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“Nothing outstanding”

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Pousada Palacio de Estoi
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Faro
Certificate of Excellence
Lisbon, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Nothing outstanding”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

A quiet hotel with a decent restaurant and large rooms in concrete and with modern decoration, nice swimming pool. Friendly staff, but nothing more. Sloppy housekeeping since we found a half empty water bottle on arrival.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AntonioJulioNegro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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706 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
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Leicester
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Stayed here for a couple of nights in June 2012 and we were very impressed by the setting. We were in a standard room which was huge by UK standards so goodness only knows what a superior room is like. Taxi from Faro airport was €17 incl. tip.
Pool and gym area are lovely and uncrowded, rooms are modern and in the newer block (with green roof) whilst the restaurant is in the older, refurbished part of the building.
The restaurant service was very slow on the Friday night but, perversely, very efficient on the much busier Saturday night. Didn't really mind the slowness as we weren't going anywhere!
Food (on the half-board menu) was OK rather than stunning and wine was a little expensive but then we did eat outside looking at the most fabulous view.
I agree with, but wasn't especially bothered by, the other comments on here about the furniture not really fitting the style of the public rooms but what;s really missing in my opinion is a decent bar area where guests could socialise pre and post dinner.
The Roman ruins at Milreu within easy walking distance (€2 entry, closes for lunch) are well worth a visit as indeed is the village of Estoi itself which is very charming and has some lovely (and cheap) shops.
Overall this place is perfect for a couple of days chill out and very good value half-board.

Room Tip: Room 109 balcony doesn't have a view to the West (but still has a nice view).
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TCMike54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012 via mobile

Most professional and helpful service we had in one week in Portugal! Special requests and standard operations executed friendly and efficiently.

Fantastic old mansion, great food on a large terrace, delicious breakfast buffet, large and comfortable modern room, large and refreshing pool, no kids and a steady flow of cold drinks brought to my deck chair.

This pousada and the staff were great and we'd recommend it highly! I give 4 for value, not because I have anything to complain about, but because the prices are high for the room, room service and the bar. Restaurant prices and value for money were great!

The pousada wifi policy is outdated ( ie. not free wifi except for a 30 min voucher) but it was not strictly enforced here. In 2012, it's seems totally unnecessary to charge for wifi.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stensveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for a couple of nights and other than a short evening walk into the village we never left the hotel grounds. This is very unusual as normally we spend only a minimal amount of time in the hotel but this hotel was fabulous for relaxing round the pool, using the mini gym and spa, excellent food and wine on the terrace and the price was incredibly good. We were handed a voting slip for staff member of the month as we checked in and it was clear that they were all competing to win with attentive, friendly service. The quality of the finishes in the hotel were good and the surroundings stunning we would highly recomend.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank SamK101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We arrived on a very late flight and were greeted by an young man who seriously needed an intelligence test. He was very slow at getting us the room keys, and just giving us general information we needed. Also, he took the passports for over 10 minutes - it was at least 1am!!!
Anyway, we got to our room and surprise surprise it was as cold as the arctic. Also, the room was pretty plain. Mainly a bed, desk and tv. The balcony was good, but probably the best thing about the whole room.

The next day we arrived at breakfast and it had a wide range of savoury foods that Portuguese people would love - but not english. Who wants salami and weird cheese for breakfast!? The pastries were horrid, the yogurts just tasted plain off everyday and even the bread selection was poor. As we made our way to the pool, there was a VERY slippy patch and people were slipping - we notified the front desk and they put a sign saying slippery when wet, yes that helped for one minute; until the screaming kids (can't any family keep their kids under control!?) started flooding the floor again. Yet, the parents just sat their. We notified the front desk and all that did was.... nothing. What a surprise.
The indoor pool was taken over by kids, and the sauna so really an adult these days just couldn't relax. I was close to talking to one of the parents as kids were getting hurt by the wet floor.
When l went to have lunch at the pool bar, it had a delicious menu but that food was not. It turns out the girl at the bar (who can't speak english by the way so be sure to bring a dictionary.) cooked everything on a little cooker you install when your gas is out. The food at the bar was disgusting it made me sick one day. The only good thing was the homemade lemonade.
Then dinner came, and to be honest this was an absolute rip of. The food wasn't even good and yet I found myself paying more then average. The easiest way to put it was: the price was high end and the food was NOT. Hence, the restaurant was full of old, snotty, grump waitresses who looked at you like dirt. You asked them something, hey one hour later they still wouldn't have got it for you.
This basically repeated for the next three days. I will NEVER step foot in this hotel ever again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler101690
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We spent 3 nights here recently. Upon arrival, the hotel looks quite unassuming. Reception is purpose built and modern addition (as are the guest rooms and spa). The receptionist could not find our booking and spent some considerable time doing so. At all times he was very friendly so we did not mind too much.

Reservation was eventually found and check in was then painless.

The rooms are beautiful - modern minimalist rather than old splendour – but that suits me perfectly. Everything worked, TV, safe, lighting and showers etc which all too often do not work in old hotels. I have read many comments about the new architecture – I completely disagree (I know everyone is entitled to their view on this) but I think the modern addition is beautiful and the landscaped roof gardens are a delight.

The room is a good size room (110) has one of the best balconies in the whole development.

