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“This is a Gem....!”

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Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Olhao
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This is a Gem....!”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

A spur of the moment booking. Having visited the Algarve many, many, times over the past 30 years but have I have only once before stopped over in Olhao (pronounced OL-YOY) for a quick coffee whilst 'en route' to Spain. Reading the description of the Real Marina Hotel & Spa instantly appealed as ideal location for a quiet break for an off season, non tourist (eg, loud nightclubs or cheap tacky shops) genuine Algarve experience - this ticked every box.....!!!!

The Real Marina Hotel is quite superb, Staff are fantastic with an honest liking of their Guests. Reception was warm and friendly and being an ex-Hotelier was so impressed for the time that was taken to describe all facilities and experiences available.

This is a large Hotel but the standard of cleanliness throughout is worthy of mention. The rating is 5 Stars and for the Algarve it is - I'm responding to a review from "agnuk".

Accommodation was excellent, we enjoyed at a sea view room (some extra cost but no complaint, I guess one could always ask for an upgrade but that would be at the discretion of the Management if it was granted). A superb bathroom complete with quality FoC shampoos, and general toiletries plus complimentary bathrobes. A spacious bedroom, ample balcony with a table and chairs. We asked for twin beds and these were excellent resulting sound sleep. Fridge, tv with some English speaking channels. Air con', auto heating, keyless room entry, everything there. A quick confession, we did take our own travel kettle.

Buffet breakfast, in my opinion, as good as such a facility can be offered, it was fastidiously prepared and monitored. Checks regularly made on temperatures of the hot food impressed me.

I noticed on TripAdvisor that there were some adverse comments regarding the Table Service - what utter nonsense .... the clearing of used cutlery and platters was swift, unobtrusive and entirely suitable for the scale of the operation - my thanks to the Management for putting on this standard of service. FULL MARKS.

Dependant on what you are seeking, or, how long one is staying, but I found the Restaurant expensive but only in comparison to local venues. For me, if I want to eat somewhat formally then I do that here in UKGB but whilst in Olhao or anywhere on vacation it has to be where the locals eat informally. Sorry about that to the Real Marina Hotel Management....!

The leisure facilities are great, fantastic outside heated "infinity" pool on the first floor but for me was the Spa pool and Gym - free towels, where ever do you get this...?

If you want Night Clubs, theme or Sports Bars, all day English Breakfasts and sandy beaches its not for you. However, if you want a 'chilled out' relaxing and genuine Algarve experience then the Real Marina and Spa is a serious option.

Room Tip: Go for sea view. We were on 2nd floor, no problems facing East so sun on balcony till early PM. The...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Roger M
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Bolton, UK
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

This is a lovely hotel and we really enjoyed our stay. The position is great, the rooms at the front have lovely views, are spacious and very comfortable. Two issues though took the edge off what would have been a perfect stay.

We booked bed and breakfast which usually suits us, there's lots of choice to eat out in Olhao, some really good restaurants too. We did however take an evening meal at the hotel for the Fado night. The music was superb, the meal less so. My main consisted of salmon au gratin . It was overcooked , fairly dry, the cheese topping, a strange concept on salmon in the first place, chewy and tasteless and plate was filled up with rocket leaves. The rice was simple, boiled and also tasteless, almost like the "boil in the bag"variety. All very ordinary. The music however came to the rescue and saved the night.

Issue two was like something from an episode of Faulty Towers. We'd bought a bottle of white wine at one of the local shops, it was a nice evening so we thought we'd have an aperitif on our room's balcony before going out. I'd no corkscrew, nor was there one in the minibar so I trotted off to reception to see where I could borrow one. I was stunned by the answer I got. The lady manning the desk explained to me, in a somewhat officious manner, that whilst the hotel is quite happy to open bottles where wine has been bought in the hotel, if guests choose to buy wine from outside "their procedure" Is to charge €7.

Instinct kicked in before I had a chance really to think it through fully , I suppose I was taken aback that a 5 star hotel should have a procedure detailing what to do if a guest asks for a corkscrew, so I just said "I'm not paying that" and turned to walk away.

This is where it gets even more bizarre. I was immediately summoned back and told that on this occasion she would send someone to the room to open the bottle and there would be no charge. So in an instant, we went full circle from being asked to pay €7, me opening the bottle, to being offered free opening without me having to lift a finger.

