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“Good hotel, some grumpy staff but great location”

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Rocamar Exclusive Hotel & Spa
Ranked #44 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Stayed here for a week in October booked through Jet2. Flight and transfer were fine. We arrived at the hotel at 12 noon and encountered the legendary grumpy young man. The only information he willingly gave was that we couldn't get into our room for 2 hours - nothing about the hotel or its facilities. He grudgingly stored our cases behind the counter - I later discovered there was a room for this purpose as you would expect.

The room when we eventually got into it was a bit disappointing - room 501. We hadn't paid for a sea view so didn't get one - fair enough. None of the odd numbered rooms have sea views and what you get instead is pretty grim - you are facing an ugly car park and close to several busy roads. Lorries and buses drag themselves up the hill with their noisy engines. The room was fairly small and the beds hard. The glass panels in the shower didn't fit the doors so water gushed across the floor and we had to use our bath towels to soak it up. What on earth? The wifi doesn't reach room 501 (although it does cover most of the hotel) and 501 is right next to the maids' work station - lots of bustling outside our door all day. The balcony had six-inch gaps in the corners - very dangerous for toddlers as it is five floors up! The flat screen TV did have several British channels inc. BBC 1 and ITV.

Very strange piped music in the hotel - shrieky modern jazz which can only appeal to a few people, I would think. Man in the bar playing the organ and singing did a great job of clearing the room.

Having said all of the above, the hotel was mostly fine for a three star. We enjoyed the breakfast and we had a snack lunch in the restaurant a couple of times - omelettes, etc. - quite good value. We even tried the buffet one night - OK quality but not a huge choice.

The hotel describes itself as "boutique" and "exclusive" and goes on about its spa facilities - price lists everywhere you look. Boutique means more than painting one wall in each room a different colour, though - they have a long way to go. It is really nothing more than a decent three star hotel in a very fortunate location.

One member of staff on reception is famous on this forum for his rudeness and he seems to set the tone for others who think they are doing OK if they are not quite as rude and unhelpful as him. I wonder if anyone from the hotel ever reads these reviews? Perhaps they don't care as long as they are full.

Room Tip: Don't take room 501 if you can help it. Even numbered rooms have a sea view.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank kameko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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541 - 547 of 1,113 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2013

Just returned from 2 night break at this hotel. Hotel was chosen for location, less than 5 minute walk into the old town with numerous bars and restaurants and overlooking the lovely fisherman's beach with it's stunning views. For this reason we booked 2 sea view rooms. We were given rooms 406 and 408, 4th floor rooms just above the pool area. Could not fault the views, panoramic of the pool, beach and in the evening of the old town all lit up. However the rooms were very small, dark with tiny shabby bathroom. The furniture and decor all needed updating. The beds were very hard, low and the pillows lumpy.The shower door did not close properly and consequently the bathroom was flooded after a shower!
Worst of all was the extremely poor customer service from all the main hotel staff from the initial checking in to check out. No greeting, demands for printed invoice of booking even though I presented the email of the booking reference. Quite abrupt in manner, not 1 of the staff had a friendly word, nevermind a smile! The man on the door at breakfast was more interested in chasing after you for your room number than explaining how how the system worked and showing you to a table. On checking out did not get asked re: our stay, did not even say goodbye!
Breakfast was standard buffet fare; eggs, hotdog sausages, bacon, beans, cold meats, cereal and toast. Nothing outstanding and no continental pastries which was a shame. All quite bland really! Jam tasted of nothing!!
Infinity pool was small but looked inviting with it's stunning views. Didn't use it so can't comment further. I can imagine in high season there would be a distinct lack of sun loungers though, only about 15 for whole hotel.
All in all enjoyed our stay in the Algarve, if it hadn't of been for the views we would of felt very let down. Hotel Rocamar could be a lovely boutique hotel but staff need to undergo some intensive training in customer service first, after all they did choose to work in the 'hospitality' industry!!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank jogo2170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

We have just come back from a very pleasant stay at this hotel. The sea views are wonderful and its location means only a short walk for the beach, shops, restaurants etc. The staff were the worst part of the hotel and the reviews below are spot on. The cleaners/maids are very friendly and always say hello, All other members of staff we found to be abrupt and unhelpful although to be fair, we found this with the majority of the locals. Breakfast was good/ok and the comments on tight space are accurate. All in all we recommend this hotel as a very pleasant break

