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“Great for the First timer like me !”
Review of Portofino Hotel

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Portofino Hotel
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Playa el Agua
Reviewed May 4, 2011

My first trip to the island. The hotel grounds are well manicured and general surroundings, clean. The staff were friendly, but spoke spanish with little english or none at all. Other guests translated for me and there seem to be on front desk male worker who knew english well, but you don't see him everyday!!

The room was clean, bed sheets clean etc, but you got a sewer smell fom the faucets, the sink leaked at bit and water pooled at the bathroom floor, next to the toilet. Electricity failed on two occasions, and went for about 2 hours, on the first, so we stayed outside the pool area until it came back.

The bed bottom is concrete for two of the beds, the third is smaller but on a wooden base. The shelves are concrete, the dresser counter concrete, etc, no wooden furniture or pieces basically. The room was cleaned everyday and fresh sheets given, though not a brilliant white, but clean. The ac worked, but the room was quite cold, and the floor was always wet, probably from condensation, why I can't say.

The food at Crocodillo was great, except the meals were often repitious, meaty (though I love food and meat), the salad most times had cheese or meat kind, not really great for the health conscious. If you were vegetarian, WOW you may not survive past day one. They don't seem to cater for you, although to me maybe one may have to make special request everyday???!!!!! Don't know!!!

There were dogs around saw three, but they did not bite. They were clean, but for an all inclusive............... hmmnnn.... Did not bathe in pools, for it's not something I do. Can't tell you much but the water sure looked inviting and clean from a bird's eye view, lol. There was a nice rocky area on the beach side, for the adventurous. Loved the snack bars!!

Not into the night life, so I can't say!! The hotel is too far from the town and flea market!! Loved the shopping, though our tour guide gave us 7 bs to 1 usd, in the town n flea market you got 8 bs, a lil more to shop. Town seems cheaper depending on what you are buying, and vice versa.

I noticed most visitors, were causcian and spanish, our african and mixed group, were easy to spot and the beach instuctors hailed us out every time they saw us.

At the airport, got into a lil trouble. My daughter is 2 years n some months, under 2 years is free (tax), 2 to 3 years pay 182.40 bs. The lady at the counter insisted my daughter pay the extra 152 bs(totalling 335 bs), told her no that is not correct, according to their rules. She insisted, by that time of course we had not that extra 152 but just about 50 bs remaining. She made me had to ask other group members for extra bs, quite to my dismay. Do you know, lo and behold her collegue came hurrying in for she was late, for work and that lady referred me to her. Do you know when she was giving all my info, the late worker told her that 182.40 bs was all my daughter had to pay for she was not three, neither was she 2 and under , for the free tax? Isn't that the same thing I told the lady??????????????

Then she now wanted to apologise to me, both in spanish n english, smh but I took her apology, any way. Folks what would have happened if the other worker never came??? I would have had to pay that extra money. God was on my side and prevented her from that unscrupulous behaviour, she should have known better, my child has a passport with her age, and they have their rules and regulations, whether in spanish or not!! She must follow it. Could you imagine how many persons with children, get robbed for taxes??????????

Be vigilant please and enjoy the shopping!! My family and I did!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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2  Thank Dee147392
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 1, 2011

I stayed at the Portofino Hotel for 3 days ( 2 nights). The hotel is OK if a person doesn't want to spend a lot of money on accommodation. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and well kept. Scenic. The hotel has 3 large pools and direct access to a nearby public beach. The staff was friendly and helpful but spoke only a little english. There was a lot of entertainment at the hotel that's great for families and young persons - pool games, beach games, a children's area. Live shows in the night that were very entertaining. We had a great time.

The areas around the hotel are a combination of under developed or poor income areas and there's not much to do in these areas off the hotel grounds except shop. So it's a good thing that there is alot to do at the hotel itself.

The hotel staff were always willing to assist with information re tours, shopping places, advice on where to go and where to avoid. They also allow you to check in your luggage only if you arrive before hotel check-in time. For a fee, you can pay for a late check out.

