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“Great, friendly service”

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Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great, friendly service”
Reviewed June 8, 2012

We spent two weeks here in late May and early June after a week at the dreadful Sol Flor da Rocha (see my other review). As other reviewers have mentioned, the owners are very friendly and helpful, especially Ruben in the bar. He was endlessly patient with our kids and even let me use his laptop from time to time! I'd like to give it 5* for this - the only thing that stops me doing so is the very basic level of furnishings and equipment. Things which were broken or did not work properly were: the fridge, the cooker, the kettle, the bedroom lamp (only one in two double bedrooms), air conditioning, the window locks and many of the kitchen implements. Any issues that we mentioned were dealt with very quickly, but it becomes embarrassing to keep complaining and you end up just tolerating the annoyances - things which could easily be fixed or replaced, preferably before you arrived.

The pool area was very clean and a pleasant place to relax. Ignore the silly photographs of the inside of bins etc., it was all very tidy and the staff work very hard indeed to keep it that way. Praia da Rocha is not a great resort, but this is a good, economical place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank M B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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walsa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2012

My husband, myself, my sister and brother in law have recently returned from a two week stay in these apartments. We couldn't fault it, admittedly it was a quiet time to visit the Algarve, but nevertheless for the price it was great. Laura, son Ruben and partner Fernando, were perfect hosts and couldn't do enough, what a lovely family. The apartments are a little dated, but perfectly adequate for our needs, kitchen well equipped, we booked a one bedroom apartment for each couple, and both turned our to be two bedrooms, the space was fabulous, lovely big bathroom, towels supplied every couple of days, bed linen changed weekly, and toilet rolls supplied. We loved the location, just far enough from the nightlife not to be disturbed (I do like my sleep!) and not too far to walk to the restaurants, bars etc, although some of it is an uphill walk and may not be suitable for anyone with walking difficulties. We will definitely return to these apartments, hopefully later this year.

Room Tip: ask for a room at the back and not facing reception.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank bettyboopWalsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2011

hi we returned from here on 27th oct after a 14 day stay and had a great time yes the diggers moved in on the beginning of our second week which even laura was not aware of the land has been waste ground since the hotel was built. we paid just under £600 for three of us staying in a 2 bed apartment there room was fine as i said you get what you pay for it was clean tidy and suitably equipped not that we used it apart from the fridge freezer and the kettle as we ate out each night. the pool was clean and tidy but there was a storm on the sunday before we came home and a lot of debris was blown into the pool the picture in the other comment of a burst lilo was ours they where left around for the other families to use but was used as target practice for a couple of young lads to jump on it was took out and the winds during the night blew them in.
the pool bar was a great and friendly place the women who ran it was extreemly friendly and nothing was to much trouble at all
the local town or strip was also a good place we never felt threatened in any way yes the waiters tried to get u in more so the guy at the concorde but if you where firm with them they where ok.
general thoughts on the hotel it wa value for mony as i say you get what you pay for if you want five star with waiter service then go elswhere and pay fr it you will not get that here.
the guests staying there at the same time as us where all friendly and nice from the private home owners upto paying holiday guests not to mention if i got the name right " mimmy " a very nice and funny women along with the people she was with
all in all yes we would go again
hope this helps

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank neil m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2011

We were offered a free Cosmos package holiday (flights/transfer/apartment) by Tesco supermarket's clubcard point’s scheme and stayed here.
As such we had little choice in where we went but were encouraged by good reviews on tripadvisor.

True to form, after just over an hour’s minibus transfer we were met by Laura who was lovely and welcoming, showing us around the apartment.

Whilst spotlessly clean, this was very dated with old fashioned wooden furniture and minimum decor (the bright yellow net curtains gave it a rather odd colour too).
14” TV had one English channel (BBC World News).
The "balcony" if you could call it that was 1.5m x 1.5m square. This means that with the supplied table only one person at a time can sit on it! However looking at other apartments in the area this actually seems the common size.

Both the bathroom and kitchen appeared to have been renovated to a reasonable standard many years hence but are obviously maintained very well as in any other hotel/apartment they would have needed changing by now - the cleaning staff do such a good job they have extended the life of these apartments!

At first we felt a little disappointed by the apartment and joked about checking into a 4* hotel on the seafront! but kept reminding ourselves we hadn't paid for it! Whether this review would be different if we had saved up and paid for this holiday is a good question. Other guests we talked to were more than happy with the apartments and commented they were nicer than many others in town so maybe were just being snobs.

