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“Happy Ending”

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Pestana Dom Joao II
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We booked via Jet2 into the Pestana Delphim hotel in Alvor after choosing this hotel as it was reviewed as good for couples. On arrival we find a reception teeming with children, despite choosing to book outside the British school holidays to avoid this. We were unaware that Portuguese schools go back two weeks later. When we got to the very pleasant receptionist Sylvia on the desk I expressed a desire for a lower floored room due to my husband's bad knee which happened after we booked the holiday. Sylvia then informed us that the hotel was actually overbooked so we would be put up in a sister hotel nearby in one of their apartments on the complex. We could stay the one night or if we liked the whole holiday. We were sent to have lunch and decide. The restuarant resembled a school canteen with children running everywhere so we made our decision to give the other hotel a try. We were bused over to the Pestana Dom Joao II and we were impressed immediately with the totally calmer atmosphere. The apartment was at the far end of the complex requiring a good 5-8 minute walk to the main hotel building where we would have to have all meals and drinks to still be all inclusive. It doesn't sound far but with bad knees it was painful at times. The apartment was lovely though, very modern and extremely well apointed, fully fitted kitchenette and nice furnishings but best of all a fabulous view over the lovely beach.
We stayed all 14 days and were well satisfied despite the sometimes annoying comments from the waiters when we pointed out our all inclusive bands "Oh you no pay". We were quick to point out that we had paid in advance and unfair when it was not our fault. We later found out that this overbooking was happening repeatedly so that many of the Delfim's guests ended up in this hotel in the apartments up for sale or rent.
Overall a pleasant holiday was had, the staff were mostly friendly although the men on the reception desk sometimes were a little abrupt. The food was generally pretty good although more choice of the mains would have made it better. Saying this there was always a fish dish and two meat choices, but the salads and desserts many more choices.The entertainment left a lot to be desired however my husband and I aren't that bothered and in the second week we went out more. Probably the worst aspect of the hotel was the very hard beds in the apartment and all the sunbeds.
We will visit Portugal again but I don't think it will be to a Pestana hotel unless they sort out their booking problems although a bad start did have a happy ending.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cyprusl0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was my 6th trip to Portugal, so I was expecting to enjoy the food and friendliness that has always drawn me back. However I was very disappointed on both fronts at this hotel. Whilst the fresh fruit & salad bars were fine, the quality of the cooked food was unacceptable for a 4 star rated hotel...more bone than chicken and hunt the fish in the fish dishes!
Another disappointing factor was the unfriendly and standoffish manner of some of the bar and reception staff. Speaking to other people, they agreed. Several times I felt invisible standing at the reception desk for several minutes while staff were directly in front of me using the computer without even aknowliding my presence, if only to say that they would be with me in a few momments because they were busy.
There were no facilities in the bedrooms for making tea & coffee, which I would expect in a four star hotel.

The beach and gardens of the hotel were beautiful, and the location of the hotel meant that it was quiet, away from Alvor town centre, but within easy walking distance to reach. The bus services to other towns were also very good, and the bus stop right outside the hotel.

This hotel does not warrant more than a three star status as it currently stands in the service provided. I spoke to quite a lot of other guests, including several who have stayed there many times, and all agreed it had fallen in standards compared to previous visits.

The hotel (and several others nearby), was overbooked, and I was told by some affected guests, that about 15 lots of people who arrived the same day as us, were moved around to different hotels as a result.

Room Tip: I paid for an upgraded room with sea view, but the view directly infront of us was of an ugly roof...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank PaulineBruce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was our second visit to this hotel (the first being in 2010),on this occasion we booked a sea view room(228) which unfortunately turned into a side sea view room, you could see the sea if you hung over the balcony railing and looked right ,I had e-mailed Pestana previous to try to make sure we got a good room and they replied saying they would try to arrange it (if they had wanted to they could have ) .I complained only to be told we had to wait 3 days into a 7 day holiday to be moved ,then into a room no better so we stayed where we were .In all fairness the room apart from the lack of a view was good ,kept spotless by the lovely maid.
. The location of the hotel as has been said is superb just walk out the garden gate and you’re on the beach perfect for a midday stroll to Alvor on the right or to the rock formations to the left. There are plenty of beach bars to choose from all seem reasonable .We chose to sunbathe in the garden where there is ample shade provided by bushes and trees or if you prefer by the pool where parasols are provided. We only used the indoor pool once because the water was like a greasy soup due to people gaining access by a left open fire escape and going in the pool covered in sun tan lotion, instead of using the proper entrance and showering first. If you wanted to use the sauna or the steam room you had to tell reception an hour before so they could switch it on, so when you go down for breakfast tell reception you are going to use them and they should be warm enough to sit in by lunchtime.
The bar service provided in the evening was very poor, the hotel was full, so if you sat outside on the terrace you probably would be waiting for a long time to get a drink, unless you went to the bar which is what every body did, where all the staff (three people trying to cope with 100 + customers) were busy. It's a lot cheaper and the entertainment is much better in Alvor, so, a 15 minute stroll and that problem is solved.
On our first visit the food was lovely, which is why we booked half board again this time, but on this occasion the food was poor ,lack of choice ,lack of temperature and as said in a previous review sometimes the food ran out only to be replaced quite sometime later. Some of the staff was a bit on the grumpy side; on the whole they were pleasant enough.
This Hotel has its good points but they seem to getting caught up by the not so good points, we won't be visiting this hotel again which is a shame, but it's not so good on the value for money side of things and probably is slipping towards three stars. And when I book a sea view room I want to see the sea without having to perform some gymnastics.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Albertadi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

