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“Not a 5-star hotel. Maybe, just maybe, a 4-star...”
Review of Monte Santo Resort

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Monte Santo Resort
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Carvoeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not a 5-star hotel. Maybe, just maybe, a 4-star...”
Reviewed 17 August 2011

We stayed in the Monte Santo for one week with our 2 children (8 & 4), and we will not be going back.

The service was very poor and most requests seemed to trouble the staff. We read the Big Bumper Book of Rules with interest and decided to rent out some DVDs for the kids one evening. We were told that they no longer carried this service. We also wanted to use the kids club once but we were told we had to book this, and we were left with the impression that the staff didn't really want to be bothered with such things. Overall, the staff did not give off the "happy to help you" vibe.

As in most hotels, the sun loungers were "booked" from early on, in spite of this being strictly forbidden in the Big Bumper Book of Rules. When I got one of our towels wet and wanted to exchange it, the staff member was not happy and pointed out in a cross tone that they only got 1 delivery of towels per day, and that I should be more careful.

The restaurant was understaffed, and therefore very slow. The prices were high and gave poor value for money. We did not eat in the hotel if we could avoid it.

One positive was the pool. It was very suitable for all ages and very enjoyable.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DOB_Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 19 August 2011
Dear TripAdvisor Member

Many Thanks for writing a review for us.

Staff are one of our main assets at Monte Santo Resort, as proven in quite a large number of reviews commenting on their professionalism, helpfulness and service minded attitude. Therefore I must admit that your comments took us by surprise. Nevertheless, they are very much appreciated and a welcome reminder and I will certainly investigate internally further what could have occurred during your stay in order to take the appropriate measures and/or corrective actions to avoid similar.

Regarding the loungers, we actively inform Guests about this restriction. I am sure you will understand that we are trying to balance an approach of advising clients on regulations, without that it turns in to policing them and affecting their holiday enjoyment……. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused and we will be even more vigilant to avoid similar.

I am truly sorry you did not enjoy your stay but do hope you give us the opportunity to change your mind one day in the future so you can witness that our service is indeed very much 5-star.

Kind Regards,

Walter Martins
Operations Manager
Walter.martins@imocom-grupo.com
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Lymm, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2011

Completely agree with family from Warwick , although accommadation is of a high standard it should be for the price.Although individual staff were pleasant and obliging there was little or no direction or structurefrom managers or supervisors, several staff expressed frustration with lack of support. The service was non existent. Breakfast was total chaos, it is not sufficient to say guests all turn up in the last hour , it is supposed to be a 5star resort it recieves a premium price to be able to cope with any kind of demand or request. I witnessed numerous complaints at breakfast , at the bar , at TV lounge , at kids club even 2 at the reception desk.It made Fawlty Towers look like 6star hotel in Dubai.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Family_Cheshire526
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
Dear Trip Advisor Member,

I was very concerned to read your review and I apologize that you were unhappy with your stay.

As you can see from a large majority of previous reviews it's very unusual for us to receive such feedback, especially regarding our team and levels of service provided. I take your comments very seriously and have addressed them internally immediately with the team in order to avoid repetition. Moreover, I am personally present during these shifts to ascertain that expected service levels are met. However, I am sure you will understand that the physical restraints on a building might interfere in season of extreme high demand on certain logistics. In overcoming this, we have created various other outlets to meet the great influx in case guests decide to come relatively all at the same time. Indeed, guests are on holidays but I feel that aforementioned comments place all in a reasonable perspective. In overcoming, this we have considered working with various seatings which we feel also does not do justice to our generally, much appreciated levels of quality and service. We will however do a better job in limiting the number of reservations sold on a breakfast basis in order to avoid similar.

Please contact me if you decide to stay with us again, so I can make sure we will make up for the disappointing experience you had.

Sincerely,

Walter Martins
Operations Manager
Walter.martins@imocom-grupo.com
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warwick
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2011

