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“All Inclusive not up to scratch” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Agua Hotels Riverside

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Agua Hotels Riverside
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Lagoa
Essex
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“All Inclusive not up to scratch”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

We came back from our 7 day stay on 20th October 2012. The hotel itself is beautiful and very clean, however, it is in a very remote location (which we knew before we went, and in itself wasn't a problem), the area is not a holiday resort but more a small fishing village and the locals are not accustomed to tourists. The whole area is run down with decaying buildings, graffiti, litter and dog mess everywhere. There is no entertainment laid on at this hotel, and whilst I wasn't expecting a big glittering cabaret performance every night, something would have been nice. We arrived at around 10pm on a Saturday evening, and just missed the tail end of the guitar and keyboard duo performing in the restaurant, this is the only night they play and since we left the following Saturday at 5pm we didn't see them again. The hotel has around 5 CD's which are cover versions of English and American songs all sung by the same person and played on a loop morning,noon and night, it didn't take long before we lost the will to live, thank god for English T.V. in the rooms as this was the only entertainment on offer. The meals were supposed to Al a carte, however it was buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we were expecting to eat local authentic Portuguese food but what we got was a bad take on English food which was sub standard and inedible on many occasions, most days we had a choice of three different types of chip (I'm really not joking), we had upset stomachs the whole time. Now I know that when you book all inclusive, the drinks on offer are locally produced, and that isn't a problem when they offer a full range of substitutes, however, this isn't the case at the Riverside, so if you wanted a baileys or a Malibu you either had to buy the real thing or go without and at 7 euros per drink, we ended up going in to town and buying our own bottles, not good enough I'm afraid. I read a lot of reviews before our trip and as I work in customer service, I know that you cannot please all of the people all of the time and really wanted to give this hotel the benefit of the doubt, however, I was left feeling disappointed with the all inclusive package. There is nothing on offer once breakfast is finished until lunch time, there are no snacks offer at all and ice cream is only served between 4pm and 6pm and even then it seems to be a bit of a chore to serve it to you, I only asked once as I felt that I was putting them out. Some of the staff are very friendly and try their best to help you whenever they can, however some are very rude and really couldn't care less if you are happy or not, we complained to the manager with regard to the food, he seemed to think it was amusing and claimed that he would kick the chef (I felt fobbed off), the food did improve the next day, but a day later we were back to square 1 and the manager wasn't working on the friday, which seems absurd, (there is only 1 manager who is sometimes around between 10am and 7pm, there is no duty manager on rota at all times). As I said, the hotel itself is beautiful and very relaxing, the rooms are large and clean, the pool is lovely and refreshingly cold, and George the regular evening barman is very friendly, we had lots of fun with him. I have no doubt that if the Riverside gets it's act together with regard to the all inclusive package (they need to do some serious research), and management it would be a much improved facility, however, in its current format it falls short

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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903 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
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English first
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

Stay here from the 13th to the 17th of October hotel is very clean, neat and tidy! Staff are really friendly, tho some reception staff lack basic English but that's ok we got there in the end!
The food I personally think is excellent very tasty... there is something for every one and with different choices every lunch and dinner! breakfast is great as well!

Now for the bad :( it has nothing to do with the hotel but it's a need to know before You stay, the hotel transfers are horrible, extremely unorganized and lacking in communication.
We arrived in faro and had trouble finding them at first then when we did we had to wait for 6 other flights to land before we even set off which took a good hour and half, then it was a good 5min walk with our bags to a car park outside airport grounds! The transfer took 1 hour from airport to hotel we were lucky to be the first dropped off as every person was getting dropped off at different hotels. 1 couple I come across said it took them 3hrs to get to hotel.... Not good!

The return transfers were just as horrible as you had to contact the company 48hr prior to your pick up and well we tried and tried and it kept going to voice mail or the hang up tone! The reception at the hotel tried over two days with same result, finally reception notified us at 9:30pm that they received an email and our pick up was at 7:30am the next morning.
Then the pick up the next morning was 45mins late not freaking happy! On the pick up bus the was about 60 unhappy holiday goers!

To end hotel is great
Food excellent
Staff friendly
Transfers the worst I've ever experienced!

Room Tip: 302B is nice and a good view of old fishing hut
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dani J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

stayed here for 1 week 24th sept, yes it has a nice view and the rooms are nice, but thats it. . All the previous comments on the service of food and the drinks are correct ,its poor. Breakfast same everyday! The hot food is served from a table set out with metal cointainers wirh lids on, you cant hold a plate and a lid at the sane time. Faulty Towers is more like it, i watched the cary on for 3 days, i did report it to the manager. With great respect to all if you think this hotel food is good then you can't have stayed in a offical four star. I enjoyed my holiday and i like portugal. But this hotel needs drastic improvement , good job we had some nice meals out. P.S you need a car or use taxis, location remote. Karen / Sheffield









  • Stayed September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank evue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

This 4 star is hotel offering high standards in all areas. It has excellent views over the river. Very peaceful. Breakfast is plentiful with a great selection, fresh fruit, cereals, cheeses, ham, bacon, beans, egg and the usual selection of coffees, fruit juice......etc etc etc....more than enough and you can fill your boots to your satisfaction, if you want. The staff at reception, speak very good english and extremely helpful. They dealt with the usual customer problems very well. In the evening, the restaurant again serves a plentiful selection of hot food/salad etc. The restaurant is a large glass construction making the surrounding views over the river relaxing whilst eating. The bedrooms, large spacious, with superb walk in showers are perfectly maintained with internal furnishings of high standard, flat screen TV etc.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank graeme t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liskeard, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012 via mobile

