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“"great location but not a 4 star hotel"”

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Pestana Dom Joao II
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“"great location but not a 4 star hotel"”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel in Alvor Portugal
“great location but not 4 star hotel”
We had a 10 day holiday in The Pestana Dom Joao 11 4 star hotel Alvor in early June, this was our first visit to the resort and hotel.

The Pestana Dom Joao11 has a fantastic location right on a long white sandy beach, if you don’t like beach there is a huge pool with plenty of sun beds garden areas all around the hotel with shade which we needed as the temperature hit 30 degrees
Staff were helpful and friendly especially on reception, I agree with one reviewer when he calls the two bar men Chuckle Brothers, a very unfriendly and unhelpful attitude to some customers, they did have their favourites. Drink prices were high Beer and Gin and tonic was €9.80
Breakfast was not spectator and a buffet dinner was 27 Euro ! Bedroom was small with a smaller balcony!(1 st floor)

Alvor has a small harbour with restaurants leading to narrow streets with more good value restaurants and bars, with a good mix of local and international cuisine so everyone is bound to find something they like. Look out for Caso de Mar on Alvor harbour offers fresh fish dishes try them for lunch not so crowded
Paesano Restaurant Italian menu try mixed platter antipasti to share
3 course meal with house wine for two 40 Euro.

Cactos 2 bar in the Dunas Do Alvor Complex it offer basic menu of varity of sandwiches and wraps , burgers and chips dished up by friendly staff, pint of beer 1euro, vodka and mixer 2.50 during happy hour which lasts all day up to 9pm prices double then which still makes it very good value.

Some areas of the resort are unfinished with no footpaths and waste land, this does detract from the overall look of the resort which it a pity.
Overall a good holiday i would revisit the resort but would try another property.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank TrishaOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Lincoln, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Returning to the UK last year after living in Cyprus for six years a holiday was due. We last visited Portugal twenty years ago with our three daughters and we had fond memories of our stay at the Delfin Hotel. We trawled the many offers on the internet with our friends and settled on nine days at the Pestana Dom Joao 11. From the moment we arrived at reception in the hotel we were afforded first class service. Our luggage was taken to our room while we booked in. There was none of the usual formalities of wanting credit card numbers and filling in forms. Our hotel room was superb. Clean and bright with all the facilities you would expect from a five star hotel. The hotel has been recently refurbished and it showed. Throughout our stay all the staff were friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet was comprehensive and covered every requirement. The pool area and gardens were well maintained with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. There is a smaller pool for children close to the kids club and from what we saw the children were certainly well catered for. Evening entertainment was well covered and the bar in the evening was lively, sometimes hotel bars are like God's waiting rooms. Alvor is a lovely location with a fantastic beach, spotlessly clean and you have a fantastic choice of restaurants in the town. We felt that attention to detail in the hotel was priority. Congratulations Pestana group yours was one of the best hotels we have stayed in during our stays in Europe.

Room Tip: Obviously a room overlooking the garden or the pool is well worth considering
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013 via mobile

Here is a list of the good and bad points with the hotel.

Good

Half board provides food choice of food and ideal for families with decent quality food selection.

Kids entertainer in kids club was excellent and a real selling point for us in the hotel ( Kids had a ball)

Reception staff were very assertive and helpful, but sometimes multitasking on phone

Beautiful gardens and indoor swimming pool very nice

1 barman very friendly on bar and most restaurant staff were very helpful

Superior 1 bed villa was newly refub and was really nice

Very close to beach

Some really good external entertainment brought into hotel was excellent ( Breakdancers and Portuguese dancers)

Young tall chap on reception was excellent and sorted out an issue with drunken guests very well

Bad

Waiting about in restaurant with kids for table when tables available ( Not good and happened a few times)

Two outdoors pools are not cleaned properly and had dead insects in pool daily. Reported issue to reception and an extremely rude pool man ( Who also provides the towels) turned up unhappy and still didn't clean properly. Other guest had to clean the pool when this man left and hotel needs to relieve this man of his role as very rude to a number if guests.

No wi in rooms

Security around hotel is quite lax and could be better

A bit too much pork and fish on menu and not enough vegetarian meals

1 rude barman on bar and 4 euros for a beer was extortionate, along with charging us 2 euros for 1 shot of line for a child's drink!!

External toilets near pool not clean

Gym poor with faulty equipment and some days no sweat towels available ( Weight machine cable faulty)

Broken furniture and rubble left laden about at back of hotel out buildings

Some dodgy hotel entertainment at night that was a bit like pontins

Avoid the lady who takes photos with blonde hair and green top, as she takes photos of your family and is nice, however if you do not purchase more than one the next day then she is so rude in her opinion ( She needs to be removed from hotel)

If I was to return again then the above would have to vastly improve. The hotel has a 4 star rating, however is really a 3 star with 5 star prices.

Their is a great bar at back out hotel near supermarket with two great old guys who run bar. The bar also has a bowling alley and great for kids. Good supermarket next door, paper shop and sandwich and coffee shop.