Room was generally clean. We had problems with the plumbing. We had to call the front desk and then learn the "technique" to flush the toilet from the maintenance guy. Also water tended to pool on the bathroom floor from the shower and wouldn't drain off. Thank God the cleaner came everyday and would mop up the excess water in the bathroom.

The hotel had about 2 restaurants that offered free meals as part of the all inclusive package we had. There was some choice available and the food tasted good. Too much fried food though. The health conscious would have a hard time finding healthy food. The poolside bars also provided snacks and drinks during meals.

There are a lot of dogs at the hotel. Although they seemed generally clean, I was quite shocked to see that they were welcomed by the staff and even fed by staff at the restaurant kitchens and poolside bars.

The shopping in Margarita is great. Affordable. We went several places to shop. It;s cheaper to take a taxi than to go on the tour buses. Even better, we would share a taxi with other guests when we went into the town or to the flea market.

All in all, I would recommend this hotel to someone who is looking for an affordable all inclusive hotel for a SHORT stay, and wants all their beach bathing, entertainment etc in one place. I had a great time in Margarita and aside from the plumbing problems, enjoyed my stay at the Portofino Hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank Fran_J68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2011

While the exterior of the hotel is pleasing to the eye, and it the 4 pools are clean and enjoyable, on the inside it's a different story.
Apart from the 2 doors in the room, there is no wood furniture, everything is tile and concrete, even the bed (cannot move). The rooms are very small, and many people have problems with the plumbing. My bathroom was flooded everyday, which was not comfortable.
The staff is not the most courteous. The hotel is way out of the way, no buses go to it. The hotel taxis charge 100 VBF to get to the shopping centres, when the real price is like 60.
GThe food was monotonous, pretty much the same everyday. If you're a vegetarian, do not go there, as vege maeals are not even taken into consideration.
On your check in day, if you reach b4 3:00 pm, you will have to pay 50 VBF for breakfast and 60 for lunch. Also on checking out, they do not want you to have lunch.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank WindiesWillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2011

My wife and I visited the Portofino Complex in Margarita for our honeymoon. It was indeed a very romantic and scenic resort. The outdoor areas were beautiful and there was access to a public beach contiguous to the hotel. It was romantic. Unfortunately that is where the accolades end.

Bad Food
The food was horrible. Good food is what I have normally come to expect in Margarita resorts. Not at Portofino. The food was tasteless and bland. I believe that the chefs deserve an award for their special ability to make anything taste bad. Would you believe they even made water melon and popcorn taste bad? Our only consolation is that there are starving children in Margarita who would give anything for that food. For people who have tasted good food in their lives, you will be disappointed in Portofino.

Poor Hygiene
In addition to the bad food, the hygiene in the restaurants was horrendous. The restaurant areas were littered with flies. We have pictures of flies on the vegetables, fruits and desserts. There were stray dogs in the kitchen. We even have a picture of some of the guests feeding these dogs in the restaurant. This is not what I expected from an all-inclusive resort.

The water in the faucets reeked. It was an ordeal to even brush our teeth. We had to smuggle water into our rooms from the bars and restaurants. Do not drink water from the faucets!

Poor Service
On the third day of our stay, my wife developed food poisoning. We’re still not sure what exactly caused it because anything could have. The staff promised that they would send a doctor to the room. We never really believed them, and not surprisingly no doctor came. This was not at all atypical of the service that we received.

On the first night, we noticed that there was no hot water in the shower and the water was freezing. Needless to say we did not make love that night. We called the front desk and guest services at least 10 times. They kept promising to send someone from maintenance. Again they never came. It was only when we were lucky enough to meet the manager personally, that he arranged for maintenance to fix the problem.

