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“Very poor, no way a five star hotel!”

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Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa
Ranked #11 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 September 2012

Stayed in this hotel at the end of August for a 10 night stay with my wife and 2 kids. This hotel is a small chain and we have stayed for the last 2 years at the Grand Atlantis Bahia Real in Fuerterventura so we thought we would give this one a go to make a change. Was a little worried by the reviews on here before leaving but thought it would be great just like the Fuerteventura one…How wrong I was!
There is no way this can be considered a 5 star hotel for so many reasons. First the good points, the friendliness and service in the restaurant was on the whole superb. The kids club was also superb. We like to spend our holidays with the kids and are not ones for leaving them in the club for more than 1-2 hours at a time. But they loved it and we had to restrict their time in there!
The bad points….there are many reviews on here with the bad points and we discovered them also (plus more) im genuinely staggered that the manager of this hotel does not react to them and rectify them!
We stayed in the family villas block, the rooms are nicely decorated the kitchen is ok and is functional. The bathrooms are not 5 star, 5 star bathrooms do not consist of a bath tub with a shower head on the wall and a curtain pulled across the bath…truly awful. Our main bed was extremely un-comfortable and in actual fact gave me chronic back ache and for the last 3 days of my holiday I was unable to lay on a sun bed. The beds need replacing they are the worst I have encountered! The tv in the room was a 12” portable tv up high on the wall. Now I don’t go away to watch tv but I do like to keep up with the news, and you had to sit on the edge of the bed just to try and read the scrolling new messages on sky news. These tv’s are maybe 15+ yrs old and need replacing! Why haven’t the hotel phased through new tv’s over period of time? A UK Premier Inn has better bathrooms and facilities than this supposed 5 star hotel.
At this resort there are 4 pools, one for each of the vila blocks and 2 pools near the restaurant areas.
At all pools the sunbeds were packed tightly together, meaning everyone is on top of each other. The 2 main pools were extremely busy and the villa pools less so.The pools were small and bland and not once did I see the pool cleaned near the villa block. The whole pool area is decked and looks like a cruise ship. The decking needs replacing and is dangerously broken in some areas. Your foot literally goes through it. The pool near one of the villa blocks was particular bad and a whole section was broken. I found one day a 2 foot long piece of wood that had splintered off that was sharp and would have caused a very nasty injury. The piece of wood resembled a wooden stake. I took this to reception and complained and said its very dangerous. The next day minor repairs to the area began, but only a tiny area was replaced, the whole decking area need replacing. To sum up , if you love pools you wont like these!
There are 4 restaurants, the main buffet restaurant serves very average food and contrary to some peoples reviews on here the selection is not vast at all. The food is nowhere near 5 star quality.The breakfast is particular bad, not much choice and the bacon was a joke, hardly even cooked, streaky fatty bacon every morning with the exception of once when it was crispy (how it should be). The Italian and fish/grill restaurant s are much better. We got so fed up with the food even though we were half board that we ate out locally. Martins restaurant just outside the hotel is excellent and is far superior to the buffet restaurant.
The drinks bar near reception area has an inside and outside part. The outside part has good views and all the chairs are covered in bird poo and every night we found it impossible to find a chair that didn’t have some kind of poo on it. The service also in this bar was poor. It was slow and every night you had to ask for complimentary crisps/nuts instead of them coming automatically. Even if you asked for them at point of ordering they never came with the drinks.
One night there was a concert in the hotel. Half a day was spent setting up the stage near the main restaurant. This hotel wanted to charge us to see the band! This did include drinks within the price though. Their aim to bring outsiders in to see this concert. No way were we going to pay for that!
When we arrived for dinner we were not allowed to sit outside near the stage, even though we arrived at 7pm and the concert was at 9.30pm. The stage area had a large amount of electrical cables trailing across the walk way to the outside BBQ area where the buffet was situated. A full 90 mins after the buffet had opened , staff realised the cables presented a trip hazard for hotel guests walking back and forth to the buffet. They then proceeded to gaffer tape the cables down. Absolute joke that they left it so long! No commen sense!!
The hotel has a Spa, the Hotel is called Grand Real Hotel AND Spa. The Spa pool is not included in the cost of your stay! 15 euros plus a $2 euro head cap charge. Its awful they charge for this! It’s a hotel AND Spa. I booked a hotel and Spa, I don’t expect to pay extra for it! The spa was also poor, one main set of jets was not working. So you pay for use of a Spa that isn’t 100% functional! What a joke! The sister hotel in Fureterventura doesn’t charge for use of the Spa.
To top everything off, upon checking out i was given a invoice to pay (400+ euro) of extras we had. I gave my card to pay the amount of the printed out invoice I was given. Then the receptionist said sorry the amount is wrong on his screen it showed a higher amount by 9 euros. He said it was a bug in the system! Then printed out another bill with the slightly higher amount.
A bug in the system?? Im staying at a supposed 5 star hotel , paying 5 star prices and im presented with a 400 euro bill to pay and then told its wrong due to a bug. Is this hotel and management for real?
I really hope people note this review. I was extremely disappointed with this hotel, considering the Fuerterventura is a true 5 star excellent hotel. I’m stunned that the reviews on here and that the management have done nothing to put things right.
I would never stay at this hotel again, and would never recommend it either.
Its not 5 star and at a push it would be a 4 star.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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15  Thank Nick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

