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“Brilliant Holiday”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 September 2012

I read some of these reviews and wasn't sure what to expect. Our experience was brilliant.!

We were welcomed at our hotel with champagne and our rooms were ready early, so we could just drop our bags in our room and go. The hotel was immaculate and the rooms spotless, roomy and had a luxurious feel to them. Housekeeping were great and left the room sparkling each day, without being intrusive. Air-con was great, but remember its set to switch off if you leave your patio doors open - its meant to do that, it isn't broken!

The grounds were beautiful and well kept. Yes, there was the odd broken sun lounger, but there were still plenty to go around. The pool was gorgeous and always clean, so no idea what people are saying about it being dirty and brown??!! The tiles are a beautiful shimmering mix of brown and turquoise and you are surrounded by palm trees, and a great pool bar with great (although a little expensive) cocktails.

Food was great, and typical of the buffet food you expect. It was always hot and you had a different menu each night, with several choices of main, and various vegetables/side dishes. Breakfast was great, with everything from cereal, fruit, pastries, full english or omelettes cooked especially for you. I would DEFINITELY recommend booking yourself into the al fresco restaurant as often as possible. Service there is brilliant and the food is amazing! The pool-side barbecue is also great, especially the desserts! The only slight draw back is that the hotel is quite secluded, so you can't really eat out in a decent restaurant without a short taxi ride. This does, however, mean that you are in a lovely tranquil setting with no other holiday makers or being annoyed by people selling things all the time!

Please ensure you have a cocktail on the roof terrace/chill-out bar. It is amazing and sooooo relaxing!

Absolutely loved this holiday. It was relaxing and we will definitely go again in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Katrina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for posting such a beautiful review about your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I was amazed by your comments and I will certainly share them with the Hotel Team, it is a great honor for all of us to know that your first experience with us was brilliant.
I was very happy to know that overall our Hotel standards and facilities were up to your expectations. Thank you very much for your comments about our food options, I already pass your compliments to our Executive Chef and he was thankful to know that you enjoyed the variety not only at the evenings Theme Buffets but also at Breakfast. He was also glad to know that you appreciated our tasty Menu at the Al Fresco Restaurant. It is true, the Chill-Out bar is one of our best spots and it is really a nice place to relax during your holiday. I was happy to read that you were delighted with our Cocktails.

I would love to welcome you back again in a near future,

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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494 - 500 of 1,157 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2012

First impresisons suite on the foruth floor two wet rooms, three hand basin, two loos, fanstic view of the sea.
Meals distugusting cold tasteles bland poor choice not what you would expect in a five star hotel.
Gardens very overgrown and unkept
chill out bar lovely setting but no waiter service something you would expect.
No manager present at all no one in charge
staff not five star trained
Would not recommend this hotel
In future will stick to the Protur sa coma playa hotel and spa in majorca

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I was glad to know that you were pleased with the beautiful sea view of your room. I do value your opinion and I truly regret to know that your experience with us didn’t match the high levels of costumer’s satisfaction that we daily set. I would like to mention that our Hotel Team is highly qualified and each member goes an extra mile just to provide you a pleasant stay. We do receive many guest’s comments praising our Team. I will take on board your issues and together with the Hotel Head Departments we will verify the situations in order to go forward with the necessary improvements.

Yours Sincerely,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

An excellent hotel for the type of holiday we wanted: comfortable, good food, entertainment and, most importantly, child free. The hotel location was good for us, but for the less active it might be too remote. The hotel has all of the amenities you could need but if you want to get out and about there is a small supermarket and bar nearby and a number of other restaurants and bars within a 15- 20 minute walk.

The food at the hotel was good in the buffet restaurant and better in the Al Fresco and A la Carte restaurants. Although you pay a little extra in the latter two, the prices aren't exhorbitant. We liked the arrangement where you could take lunch as your "half board" meal, thus enabling you to visit local restaurants on an evening.

For those wanting to go to Albufera there is a local bus service; local taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. For the more energetic it's a leisurely 40 minute stroll. Although it's not a scenic stroll it passes the harbour area whch is well worth a visit for it's numerous bars and restaurants. It's also a good ice cream break on the journey!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GregoryJohnEdward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel thank you for taking your time to post your review regarding your recent stay with us.
I was very pleased with your comments and very proud to know that you rate us as an “excellent hotel”. Our Executive Chef was also glad to read that you enjoyed our food options especially at the Al Fresco a la carte Restaurant. It is true we are in a privileged location , very relaxing and quiet all year.

