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“Quiet even in August”
Review of Encosta do Lago

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Encosta do Lago
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Almancil
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Quiet even in August”
Reviewed 17 October 2013 via mobile

My family came back to Quinta do Lago and this time stayed in Encosta do Lago via a private villa hire from Owners Direct.
Having stayed in both Quinta and Val do Lobo before we knew the area but not this resort. It works well for young families.
What we can say is that it is lovely, well kept, but very quiet (which for us was good).
We travelled with 3 children (6, 5 and 1) and found the pools the best part of the stay. The complex is predominantly privately owned, and much is not rented out and so there were only a smattering of occupied villas. This meant it was very quiet even in August (by Portuguese standards).
We found a few other families had booked direct with the complex, but they had a few gripes as there appeared very little staff on hand and the reception was barely manned. We never found it, as it was a small office near the edge of the development, but never needed it either.
Our private rental was cleaned regularly and was very well equipped. However the corkscrew was broken which meant we tried some novel ways to open wine one night.
Eating on site was ok, as the snack bar by the pool provided good service of drinks and light snacks all reasonably priced. The restaurant was practically empty most nights and is at the top end of Quinta prices.
The location is handy for the Quinta beach and lake, but we knew the Dunas Douradas beach in val do lobo is much better for kids (nicer sand, shallower slope to sea, and only 10 mins drive away).
So to all the reviews about the airport noise. Not sure what planet you stayed on. Being 20mins from Faro airport is very handy, and of course means you get planes landing and taking off. Think Central London aircraft noise given Heathrow is about the same distance away. Not oppressive, but then again were we used to it.
Would we go back, maybe. We liked Dunas Douradas Beach Club, but with kids of school age now, we are priced out. Defo a quiet family holiday with great pools, and especially if you want to do your own thing. Nice people by the pool, many with similar aged kids. Happy memories, and even better if you like playing tennis in 40C heat or standing in the small but well equipped gym pretending to work out, but watching Sky news.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
12 Thank Sheepskull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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English first
Weybridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2012

Stayed in September and then again in October for a week! We will definitely visit again. Spacious, clean, modern apartments. Helpful friendly staff. There ARE restaurants within walking distance - Tucano's on site and Casa do Lago 10 minutes stroll away on the lake - a beautiful spot to see the sunset.
You can walk to other beach restaurants for lunch - 20 minutes to Gigis, similar to 2 passos, the walk is stunning through the national park. This is one of my favourite places on earth!
Yes you do need a car for shopping.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Priscilla P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Have just returned after a week stay. WE arrived early evening on a sunday to find thereception plus the only restaurant closed, there are no restaurants or shops including supermarkets for a good 40 minute walk.
During the day the pool bar was closed and to our amazement the pool and complex was empty we didnt see any one else around really for the weeK so you couldnt pop to the shop for a drink or an icecream for the children. The reception staff were helpful in ordering a taxi but nothing else as our apartment number 87 was privately owned we werent classed as their guests.
Also it is right in the flight path very noisy.And definately not a family resort.
The beach is also a good 30 min walk along a very rugged path not ideal for buggys.
The apartment was lovely although wasnt expecting the upstairs to be a seperate apartment so glad nobody was staying as our garden and pool privacy would have been totally spoilt.
A couple of big tips hire a car,and DO NOT GO HERE LATE SEPTEMBER.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank kristie g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2012

Encosta Do Lago is a smart purpose built holiday estate comprising apartments and houses, some up to three stories. Villa 87, where we stayed last week, is a three bedroom, two storey villa, reached via about a dozen steps, then a path and a few more steps, where we had the ground floor and the upstairs was a separate apartment. It was good for us that the upstairs apartment was not occupied or we would have lost some valuable privacy in our private garden due to an overlooking balcony.

The villa, which I believe is similar to all others, is finished to a very high standard with stone floors, spacious attractive wardrobes, chic OKA type furnishings, comfortable beds, excellent ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning throughout. The kitchen had all major appliances and is modern but surprisingly had only bare essentials. We had to ask for a working cork screw, vegetable peeler and scissors, which were all delivered within a day or so (end of day 4 - more on that in a bit). It was surprising to us that so little kitchen cleaning kit was provided ie no scourer, dish brush, j-cloth, washing up liquid, just 2 dishwasher tablets. Usually, you get a bit of a starter kit. We had to buy the lot - and left most behind. Not what one usually expects. Also, no hair dryer to be found - but in fairness, I never thought to check in advance.

The garden was private with high, quite solid hedging and our villa had a lovely private pool. Not all villas do but if you can stretch to a pool, it's well worth it. Be prepared for gardeners to be at work quite often; they were at work with mowers and strimmers in our garden on 2 of the afternoons and you could often hear them at work elsewhere on other properties. We were quite relaxed about that - the gardens will not look so good without the attention.

