Having stayed at Porto Bay hotels in the past in Madeira I already knew of the chain's first class philosophy when it comes to staff and good service and this hotel certainly lived up to expecations. All staff are friendly and the standards of service they provide is friendly and first class.
The hotel enjoys a good location with excellent views over the cliffs and sea, a short ten minute walk to the centre of Olhos D'Agua. Every inch if the hotel is clean and tidy and the facilities are good. There is a large pool and access to the beach below by private footpath/steps. There are plenty of sunbeds/umbrellas beside the pool or on a grassy area alongside. There were one or two days during our stay (early June) where after late morning you might have trouble finding a sunbed though I saw only one or two days when the sunbathing areas were so busy, but might be an issue in the peak season - the hotel enjoys pretty much 100% occupancy in the peak months
I had a sea view suite. This had a small entry hallway, comfortable bedroom, good bathroom with quality toiletries and large living room with 3 piece suite, dining table and small kitchenette with kettle, tea/coffee etc and fresh coffee machine complete with coffeee capsules. Also fridge, microwave, etc. My only disappointment with the room was the impression given when booking that there is a large balcony when you book a suite. In fact there are two completely seperate balconies, one off the bedroom and a (very small) one off the living room, not connected or in view of each other. As they are next to each other, sperated by a wall, it is a shame they cannot knock through this wall to create one large balcony.
Also, the hotel, if asked, say they will "try and accommodate any requests" i.e. high floor room. Unfortunately, in reality this amounts to seeing what is available when you arrive/check in, they do not trouble themselves to plan in ahead to accommodate such requests. Specific rooms appear to be allocated only on the day or maybe the night before. I do appreciate that logistically such requests are difficult and it requires careful thought/planning and so creates more work but the best hotels do manage it.
We were B&B so cannot comment on meals except for breakfast which was a very substantial buffet with everything you could want, including freshly cooked hot food, wide selection of bread, fruit, cereals, meats, cakes, etc. Special mention must go to the restuarant staff at breakfast who give a consistent excellent, efficient service with always a smile (even when serving ignorant guests who can't even utter any kind of "thank you" when their used plates and mess is cleared up so promptly)
Unfortunately although I booked a transfer from the airport with the hotel they neglected to book the taxi, meaning I spent 45 minutes looking for a non-existant driver at FAO before calling the hotel to learn that they had in fact forgotton to book it. I therefore took a taxi, this cost me Euro 50 as opposed to the hotel cost of Euro 40 but the hotel were very apologetic and immediately paid the difference (I must say that if I was reception manager I would have made the gesture of paying for the whole transfer under those circumstances but no matter!)
So I can definately recommend this hotel. Olhos D'Agua itself is a different story, I was very disappointed with the village itself which is nothing like many of the pretty, bustling villages that can be found along the coast (i.e. Alvor). This place is rather scruffy and the presentation of most of the restuarants leaves alot to be desired. If you wish to eat in the outdoor seating at a restuarant you will at most places have to sit on uncomfortable plastic or metal tubed garden chairs, with no cushion, at plastic tables with no effort whatsoever to add any sparkle or atmosphere. No wonder most were empty. Right down by the harbour there was a little more atmosphere but this was spoint by the prevelance of loud music bars and lack of any romantic restuarants with real character. Such a shame - the village and its location shows much promise, but whoever looks after tourism for the area needs to get the restuarant owners together and point out some obvious and simple ideas that could transform their places for very little cost.
As a result, we went further afield on most nights but this was not a problem as Albufeira is a short taxi (or bus) ride away, as is Vilamoura. However, because of the lack of character of the village we are unlikley to visit again. We will however stay with Porto Bay hotels again for sure (a new hotel opens in Lisbon shortly) and I would recommend the chain highly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel stands overlooking Praia da Falesia in the charming town of Olhos de Agua, close to Albufeira in the Algarve. Surrounded by abundant green areas, the hotel enjoys direct access to the sea and the exceptional 8km long beach which is washed by the clear, calm waters of the Algarve sea. After a refreshing drink at the waters edge, a reviving plunge in one of the pools, a trip to the beach, a game of tennis or an invigorating massage, sit back and enjoy one of the Algarves most beautiful views from one of the hotel's restaurants. Make the most of your holidays to relax. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Bay Falesia Albufeira
- PortoBay Falesia Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal