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“very nice stay, but not quite five star”

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Sensimar Lagos by Yellow
Ranked #6 of 52 Hotels in Lagos
Certificate of Excellence
Halstead, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“very nice stay, but not quite five star”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

just returned last weekend from a 7 night stay with my partner. chose Thompson again as we felt they were very good all round last year and they did not disappoint . reps were very good, Angelo we felt was excellent, not only did he give us very useful info, but made us laugh with his jokes ....." welcome to Portugal".
however it was a bit of a hike form the airport to the transfer coach, would have been nicer if it was a bit nearer, we was lucky not to get soaked in the heavy rain like some others did.
transfer time made longer by having to drop others off.
we was very impressed with the hotel, very new, loved all the marble, dark wood and glass very cool, the lights were amazing and got a nice cool glass of juice on arrival. cant understand what all the fuss is about for lack of WI FI, we went on holiday to spend time together not hide behind a computer screen.
we did find getting around the hotel a bit confusing at first.
as some others have said they don't top up your tea and coffee in your room, we found this out from the last hotel we stayed at in Portugal, so took our own, and got milk and snacks from the shop down the road.
food we found to be overall very nice, we had no complaints, however the toaster took ages to brown your toast and it was a bit of scramble to make your tea, like others have said the restaurant looked a bit sparse and needed candles, flowers or like to make it look less like a works canteen.
we was told by the rep that gentlemen were expected to ware long trousers for the evening meal , we were then surprised to see guys in t shirts, shorts, scruffy jeans and flip flops ??? why was this rule not enforced.
we chose to sit out side as it had a bit more ambiance. entertainment was provided by two guys on guitar's who were excellent, played a wide range of music, and had some very amusing banter with the bar staff.
our room was very nice very clean loved the shower, I did pay extra for a see view, but it would have been better on the 4th floor ..we was on the 1st.
out side was lovely and green lots of trees and areas laid to lawn, just be carful as some of the paving slabs move as you walk on them, and my partner did trip up on one.
pools looked very nice but were far to cold for us, however, plenty of very comfy sun beds at any time of the day, the beach was about 10 /15 walk away and was lovey. Largos was about a 45 min walk away or a short cab ride. we took the train, one day, it stopped not far from the hotel and came back on the land train, a good way to see Lagos but the most uncomfortable form of transport I have ever been on .. we liked the marina area of Lagos and the area around the slave market, it looked much better kept and had less shops selling tat.
out side of the hotel we felt it looked very sparse, and a bit run down, buy the rail station was lots of rubbish and graffiti. we felt someone should just tidy this area up a bit.
went on the 4x4 and boat trip excursion and had a great time, guides were funny and very knowledgeable.
we did have a lovely relaxing time, and enjoyed our stay. Thompsons were very good.
the flight was very smooth and on time both on departure and arrival.
in summary then, for us to get a Five Stars;
would have been nice to have been served tea or coffee at breakfast, instead of having to endure the scramble to get own.
improve the ambiance of the restaurant, and gentlemen please.. smarten you self up.. you have all day to look like a bag of washing.
better toaster so we are not left waiting around
entertainment could have been much better, the guys were great, but the others were a real disappointment, we were expecting something far better.
tea and coffee should have been topped up daily in our room and a mini bar provided
would have been nice to have waiter service around the pool areas,

Room Tip: rooms have a better view on the 4th floor, take your own tea/ coffee.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank steve_feming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

My partner and I visited the Yellow Lagos Meia Praia from the 12th September - 19th September 2013, staying on a half board basis with Thomson holidays.

Flights and transfers to the resort were uneventful and we arrived at the hotel approximately 2 hours from landing at Faro airport.

First impression of the hotel was good, it seemed very clean, minimalist in design, but very hot inside and I was wondered why the air-con was not switched on throughout the reception area. We did have to wait 20 minutes to check-in, as a result of other holidaymakers and only 2 members of staff on reception, but our room was ready and considering it was 11am, we were both pleased.

