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“Not 5 star and NO customer service”

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Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve
Ranked #7 of 36 Hotels in Vilamoura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Staying about 10 days here in Vilamoura - here's the good the bad and the ugly on the hotel:

Good - location. So close to the marina, walking distance of about 5 to 10 minutes at a strolling pace. The hotel is also situated right on the beach so you can choose either pool or lovely sandy beach depending on which you prefer. We also liked the bean bags tho I read a lot of people do not. Indeed the sun loungers at the pool are snagged very early but it's always possible to get a bean bag and umbrella. Even if they look totally occupied the pool guys do a good job of patrolling and will find you one by reallocating it from someone else who has abandoned theirs. Another plus in this hotel is the rooms - we are on the top floor (11) and have a suite which means the room is split level. Small sitting room below and bedroom upstairs. Two bathrooms and very very quiet, I would definitely recommend these rooms.
And now for the less positive - customer service is shocking. You are made to feel unwelcome and almost like an irritation to the staff. This is most obvious in the restaurant. Some examples: Because we had a suite room we could use the outside restaurant for breakfast which I supposed to open daily at 08.30. The few times I was there at 08.30 the staff are still strolling/standing around arranging it and acting annoyed because you're standing waiting for it to open. It's usually 08.40 before it's open. Not a problem if you're on holiday and not worried about time but irritating if you're on a schedule to catch a flight. Once it is open it's a masterpiece in inefficient, ineffective and downright rude service. Usually there are at least 3 staff members standing around chatting or doing nothing, paying no attention and certainly not checking if guests need tea or coffee etc. If you finally grab their attention or walk to them to ask they grunt or nod in a dismissive way, seeming annoyed that you've interrupted their important task of standing around idle. Stranger still is that they sometimes then spring into life and within a few minutes you have a few of them at your table trying to clear your plates when you are still eating from them.
There's an omelette bar - nice idea but don't bother. It's mega slow and I was treated again like an annoyance because I asked for the egg to be very well cooked (can't have raw eggs). First the woman didn't understand (a large number of staff speak little or no English, or at least pretend not to to avoid serving guests perhaps). When it became clear what I was asking for I was met with dirty looks and grunts. This is the general approach to guests at the bar and restaurant (exception being the small pool bar where the young lads and pool attendants were very helpful).
Regarding the food - that is also not 5 star. We ate at the poolside restaurant a few times as it's so convenient. Mistake. Food selection is ok, service poor as before, and food quality lacking. One occasion we ordered breaded fish for a child - had to send it back as it was still frozen in the middle. Another time I ordered a burger and kindly stressed many times to have it very well cooked. It came out rare so I sent it back. 3 guys sitting near us all sent their food back as it came out stone cold. Bizarre, the restaurant ( and thus kitchen) is not even usually busy. Oh, and did I mention the cats - there are mangy looking cats all around the restaurant. 2 even had a big fight under my table at breakfast.
I could go on with listing examples of why this place is not 5 star. I have to conclude that all of this stems back to how the hotel is managed as it's not isolated incidents but the general status quo. Such a pity that with this great location that management don't sort things out to make the place great and give people an experience to remember. Will try the Hilton or Four Seasons instead if we come back.

Room Tip: Take a top floor suite
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jlikestravel199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Dear Jlikestravel199,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay. It is unfortunate your interactions with the staff prevented you from fully enjoying your time at the hotel. We are confident the necessary adjustments will be made, in order to achieve complete guest satisfaction.

Thank you again for your comments, we look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Ben J
Case Manager
IHGCare

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

We upgraded our room, which was very nice, lots of space, nice views and a lovely bathroom..i would say the hotel is ok, but certainly not 5 star. The pool service was very slow, i quote the same problems as everyone else ie sunbeds. Nothing worse than having to bags a sunbed and if your not lucky then use a rather grubby bean bag. Dissapointing..we didn't enjoy the breakfast, it was very canteen style and not a relaxing atmosphere..more rushed. The location was good, a nice stroll to the marina where there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. I wouldn't go back but would certainly look at other resorts in portugal.

