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“Excellent hotel with perfect beach location”

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Pestana Dom Joao II
Ranked #6 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 21, 2009

Stayed at the Pestana Dom Jao for 2 weeks in July. Booked half board with a garden room and was given a suite on the first floor facing the pool/sea and gardens. Room was nicely furnished with contemporary decor and very comfortable. LCD TV with english channels was nice,with a massive balcony. Only slight problem was that the shower screen leaked onto the tiled floor,and there was an infrequent hot water supply in the mornings, but we did'nt complain as the room was otherwise perfect and did'nt want to be moved!
The food was to a very good standard,not a massive selection but it was always cooked very well and presented nicely. The restaurant staff were friendly & helpful, only downside being the drinks which were quite pricey,but what you would expect to pay at any European 4 star hotel.
A nice saltwater pool which got very busy after about 10am, sunbeds were plentiful and the clean towels provided every day for the pool or the beach were a nice touch.
The only criticism of the pool area was the cobbled stone floor which did'nt get cleaned often enough, but other than that it was all ok. The beach is literally on the doorstep, plenty of sunbeds and shades at 10 euros a day. Lovely clean beach with a few nice coves & bays nearby, and nice beach bars which were cheaper than the Hotel.
If you wanted to take your evening meal at lunchtime,you could eat at the Hotel garden restaurant and was allowed 15 euros each towards the bill which was quite good.
The local town of Alvor was a little dissapointing, not really much there other than a few tacky souvenir shops, one or two fish restaurants and a couple of bars. It is about a 15 minute walk to Alvor from the Hotel, but other than that there is very little to do in the evenings. The Hotel provides entertainment in the lounge bar most evenings,but it is only really background music, and a twice weekly show staged by the animation team which is not bad. Overall we had a really nice relaxing holiday,with wall to wall sunshine and only one part cloudy day. If you like a beach/pool holiday this is perfect for you.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ronaldo57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2009

For us it was between this 4 star hotel and the 5 star pestana alvor praia- they are both on the same resort and both on the beach but I'm very glad we saved the extra money and went for this hotel because it was brilliant!

The room:
towel changes and rooms cleaned every day. no need to pack beach towels as they give you a token which you can exchange for the hotels towels for free. Very very cheerful cleaners and helpful. Rooms open with card keys. Have a comfy sofa in the room and an amazing shower which has got one of those large shower heads. Safe in the room costs 2 euros a day. good space to hang up clothes which drawers and coat hangers. good air con too but had to turn off at night as quite noisy. Had fridge in room which is good as can get big bottles of water from the shop next door for 37 cents and have them chilled. Room faced the carpark/front of the hotel which was not a bad view at all- we had the sun on our balconys in the evenings!

The hotel:
Ask for a map of the resort to find the supermarket, tennis courts (£10 for a hard court or £17 including 2 rackets for an hour) etc as they only gave us this on our last day and the resort is made up of villas and apartments and is quite big to find your way around e.g. to get to the tennis courts.
Free bus to potimao at about 9.10 once a day which goes back at about ten past 3 and again at about 5 - confirm at reception. 2 lifts.
People "reserve" sunbeds in the hotel gardens which is very annoying when they dont go on them all morning but no1 else can go on it as they put their towels on it so next time im going to simply remove the towls and put my own on there if they are gone for longer than an hour because its just selfish and they havent paid anymore than anyone else. I know this happens in many hotels though.
Indoor pool is lovely and normally quiet. Nice relaxing sauna and steam room too and the option to pay for massages in a separate room.
Air conditioned gym with 2 running machines, cross trainers, rower, weights and one of those full body weight things that does legs arms etc. Table tennis next to it was very fun to play.
Outside pool looked fine- not too packed although quite a lot of people sat around it. One of the days a bloke was leading some exercising in the water to uk music which looked fun.
Entertainment was nice for couples and familes- not tacky- a small stage and some singers and band music. It stopped at a good time so was fine to get to sleep.
Breakfast (from 7-10am or might be 10.30 cant remember) included home made breads and pasteries and croissants as well as loads of fresh fruit and hot cooked breakfast (eggs beans sausages(tinned) bacon etc etc) get your own juice or water as much as you like. There is only one toaster which can fit about 6 bits in and there is normally a queue. Can eat outside or in. Nicely decorated dining room with these funky red lights. Evening meal started at 7pm and was buffet style too. had pretty much everything- i had a salad every night as i was too hot for hot meals. The soups were always nice as a starter though. Puddings were very nice and had a selection of ice creams too which were always very popular. Pay for all drinks at the end of your stay- we had 2 lemonades every night which came to about 30- 35 euros i think for the week.
There are excursions such as the zoo marine coach or waterpark coach that come each day. The hotel has crazy golf which is fun to play and is about 2 euroes each.

