Myself and my partner needed a week relaxing break in the sun and decided on the R2 Rio Calma as it was in the Thomas Cook My Style brochure and looked very nice and also received good reviews on here.
There essentially is nothing terribly wrong with the hotel, but we were slightly disappointed because we feel it is oversold in the Thomas Cook brochure and expected it to be fantastic.
I have worked in the travel industry for 30 years and have travelled to some amazing hotels in my time and although they can vary massively from place to place I feel that the 5 stars that Cooks give it in their brochure is a bit exaggerated.
On arrival, check-in was efficient if not friendly.
When we arrived in our room there was a smell which can only be described as musty and smokey - either we just got used to it or it actually disappeared, as by the end of the holiday it was almost gone. We also thought that the rooms were very chintzy with flowery curtains, flowery bedding and the furniture was very low grade.
There was only one pillow each, no spare, and the mattresses are rock hard.
The cleaning in the room during the week was a bit inconsistent, the cleaner would swill coffee cups under the tap and they would still smell of coffee afterwards, I picked up the drinking glasses for the first time and they had lip marks around the rims and she would fail to put things like coffee wrappers/sugar wrappers in the bin. When we ran out of coffee whitener she would take away the box and not replace it with more. The grouting around the marble tiles in the bathroom looked like it had been done blindfolded, it was atrociously bad.
Minor things but you expect more from a 4 star superior (Hotel description), 5 star(Thomas Cook description) hotel.
The first night we arrived late at the hotel, about half an hour before buffet was due to finish, nobody paid us any attention and we had to go hunting for cutlery as the waitress was banging around in a bit of a strop. We were not offered a drink.
After that the service was ok, but frequently the tables were not laid properly and I had to go hunting for cutlery or pinch it from another table. The waiting on staff were generally quite surly.
The food was edible but nothing special and not once did I feel like I'd had a delicious meal, it was all very average. The theme nights were odd, as the food just seemed to be a re-hash of every other night ie Oriental night had a handful of new oriental(ish) dishes added to the buffet, everything else was the same.
Desserts were a total letdown, the usual cold rice pudding (which I love) and then multiple colours of instant whip, some ice cream and a few tasteless cakes - 4 star superior?
On the fifth night I was told off by the waitress for not having my card present to prove I was entitled to an evening meal, although I had carried it for the previous 4 nights and nobody had asked for it. She was almost insinuating that I was trying to scam a free meal - believe me I'd have gone elsewhere to scam a meal, not there!
The next two nights we were totally buffeted out and went out to eat instead - we couldn't face the repetitious and bland fayre.
We wanted a quiet holiday and this was just that. It's a 20ish minute walk up quite steep hills into the beginning of the resort centre or about 40 to the other side of the town.
We found the location not a problem at all.
We loved the gardens, pools and especially the man-made beach and saltwater pool down by the sea.........well worth the 3 euros you have to pay per day to hire the sunbed as it's peaceful and the water is lovely and cool. This was our highlight and we were there every day....there is also a very handy snack bar there where you can buy ice cream, drinks, crisps etc if you're peckish or thirsty.
The hotel charges for using the room safe and also for having wifi in the room which I feel should be complimentary in a hotel of this category - especially as a number of other areas are below par for the grade.
We would definitely return to this hotel as we liked the grounds, location etc.
There is a lot to be said in favour of the property, but I personally would not stay half board again, just bed and breakfast.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.