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“Lovely hotel with great facilities”

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Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Olhao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2011

We had a lovely week at this hotel and our room was comfortable and well equipped with a good bathroom. Pool area is great with sun loungers always available and the pool towel system is very convenient. We went to the Fado night and that was enjoyable and we thought good value. Breakfast had varied selections of everything you could want and good bread and pastries which were always fresh and very tempting. Our only minor issue was service in the restaurant in the evenings (we ate there twice) It was always friendly but sometimes a bit chaotic - the maitre'd was lovely but maybe they were a bit short staffed - I'm not sure. Overall a lovely hotel and we really liked the area - the restaurants locally were nothing to write home about - but everything else was fine.

Room Tip: The higher floors are probably better and if you want sun on your balcony in the afternoon you will...
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank portpatrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, General Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2011

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for your kind review. We really appreciated your kind comments and were very pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us. Unfortunately, not everything was as perfect as we would have liked it to be and we regret if the service in the restaurant, although friendly, was not up to our usual standards. Please be assured that we will do our utmost to provide a consistently high-quality service in all our outlets.

We hope that, despite of this, we will be able to welcome you back to the Real Marina Hotel & Spa for hopefully another enjoyable stay with us.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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Reviewed October 5, 2011

There is not a lot I can add to the previous reviews of a very pleasant stay in the Real Marina and Spa. The Reception staff carried out a swift, friendly check in and check out. The staff in this area were always ready to help with any questions including how to hold your nose when pronouncing Alhao to get it correct!
I must recommend a sea view room. Ours was on the 4th floor (441) and was exactly where we wanted to be. A view of the Marina and surrounds, the late evening sun, plenty of sun in the afternoon if the pool area got too crowded. One surprising aspect was the lack of noise, no banging doors in the corridor, no extraneous noise from outside. I was impressed with the hotel soundproofing! The room cleaning was done swiftly and efficiently.
The restaurant was interesting. Breakfast was fine, a buffet with a wide variety of food and FRESH orange juice on offer, more than enough to satisfy continental and English tastes, omelettes if required. We had chosen half board as I mistakenly thought that Alhao was a small fishing village. I’ll cover that aspect later. Dinner was an a la carte, waiter service, with occasional menu suggestions on certain nights. There is a voucher system for residents choosing half board. The voucher entitles you up to 28 Euros per person excluding drinks. The choice was interesting, 5 or 6 starters, 7 main courses (4 fish and 3 meat ) , about 5 desserts if my memory serves me right. You are also given the option of a “cover” (free) and if you eat all 4 courses you are doing extremely well. The “cover” was a selection of marinated carrot (delicious), olives, sardines, fish pate and bread rolls. We found that the “cover” was just a bit too much and declined after the first evening! The standard of food was reasonable although the chef never did understand “a small portion”. Everything came in very generous servings. If you finish the seafood stew you deserve a medal. We had a mini buffet in the pool restaurant half way through our holiday instead of dinner in the restaurant (due to an event taking place) and the food for that was outstanding! The special dinner nights, Wednesday and Sunday are of note as there is music and drinks are included in the price of about 19.90 Euros. For these nights a table must be reserved at Reception. The organisation in the restaurant was, in the main, very good. This was due to a tight ship run by the Maitre D’, Jaime Flausino, apologies if the name is spelt incorrectly. On one occasion when he wasn’t there, it was reminiscent of a “Fawlty Towers” production. It was, however, the only time we had problems in the restaurant! If I was staying here again I would probably opt for B&B in order to enjoy the multitude of restaurants down town (32 in the road along from the hotel) and many more spread throughout the town so no shortage of eating establishments. Then maybe reserve a table for the Wednesday and Sunday Special Dining Nights.
I utilised the Steam Bath and Sauna in the Spa, 4 sessions cost about 5.50 Euros a time, quite reasonable. Everything in the hotel was spotless, including the Spa.
A bigger bone of contention for me was the charge for the wifi! I appreciate that there are different methods of billing but elsewhere I have been used to log on - log off accumulative usage total being set against time bought. In the Real Marina once you logged on for the first time your clock was running! So you might only use 30 minutes per day but if you bought 72 hours that runs out on day 3! Most hotels offer free wifi now as it is an important part of communication these days.
Another point of praise was the Birthday cake and sparkling wine delivered to our room on my wife’s birthday. No prompting, straight out of the blue. So somebody at the hotel pays attention to small details! We passed on our thanks to the Duty Manager.
So all in all, a very pleasant stay. A pleasant, fair sized town, a bit off the usual tourist route. The hotel had a nice atmosphere due in the main to the excellent staff throughout. I would not class it a 5 star hotel but a very, very good 4 star and one which I would recommend wholeheartedly to anybody.

