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Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel
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Reviews (1,950)
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All reviewspool areaside sea viewold towndeluxe roommodern hotelfree safewooden stepsexcellent hotelsparkling wineminute walkrooftop terracebed and breakfastbars and restaurantsreception staffsmall balconywould highly recommend this hotelhalf board
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Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

Booked a weeks stay B&B here in the beginning of August. Upon arrival the receptionist was very happy to see us and welcome us. Spent a good 10 minutes explains the hotel, where we were on a map they gave us, where taxi's, buses are. Very warm welcome indeed!!
We were on the second floor, room was a deluxe room with sea view. Room was spacious, modern, clean but the reason I have only scored it as a 3 was due to balcony size which is very small and there was a few cosmetic repairs that could be carried out. Shower head was very loose on walk and there was a hole in the wall where it had fallen off before. I'm being fussy here! It didn't put us off or cause any concern at all.
The safe was playing up so I went to reception to ask, she came to the room to have a look and she said il get someone to repair it. I thought it would of been hours but no, 10 mins later a guy changed the battery's and it was fixed.
We never ate at the hotel all though the restaurant did look busy at nights when we passed.
The pool and outdoor area is lovely, brilliant sun trap!! No kids so it was very peaceful, mainly couples. A very calm ambience to the whole pool area. There's notices in the rooms saying you can not reserve sun beds this happens, we watched a sun bed all day and no one lay on it until late afternoon when they came to pick up the towel!! There's plenty of sun beds just folk reserving them ruins it.
10 minute walk to the strip, 2 minute walk to bus and taxi, 5 minute walk to big local supermarket for water and essentials
Would stay here again no problem. A great time was had.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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4  Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joao C, General Manager at Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear Ian M,
Thank you very much for your preference and for the justice you make to us on your review, really appreciatted. Looking forward to seeing you again. Kind regards, Joao Costa-GM Details Hotels & Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This was our first trip to Portugal. We booked this hotel because of its good reviews and also due to it being adults only. We were both really excited about staying at this hotel, checking reviews regularly etc.

Needless to say we were then very disappointed on arriving at our hotel and being told by reception that they had overbooked the hotel and that we had to stay in another hotel around the corner for our first night. After travelling for hours and looking forward to getting our things unpacked and starting to enjoy our holiday this was the last thing we wanted to hear. We had booked the hotel over 6 months ago! The man on reception then went on to tell us that he had already turned 4 other bookings away that day. If he was actually telling the truth then this hotel has a serious problem – the first thing you expect when getting to a hotel is to actually have a room. The hotel we were moved to was incredibly basic, dirty and full of large groups of teens on partying holidays, a far cry from the hotel we had actually booked!

We had to walk over in the morning to the Aqua Pedra for breakfast and drag our cases back over. We were finally able to get into our room just after midday on the 2nd day of our holiday. It's also worth mentioning that after such an experience you would expect the person who originally turned you away to remember you/make a bit of a fuss and check everything is now okay with your holiday. He did none of this, clearly turning guests away is a regular occurrence.

PROS: Excellent location – easy to get to both the strip and the old town. Semi-private beach is beautiful. Hotel is really well decorated, presented and is kept clean. Nice cocktails in the bar. We were never disturbed by any other guests whilst in our room - nice and peaceful (this may have been as we were on the top floor)

CONS: Not adults only – we saw several children whilst staying. The buffet restaurant is horrible – we were given a free meal there to ‘compensate’ for having to stay in a different hotel for the first night, it was more like a punishment than compensation, definitely go bed and breakfast! Pool area very crowded by mid-afternoon. Very small balcony on the side rooms.

Despite our disappointing start to the holiday overall we enjoyed our stay. I wouldn’t rate this as a 4* however, whilst the hotel is beautifully decorated and stylish it seems to focus more on presentation than the actual facilities and services themselves. The best thing about this hotel was definitely the location. I wouldn’t stay here again, and neither would I recommend.


