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“This is NOT the Porto Mar in Funchal Madeira, that is for sure !”
Review of PortoBay Falesia

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PortoBay Falesia
Ranked #6 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 December 2008

Not quite sure where to start with this review as I am having a hard time trying to find something nice to say about this hotel.

My husband and I just returned from a 10 day Christmas Holiday at Porto Bay Falesia in Olhos D'Agua. We chose this hotel strictly based on the superb holiday we spent at Porto Mar in Funchal, Madeira. We wrongly assumed because they are part of the same chain they would share the same high standards. We were wrong! I think the best way for me to write this so it isn't too long is to just list the problems.

The Annoying List:
1. NO milk is provided with your coffee/tea service in your room. When I asked for milk I was told "we DON'T provide milk and I could buy milk from the bar and they will charge it to my room" I have never in my life stayed in a hotel that did not provide milk with their coffee/tea (no matter what star rating they are).
2. You can hear everyting going on in rooms three doors down from you. And I mean everything!
3. The jacuzzi is cold.
4. It cost €5 to use the internet for 15 minutes!
5. My husband and I were burned everytime we took a shower. The water would suddenly without warning turn scalding several times during a shower and then return to set temperature. This is really dangerous.
6. The staff hover over you while you are eating breakfast waiting to take your plate away. I had to stop them several times from removing my half eaten breakfast. We actually had our plates of food taken away several times when we got up to get butter or orange juice. They staff just want you to get in, eat and get out as fast as they can push you.
7. The supplies in the room were never replenished. Unless you harrass them you will not get any replacement supplies.

The we will NEVER stay here again List:

1. Our bedding sheets were not changed once the entire 10 days we were there. After two days in I noticed my pillow was marked with Mascara. I had gotten in late the first night and not removed my makeup. On the second night I noticed the same mascara was still on my pillow. After the third night I stayed in the room while the maid cleaned. All she did was brush off our sheets with her hand. I stayed in the 4th day and watched her brush the sheets again with her hand. I then decided to leave my eye makeup on again and sleep straight on the sheets which marked the bed sheet with a bit of makeup. The day we left that makeup was still there because they never had changed our sheets even once the entire stay. I noticed the cleaning lady never had sheets on her trolley so I assume she never changed anyone's sheets. Now what so called 4 Star hotel does not change bed sheets? I found this not only disgusting, but terribly disturbing.
2. My husband was taken to hospital by ambulance after getting food poisoning after eating at the hotels IL Basilico restaurant. In the middle of our dinner after my husband ate his bruschetta he became violently ill at the table. He had to leave the table and go to our room. I left my dinner also and followed him upstairs. He was in such abdominal pain that he could neither lie down nor sit. I became very afraid for him. I went to reception and asked for a doctor. The receptionist said they did not have a doctor because he was on holiday for two days, I told her the condition my husband was in and that we had to have a doctor. I am not kidding you, she just shrugged her shoulders and said "well you can drive him to a hospital if you like". I told her I did not drive and she then said "well maybe one of the guests could drive him to the hospital". I could not believe this! I told her to call an ambulance. She told me to go back up to the room and see if he was now okay and then she would call an ambulance if it was needed. I ran to the room and found my husband 100 times worse off than when I had left him. I called down to reception and told the girl to get the ambulance now as my husband was passing out with pain. My husband was very afraid at this point and almost delirious with pain. I hung up the phone. After 5 minutes I received a call from reception asking me exactly what was wrong with my husband and could I describe the problem. I was so furious because they had not even called the ambulance at this point. I told her to get the ambulance now and hung up. It took another 5 or 8 minutes before the ambulance got there. When they took my husband to hospital they would not let me ride in the ambulance with him. The receptionist said she would book a taxi and I could pay them to get to the hospital. I sat in the emergency room till 2:30 am. They finally told me at 2:30 am that he could be discharged after he had vomited all the food and they had given him pain medicine. Not one time did anyone of the staff enquire as to how my husband was feeling or whether he was okay after having to be taken to the hospital. I consider this whole incident to be both alarming and dangerous.
3. On Christmas we had booked the Gala Dinner in the main restaurant. We paid €110 to attend. When we booked we told the gentleman that we would not be there until 9pm. He told us no problem that we could get there at anytime. When we arrived at the Gala we took our seat and before we could finish one course all the food was being removed from the buffet. We had to rush over and get whatever we could before it was completely removed. We paid €110 and got perhaps €10 worth of cold food.
This is by far the WORST hotel we have ever stayed in. We will NEVER stay here again.And now my husband is so angry he has said we will never stay at any Porto Bay hotel again. And we travel to Madeira quite often but now my husand will never set foot in a Porto Bay Hotel. All this hotel cares about is money. They will charge you for any little thing they can without a care as to whether these things are normally provided for by hotels. And while they are charging you the staff have this absolute I don't care attitude. The staff act like you are imposing on them. There is one older gentleman in the bar that is so angry all the time I never wanted him to serve me. The reception staff either ignore you or act like you are bothering them. This is the worst staffed hotel we have ever stayed in.

