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“Stylish Luxury By The Beach” 4 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
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Stylish Luxury By The Beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

Just back from a 4 day sunshine break in Albufeira, and really enjoyed this smart, chic, understated luxury hotel. Great service and food, superb spa, massive rooms, and all set on top of a fantastic beach.

Highlights
- Massive modern suite, fantastic sea views, great bed
- Delicious breakfast! Amazing array of fresh food
- Direct access to beautiful Sao Rafael beach
- Full service spa, very hot sauna and relaxing indoor pool.
- Great friendly service throughout.
- Great looking hotel, chic, smart & well designed throughout
- Just a short taxi ride to the town and other beaches.

First time in Albufeira, would definitely recommend and stay again.

Room Tip: Go for a sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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608 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 (205)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Just returned from a 3 day stay and can not praise this hotel enough we were a little worried by some of the reviews saying this is not more than a 3 star hotel well I do not really understand what people expect we paid £49 per night with breafast for 2 people the staff could not have been nicer.
Everything in the hotel was fully open except the outer bars but that is to be expected in January the breakfast was lovely with a very large choice including a chef cooking omelettes etc the room was very spacious and comfortable. The hotel is well situated just outside albufeira with a free shuttle bus 3 times per day and the hotel is situated right next to one of the most beautiful beaches you will find antwhere. I could not praise this hotel more and my wife and I would definately return.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Mechelen, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

The Sao Rafael Atlantic in Albufeira/Portugal is a real delight !
Very nice rooms (with seaview or garden view), a gorgeous restaurant with a great wine list and a state-of-the-art service.
We loved it and will be back soon !

Room Tip: Go for a room with seaview
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  • Stayed December 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uk
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We have been here for 2 nights now, here are the pros and cons!

Cons:

3 restaurants closed and only 1 open.

Bar with pool table is meant to be open but is closed (a shame because it would kill a few hours and help us unwind, even if they let you play pool but still order drinks from down stairs bar.

No wifi in the rooms and had a team of footballers lying in the lobby sofas topless in shorts taking up all the room in the only place you can use wifi.

Forced to wear stupid skin tight blue swimming cap in the pool and pay for it.

No baths in the rooms.

Moldy pillow.

Silverfish bug in the bed!

Pros:

Lovely spa although you usually have to pay €10 a day which is not worth it.

Cheap food in the 1 restaurant which is open.

Nice staff


We understand it's low season but you should still look after your guests!!!!!

Very disappointing






Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 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.
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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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