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back in a near future,

Warmest Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

just returned from 11 ngts at this hotel, although some aspects are ok other areas are not, the pool area was never cleaned properly, broken sunbeds and parasol bases, dirty cups and ashtrays from the day before, got to the point had to complain, to the hotel and Thompson rep, service was sometimes slow, although the staff that were there did their best, just not enough of them, breakfast buffet was nice, lunches good, evening meal was defiantly not 5* standard, entertainment was limited although we did enjoy "Elvis" . Chill out bar is not as is suggests, no comfortable seating, no waiter service, not even a coaster mat for your drink! We had heard rumours that the cs group is in trouble and this hotel is going into administration, although this is not confirmed, if it is true it is beyond me why Thompson are still sending people there because clearly there is no money to improve things nor the inclination to do so, I have written a strong letter of complaint to Thompson after travel support. I'm awaiting a response, if you've had a similar experience I urge you to do the same. Would definitely return to Portugal though, lovely country, weather and people.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sara N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to post your feedback regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I do regret to read that you were not pleased with our Hotel standards and facilities. It is very disappointment to know that your expectations were not met. I do value your comments and I will share your opinion with the Hotel Head Departments for consideration and for future improvements.
Our Hotel Team is always hard working in order to achieve our daily Goal: our guest’s satisfaction.

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 24 September 2012

We have just got back from a holiday at the CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel and it was a really lovely experience. The staff are fantastic. Very attentive and to take pride in their work. We must say a special thank you to Rui who was our waiter every evening at dinner. A wonderful man, very friendly and took an interest in our holiday and the things we had been up to. That for us went beyond the call of duty. It was clear he took pride in his work as well.

The only issue we had was that the dinner wasn't really up to 5 star standard but it was pleasant enough. The Al Fresco restaurant was a nice touch (you could book in there for dinner and it was table service) The breakfast however was better in the main restaurant.

The hotel was clean and the facilities were excellent

We would definitely recommend this hotel and thank you CS Sao Rafael Atlantic for making our holiday very special.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank emmalilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
It is always a pleasure to read positive feedbacks such as yours. I was delighted to know that you had a “lovely experience” with us. Thank you very much for your inspiring words about the Hotel Team, I´ve already shared your great comments with them, especially with Rui. They were all proud to know that you appreciated their friendly service.
I was glad to know that our breakfast met your expectations and I will pass your comments to our Executive Chef who is always attentive to our guests’ feedback.

It is a great honor to know that you will definitely recommend us!

I truly hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back in a near future and pamper you with another special holiday.

Sunny Regards from Algarve

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 23 September 2012

me and my boy stayed in this hotel and had a lovely relaxing week. The bedrooms were very clean and spacious, definitly 5* the pools were very relaxing and clean not like other reviews said. We tried the 2 different restaurants which were worth going to, try and book these as much as you can as the buffet restaurant wasnt up to much. 3* max food. Italian theme night was definitly the best!

Entertainment was very repetitive but Gemma the thomson rep was very good at getting you involved in day and night activities and always made you felt welcome. Gemma singing in the night was the best entertainment.

Staff at the hotel could be more friendly. Philipe and Ricardo were very friendly.

When staying at the hotel expect to pay to use the facilities:
Jacuzzi
indoor swimming pool
sauna
swimming cap must be purchased to use them all.

This hotel is not 5* however if the food was improved it definitly would be.

Overall we had a peaceful, relaxing stay at this hotel but will look to go somewhere different next year.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lauren_kieron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing your review with us and other travelers after your recent stay at CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I´m glad that you had a lovely, relaxing week and that our facilities were up to your expectations.
I was surprised with your comments about the Hotel Team, we really receive many positive feedback concerning our dedicated team, Filipe and Ricardo were very pleased with your mention. Regarding our food options, thank you for your comments about our two á la carte restaurants, your remarks about our daily theme buffets will be discussed with our Executive Chef and all the necessary improvements will be done.
Concerning the paid Spa facilities , allow me to clarify , all our guests can use our main indoor swimming pool and our well equipped gym free of charge, apart from the main indoor swimming pool we do have an thermal circuit which is paid , this includes access to one animated swimming pool , sauna, Jacuzzi , Turkish bath etc, it is correct the use of a swimming cap is mandatory for health and safety reasons, the guests can bring their own or we can sell it in our Spa, 5,00€ is the price of one swimming cap that can be use during the entire stay.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 21 September 2012