Room Tip: Higher room with a sea view!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Teresa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Dear Teresa T,

Thank you for your recent stay with us and reviewing our property. I am pleased to hear that our rooms and location worked for your needs. On the other hand, please accept my sincerest apology for any inconvenience the level of service you received and your breakfast experience. We appreciate your feedback as this is our best resource for improving guest services.

Thank you for your time and we hope to have an opportunity to serve you again.

Best Regards,

John O
Case Manager
IHGCare

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

Just back from crowne plaza few days ago rooms are nice but cleaners didn't clean bathroom the whole week we were there staff in restaurant were very rude clearly didn't want to be there cups chipped don't know how many times had to ask for replacement cats round pool area one of them done a poo under my husbands sunbed There's nothing that would make me want to return to this hotel

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Dear Christine M,

Thank you for staying and taking the time to review our hotel. I am disheartening to learn that you were not able to fully enjoy your recent stay with us due some aspects not meeting your expectations. The level of service that you have received is certainly not the standard that we would like to set. Please be assured that your comments regarding our housekeeping, pool and hotel staff will be used to consider taking the necessary steps to improve our facility.

Once again, thank you for staying and I hope that you give us another chance to provide you with a better experience in the future.

Sincerely,

Faith R
Case Manager
IHGCare

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Reviewed 27 June 2014

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Vilamoura mid June for 4 nights on a girls trip. We chose this hotel as it's 5* and liked the look of the rooms, pool area etc.

We were not disappointed! The hotel is lovely, very clean and the rooms are beautiful and immaculate. Once in the room there is no noise from others rooms or outside in the corridor at all, I was very impressed by this. Yes there is only 1 chair on the balcony but we just brought the chair from inside out when we had drinks in the evening before dinner, no biggie.

We had come away to have a relaxing, chilled break away from children and it fitted the bill perfectly for us. We chose the half board basis as it was such a good deal and again were not disappointed! I thought the range of food was fabulous, great salads, pasta made to order and a fantastic dessert and cheese selection, yum. Breakfast was very good and we all looked forward to it every morning. Sometimes the staff were very busy and trying to get tea and coffee was a challenge but if your willing to get up and ask someone then you will have it delivered quickly.

The sun bed situation is really bad, we took it in furs to get up to "bag" a bed for the day but reception will not give out towels until just before 8am. So people were keeping their towels from the day before to go down earlier or using their own towels. To be honest on the last day (a Sunday) there were still beds available after 8am but all other days they were gone just after 7.30am. The pool guys do go round and remove towels before 8am if no one is sitting there so be warned!

We found the service by the pool fantastic and the staff were all so friendly and accommodating, cannot fault them at all as nothing was a problem to them.

Thoroughly enjoyed our break although unless the sun bed situation changes we won't be going back again next year and it kind of ruined the break a little.

Thanks Crowne Plaza.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Jenster_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MP_CP_Vilamoura, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Jenster_7,
Thank you so much for sharing the feedack of your experience at the Crowne Plaza Vilamoura.
The feedback we receive from our valued guests, like you, enables us to target problem areas and we welcome any opportunity to improve.
Would like to inform you that we have already acquired more sunbeds for the pool area.
Looking forward to welcome you and your friends next year.
Kindest Regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 June 2014

This hotel is no way a five star hotel. Breakfast is very basic with no frills. Cups chipped , teapots cracked to the point I was frightened to pour thr tea out. The finer things that make a five star are sadly lacking. Staff on the desk are really nice but the breakfast staff are rude and ignorant. Trying to get coffee or tea is a mission in itself. The hotel is a disgrace with sun beds - not enough. They provide giant bean bags that are scruffy and soaking wet to sit on. Holiday makers hog 2 bean bags to themselves and won't part with them. So hence not enough bags . One morning I got up determined to get a proper sunlonger around the pool . At 7.30 they were all taken so was forced back to the smelly wet bean bags on the floor. If u have problems with your back etc or are less mobile u are in for a nightmare. My worry is what happens in peak season. Please wake up hotel - more sun loungers on the grass and less of this trendy looking pretence. On the plus side, rooms are lovely and very clean - infact the hotel and swimming pool is very clean. It's my first review because I've stopped in better 4 star hotels just along the coast. I'm really disappointed in the hotel and will not be stopping in it again. Thankfully I've only booked 4 nights . But please don't consider this hotel if u are less mobile or have any health problems.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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4  Thank Kelgraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2014

