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“Good hotel with great potential”

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Sensimar Lagos by Yellow
Ranked #7 of 51 Hotels in Lagos
Certificate of Excellence
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good hotel with great potential”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2011

Having worked at a 5* hotel while at university I must admit that I may be hard to please and expect perfection when I stay at one. In summary for those that don't want to read the whole review: Great design of the hotel and rooms but poor service and insufficient staff. Some staff fantastic, others poor.

We booked a five day holiday at the last minute (booked in the afternoon and flew out the next morning) at this hotel on a half-board basis. We arrived in the morning at about 11am and were immediately impressed by the foyer, it is huge, quite minimalist with plenty of natural light. Upon approaching reception (which was staffed someone who appeared to think guests were a hassle to be got rid of) we were less impressed when told we could not check in until 3pm. We were brusquely told that we could use the hotel facilities and they could look after our bags until check in, facilities wise, this pretty much amounted to "the pool". Unfortunately we hadn't bothered bringing towels as that is something you expect a 5* hotel to provide from the outset. Upon approaching reception again I was told no towels until check-in. Somewhat unimpressed, we left the hotel and went down to the beach and sat in the cafe (which I recommend) and had some lunch and whiled away the first few hours of our holiday in a state of mild annoyance.

At three on the dot we were back, along with what seemed like half of Portugal, all clearly fobbed off with a 3pm check-in. The queue moved at a glacial pace until eventually we were shown to our rooms at about half past four. This is the point at which our fears that we had chosen badly were massively allayed. We were given room 221 which is a garden view room and faces away from Lagos, with about 50 metres between the room and any other buildings. Room is beautifully designed, however I am not going to focus on that as the pictures tell it much better than I could. Before coming I was aware that there was free wifi in the main area but not the rooms, however we were able to pick it up from the room with only occasional drop-outs. Rooms was always serviced when requested and not when the do not disturb was on the door.

Dinner each night was a buffet affair but was fairly varied with a good selection of meats and salads. Service (for breakfast and dinner) was strange in that the first few nights it was basically appalling and i took to roving the restaurant room attempting to corner a waiter to place an order, however this improved very markedly by the last few nights. I think this was down to the head waiter who seemed to do everything while the other more junior ones stood around looking useless and occasionally, laboriously clearing a table. Breakfasts were similar in that there was good variation in the buffet but nothing really outstanding, though the free "champagne" was a nice touch.

The upper pool is great, very peaceful and relaxed, I am not sure if this was due to being outside of school summer holidays or just the general ambiance of the place. There are plenty of sun-loungers, each with their own mat and a pillow. There are plenty of umbrellas to protect from the sun though be warned that these do occasionally get caught by a gust of wind and go flying.

Much of the holiday passed at the pool with occasional excursions to Lagos in the evening. I definitely recommend getting a taxi as the walk to town is pretty long and not pleasant along a dusty road. Though not the hotels fault, taxis can take a long time to arrive so it can be worth booking in advance and giving the time you want picking up. It would be good if the hotel would instigate a shuttle bus as other hotels in the areas appear to do. As far as we could tell there was very little in the way of shops or facilities around the hotel so any toiletries, cigarettes, non-hotel drinks/food etc will require a trip to town. Although there is supposed to be an internal shop this was closed for the duration of our stay, as was the A La Carte restaurant.

The pools-side restaurant was good and served a good variety of food for lunch. Drinks arrived quickly though time for food service was variable. Staff here were friendly and attentive which makes you wonder why things were so different upstairs in the main restaurant and reception.

I know this review appears to be a bit of a stinker but we had a great time and were disappointed when we had to leave. It is very relaxing and has the potential to be a great 5* hotel, it just needs to up their staff numbers and improve their training.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms are cheaper, have views of the sea and there are no rooms opposite to look in on y...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    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 (573)
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English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

We stayed here for a week in August - we arrived late & as we were getting off the bus a lovely young man came & took our bags into reception for us while we checked in. The receptionist then took us to our room telling us about the hotel as we went, pointing out the pools, restaurant etc...he also pointed out that the hotel only opened in April. He gave us a toor of our room, explaining that the mini bars weren't yet filled but we were free to use the fridge.
We ordered room service that night - there wasn't a menu in the room but we rang reception & they brought us a copy within minutes. Our food also arrived quickly despite telling us it might take up to 40 mins.
I have no complaints really as the things other reviewers had issues with were explained to us on arrival - the receptionists were friendly & helpful.
Yes there were queues sometimes for breakfast but considering all rooms were full (over 200 rooms) this isn't surprising & the queues went down very quickly.