TIPS: If you fancy an Indian whilst you are away – ‘The Clay Oven’ is perfect, went twice and had one of the best curries we have ever had.

Don’t book any trips with the hotel, book with the ticket shop around the corner next to the supermarket. The hotel just acts as a middleman phoning and booking with them –charging you extra for the pleasure.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank sam950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joao C, General Manager at Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear sam950,
We thank you very much for your review and unfortunatelly you were one of the several clients affected by our over-booking problem in the first week of July. Unfortunatelly it leaves the idea that this is a regular occurence. The beauty of the internet and guest reviews is the freedom of anyones opinion. We do respect your opinion about the buffet restaurant and the all experience. Best regards, Joao Costa-GM Details Hotels & Resorts

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Reviewed August 15, 2013

This was my first trip to Portugal and I was really looking forward to this break, so knowing very little about the area, picking a Hotel really was based on reviews. The Hotel was a 25min drive from Faro in a taxi (they drive fast), this cost us around €45 euro.
Check in at reception was very pleasant and prompt, as I was celebrating my 40th birthday during this holiday, it was mentioned by the girl at reception and I was congratulated. Nice touch and attention to detail.

We booked a deluxe room, with a sea view, and yes, you do see trees, and some scrub land from your balcony. Our room was on the side of the Hotel, not overlooking the swimming pool, we prefer this as there is less noise this way. The view was lovely, but the balcony...it really was the smallest balcony I have ever seen, did this detract from our stay? the answer is no.
The Hotel is spotless, our room was a nice size, with a decent size bathroom. Lovely strong shower and nice toiletries. The cleaners came every day, but if you want your bed sheets changed everyday, you will need to ask.

We were staying on a B&B basis, which is a popular choice with this Hotel based on other reviews. The breakfast was lovely, with cold and hot options available. We tend to go for the cold meats and cheese for breakfast and these were lovely. There are sausages eggs etc. but didn't try them. We stayed here 11 nights so breakfast did get a little monotonous, but that was based on choice, and it was nice to go and have breakfast in many of the local joints around the Hotel.
We didn't have dinner here, so I cannot comment.
We use to pop down for breakfast between nine and half nine every morning, only on one occasion did I see beds with towels on them, it appeared there were no issues getting beds by the pool before 10 am.

We didn't spend any time at the pool during the 11 days as we prefer the beach, so I cannot offer much as to how it was by the pool, only this...it is extremely hot by the pool, I've seen it referred to an oven in another review. This would be my impression as well.
There are a number of options for beaches from this Hotel. for the first few days we walked down to the beach behind the Hotel, there are many steps, but this is really just a 5min walk. When you get to the bottom of the steps, you have the option to stay on the much busier beach, or go left up the walkway to a quieter part of the beach. We opted for the quieter part as we just wanted some relaxation time. This part of the beach is very rocky, fine when the tide is in, but uncomfortable when it is out. There is a lovely restaurant on this side of the beach, very simple and straight forward meals, whole fish cooked on the grill with sea salt, side salads of tomatoes and onion, sardinhas are gorgeous here (€7) but I think I tried all of the fish here and it was beautiful.

The Hotel does need to do something about the channels, it is nice to wind down at night and flick on something to watch. A very nice touch was arriving back to our room the day of my birthday and there was champagne and chocolates left out for us, this was done without prompting.

The people here are really nice, a very friendly nation if this stay is anything to go by, the Hotel was lovely, I cannot really fault it and it was great value for money, I will definitely be back to Portugal as well.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank perecallaghan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joao C, General Manager at Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear perecallaghan,
Thank you very much for your kind review to us and to our country. We do look forward for having you with us again. Kind regards, Joao Costa-GM Details Hotels & Resorts

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Reviewed August 13, 2013

Stayed here 22-29 July and had a wonderful time. Couldn't fault it. Breakfast was constantly refreshed,catered for every taste even accommodating my friend who is coeliac and served at holiday friendly times to ensure a lie in if needed. Location perfect for the nightlife. Staff very helpful and friendly. Beautiful interior. In fact the staircase was such a work of art, we didn't realise it was the staircase at first!! Balcony was small but we had a great uninterrupted view over the trees towards the sea so no complaints.