The area:
Hire very comfy sunbed all day for £10 on the beach from very friendly british woman. Had lunch at The Chill Out (on the road to get to alvor with orange chairs) was really nice for a cheap tastey lunch. the smoothies are nice but not very thirst quenching and the sangria (1 euro a glass) was not as nice as the more expensive stuff. But the pitas are nice and the burgers and chips are filling. Staff are nice and the woman is english. The man was portugese and was very cheeky and played us up so dont fall for any of his jokes like i did!
Alvor is very nice (there are some good videos showing it on youtube). Not very touristy which is why I chose to go there. Loads of fish resteraunts to choose from and lovely harbour.
Lovely and hot with not a cloud in the sky every day but gets chilly at night because of the wind so definitely pack a jacket.
Portimao is good for a trip out and has some nice clothes and jewellery shops that I spent hours in- only takes about 15 mins or so on the bus that stops directly outside the hotel on the same side of the road as the hotel. It also has a play area for children with swings when you come up the steps to the area with the big blue water feature it is on the left. The road is not noisy or very busy. Turn left out the hotel to get to alvor and turn right to get to the tennis courts- ask reception for the directions. It only takes about 10 mins to walk to Alvor town.
If you turn left when you have come out the hotel gardens and are on the beach and walk down the beach for about 7 mins you will come to a really pretty lagoon area which lights up at night. On the way there on the left are a couple of beach cafes- we went to the quiet one of the two and their burgers are very nice and their sangria is 10 euros for a jug and is lovely- he even brought it onto the beach for us when we had it one night as it was so quiet. The sea is quite chilly compared to the med. Pedlows for hire- an hour goes by really really fast (15 euroes ish). Also speed boats for hire and one of those parachoutes pulled by a speed boat which costs about 70-80 euros to have a go. Donut man comes round 1 euro each (they dont have jam in) and men try and sell fake gucci sunglasses etc which got a bit annoying but i found its best to pretend to be asleep and they go. No clubs or discos at night that I could see which was nice although there are some bars.

Travelled with Thomson package holiday which included transfers flights hotel breakfast and evening meal for a very good price- the prices are constantly changing on their website so keep checking and play about with the dates. Check moneysavingexpert.com or moneysupermarket.com to get travel insurence- costs under 5 quid for full protection (baggage, theft, medical etc). The ONLY bad thing was the plane journey home where the airhostesses gave terrible service and we ended up going hungry on the way home because after a lot of disorganisation they didnt bring us any food that we ordered and basically ignored us and it happened to a lot of other people too. I travelled with them last year and it was fine so im hoping this was a one off but it wasn't very nice. Thomson rep was on hand at the hotel all week which was nice to know.

Anyway, basically it was a RELAXING holiday and we will be going back!

This review has taken ages! Hope it was helpful!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wonderwoman123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2009

Stayed here for a week with my partner, we are a young couple in our early 20's.
Not impressed at all, first impressions is that is was full of old people.

Staff: Not very friendly, compared to our last few hotels.
Atmosphere: None, dull is the word.
Food: Buffet was tiny, not what were used to, every night was one rice dish, 2 potato dishes, a choice between 2 meats (mostly pork or beef), a fish dish, one pasta dish and salad. Very boring never enjoyed one meal while I was there. Good quality food but just not enough choice. Desserts were quite nice, nice ice cream.
Drinks: We were having 2 orange juices per night with our dinners, which was 8 euros. Which is extortion. Alcohol was terribly over priced, we bought 2 single malibus, and a small bottle of pineapple juice, 13 euros!! Even a bottle of water was over 3 euros, you could get bigger bottles for 20 cents in the local supermarkets!
Location: Nice that its got the beach at the back, however this beach does not compare to the beach in Praia da rocha, although Alvor is a nice beach (apart from the rocky sea) Praia Da Rocha is in a different league. Alvor is not the best location for young people, we were going into praia da rocha most nights, which was lovely.
Pool: Outdoor pool was abit dirty but fine i guess, the indoor pool area was lovely. Not enough sunbeds, if you turn up after 10am your probably not going to get one.
Rooms: Rooms were great as they have been recentley refurbished, English TV channels which was great to watch during the evening when we was bored as there was no entertainment!!
Entertainment: None, was one very poor show on the wednesday while we was there which lasted about 20 minutes.

