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“Mark Warner ( near the ) Ocean Club, Portugal”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Luz Ocean Club

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Luz Ocean Club
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Luz
Certificate of Excellence
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Mark Warner ( near the ) Ocean Club, Portugal”
Reviewed August 27, 2010

Step back to the 1970's with Mark Warner. The 2 bed apartment we had was like a time capsule, only the TV was from the 1990's. No fan, no AC and since the windows did not have security bars, we kept them closed at night. Positives; Kids club was great for our 3 yr old. Staff were really helpful, enthusiastic throughout. Negatives; Praia da Luz is a one horse town, many establishments seemed to be on the verge of closing down. The Ocean Club is spread across the village. I assume different apartment blocks can be used by Mark Warner or Thompson depending on demand, and are sort of centred around the two distinct pool areas. Our apartment was in block C2, 10 minutes from the ocean up a steep road, 15 minutes from the Garden pool and toddler pool, around the one way system. We had to wash all the bed linen in the apartment since it all smelled really musty. As previous reviews have pointed out, the food is pretty basic, so I would not recomend going for half board, especially if you are on the other side of town from the Mill Restaurant. If you want internet access forget about the Reception, their service does not work, the Jasmin Cafe has cheap access but get there early.
Basically it did not feel like a resort, perhaps if our chidlren were older we would have used the other sports facilities on offer, but I'm not sure that would have made up for the quality of the accomodation.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank shaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Somerset, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2010

Mark Warner's concept is great. It ticks all the boxes for hard working parents. If you, like me, have a growing sense of panic as May approaches that you haven't done anything about booking a holiday then this is a godsend. You need a break. You want to go abroad because of the vagaries of the english summer. You know that the first rule of holidays is that unless the kids are happy, you are going to have a lousy time. So you want somewhere that you know they can enjoy and where you can be happy too. You browse away and find the Mark warner site. Fantastic. Guaranteed sun. Kids clubs included. Self-catering apartments. Adult only areas for you to relax, or to shift the weight gained by months of overwork and stress by taking part in loads of different kinds of exercise, swimming, tennis, biking, hiking, fitness programmes, sailing. Oh and there's a restaurant too, and half board included in the price. So are the flights, and the transfers. Reach for the credit card. Done. Relax. Look forward to it.
So how did the reality live up to the idea? Our accommodation was great, very clean and elegant, fantastic view over Luz and its beach. The 'maid' came three times a week. we were about 5 minutes from the Ocean Club and 10 from the beach. Our only complaint would be the lack of air con, indeed the lack of a fan or anything to cool the place down. At times during our stay it topped 34 degrees, 26 at night. The effect of having nothing to cool the place down, inevitably, is to make you consider leaving the windows open but the shutters down. Not great for security.
Our kids (two boys 10 and 11) spent about half of the time in the kids club. Be aware that when you read the Mark warner child care brochure it gives a generic itinerary that includes lots of water sports, but in Luz Mark warner don't do water-sports so the activities are more limited. The clubs are good, though we were at times a bit concerned about how effective the staff were, on one occasion our youngest son was verbally abused by another child and he wanted to come out, the child concerned was told he would have to apologise later but this was never seen through. On another there was quite a lot of quite ugly stuff going on between the kids as I observed from about 5 yards away, but the staff member seemed either not to notice or not to care. Some basic ground-rules would be useful, but all in all, they were happy there and made some great friends.
Highlights for us were the tennis facilities and the adult pool. The tennis courts are high quality with all equipment provided and you use them whenever you want. Me and my eldest both had coaching and this was great, it re-kindled my enthusiasm for the game and I'll be carrying on now we are home. The adult pool is an oasis of calm in what can otherwise be a noisy experience.
The centre of the whole holiday is the Ocean Club and the 'Mill' restaurant. It has a tough job on its hands. In the morning it is the breakfasting, booking and meeting point for the days activities. From late morning onwards it is the poolside bar for the main pool and light lunch venue. Then, by evening it transforms again to become an a la carte restaurant and bar area. It is a hard job but to be fair it almost pulls it off. We had some good meals at the Mill even though our expectations were not high, in the evening the food was fresh and well cooked. But, and these are some very big buts; some of the dishes in the evening just didn't work. Breakfasts are awful. Not just the range but the quality. Watery orange juice made from concentrate. The worst kind of bready economy sausages. British bacon that again lacked quality. Walk five minutes down the road and buy breakfast out and a cornucopia of authentic Portuguese delights are open to you. At lunch the food was fine but its the standard international menu: 'Paninis', burgers, hot dogs, some salads, are we in England? No we are in Portugal just you wouldn't know it. The buffet was awful, boring prawns, a prawn and squid kebab that was both singed and undercooked. Down the road at a restaurant called O Poco we had seafood from heaven. One evening we sat at the Mill eating pork tenderloin listening to two Crooners singing Frank Sinatra songs. It was like sitting in one of those ex-pat colonies in Spain or anywhere where English people retire. It was the start for me of what developed into 'Mill fever". a desire to escape, to hear another language spoken and to eat genuine Portuguese food. This may not bother you and if so fine, but it did bother us after a while. We ended up eating elsewhere and coming back to the Mill later to socialise and for the kids to tear around with their mates.
Our second week was soured by a food poisoning incident, to which the Mark Warner organisation responded in a typically defensive way. We had to prove that the exact form of bacteria that was to blame matched any contamination which showed up in the Tests run by a health and safety agency (which we don't get to see). We weren't told this until it was too late so they're in the clear and we are left feeling a little bitter.
We'd go again, mostly because the kids had a great time, and we had a good enough time. We'd be interested in talking to Mark Warner about doing less meals at the Mill and more out and about, oh and we'd buy a fan.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank maxwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We have just returned from the Ocean Club and found it very nice. We went independently but found the apartment to be spacious and very clean. We were still ae to use all the restaurants and pools and they were all very good especially the pizza restaurant at the waterside pool. The beech was great with the best water sports I have seen , I tried things I had never tried before. My sons are 16 and 13 and they had a great time with enough to do to keep them occupied. I would say prices are average for food but water sports were very cheap. Sagras is worth a visit and if you have a car the drive up to the mountains is good, but it's also perfect for relaxing by the pool or going to the beech. Pria da luz is very pretty, I would definatley go back to the ocean club .