I shudder to think if my husband had been having a heart attack that night. I would be a widow right now with how fast that receptionist responded to my pleas for help.
Do yourself a favour and do not stay here. I am sending a copy of this review to Porto Bay's main office, And by the way, we told the reception all this when we checked out. Her response was classic. She said "oh sorry". and turned away. Of course there was no manager to be found.
Two redeeming things about our stay:
1. Spending our evenings at Riu Palace. A true 4 Star Hotel if not deserving of a 5 star rating. I suggest Porto Bay send their staff to Riu Palace to be trained.
2. Dinner at Chef's Peking just down the hill from the hotel. A delightful Chinese restaurant run by two lovely Madeiran people with a lovely waitress named Manuela. The BEST chinese food I have ever eaten. Spotless clean, great service and very friendly. EAT THERE, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank PaintedNails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2008

Its a Goog hotel, a good beach, in quite location near Albufeira and Vilamoura.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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2  Thank ffiffas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2008

Just back from the Porto Bay Falesia after spending the first two weeks of October there.
A gem of a hotel in a lovely setting right on the top of a cliff with its own access to a great beach below. The staff are excellent and can’t do enough for you. There’s not much to see in Olhos d_Agua but it does have some nice restaurants. One that stands out is the Italian, Fratelli. Wonderful cannelloni and lasagna. This isn’t a place for people who like lots of night life, but if you want a relaxing holiday and access to a beautiful beach I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PaulyJ-Ivybridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2008

I just came back from 2 weeks at the Porto Bay - I am 27 and went with my girlfriend.

It was absolutely brilliant.

We booked it fairly last minute through travel republic and we were absolutely delighted.

Our first concern was whether or not it would be hot – we debated for ages where in Europe to go so late in the year – we went from the 4th to the 18th October. Thankfully we got really lucky with the weather. Mostly nice sunny days, with about 4 cloudy ones. The forecast for the next week was not so good, so I get the impression it is a bit hit and miss.

The hotel itself is brand new – I think it was completed in May this year. It was really clean, and is set amongst a complex of other hotels. Again, all looked nice and well kept. It has a lovely figure 8 shaped pool, which is really big, if a bit cold. Lots of sun loungers were available and the pool gets sun all day long. When you’re sat by the pool you get a great view out to sea, as the hotel is set up on the cliff top.

At the bottom of the cliff is a really long sandy beach that goes on forever. There are about 150 steps down to it – I have read that it is difficult to walk down them, but it really isn’t. They are solid concrete steps. Perhaps if you’re 65 plus you might struggle, but we had no trouble. I saw a fat lad get up there no problem! There are 2 benches on the way down though if you fancy a rest!

The beach is sandy and relatively stone free. The sea was warm enough, but it did get a bit choppy on some days. There are a couple of cafés on the beach which serve decent food for lunch.

On the subject of food, we were just bed and breakfast. The breakfasts were, on the whole, really nice. Lots of fresh fruit, cereal and yoghurts were available. Many different types of bread were on offer – along with one of those annoying toasters that you have to put the bread through twice. There were croissants and doughnuts available too, along with large trays of cheese and cold meats. There was also a hot food counter. A lady made little pancakes for you to help yourself to, and there were little sausages, bacon, baked beans, and little Spanish omelette things too. There was another lady who frantically made both scrambled and fried eggs, and she deserved a medal for the sheer volume she managed to cook!

