We stayed at the Hotel Riviera in Evora in early September, 2013 and pretty much got what we had expected. On the positive side, the location - right off the Giraldo square, in the centre of town, which was great for visiting virtually any part of the city and for resting in between. Unfortunately, being a Saturday, it sometimes got pretty noisy at night with young local revelers going up and down the popular street (Rua 5 de Outubro ). Luckily the bed was firm and comfortable, so that overall, our sleep was generally restful. The room itself, somewhat small, might be described as old-fashioned (like the entire hotel) but it was very clean, tastefully decorated,and had everything we needed. The bathroom was similar, simple but nice enough. The fact is, staying at the Riviera is like taking a trip in a time machine, perhaps going back to Europe in the 1960's. Some might interpet this as being charming and quaint , while others have described it as just a basic hostel. In keeping with this theme, a major issue was the lack of an elevator. The stairs are narrow and a bit steep, especially when you get to the last flight - which could prove challenging for many and practically insurmountable for older guests. I'm a fairly fit 63 year old, but I found this aspect of the hotel's amenities somewhat daunting. However, when we checked in, one of the gentlemen behind the reception desk quickly showed us to our second floor (third floor in the USA) room, handling our one bulky suitcase with ease as he leapt up the stairs. We dutifully followed our guide to the top of the summit. I suppose that if this establishment had been equipped with a lift, the price (reasonable) would have been doubled. Surprisingly enough, the Riviera is on the cutting edge of internet availability, and the wi-fi connection worked perfectly. The air conditioning was also in top form, quickly providing a cool refuge from the heat of the streets. So, to a certain degree , the hotel would seem to mirror the atmosphere of the historic city itself: submerged in the past, but modern enough to thrive efficiently.
The hotel staff were polite, helpful and very professional. Despite this, I might mention what I thought to be the most awkward moment of our brief stay. The area used for breakfast was rather small – six or seven tables – so if you go during what seemed to be “prime time” (8:45 – 9.30), all the tables will probably be taken; which means you have to either attempt to eat something in a nearby lounge (not suited for dining) or return to your room and try later. Although, those who had to wait took this in stride, the situation was a little embarrassing. Even though we personally weren't rushed for time on this Sunday morning, we didn't want to linger or go back for a bit more food or coffee, so as not to keep others from having “their turn”. Furthermore, it didnt't help to have just one person to be in charge of both cleaning and clearing off the tables and ensuring that the buffet area was fully stocked. It was more than challenging to do both well.
Because our stay was generally so pleasant and the staff were so nice, It pains me to have to bring up this point of overcrowding and a possible lack of personnel at breakfast time. I think that management should try to resolve this situation since it does put a damper on what could be a refreshingly different and uncomplicated hotel experience.
Would we go back to the Hotel Riviera ? Yes. As mentioned before, we were aware of a possible noise factor and the downside of not having a lift. Of course, breakfast time would have to be earlier. Nevertheless, the location, atmosphere, comfort ,friendliness and price more than made up for the inconveniences. It was just the right hotel for a city as delightful as Evora.
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- Also Known As:
- Residencial Riviera Évora
- Residencial Riviera Hotel Évora