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Giselle42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2010

Just returned from a two week family self catering break with Thomas Cook. Was expecting a 3 hour transfer but was very happy to have instead a one hour mini bus service instead directed to by a lovely rep at the airport. Professional and effecient reception manager who spoke English well. We were also expecting a one bedroom apartment but were delighted to find we had been allocated a two bedroom, pool view one with washing machine and Sky TV. We were at the very edge of the complex (Palm Bay) but this was no problem and getting to the facilities and beach only took a matter of minutes or less depending on where you went. Pools beautiful and there was a lack of sunloungers but a large amount of new ones were delivered during our stay due to customer feedback. Rep was lovely and knowledgable and offered to do some food shopping for our fussy son in Lagos if we couldnt find what we wanted locally (which we did at the Spar). All the complex staff are mostly employed by Mark Warner so we did get ignored a bit by the kids club staff and aerobics instructor but the bar and resturant staff were great. Local staff were outstanding and really helpful - They should employ more of these instead of importing UK staff. Resturants locally brilliant but book if you want to go after 8pm. The one on the beach is outstanding and your kids can play while you eat and keep an eye on the. Price also great - some of the places are a bit pricey. We would def go here again or rec to a friend - beautiful and relaxed. Dont forget a day out to see the Dolphions and visit "Slide and Splash".

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank pennypony30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2010

