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“Pretty good, but didn't feel truly 5 star” 4 of 5 stars
Review of CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel

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CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Sesmarias
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Pretty good, but didn't feel truly 5 star”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

The good:
- Sea view rooms are lovely. Definitely worth the upgrade. Note though that if you like to sleep with the window open, there was a mosquito problem (easily solved with a nightime anti-mosquito plug or similar).
- Private beach is gorgeous, we were lucky to have 9 days out of 10 of hot sun in late December
- Breakfast buffet had pretty much everything you could want
- Staff were very helpful and friendly. Didn't have any language problems at all, despite our terrible lack of Portuguese.
- Spa, sauna, turkish bath and pool facilities were great
- Hotel restaurant was exceptional, very good food and service

The bad:
- Wifi in lobby area only - in a 5 star hotel in 2013 - really?
- All the spa facilities closed down for several days for maintenance at the end of our stay, which was very disappointing. The staff were apologetic, but we felt this was something that should have been scheduled to avoid inconveniencing paying guests.
- Spa treatments are a tad expensive for what they are
- A few stray hairs from previous occupants suggests that the cleaning could have been a little more thorough

In our opinion the few bad points made the hotel feel more like a 4 star than 5, particularly when compared to another CS hotel we stayed at in Madeira. It definitely wasn't terrible, but your expectations are high when staying at a 5 star hotel and unfortunately this didn't quite meet them.

I would suggest to the CS owners that this hotel is overdue a refurbishment to bring it up to the high standards of other 5 star hotels, even within their own chain. And a couple of other tips to please your British visitors - please find something better than Lipton teabags for the rooms (these are absolutely the worst tea available), and provide little milk tubs for use so we don't have to go back to the bar every time we need milk for tea!

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are well worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (191)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Frankfurt, Germany
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

Okay, the Christmas week meant an almost empty hotel but certain things were not five star:
WLAN only in the lobby. Cups didn't fit the saucers in the room. Staffs' English ranged from Very Good to Fawlty Towers (some hilarious experiences). Small repetitive menu, never the less, the staff were polite and tried hard. The area is beautiful, the sandy beach a short walk away and Albufeira town only a few minutes by car.
Not a hotel for small children; no animation, no night club and the whole setup looks like it's for mature adults. Very quiet and relaxing. Enormous beds, very large rooms, tea-makers, mini-bar & balcony.

Room Tip: Go for the sea-view upgrade; south facing balcony.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

Visited this hotel from 15 Nov to 19 Nov 2013 and wow what a hotel with all the services you can dream of. Loved the room and the shower and not forgetting the breakfast buffet with a large variety of food choice. All the staff were extremely grateful and they even without any mention of my wifes birthday sent a wine bottle and cake with a candle to the room free of charge. Now you don't get that in many places.

We had dinner at the hotel and also ate out and we found the price at the hotel is almost the same cost spent outside. Food is great and they will do what they can to help if you are vegatarians like us.

Location is in the residence area so if you driving then best to use a tomtom. The Hotel has courtsey coach from the hotel to the main albufeira area. We had a car so it was a lot easier and flexible.

Now let's not forget the SPA centre at the hotel....well best hotel spa I have seen so far. Absolutely great. All included in your stay at the hotel.

Will definitely be going back to this one when in Algarve for sure.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

The hotel and the spa is second to none, however the food at bar daytime could be better, and talking the people that stayed half board were disappointed with cold food, the hotel is a bit out and 7 euro for a taxi to town or free bus three times daily, on saying this I would go back it's just so relaxing, the bar food in evening was super and reasonable priced.

Stayed November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

We spent 2 weeks in the hotel.
Nice great room with an astonishing sea view.
Everybody is friendly
The restaurant offers good food and service
All that with a very good quality/price ratio
One small point to improve:Breakfeast bacon and sausages are often cold

  • Stayed November 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013 via mobile

This is an unusual hotel, very modern but sparsely furnished in the public areas which are already showing some signs of wear and tear. If you dislike the colour brown don't go! The whole hotel and furnishing are in shades of brown or cream, the pool tiles are brown, the sun beds etc etc.
The room was very good, spacious, large comply bed and large wet room shower,large good size balcony overlooking the garden and pool areas , the original olive groves that existed before the hotel was built have been retained to create delightful grounds that lead to a boardwalk to a superb beach. Breakfast was averagely good, dinner from a buffet just about ok.
There are no warm plates so food generally cold by the time you return to your table, you would not want to eat in the hotel for more than a few nights.All the staff were friendly and helpful.
Overall this was a good stay and we would visit again maybe just bed and breakfast, for us it was a perfect location quiet and well away from Albuferia, and as mentioned a stones throw from a beautiful beach. This is not a luxury 5 star hotel, more a 5 star hotel built on a budget.

Stayed October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

Just spent 5 nights at this hotel didn't know what to expect as we had been moved there as the hotel we originally booked was closed but it was fantastic can not find any fault ,The staff were friendly the food was excellent it was very clean , close to the beach .
The hotel was very quiet as we expected with it being November but we didn't feel that we were given any less service being out of season
I have been to the Algarve many times and stayed in various star ratings ,I think from now on when I go back I will look no further than this hotel

Room Tip: Choose a sea view gets sun all day the view is to die for well worth the extra money
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  • Stayed November 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.

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Additional Information about CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel

Address: Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Sesmarias
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Sesmarias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel 5*
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