Alvor is nice place, but only small. Check out the cactus bar and bar next door that have beer for one euro all day and cocktails 2 and half euros!!

Hope this provides an honest review for people!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Highsociety07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middleton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We stayed at the Dom Joao from 3rd June to 10th June, our first impression was good. The reception is modern and airy, the room was modern too with a good size bathroom and looks to have been renovated recently. The public areas such as the landings all look quiet dated and have an 80's feel. The restaurant also looks to have had a recent upgrade as it is light and airy and is quite large.

Our biggest gripe is that although advertised on Pestana's website that all rooms have wi-fi, they do not, none of them do. I have emailed owners but have not had a response.

The bar prices are extortionate, £3 for Pepsi, £2 for a small soda, needless to say we spent our evenings out in the town.

Our experience of the reception staff was poor too, some of the staff are very rude and will answer the phone mid-conversation - not good.

The spa and bar staff are poor too, lots of bad attitude.

The housekeeping staff are amazing, I have to say that this hotel is the cleanest I have stayed at, the rooms are kept immaculate as are the public areas.

In summary, the hotel is in a great location, away from the town but a nice walk if you like (or a taxi ride for £3). The hotel is let down by the poor front of house staff and lack of wi-fi access in the rooms.

Room Tip: If you opt to stay here get a sea view room as the inward facing rooms face onto the hotel car park...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank citizenwolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

My husband and I are just back from a week's holiday at the Pestana Dom Joao in Alvor. The last two holidays we had last year in the Algarve were in Praia Da Rocha but we thought we would try a different resort this time.
The Dom Joao is in a good location set directly on the beach so that's good for sunbathing etc if you love the beach. Although it is only a fifteen minute walk from the town centre where there are some really good bars and restaurants it's not exactly a pleasant walk in, as it is on the roadside (no pavements) and nothing nice to look at (in fact you are walking past waste land for some part). Alvor itself, is really lovely once you are there however! You can take a taxi though (especially if you are dressed up with e.g. heels!) and its only 5€ and there are always plenty of taxis available both there and back.

Our room (326) was lovely, we had a sea view window and a side balcony albeit the balcony was quite small. I would definitely recommend requesting a sea view room and paying the extra charge. Also try to request a room on floor 3,4 or 5 if you want a good view.

Pool area and grounds were very nice with plenty of sunbeds available. (Although I prefer being on the beach and their sunbeds were 5€ each for all day - which isn't too bad).

Breakfast was good with plenty of choice however the coffee in the machines was atrocious, there were other words I could call it but am too polite!!! It was mainly un drinkable!! They need to invest in some new coffee machines as there is no excuse for coffee like that (I tried all the options and they were all shocking!) seriously, if I had known I would have taken a travel kettle and a jar of Kenco Columbian!

There was a little cafe near to the bowling alley at the roadside of the hotel where you can buy really good coffee, cakes, snacks etc at very reasonable prices. Two coffees and two cakes for a total of 4€ - we thought that was excellent but we can't remember what it is called but if you walk out of the hotel, turn right, it's about 100 yards up the road!

We only ate breakfast in the hotel so can't comment on the food at lunchtime or dinner.

Drinks in the bars, we thought were too expensive. However if they had been served with a smile (my husband referred to the two guys in the main bar as "the chuckle brothers") we wouldn't have been so irked at paying such a high price. The pool bar and the beach bar were also expensive and some of the bar staff were on the rude side! It definitely wasn't service with a smile, or indeed any pleasantries at all!! This needs to be addressed!

Overall, we had a good holiday in this hotel but doubt we would return to the Dom Joao in Alvor.
When we go back to the Algarve we would go back to Praia Da Rocha as we preferred this resort
as it has more choice, bars/restaurants and a nicer beach and its also very close to a lovely marina - but that's just our personal choice.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view on a high floor!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GillyGilly99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level Contributor
165 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

This is the 3rd time our group of 6 golfers has visited the Dom Joao II in the past 5 years and once again were greatly impressed with the entire package. The location, just outside the lovely fishing village of Alvor, is perfecy and with private transport, the golf courses were in easy reach.
The hotel is on the beach and the surrounding grounds and swimming pool are ideal and never too busy.
Breakfast was a joy and our single rooms were perfect.
The servive and attention to detail by the staff could not be faulted and the free wi fi was a bonus
Costs were a bit pricey but, that was to be expected I guess.,As a consequence we, and I assume many others, used facilities elsewhere. It is an issue worth looking at by management as high prices mean few customers, resulting in limited revenue.
Overall worth a visit and we will no dount return

Room Tip: Book a single room if within budget as rooms are on the small side
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank philipsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nuneaton
Level Contributor
91 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

This hotel is very efficient, the staff efficient and polite but there is no warm atmosphere. Buffet breakfast is extremely busy at peak times, food is OK. Location is very good, rooms are well appointed but to pay an extra £250 per week for a room with a seaview compared to an identical room overlooking the car park is a rip off!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank popesterNuneaton
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Dom Joao II 4*
Number of rooms: 384
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pestana Dom Joao Ii Hotel Alvor
Pestana Dom Joao Ii Alvor

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