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“Glad to get home!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Praia Sol

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Hotel Praia Sol
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Quinta Do Romao, Quarteira 8135, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Quarteira
Biggleswade, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Glad to get home!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Just returned from a week at this hotel & like the previous review we were glad it wasn't for two weeks.
Obviously greatly understaffed. Even saw the cook cleaning the rooms one day. Beds weren't made on two consecutive days. Bedding or towels not changed during the week & toiletries not replenished. Rooms not cleaned on Saturdays or Bank holidays. Even ran out of muesli at breakfast.
All in all a hotel not to be visited again. How it is was awarded TripAdvisors certificate of excellance I will never know.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hampshire
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We have just returned from a week at this hotel and were very relieved that we had not booked for two! I see little need in spending time detailing my experience of this hotel. Simply read the two reviews below from 'MrWad' and 'hicrooke' as we agree with everything written from both guests.

One thing that was missed off their reviews is the tourist road train which provides rides for tourists around the resort. It passes the hotel and during the late evening, and even past midnight, it circles the roundabout directly outside the hotel, a number of times. This is clearly done to entertain the passengers and loud cheering and screaming is encouraged.

In summary, this hotel needs investment in staff, equipment and food to bring it up to anything like a 3*.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

This small hotel is fine overall and not bad value for the location – Vilamoura is lovely - but we were disappointed on quite a few fronts (see below). Other than these issues, we did enjoy our stay and the hotel did the job. It was in a good location when you can get in/ out the back, whilst no doubt very much cheaper than those around the marina. The rooms were nice with good aircon and TV (BBC and ITV), but the pillows were terrible and need replacing. None of the rooms seem to have a great view, e.g. none have a sea view, but the view was OK from our room on the 1st floor (apartments and palm trees).

The dinners were very good (although as it’s a small hotel, you always have to pre-order for the next day from two menu choices – it’s not a buffet). The lunches we had there were also good and there’s a good selection. Bar prices were mixed – 2 euros for a pint of draught beer, 1.50 for mineral water, but 2.50 for cans of soft drink.

The main issue is insufficient staff. Those who are there work extremely hard and clearly do their best but morale appears to be low, which is not surprising as they are expected to cover the restaurant/ kitchen, bar and reception at the same time! There only ever seemed to be two on duty at the most, out of the four who seemed to work there, plus the cook and occasionally a cleaner. Hence there was no-one on reception to check us in when we arrived and we had to wait some time – not a great welcome or first impression (and the latter was unfortunately proved right!). Some of the same people even clean the rooms on some days – which incidentally are not cleaned every day and some days only have a ‘light clean’. In short, the management needs to stop trying to save money and hire more staff as this definitely has an impact on the guest experience and overall sense of enjoyment.

Breakfast is another area where improvement is needed. It is exactly the same every day and in terms of hot food, there is only ever sausage, scrambled egg and baked beans (no bacon, mushrooms etc.) and absolutely no variation on this. There are a few basic cereals, yogurts, tinned fruit, ham/ cheese (pretty flavourless) and toast, but no creativity e.g. the occasional pastry or different kind of eggs to make it more interesting. The tea is tasteless, although this is probably a continental thing anyway!

Another area that needs investment is sunbeds! There are not always enough and at least half of them are old, broken and/ or extremely uncomfortable! Otherwise the pool area is nice and pretty quiet, if quite small. (They don’t have pool towels so bring your own.)

The other main annoyance is that, while the hotel is conveniently located for the marina through the back gate (10 min walk past McDonalds, turn off at the bakery), to get out you have to find a staff member who has a spare minute to open it, and buzz to get in again. They are all so busy that this is an issue. They also don’t open it after 10 p.m., which means quite a lot longer walk around the back or a much longer walk around the seafront. It would be a simple solution to add a coded keypad.

A couple of other things that seem tight and which I have never experienced before in a hotel is that you have to pay daily for a safe and a fridge. I don’t know if this is a local thing but it’s annoying.