Room Tip: Any even numbered rooms
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Bunf1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Hotel stay was very good probably more for the location rather than hotel itself. Within 5 minutes walk everything is on your doorstep, beach, restaurants, bars etc. What lets hotel down we felt was the staff and the high concrete walls to balconies. From arrival to departure all staff we encountered, apart from the maids, were pretty ignorant and miserable looking. The younger guy Zie? at reception with curly hair (not Carlos) shouldn't in our opinion be on reception dealing with the public directly as everything appeared to be a big effort for him to help. Point blank refused us a move to a specific room the following day despite us knowing the couple were leaving and was a sea view which we had also paid for, just that their room was much better than ours. Breakfast was ok if early enough but got too busy after 9am for the size of place. The staff at breakfast we found were unfriendly and abrupt and couldn't wait to chase you around for your room number, hard for them to crack a smile. We sat one night to get a meal inside and waited 10 minutes to be recognised before leaving. Sat outside another night for a drink and same happened. Free wifi was good around pool and reception but we struggled to get a signal in room. All in all we had a great time in resort but shame about some staff because hotel could and should be much better with its location !!

Room Tip: Seaviews a must but be aware the views can be restricted due to high concrete walls in balconies
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Willie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Can't fault the hotel in any way. We had a room on the 4th floor with a spectacular view over the sea. Yes we had to pay for a fridge and safe but in comparison to what we have paid in other apartments/hotels we found the price to be more than reasonable. Our room was spotless and well maintained. The maids cleaned our room daily and were always extremely pleasant. I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel .... provided you book a sea view. We only stayed bed and breakfast so I can't comment on the lunch/evening meals, but with the number of restaurants nearby your spoilt for choice. Overall we had a great time, and are already looking forward to next years stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: Sea view is a must.
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Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Donna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

The views are breath taking, make sure you get a room that ends in an even number 2,4,6,8 and from the 4th floor upwards, you will not be disappointed. The breakfast is a mission to achieve, not well laid out but an experience overcoming the tight space and waiting for chef to prepare and top up the various dishes.

From the marketing director - HUGO thru the Hotel Manager - ALEXANDER - onto ANNABELLA the Head Receptionist akin with JOHN and TIAGO the Male waiters, along with all the other support staff nothing was to much trouble for them, but the catalyst for this hotel is undoubtedly CARLOS - the man for all occasions and roles within this place from waiter to receptionist thru to "boss man" when required, he epitomises all that is great about this hotel an if you blink you will miss him, well don`t blink and seek him out, he has vast knowledge about Albufeira, from the best restaurants to where to go and what to do.
I have stayed in some of the worlds top hotels and although this is by no means a five star, the staff alone make it worth five stars.

Room Tip: Go for rooms above the fourth floor ending in an even number, if you e mail the hotel 30+ days in ad...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank TheYorkshireMan_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

We booked this hotel purely for the location and views. We paid extra for a sea view room and the first room we were offered was on the 4th floor and whilst the view was lovely, the room was awful, it was old, tired and very tatty. I asked for another room which was refurbished and was told the hotel was full, however, I stood my ground and was given a room on the 2nd floor, room 204, this was better but the refurbishment has been done on the cheap. The sink and toilet looked new but the bath was old and chipped, the bathroom mirror was new as was the hairdryer which had the strangest smell when used. The beds must have been put in when the hotel was first opened, awful lumpy and hard. There was a new table lamp, that was all I could see had been done to up-date the room although the curtains looked fresh. The room was, however, clean. There was hardly any storage space for clothes or shelf space. I had to use my case as a drawer! The room was kept clean by the maid service. We hired a fridge and the safe. The TV was a small flat screen and we got a few English channels which was handy. I had a couple of funny incidents, one when I asked to borrow a newspaper at 6 pm and the guy insisted on taking my room number despite my promise to return it! The breakfast offering was truly awful, the room was nowhere near large enough to accommodate the guests as the hotel was full. The two guys did a great job trying to keep the tables in use. We tried different times but it was always heaving! We loved the view from our room and the location of the hotel. We did not try the evening buffet based on the bad breakfast experience. We had lunch on one occasion where we sat outside and that was fine. This hotel could be brilliant with some proper investment. Book a sea view room, asked for an up-dated room and breakfast elsewhere and you will enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank SueG56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rocamar Exclusive Hotel & Spa

Address: Largo Jacinto D'Ayet no. 7, Albufeira 8200-071, Portugal (Formerly Rocamar Hotels & Resorts)
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#20 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £36 - £154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Rocamar Exclusive Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 88
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Also Known As:
Rocamar Hotel Albufeira
Rocamar Exclusive Hotel & Spa Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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