just got back from pestana dom joaoii what a lovely hotel. went bed and bkfst as there are so many great restaurants in the town for dinner, all at great prices. check in was slow and nothing was going to speed the mature gentleman on the desk so we went with the flow. we asked for a high floor which we got but not a sea view, fair enough people were paying for this option and i didnt want to. we had a room overlooking the front of the hotel small valcony and sun on an evening but we were only in the room an hour.bathroom was great loads of hot water,smellys and shower cap provided do take a hairdryer it saves time. bfst was fantastic LOADS of fresh fruit, hot and cold food, loads of sunbeds free towels with card so if weights an issue leave at home, straight on to beach. 5 euro into town in a taxi or 10 min walk nice after eating

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank diggerdick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Lovely hotel with modern room, very clean, friendly staff, with good facilities. The only down side to the hotel was the food; considering it's a 4 star hotel the food was very average with limited choice. It has a buffet style restaurant that can hold a lot of people (200 I would estimate) so for that many people there wasn't much selection. We were half board and unfortunately after 3 days of eating at the hotel decided we would rather pay to eat elsewhere.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
4  Thank Kim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

Overall we were happy with our hotel . Our room was a good size and very clean which is important for us. We wanted a sea view room but was facing the car park - not that nice. So we hardly spent time out on balcony like we usually do. The beds were 2 singles pushed together. In the night the gap just go bigger and our elbows would fall down not that comfortable.
The breakfast was not nice! Nothing like british . We skipped it nearly every day!
The dinner was ok. Salads nice, mains ok, puddings were a mish-mash of different thing. No idea what they were!
They caught u out by charging loads for drinks during night meal! So expensive. Out of 11 nights we had dinner 4 times, an until the last day they didn't tell us we could have lunch instead of night meal. Could have saved a fortune.
The pool area was great, nice pool and sunbeds . Good location - right by the beach :)
Staff- the biggest disappointment and what we notice most was that the staff were blunt and rude. Never said thank you or even said hello. I must admit the womeb were much better! One night eating out dinner the waiter was just pointing an looking over our shoulders counting our drinks - so rude !! When we left and checked out the man didn't even say thank you/ goodbye nothing. They really need to change their attitudes as this could be a fall down for thia hotel.
The indoor pool was fab, i loved going there at end of day to relax with a book and do some lengths. My partner also had a back massage which he loved.
We would go there again, but perhaps b&b next time and hopefully the staff will be happier :)

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Gwawrem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Just returned from our stay at the Don Joao ll clean hotel sea view a must cannot complain about staff as everyone we spoke to were very helpful. Breakfast everything to suit eveyone but evening meal turned out a little bit boring and my only complaint is the chef did not keep his eye on the hot food and when it ran out there were a 10-15 min wait for some more should have been topped up before it got to that stage.Overall the location is great for the beach and a nice stroll into the pretty village, bus stop outside to various locations and you can buy tickets at the reception who will give you the timetable and they do run on time unlike the buses in the uk.
Booked with Jet 2 Hols and all went smoothly and would go back to the same hotel.

Room Tip: Sea view high floor a must
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank diana s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Dom Joao II

Address: Marginal de Alvor s/n, Alvor, Portimao 8500-021, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Alvor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Alvor
#4 Romantic Hotel in Alvor
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Alvor
#5 Family Hotel in Alvor
#5 Luxury Hotel in Alvor
Price Range: $44 - $201 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Dom Joao II 4*
Number of rooms: 257
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana D. João II is a is a 4-star hotel overlooking the sandy Alvor beach with calm, crystal clear waters. It is only 10 minutes on foot from the town centre, very close to the Alvor river. Take a dive into one of the 2 outdoor saltwater swimming pools surrounded by lush and peaceful gardens, or relax at the Spa with an indoor swimming pool, Turkish bath and sauna where you can schedule a Magic Spa massage. For your meals, there is 1 restaurant and 3 bars (2 of which only open in the summer). If you have kids, the Pestana Kids Club is the perfect place for them to have fun (open from June to September). All rooms offer a balcony with views of the sea (frontal or side), garden or hotel grounds and have a TV and Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Dom Joao Ii Hotel Alvor
Pestana Dom Joao Ii Alvor

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