Room Tip: Highest floor, sea view room.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Billg715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you for your kind and detailed review. We are very pleased to learn that you have spent an enjoyable time at the Real Marina Hotel & SPA and that almost everything from the food, to the service, friendliness of our team and our small birthday surprise corresponded or even exceeded your expectations. We regret however that the service in the restaurant on one occasion was not up to our usual standards and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please be assured that we will do our utmost to provide a high-quality service at all times, even if our Headwaiter Jaime Flausino (it was spelled correctly!) is not on duty.
We hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance you might require.


Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

A fantastic location, a very nice property, but so poorly managed!! It takes much more than money to have a nice hotel with a good consumer satisfaction!! A tremendous lack of personal quality and training, specially in F&B!!

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms that are no facing the cooling machines. The view over the Marina and the islands...
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ZeBanaco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you for your review. We regret that you were not entirely satisfied with our customer service. We recognise that there is always room for improvement and we are doing our utmost to correct the points that have been addressed by some of our guests lately on Tripadvisor. However, we would like to add that the general feedback about the courteousness of our staff and the quality of service has been extremely positive and we regret if your experience has been any different.
We are glad that all other aspects of your stay from the location, to the view and facilities corresponded to your expectations and we hope that we will be able to welcome you back to our Hotel for a pleasant stay with a high-quality, efficient and friendly service .

Kind regards



Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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Reviewed October 3, 2011

We had a wonderful stay from start to finish in this first class hotel from check-in to check out all the staff were very friendly and helpful.

Warm friendly welcome on arrival at reception with a very efficient check-in. The receptionist then gave us a great overview of the hotel facilities and of the surrounding area. The trip to the Farol Island that she recommended was first class and so good that we visited twice. For 6.50 euros return you got a great sail along the marina of Olhao and then on to the island of Culatra with its whitewashed cottages and beautiful beaches well worth a visit.

The bedrooms were kept very clean throughout our stay with comfortable beds, frequent changes of bed linen, bathrobes and plenty of fresh clean towels. We stayed in a village view room facing the apartments next door where we caught the late afternoon sun for around 4 hours on the balcony everyday. There was a good selection of English based channels on the TV and the local sports channel showed British football and the rugby world cup which was a bonus.

The buffet breakfast was first class with plenty of choice of hot and cold food, fresh fruit, and breads and even champagne. You could order an omelette, fried or poached eggs. The waiting staff where courteous, efficient and friendly as they served all your needs at breakfast.

There were always sun beds available at the pool and the views overlooking the Ria Formosa was superb. Only problem was waiting 30 minutes for drinks to arrive at the seating area beside the pool, I ordered a beer and a milkshake and thought maybe they had to go to the kitchen for ice cream to make the milkshake, how wrong 5 euros for powered chocolate milk which was not very good. Never mind beer was nice and cool.

Overall I would certainly return to the Real Marina and Olhao as we had a very relaxing enjoyable holiday, thank-you.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank BigSlimJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for having taken the time to write a review about the Real Marina Hotel & SPA. We really appreciated your kind comments and were very pleased that you have had such an enjoyable stay with us. We are also glad that our staff has been able to improve the experience by giving you useful tips and recommendations, not only about the Hotel, but also about Olhão and its islands, which from Farol, to Culatra or Deserta Island are definitely worth a visit.
We sincerely regret that the experience at the Pool Bar did not live up to the other services of the Hotel. Unfortunately, some comments about the pool bar service, received since early September, have been quite negative and we therefore tried to implement some changes that we believe already produced some effect. Since we only know that your stay was in September 2011, we are not sure if it was before or after we tried to react to the comments. In order to be able to analyse if the problem really has been solved satisfactorily, we really would appreciate if you could contact us with your stay dates. We would also like to request future reviewers’ help, by leaving us their feedback about the Pool Bar service, if possible with the approximate date of stay.
Thank you once again for your kind review and we hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA.

