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“Great stay - brilliant hotel, with great facilities”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great stay - brilliant hotel, with great facilities”
Reviewed June 16, 2014

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.

Pros:

Lovely new modern hotel – very clean
Rooms are spacious and luxurious
Beds are extremely comfortable
Spa, Indoor Pool and Gym are all 5 star
Fabulous beach
Good selection at breakfast & lunch
Outdoor pools are good and there were enough sunbeds.

Cons:

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.

Room Tip: A car is needed to get the most from your holiday if staying in this hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jackie0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear guest,

We are thankful for your review.
All the aspects you have mentioned deserve all our attention and for sure will help us to correct some imperfections and avoid them to happen again in the future. We apologise for any inconvenience and hope to have the chance to show you that these are not our standards. Hope to welcome you in the future and share with you a great experience!

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2014

Hi,

We have just got back from a weekend stay at the Sao Rafael Atlantic and I must admit this is perhaps one of the best hotels I have been to. We have been to Hilton (Dubai), Marriott (London), Renaissance (Malaysia), Hyatt (Bali) but this hotel is right up there. I cannot praise enough the support we got from Sonia at the front desk - from arranging an amazing complimentary cake, chocolates and drinks for our Wedding Anniversary prior to our arrival to helping us with taxis, locations among other things. She was fantastic!!!

Rooms were top notch - panoramic views, massive bed, huge showers
Breakfast was great with tonnes of choice
Hotel's private beach was breath taking
Swimming pools were fantastic - my 2.5 year old son literally stayed in these for the most part of our trip
Children's play area in the Sao Rafael Suite hotel (sister hotel) was also amazing. we left our child with the staff, Veira and Vanessa and they did a brilliant job in looking after our child who has never stayed away from us for a prolonged period. My son thoroughly enjoyed the bouncing castle, drawing and lego facilities.
SPA facilities were brilliant
Albufeira town centre was about 15 minutes away - costs around 10-15 euros one way´

I could probably go on and on but I will just end it saying, We will be BACK!

Thanks Sao Rafael Atlantic for making our stay so amazing.

Room Tip: All rooms are great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shairaz A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear guests,

First of all, thank you for choosing to stay at São Rafael Atlantic hotel.
As you could notice, we have the two hotels in the same location and we feel proud to know that we could give to you all the things you could expect from us in order to have a great time!
Looking forward to see you again!

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2014

We stayed 2 nights at this hotel. It was easy to find with the satnav, however do be careful as there is another CS Sao Rafael hotel right up the road (called the Suite Hotel).

The room is of modern interior, clean and spacious. We booked a seaview room, and the view from the room was breathtaking. Bathroom was open-plan, clean and modern. The sea view room (and i think all rooms) come with a balcony, which was excellent.

We had lunch at the pool bar; service was average as was the food, however the price was reasonable. The breakfast buffet offered a wide selection of food, fruits and baked goods, including a egg station offering eggs cooked to your choice.

The hotel is a short walk (5 minutes) from the Sao Rafael beach. The hotel offers 3 shuttles a day to Albufuiera old town, another transport option would be a taxi (8 euros).

Overall I would recommend this place!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chia Ven L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Guests,

We really appreciate your comment and more than that, we are thankful for your preference.
We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you again!

Best wishes
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2014

This was the perfect place for a very relaxing - not do loads - kind of break.
The room was very luxurious and the service was great.
We ate in the restaurant most evenings as the food was superb. Didn't try the buffet.
Perfect hotel for this time of year.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Low Cost Holidays

Helpful?
Thank 849matt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Mr. Matthew,

Thank you so much for your review.
Your satisfaction makes us proud and look forward for your next visit. Will be a pleasure to see you returning for another relaxing break.

Yours sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2014 via mobile

Very nice hotel. The seeview room is amazing and has a lot of space. The poolarea is also very beautiful. Breakfast is huge and tasty. Friendly stuf. Only a short Walk to the beautiful sao rafael beach. In to town there is a free shutel 3 times a day or by taxi 8 euros. Would recommend this place!

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler_anomar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear guests,

Thank you so much for choosing São Rafael Atlantic hotel.
We were very pleased to welcome you and feel very happy with your satisfaction.
We look forward to see you again in a near future!

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Myself and my husband stayed at the São Rafael in May 2014. I had booked the hotel having read good reviews about it. They let us check in early which is always appreciated. The hotel staff in general were polite and helpful with questions we had and over all we were happy with our stay. There were a couple of minor instances but they're not a reflection on the hotel. My only comments would be that breakfast could go on a little later, more chefs at the egg station and the room AC to be reviewed - we could not get our room cool during our stay. This was our first European 5* hotel we were satisfied with it, the grounds, pool etc and view from the rooms are lovely.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Dear Laura,

Thank you for taking the time to write this review, which will contribute to improve the quality of our service.
Your presence made us pride and very satisfied.


Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2014

We booked this hotel because of its location close to Albufeira, Sao Rafael beach is really beautiful and the 4th best beach in Europe! It also has a secret beach... if you can find it!! We stayed here for 4 nights at the end of May 2014 and left the children at home with family. It only take a thirty minute transfer from Faro airport and if you book in advnace will only cost you around £42 return. A very spacious reception and hotel all beautifully designed architecturally. The rooms are extremely spacious and worth upgrading to a seaview. A truely lovely, peaceful and tranquil location and an ideal resort unwind. The hotel itself has large palm tree gardens which leads down to it's own private beach which is very clean and quiet. Inside the hotel you have the choice of 2 restaurants, 2 bars one inside and one pool bar. We stayed half-board and there is so much to choose from at Breakfast and Evening Meals... all of the food, even though a buffet arrangement are A' La Carte standard. A superb spa with a heated pools, flotation pools, steam room, Turkish Bath, jacuzzi and massage rooms. The area surrounding the hotel is very quiet so a quick 5 minute taxi for around €7 to Albufeira Old Town to take in the windy streets for shopping, restaurants and atmospheric bars with live entertainment. Or around €9 to take you to the New Town and it's lively strip, to have a few drinks with louder music, cocktails and nightclubs. What an absolutely stunning hotel, that is perfectly situated to reach both of the different sides of Albufeira... We couldn't recommend it any higher, it's a must go!! As others have said, If you are looking for a 5* hotel for 4* prices then this is the hotel for you!! Many Thanks to all the management and staff at the hotel, who made our holiday.

Room Tip: Choose a sea-view room if you can, although any of the rooms are brilliant.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Dear Mr. Paul,

Thank you so much for your kind words!
We feel very proud to realise that your expectations were exceeded. That is the reason that we work for, and "hear" this from our guests it is a proud. Hope to welcome you again in a near future!

Kind regards
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 Sao Rafael Atlantico

Property: Sao Rafael Atlantico
Address: Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal (Formerly São Rafael Atlantic Hotel)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Sesmarias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sao Rafael Atlantico 5*
Number of rooms: 149
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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