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“Great but not 5 star”

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Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa
Ranked #11 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Have just returned from a short break at this hotel. It is more 4 star than 5 star. Breakfast was nice enough but chaotic with so many people needing to be fed. The issue for me was the pool and sun beds. They stated in the literature that sun loungers cannot be reserved and that towels will be removed if left longer than 30 minutes. This did not happen. Everyday I had to get to breakfast as early as possible and eat breakfast quickly to get try to find a lounger without a towel. Once in situ I observed that most of the unoccupied loungers with towels remained unoccupied for well over an hour. In some cases 2 hours. Some parents had babies in pools they stated were for older children/adults and although they stated ball games were not allowed a blind eye was turned to such games. My view is you either have these policies and enforce them, or don't bother. The pools in the main hotel are tiny and you are packed like sardines, not really 5 star luxury compared to other 5 star hotels I have visited. You can always walk down to the beach, but that's not really what you pay for with a five star hotel. The resort is lovely and clean, everyone is friendly and helpful and the ladies cleaning the rooms do an excellent job. All staff serving breakfast and in the bar/reception very pleasant. This hotel would be great when under occupied or perhaps in early season.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank J H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

We were surprised that you was not satisfied with the quality of the service, since the feedback we receive is usually extremely positive with many guests praising our hotel and we regret your experience has been so different but we will pass your comment on to the department heads and assure you that we will continue trying to always provide a high-quality service in all areas and circumstances. We will share your comment with our team in order to improve our service.

We assure that our main concern is offer great experiences to our guests. Those are a set of observations that happen exceptionally, to which none Hotel can escape due to its operation and daily use.

Thank you for your review.

We hope for a new visit to our hotel, the Grande Real Santa Eulália Hotel & SPA.

Kind regards,
Jorge Teixeira

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,301 - 1,307 of 2,869 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2014

We have just returned from here having had a really lovely family holiday. The hotel is in a beautiful location and has super views over the beach. The public areas are all beautiful. We had a hotel suite with sea views which was perfect for a family of 4. Had our children been older though, the sofa bed would not have been suitable. Breakfast was plentiful with a wide choice of food. The hotel was clean and out rooms were well looked after. The beds are very hard and even with a mattress topper we didn't notice much difference but it wasn't a huge issue for us. The pool area is a bit tired looking and the wooden deck could do with some attention but nothing that would spoil your holiday. The pools are quite small and the largest of the pools was almost always empty as it was so cold! Even in June/July it could have done with a little bit of heating. The kids club was fabulous and our children enjoyed an hour or so there most days. The staff are friendly and helpful throughout the hotel. It is probably not truly a 5 stat hotel but it is certainly an excellent 4 and we would definitely return. We ate out most nights in either Albufeira old town or Villamoura but the couple nights we stayed in the food was also very good although I think would become repetitive after a few nights. The gym doesn't open until 9am and the kids club is 10am. There is a little quirky thing with the towels that you are issued a card that can be 'redeemed' for 1 towel a day but the kiosk doesn't open until 10am. We would definitely return for another holiday.

Room Tip: Sea view room definitely worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank luxey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for the comment and opinion.

We are very happy that you had a enjoyable experience with us.

Thank you for the compliments regarding our staff and our location.

We regret that you don’t agree with our rating. We assure you that our hotel respect all the requirements to be classified as a 5 star hotel.

We hope to be able to welcome you again to Grande Real Santa Eulália Hotel & SPA.

Kind Regards,
Jorge Teixeira

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Definitely not 5* hotel. Lots of good things and some bad, but do NOT expect 5*.

Good things:

-Room well equipped with lovely balcony over looking pool (self catering apartment although we were half board, but we appreciated the space).
-Swimming pool area good. Always able to get a lounger. There are a number of satellite pools around the resort which is great as it means you're always close to a pool.
-Free bus into Albufeira old and new towns.
-Appreciated the free indoor baby play area.
-Staff very child friendly. Often random staff passers-by engaged my little boy which I appreciated.
-I know this is pretty basic but the chamber maid was great. Really gave the place a good going over every day and was tolerant of us when we kept being in when she was trying to clean!
-Free/good wifi.

Bad things

-Food (a big deal). Consistently grey, unappetising and not much taste. Very mediocre. Breakfast was fine, but dinner was consistently "meh"! The plates of food at buffet had an attempt at being well presented (i.e. a border of lemon halves to make it look decent, if a little 80s) but the actual taste of the food was very bland. Interestingly there were marketing images placed around the hotel of gorgeous looking food that I would have loved to have tucked into; shame about the reality.
-80s decor.
-I was disappointed with the star rating. We deliberately chose this place due to its high star rating and paid more than other deals out there, but it's a 3 star...maybe 4. I find it hard to articulate all the multiplicity of reasons it's only 3/4, but suffice to say definitely do NOT expect 5*.

This hotel is totally fine if you're expecting 3/4 stars, but not if you're paying extra looking for something close to 5*.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Pearcekins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Usually, our guests mention the quality of the food like an extreme positive point thanks to the quality and the variety presented so we regret that you didn’t feel the same.

We will inform our F&B team in order to evaluate your comment. We assure you that our team makes all the efforts to provide a selection of food suit to all preferences and tastes.

Unfortunately, you seem do not agree with our rating. We assure you that our hotel respect all the requirements needed to be a 5 star hotel.