Kind regards



Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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Reviewed October 2, 2011

My husband and I stayed here September 2011. Rooms are lovely and clean. We had a standard room which was amazing, very nice and clean. Overall I would say the hotel is a 4star not 5. We went as half board and found the evening meals slighlty dissapointing. Not much choice and therefore ate out at the local restaurants most evenings. The seafood was amazing at these restaurants and very good value for money. There is not much to do in the town so can get slighlty boring if you are there for seven days like us. There is not much to do in the evenings such as good bars etc. There is a beautiful beach which is a 20 minute boat ride from the hotel. We also visited Faro and Albufeira. Overall it was a lovely relaxing stay but cannot see myself returning as not much to do.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank jag042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review.
We are glad that you have spent a lovely time at the Real Marina Hotel & SPA, but regret that you were slightly disappointed by the evening meals. Unfortunately, you did not explain the reason for your disappointment, nor did we understand if this was the only reason why you do not consider us to be a 5 star hotel. We really would appreciate if we could receive further feedback on this, as it would allow us to recognise and correct any possible imperfections. Please do not hesitate to contact us through amendes@hoteisreal.com if you would like to share more details with us.

Kind regards



Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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Reviewed September 29, 2011

We stayed in Real Marina Olhao for a week in August. Overall it was a very good experience and my wife and myself very much enjoyed ourselves. I'm not sure why it has 5 stars and would rate it closer to that of 4. We last stayed in one of the sister hotels in Albufeira namely GRANDE REAL SANTA EULALIA - now this is a 5 star hotel and there is no way you can compare the two.

The staff at Real Marina are very helpful, the rooms are clean well sized and comfortable though maybe a bit clinical. We had a 4th floor sea view which is highly recommended. The breakfasts were just about average and I put this down to the hot foods reaching barely luke warm. We ate one evening in the hotel when staff put an an excellent buffet at the poolside. The poolside bar is the slowest experience I have ever had and was extremely disappointing which again takes away from what is supposed to be 5 stars and lowers the overall scoring of service.

Do eat in the town - lots of local cuisine well priced, fresh and a fish paradise. Olhao is not overrun with pubs and clubs which makes for the relaxing experience.

Take the short taxi ride into Faro and you'll experience the faster side of life. When in Faro spoil yourself at Faz Gosto restaurant - you will not regret it.

In conclusion - have a great stay at Real Marina but expect 4 stars not 5.

Room Tip: Take the Sea view option unless you like having your evening drink overlooking waste ground.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alistair-Ngaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you for having stayed again at the Hotéis Real Algarve and for having taken the time to review the Real Marina Hotel & SPA. We regret that although you had a great experience and enjoyed your time with us, you were not as satisfied with the Real Marina as you were with the Grand Real Santa Eulália. We agree that the Hotels are different and cannot be compared. The Grande Real Santa Eulália is a beach Resort is much bigger and therefore offers a larger number of facilities and services than the Real Marina Hotel & SPA, which, although located close to the most beautiful beaches of the Algarve, is rather a City Hotel. Both have in common the wish to always provide a friendly and high-quality service and we regret that the experience at the Pool Bar of the Real Marina was not up to our usual standards. We have reacted to the comments received regarding the service at the Pool Bar and assure you that we are trying to enhance the quality of the service and believe that improvements can already be felt. We have also passed your comments regarding the temperature of the hot food on the Breakfast Buffet and will also try to solve this as soon as possible.
We hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Real Marina in order to prove you that these two points have been amended and for what will hopefully be a true 5-star experience and another enjoyable stay with us.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Hotel Manager
Real Marina

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Reviewed September 28, 2011

I vacated at this establishment with my good lady the last week in August...Its only now I have had the time to review, so here goes.
The Hotel itself is clearly 5 star without doubt..From the time me and Lady Robertson got there it could not be faulted...The receptionists greet you with big grins and welcome you to Olhao, a tidy little small town which still retains it Portugese identity and so far does not have the British influence of Bars and Clubs etc, which was the attraction for myself and my dear wife.I have heard a few negaitives on the pool bar, which I cant agree with...I was always served promptly and had no problems whatsoever...I think it might of been the fact that being rather portly and wearing a leopard skin thong, I did look slightly like Peter Stringfellow, and this possibly meant I was ushered away from the rest of the guests sooner rather than later.

