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.
- 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