The only negatives in the room are very minor indeed – those annoying hangers which you have to unhook to use and no robes/slippers.

The public areas in the Palace are wonderful – over the top really. However, the modern cheap furniture in the Palace is simply inexcusable. It needs to be removed immediately.

The gardens are a work in progress but what they have is beautiful.

The pool is very stylish and minimalist but it is very cold. I do not know if it is supposed to be heated but it really was too cold to be comfortable.

Indoor pool is small but attractive. Steam room/sauna was switched off.

To get a towel for the pool – you have to get a towel from reception. This is not a major problem but one does have to go up the stairs, straight past the swimming pool to do this. It becomes irksome after a while. Also, the reception gave us 2 towels each (at our request). On our last day, a different receptionist said only one towel per guest. She told us the receptionist who had give us 2 towels was wrong to do so. She also said we had to give back our towel card. We had never received a towel card and when I explained this, she questioned me as though she did not believe it. She did however accept I was not trying to steal the towels. (one of numerous examples of poorly trained staff or staff not knowing which procedures to follow)

Food was very good – we ate breakfast lunch and dinner there each day. However, we stayed on a half board basis which meant that either dinner or lunch was included. We had to elect which one we wanted to be included which was fine but each time we did so, the waitress simply did not know how to process it. This was eventually sorted by the senior waiter – but it happened every time which was tedious. Poorly trained staff.

Breakfast was good – buffet style. However, it was only on our last day that we saw a guest ordering some eggs. We had not been told we could order cooked items. In fact, we had been told that the only choice was the buffet (with the scrambled eggs which had been sitting in heated bowls for several hours). When I questioned this with a waiter who by now I had come to know as the senior waiter, he said we were old the wrong thing on our first day. Again, poorly trained staff.

This leads me to my biggest niggle – the staff were generally polite and without exception, always willing to assist, but there simply were not enough of them. Many members of staff were very new and did not know the hotel procedures and what guests were entitled to receive. Getting a drink could take half an hour. Getting a meal always took over an hour. It’s not that we were in a rush but there did not seem to be any reason for it except for lack of staff. On 2 occasions, when it was really not very busy, it took over an hour to get our food order taken. This was despite several attempts to get staff to take our order.

Further, despite keeping us waiting for over an hour, they then proceeded to deliver our wine, water, olives and bread as well as starters all at once. It would be obvious to anyone (indeed their own menu suggests it) that guest might want to enjoy some bread and olives with a drink whilst waiting for meal to arrive. Instead we waited for over an hour - without even a drink of water only for everything to come at once.

Service by the pool was none-existent. We were required to order drinks at the bar (up a flight of stairs, through reception, past the lounges etc so quite a way) which were then delivered to the pool area. This could take over 30 minutes.

This hotel is losing income like no hotel I have ever visited. Things which were ordered (and received) were not on the bill as the staff had not completed the process. We mentioned this specifically at check out as I did not want to be hit with another bill and was told that if it was not on our bill we do not have to pay. This really is silly – they need the income to pay for more staff yet the poorly trained and really overworked staff do not have time to complete the required billing procedures. This happened more than once and at quite considerable cost to the hotel.

I have re-read my review and it is fair. Service is important to me, particularly when on holiday. However, I do not want to be overly negative. If they train the staff and get enough of them, I would go back without hesitation. The hotel is in a great location, is very impressive and is a wonderful place to spend a few days relaxing. However, if you want prompt service then this is definitely not the place for you.

Room Tip: Room 110 has a wonderful balcony. Ground floor rooms have a covered balcony so may not suit sun wors...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brum74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2012

Magnificent building, beautiful gardens, spectacular view. Breakfast very good. BUT the service is very bad. We waited half an hour for two drinks, (only wine & beer, not cocktails!). The hotel is VERY understaffed, and the staff which are there need more training. The bar and serving staff ( with a couple of exceptions) just "disappear" and cannot be found! Rooms are OK, but a bit dark and businesslike.

Such a shame as this building and setting deserves more!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Janet N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pousada Palacio de Estoi

Property: Pousada Palacio de Estoi
Address: Rua Sao Jose, Faro 8005-465, Portugal (Formerly Pousada de Faro - Estoi Palace Hotel)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Faro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Faro
#1 Family Hotel in Faro
#1 Romantic Hotel in Faro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pousada Palacio de Estoi 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The luxurious Pousada de Estoi, the Estoi Palace, born out of the recovery of an old eighteenth century palace, is located in the village of Estoi only 10 km from Faro. This palace once belonged to Jose Francisco da Silva, Viscount of Estoi, and was opened in 1909. In 1987, it was purchased by the Town Hall of Faro, and in 1977, it was considered a property of Public Interest. A project by architect Goncalo Byrne, this hotel in Faro has a Health Club where you can enjoy a Turkish bath, sauna, tropical showers and heated indoor pool with a whirlpool. In a region with great gastronomic traditions you can find the Visconde restaurant, one of the Algarvian establishments which include fish and fresh seafood. The whole menu is inspired by Portuguese cuisine and exhibits a genuine form of art for good eating. Don't miss out on the deserts from Algarve made with figs and almonds grown locally. Experiencing the Pousada de Estoi is a pleasant journey with a combination of the classical, Baroque and contemporary elements that will definitely be a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pousada Palacio De Estoi Faro, Portugal - Algarve

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