When we arrived we had an efficient check-in by a very pleasant receptionist - she advised us to be early to breakfast - and she was not wrong! Our first impression of the three bed house was fantastic. It looked beautifully laid out, chic, spacious, four bathrooms, balcony etc. However, we had ants (and not just one or two - there were literally hundreds ) in the kitchen cupboards. Despite speaking to reception, we ended up rectifying the problem ourselves with a quick visit to the supermarket for ant spray! Later on we discovered the DVD player didn't work at all, neither did the microwave, and when the oven door was opened the oven came away from its housing, and the front fell off the cutlery drawer each time it was opened!
The complex looked very nice with well tended gardens and pool. There was a 'hefty' rule book in the apartment which stated that no clothes were to be dried outside, no inflatables in the pool, no diving etc etc etc. The rule book was lengthy but it clearly didn't matter as the rules were generally ignored! This is where it went downhill. The sunbeds were 'bagged' early on with people placing towels and then not appearing for ages. (against the 'rules') There were loads of kids in the pools with inflatables, water guns, footballs, diving, jumping etc etc (against the 'rules') Towels and clothes were draped around the balconies (against the 'rules' .... you get the gist) Now, we have kids but it seems that some parents are happy to ignore their little treasures as long as they are able to sunbathe in peace, consequently there were rather a lot of unruly kids which made sitting poolside a bit 'traumatic'. The indoor pool was quieter and very nice, as was the turkish bath (aka steam room) and sauna.
I think if you were going to the resort completely self catering it would paint a different picture, as the catering is appalling. Breakfast was just mayhem. The service was non-existant and you had to just find a table yourself, then try to chase round a member of staff to clear it away. As a result the poor people already eating were always being closely watched by those waiting for a table. Don't get me wrong- we were not late to breakfast each day, this was around 9.15 onwards. The staff really tried their best but could just not catch up with demand. They spent their time constantly trying to re-fill everything (and failing) We only managed to get coffee for three nornings out of seven. The food was 'canteen quality' and certainly no more than a 3* experience at best. (and that's being generous) Every single day out of 7 we had either chipped/dirty crockery. They ignored people smoking at breakfast, albeit technically in an 'outside' area although it was under cover and right next to the indoor restaurant where the doors were wide open which made the atmosphere very unpleasant. A polite request to move further away from the restaurant would have been welcome.
We went to have cocktails one evening in the bar but unfortunately chose a night when football was being shown in the lounge and had to drag the waiter away from the football to take our order. We then waited 50 mins for the drinks and only got two out of 5! One of the 'cocktails' was no more than a glass full of crushed ice with a dash of lime cordial at the bottom - and I'm not joking!
It appeared that there are far too few staff for the demand. The staff at breakfast work exceptionally hard but cannot cope. The bar staff are totally inept and disinterested. It is VERY overpriced for the quality of the place and most definitely not deserving of a five *. It seemed as if anyone could walk in off the street and use the pool facilities and have breakfast for free. There was no checking if you were resident and had actually paid for a breakfast. Although towels were privided for poolside, there were plently of people with their own towels and, I expect, non-paying guests.
On the plus side, Carvoeiro is really lovely and there are plently of nice restaurants and beach within a 20 min walk. I would certainly recommend the area but not the hotel unless there is a significant improvement in both qualtiy and service. 'Over-promised and under-delivered' would sum it up for us. The website looks great, but the reality is very different. Had we expected (and paid for) 3* then we would have been satisfied but the Monte Santo is extremely overpriced for a very average hotel

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank thefamilyR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
Dear Trip Advisor Member,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and express your concerns.

I was personally disappointed to read your comments regarding the level of service you experienced and can assure you I have addressed the issues you raised in your review.

We treat guest comments very seriously and take decisive action to correct any shortcomings. It is only through feedback like yours that we can monitor our levels and standards of service.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you and would appreciate it if you would contact me directly so that I can take the necessary measures to ensure that all our guests continue to get the quality that normally allows us to stand out with the service and quality so well appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Walter Martins
Operations Manager
Walter.martins@imocom-grupo.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porto
Level Contributor
111 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2011

We booked a two bedroom townhouse for our family (couple and two teenagers).
Check in was easy and very professional.
Lovely house, well decorated, full equipped kitchen, tv in the bedrooms, very quiet, very comfortable. Free Internet (cable) in the house and wifi at the bar area. Cleaning service worked ok.
A suggestion, at high season the main pool needs to be clean more effectively (this is a family resort with a lot of families with young children, many of the families with more than two young children).

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PortoLiberty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Public Relations Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
Dear Trip Advisor Member,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at the Monte Santo Resort and for your fantastic feedback!

Certainly the impression we’d like to leave all our guests with! Thank you for your kind review.

Regarding your remark with respect to main pool cleanliness, we will take your remark on board and improve cleaning.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Monte Santo Resort shortly!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

Just back from a week here and will definitely return. Booked a package deal for a 1 bed apartment and got a free upgrade to a 2 bed townhouse on arrival. It was better than gorgeous with everything you could need or want all there waiting. It made our stay with young child and baby so great we wanted to stay longer. Lovely small pool beside garden terrace of house and great pools up at clubhouse if you wanted a busier atmosphere. Bit of a walk to the town for some but enjoyable to do in the early morning or late evenings when it's slightly cooler. The scenic route to the town is stunning along the cliffs with a more gradual incline down and up the hill. Don't let trek from the town put you off staying here, taxis are no more than €5 if you are not up for a stroll. The town is perfect too. Busy but not in your face like other popular resorts in the Algarve.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DublinWkndr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Public Relations Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
Dear Trip Advisor Member,

We have passed your comments to all the team, you made us feel very proud of the service we provide, thank you once again for the wonderful comments.