We regret that your stay did not correspond to your expectations and to the experiences made by other guests that, as the reviews on this site prove, have been mostly very positive and enjoyable ones.

Please be assured that we read all reviews on Tripadvisor and that we try to react whenever we can to improve things and make our guests stays as enjoyable as possible. For instance, some guests prefer a firm bed, like the ones we have, but we also have guests, like you, that prefer a softer mattress and commented this on Tripadvisor. To be able to suit as many preferences as possible, we bought mattress toppers with which, as we informed several times before, we prepare the beds of guests that prefer a softer mattress and we would have been very pleased to do this for you if we would have known.

As also mentioned on Tripadvisor, our own web site or brochures, not all the facilities of the Real Spa Thalasso are included. The gym is, but the Thalasso Thermal circuit is not, as it is a treatment, but for anyone planning to use it frequently, some Spa packages or special offers include its use.

Another point we would like to clarify is that we are a Hotel chain, but a Portuguese one and do not own any Hotels in Spain and Fuerteventura.

Thank you once again for your feedback and be assured that we will try our utmost to improve wherever we can.

We hope that we will be able to welcome you again for an improved stay and remain at your entire disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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1,618 - 1,624 of 2,871 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2012

a group of 9 girls went for a break in sept, the hotel was all we could ask for, the rooms were terriffic the staff all freindly and helpful in every area of the hotel, the gym was very good for a hotel gym didnt use the pool area but at 38 eur per visit I wouldnt have used it anyway, this probably the only issue i would have as a guest, the breakfast as others have said was excellent, probably the best of any hotel I have stayed in anywhere in Europe/UK. the decor in the hotel was excellent, so not sure what other posters expect. I will definately be returning with the family. well done Grande real. Tip for travellers, I was able to pick up free wi fi anywhere in the hotel and pool areas. i thought a car wasnt necessary as taxis were cheap and the courtesy bus frequent, PS you dont need to bring a beach/pool towel

Room Tip: rooms in the curved part have better sea views.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank shazza401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review, which we really appreciated.

We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and especially the breakfast so much that you even considered it to be the best you ever had in a Hotel. Thank you so much for this, also on behalf of our Kitchen and Breakfast team.

It is also very gratifying for us that you are already planning your return trip and we hope that your family will enjoy it as much as you did.
To improve your experience, we would like to suggest you to try out our Thalasso Thermal Circuit, which is not a regular pool, but a treatment. Unfortunately, you didn’t have the opportunity to try it out this time, but we are sure that you won’t regret it, especially since you do not even have to pay the regular price that, as you mention, is €38. We have a Happy Hour at reduced prices and if you book the Thalasso circuit before your arrival, the price is only €10 per session. There are also several packages, which already include the use of the Thalasso Thermal Circuit. Just contact our reservations department and they will be glad to assist you with advice on choosing the most suitable solution for you.

We look forward to welcoming you again to the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel SPA.

Kind regards



João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

Stayed 4 nights in a suite with seaview on a pre paid non refundable rate, booked derectly via mail to the Real Hotels mailbox. Everythig in a very good working order, despite the hotel not being brand new. Staff very friendly and F & B in general of good quality. The various weedings that took place at the hotel, did not affect other guests use of the hotel. The beach at the foot of the hotel is outstanding, and the next door, family run, "Pescadore" restaurant on the beach is an excellent alternative to the F & B outlets at the hotel, and just 3 mins walk away. Grilled fish and Vinho Verde....