BEDROOM
Our room 238, was situated at the end of a corridor with views towards the sea and the town of Lagos. The room itself was very comfortable and clean, with dual sinks, a stand-alone bath and a really good shower. Bedding and towels were of good quality and we both thought the room worthy of its 5 star status. Our only gripe was that the balcony was positioned in such a way that we would get the sunshine late in the evening, which meant no relaxing on the balcony after a day sightseeing as it was simply too hot!!!. Just a small issue, but definitely a consideration if you enjoy some shade on the balcony towards the end of the afternoon.

BREAKFAST/DINNER
Breakfast in the hotel was adequate. We normally arrived around 7.30am-8.00am and did not experience the same concerns regarding the clearing of tables/queues forming at breakfast as I have read from other tripadvisor reviews. The fresh fruit was very good as were the pastries and my partner did enjoy the hot items that were offered. The fruit juices however, were very basic and of poor quality, as was the coffee. We normally had breakfast outside facing the sea which was very pleasant, although we did notice many residents (mainly British tourists) stuffing their beach bags with croissants and pastries which we both felt inappropriate. I would rate the breakfast adequate, perhaps 4 out of 5, but by no means 5 star quality.

Dinner, however, was poor in our opinion. We tried both the buffet restaurant and pre-booked the Fresco Italian restaurant located on the main pool level. The quality of the food was poor, with tinned vegetables and frozen rosti style potatoes. The salad selection was fair, although I did notice that the cheese selection was past its best and really needed to be discarded. There was a large line of people queueing for the hot selections and really, it just was not a 5 star experience. The Italian restaurant was a real sham, from running out of menus, to sloppy pasta and undercooked pizza. The whole dining experience was basic and uninspiring. Ordinarily I wouldn't be so harsh in my reviews, but given this hotel advertises itself as a 5 star hotel, it certainly has a lot of work to do on its food/dining experience.

SPA
The spa at the hotel was nice, although I should point out the both the GYM and the INDOOR POOL are free to use. There is only a charge to use the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. It cost my partner and I 11 euros (for both) to use the Spa. However, the steam room was way too hot, the sauna way too cold and the jacuzzi not bubbly enough.

POOL
The pool area was also very nice, with comfortable loungers and plenty of umbrellas if you needed some shade. The pool area never seemed too busy and there were always a few sunbeds available, even if we returned in the afternoon. The hotel also had a smaller pool with a snack bar which also looked nice, although we did notice that the lining of the bottom pool was actually coming away from the pool itself which looked very strange. On our check-out day however, we noticed that the lower pool was closed for refurbishment which could have been as a result of the pool lining.

SERVICE
Definitely no way near 5 star quality. The hotel seemed to run on a skeleton staff, with no service at the bar or pool area at all. In fact, it was the only time during our trip to Lagos that we were forced to queue for service. Even in all the smaller bars/cafes in Lagos a waiter/waitress service was offered. Ordinarily I would not complain at having to stand in a queue, but waiting to pay 18 euros for a vodka martini, in a bar without the air-con switched on, with one member of staff serving was really inexcusable. At these prices, I expect to be served at my seat, with a coaster and some nibbles!!!!. This is a very common practice in most true 5 star hotels, (try the Gran Bahia Real in Corralejo for a true 5 star experience) but sadly not at the Yellow Lagos. Once again, my opinions are based on this hotel advertising itself as a 5 star hotel, had it been a 4 star hotel, my expectations would not be so high. Housekeeping service was undertaken very late in the day (around 5pm), and despite leaving a 5 euro tip every evening, they did not replace any toiletries. We were forced to visit reception and ask for more, again, not terribly 5 star. The service in general was very basic, my partner and I were actually very amused when reading the hotel's motto, 'May all who enter as guests leave as friends'. I think the hotel has a great deal of work to do before it can justify such an accolade.