Room Tip: Room 221 had great views but there could be noise around 8.30-9.00 as the cleaners store was next door and the trolley rumbling could be noisy- but then it ensured we were awake in time for breakfast!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ellyemery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joao C, General Manager at Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2013

Dear ellyemery,
Thank you very much for the tip regarding the noise from the room-maids storage, we'll correct it, great to know you've enjoyed. Looking forward to seeing you again soon. Kind regards, Joao Costa-GM Details Hotels & Resorts

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Reviewed August 13, 2013

Our trip to Albufeira was a very last-minute getaway and we are so glad we chose Aqua Pedra dos Bicos! We used our GPS and we had trouble finding the hotel with just the address. I would highly recommend that you use the Latitude and Longitude that is provided when you book your hotel online. We found it easily after we decided to use the coordinates.

The hotel website says that: "Since 2012, the hotel adopted the concept Adults Only. Exclusive for guests over 13 years old, the Aqua Pedra dos Bicos is perfect for a relaxing holiday or a Romantic escape." That was not true. There were children younger than age 13 while we were staying there and they have a kiddie size pool. I don't know how strongly they enforce that policy so if you are looking for absolutely no children, this is not the hotel for you.

The only two things that were inconvenient were the fact that the pool closes at 1900hrs (as we were told by a staff member and asked to leave the pool around 2230hrs) and in coming back from the beach late (after midnight) we were locked out of the back entrance and had to walk around the hotel to the front entrance. We didn't know the back door locked at a certain hour. Those were just little facts I wish I had known. It doesn't detract from the hotel at all.

- The service was EXCELLENT. Sara at the front desk was amazing. She was extremely helpful and went out of her way to make sure that we knew we were the priority. A screw in my sunglasses was coming loose and I was afraid I was going to lose one of the sides and so Sara called maintenance for me and the guy fixed them for me right on the spot

- The value for what you get with the hotel is EXCELLENT. There was quick access to the main areas and restaurants outside of the hotel and a quick walk down the hill to the beach. The hotel itself is beautiful and brand new. The amenities were great, although we didn't get a chance to use all of their services. The breakfast buffet was delicious and changed daily.

- The only reason I chose VERY GOOD for sleep quality is because the bed was harder than I anticipated. It was fantastic having AC in our room and the the rooms were clean and had plenty of space.

- Cleanliness is EXCELLENT. I can't get over just how immaculate the place was!

- Location is EXCELLENT as well! It's a bit away from the nightclubbing scene but close enough to easily walk to the hoppin' part of town. It's a quick walk up the road to a wide variety of different restaurants and shops and a quick trip down the hill to get to the beach. It was about a 35 minute cab ride from the hotel, which we booked with the hotel before we arrived.

- Again, like with sleep quality, I gave it only VERY GOOD because the bed was harder than I personally like (it was pretty hard) and the half-glass enclosed shower wasn't secured very well to the the side of the tub. I'm fairly short (5'2") and it was sometimes challenging to step in and out of the very tall tub to shower. The rooms were very nice and very clean, those were just my personal feelings.

Room Tip: The higher up, the more likely you are to get a good ocean view. We were on the first floor in 023 and didn't care either way, but our friends had a great view from 426.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joao C, General Manager at Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Dear Rachel T,
Thank you very much for having stayed with us and for your review which is very helpful. Please note the back side gate to the beach it opens only with the room-key, it is closed at all times. regarding children policy it is correct that we do not take any bookings for guests with children younger than 13y, however the Portuguese law does not allow us to close the hotel to a family or couple who wants to come for a bite or just to have a drink. It is true that you might find some children in the hotel. The children pool was made upon the construction of the building, we can cover it, bout wouldn't make sense as some guests love to seat down and refresh their feet. Thanks for your input, kind regards, Joao Costa

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