Just back from a great week long stay at the Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
We really enjoyed the hotel and its facilities. It’s a really new modern hotel with lovely rooms and great pools, gym and spa.
We would definitely return.
Only one negative experience which is worth mentioning. The queue for breakfast in the mornings was annoying. For the first few days of our stay, the hotel was obviously very busy and this resulted in a queue to get seated in the restaurant for breakfast. Some people were queuing for maybe 10 mins. This was only really a problem for the first 3 days we were there. After that getting a seat was no problem. However, all week, there was also a queue for the omelette station. Maybe for 10-15 mins each morning, so much so that my husband was finished his breakfast by the time I sat down usually. This wasn’t ideal and having a 2nd person on this station would have made a huge difference. Although I didn’t really want to spend that time queuing, I love having an omelette for my breakfast and so it was worth the wait. However on about the 4th morning, there was an incident at the omelette station. I ordered my omelette (in English – the omelette chef speaking very good English, as I had known from previous mornings). She then said something to me in another language which I didn’t understand. She kept repeating herself and eventually I said that I didn’t understand at which point she just started laughing – and then went off to go about her business. I was quite annoyed as I didn’t really know what was after happening and I felt that she was laughing at me rather than trying to be friendly. Anyway, as I’m still waiting in the queue for my omelette I tell myself just to forget about it and don’t let it ruin my day. But what happens next made the whole thing worse. The omelette chef then proceeds to ask the girl behind me what she wants. This girl is speaking in another foreign language and the chef is obviously having difficulty understanding here (real or put on I’m not sure). So the girl ordering walks around to where the ingredients are set out in a dispenser and points to the ingredients she wants – now she was extremely polite in the way she went about this, but the chef obviously thought this was hilarious as she starts laughing behind her back, throwing her eyes up to heaven and then starts looking around at a few others in the queue trying to join them in her little joke. I was absolutely moritifed for the girl in question who had no idea what was going on but the chef was obviously having a particularly childish day and felt like having a bit of fun at the guests expense that morning. She clearly has a very distorted view of what is acceptable in a customer facing role. In any event, I stayed away from the omelette station for the remainder of my holiday, as I did not wish to have a repeat of that mornings events.
Having said the above, this was an isolated event, limited to one member of staff and I would not let it put anyone off coming to this hotel.
Lovely new modern hotel – very clean
Rooms are spacious and luxurious
Beds are extremely comfortable
Spa, Indoor Pool and Gym are all 5 star
Good selection at breakfast & lunch
Outdoor pools are good and there were enough sunbeds.
Location is about 5Km from Albufeira and in a quiet area – you need a car
The Spa doesn’t offer beauty treatments – just massage and facials
The hairdressers is closed permanently
There is always a long queue for the omelette station (10-15 mins)
Sunbeds at the pool are uncomfortable and many are damaged or dirty
Staff were generally polite and efficient, but were not what I would describe as 5-star trained.
Would have preferred if the indoor and outdoor pools were heated.
The bar in the evenings did not seem to have much atmosphere and was very quiet.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel Sao Rafael Atlantico enjoy a spectacular location overlooking the Atlantic sea, direct access to Sao Rafael Beach and only at a short drive to Albufeira centre. The interiors have contemporary design features with space and light throughout. The rooms are modern and have large balconies with views over the sea and gardens. The extensive gardens offer a beautiful mediterranean landscape with olive and palm trees. There is also a state-of-the-art SPA featuring leading wellness therapies and treatments. ... more less
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