I would definitely recommend Vilamoura in general – the marina is fabulous and we spent lots of time there in the daytime and evening – there are loads of places to have coffee/ lunch/ ice cream/ dinner. There are also boat trips from the far end, near Parky’s bar – tickets are sold all over the place. We did the cheapest, 16 euros for 3 hours with a swim, which was good. The beaches are also lovely – Vilamoura beach is nice but sunbeds with shade are 18 euros for half a day/ 25 all day! Falésia beach is possibly even nicer and sunbeds 11 euros for half a day, but it’s a long walk to get there, as it’s on the other side of the marina. The Old Village is worth a couple of hours’ visit. We also went to Albufeira on the bus (40 mins, 4 euros), which was quite nice. Overall we had a lovely, relaxing time. There was enough to do and the weather was perfect in September, about 28 degrees.

Room Tip: The hotel is always full so our preference couldn't be accommodated. Most rooms are okay anyway...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Derby, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Arrival:
When we arrived at the hotel at mid-day, we were checked in and given our key card for the room, that was it; not very welcoming at all. We had to ask how to get to our room.

Hotel:
The hotel is starting to look shabby. The rooms are basic, but good enough; there was quite a lot of mould in the bathroom, and cobwebs in the bedroom though. There was a TV, which my husband managed to get a few channels on (BBC1 and ITV mainly). There were some weird anomalies such as a network point situated just above the toilet (?!) a random old shower button on an empty wall in the bathroom, and a speaker in the bedroom ceiling with a volume button next to the bed (we never worked out what this was for). The aircon was the best thing about the room. There was a nice balcony, but only two old dirty plastic chairs and no table.

When we made the booking, my husband requested we be allocated a quiet room, however we were given a room on the ground floor which I suspect is the noisiest floor. Other people's reviews have mentioned the sound of dogs barking throughout the night - that's nothing compared to what we had to put up with; we had noise from live music (Dire Straits badly sang with a Portuguese accent...what?) and the TV in the bar area (watched by the night-staff all through the night), people accessing the back gate at 4am in the morning and the telephone/door bell ringing at all hours to contend with. Pro Tip: Take ear plugs.

The pool area was OK, they could do with getting some more loungers and parasols; of which most of them were broken or the bases were too large to hold them steady. It is also quite noisy as there is a skate park and stadium located just behind it.

The hotel has free WiFi in the bar area, but it's pretty poor and intermittent. We didn't know about this until day 5 of our holiday because we weren't told about it and it's not advertised anywhere - you have to ask at the bar for the password. We only found out because another guest was complaining about the signal. They offer desktop PC's that connect to the Internet at €1 per hour, presumably giving a better connection. There is a decent pool table too, €1 per game.

Staff:
The hotel is understaffed at all times. The staff that are there (we saw 4 different faces, including the cleaner) appear to be seriously overworked; most of them we saw working everyday of our 7 day stay. I am confused as to why lots of reviews say the staff were friendly - we struggled to get or see them smile at all. It made it awkward when asking for the back gate to be opened. I am not sure if it was because they are overworked or because they are generally sick of tourists? Whichever it was it made me feel uncomfortable!

Location:
The hotel location is good. Head out of the front door, bearing right, for a 10 minute walk to the lovely beach. Due to the hedges and fencing around the hotel, it's not possible to walk down the sides of it, god knows who designed it that way. You have to exit out of the back gate for a 10 minute walk to the marina/restaurant/shop area. The back gate, which saves a 300 metre walk, is locked; you have to ask a member of staff to open it from the reception area. 9 times out of 10 there is nobody on reception. It got really tiresome having to wait at reception for a disgruntled member of staff to open the gate for us - I started to dread doing it, sometimes we ended up just going the long way around (which is a pain in 35 degree heat). When you wish to go back into the hotel through the back gate, you have to press a bell which alerts staff at the reception. The whole process is annoying and as another reviewer has stated - why the security for this door, when the car park and front of the hotel is always open to anyone? I highly recommend that the hotel either scraps the security for this door, or install a key pad entry system and give each guest the key code. The door says on it that it has "limited use after 10pm" - IF ONLY. It was being rang, opened and crashed closed till 4am as mentioned earlier.