We had a lovely stay here in mid September. The weather was gorgeous-constant sunshine from early morning and warm evenings. There was often a cool breeze and the heat was never stifling as it was a dry rather than a humid heat. Contrary to some other reviewers, we always found there was plenty of shade (umbrellas, pods, palm trees) when we needed it. The grounds are lovely, with 3 pools surrounded by palm trees and lots of grounds (hills overlooking the sea) to lounge in - we never found it crowded and felt it was easy to find a nice secluded spot away from the pools when we chose to. The only criticism of the grounds, was the number of broken sunloungers left lying around. I would not expect this of a 5 star place and think it would be easy to repair them, or at least remove them. However, we never struggled to find usable loungers and the pods are really comfy.

We loved the fact that this hotel is adults only. It was so peaceful by the pools, just the sound of the palm trees moving in the winds and the water rippling as people swam. Having just opened our own business, life at home is pretty busy and this holiday provided the perfect, peaceful getaway from it all.

We also loved the fact that the beach is so close-just through a gate in the hotel grounds. And it is not a plastic, touristy beach, but a pretty bay surrounded by rocks and coves. There were always lifeguards around too, which was reassuring as one day the sea was quite choppy! There is also a snack bar and restaurant and you can hire loungers and umbrellas.

Albufeira is a short, 5 euro cab ride away, but we only went once as it is quite a loud, touristy town and not what we were looking for, still, nice to have the option to go for dinner outside of the hotel grounds. We loved the fact that the hotel is a real getaway from it all, quite remote. But there were plenty of daytrips on offer too and we found the hotel staff and the Thompsons rep very helpful. We did a fun speedboat trip around the beautiful coastline and caves, culminating in some amazing dolphin watching. We only had 7 nights and wanted to take it easy, but there were lots of other trips available and we met a coupe who had hired a car quite cheaply and enjoyed exploring the local area.

The breakfast buffet is fantastic and it's lovely eating outside in the sunshine, looking out to see. The evening buffet is okay. I don't think it quite deserves the criticism it has received but it is fairly average, especially for a vegetarian. I think it could be improved. However, there is also the option to book the Al Fresco restaurant, which is included in half board, and this was lovely. Good food, great location and fantastic service. The pool side bar is also handy and we liked the fact that we could swap lunch for dinner as our half board meal, as this allowed us to eat out in town one evening without feeling we were losing out on a meal we had already paid for!

We are keen to return and I would definitely recommend it for those looking for luxury and peace a quiet. It may not be suited to those looking for lots of night life and hustle and bustle, but for us it was perfect. Next time we would like to stay for 10nights so that we can take advantage of the daytrips on offer and hire a car to do some of our own exploring.

Room Tip: Definitely book the Al Fresco restaurant as often as you can. We ate there 3 nights out of 7. It'...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank funky2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel let me take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your review regarding your recent stay with us.
I was very happy to read, that overall our Hotel services and facilities met your expectations. It is true, we are truly lucky to be just a few steps from the beautiful São Rafael Beach. Thank you very much for your compliments about the food, I already pass your comments to our Executive Chef who was glad to know that you appreciated our options.

Thank you so much for recommend us, your words make us proud.

Knowing that we made you feel keen to return is without a doubt our best Award.

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you again in a near future and pamper you with another lovely stay.

Sunny Regards from Algarve,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sao Rafael Atlantico

Address: Rua dos Corais, Sesmarias, Albufeira 8200-613, Portugal (Formerly São Rafael Atlantic Hotel)
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira > Sesmarias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Price Range: £67 - £258 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sao Rafael Atlantico 5*
Number of rooms: 149
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just minutes from the centre of Albufeira, the São Rafael Atlântico enjoys a fabulous location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and with direct access to the São Rafael beach. The interiors are spacious, bright and airy, with contemporary design features. The rooms are modern in design and have spacious balconies with sea or garden view. The extensive gardens are magnificent, beautifully landscaped in Mediterranean style with an abundance of olive and palm trees. The hotel’s facilities also include a modern spa offering the most innovative treatments and therapies. ... more   less 
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