If you want to lie by the pool and eat and drink as much as you want this is the place to go, excellent staff and the food was very good with plenty of choice. there is a fully equipped gym if you want to use it. nothing to do or see outside the hotel but there are trains and buses and taxis are cheap.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ellenbarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

We stayed here from 9th september until the 23rd...
First impression
We arrived at midnight to be greeted by a friendly male receptionist who quickly and efficiently checked us in, we found our room quickly but had slight trouble getting in to the room as all rooms are on a key less entry system which i think may still be having teathing problems as we had a few problems while we were there. On getting there we were over the moon with the beautiful room and hotel although slightly dissapointed with the balcony overlooking the car park but within a couple of days we realised this side had the sun all day and was still blazing at 8pm and was peaceful and private unlike the rooms overlooking the bar/restaurant.

We went on a bed and breakfast basis and the breakfast was of a good standard and plentiful, i personaly feel that if you couldnt find something to eat then theres something wrong with you!

The pools
There was one small childrens pool and one gorgeous infinity pool that was the cleanest pool i think ive ever come accross and yes it wasnt the biggest pool ive ever seen and yes it was cold but the hotel was at full capacity and i never once saw it looking overcrowded and its not heated but it was 36 degrees so who cares and i was gratfull of the cooling off.

Bar/restaraunt
If not on a all inclusive basis the drinks were a little over priced and we tended to only buy them at happy hour but local wines from the supermarket are just over 1 euro a bottle but i have to say i really enjoyed having a glass of wine over looking the river or at the end of the jetty.

The hotel is in Parchal which is not in the tourist area at all but is not run down or rough its just how old portugal is, i have been to portugal many times and if your looking for blackpool abroad then this is not for you as its up to a 40 min walk to portimao or ferragudo, the latter of which is a beautiful portugese fishing village practically unspoilt by tourism and is well worth a visit with its handful of lovely restaurants.
I would advise you hire a car as there is nothing around this hotel and its a lovely way to see the algarve, i would reccomend a trip to alvor which is about 10 mins away and a 10 euro taxi fare but it is totally worth it which its stunning beach and harbour and lots and lots of fabulous traditional portugese restaurants.
There is a supermarket (mini precco) just to the left of the hotel wich stocks all your essentials and a river boat that takes you to the beach daily which was geat and my nine year old loved.

This hotel is for relaxation and there isnt a great deal for children but that didnt stop my daughter having a great time.
Now for the people on a all inclusive basis, from what i heard the food wasnt the best but i cant comment on that as i never tried it.

The staff
I found the reception staff to be very helpfull but the bar staff were not and to be honest it was quite an effort for them to just serve you but in there defence they had to put up with the moaning and complaints of us fellow brits for 18 hours a day and i witnessed a few times some rude behaviour towards the bar staff.

Overall i really enjoyed my two weeks here and for me it was exeptional value for money at under £12 a night each, i consider my self quite well travelled and have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world and have paid the appropriate price.... so in my opinion if you want the hilton then dont pay for the travelodge and then complain that it doesnt have the luxers that one would expect in the hilton and lets face it your hoiday is what you make it and some people will moan and complain about anything especially the british and it certainly hasnt put me off as im coming back to the riverside next month.

Thanks Agua Riversise

Room Tip: Would advise a room on the outside of the hotel and if your budget allows a suite or if not a junior...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Sophiedavies2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

Stayed at Riverside for 11 nights all inclusive, I had read the reviews before we went and was a little confused, but having been there I now understand some of the comments. My view is it depends what you want from a holiday, different strokes etc.
Rooms - Excellent ours was a junior suite with large living room, 42" TV with English channels. Fully fitted kitchen Large fridge freezer, oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher. 2 bathrooms with showers and one bath, his and her sinks in one. Good size bedroom with TV and plenty of wardrobe space and free safe.
Food - buffet style always found something to tempt us, wine etc as much as you like.
Location - Yes you do need a car as the hotel is out of the way. Nice and quiet but again that depends on what you want, if you want clubs etc it may not be the right choice for you. Hotel situated next to river, hence name, the infinity pool looks out over the river. The smell can be bad from the river but it comes from further up on mudflats by the N125 bridge, it is nothing to do with the hotel.
Staff - friendly, efficient and helpful waht more do you need.
Gym - enjoyed the sauna and steam room also had a back massage it was great.
Negatives - somewhere to sit after dinner as mentioned by others, we went back to room with bottle of wine. Entertainment, not really bothered ourselves but only once per week and a duo, guitar and organ.
All in all a great hotel for us.

Room Tip: Ours was room 309A we looked at another overlookin the river but this was much nicer.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ray B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Agua Hotels Riverside

Property: Agua Hotels Riverside
Address: Quinta do Parchal, Lagoa 8400, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Lagoa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Lagoa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Agua Hotels Riverside 4*
Number of rooms: 134
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Agua Hotels Riverside Hotel Lagoa
Agua Hotels Riverside Portugal/Lagoa, Algarve

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