The only thing i would suggest is that the hotel invests in a shuttle bus rather than having everyone hanging around in reception waiting for Taxi's. I would have been happy to pay for this service - if they had it. The walk into Lagos wasn't the best, when you've got your party shoes on, having to walk for 30 mins down a dusty path ain't good! Not so bad during the day although then you have the heat to contend with.

I agree with everyone's comments regarding room cleaning - they obviously need more cleaning staff to have the rooms reading by a reasonable time. One day our cleaner took our dirty towels & didn't give us clean ones. We asked the cleaner who was still in the corridor for more, she said she'd be back in 15 mins & she never returned! Also our fridge went off & we rang reception, they told us the 'Rapid Response' Maintenance crew would be round to fix it & they never appeared. We fixed the fridge ourselves!!

Overall i would go back -i think the issues are teething problems that all new hotels encounter. Although i have a feeling, once the service is improved, the cost will increase.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tyler12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Near Bristol
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2011

Ths is my frst review and I believe in leaving British expectations of 5* at the airport and going with the flow-this hotel, however stylish is not somewhere I would wish to return to or recommend to others.

We stayed for 12 days from 28th July 11. The staff numbers and training are inadequate causing stress to those trying to cope at full capacity and creating a really unpleasant holiday experience for some customers.

On our arrival at this stunning but soulless reception we were met by an unfriendly receptionst, who told us we could not have our room until 3.00 pm-this was at 10.20! There was NO welcome or hello!The hotel was at 30% capacity at this point .Apart from Katya Santos, the only member of reception staff to have any warmth ths rather unfriendly front of house was the norm throughout the stay. We booked taxis each night in advance but depending on who was on reception were were told the hotel policy had just changed and this was no longer possible? Yet the following evening wth a different receptionst we were able to book in advance.

The 10 euro charge for the gym has been mentioned-enough said!

We were on a bed and breakfast basis and thank god we didn't go half board if breakfast was anythng to go by. By the end of our trip the hotel had fllled up and there just wasn't the staff to cope, tables were left uncleared, plates had run out causing a logjam, those arriving after 8.45 were met with long queues.
The day before we left the hotel was full we were shown to a table outside but in the sun when we tried to sit at one in the shade-the maitre 'd asked us to move and told us he would call security if we didn't-we camly asked him to call the manager- he didn't materalise and we are still wating for him to get back to us!

The postives-Julian at the Fresco resturant and Hugo in the bar were extremely professional yet warm and friendly but ths was a pleasant change. Cleaning staff too were very frendly and incredibly hard working. Katya Santos the receptionist wth the only smile and pleasantness we encountered the whole visit!
Location is great wth a lovely beach and reasonably priced beach bar and a 5 euro taxi gets you ito Lagos-try Don Giovanni's for superb pasta and steak.

The rooms are wonderful, modern, stylish and luxurious. Cleaned daily and left spotless!

A real shame as with any long awaited trip service is what makes the difference!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank alexchloe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2011

Just returned from a week at the yellow meia Praia and really enjoyed our holiday! The hotel is really gorgeous, exactly as in the photos. We had read some of these reviews before we went and were slightly nervous about the service, but had no problems at all. In fact we found all the staff were lovely...really friendly and happy to help!

We arrived at the hotel quite early, around 11am and as some of the reviews say, our room wasn't ready but we weren't expecting it to be...having looked on the hotel website it does state that check in is not until 3pm. The staff were more than happy to store our luggage, allow us to change and use all of the facilities until our room was available, which was fantastic...we went straight to the pool and for some lunch at the bar!

In the end, our room was actually ready before 3pm and the staff actually came to find us to let us know.

We had upgraded to a double, sea view room and weren't disappointed. We were in an end room overlooking the pool and the beach to the right. As the other reviews say, the rooms are amazing...huge bed, gorgeous bath and shower and lovely little balcony.

The hotel has two separate pool areas...on the top level is an infinity pool with gorgeous views over the beach and very comfy loungers and parasols. It is slightly livlier, with music played through speakers, but it's really quite discreet and not too rowdy at all...exactly what we were after!

Below is another pool and separate kids pool, which was a bit quieter while we were there, so something for everyone.

