Context: Stayed for a week, returning 29/06/13. We are a 2 parent family of 2 children - Boy 9 and Girl 7.
Hotel: Modern and spacious, the hotel is spotlessly clean and has most of the things you would expect of a 4 star hotel.
Gym - small overlooking the pool containing 2 running machines, 2 bikes, 2 cross trainers, 1 weights machine - says over 16's only but children were frequently in there. Fine for the casual gym enthusiast - lacking if you are a gym nut.
Pool 1 - Large outdoor pool (unheated), largely around 1m to 1m 40 in depth, surrounded by tables, sun loungers and grass - It was plenty warn enough whilst we were there for us and kids to be happy in the pool for an hour+ at a time.(30 degrees outside temperature most days)
Pool 2 - next to pool one - shallow baby / toddler pool
Pool 3 - indoor heated pool (through open glass doors from pool 1) including waterfall, Jacuzzi, showers - VERY warm pool bordering on hot.
Bar 1 - Outside and opened at c 10am till 7pm (or until demand dried up). Serves food and drink and ice cream plus pool table outside
Play area - smallish play area but good to amuse kids now and again
Games room -(small) with pool table, air Hockey, pinball, whacksey taxi,
Internet Room - 2 free to use computers connected to web, useable by 16yrs plus
Small shop selling suncream (which is expensive everywhere so take plenty), postcards, vending machine.
Bar 2 - indoors selling same as bar 1
Restaurant - for breakfast, all meals,
We arrived at midday and whilst our rooms weren't ready, they offered to keep our luggage, gave us a room to get changed in (for the pool) and we were given our wristbands for free entry to the adjoining waterpark so all facilities available within 10 minutes of arriving - great service, efficient and they did the same on the last day as our flights were evening ones. When we did get our family room, it consisted of 2 large modern rooms essentially with a partition door between the 2. Each room had a balcony, fridge (which you could store water beer etc), table in and out, 2 single beds (pushed together) TV (only foreign channels except sky news), shower room, Air con, hair-dryer and a safe. Note that internet is available but only via a cable so take your laptop as I pods / pads can't connect! Tip here would be to ask for a pool view room as our waterpark view room is also overlooking a busy road so noisy when outside. That said, when it came to sleep, with the blackout blinds and double glazed patio, the sound of outside was only feint. Rooms cleaned every day , new towels, toiletries as you expect.
We stayed bed and breakfast and glad we did.
Breakfast - very good served 0730 - 1030 and had everything you would expect - English (bacon, eggs etc), juice, coffee, hot choc, melon, nuts, cereal, croissants (4 types), ham, cheese, toast, rolls. The coffee was a bit disappointing (but I am a coffee snob!) and the full English should have been hotter as think there was an issue with the hotplates when we were there but other than that it was excellent - loads of choice, fresh, well presented and staff helpful and cleared stuff away very promptly.
The evening buffet is 60 euros for a family of 4 (20 per adult, 10 per child) for all you can eat 3 courses - we had this once and it was ok with a reasonable choice but again the hotplate issue meant some of the food was not as hot as it should have been. I would definitely recommend b and b because when we searched around, half board was about £400 more per week for a family of 4 than b and b and you can get the half board by paying each day (60 euro per day) for 420 euros so you don't gain anything by booking half board. If you go b and b you have flexibility to order from the bar menu which we did find very good. Prices for a 12 inch chicken and pineapple pizza (hot and very good and in my opiniin better than the evening food) was 10 Euro, Beefburger and chips was 7 euro, salad 7 euro (lots of mayonnaise!). You can also mix and match so if some of your party want the buffet they can have that at the same time as others can order from the bar menu.
