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“Excellent hotel with top staff”
Review of PortoBay Falesia

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PortoBay Falesia
Ranked #6 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel with top staff”
Reviewed 18 June 2014

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.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank suitableforupgrade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Thank you very much for your review and detailed comments. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused with taxi transfer, will look with reception to find what was the problem with booking. We try our best to fulfill all clients request, but very dificult in some rooms types with hotel running 100% and average 10 days stays. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We stayed for a week in May. We had a friendly welcome from Simeos who we found helpful during our stay.The hotel is in a good location with beautiful views of the sea and the colourful cliffs. There are steps down to the long beach which are shallow and even with a couple of resting places with a bench if you need them. It is a short walk from the village of Olhos d'agua where there is another beach and several restaurants.
The hotel is well maintained and immaculately clean. The garden and pool area are lovely and well kept. I didn't find the outdoor pool too cold so the solar panels must be helping.
We ate in for breakfast and for the evening themed buffets.
I liked that we could choose where to sit.
For breakfast I chose from a good selection of fresh fruit followed by a cooked breakfast that included a tasty fritata. However I thought the orange juice and the pastries were disappointing for a 4* hotel, like the economy brands from a British supermarket, especially as oranges grow in abundance locally. We bought a large bag of about 30 local oranges from the roadside for around £1. The pasteis de nata were soggy and somewhat lacking in flavour with the exception of on the last day when they were superb.
There was an excellent selection of salads at the evening buffet followed by cooked meat and fish. I especially liked the beef picanha and the perch and swordfish. Service there was variable but Mila was great and found our missing bottle of wine.
The other restaurant in the hotel served Italian food, we didn't eat there. I would have preferred to have tried some local specialities such as cataplana.
Trying to get merchandise from the spa was a slow and frustrating experience.
The staff at the poolside cafe were all really good, we regularly went there for drinks and enjoyed apple tart and an excellent steak on a stone on our last day.
We steered clear of the evening entertainment which mostly sounded like 20th C pop. One evening flamenco was advertised but when we got there we were disappointed as it was not flamenco.
I would have liked some Fado.
I enjoyed a Portuguese lesson and an interesting chat about the locality with Sissy.

Room Tip: Choose a sea view room
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank travellingteapot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Thank you very much for your review and food & beverage tips. Fresh orange juice available at breakfast since June. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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Coventry England
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 346 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Excellent hotel, location on a cliff overlooking the sea - stunning. Comfortable beds and rooms cleaned daily, towels changed daily, including beach towels. All staff helpful and friendly. We stayed on the bed and breakfast basis, where a good selection of breakfast food was offered, to suit all tastes, fresh fruit, cold meats and cheeses. Hot food, bacon, sausages, eggs, etc. Bread(s), pastries, tea, coffee fruit juices and cava if you are adventurous!. Pool area lovely, still a few people reserving sun beds, this was not discouraged by hotel staff, though it didn't effect us. My only gripe is that the local bars and resteraunts didn't match up to the quality that the hotels bought to the area.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Covbaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We went to Porto Bay Falesia because we had been to Porto Bay Eden Mar in Madeira last year and loved it. This hotel was 1st class too. We were b&b as we like to try local restaurants but we did take 3 meals in the hotel main restaurant (very good value), 2 bbq's and 2 meals in the a la carte as well as a couple of lunches in the pool bar and the food was excellent in all of them but the a la carte especially was wonderfully presented and as good as a high end restaurant whilst being reasonably priced, the setting overlooking the sea and cliffs added to the experience. Our favourite local traditional restaurant was Calherios (down a side street off the main road from Albuferia) which we visited 3 times and for lunch S Martino for Pizza or salad or Café Crème which is great value. It was our 1st visit to the Algarve and in all honesty, though it has beautiful beaches we probably wont go again as it much more for those who like to sun bathe for most of the day and isn't perhaps as interesting as Madeira where we loved Funchal old town and museum and churches etc. We did hire a car for a few days though and visited, Silves, Lagos, Alte and the mountains and the General Manager. who was very knowledgeable and genuinely interested and helpful gave us lots of tips of where to go. Back to the hotel though, it was a beautiful setting, lovely beach just the right size village, great food, definitely first class staff (especially in the bar where we always started and finished our evening and Il basilica), very well run and led by 'hands on' management. The entertainment was a little bit cheesy but okay and probably what most people want and I would definitely recommend Porto Bay as a group of hotels, the loyalty scheme (10% off everything if you have used them just once previously) is excellent and makes you feel valued and more likely to use hotel services (check your bill on checkout though as ours wasn't on and we had to remind them - no problem). If you plan on a holiday in the Algarve you cannot do better than this hotel I think, just the right balance between luxury and relaxed.

Room Tip: We had 2nd floor sea view and it was great
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Margaret W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yorkshire
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We have just come back from the Porto Bay Falesia hotel, this was our second time at this hotel as we went last year and liked it so much.
We usually go on self catering holidays, but with this holiday and last years we have gone half board.
The whole of our stay was made pleasant by every member of staff we came into contact with, we really can not find fault with this hotel, the service was good, the food was varied and well presented at all time, the staff in the Madeira restaurant did a good job.
This year they also added freshly squeezed orange juice to the breakfast menu which was a nice touch.
We hope to be going back next year.
We returned on 14/06/2014.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sparky662012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Thank you very much for your review and to mention the improvements. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We have just come back from a week at the Porto Bay in the Algarve and have had an amazing week. The travel agent gave us a few hotels to look at before we booked - I read all the reviews on trip advisor and we were not disappointed. The hotel was lovely, the beds very comfortable. We were only bed and breakfast so I cant comment on the evening meal but the breakfasts were fantastic. Fresh fruit, cereal, cold meats, cheese, cooked breakfast (wonderful frittata) as well as breads and pastries. We never bought lunch the breakfast was so huge. The staff were always polite and the hotel was spotless. There are towels for the pool and beach so don't worry about taking your own. The village it about 10 minutes walk with enough bars and restaurants. Explore the side streets for hidden gems of places to eat - the restaurants overlooking the sea are much more expensive and not always worth it. We would go back

Room Tip: we didn't pay for a sea view and were on the first floor it wasn't noisy
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2014

Being time share owners of this hotel group, we trusted that the experience would be as good as The Residence in Madera. We had no need to worry, everything was just as good with a room change for a better view no problem. Staff were wonderful, along with setting and good choice of food. We had friends staying in the area for the same week who ended up visiting us at The Porto Bay several times as they much preferred our hotel. Thank you for a wonderful holiday

Room Tip: Sea view a must, higher rooms to the east the best
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amdorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FernandoReisFilipe, General Manager at PortoBay Falesia, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Difficult to compare with the Residence but we have a better beach... Looking forward to welcome you back at the Porto Bay Falésia. Best regards. Fernando Reis Filipe
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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 PortoBay Falesia

Property: PortoBay Falesia
Address: Quinta do Milharo, Albufeira 08200, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#3 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#5 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#6 Family Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — PortoBay Falesia 4*
Number of rooms: 310
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

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