Overall I would not recommend this hotel unless you are over 50. I would return to the Algarve again but deffinatley not to this hotel, id probably stay in a hotel in Praia da Rocher or maybe even Lagos.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Elif K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2009

Really can't fault the Pestana Dom Hotel in Alvor....just returned after 7 wonderful days wish we'd gone for 2 weeks. Excellent room ( paid a supplement for a beach facing balcony room...... and well worth it ). Nice pool and only a few yards from a glorious beach. Really good food -buffet style. The only negatives are poor quality evening entertainment and the price of drinks in the hotel. Drinks in the nearby town of Alfor are about the same as home. If you want a relaxed quiet holiday away from the crowd this is for you.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LancashireGary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2009

My partner and I have just returned from 4 days at the Dom Joao II and we absolutely loved it . Already looking to book up again for next year. Whilst we were there it was quite quiet and plenty of sunbeds for all. We heard from other guests that July and August are busy with Portugese families so would recommend June or September if you want to avoid noisy kids!!.

You could not get a better location right on a lovely golden sandy beach and a good sized pool in the grounds. The hotel itself is very clean and well maintained. We stayed in a garden view room and could not fault it at all,very comfortable and modern. Staff friendly and helpful.

We went for B&B because we prefer to try local restaurants in the evening. The breakfast buffet was very good with plenty of choice for all tastes. Be aware that all food and drink at the hotel is expensive so taking the 10-15 min walk into Alvor is worth while.

There is plenty of choice for all tastes in Alvor and we particually loved the fish restaurants. Alvor itself has narrow pavements in most places but this is not a problem as the central streets away from the main roads are pedestrianised with few cars during the night. A warning for people visiting, please wear shoes with good grip as the pavements are very worn cobbles and slippy for most casual shoes with smooth soles.

We love the charm and the excellent service throughout, the plus side is that this is the real Algarve and lacks the touristy fruit machine arcades and the glut of british bars.

The choice of bars is excellent with Irish through to English dotted around. The food is great and the expertise of the cooks combined with the local knowledge of the fish (caught locally that day) is a real treat for foodies as you can watch fish cooking on the barbecues outside a few places.

Spirits are served with little thought for measure so be prepared for a vodka and diet coke that really is a vodka dash!

The walk from the hotel can either be along the beach or on the road which some may complain about but adds to the charm that is Alvor. Near the hotel is a small one stop shop and a supermarket - brilliant if you get the munchies!

If you want a relaxing holiday at a high quality hotel in a beautiful location this is the place to be.

Mark and Nicola

27 June 2009

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MandNOxfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2009

we have just returned fron a 10 day holiday at this hotel.went 13-23 june, my husband and i went eith our 2 year old daughter.transfer took about 2 hours as nearly last hotel but it went quick to be fair.
the hotel was very clean and all the staff were friendly, some of the receptionists were a bid gloomy but we barely dealt with them so it didn't bother us!

The rooms:
we were impressed with the room, it was all modern and although quite small it was ample enough room for us and a 2 yr old to run around!had air con tv with bizzarley bbc1, itv and channel 4!it also had cbeebies which for anyone with kids ois good as our daughter got to watch night garden! we found the wardrobe space good and ample space for us.in the wardrobe area is the safety deposit box(2euros a night to hire) and a fridge, not a mini bar but somewhere to store your bought drinks etc. our room they had put a travel cot in for us and there was a 3rd pull out sofa bed.the bathroom was nice and the shower was lovely and refreshing!! it was a shower/bath which was good for our daughter as she prefers baths.There is a glass panel between the room and bathroom which has a pull down blind, some people have moaned about this but we didn't find it a problem you just pull the blind down!!