We had breakfast at the hotel, which was fabulous...loads of choice and the restaurant and terrace were lovely. We also had lunch at the fresco bar by the pool...again, good food and the service not bad at all....some reviews commenting that the service was slow...i would say that it isn't super fast, but it's certainly not unacceptable. Think you have to bear in mind the culture of Portugal and embrace it...they might not be in a mad rush, but neither were we....it was absolutely fine for our relaxing paced holiday!

The only slight negatives I would say would be that the mini bar wasn't stocked,but the fridge is on, so we were able to get some drink from the loal supermarket,so again not a problem! We had a drink in the bar one night and it could have perhaps benefitted from a few more staff, bit again the staff did their best and overall the service was not bad at all...plus gorgeous view and surroundings to enjoy in the meantime! The taxis did sometimes take a while to arrive, but if you book ahead from your room they can be ready when you are! As one of the other reviews states, there is noone coming round the pool to take drinks orders if that's what you are expecting but again, this fitted in perfectly with the kind of laid back holiday we were after.

Overall we had a fantastic holiday in a gorgeous hotel. All of the staff we encountered were lovely and more than happy to help...reception has plenty of information regarding things to do in the local area if you need it. Would definitely recommend this hotel and would go back!

Room Tip: We upgraded to a double sea view room and it was perfect...top floor and end room. Overlooked main...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Honeysugarbunch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2011

We have just returned from an 8 day holiday in Meia Praia, near LAGOS Algarve, Portugal and stayed at the Yellow Lagos Meia Praia HOTEL. We booked this with Jet 2 who were very good on the whole, although our journey from Faro Airport took 2 hours (1 hour longer than it should have done). When we first arrived at the Yellow Lagos Meia Praia Hotel and walked into the lobby wheeling our heavy cases, we were met with the wow factor. The lobby is huge with a white tiled floor and walls and is very modern airy with clean lines. Very impressive indeed. But when we checked in at the large front desk, we were immediately informed that our rooms were not going to be ready for at least the next two hours! We were tired, hot and disappointed and did not expect to be told our rooms would not be ready. Still we thought we would get something to eat. So we were directed downstairs and walked down a very modern wide white shiny and slippy staircase with glass sides and nothing else to hold onto (very dangerous if you have small children or are elderly - in fact anyone (and you cannot see the stairs from the lobby as they go downwards not upwards and is a sheer drop when you look down). I dont think they conform to health and safety standards, although they do look very spectacular).

We eventually reach the snack restaurant downstairs and our order was taken. We were given our drinks quite promptly but the sandwiches we ordered never came. In fact we waited for well over an hour and were getting so hungry by this time that we walked out in disgust and decided to complain to the Manager who we were told wasnt availble. After insisting the Beverage and Food Manager did see us and after we told him that we never received our food (nor did other people who were also waiting for their food) he first of all said that if we didnt like the hotel, we should leave! I said we had only just arrived and had nowhere else to go as we had paid for the hotel! After a heated discussion the Manager did agree to give us a free meal, which came immediatley after we went back to the snack restaurant and the food was very good.

We did find that ordering meals in that restaurant was always slow to be served but when it arrived it was always good.

By the time we were given our room we had been kept waiting for over 2 hours and by now it was about 4.00 pm and we had arrived at the hotel at about 1.30 pm. When we asked why this had happened, we were told that in this hotel rooms were always allocated after about 3.00 pm!

Our room was extremely modern with a state of the art fantastic tv inside a bronze mirror, the bath tub was actually in the room and we had two sinks. The shower room was amazing and the room was extremely spacious and very comfortable. Their was a huge balcony with lovely whicker furniture, but we had a view of the road and a side view ofthe sea. But we didnt complain as we liked the room so much. Also at night their was a panel on the balcony which glowed in different colours, very cool. However, there were no coffee or tea making facilities, but we did get a bottle of wine and some marzipan sweets that night delivered to our room.

The hotel also had a stunning pool area with fantastic whicker loungers with cushions which were very comfortable. But there was no poolside entertainment or music playing, no poolside bar and waiters taking drink orders. You had to go yourself to the snack restaurant and get drinks yourself.

Breakfast was self-service buffet style which was good and had most foods like fruit, cheeses, breads, cakes, meat juices,cereals - but they could have had waffles, or pancakes etc. At certain times you would have to queue to get a table for breakfast.