We hope you will return to visit us and look forward to welcoming you back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2011

1. Accomodation was faultless. Outstanding 3 bedroomed/ 4 bathroomed duplex. Best equipped kitchen we've ever stayed in.
2. Cleaning was daily and again without fault.
3. Breakfast was pretty good with all 5 of us finding lots of things we liked. BUT get there before 9:15 because, as usual, if you tell people breakfast is 8am to 10:30am then they all turn up in the last hour and then pull their faces when there aren't enough tables!
4. The pool was outstanding. With it being freshwater there was little or no stinking/stinging chlorine to upset the kids. Several times we had the pool to ourselves. Whatever time of day we got there, there were always spare beds and shades even enough for us to always easily find the 5 we needed.
5. Ditto the indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Faultless.
6. Didn't use the gym so can't comment on that, but it looked deserted most days but all the equipment looked brand new..
7. We chose not to dine at the restaurant in the evening (mainly due to modest selection available) but instead went in to town or walked to the couple of places nearby (the 'crazy chicken' restaurant was particularly friendly with very very good food!)
8. I agree with the reviewer who felt a bit left out at the 'family' nature of it all. It's absolutely perfect for families (my kids are 16, 14 & 5) but I don't think I would've enjoyed it as much if it was just me and my missus because that's a different type of holiday and plush as it is, The Monte Santo is definitely more suited to families. (having said that, the reviewer who called it a "posh Pontins" is totally wide of the mark - it's a top-drawer family holiday venue: simple as that)
9. I've never been big on kids clubs ("let's spend time together as a family on holiday but then dump the kids with complete strangers" seems perverse to me!) but anyway, the kids club here was deserted, I mean utterly deserted. I saw a Portuguese family leave 2 kids there for an hour or two and that was it!
10. Finally, a reviewer or two have mentioned the service. I thought it was great. Very helpful reception staff offered to unload my car when we arrived at 11am (and hence didn't expect our room ready anyway) so we could go and explore the area in comfort. They answered every question I had in perfect English, ordered taxis, gave weather reports, completed check-in and check-out in seconds etc. I don't know what more people expect honestly! Ok, the bar staff were a little slow with drinks in the mid-afternoon heat but only because they were busy - again only to be expected.

10 out ot 10. We're already planning to return next year!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MLR18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Public Relations Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 10 August 2011
Dear Trip Advisor Member

We would like to start off by thanking you for selecting Monte Santo Resort for your Algarve holiday and for the time you have kindly taken to share your opinion on TripAdvisor.

We are very pleased to see that our resort’s comfort and quality and our services met with your expectations.

It is enormously gratifying to witness that our daily dedication is being appreciated and met with the satisfaction of our guests.

Once again we thank you for your valuable and motivating feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Monte Santo Resort shortly!
Report response as inappropriate
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2011

We spend 10 days great days at Monte Santo hotel. Great hotel apartment, pool area (through water too cold) and nice location!

Reception service/attitude haven't seen that worse in any hotel for the last 5 years, and then we have ants in our kitchen every morning, and even though hotel tried to eliminate them, they didn't succeed!!! Also kids club didn't work, didn't seem to be any activities and basically no kids there. This also casued by the fact that we had to book 24H in advantage. This was far below expectation, and a big disappoinment.

This is NOT a 5 star hotel, but 4 star!

Net, Plusses were:
- Great hotel apartment incl very well equipped kitchen (incl. washing machine)
- Restaurant service better than expected, they did their best
- Superb pool area for both kids and adults
- Distance to town not more than 15-20min walk (and 25min back)
- Nice playground and generally very children friendly hotel

Net, Minusses were:
- Pool water far too cold for a far 5 star hotel (though could use indoor pool but who does that at 35 degrees outside
- Non-functioning kids club
- Ants invasion in our kitchen
- Hotel reception service and attitude very poor
- Gym too small, and only opended at 9am, and non air conditioning

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChiliLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Imocom, Public Relations Manager at Monte Santo Resort, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
Dear TripAdvisor Member,

We would like to start off by thanking you for selecting Monte Santo Resort for your Algarve holiday and for the time you have kindly taken to share your opinion on TripAdvisor.

It is with great satisfaction that we read some of your comments regarding the high quality of our facilities and services such as the pool, accommodation, location, kids facilities, and restaurant service.

However, your comments related with the reception service took us by surprise as the reception staff is always very friendly and dedicated “going the extra mile”in any situation. We will assess internally what could have occurred during your stay. In addition the Kid’s Club is fully operational, although requires a 24hrs advance notice, so we can control the number of children per supervisor and guarantee the safety of children. In fact our Gym is open from 09am to 8pm and this always has been a time sufficient in meeting guest requirements. The area is fully air conditioned and set at a 18-22º, which we feel is adequate for practicing your exercises.

We thank you again for your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back to Monte Santo Resort shortly!
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 Monte Santo Resort

Property: Monte Santo Resort
Address: Rua Joao Paulo II | Lagoa, Carvoeiro 8400-556, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Carvoeiro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carvoeiro
#1 Spa Hotel in Carvoeiro
#2 Romantic Hotel in Carvoeiro
#2 Family Hotel in Carvoeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Monte Santo Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monte Santo Resort in Carvoeiro, offers a range of modern and luxurious Suites, apartments and townhouses. Just 45 minutes from Faro airport, Monte Santo is situated on the hilltops over Carvoeiro, a historic fishing town.Whether you are looking for a relaxing Algarve holiday, a fun-filled family holiday, or a spa or golf weekend, Monte Santo will cater to your every need with 5 star luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monte Santo Hotel Carvoeiro
Monte Santo Resort Carvoeiro, Portugal - Algarve

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