LAGOS TOWN
Was very nice. We walked most days, visiting the marina and various beaches along the coast. There is a small train which leaves near the hotel (just a the bottom of the hotel and turn right, leaves at 45 minutes past the hour), which takes you to the marina, Lagos town and up to the lighthouse. It costs 2.50 euros each, but this entitles you to use the train for the day and not just 1 journey. We visited some nice restaurants and a great burger place called Nah Nah Bah which was excellent. Restaurants were very reasonably priced and the food was of good quality.

CONCLUSION
A pleasant trip, but underwhelmed by the hotel, especially where the food and service levels are concerned. Room and pool area excellent however.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank jajd123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

Yellow Lagos is a fantastic hotel in every respect. We have been to the Algarve 6 times now, and this is very much our clear favorite - in terms of hotel and area. We have never been to a cleaner hotel, even the standard rooms are as good as they look on the website, the two pool areas (see photos) are so relaxing - the water is very cold though! And of course the fact there are no kids make it a very calming and restorative place to spend time. The sun beds by both pools are the most comfortable we have known, and there were always several available at all times during our two week stay.

The entertainment was OK, in the main two lads playing a variety of song styles. Both extremely good musicians, especially the guy playing electric guitar. His guitar playing on the 'rock' evening was excellent, with "Comfortably Numb" a highlight. (Yes, Comfortably Numb! Not many hotels of this class where you will see this kind of music played live!)

Of course the hotel drinks prices are way too expensive, hence a rather congested ‘happy hour’ between 19.00 and 20.30. But there are three beach bars within a few minutes walk, all offering excellent food and drink opportunities, particularly the splendidly named Bar Quim! The walk east along the beach from the hotel towards the Alvor harbour wall is also a delight, so long as you don't mind passing through the nudist areas of the beach!

It may be too far out of the centre for some, but there are so many easy ways of going to and fro - train (4 minutes and 1.4 euro), bus, noddy train, taxi (6 euro), walk along beach, walk along road (30 minutes). Lagos itself is wonderful, with an endless list of places to explore, from the bars, cafes and shops in the many old side streets, to the historic fort areas, the marina area, etc etc.

We usually hire a car on our 2 week holidays, but never felt the need here, there are so many ways to spend your time. The ‘noddy train’ (see photo) stops just outside the hotel, and for 2.5 euro per person you can go to the far west end of the rocky headland (Ponta da Piedade) via Lagos centre, or ‘hop on hop off’ at any point in between. The same ticket can be used all day without further cost. Exploring the cliff top areas around Ponta da Piedade is just beautiful (see photos), and you can easily walk from here to Praia Dona Ana via Praia do Camilo, then just get the noddy train straight back to the hotel on the same ticket you bought earlier. What a day that was!

We will go back to Lagos without question, and this hotel would be our clear first choice.

Room Tip: I cant imagine any rooms being less than perfect. We were on the 4th floor, which is useful as this...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

If you are looking for the perfect quiet get away from it all holiday the Yellow Lagos Meia Praia on the Algarve has the potential to be just that place. A beautiful hotel with excellent rooms just across from a superb beach is an ideal destination for that relaxing break. Two excellent pool outdoor areas with plenty of sun beds enhance the chill out factor in the hotel. The reception area is welcoming and there is generally a good feel to the place and we have just returned from two enjoyable weeks at the end of September.

However there is a but and for a 5 star hotel there are a number of issues which need to be urgently addressed by Thomson’s & the hotel management before the hotel can justify its advertised status. None of there issues are major and on their own wouldn’t be a major problem but when added together they certainly detract from the overall holiday experience.

The interior dining area is oppressive and has a feel of a school canteen rather than the stylish eateries advertised for Thomson Couple locations. The service was poor with tables not reset and while the starters were excellent the choice and standard for the main courses fell short of expectations. The restaurant is lacking a Maitre d to ensure standards are maintained by the staff and in a number of instances by guests themselves who dressed improperly in the evenings. Similarly the service at the bar during the Happy Hour (7-8.30pm) was lacking in the required standard frequently resulting in a long queue for drinks which is not becoming of a 5 star hotel.