Also the hotel was situated near the beach, but you had to walk down a steep hill and cross a railway line then over a wooden bridge to get to it. Here there were some great beach restaurants specialising in fresh sardines and lovely salads - very tasety and fast service!

In addition, to get to Lagos, you would have to order a taxi which took ages to come - sometimes up to an hours wait. And Lagos town is fantastic as it has an old world charm, with its narrow tiled streets, with quirky shops and white washed buildings. There were street entertainers from people dressed as statues, drummers, jugglers, dancing in the street, buskers everything. And the streets were bustling with life - there were many stalls selling everything from jewellery, to bags, watches clothing and even ice cream and frozen yoghurt! There were so many restaurants from chinese, italian, thai, fish, cafes anything you would want and you could sit outside and watch the world go by. Also everything was so reasonably priced but of a very good standard. And Lagos is full of life and never goes to sleep until about 2 am! There is a castle (they had a fashion show on) and we even saw a craft market which was held over the bank holiday). There is also a large marina with bars but needs to be more developed. But Lagos we absolutely loved.

The hotel overall is very modern and spectacular with the most wonderful decor especially the lobby and bedrooms, which are all of a 5 star standard. The staff on the whole are friendly and try to be helpful. The hotel falls down in the very slow service, nothing ever gets done quickly and there are no frills - there isnt even a book in the room telling guests what facilities are on offer, You have to pay 10 euros to use the gym, indoor pool and sauna and for taxis every night. As the hotel is far out from Lagos, there should be a shuttle bus. There should be someone taking orders around the pool maybe more entertainment too in the evening, such as a pianist or singer a couple of nights a week. Also there is one computer in the lobby and often this was being used when you needed it.

I think the hotel is 5 star in appearance but 4 star in service. It needs to raise its service level and have more little touches to make it a real 5 star hotel so that your stay is memorable. You could say at the moment it is memorable sometimes for the wrong reasons. Its a hotel with some teething problems as it is very new. But I would stay there again and hope some improvements will have been made for our next stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a pool view and try to get your room quicker not a 2 hour wait when you arrive. Ask for det...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank phoebeCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bilbao, Spain
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2011

Great hotel to which I would love to return someday. The rooms are spacious, with a long corridor and plenty of storage for your clothes. It features a massive and VERY comfortable bed with cotton sheets. The most impressive thing is that there is no separation between the bathroom and the room, so the bathtub lies near the bed. You can have a relaxing bath after the pool while watching TV on the flat screen. There are 2 washbasins (for him/for her) and yes, the toilet and shower are separated by a double door. The shower is in a cubicle that makes it very...zen??
As for the hotel services, everything is great. Breakfast is buffet style, and very varied, hot food, cold food, all kinds of coffee, tea, chocolate... lots of fruit.
We also made use of the hotel pool and we enjoyed the sunbeds with those cushions, very comfortable. If anything, the water was slightly cold.
Everything in this hotel is top notch, the service very attentive and very helpful.
I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mbarrachina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2011

The hotel is lovely, with great facilities, such as lovely rooms, pool area and communal areas. However the customer service is not 5 star in anyway. We contacted the hotel prior to our visit and requested a double room, when we arrived we checked we had a double room which was confirmed. We had to wait nearly 2 hours after arrival to get into the room to find it was a twin. We spoke to the reception and they said the receptionist we spoke to was wrong and they didnt have any double rooms. We also thought we would try room service, having rang 3 times and being hung up on, we went to reception to get our drink and told them to which they replied, "yes sometimes they do that??!" The breakfast was nice, however the evening meals were not as good, we went into Lagos which is a 30 minute walk or you can order a taxi from reception, also be warned these can take up to 30mins to arrive. Make sure you ask for a sea view which we had, the other part of the hotel looks out onto a carpark.

Room Tip: Ask for a seaview and a double room in advance if you can
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sensimar Lagos by Yellow

Property: Sensimar Lagos by Yellow
Address: Estrada Meia Praia, Lagos 8600-315, Portugal (Formerly Yellow Lagos Meia Praia)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Lagos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Lagos
#5 Spa Hotel in Lagos
#5 Luxury Hotel in Lagos
#11 Romantic Hotel in Lagos
#15 Family Hotel in Lagos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sensimar Lagos by Yellow 5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adults-only hotel (16+) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yellow Lagos Meia Praia Hotel Lagos

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