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“Not Four Star”
Review of Casablanca Inn

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Casablanca Inn
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Monte Gordo
Northumberland National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not Four Star”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We have just returned from a weeks holiday at The Casablanca. I don't know where the 4 Star rating came from. Food poor, all public rooms were very cold, positively poor bar service, you had to ring a bell and sit and wait for the staff to appear, one night they had no Gin, inexcusable as supermarket was only a short walk away. Happy Hour was 12pm-2pm 15% off Whoo! We took to going a short walk away to the Vasco de Gama hotel only 3 stars but sheer luxury compared to the Casablanca. Warm, very comfortable seating and a large bar with two staff, happy hour there is 6pm-7pm 50% off. The food at the Casablanca was practically inedible, on the last night pork escalope was so overcooked you could have soled your shoes with it. Every night same soup just a different name always tasteless, we just didn't eat it. The so called indoor pool was covered in a plastic tent and looked very grubby, we didn't use it. In all the holiday was a waste of money, we booked expecting a gala night on New Years Eve but were told this only happened at Christmas, apparently Gala Night to them is a better meal than normal and that's it. If you go in the winter, though I wouldn't recommend it, take boots, fur coats and very warm indoor clothing, don't be like us looking for somewhere warm to spend the evenings.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 137samanthac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ligória R, Gerente de relações com clientes at Casablanca Inn, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Dear madam

After reading you comments we would like to make the following comments:

- All rooms and public ares have air conditioning
- Regarding the bar having no Gin during the night is normal that the supermarket is near the hotel but unfortunatly is closed during the night
- The food is fresh and every day is made a different new menu
- If guest´s where informed about a New Year Gala Dinner they should complained in the Agency because we don´t have any contract or advertisement or charge regarding New Year Gala Dinner and are request to show the information /payment regarding to it

- We apologise for any incovenience

Kindest Regards

Ligória Romão
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

I have just come back from 3 nights & 4 days staying at the Casablanca Inn, I went with my best friend that I have known since I was 10 I'm currently 17 nearly 18. I also currently study Travel & Tourism Level 2 So I do have some knowledge on hotels & what should be expected such as health & safety etc. This holiday was a quick get away because I wanted a nice break from the UK I have never been to Portugal before only spain this holiday was booked through Thomson it seemed to be a great package deal I read some of the reviews before I left & I felt very nervous of what to expect. Once I arrived I thought the front of the hotel looked very nice & Presentable then I walked inside & noticed that the hotel owners have cats that they allow around the hotel we were also told that they have a dog but he wasn't very well so we did not see any other animals apart from that cats which were okay it's fortunate because I'm a cat lover but personally if you are not fussed on animals then I do not recommend this hotel. The hotel does not habitat stray animals please be rest assured that the cats DO belong to the hotel owner, anyway they provide free wifi & you can use it for how ever long you wish too it's all free I thought that was really good considering that most hotels would charge you some (€)-(£).

The only thing with the wifi is that you can only use it when you are sat in the main lobby which is located next to the bar area. We found the room very clean & the beds were reasonably comfortable at least we had a good few sleeps considering (My flight) was not satisfactory because of a child kicking the back of my seat, the rooms were also very clean can not fault the cleanliness of this hotel what so ever. The tv was not old it was brand new flat screen (small) but nice only thing I would add is that there was no point watching it because they only have one English Channel which is basically a news channel the rest of the channels were in Portuguese.

As for the food I was NOT impressed I'm aware I'm a teenager but at the end of the day I find myself mature for age even though sometimes I have some immaturity. The first day we arrived we were told that dinner was going to be a buffet we waited for a very long time to be served we waited at least 20-23 mins till someone gave us a menu? that's right we were given a menu to choose a starter-main course- then dessert. I was shocked that they had called or said that this was a buffet because it was certainly not.. most of the starters was basically soup & as for the main courses well let's not discuss that the food was not at all up to standards personally I found it rather gross even my friend said that it was average.

Breakfast did not get any better hardly any thing to choose from, not much choice for any one & little food I'm not sure whether they are trying to save money or just make tiny portions of food but either way I was very hungry after breakfast & dinner. Round the corner luckily is a little super market we went & bought some biscuits & chocolate to satisfy our hunger after breakfast or dinner. As myself & my friend went half board we only experienced breakfast & dinner so I'm sorry but I can not give you any information about their lunch dining options.