the restaurant:
we were half board and found the standard of food very good. we have seen a few bad reviews about the breakfast but we founf it very good.there was toasts,croissants,all types of eggs,sausage,bacon,baked beans,cold meats,fruit,yoghurts,coffees,teas and juices.
evening meal was also goos,the buffet changed each night and had a variety of meats,potatoes,some pasta,salads,cold meats.they had lobster tails one night,sardines,shrimps. they had fruits,desserts.drinks were quite dear 3.20euros for 1L of water but we find this normal for hotel prices. all the waiters were really friendly and made a real fuss of our daughter.

the beach:
we spent everyday at the beach which was lovely.sunbeds are 10euros per day for 2 sunbeds, the english lady who looks after the sunbeds is lovely and has lived in portugal for 20yrs.she is always there on her chair and it is very safe to leave all your stuff there whildt you go for lunch.there was always plenty of sunbeds free as some people don't like to pay but we have never been anywhere where you don't have to pay for sunbeds(unless a private beach).the sand is lovely and the sea was nice although sometimes choppy but it is the atlantic. there is a life guard on duty who is very good, if you swim out too far he will whistle you back to keep you safe, his name was paulo and he was really friendly!
alvor beach is having work done at the end of the season,they started this year but stopped for summer, they are building the sand up to stop the sea reaching the hotel in the winter, so at the moment the sunbeds are on a hill and there are piles of sand but it was still lovely and never crowded.
we ate lunch at the beach bar where lunch cost us about 20euros a day(with drinks),staff again friendly and food was good enough for lunch.also buy a doughnut of the seller who walks the beach about lunch time they are to die for and only 1 euro each!!

the pool:
the pool area was really nice, always lots of sunbeds, never a problem to get one,didn't seem to have the problem of people putting towels on at stupid o clock in the morning!!the main pool was good size,quite deep at deep end but wasn't too cold as some people have said.the kids pool was a good size too,good temperature,never crowded.they had pocoyo characters painted next to pool too!there was daily activities like volleyball although noone seemed to do it!!

the grounds/hotel:
tjhe gardens were lovely and well maintained.the crazy golf was really good (2euros per person). 2 wendy houses for kids near the kids pool to play in. our only complaint was they have took the kids playground away which we didn't know about and sure it still says on website there is one.so this meant after your eve meal if you didn't walk into alvor there wasn't much to keep the little ones amused, our daughter just ran around the gardens and beach on an eve. afew other parents found the same problemalso no sho in hotel selling necesseties like nappies,snacks which we found strange for a large hotel.

it is about a 15min walk to alvor, the first short stretch of road is a bit hard with a buggy was no pavement but luckily the road is quiet so can usually walk on road.there is a TINY supermarket if you turn right out of the hotel(100m) they sell large water for 1 euro each so we stocked up there for the room.no nappies though we had to go to the ali supermarket in town (turn right at round about) which is why a bit of a pain no shop in hotel!!
Alvor itself is lovely,real portugese town with lots of restaurants near the fishing marina, all grilling the sardines outside, the smell is lovely!!we ate at a pizza resturant just up from the marina which was really nice, unfortunately we don't like fish so the others were sadly wasted on us!!!the locals are all really friendly and love kids and they don't hound you to come into the restaurants. there is plenty of bars, sports bars,irish bars, gift shops,souvenirs- the general.

all in all we loved alvor,the people and we were pleased with the hotel, our only gripe was the playground but that certainly didn't affect or spoil our holiday. i would reccommend this hotel-enjoy it!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank brinybrooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2009

Stayed here for 7 nights with my boyfriend. No complaints. Hotel is well maintained, crisp and clean and the staff are all very helpful and pleasant. Seemed to be a good mix of couples and families and solo travellers. We had B&B and the breakfast selection was very good. We had a nice evening meal also on our first night (not the buffet) which was also good. This Hotel is right on the beach and has all the facilities you could need. It is a short walk to Alvor. Only little cautions would be that the Hotel entertainments are fairly standard 'cruise ship' stuff an maybe a hair dryer and wi-fi zone of some description would be good for a four star? Also, more suited to older folks and familiies but still ok for younger couples like us. Would recommend this place in a flash.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank MollyMalone76
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Alvor
#4 Romantic Hotel in Alvor
#5 Family Hotel in Alvor
#5 Luxury Hotel in Alvor
Price Range: $56 - $362 (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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