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All reviews hidden portugal sea view ponte de lima met some lovely people newmarket holidays modern fittings atlantic rollers each evening great holiday tarts complimentary bottle reception area broad walk bar prices traditional portuguese buffet style excellent shower
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Reviewed September 24, 2017

Arriving VERY late (nearly midnight) we were greeted by a snack and drink which was greatly appreciated. An awful smell turned out to be seaweed spread over the beach to dry for composting. This disappeared the next day and provided lots of drama and interest over the rest of the week as the farmers gathered, rolled, then stacked HUGE amounts of the stuff in big haystack sized mounds, before covering them with plastic sheeting so the beach was gradually cleared.....boy did they work hard! Beds were comfortable and room tidied well although sometimes beds were left until rather late into the afternoon which meant on our return from tours etc we were sharing with the housemaid! The food was edible but very basic.... "adequate "was the general opinion from the Newmarket Hidden Portugal group. 4 Cereals, plastic cheese and ham, powdered scrambled egg and frankfurter sausage but loads of different breads for breakfast (Only a 2 slice toaster for ALL of us!) and this every day except Wednesday when hard boiled eggs appeared! Evening meals were always with several salad items,(onions/red cabbage/carrots/corn and the like) and always fresh. Boiled potatoes and rice, mixed veg and a piece of fish or casserole for the main then a collection of tarts, cakes, mousse or fresh fruit for dessert. They were OK but sometimes didn't seem to go together and weren't always piping hot.... as already mentioned..... "adequate". Lunchtime snacks were available but there wasn't tea or coffee making facilities available in the room so these could be bought from the bar. This was a nuisance as an early morning or late evening cuppa would have been much appreciated. The main rooms were well kept and comfortable (there's a small lounge with lots of books to borrow, not all in English) and in the dining room we all sat round in groups of 8, which you could change throughout the week at different meals so you did get to meet more of the group or stick to one set according to how you felt. The main rooms were comfortable with good views of the sea and just a few yards from the sand.It was dangerous to go near the big Atlantic rollers because of the currents and submerged rocks but the hotel pools were OK if you wanted to swim or sunbathe (A bit chilly sometimes in September and many of the local beach cafes and huts were packing up for the winter although compared to UK it was warm.) The hotel is miles from the town which was great for peace and quiet, no bars,shops restaurants, passing traffic but a bit isolated if you wanted a stroll around in the evening or to nip out to a shop for chocolate, juice etc. A lovely boardwalk passed by for those doing the pilgrimage walk to Santiago De Compostela and you can use this to walk the mile or so north to a tiny village where you may be able to find a small cafe or a shop (somebody's front room), or the 2 and half miles south to Povoa de Vazim. We did these walks in between going on the 3 included tours which were all interesting. Porto is great, see the railway station tiles, the port warehouse is a bit claustrophobic but again interesting and the boat trip passed under the cities lovely bridges but was generally thought not to be worth the cost(15E). The "fishing villages" trip is to the nearby towns of high rise tower blocks, more Benidorm than St Ives, but again different buildings/shops and a commentary that tells you about the country. The last trip to Vana Castelo was a great drive and view, and Ponte de Lima has a good story! We didn't go on the other optional trips and they had differing reports from "really good" to "not worth the money". The Santiago trip was 3hrs there and 3 hrs back with only 3 hrs there and very crowded so very tiring. There is not a bus that goes near to the hotel,it is a long walk to the main road, and a taxi to Povoa is 10E. But you can catch a metro into Porto from there or catch a bus to Braga or Barcelos.(4E)You have to look at these for yourself and make a choice. After dinner there was absolutely nothing to do. No entertainment of any kind at the hotel except Miguel on the keyboard who only played for some reason WHILST the meal was going on but not later, and being so far out there were no lights along the roads so the only thing left was to watch TV and listen to 1970's American TV. Our guide,Helena, was very helpful and informative especially when Ryanair cancelled flights, thankfully not ours! All in all a good holiday because we didn't want to do much and we're not party animals. If you are then go somewhere else.