The swimming Pool was alright accept its right next to the canteen so whilst you are in your bikini/swimming costume then people can have a good look at what you are doing.. which myself & my friend felt uncomfortable..the pool is enclosed so depending on what time of year you visit the temperature is not known, one thing that did come across not so great was the fact I took my chewing gum out of my mouth & placed it on the side of the pool I forgot to pick it up & bin it. The next day we went down for a quick swim my friend noticed that the gum was still by the side of the pool & their was a lot of spiders & other creepy crawleys in the pool (not nice for your daughter/son) to swim in right? basically the pool was supposed to be cleaned every night with special chemicals to prevent infection! but from this we were aware that the pool had NOT been cleaned ew.

The Hotel is alright if you are looking for a *Cheap get away in the middle of no where.. literally the hotel is located in Monte Gordo which is a bit of a wasteland I do not mean to be rude but from what we saw it looked very run down with half knocked down buildings & lots of shops out of business. It was alright for one visit but I highly doubt I would choose this hotel again the cats were very sweet but I would defiantly not book this hotel again. There is not much to do & the food was just not satisfactory I know for the older generation it may be "fine" but for myself & my friend we did not really enjoy it.

The only best bit was just having my best friend with me to spend some time with her I was so glad once I arrived back into the UK as soon as I got home I stuffed my face with food! I have never been so grateful to be back in England literally praise the lord ( I'm a christian) so I can say this.

Anyway I would not really Recommend this hotel... so it is really up to yourself. Just bear in mind everything I have said If you would like any other information just add me on Facebook & I would be more than happy to disclose it! Happy holidays.

~ Alyce Holloway

Room Tip: Choose rooms on the lower floor next to the reception.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank alice7645
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

We have just returned from Monte Gordo we stayed at the Casablanca Inn, We booked through Thomas Cook website but it now seems that once you get there you are on your own. trips can be arranged through local agencies and the price is very competitive. We booked two trips one to Gibraltar and one to Seville. We had to leave for Gibraltar at 08.30 so we would miss breakfast but when I booked an early morning call they said that they would provide us with a packed breakfast to eat on the Coach at no extra cost.

Our Trip to Seville was cancelled but as we are seasoned travelers we took public transport it worked out at the same cost as the tour.

Each evening we had dinner in the hotel restaurant this cost us under 9 Euros and the food was great.

Room Tip: Walk along the Beech in the morning and watch the locals catching Coccles.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ugie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2013

I visited the Casablanca in April of this year as friends of mine were staying here in March of this year
Prior to booking and on arrival I asked if they were able to cater for me because I have an egg and dairy intolerance and I was assured that was no problem however I was actually treated with a lack of courtesy and high disregard by the restaurant manager and found that the staff had no knowledge of food intolerances and the ingredients of any of the dishes they served. The portions of the food I could eat were measly my desert consisted of one piece of fruit sliced ie 1 kiwi etc
My room was not very clean and the chambermaids kept leaving my first floor balcony door undone therefore compromising my possessions .
At night the hotel was locked and the person who was supposed to be on reception was not on reception and after a late night with friends I gave up attempting to get in and stayed with friends
My Air Conditioning unit was gushing with a water leak on the balcony which concerned me and my tv didn't work
I asked on several occasions for a room change to no avail
Dogs and cats live at the hotel so anyone with pet allergies will suffer staying there
The heated pool is pleasant however it's closed in the evening and the bar where entertainment occurs is not clean
Monte Gordo is a wonderful place and there are some great hotels there though this is not one of them and as a single woman traveller I cannot recommend it .

Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Tess R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ligória R, Gerente de relações com clientes at Casablanca Inn, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Good afternoon,

After reading your comments we would like to make the following remarks:

- When guest´s use the air conditioning is normal that water is comming out
- If TV is not working guest should inform reception and will be repaired
- If the hotel is fully booked it´s not possible for the guest for room changing
- The recepcionist on duty during the night must check around all the hotel is everything is in order so it´s possible that is away for a little
- The swimming pool must be closed during the night for security of the guest´s as is no guard available
- Our hotel is a small one and we take good care off all our guest´s specially the ones that travel by themself

We apologise for any inconvenience


Ligória Romão
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Travelers are raving about these Monte Gordo hotels

Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013

I first stayed at the Casablanca Inn Hotel in 1985 at which time it was relatively new (I believe approximately one year old).
At that time it was bed and breakfast basis only, no air conditioning, no TV, no restaurant but did boast both an indoor and outdoor pool.
Curiosity getting the better of me, I decided to stay there again some 28 years later.
So what has changed in almost 3 decades?
1. The rooms now have air conditioning though the external unit is installed at floor level on somewhat small balconies resulting in warm air striking you as soon as you go onto the balcony.
2. The rooms now have a portable size TV though don't expect flat screen, they have the basic cathode TV's.
3. A small but adequate fridge is housed in a cabinet under which the TV sits.
4. A sun terrace has been built outside a number of rooms on the first floor. There is no natural shade, it has 12 sun beds and on a 'good' day, 2 parasols.
5. The indoor pool no longer exists and has been converted into what the Casablanca refers to as a restaurant. Without being too unkind, it bears close resemblance to a works canteen.
6.
What used to be 'Rick's Bar' (from the film Casablanca) has gone and has been replaced with a featureless bar more in keeping with a Chapel of Rest.