Drinks: Despite what some people have written on here I thought the prices were ok. I'll list a few then you can decide what is reasonable. Draught Beer 400ml was 3.5Euro. Bottles of imported beer like corona were 4 euro, local bottle beer (33cl) 3.00 euro. They had a promo on whilst we were there for a local 5.2% alc. lager by 33cl bottle for 1.50 euro. It tasted good. Wine was c 10euro, Large bottle of water (150cl) was 3,50 euros. Mojitos and most cocktails were c 6 euro (some cheaper)
Ice Creams - the usual makes of ice cream plus carte d'or by cone or tub
Wi-Fi - available in reception for free
Kids club: We were there in term time and never having used a kids club before wasn't expecting to here either but our kids spotted a game of hot potato (water bombs!) by the pool and became inquisitive. Richard who runs the club was very friendly and welcoming and soon the kids were tearing around throwing water everywhere and having a great time playing with many children (mainly Spanish, French and portugese) who then became friends to play with whenever we were back at the pool. The kids club wasn't one of those clubs I would expect to drop the kids off at 9am and pick them back up at 5pm (don't know if you could do that but I wouldn't want to do that anyway) but our kids dipped in and out for 2-3 hours each evening (4-6 when we were there) having masses of fun playing simple games (water fights, musical chairs, quizzes, football, tig, bingo, colouring etc). Richard was really good and great with kids, He also holds a fun photo session at the end of the week where the kids can use props and have their photos taken by the pool. They can be bought for just 2 euros a photo and we bought 5 that were duly e-mailed to us. (Again a bit of fun but my 7 yr. old loved pretending to be a model!)
Location - there is no getting away from the fact that it is not the centre of things - the waterpark is 200m away so that was great but you need a car or taxi if you want to explore. We caught taxis - very efficient (never waited longer than 10 minutes) and prices ranged from 7 to 11 euros each way into Villamoura (great beaches, beautiful harbour, nice restaurants) or Quateria (gret beach, less nice of a town, didn't eat at the restaurants). So taxi's were a bit pricey but even at a return trip every day, then cheaper than a car. There is a restaurant about 300m away which looked nice but we didn't end up eating there and then about 1.1km there is another complex with pub on site you could go to. However the road down there is busy and the pavement is sometimes narrow - it was ok to walk down but not relaxing even with older children and you do feel a little exposed. I would not want to walk into town for example (3km before getting to better pavements). there is a courtesy bus (which we took) but only once a day and it leaves at 09:00 returning at 16:30.
Waterpark - free entry was fabulous - I would rate the park as 5 star too for facilities, cleanliness etc etc but won't go into that here as I am reviewing the hotel. (I will write a review of the waterpark too)
Pool view room, you can buy stuff in the supermarkets and store in your fridges to keep cost down and for a change. Book bed and breakfast, order the bar menu, fill up on the buffet breakfasts
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aquashow Park Hotel is a 4 star Hotel ideal if you are looking for vacations between Quarteira and Vilamoura. We are located in a peaceful place, secure and far from the constant agitation of the center. At the same time we are very close to all the fun, attractions, in the Biggest Aquatic Park, Thematic Park and Funniest Park of the Algarve, The Aquashow. Come visit us at any time of the year, as the Algarve is a very privileged place because of the excellent weather and for having the sun shining all year. In addition to the numerous pools that the Aquashow Park has, the Hotel is no exception and it has 3 swimming pools, one of which is heated and a Jacuzzi. If on one side you prefer the sea waves, you can enjoy the Pool Wave of Aquashow Park or even have a 5 minutes' drive away to be in some of the nearby beaches. It is the perfect place to relax after a day full of emotions in Aquashow Park. The quality and the efficiency offered at all levels, from the staff to the location and infrastructures, until the technologies and the innovator design - these are our advantages. Located in the Algarve, on the principal way out to the highway A22, in Quarteira, the Hotel has at your disposal 148 rooms, 3 of them are adapted for people who have reduced mobility. Every guest has free access to the Aquashow Fun Park during their stay between May 1st and September 30th. Come and get to know our new slides and challenge your family to get on this world of fun. We want you to spend your vacations and unforgettable moments in our company! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aquashow Park Hotel Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal