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“Very disappointing”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed 30 September 2012

My Wife and I have just returned from a weeks stay, it was very disappointing! What a difference a year makes! We usually like to visit places that we have never been too before but we had such a great holiday here last year that we thought we would return, what a mistake. The standard of the rooms and indoor cleanliness was still of a high standard but the gardens and pool areas were poorly maintained. The gardens last year were maintained and were spotless but now are overgrown and neglected as if the place were about to be closed down. The food in the restaurant was just about edible, wouldn't even call it 2* standard. The staff in reception and the bars were friendly and helpful but the waiter staff were moody and uninterested. The A/C in our room was very poor, we reported this to the reception staff and were told it was fixed but it never seemed to work properly which made sleeping uncomfortable. Overall we felt very let down by our experience at the hotel and would not return again. Perhaps if the restaurants and the gardens were sorted out this hotel could be a great place to go again!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank LondonNicola1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, 1 October 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to post your feedback regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel. It was a great pleasure to know that you visit us for the second time, thank you for your loyalty. I deeply regret to read that that you were disappointed with our Hotel services and standards. It is always our intention to provide most warm and caring service to each and every guest, however your experience certainly felt short of the high standards we daily strive to achieve.
I will take on board your valued comments and they will be discussed with the Hotel Head Departments in order to implement the necessary measures to improve the quality of our Hotel services and facilities.

I hope that you give us another opportunity to welcome you again in a near future and show you our improvements.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 September 2012

Just back from spending a fabulous week in this wonderful hotel with my husband.
We arrived in the morning like most other people to a glass of bubbly and a very speedy check in. Our room was ready so we didn't have to wait at all. Our room was on the 2nd floor and over looked a garden area with a small pond/fountain so was extremely quiet and peaceful!

The room itself was great with a huge comfy bed. As others have said the shower was amazing!!!! There was lots of cupboard space for your clothes.

The hotel is very modern looking and was always very clean. The 3 pools were wonderful - yes a little cold when you 1st got in but that was welcomed in the baking sun! Both myself and my husband used them frequently.
The garden area was nice and there were more than enough sunbeds/pods to go around. Although I was always annoyed to go down after breakfast to find about 75% of them with towels on them even though it stats in black and white that you are not allowed to do this, i wish Thomson and the hotel would enforce this rule abit more.

Myself and my Husband treated ourselves to a couples massage as they had a special offer on in the spa and this was excellent!!! The girls in the spa are extremely professional and very good!
We then had the full use of the spa facilities for the rest of the day including Jacuzzi, steam room etc...i think if you are staying at this hotel it would be a great shame not to take advantage of these wonderful facilities.

I also used the Gym and indoor pool. The gym was quite small and one of the treadmills was out of use but overall it wasn't bad.

As a couple in our late twenties we found that most people in the hotel were alot older than ourselves which didn't really bother us and found that the low key entertainment catered for everyone. I enjoyed it all, including Elvis! The Portuguese dancers were very good aswell.

The food is pretty much as other reviewers have said, slightly disappointing in the Buffet resturant in the evenings but the Al Fresco resturant was lovely.

Overall, We went to this hotel for a relaxing week in the sunshine and thats exactly what we got, would definitely return.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WeeRo84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, 1 October 2012
Dear Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel let me thank you for sharing with us and with other travelers your positive feedback regarding your recent stay.
It was a pleasure to read that you had a “fabulous week” with us. I was glad to know that you enjoyed our luxurious and peaceful rooms. They are special decorated with modern equipment just to provide you an enjoyable stay. Thank you very much for your comments about the SPA Team. I already pass them your inspiring words and they were grateful to know that you appreciated their services specially the Couple Massage. It is true, our modern SPA equipped with the latest technology, innovative treatments and wellness therapies provide you a truly unique experience.
I do regret if you felt disappointed with our food options at the evenings buffets, I will pass your opinion to our Executive Chef who always makes the necessary improvements just to please our guests.

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you again as we would like nothing more than to continue creating amazing CS Hotels memories for you.

Kind Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

We stayed at this hotel for a week during mid-September and we would definitely return. We have stayed in self-catering accomodation in Sao Rafael before, so we knew the area, and decided to treat ourselves by staying at the hotel, which was being built last time we were there. Having read some of the previous reviews we weren't quite sure what to expect - but we needn't have worried.

The hotel itself is bright, airy and spacious and decorated tastefully. On arrival we were welcomed with a glass of champagne and the check-in process was very quick and efficient. Even though it was only about midday, our room was ready, so we were able to get unpacked straight away.

Our room was great - a good size and really clean. It was at the front of the hotel, so didn't have sea views - but it was very peaceful looking out over the trees at the front. The bed was really comfy and the shower was incredible. The housemaids did a brilliant job every day - the room was always spotless. The only slight downside was that noise travels - for example chairs being scraped on the floor of rooms above/along the corridor, but it wasn't too often.

The pool area is beautiful - the 3 pools were always really clean, and the space around them, so I'm not sure where some of the negative comments below came from. We went swimming every day and it was a real treat. We tended to use the sunbeds and pods in the gardens, rather than the ones round the pool - and whilst there were a few broken sunbeds, there were enough for everyone and the pods were especially comfy. Again, our experience of the gardens was only a positive one - lots of olive trees dotted around, creating shade if needed for the sunbeds - very peaceful.

We chose Sao Rafael because of the beach, which is gorgeous. It's 5 minutes' walk from the hotel and definitely worth it. It was a lot busier this time than when we have been previously, and the sea seemed to be a bit rougher, but we still spent several happy afternoons there, watching the world go by. If you don't want a sunbed, we would recommend walking down to far left of the beach and setting up camp there.

As other people have pointed out, the hotel's general location isn't great if you want to be surrounded by lots of activities, bars etc - but we didn't, and a quiet holiday was exactly what we wanted. It's about 30 minutes to walk to Albufeira, through the marina - worth doing once during your holiday. In Albufeira itself, we would recommend the Casa de Fonte restaurant - lovely food in a shaded courtyard.

The food itself in the hotel was fine - there could be a bit more choice at some of the evening buffets in the main restaurant, but we always found something we liked. The Al Fresco restaurant is definitely worth a couple of visits in the evening, but make sure you book by midday on the day that you want to eat there.

All in all, we had a wonderful week away - wonderful warm weather, sunshine every day, and a lovely hotel. Beats being in cold, grey England and we would love to return!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatieR663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSHOTELS, Manager at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this review, 1 October 2012
Dear Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel thank you for taking your time to share you feedback regarding your recent stay with us.
I did appreciate very much your pleasant and very detailed review. I was delighted to read that overall you were very satisfied with the Hotel room, they are very well equipped with modern furniture and nice decor just to provide you a pleasant stay. I completely agree with you, the São Rafael Beach is an outstanding place and it really worth a visit. Thank you for your compliments about the food, our Executive Chef was very happy to know that you appreciated our options. It is true, the Al Fresco a la carte Restaurant is very much appreciated by our guests not only for its amazing views but also for its tasty food options.

Knowing that you would like to visit us again is without a doubt our best Award. I am sure that your expectations will be met and we will provide you another “wonderful week”.

I do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in a near future.

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
west yorkshire
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham City UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: Sao Rafael Atlantico
Address: 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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sao Rafael Atlantico 5*
Number of rooms: 149
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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