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Finn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Dear Guest,

We really appreciated your kind review and are very glad that you have had a thoroughly enjoyable time at our Hotel.

Thank you so much for having shared your feedback with us and the Tripadvisor community.

We look forward to welcoming you again for another memorable experience at the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel SPA.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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Reviewed 22 September 2012

This is a beautiful hotel. The lobby and reception are stunning and I instantly felt we had made the right choice. We stayed in room 137 which is a two room / two bathroom suite that is on the groundfloor and looks over the pool and beach but is still very private and peaceful. I loved sitting on our balcony of an evening hearing waves lapping onto the beach. The room was beautiful, clean and comfortable and was cleaned every day by a lovely lady who even made sure my daughter's teddy and blanket were laid out on her bed ready for bedtime. There was a tv (cartoon network for the kids) and mini bar in each room plus a safe with a pin code entry.
We stayed half-board and would recommend this option as the food can be expensive. The restaurant for breakfast served a wide selection of options, our children loved the pancakes and chocolate sauce. The fresh fruit was always ripe and delicious but they also served the good old "full english". Don't worry about your morning cuppa, they provide english breakfast tea. Lunch and dinner was always buffet style consisting of a few meat and fish options with plenty of different salad, pasta and potatoe accompaniments. The only very slight criticism I would make of the food is that the childrens menu was very limited which could leave fussy eaters with the same food every night (my 6 year old daughter lived on bread and chicken and red jelly but my 9 year old son loved the food).
The pool area consisted of three pools, a small shallow baby pool, a larger fresh water warm pool and a larger cold salt water pool. There were plenty of good quality sunbeds and parasols and the hotel provided beach towels daily for the loungers. There was also a poolside snack bar that was alot cheaper than the main restaurants.
The only criticism of the hotel would be the kids club. We were assured that we could leave the kids at the club and they would not be allowed to leave unless we collected them and this was the case on their first two occassions they went but on movie night our children made their way back to our room on their own. To be fair to the hotel, movie night might have been the exception to the normal rule and maybe we should have checked at the time also our kids are very sensible and knew to come back to the room. For this reason we didn't feel the need to complain.
We used the free bus into Albufeira on one day. We got the 10:20 into Albufeira and the 16:05 back and had no problem getting seats. The journey took approx 10-15mins but a taxi would have only cost about 7 euros if the bus was full. I think Albufeira has had it's day, it was dirty, scruffy and stank of sewage in parts and if you love browsing tat shops then you will be in heaven because that is all there is. If there was a quaint old fishing town there somewhere then it's long gone. The tat is also not cheap.
TIPS...
Get an odd numbered suite (they seem to have the sea views whereas the even numbers look onto the car park and entrance)
Book half board and use vouchers for dinner. Then buy your lunches at the snack bar or leave the hotel, turn right and walk 5 mins up the road to a supermarket and stock up on drinks and goodies that can be stored in the minibars.
Go and have dinner at the beach front Santa Eulalia Restaurant that accept your meal vouchers, the fresh fish is delicious and the view is divine.
Use Bravo Tor for your airport transfer, they were fab, friendly and efficient.
Overall a great holiday made possible by a great hotel and it's staff.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank LadyAlison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind and very detailed review about our Hotel, its services and facilities.

We are very glad that you and your family have had a thoroughly enjoyable stay with us and that our team was able to make it even more special and memorable.

Thank you also for sharing useful tips in order to allow other guests to make the most out of their stay, which we and, prospective guests for sure as well, really appreciated. We would just like to add that the only way to guarantee a sea view is to book this category, so we would recommend everyone for whom an ocean view is really important to book a sea view room, Sea view Suite or Real Suite.

We look forward to welcoming you again to the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel SPA and assure you that we will do our utmost to make your next stay as or even more enjoyable.

Kind regards



João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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Reviewed 20 September 2012 via mobile

Very good hotel..... car hire recommended as just too far to either Montechoro or Olhos d'agua.
Quiet location for relaxing stay. Nice beach but if you prefer a longer beach.... faleisa beach is fairly close.
Hotel shuttle bus to Albufeira each evening but limited in numbers.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank AaronCaddell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Dear Guest,

We are happy that you have spent an enjoyable, relaxing time at the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel SPA and would like to thank you for your kind review.