We expect an opportunity to serve you again, in the next stay in Portugal to prove you the quality.

Kind regards,
Jorge Teixeira

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Reviewed 8 July 2014

this is our 8th year staying at this hotel and it is still fantastic. brilliant staff, brilliant kids club, lots of pools to choose from, and great beach.
everything is also very clean and the hotel housekeeping is the best we have known anywhere.
but it really is some of the fantastic staff who make it so special-Philip and Mario in the restaurant, Carla at pool bar and john and Antonio in the kids club. they go the extra mile to ensure every guest has the best possible time
we shall return there again next year

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank ed f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

The view from our hotel was superb overlooking the pool and sea. I was totally surprised when I opened the door, we had a double bedroom with a big bathroom and another room with dining area and another bathroom. both had large flat-screen T.V's and we also had 2 balconies. There was 2 dressing gown each and the whole hotel was exceptionally clean. The only point I would like to make is that it needs a food shop on-site and tea/coffee facilities in the bedrooms. It is also quite a distance from Albufera, but I liked that. Apart from that it was superb and I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Low Cost Holidays
Thank Toni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

Your comment is very special for us!

We are very happy to see that your experience with us was great! Our main concern is offer unique experiences.

Our guests comments help us to improve our service every day.

Thank you for the time that you spend with this comment.

We are excited to know that you will return!

Best Regards,
Jorge Teixeira

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Myself and my partner had an amazing break at the Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Spa. From the momment we arrived we felt relaxed. The entrances were all electric gated which made us feel safe and secure knowing they had a good security system in place. After checking in at reception a lovely young man took our cases and showed us to our room no 203 with a great seaview :) Our room was large with a lovely big balcony overlooking the sea and was cleaned daily to a high standard. we were also very impressed with the food, always a good selection we went full board so had breakfast, lunch and dinner all of which were great! The best thing about this hotel are its staff they were fantastic! always helpful and there to greet you, always happy and cheerful and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Also the Resturante staff were great we were really well looked after and couldnt fault the service in any way! we even had the chance to have a look around the wedding venues which were lovely and excellent prices so we are hoping to look further into this shortly. Overall we cannot fault anything about this hotel and we were concerned after reading some of the reviews but are happy to say that It is the best hotel we have stayed in so far and look forward to returning for another break soon! thank you! Becky & Adam

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank rebecca f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for the comment.

It’s very rewarding when our guests enjoyed our hotel and our facilities.

Our main concern is improve every day and offer the best service to our special guests.

Comments like yours prove our daily work and our high quality standards.

We are very happy that you pretend to return and we look forward to welcome you again very soon at Grande Real Santa Eulália.

Best Regards,
Jorge Teixeira

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

I travel 2 or 3 times a year to hotels similar in price and similar in standard - this is easily one of the hotels with the highest standard that I have stayed at! Where earlier reviewers have suggested this is not a 5* and more like a 3* I can only wonder if they stayed in the self catering apps and not in the main hotel as the main hotel is wonderful! My daughter and I stayed in room 108 and had a lovely sea view.
We were the first out to sunbathe every morning, which was at 9am, how refreshing not to have to get up in the middle of the night to secure a sunbed! Beds were still available every day until after 11am. The breakfast had lots to offer, and again no queues at 8am, 9am or even 10am.
The staff were, as people had previously commented 'very friendly'
Access to the private beach was through a gated area also offering access to a restaurant one level down which had wonderful views overlooking the Ocean. Prices were reasonable, with lunch each day for 2 mains and drinks costing between 17Euro and 22Euro. Lots of choice.

Had read previous reviews on Tripadvisor I was a little concerned about being in the middle of nowhere....this is NOT the case. Turn left out of the hotel gates, walk for only 14mins (at a very slow pace I add) and you will arrive in Santa Eulalia town. This has 50/60 bars and restaurants and food was really good in the 3 we ate in. Another 5 minutes further and you were in New Town. So I can only assume some people wish to come out their hotel and be in the middle of a bustling strip - which isn't for me. A 10-15 minute walk and everything you could need is available. Old town is only 7Euro in a taxi and offers you more choice. On the last 2 nights live music entertained us from a duo called 'table for 2' excellent - so lots and lots of choices for evening entertainment.

The only few things that could make this hotel even better are extending the shuttle bus to include a couple of evening trips to Old Town, at maybe 8 and 10pm, as more people wish to go out and about at night as oppose to day, when the bus was half empty.
Also 15Euro for a sunbed on a private beach is really steep
The lovely terrace area showing ion the photo's is not available to use and only seems open for weddings - perhaps this should be taken off the photo's as having them there suggests that it is a facility we can use and it isn't.

Overall though wonderful wonderful wonderful and we will be going again.

Room Tip: Book a sea view room.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lorna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoteis_Real_Alg, Gerente at Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Guest,

It is very special to see how enjoyable your stay was and that you were pleased with our service.
It is always a pleasure to see a guest satisfied with our service, our staff and with the hotel in general. Thank you for the qualification of our hotel as “the hotel with the highest standard that you have stayed”. It’s very important for our team.

Thank you for the suggestions, certainly will be useful for our improvement goal.

Only the best guests make possible to us to be the best hotel.

We look forward to welcome you again, soon.

Kind regards,
Jorge Teixeira

Report response as inappropriate
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
#5 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#9 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#9 Family Hotel in Albufeira
#10 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £46 - £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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