We had a truly wonderful holiday, by we have very mixed feelings about the Hotel. I will outline some great, good and poor points for future travellers.
Firstly, I would like to say that the Portuguese people were so welcoming throughout our holiday. The staff in the hotel were very helpful and our self catering accommodation was immaculate. We had daily maid service and the cleaner was meticulous to detail. Towels changed daily, and pool/beach towels available from reception each day, which was great. As a family travelling with 2 children aged 8 and 11 the accommodation was perfect. We chose to book a 2 bedroom apartment for extra space. This was ideal, as it offered 2 bathrooms and showers and was definitely worth the extra money. From our accommodation we had a great view of the pools and garden. Air conditioning can also be altered on a per room basis,
Great pool area. The blue flag public beach in front of the Hotel is wonderful, but you should be aware that there are a considerable number of steps to the beach which is difficult with a buggy or anyone with mobility issues.
We used the Hotel gym on one occasion during the trip. As a runner I brought my gear to avail of the treadmills as I didn't want to run in the heat. However, although the gym had 2 treadmills, both were out of order, which was really disappointing,
The Hotel restaurants are very expensive. Lots of choice at breakfast with great fresh fruit, drinks, pastries, cold meats and breads. However, the cooked breakfast was cold every morning no matter what time we arrived. 1st into the breakfast room on 1 of the mornings, but it was still cold?? Also,if you arrive for breakfast after 9.00 the queue to get into the restaurant is huge. This meant getting out of bed early every morning to miss the queue. Tiring!!!!
A lovely restaurant called Restaurante Martins just outside the gates of the Hotel. Supermarkets are about a 5 minute walk. A beach bar offered reasonably priced snacks, lollies, ice creams and drinks, although these are outside the Hotel. The old town of Albuferiera is about 10 mins in a taxi and roughly 14 euros return. Villamoura was about 20 mins and roughly 30 euros return. The Hotel offers excursions to the Zoo Marine and Waterpark. My sister took her kiddies on the Waterpark trip and felt this was well worth it. Albuferiera is close by in a taxi. We felt it was better to visit Albuferiera in the mornings when it is less busy, as at night time it was packed and too much stress with 2 young kiddies. Getting back to the Hotel late also meant navigating a long taxi queue!!!!
The downside of this Hotel is that the children's animation and entertainment was very poor. We booked the Hotel knowing it was in a quiet location but it boasted entertainment and animation in the marketing materials. We therefore assumed that the Hotel would offer plenty of entertainment. This is not the case. When we arrived we were given a full itinerary of activities. However in reality the activities are so basic and more often didn't run due to lack of numbers. For example, children's disco cancelled due to lack of numbers. Water aerobics never happened. Play park consisted of a climbing frame with no swings, slides, sea saw or equipment for toddlers. The children's club was in a downstairs conference room during our stay which had a few toys at either corners of a room. For a five star hotel, the entertainment is 1 star for adults and children. During out stay the family entertainment consisted of a woeful jazz singer with an awful violin. The Hotel residents seemed to play cards in the lobby. We did buy a pack of cards and played 'Jack Change It' in our room!! Quiet with no atmosphere in the evenings and no reason to stay about the Hotel any evening as a family.
Overall, if you are interested in a quiet, relaxing break, far from the madding crowds, with the assurance of great accommodation, then this is the place for you. However, if you like good entertainment, or the facilities to walk to local amenities, then this Hotel may not tick all the boxes.
I would add that this Hotel has the potential to be exceptional given the right quality of family entertainment to match the brilliant accommodation.
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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