast walk is not an easy one and there is some rough terrain involved.
We had queries, booked excursions and ordered taxis from reception. Always found the staff friendly and helpful. My Portugese is non existent so thankfully they all spoke fab English!
Only small criticisms are that: there's no toilets out at the al fresco restaurant so you have to walk back to the hotel. Secondly some areas of the hotel lack a wee bit of character. A lot of wide open spaces. Just a personal opinion but could do with a few extra plants etc.
The hotel is a good base to see the local area. About 15mins from the marina and about 30mins dander into the old town. Taxis are easy to order and reasonably cheap. About 7 euros took us into the town. There is also a few nice restaurants in the local area.
All told I would recommend this hotel if like ourselves u are away for a relaxing break (left the kids behind) and u want to kick back, enjoy the weather and the local area.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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