More or less as soon as I got back to the room, this poor young lad turned up with said corkscrew. I don't know what she'd said to him about me but he looked terrified. Perhaps she'd made out I was some sort of ogre but between us though we managed to open it and we had our glass of wine on the terrace as planned. All seriously hard work though.

These two little issues really didn't spoil our stay which was wonderful but the trouble is, I've a feeling that whenever I look back on our holiday in Olhao in years to come, possibly my first recollection will be the attempted €7 charge for borrowing a corkscrew. I hope not.

Room Tip: The rooms at the front have great views.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RossyFan
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk
Level Contributor
84 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

The positives of this hotel are location, great design, lovely rooms and very pleasant and attentive staff. The position overlooking the Ria Formosa is lovely and to be able to see the effects of light on the water from the vantage point of the hotel terrace is wonderful.
Minor points let the hotel down namely a disingenuous approach to charging for water in the room (if you have to pay then put a collar on the bottle saying so but most classy hotels and even bed and breakfasts don't charge), patchy wifi connection and a good but not five star breakfast buffet.
Olhao is a good base for a few days with plenty of good restaurants and feel that it is a proper town and not Britsville. Overall good value and location.
Note to the management; some of the points I have raised have been commented on in previous reviews and met with a bland acknowledgement. They are not costly to implement so why not do it and achieve a true five star rating?

Room Tip: If you can afford the extra a front room will enable you to watch the changing scenes on the Ria For...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank suffolkpunch56
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

If you come expecting this to be a 5 star hotel you will be disappointed.However,you are not paying 5 star prices(except in the bar where a glass of house wine was an exhorbitant 6 Euros)
If you want a quiet place to sit and read in the hotel you will not find one.I did not see one comfortable chair or settee in the hotel.The only "lounge" area is between the reception and the dining room and all there is to sit on are standard tables and chairs.Very poor for a supposedly 5 Star hotel.The other major problem we found was that the hotel was noisy.You will want a room overlooking the Marina and not the desolate waste ground at the rear of the hotel.The problem then is that there is a well used road between the hotel and the marina with a fair amount of traffic but also the hotel is opposite a large parking area and whilst we were at the hotel it was used four or five nights for by the local youth as a meeting place where they could stay until around 2 or 3am playing their radios.We were totally unable to sleep without closing the balcony doors.
The rooms were acceptable and so was the breakfast.Most of the staff were very good but the assistant manager in the dining room could do with some retraining.When a young mother was having a little trouble with her child she asked one of the girls cleaning the tables if she would get her a tea bag and the assistant manager told the girl she couldn't fetch the tea bag as breakfast was " self service " !!!!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank alannewton45
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Just returned from a fantastic week at this hotel. The staff was friendly, the delicious breakfast offered many option, and just a five minute walk from the town of Olhao along the waterfront. We will return!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank k1029384756
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
95 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

This hotel is fairly new, and is the highest graded hotel ever in Olhao.
Rated 5star in Portuguese terms, in truth it is 4star by international standards.
Nevertheless, the room value is extraordinarily keen!
I stayed here last month and got a great deal.
Best of all, it's only a short stroll down the vibrant waterfront to a huge variety of eateries.

Room Tip: Probably ask for a room at the front of the hotel, with balconies overlooking the sea.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mick M
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tipperary, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I are eagerly looking forward to our mid May break in the real Marina hotel and spa. This is our sixth visit in just three years, yes you guessed it we love both the hotel and the town of Olhao itself, the Ria Formosa nature reserve and salt lagoons and the barrier islands with their wonderful array of wildlife is a big plus for me as I work for the national Parks and Wildlife Service in Ireland and seeing the storks, flamingos, spoonbills, avocets and much more exotic species is really enjoyable. My wife loves the poolside and of course the lovely shops along the narrow cobbled streets, the Market on Saturday mornings is just a few yards from the hotel entrance and well worth a look. I cannot praise the staff of the hotel highly enough,they are always available to give advice or have a quick chat.We have become close friends with some of them and we really can't wait to go back. if it's a quiet relaxing restful break you need well this is the place for you, Sean Breen.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
12 Thank rangerbreen
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 review, April 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Due to the implementation of a new Property Management system, we have not been able to reply individually and personally to all reviews as we usually do, but we wanted to thank you for having taken the time to share your feedback with us and assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration. As soon as possible, we will start replying to each one of your kind comments and reviews individually.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to one of the Hotéis Real Algarve.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Manager
Real Marina Hotel & SPA
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Real Marina Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 144
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Real Marina Hotel And Spa
Real Marina Hotel Olhao

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