This is the first season as a Thomson Couples venue and the two excellent Thomson Reps acknowledged a number of the deficiencies and added that plans were already in place to rectify these issues for next year. Hopefully this is the case and the hotel will then be an excellent place to relax and chill out.

The resident duo of Hatty & Oz were excellent both with their vocals & guitar playing and ensured all music tastes were catered for. The stand in duo was ok while the so called comedian/singer brought in for one night was appalling.

The Meia Praia beach is a superb stretch of sand with the Atlantic rollers creating a fantastic setting. Numerous beach bars are available with two just across from the hotel to enjoy a drink and snack and we utilised the Bar Berlin on many occasions. The walk along the beach into Lagos is lovely with the little ferry on hand to take you across the estuary into the town (60 cents each). There is also the foot bridge over from the marina as well as the option of travelling in by train (1-40each) or the “Noddy train” and buses which stop just outside the hotel. A taxi back from Lagos late one night came to
7-70Euros and was well worth the cost.

The town of Lagos is delightful and has plenty of bars and restaurants with an excellent buzz to the place with its fair quota of street entertainers to enjoy. It is well worth spending the days wandering around the town as well as enjoying the variety of restaurants on offer in the evenings.

Room Tip: We had a 4th floor room facing Lagos and had the sunset in the evening.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attleborough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Just returned yesterday from a weeks stay at Yellow Lagos to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary on 1st October, this is only our third hotel holiday taken over those years (including our honeymoon in Barbados) as we normally book our own travel and accomodation and self cater. We both can't compliment the hotel enough, the management presented us with wine and fruit on our anniversary which was a lovely thought and very much appreciated. The standard of the hotel in all respects is first class, food was excellent in our humble opinion, room was lovely, and the bed was incredibly comfortable, and the shower is amazing, we would love one in our house! Staff very friendly and attentive in all respects, bar, front desk, restaurant and housekeeping staff who would always greet us with an "Hola" or "Bom Dia", We have given Yellow an excellent rating but to be a truly 5 star hotel the only improvement would be waiter service rather than serve yourself, so truthfully the hotel should be 4 star, but that isn't a criticism, merely a statement of fact. Would definitely visit again and have no hesitation in recommending others to do the same. We do acknowledge that we have visited at a quiet time of year and recognise that the service levels may be negatively affected in the high season, but that may be true at any large establishment. Our thanks for a wonderful week go to all at the hotel and to Thomson with whom we travelled.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a full sea view room at the front of the hotel and it was a wise decision as the view...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cpreeve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
73 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

Loved it! Like a maze first day but heaven even better than we expected. Personally on holiday could not care less about WiFi! I overheard one lady stating "foods disappointing " I am gluten and dairy free and enjoyed the food' would love to visit some of these hotels people use as comparison.

We will return and for longer next time.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thunderblob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We have just got back from our honeymoon at Yellow Lagos. We had a bottle of bubbly and fresh fruit awaiting us in our room. The check in process was quick & efficient with a cold drink. The hotel and rooms are immaculate and to a very high standard, beautifully furnished with mood lighting! The staff were all polite and efficient, nothing was too much trouble. The dining room did lack ambience in an evening, it would benefit from having candles and better lighting. The food was excellent with plenty to choose from. The drinks we found were no more expensive than you would expect in a hotel, a bottle of wine and a beer was €16 we didn't think this was too bad. Happy hour was very cheap a large wine and pint if beer was €3.50 approximate £3!! We took our drinks into the dining room to save buying a bottle if wine. The Thomson rep Angelo was extremely polite and efficient, a credit to Thomson. Hatty & Oz were brilliant, very talented with a wide range of music to cater for all ages and tastes. Also very entertaining with their little bickers with Helio from behind the bar, made our evenings! A fantastic holiday, would go back against despite having rubbish weather.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank salzzone
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:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Lagos
#4 Spa Hotel in Lagos
#4 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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