The pool area is basic but very nice. We only used the pool directly next Laura's reception office as no mention of another pool (with bar) was made so we had no idea it existed until mid way into our stay! which explained why we missed the Cosmos rep – as he would have been waiting at the other buildings pool.

The complex is a very short walk to the seafront which is lovely. Some of the best beaches in Europe in my opinion.
Portimao is around a 20-30 min walk in the other direction. This is the place to head for large supermarkets and great shopping. Just follow the main road (dual carriageway) inland.
As well as Portimao old town, getting the cheap local bus to the large Aqua Shopping mall is a must visit.
If you’d rather walk to Aqua Shopping we tried that as well and it takes around an hour but is a great way to see the town.

All in all I would recommend Castelos da Rocha as clean but dated basic apartments, recommend Praia da Rocha as a great beach resort and Portimao as a nice town. 7/10 overall!

Room Tip: rooms at the front seemed to have larger balcony and less noise from residential block at the rear.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lucglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2011

I chose these apartments after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor and checking out the location on Google Earth. I cannot believe that people rave about this place, it is the worst place I have stayed in my life and that is my honest opinion. There was three of us, myself and my two children, I paid £950 for this five night stay (inclusive of flights and transfers), but self catering only.

We arrived at Faro airport late at night and there were no reps there at all as promised by our travel agent, On the Beach. Myself and my two children had to find our transfers on our own which I found very difficult as I dont speak any Portugese. We were given very vague instructions from a lady at the airport in broken English as to where to find our transfer. We found ourselves outside in the dark (very windy) on a large carpark with numerous buses there. Not many of the buses had numbers on so I had to ask most of the drivers before we eventually found ours. The transfer took well over an hour as the bus dropped off most people before us.

Upon arriving at the apartments we were met by a very nice lady, very chatty and kind. She showed us to our apartment and told us where everything was, we found out her name was Laura. Even though our stay was not good I cannot fault this lady for helping us with various things, i.e. ordering taxis and trips for us.

It was so windy and wet on our first night that we hardly had any sleep with the sound of the rain lashing onto the building and lots of rattling sounds coming from outside, I felt like the roof or something was going to blow away. Anyway when I got up in the morning the wind had dropped and all was calm. I opened the balcony doors (which incidentally did not lock as the locks were broken) and looked outside. It was just as I had seen on Google Earth, with trees and bushes directly below the balcony so all seemed peaceful and nice. This was short lived though.

We spent the day walking around the resort which I can only describe as the Portugese equivalent to Blackpool, very tacky. I can't complain about the beach, this was clean and beautiful, the only good thing about the holiday really. Upon our return to the apartment there was a lot of noise from machines directly below our balcony. I looked outside and to my horror discovered diggers and men with chainsaws flattening the land around the apartments. The noise from two diggers, three chainsaws, men shouting and other machinery was unbearable. This continued for the duration of our visit, they started from eight in the morning, so no chance of a lie in, until dusk. There was no way you could sit out on the balcony due to this horrendous noise and strong smell of petrol and diesel from the mechanical equipment.

Now then, onto the evenings, this resort totally changed. It became very seedy with dodgy characters around the promenade. We were accosted on various ocassions by men trying to sell watches, cigarettes and god knows what else, we didnt hang around to ask. We were practically dragged into restuarants as well by staff especially at the Concorde Restuarant, you could not walk past without being chased by staff who tried to get you to eat there. As I was there on my own with my two children this is not what we wanted, we wanted to be left alone to eat where we chose to go. I can honestly say that at night this place did not feel safe.

The apartment itself was relatively clean apart from the black mould in the bathroom especially on the inside of the shower curtain. The apartment was quite dated though, 80's style furniture and very basic. Very cold in the evenings as no heating here. The beds were reasonably comfortable but the sofa was as hard as a brick, I hurt my back just sitting on it. As previously mentioned the balcony doors did not lock so this was a bit of a worry. The pool was disgusting (see pics). Lots of debris floating about and a thick layer of dirt at the bottom. A punctured airbed sat on top of the pool. The sun loungers were filthy and there was a tub of cigarette butt ends at the side of the pool. There was no way I would of allowed my children to get into that filthy mess. The barbeque in the corner was relatively disgusting as well. Rusty and filthy.

As for the price of food here, completely attrocious, I feel very sorry for the Portugese people to have to put up with the high food prices and cost of living. We all complain about the price of food in the UK but in Portugal it is at least a third more expensive than what we pay here. I feel this is yet another European country on the verge of bankruptcy. You need to bring a lot of money to come on holiday here. Price of an average meal for three is 40-50 euros including one drink each, no starter or dessert, just the main. At the places we ate at the waiters bought us bread, butter, cheese, olives and sardine paste, before the main arrived. Little did we know we were charged for these as well, and no one touched olives as we dont like them, but they were all added to the bill. Also had to pay a service charge as well.

