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.
- 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