My first room (No 116) was the sort of room you would place in an emergency and for one night only.Despite several energy saving lights, it would be difficult to read a book or any other reading material without sitting directly next to a light. As for the balcony, in all the hotels I have stayed in, I have never experienced such an insult or excuse . The so called balcony was approximately 5 feet wide, both side walls floor to ceiling, though the right hand wall did slope at 45 degrees, (reminding you that you had neighbours).
The wall facing you was a solid 4 wall which if you stood up overlooked the sun terrace, part of the Praceta Casablanca and the apartments opposite. Sat on the balcony your view was a small patch of sky and the top 3 floors of the apartments on the opposite side of the square. It was (thankfully) not possible to sit on the balcony for any length of time due to the increasing level of heat from the air conditioning fan unit and because of the walls, the blown hot air was unable to escape.
Despite requesting a change of room on a daily basis, I was met with a hostile and defensive response from the reservations Manager who continued to inform me that it was not possible as they were fully booked but having checked on the internet, rooms were available.
After 5 consecutive daily requests, I was offered and accepted an alternate room.
The 'new' room, No 106 was directly above reception and at least had a view of civilisation.
The rooms overall resemble an obstacle course with twin beds which I am confident are the original beds from the 1980's. The bed stocks are very user unfriendly, constructed of solid, angular wood which leave bruises if you inadvertently catch your legs against them. I remember the inset patterned ceramic tiles both in the bed stocks, coffee table, wall shelving and ad hoc areas of the walls. What made the beds even more insulting was the mattresses. In all the hotels I have stayed in over the years, I have never experienced such hard, uncomfortable, uncompromising and unforgiving mattresses supported by compressed wood shave bases, ( the sort of material used to temporarily shore up broken windows). The beds are issued with one pillow each but being a single traveller I had the luxury of removing the pillow from the spare bed which gave me a choice of hard and lumpy or hard and flat.
Again energy saving lights offered very little illumination and it would have been nice if were at least matching in size, shape and wattage.
The best (or worst) of all was the bathroom lighting, two bulbs which took 5 minutes to warm up to a warm orange glow before the bathroom was usable.
On this occasion, I travelled without my wife which proved to be a case of 'just as well'. The wardrobe was just adequate for my clothing to be hung up, (once I had purchased a supply of clothes hangers) as the anti theft hangers provided were worn out and continually fell apart. There is no way you could accommodate 2 peoples clothing in this space unless you were travelling very light.
Accompanying the wardrobe area were 4 small drawers beneath the hanging area. Again totally inadequate in size, (we have a larger cutlery drawer in our kitchen).
The floor in the room is a combination of patterned ceramic and terra cotta tiles, the worst of which were on the balcony which had completely worn away in some areas.
The corridors throughout the hotel were illuminated by energy saving bulbs inset into the ceilng and were on motion sensors which meant you were effectively walking into a black hole until you were close enough to trigger the sensors.
The works canteen , (I cannot bring myself to refer to it as a restaurant as it would be insulting to reputable Restaurateurs) was a real experience.
My first meal there started with what was referred to as red bean soup. It was very pale pink in colour and was barely luke warm, (this temperature appears to be a speciality of the canteen ), obviously anything hot may involve the services of Health and Safety.
Dinner is waiter service and despite acquiring a table 1 minute after the canteen opened, 7pm, I had to wait 10 minutes to get a menu.The canteen had 6 other diners at the time.
It is difficult to comprehend how 5 canteen staff have problems dealing with 24 diners at their busy periods but on my third visit for dinner in the canteen and having stared into an empty soup bowl for 35 minutes with no sign of my main course arriving, I decided to discreetly vacate the canteen. It did not however go unnoticed as I was confronted by the head waiter the following evening who asked why I had left and before I had a chance to answer, he asked if the service was slow.
Breakfast in the canteen is self service buffet and despite entering immediately on it opening at 8am, the coffee dispensed from a stainless steel urn was at best luke warm. Then came the game of 'hunt the sugar sachet and salt and pepper. Scavangeing at newly laid tables was not what I had in mind.
The cold buffet consisted of cereals, ham and cheese slices, tinned fruit pieces, bread for toasting, croissants and bread rolls of dubious age.
The hot buffet consisted of bacon, fried eggs and tinned sausages. The bacon may or may not be adequately cooked but was like most other things either luke warm or cold. The consistency of the eggs was best described as having a latex/rubbery texture.
To help wash down this detritus was an orange coloured fluid (assumed to be orange juice).
As to how much of the dinner is freshly cooked on the premises is very questionable. The pre cooked meats and fish are delivered and attempts made to re heat them are carried out. The name Aviludo springs to mind.
Overall the quality of the food is well below standard, it is bland, boring, poorly presented and mismatched, (chips and green beans are not the sort of things I would expect on the same plate and little if any evidence of Portuguese cuisine.
It was a rarity to see a bottle of wine, most consumers bought it by the glass, half carafe or carafe which is conveniently decanted from a 10 or 20 litre card board box of house plonk.
The whole canteen experience resembled a badly written sketch from a combination of Fawlty Towers and Acorn Antiques.
In summary, this sadly neglected establishment could be best described as dreary, drab, dingy, dark and depressed.
Whilst the sign outside denotes it is 4 star, it is recognised by most Tour Operators a 3 star and I would be generous if I personally awarded it 2 star plus, though 1 star and an asteroid would be more appropriate.
Another issue not mentioned is the resident cats and a dog which obviously have 'Access all areas'passes. A cautionary word to anyone who has canine or feline allergies.
In conclusion, it has been 28 years since my last stay at the Casablanca and it would be at the very least another 28 years before I would return.
A substantial cash injection to bring it into the 21st Century along with some external and in house training for the employees might make this once decent, friendly place a worthy and fit place to stay.
I have stayed in a number of hotels in Monte Gordo and this stands out as the worst by far.
Would I recommend it? Not to someone I disliked!!!
Photos to follow.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ummagumma515Yorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ligória R, Gerente de relações com clientes at Casablanca Inn, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Good afternoon ,