We were glad we weren’t full board – the evening meal followed a similar buffet style. There was a different theme each night – Mexican, Chinese, Portuguese etc – but when ever we stuck our head in for a look it all looked, and smelt, the same. That said there is a separate Italian restaurant which is decent enough. Not mega cheap, but nor was it a rip-off.

For lunch most people ate at the café by the pool. There was quite a good choice, and again, it doesn’t break the bank. There is a very annoying waiter though who wore a waistcoat and said ‘obregado’ (thank you) every five seconds. That’s probably a bit harsh, I’m sure he’s very nice.

The hotel is found in a little ‘village’ with about a dozen restaurants. One or two claimed to be authentic Portuguese restaurants, but they have obviously changed their menus slightly to cater for the British and German palettes. But the food was very nice, and despite being there for two weeks we felt there was plenty of choice. Lots of sea food but plenty of other options as well - from portuguese steaks to pizza and pasta.

There are some more ‘British’ places that sell burgers and hotdogs etc but there are literally only about 2 or 3. They are found next to some other British bars, but they are easily avoided if that’s not your cup of tea – it isn't ours.

If that sort of thing is your cup of tea, then Albufeira is the place for you. It’s about 15 minutes away on the bus or in a taxi – about 10 euros. We went in on one of the cloudy days, and left again pretty sharpish. Lots of British pubs and restaurants, gift shops a plenty, and quite a few tattooed folk eating all day fried breakfasts. It’s a shame as some parts of the town look quite nice, but it has been spoilt.

A nicer place to go for a meal is Vilamoura – about 25 euros away in a taxi in the other direction. There are lots of restaurants set around a marina – with lots of swanky boats parked in it (do you park boats?!). It still has a slight British feel, but not in the same league as Albufeira, and is worth a trip or two for an evening meal.

This is getting a bit long, so I’ll stop. This hotel is really nice. We got a great deal through travel republic. I’d definitely recommend it and I’d go again. The only bad point is the booze is quite expensive in the hotel. Go to a shop and fill the fridge up in your room.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank 1672046_RA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2008

Just returned from my second visit this year to The Porto Bay Hotel in Alhos D Agua. In March the hotel was newly opened and we probably should have waited a little longer after the opening. However the holiday was enjoyable and worth a second visit in October and all had greatly improved. The staff at the hotel are so helpful and oblidging, nothing is too much trouble for them. As the hotel has recently undergone a refurbishment everying is very clean and tidy. Having previously stayed athe the Cliff Bay in Madeira which is also in the Porto Bay group but that is a 5 star hotel and the difference is obvious, larger rooms, more food choice etc.
The view from the Portugal hotel is lovely and access to the beach is via steps. Well worth the stroll down to a magnificent beach to stroll along to a choice of beach restaurants with Villamoura in the distance one way and Albufuria the other way. Another short walk out of the hotel via the village and you will see the local fishermen tending their boats after fishing for sardines etc. Very tranquill during early evening.
We booked B & B although we did eat in the hotel Italian restaurant and it is worth staying in for. We ate several times at the Falesia bar by the outdoor pool, very good. Another option is a buffet dinner, other guests approved but we chose to visit resaturants just a short walk from the hotel. We reccommend The Ambrosia, I Fratelli, A Cantina (on the top road,left at the traffic lights). All have a good selection of fish & meat dishes and worthy of the short walk from the hotel. There is entertainment in the evening and also internet access for those who need it.
Worth a visit for an enjoyable holiday. For addictive shoppers, visit the Algarve shopping centre. Free bus from hotel.
Negative comments:
The hotel charged us 45 euros for a taxi from the airport. We booked at the local travel office and it was only 22 euros and were collected from the hotel to return to the airport.. Contact Paradise Tours: Local number: [--] and they will collect you from the airport on arrival. Or email: [--]
Avoid using the phones in your room. We were charged 22.50 euros for 6 mins to a local number in Portugal.
We will visit other Hotels in the Porto Bay group and possibly Portugal some other time.
If the Porto Bay is fully booked also try the Riu Palace which is next door. Also stayed there and very good.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Julian & Sue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2008

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LorraineDover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2008

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank expat-steph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Family Hotel in Albufeira
#5 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £47 - £177 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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