We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Ocean Club in Praia de Luz, if you are going don't expect to get apartment that looks anything like on website, we were given an apartment just a few minutes from the beach which was full of faults ie coffee table was wobbly, toilet bowl was loose, the view from patio doors in bedroom was a brick wall with a car park above it so if you opened shutters and curtains anyone could see right into bedroom, there was brick walls and a gate on patio with overgrown plants and if you wanted a view you had to stand to look over the walls, it was on main road to beach and we were woken at 6am with bins getting emptied, we knew it was 6am as when they finished emptying them the Church bells chimed , this was just about every morning. There was a washing machine but to use it my husband had to pull it out as there was no plug behind it so it was sitting nearly in middle of floor, and to crown it all there were ants all over the top cover on the small double bed. We were on half board through Thomas Cook and this apartment was 10-15 mins walk, a lot of that uphill to get to restaurant, not good when the temperatures are in the high 30's, common sense says not to put people on half board that far from restaurant. We complained to Rep at welcome meeting who said nothing could be done until the Monday and she told us to go to Main Reception which we did and they told us to come back at 4pm, this went on for 3 days, we went to see Rep again on the Thursday who said she would contact reception again, I gave her my mobile number to save us going back to reception, I am still waiting for her to contact me, we went back to reception that evening to be told there was nothing unless we paid 150 euros, we declined as we felt we had paid enough as the apartment we were in was supposed to be a 1 bedroom for 4 people and we had paid £464 under occupancy and it only had one extra bed in livingroom, we called Thomas Cook Resort Office who's answer to that was they could put another bed in but we would have no room!!!!! We got a complaints form and when my husband went to get a continuation form from Rep it was a different person who turned out to be our Reps Line Manager and when my husband told her why we were complaining she said she would get us moved right away, we ended up in a lovely apartment but its a pity it was only two and half days before we were due to come home. If we had been in that apartment from the start it would have been an ideal holiday as we liked everything else about it, the staff were all very friendly and helpful and we loved the Adult Only Pool it was very quiet and relaxing. I would like to go back to this resort but would be a bit wary unless they could tell me where the apartment was going to be and also I would go on Bed and Breakfast as meals were a bit to fancy for us.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rae17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
milton keynes
Level Contributor
71 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2010

Just back from two weeks with Thomas Cook on half board, with my husband and grown up daughter. Its a lovely place and all the positive reviews on here describe it well, although some of them are out of date now. Luz is a small fishing village completely over come by holiday homes, the most central of which are the ocean club, but there’s lots and lots more. Having said that it is a quiet place with no groups of noisy people, and the beaches were beautiful all blue flag. Limited night life but the Mill provided a bit and there were some bars which opened late.
We were on half board which was at the Mill restaurant about five mins walk from our apartment, which was also the centre for Mark Warner people. Breakfast was fine although after two weeks a little variety would have been good, I liked the evening meal but my family weren’t so keen. It was 5 choices starter, main and sweet all well presented and served at the table. It tended to be things like roast quail and mussels with garlic, not to everyone’s taste and it would have been good if they’d given a choice of something like spag bol for those who prefer plainer food. Also the menu was repeated the second week, so we started to eat out. Not streets full of restaurants as in near by Lagos but plenty spread around the village, we went to the fort and the beach restaurant both of which were very good, but not cheap. We also went to the pizza place in the family pool, which was also very good and not as expensive.
The adults only pool was wonderful, no children, football or music. It’s also the first place I’ve been to where no towels on the beds was enforced. So you would walk in there any time of day and get a bed for a few hours then move on. The family pools also enforced these rules, but some people didn’t appreciate the no bringing your own food and drink element. However we didn’t find the prices expensive in the pool bars.
We recommend the walk to the next door village, not Lagos (you need to be a mountain goat the get up the hill), the other way was about 1:15 mins and the beach bar there was very good. Also a trip to Sagras for the fort and beaches. Golf at Boavista was also very good, you can book via the ocean club but can get twilight cheaper by booking direct with the club. Car hire is handy but not essential.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 45lmkf89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2010

Just back from Mark Warner Ocean Club and have had wonderful break all round. Childcare is excellent, with kids kept happy and lots of different activities all day long. Food was superb - the a la carte as good as you'd get anywhere else locally - and relaxed dining al fresco in a pretty courtyard setting. Kids menu was a bit uninspired but tea time at 530 meant kids were happy and fed early allowing you to enjoy the rest of the evening. And the evening creche was wonderful! All British staff inspired confidence from the start. T
he town is small but very pretty, the beach family friendly and Lagos 15 mins away by bus or taxi. Take the boat trip to the caves - superb.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank lizkav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luz Ocean Club

Property: Luz Ocean Club
Address: Praia da Luz | Vila da Luz, Luz 8600-160, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Luz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Luz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luz Ocean Club 4*
Number of rooms: 150
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Also Known As:
Luz Ocean Club Hotel Luz
Ocean Club Portugal
Luz Ocean Hotel
Luz Ocean Resort
Ocean Club Apartments
Ocean Club Praia Da Luz

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