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Sao Rafael Atlantico
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Reviews (1,214)
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421 - 426 of 1,214 reviews
Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I chose this hotel specifically because the CS group's website suggests it when you select 'adults only hotel' on its search function. We don't have, nor want to spend our holiday with children but unfortunately there were more than a few there over Easter (can't understand why parents would take children there as there's nothing to entertain them as far as we could tell). Children aside, the hotel is not 5 star by UK standards; probably more like 3.5. There are cosmetic issues like patches of chipped wallpaper and water stains on ceilings which take the shine off an otherwise smart, modern hotel. Our non-smoking room suffered from the smell of cigarettes coming in through the toilet/shower vents which was not pleasant. Nor was the lingering smell of sulpher in the toilet. The hallways are part carpet, part tiled which makes it ridiculously noisey with people walking past. The on-demand film system has problems which means the film you've paid $9.99 for jams, won't restart or keeps cutting out - we gave up after 8 attempts and the hotel refunded the charge. The toilettries provided were basic; bath gel, body lotion and shampoo - no conditioner?! You don't even get that much in the spa though, where you're expected to wash hair and body with the hand wash! That spoilt an otherwise relaxing afternoon in the spa as I had to return to the room to re-shower and wash (but not condition!) my tangled barnet! You get access to the spa facilities with a treatment or you can pay €10 which seems reasonable. Another downside though is you have to wear a swimming hat in the pool and jacuzzi which can be purchased for €5 (although this didn't seem to be enforced as one man felt the rules didn't apply to him and got away with it). Food at the buffet was average, the breakfast queues ridiculous but the a la carte restaurant should not be missed. We had a wonderful meal in there for a very reasonable price. There is nowhere nearby to eat or drink outside of the hotel with the nearest place being the 'old town' part of Albufeira. It's a 15 minute taxi ride which costs less than €10 and has bars and restaurants aplenty. It is nice for a daytime trip out, but be prepared for the stereotypical 'Brits abroad' and by evening, it turns into a tacky hen/stag paradise, all about loud music and cheap booze.
We didn't use the three pools (the brown tiles don't make the water look appealing) and the sea-view restaurant was closed as out of season.
The few plus points of the hotel; the staff were very helpful, professiobal and courteous and spoke very good English. The lobby bar was pleasant for some drinks, massages in the spa were very good and not priced unreasonably. There is a private beach which is a plus point, and our sea-view room was very nice.
To sum up, we didn't have an awful holiday, but it certainly wasn't the standard we expect from a 5 star hotel. Would we return? No, but those who prefer a slower pace, quiet surroundings and not a lot going on would undoubtedly enjoy it.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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3  Thank lovetheelf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

Great location. Minutes to a beautiful beach.

The service was excellent and staff are welcoming and friendly. Children can use the kids club up the road at the Atlantic Suites but my daughter didn't,the outdoor pool and beach kept her occupied. The breakfast is amazing plenty of variety. The only downside here is the limited access to Wi-fi.

Room Tip: Apparently Rooms on 4th floor
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank ChigwellFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2014

Stayed here with my family but is was very quiet. Not music in almost any area. It was boring for my vacations.The suite was fantastic with beautiful luxury rooms. The food was good. The barman took little care who is next on line was disappointing though . Pool water is warm and is big. The beach was rough stayed for a short time. Initially, booked the other hotel with the same name but it did not have access to the beach, that's when we decided to pay the difference and moved to this one. When booking on (Booking.com) was not easy to tell if both had access to the beach. If you have all included, you need to get it yourself.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank mcardenas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014

One of the best hotels. Location is great on the coast with its own beach. The gardens are really good. The Spa is excellent. Food is superb. Rooms are clean and comfortable. You cannot ask for more. Staff are friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: We had a garden room which was superb.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank EXPATMAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Stayed in this hotel during low season in March, and seemed to own the whole place. Very quiet indeed, a great place to relax. Set among beautiful landscaped gardens with many palm trees, modern architecture and decor of minimalist style.
Stayed in a suite on level 4, huge space with 2 large balconies overlooking the swimming pools and the sea beyond. Liked the design of open plan bathroom, walk-in shower room and separate room for toilet/bidet.
For dinner only the a la carte restaurant was open. Food was outstanding, with a modern twist. I also had the best tasting club sandwich in the bar one afternoon. I must salute the chef for achieving such high culinary standard.
Great massage, in-door swimming pool nice and warm. The spa was closed for maintenance for 2 days during my stay. There were many facilities but not as good as I had expected, jet stream not relaxing and Turkish bath had strong aroma.
Wifi only available in lobby and bar area, not in the bedrooms.
Nice walk down to 2 beautiful beaches with stunning rocky landscape, but beach restaurant closed at this time of the year.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
3  Thank Stanley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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