Room tip: South and west side rooms have a good view of the sea. Some first floor rooms have stairs to go DOWN
Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank loradac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2017

We stayed here on the Newmarket 'Hidden Portugal' holiday. I had seen some of the bad reviews but couldn't imagine Newmarket putting people in a hotel that wasn't up to standard. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist and a welcome glass of port wine. The food at breakfast and dinner is buffet style, help yourself. One meat and one fish dish each evening but plenty for vegetarians to tuck into too! The food was edible, it was not awful and you wouldn't go hungry, standard 3 star hotel fayre. The hotel is remote, there is just the hotel, which is right next to the beautiful beach, the cafe and the church. At night the mist can come down making walks out not a pleasant venture.

The rooms were very clean, we had a good sized modern room with a fridge and got a complimentary bottle of water for the first night. The swimming pool was good with plenty of sun beds and chairs and the drinks at the hotel are very reasonably priced. We had a bottle of the very pleasant Douro valley white wine for 7 Euros, great value.
Sitting rooms and library were nice, the staff were very friendly and helpful, we loved the place and the peace and quiet at night.

Helpful hint about the buses, you follow the one road out from the hotel about half a mile to the crossroads, turn left and the buses stop outside the cafe there. One every half hour during the day to Povoa de Varzim , get off at the square there and go down the street immediately opposite for the Metro station. Both express and stopping at all stations service to Porto. Alight at Trinidade and get on a southbound Linea D ( yellow line) train, this takes you across the highest bridge in Porto giving a spectacular view of both Porto and twin city Gaia. I wasn't a great fan of Port but went to three different tastings and now converted.

Thank you to the management and staff of the hotel for a great holiday and we met some lovely people too.

Room tip: Get a room in the refurbished part of the hotel
Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ChrisC1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2017

We stayed here recently for 7 nights as part of a 13 strong group participating in the Newmarket Holidays 'Hidden Portugal'.

Hotel is at the end of a short turning of the main coast road. It is a very quiet location with beach and beachfront broadwalk access. The hotel has a nice pool area and outside seating.

The exterior of the hotel is a little shabby but the main reception is brand new and spotlessly clean. All public areas and dining room are well kept and very clean.

Some rooms have been recently refurbished and seem to offer excellent accomodation. These rooms have air-conditioning. Other rooms have yet to be refurbished and are looking slightly tired. These rooms do not have air-conditioning.

We were allocated a yet to be refurbished room (no. 302) but it was fine for are needs, with a bath and excellent shower (always plenty of hot water) and with a balcony overlooking the pool area.

The dining room was large and our party had two large round tables for all meals. We were staying on a half-board basis.

Breakfast (buffet style) was good with a range of bread, ham, cheese and yoghurt and cereals available everyday together with scrambled eggs/hard-boiled and bacon or sausages. Hot coffee (not great) and hot water and tea bags were on offer together with fruit juices.

Dinner (buffet style) always consisted of a daily soup, salad selection, hot meat and fish options with potatoes, pasta, fresh vegetables. Whilst we were there we had a variety of different fish (all good) and roast pork, chicken, meatballs, veal/beef.

There was always a selection of fresh fruit and several tarts available for desert as well as the traditional Portuguese custard/cream caramel deserts.

All in all a quiet, clean hotel with okay food. The drinks and wine prices were VERY reasonable and the barman (Carlos) was always happy to keep opened bottles of wine behind the bar for your pleasure next day.

Date of stay: August 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank 66Ihughes66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2017

Enjoyed this sea side hotel on May 23 2017.
A great Hotel, with very knowledgeable/accommodating staff. Room was clean, fresh linen, Great food and reasonably priced for Pilgrims
Laying right on the Camino.

Room tip: Request Ocean View if you like to hear the waves crashing during the night.
Date of stay: May 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2017

This Hotel looks derelict. Staff very nice. It was clean. The food and the situation of the hotel was very poor.Travelling to the centre you had a long walk to catch a bus or you could walk quite a distance on the boardwalk in front of the Hotel. You really need a car as it is situated in an isolated spot amidst farming land and the beach is to dangerous to go for a swim. The dinner in the evening was self service and the food was appalling I lived on salad all week. The breakfast was not much better. For elderly people it is out of the question nothing around it to go to at night.

Date of stay: June 2017
2  Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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