We look forward to welcoming you again for another pleasant experience and remain at your entire disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards



João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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Reviewed 19 September 2012

A really fantastic hotel and resort, it provides everything for a really enjoyable holiday, a five star complex at five star prices, so was a bit disappointed that still had to pay if I wanted to use the wifi.

Booked a studio apartment which had everything we need for a self catering holiday, including being able to sit out on a balcony to have breakfast, or any other meals. The apartment had all the facilities you needed, was clean and well decorated, BUT as we found at the weekend, with an influx of weekenders, noise carries from one apartment, and we were subjected to banging doors and load music in the early hours on Saturday/Sunday nights. We were allocated an apartment at the back of the property, which suited us only to find that an adjoining property had a dog that enjoyed barking in the early hours of the morning, causing disruption of sleep.

We only used the restaurants once, on the last morning for breakfast and it was excellent, providing everything you needed from a buffet breakfast.

If we return to this resort again, we certainly would make better use of the facilities it has to offer, but would recommend this to anyone, however we probably would not book an apartment again.

Room Tip: Avoid the apartments, unless you are prepared to put up with potential noise from neighbours, such a...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Flowingfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind review.

We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you are even considering returning, which is the biggest compliment a Hotel can hope for.

Please do not hesitate to contact our reception team as they will be able to assist you with anything you might require, including “neighbours” that disturb the peace at night.

We look forward to welcoming you again to the Grande Real Santa Eulália and remain at your entire disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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Reviewed 19 September 2012

Just like my previous stay in Algarve ( Filipa, see previous review) this hotel is graded 5 stars when truthfully it is not, unless of course Algarve hotels grading system is not up to UK standards.
However, having started out on a negative comment, I have to say our stay was very good, and it was only the decor in rooms, and little extras you get at 5 star establishments that let it down.
The staff were excellent, at all times polite and helpful. Food, well breakfast was brilliant buffet with all you could expect, and chef cooking to order when required ( I had poached eggs and no trouble having this cooked in front of me)
Evening meal, well we went half board, and I would say the buffet was good, albeit a little below par just before we left, with numbers in hotel falling due to date ( we left mid sept) the quality started to suffer. I would however say it was not worth the 38 euros per head walk in price, if you are going to eat make sure part of package when book.
The pool area in main hotel was brilliant, overlooking the sea, 3 pools, and plenty of sun beds, however would question if enough during peak summer. One grumble, for a 5 star I would have expected cushions for the loungers.
We stayed in a sea view suite which I have to say disappointed, the decor very substandard for a 5 star, however room size was good. We even had an old style 1990's tv in room!
The biggest disappointment however was reserved for the town itself. The hotel is situated some 20 minutes walk from Albufeira, which is split into 2, The Strip and Old Town. 20 minutes walk from hotel takes you to The Strip, which if you like Sky Sports, Karaoke, and Foam Bars, plus absolute rubbish shopping, then this is for you, a further 30 minutes walk, or taxi, or free shuttle from hotel, takes you into the second part called Old Town. We had visions of cobbled streets, quaint shopping and lovely atmosphere, we got the exact opposite! Same as Strip, but extended around several areas, this is not what we expected, it really is Margate on a Sat night, albeit warmer! Did not feel safe in evening, we left as drunks began to emerge around 10pm. Would not like to be around this resort during peak summer! Maybe during day it is different.
In summary, hotel was good but not 5 star, please do not go with 5 stars in mind, you will be disappointed, town itself dreadful and would never return.

Room Tip: Sea Views excellent, Suite very outdated
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Molby_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Manager at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.
It is very difficult to meet the individual tastes and preferences of all our guests when it comes to the décor of the room. Whilst some prefer a classy design, as ours, others prefer a more modern style, as you do. We therefore would like to suggest you for your next trip to the Algarve our sister Hotel in Olhão, where you will find the hospitality and the high-quality service of the Hotéis Real Algarve, which you enjoyed so much, but in a Hotel with a modern, contemporary design, located in a typical, charming fisherman’s town.

We look forward to welcoming you again to the Hotéis Real Algarve and remain at your disposal for any assistance you might require.

Kind regards


João Máximo
Assistant Manager
Hotéis Real Algarve

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa

Address: Praia de Santa Eulalia, Albufeira 8200-916, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Albufeira
#6 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#9 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#9 Family Hotel in Albufeira
#10 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £45 - £183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 344
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grande Real Santa Eulalia Hotel Albufeira
Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort And Hotel Spa
Santa Eulalia Portugal
Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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