If you plan to visit Portofino, we have a few helpful suggestions to make your stay a more pleasant one than ours.
1) Learn to speak Spanish or bring with you some translation software or gadget. The hotel staff does not speak English, perhaps because most of the guests of the hotel seem to be from Latin American countries. Even the entertainment and shows are in Spanish.
2) Beware of pickpockets. On one occasion we had a fellow hotel guest follow us back to our building. We suspected that he was trying to pick our pockets or something like that. We suspect he was one of the local guests.
3) Bring your own shampoo and conditioner, since only soap is provided in the rooms – “solo jabon”.
4) Bring insect repellent or a bug spray, since there were mosquitos in the room. Luckily this only bothered us for one night since I was skilful enough to kill all of them. There were also mosquitos in other parts of the complex including the lobby.
5) Please bring a mop with you, or at least be very careful how you walk on the floor in your room. Condensation appears in the room overnight. I’m not sure how, perhaps dew. Keeping the AC on should help dry up that condensation. Just be careful!
6) If you can, use the stairs as much as possible. The elevators are old, dilapidated and unreliable. We found it a spiritual experience traveling in those lifts because we were always praying not to get stuck in them. On three occasions God did not answer those prayers – however we got out.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank DrD777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2010

After several bad online reviews we threw caution into the wind, and went anyway. the distance from the airport was about 30-45mins, a cool drive which lets you see the island, but it seems long when you are leaving to go shopping. The Hotel is beautiful with its own private beach, several pools with activities for adults and kids, fun nightly entertainment. the rooms where simple and where cleaned everyday. Only problem we had was the elevators were'nt working when we got there but was repaired next day. helpful staff and good food, all in all we had great time

Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank ZionH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2010

We stayed at Portofino Aug 15-19 2010and made an excellant choice.I consider myself very particular when it comes to room cleanliness and at this hotel I was impressed.The food was good,wide variety though we were english speaking and had a bit of problems finding out what certain dishes were.I suggest that the restaurant put labels as to what dishes they are serving in english.We would sometimes meet a guy in the restaurant whom would tell us what is what but that area is so busy it's hard to find him 3 times a day.As for persons who like shopping,from the hotel a taxi cab cost 90,000.00 bs for the whole car which is pretty good as we got 7000 bs to $1 usd.One must also visit the waterpark,15 mins away from the hotel by taxi cab costing 40,000 bs and $98,000 bs for entry.All in all the hotel was wonderful and will be visiting very soon again.Thanks to the wonderful people at the hotel.Hats off for a great stay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank huttstuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2010

Well i like the nature! I Like to walk on the beach ! Every morning 530 ,i saw the sunrising. and i was not alone, i walk whit four nice dogs, They dont smell ,they were not
sick og hungry,i think the hotel feed them! I felt like they think,wee schall take care of
this women.. So pleace take good care of my animals freinds ,they er beautyfull.
In the morning you meet at lot of singing birds , and the pelikans is fiching ind the sea.
and the lizzarts try to get he first sunligt to warm there body up! i i think paradise would be like this place..
around 8 i go to one of the the nice reaturant ,to eat breakfirst. And there i a lot of food.
eggs ,bacon , chikken bread jam. fruit and i could go on and on and on.
Tre times evry day,you can eat her, and betwin the dinnertime,you can go to the snackbar
and have a snack... You will newer need to be hungri here!
And now the Bar s.
I love Max bar,becauce the peopel who work there ,was soo nice..
thank you Hector ,peter,and wilmer! You make mee feel like a diva!
but i got good service in all of the bars. Yes you dont have to walk long,to get something
to drik.. And it is all free!
there is severel big pools..
and if you like to work out or learn to dance or surfe, you just sign in at the instuktor!

and if you like marked shopping, you can buy pearls ,dresses,souviners, ect.at the beach.,for neerly no money!
At the hotel there is a tour guide ,,who will help you to arang. trips , I was swimming ,whit the delfins!!
I would like to go back here every year !
thankyou fore a wonderfull time

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
Thank 1jensen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portofino Hotel

Address: Prolongacion | Guarenas, Playa el Agua, Margarita Island, Venezuela
Location: Venezuela > Insular Region > Coastal Islands > Margarita Island > Playa el Agua
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Playa el Agua
Price Range: $67 - $179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 501
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Also Known As:
Portofino Hotel Playa El Agua
Portofino Hotel Margarita Island/Playa El Agua, Venezuela

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