The one thing we absolutely did not expect though, was the the aircraft noise. We did Google Earth check Encosta and I saw in advance the positioning of the Faro runways so telephoned the agent to check if aircraft noise was a problem. I was assured it was not a disturbance due to banking, which is not true. Whether you get disturbed or not depends on your tolerance to background noise. All I can say is I was not expecting to be able to see planes taking off so close to Encosta that you could see the airline livery. They start at 8am and sometimes 9am and on occasion I heard planes at 11pm. They do not fly by every day and not all day but definitely on Saturdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and occasionally in between and sometimes frequently at peak times. You could also see planes coming into land from the resort, towards the end of our stay and could see wheels were down! To be completely fair, lots of residents were unruffled by this, but if it's not your thing, at least you know about this now. I am going to post an Encosta Do Lago planes video on YouTube, so you can make up your own mind about the level of disturbance.

We didn't visit Tucanos, the restaurant on site but noted they also offer a take out. Starters are €3-5, mains up to €19.50 with puds about €4.50. Then you need to add on water, other drinks and alcohol. A can of Sprite/Coke at the pool bar is €3, sandwiches €3-4.50. Pretty good quality in our view.

Visitors also need to be aware (we were not) that in booking via various Internet companies, there is a high probability you will be booking not with Encosta Do Lago itself but with a private owner via an agency. This makes a big difference to your stay. Basically, only circa 25% of the accommodation is Encosta owned, the rest is privately owned. That means that Reception staff do not consider you their guests and are reserved about when they will help you. There was a definite coolness in their attitude to us. For instance, we knew in advance that internet access was only available in common areas including around the pool, however, the Reception staff absolutely refused to give us the internet codes for access to the internet around the large communal pool. As far as they were concerned we were staying in privately owned accomodation and internet access was the sole responsibility of the property owner. You can imagine our surprise, as we thought we had booked with Encosta. After a time, other guests gave us the Reception area code, so to gain access we had to sit in one of only 2 chairs in Reception or outside Reception hours on a wall outside. All highly unsatisfactory.

Also, be aware that Reception is unmanned at the weekend - something else we didn't know in advance. We arrived on Saturday morning on an early flight and Reception was closed until Monday morning. Our holiday rep answered text messages over the weekend but would not actually come and see us until Monday morning. That is why problems could not be corrected until day 3 or 4 (and regarding Internet access not at all). Our rep was very helpful from that point on but agreed that Encosta's behaviour was less than welcoming.

Overall, Encosta was fine for us once we chilled about the limited Internet access and tuned out the aircraft noise - and once we got our vegetable peeler!! We liked the concept, the quality of the accommodation and the weather was fabulous but next time, we'll move up the coast a bit more, away from the airport.

On a final note: top tip is only to use the local Supermacado for essentials. Within a 12-13 min drive you'll find both Aldi and Lidl.

Room Tip: Ask lots of questions. Don't take anything for granted ie Internet access, disabled access.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank Julesxx26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Epsom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

We stayed here early July and were very pleased with the accommodation, facilities and location (although you do need a car). We booked a 2 bed but were given a 3 bed top floor which was fully equiped with everything we needed and more. The complimentary coffee, water, fruit and jams were very welcome and unexpected as was the fresh bread rolls delivered to our door each morning. The large swimming pool area was very attractive and had plenty of sun beds etc. We managed the walk to the beaches and back but it would be difficult with young children however the lake and its facilities including a small beach area and restaurant(not cheap) is much closer. We ate at Tucanos one night on site and had a good meal but found it expensive. All the staff were extremely pleasant and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Irocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bristol uk
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2012

Stayed in a ground floor, 2 bedroom apartment with a garden and private pool.
The apartments were modern, clean and spacious, and the kitchen was well equipped. The beds were comfortable and there were loads of clean towels, including pool towels.
Maid service seemed to be every weekday.

The resort itself was in a very select area of Quinta do Lago, and it was very quiet during our stay. Mostly it seemed to be older couples staying in the apartments, which were villas divided into 2, so no nasty highrise buildings. The downside to the area was that you need a car to get around. There are no shops or resaurants (except 1 very expensive restaurant in the resort, where main courses cost up to 120 euros!!!) within walking distance, so we had to get a taxi to the supermarket in Almancil.

We loved having our own pool, and paid 350 euros extra for the pool heating for the week. It still wasn't very warm, but much better than the communal unheated pool.

There is a walk to the beach through a nature reserve with lakes, but it was further than we were expecting and we turned back before getting there!! On a cooler day it would make a nice walk though.

Overall, a lovely place if you have a car, or if you are happy just sunbathing and reading, and don't want to go out anywhere.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank emmaBristolUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Encosta do Lago

Property: Encosta do Lago
Address: Avenida Ayrton Senna da Silva | Quinta do Lago, Almancil 8135-024, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Almancil
Amenities:
Kitchenette Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Almancil
#9 Luxury Hotel in Almancil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Encosta do Lago 4*
Number of rooms: 47
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Also Known As:
Encosta Do Lago Portugal/Algarve - Almancil

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