After reading your review we woul like to make the folllowing comments:

- After satying in the hotel 28 years ago i suppose guest should remember the location , rooms size and decoration of the hotel so we don´t understand were is the surprise about the view , the size of the wardrobe and the tiles or the wood beds ....and all the rest
- Most of our clients travel 2 persons in a room and we have not any issue regarding the space for the clothes
- The guest approaches every day the reception, phoned the travel agency and even phoned a friend to change room, but we would like to explained that hotel maybe had empty rooms for that dates but they where not located in the front side where the guest wanted to move and did when one has available
- We also don´t undestand if the hotel is that bad and food so bad and service so bad i should suppose that we would have request the agency to change accommodation for one of the many hotels in monte gordo ( the guest sayed 28 nights)

- Our hotel has closed in 2010 for refurfishment and remodelation of all rooms including new mattress and new tvs

We apologise for any inconvenience

Ligória Romão
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Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Stayed here for a week and while I have read some rather derogatory remarks about cats peeing all over the place, we found this not to be the case. There were two beautiful cats at the hotel which just added to its charm. The rooms were very clean although a little dark. The breakfasts were very good value offering a wide range of choices, both hot and cold. The evening meals were ok but lacked a little imagination for vegetarians. The staff were very friendly and helpful with excellent linguistic skills. Well run small hotel, ideal for short holidays to this fine area of Portugal.

Room Tip: Top floor has more sun. Lift available.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Gordon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Hotel is relatively small with 42 room but personable and friendly. Lots of UK northerns and so always a good laugh in the bar. Staff are very friendly and very helpful. Rooms are very clean spacious although basic (take your own travel kettle) includes TV and fridge large bathroom and balcony. We stayed half board and have no complain over the food which was well flaoured with a variety of options to suit all. Easy walk to the beach which is wonderful. We hired a car from Faro airport and Monte Gordo is on the boarder of Spain and so you could nip across for Tapas or visit Seville which is closer than Lisbon. We went to Travia which is a beautiful cultural city not to be missed. Then Alcoutim is a pretty village on the banks of the Guadiana river, about 40km north of Vila Real de Santo António is worth a visit. I would certainly stay at Casablanca Inn again

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank janicebg450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casablanca Inn

Property: Casablanca Inn
Address: Praceta Casablanca, Monte Gordo 8900-434, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Monte Gordo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Monte Gordo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casablanca Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casablanca Hotel Monte Gordo
Casablanca Monte Gordo

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