I dont know why this place has good reviews, maybe it is better managed in the summer than in the Autumn, I just dont know. The only thing I do know is that we were very glad and relieved when we left this horrible place and arrived back in the UK. I consider this holiday to have been an absolute waste of money.

Room Tip: Dont chose an apartment near the building site.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Shelley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

Just wanted to add a few comments after reading a negative review. We have just returned from a 7 nights stay at these apartments in Praia da Rocha. We stayed in Lote 2 a One Bedroom apartment, 3rd floor on 2 levels with two balconies. I booked this holiday through Travel Republic with transfers, perfect, everything on time etc. Apartment spotless, well equipped and after the lovely Laura saw us personally to our apartment, we were left to enjoy the holiday with no hassle, but knowing Laura was just opposite in Lote 1 if needed. We did not come across any bad smells whatsover in this Block, or anywhere.

The resort as already stated by previous reviews is about a 10 min stroll away, and at the zebra crossing, never did a car not stop to let us cross, unlike other Countries we have visited.

The beach is perfect with the softest sand to sit on, no need really to hire a sunbed unless of course u really cannot lie on the sand., but we were on the beach everyday FAB,

The people in the shops we visited were very polite and friendly to us, I felt very safe, I traveled on my own with my 14 year old son.

I would also recommend Claire's Restaurant , the staff and the food wonderful and very good value we ate there 5 nights of our stay. The staff made us laugh and as said very good food and service.

I would totally recommend these Apartments and Praia da Rocha.

Room Tip: Pool View Apartments have sunny balconies.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank C-and-T123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2011

We have just returned from a twelve night stay at Apartmentos Castelos da Rocha staying in a privately owned one bedroom apartment in Lote 1 booked on-line via the Owners Direct web-site; the owners forwarded details of an airport transfer company but we opted for car-hire from Atlas Direct, we got a very good deal on a Fiat Punto but truthfully, we didn't need the car, the trips that we did could have been easily managed by bus or coach saving money on the total cost of hire and petrol.

On leaving Faro we phoned a contact number given to us and spoke to Alberto who was waiting for us on arrival at the apartments; Alberto showed us around the apartment, explained the entrance code and left, telling us not to hesitate to call him if we encountered any problems or had any questions.

The apartment was spotlesssly clean, spacious, very comfortable, and well equipped; the bedroom had a king-size bed, dressing table, two wardrobes and a small balcony; the living room/ kitchen had two bed-sofas(to sleep 4 more if needed), coffee table, display case, TV/DVD/CD player, lamps, lots of room; the kitchen was equipped with fridge/freezer, gas hob ( four burners), full size oven, washing machine, microwave, breakfast bar, table, four chairs, all the cutlery, cooking utensils, glasses and china you could ever need; on the balcony was a table with four chairs, the balcony got the sun in the afternoon and evening and overlooked one of the pools.

In the hallway lilos and sun beds were provided along with a selection of books and CDs; the bathroom had a very powerful, hot overhead shower, bath, wc and bidet; the apartment was good enough to live in permanently never mind a holiday stay.

The sea front was a ten-minute walk, and yes, we had to cross a dual-carriageway, aren't Zebra crossings wonderful, not one driver ignored us and then had to walk up a short hill; the beach is down a lot of stairs but is well worth the effort with a wonderful boardwalk along the length,with many restaurants and bars.

The sea front area is full of gift-shops, restaurants, bars, night clubs, catering for all tastes, we didn't notice any loutish behaviour just a vibrant scene be it day or night; we were also 'approached' every time we walked past 'Concorde' as indeed we were every other restaurant but a polite 'no thank you' was enough to pass, not one 'approach' was rude, in our face or obtrusive.

Our favourite eating place was 'Claires', with a very varied menu, a three-course meal starting at less than eight euros, 'Asia' was a great Chinese Restaurant, with an evening buffet for 10.95.

We would recomend the resort of Praia da Rocha to all, the Apartment that we rented in Apartmentos Castelos da Rocha was superb, could not be faulted, the whole experience was brilliant, a great holiday.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank 314FatController
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha

Property: Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha
Address: Sitio dos Castelos, Praia da Rocha, Portimao 8500-801, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Praia da Rocha
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Praia da Rocha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha 3*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Apartamentos Castelos Da Rocha Hotel Praia Da Rocha
Apartamentos Castelos Da Rocha Praia Da Rocha, Portugal - Algarve

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