Dear Kelgraham,

Thank you for staying with us and leaving such a detailed review. I am glad you liked your room accommodations. However, I am deeply sorry you found the seating around the pool area of our hotel less than satisfactory. The feedback we receive from our valued guests, like you, enables us to target problem areas. We welcome any opportunity to improve.

If there is anything we can do to make your next stay more comfortable, please do not hesitate to ask the Manager on Duty.

Sincerely,

Jaime W
Case Manager
IHGCare

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Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

Currently staying at the Crowne Plaza and have just returned from breakfast where we were made to feel quite unwelcome by waiting member of staff. We were asked if we would like to sit outside or inside for breakfast having turned up for breakfast 10-15 minutes before closing. We chose outside to sit in the shade, and when we did so we were made to feel most unwelcome by the outside waiter. Clearly annoyed we had decided to sit outside close to closing time for breakfast, he hurried us along and said if we wanted to sit outside for breakfast we should come down earlier. Well, apologies but this is my holiday and excuse me if I don't fancy rising at 7.30 in the morning! To work hard all year and look forward to your FIVE star holiday and be treated with contempt is beyond belief!Not happy!

Ps no sunbeds! Not what you would expect from a 5 star!

Honestly not one to complain but being spoken to like that in front of other guests is really not nice at all!

I will further update at the end of the holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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3  Thank emc86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear emc86,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. I apologize for the level of service you received from one of our staff. It is regrettable that we fell below your expectations. All of our reviews are evaluated by our hotel management, and your review is no exception.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and we hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you again in the future.

Best Regards,

Charisse V
Case Manager
IHGCare

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Reviewed 24 June 2014

We love this hotel, although we go as a couple, it's great for children as they have a gated pool and play area where parents can lie on big bean bags and enjoy knowing their children are safe. The beach can be accessed at the bottom of the lovely gardens, with secure gate opened by your room key. Only problem is shortage of pool beds.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have better sea views, have been to this hotel around 7 times in the last 3 years.alway...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Elizabeth D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MP_CP_Vilamoura, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Elizabeth D,
It is really rewarding to read that you have been at our hotel 7 times in the last 3 years.
Thank you so much for your preference.
Looking foward to welcome you soon at the Crowne Plaza Vilamoura.
Kindest Regards,
General Manager

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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve

Address: Rua do Oceano Atlantico Algarve, Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125-478, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira > Vilamoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Vilamoura
#6 Business Hotel in Vilamoura
#6 Spa Hotel in Vilamoura
#7 Luxury Hotel in Vilamoura
#8 Romantic Hotel in Vilamoura
#9 Family Hotel in Vilamoura
Price Range: £75 - £264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve 5*
Number of rooms: 327
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Totally renovated, the Hotel offers 327 spacious rooms and suites, all with private balcony, individual air conditioning, wireless high speed internet, TV, Nespresso coffee machine and in room safe. Other facilities include a dedicated Golf Reception desk, an outdoor Putting Green and a Multi-sports area. The Almond Tree Wellness Spa includes treatment rooms, Hamman and dry Sauna, a modern Fitness Center, indoor heated pool and extra large whirlpool. Also available is an outdoor pool with apx. 1000 m2 and a large sundeck, with full view over the Vilamoura beach. Local and International gastronomy is available in the Restaurant Cataplana with daily buffet, a la carte options as well as dinner Al Fresco in the Patio. The Caravela Bar & Lounge by the pool area is the perfect choice for enjoying a drink or having a light snack. For Meetings & Congresses the Hotel offers 1488 m2 of meeting space, all on same Floor, equipped with modern technology and benefiting of natural sunlight. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve Hotel Vilamoura
Crowne Plaza Vilamoura - Algarve Portugal

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