The pool area has been described as rather small by a minority of reviewers on here, however I would disagree...There is more than enough space for all, and bearing in mind the sun loungers were never all fully booked I cant understand this comment, although we did have a problem trying to get our dinghy into the pool at times, and we did recieve a couple of complaints from other patrons when the oars of the boat would strike them as myself and Lady Robertson were rowing up and down the length of it.

The food at the pool bar was wunderbar, as they say in the German speaking part of Switzerland, with the cheese and ham toasties being one of the more tastier dishes. As far as cost goes , im unsure if it was pricey or not, as our servant carries the purse and pays for everything, so on that I cant comment.

What I will say, is that nothing is too much trouble at this hotel, and without doubt is a credit to the area...

Although only there for a week, it was long enough...Not that I didnt enjoy the place , but it was the howling of dogs at night which tipped me towards the end....Someone did mention something about dogs in an earlier review, and I think mentioned a three legged one they had seen...we too saw this dog down at the waterfront....Turns out his name is Colin and he lost it when he jumped into the sea trying to fetch a stick and it got bitten off by a shark....So his owner said , but I think he was just trying to make converstion.

On a more serious note, there was one night where I felt disapointed....Myself and Fifi, had gorged ourselves on chocolate and burgers all day, when we came across the Indian Hut in the old part of the town....I would recommend this restaurant to everyone who likes a taste of Africa as it is home cooked in an open kitchen, and is absolutely sulubrious....The trouble we had was because our eyes are bigger than our bellys, we didnt even make a hole in it, and basically it was thirty euros down the drain....However I wish we had went back, but we never did....

Two days before flying home we decided to visit the Islands of the Ria Formosa, which must be visited if in Olhao....The water taxi at the front of the Hotel take you there for a few Euros, and there is achoice of three Islands....I cant remember the first ones name, the second one is Ilha De Farol (Lighthouse Island), and the third one is Ilha De Deserta (The desert Island)..The deserted Island one is a bit of a con as there were clearly people on it, so how they can claim its deserted is beyond me...Anyway we ended up on the Lighthouse one and was not disapointed...Theres not much to do but it was enjoyable none the less...The taxi picked us up again a few hours later, and we enjoyed singing several sea shantys with the Captain of the ship and his Best Mate.on the way back....A never to be forgotten experience as they were singing in Portugese, and I was singing in Doric.

Onto the shopping in OlhaoNow you may ask is there much....And as Paul Daniels used to say on some game show years ago.."Not a Lot"....
There is "small shopping"..which is the Ria shopping centre, and "Big shopping" which is in Faro....We went to both, and ended up spending a small fortune....I didnt mind however as I had won the lottery only two weeks before, although the tenner didnt last long...so remember to take plenty of money if your intending doing the shopping trips.

One last point I forgot to mention was the breakfasts.....Lovely.....A good selection of hot and cold food on offer, which meant we were never short of choice....Its a buffet style which means you can go up as much as you want.....This suited my partner as she is quite greedy, and instead of having to overload her plate just the once, she was able to overload her plate twice, and on two occasions three times.....with no complaint from the Hotel staff.

Over the piece we enjoyed a fabuous vacation, and would definately come back.....I dont think it will be next year as were thinking of Nepal, but anyhow 10 outa 10.

Room Tip: I would imagine the rooms at the front are quiter and eradicate the barking of the dogs that roam th...
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank Robbo180
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Real Marina Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your kind and entertaining review, which we really enjoyed reading.
We are very glad that you have spent such a pleasant time at our Hotel and that almost everything corresponded or even exceeded your expectations. We regret however if you were disturbed by barking of dogs, a problem which in fact had never been commented before, but we will pay attention to this.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Real Marina Hotel & SPA, hopefully next year after your Nepal trip and remain at your entire disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards


Jorge Teixeira
Manager
Real Marina

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Real Marina Hotel & Spa

Address: Avenida 5 de Outubro, Olhao 8700-307, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Olhao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Olhao
Price Range: $62 - $252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Real Marina Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 144
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Also Known As:
Real Marina Hotel And Spa
Real Marina Hotel Olhao

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