Food:
We had breakfast at the hotel everyday, I'm not sure we could have put up with it for another week. It was below average; it comprised of tinned fruit salad, tomatoes, ham, cheese, lots of bread, sausages, scrambled egg, rock hard baked beans, waffles (some days), 3 cereal options, 3 flavours of yoghurt, tea, coffee and "juice" (which was cheap squash). I would suggest if you are planning on having a hot breakfast to have it early as it just sits there for the duration of breakfast otherwise. If you want to toast your bread or waffles, you have to use one of the two toasters provided; the problem is, the toast-able bread is too small and gets lost in the toaster and the supplied tongs are metal; it's only a matter of time before someone is electrocuted. The hotel should invest in a more commercial toaster to avoid a lawsuit from an American guest.

The hotel also provides snacks/lunches throughout the day. We thought these were fairly priced and decent. I would recommend asking for no mayonnaise if you are not fond - otherwise your food comes drowned in it.

We chose to eat out at different restaurants instead of eating at the hotel in the evening. The evening meals were very well priced though (3 courses for €10), but I wouldn't expect restaurant-quality.

We would visit the area again, but would certainly choose a different hotel.

Room Tip: I would suggest asking for a room at the front of the hotel on the first or second floor.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
nottingham
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

This was our third visit to this hotel and we had a great chilled out holiday again.
The staff work really hard and are very friendly especially Rui who is a credit to this hotel and does anything to please.
As other people say the back gate is a great shortcut to vilamoura , which has lots of restaurants, bars, nice cars and boats to drool over.
Some people compare this hotel to the ones near to the marina but fail to remember its half the price !!!!!!
Been back less than a week and we want to go back.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

This was my fith stay at the Praia Sol and you get exactly what you pay for. The rooms are bright and clean although basic but we only stay for short breaks so more than adequate for us. The bathroom could have used some TLC but again clean and tidy. The staff are very friendly and make you feel very welcome. The pool area is again clean but more beds are required for the number of people staying and if you reserve and go out then towels should be removed. People were having to bathe on grass when beds were left for 5 hours, not fair really so management need to address this.
I usually stay B+B but have stayed half board previously. The food is very basic so would recommend eating out.
The hotel is much better now the path to the rear has been opened up as i used to feel unsafe walking down the dark path at night so great now but would be good if we could have the gate code rather than waiting for someone to buzz you in.
All in all another lovely break here and would definately return again.

Room Tip: I prefer a room overlooking the car parking area as there are no dogs at any of the houses who const...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

Fifth visit to the Vilamoura area, previously staying at Vila Gale hotels three times and this hotel two years ago after seeing very positive reviews. Unfortunately, the quality has deteriorated since our last visit.
Pool: the hotel encourages guests to reserve the limited beds by the pool which some guests did for the whole day, leaving insufficient for everybody else. The pool was also cloudy for much of our stay. Also the pool is open to surrounding properties and not exclusive for guests. They enter the pool area from the front, normally open gate. One afternoon two men from outside the hotel were taking an unhealthy interest in our 13 year old daughter by the pool - beware!
Breakfast: very limited selection - baked beans like bullets floating in a sea of juice. Very poor cleanliness, often with crumbs over tables from the previous day. Plates would often have food caked on them from previous use. Orange 'juice' was a very weak and often undrinkable squash.
Back gate - the reasonably quick route into Vilamoura, but with a bell to ring to get back in - why the security there but not at the front?
The hotel is now 5 years old and is starting to look tatty, rooms not being cleaned properly and the staff seem to have lost their enthusiasm. We will not be staying again.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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 Hotel Praia Sol

Address: Quinta Do Romao, Quarteira 8135, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Quarteira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Praia Sol 3*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Praia Sol Hotel
Hotel Praia Sol Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal

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