My husband I were amongst the first wave of Thomson guests this season, staying from 1st to 12th April 2012. Our garden view room was extremely comfortable and well equipped. We knew what to expect in terms of decor as had viewed numerous photographs/reviews before our trip. Surely those complaining about the plethero of brown in the hotel knew what to expect as well? The hotel does seem to function as a corporate venue as well as a holiday destination. Realistically this is what many hotels have to do to survive these days - certainly with the prices we paid for a stay in a top rated hotel, Thomson must have cut the deal right to the bone in order to charge what it does! Looking at the room charges online and on display in the room, we paid a lot less than the regular guest - indeed this is why we booked with Thomson. We did not use the services of the representative at all during our stay, preferring to do 'our own thing'.
The food was good to very good. Hot plates were readily available and the food was plentiful, varied and hot enough for our liking.
The entertainment was minimal but, again, what we expected. This is not the sort of hotel to go to if you want non-stop entertainment and is not sold as thus.
The staff were low key and varied in regard to their professionalism - I put this down to it being the start of the season with several new staff. The one unsatisfactory incident was when we were asked to go to Reception after trying to have drinks in the bar charged to our room as usual. As we wanted to keep on top of our bill we had been paying it every few days - it appears on the last occasion our tab was shut down and it was very embarrassing to be told we would have to reregister our credit card before we could charge items consumed to our room. We finally got it sorted out - they did have our credit card details after all! There was no apology for this incident, which delayed our dinner that night.
As pointed out in previous reviews, and to be fair by Thomson in their brochure, this hotel is in a quiet spot and is ideal for a relaxing break - if you want lots going on GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!
Maybe not 5* but certainly 4* and would consider returning in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel Sao Rafael Atlantico enjoy a spectacular location overlooking the Atlantic sea, direct access to Sao Rafael Beach and only at a short drive to Albufeira centre. The interiors have contemporary design features with space and light throughout. The rooms are modern and have large balconies with views over the sea and gardens. The extensive gardens offer a beautiful mediterranean landscape with olive and palm trees. There is also a state-of-the-art SPA featuring leading wellness therapies and treatments. ... more less
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