"STEP UP A GEAR”
My first impressions were mixed when we arrived very late at night having suffered a shared transfer (with pax from another hotel) from the airport. A very pleasant reception area but no assistance was offered with our baggage on check in. Absolutely charming, helpful reception staff at all other times. Marked carpets in hallways and in the room.
No tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms, which I find unusual and annoying these days. Toiletries were limited to soap, a shower cap, a shoe shine pad as well as a liquid soap dispenser over the bath. The rooms were large with adequate storage, plenty of drawer space and ample clothes hangers. The housekeeping staff did a good job. The mini bar was priced much as you would expect for a hotel with no complaints about using the fridge for personal stuff. A very small television had local cable channels with CNN and BBC World News. A small adequate safe was in one of the wardrobes. The air conditioning was more than adequate to cope with an outside temperature of 24 degrees. The soundproofing was excellent. A very private balcony on the top floor of the west wing was ideal for a late evening treat of sitting with a glass of wine watching the sunset.
The meals were more than adequate in quantity; breakfast had some outstanding bread rolls and croissants. The scrambled eggs and bacon were not to everyone’s' taste as they were rarely more than warm and that was normal over the two weeks. Plenty of other choices though, fresh fruit, cereals, cold meat and cheeses etc. The restaurant did get crowded for breakfast on a couple of occasions and became slightly claustrophobic. The dinner buffet standard was reasonable at 24 Euros, bear in mind that was for a 5 course meal, including drinks, if you could manage that amount of food!
Wi-Fi was available in the room, a bit intermittent but in the main was a good connection.
The sauna was also a chargeable item with payment for a minimum of two persons required.
The hotel is situated a 5 minute drive from the village and the walk there would be enough to work up an appetite, the narrow roads and the lack of pavements are worth noting and there are numerous hills to walk up before reaching the village. I was surprised that the hotel did not have any form of courtesy bus for patrons going to the village or Ponta Delgada. Even with a small charge I am sure that it would be well patronised. A car is virtually essential to get around the island. For self sustaining holidaymakers there is a large supermarket near the main hospital in Ponta Delgada, follow the airport signs until you see the hospital sign then Parque Atlantico is obvious. There is also a small mercado in the village for everyday items. Sao Miguel prices were on a par with Britain and in many cases much more expensive. Ponta Delgada is an easy 15 minutes drive from the hotel.
One incident rang alarm bells for me. A LARGE cockroach ran across my wife's shoulder as she lay reading in bed, it was duly dispatched but the staff never raised an eyebrow when I brought it to their attention the next day. Another large one appeared in the corridor next day. They did however call in the local pest control who I can only assume did the necessary work. Never a word or note from the management apologising for the trauma to my wife or explanation as to work carried out.
With all the rooms facing the sea, the top floor is best suited for those who like to relax on the balcony as the sun sets. The pool was a pleasant area and no need for the sad early risers to run down and place towels on their favourite spot. Plenty of sun loungers, plenty of space and a splendid view over the sea. A very obliging snack bar opens from 10 till 6. The sun shades at the pool could do with some refurbishment.
The hotel suits those who enjoy a quiet relaxing holiday. We were never once disturbed by noise. It will probably have to step up a gear if they want to compete with more accessible tourist areas. That said, whoever had the foresight to build a hotel in this location many years ago deserves credit. The staff were excellent throughout our stay. I think the hotel suits a niche market. Their website needs reviewing; it is 4 years out of date; half board at 16 Euros extra would be a bargain! Every organisation has to move on and the hotel will have to have a good look at the level of the facilities it provides if tourism to the Azores islands increases.
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- Also Known As:
- Caloura Hotel são Miguel
- Caloura Hotel Resort Sao Miguel, Azores