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“VERY DISAPPOINTED”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 October 2012

I have just come back from a weeks break at this hotel and to sum it up I would never go back or recommend it to other people.Myself and partner were not the only people who expressed the same opinion of this place. Room was great,can't really complain. Buffet food not up to much, had to constantly ask staff to top food up as opened up stainless steel containers to find them empty! I ask you....5 star not! Was informed by member of staff was Chefs fault....as if a paying guest cares one jot...just keep hot food hot (not cold) and also topped up. Also quality very hit and miss.I could go on but have better things to do. Gardens looked tired, empty glasses on table tops in gardens day after day. In the end we decided to spend as little time as possible at the hotel and used it as a place to sleep....one needed a good rest after walking into Albuferia old town as nearest place to escape. Don't think of courtesy bus...they weren't running. Taxis VERY hard to find as were local buses. If you are infirm or have a problem walking any real distances this place is to be well avoided if I haven't put you off already. Oh yes, before I forget, the Rep didn't seem to give a dam when we put some of our points to her so had to cut the conversation short and save my breath...Well that's me done...go elsewhere folks!

Oh p.s....forgot to say drinks very expensive and served with all the cheerfulness of a Albanian Firing Squad!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank B D
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 15 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel. I do regret to read that you felt disappointed with your experience with us.
It is true our Hotel rooms are very modern with nice and comfortable décor just to provide you a pleasant stay. Concerning your comments about the food, I already pass them to our Executive Chef who is always looking after to our guest’s preferences and needs. I must mention that if you which to go out and visit the Old Town our front desk team can always call you a taxi at any time or you can catch the local bus that stops just up on the road. Please allow me to mention that the prices we practice at our Hotel are not even the normal prices for a five star Hotel, our prices dicreased and even with the 2013 VAT increase from 13% to 23% we did not increase our prices.

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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480 - 486 of 1,150 reviews

Reviewed 10 October 2012

My partner and I have recently returned from a week at this hotel which we booked through Thomsons. We were a little worried after reading some previous reviews but it didn't take long for those concerns to go away. The garden room was a good size and spotlessly clean. The only improvement I would recommend would be the addition of towel rails and hooks for the bath robes. The food in the restaurant was varied and of a good standard. It did get a little 'samey' but we visited the Al Fresco restaurant on 3 occasions and this broke the week up nicely. The staff at both restaurants were helpful and friendly, especially Joseph in the Al Fresco who gave us some great advice on local wines. Breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice and a relaxed feel. There was an occasional wait of up to 5 minutes for trays to be restocked but this is to be expected at busy times.

The entertainment was good and Gemma and the team were enthusiastic but never pressured people to take part in activities. The spa was fantastic and the therapeutic massage was so relaxing and great value.

A lovely touch by the hotel was to surprise us with champagne and a birthday cake in our room on my girlfriends birthday. Overall the hotel was great and we would recommend it. The only slight drawback is the lack of shops and bars within walking distance but taxis were cheap so it's not a big issue.

Was a lovely holiday and hotel but perhaps a little overpriced as we paid £614 each half board for 7nights at the beginning of October.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Danny55
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 15 October 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel thank you very much for sharing your review regarding your recent stay with us.
I was happy to read that overall you enjoyed your stay at our/yours Hotel. Thank you very much for your comments about the Hotel Team, I will share all your words with them and I am sure they will be delighted to know that you prized their services. Joseph was very thankful to know that you appreciated his suggestions. Our Executive Chef was glad to read that you enjoyed our food options.
I completely agree with you our CS Atlantic SPA is the ideal place to find tranquility and restore your mind, body and spirit. Our SPA Team was very happy to know that you felt really relaxed with the Therapeutic Massage. I am glad to know that you appreciated the Birthday Cake and Champagne in your room and that made your day even more special.

Knowing that you would recommend us is without a doubt our best award!

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back in a near future and pamper you with another “lovely holiday”.

Sunny Regards from Algarve,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 10 October 2012

So disappointing. We have stayed at other Thomson 'couples only' hotels and had great holiday, with good food, great entertainment and peace and quiet during the day. Not so this time. Good food - if you like it cold, so-so entertainment and music played all day. Having said that, the staff are lovely, the place is clean, and the shower in the bedroom - fantastic. We think it wasn't worth the money we paid for it.

Room Tip: Higher floors are brighter
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank venice984
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 15 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.
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. However I was glad to read that you appreciated the service provided by our Hotel Team. They were happy to know that their efforts were worth it.
I do value your opinion, it helps to improve the quality of our Hotel standards and specially to achieve our daily goal: our guest’s satisfaction.

Despite what you mentioned I do hope that you give us the opportunity to welcome you back and provide you an excellent holiday.

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
Reviewed 9 October 2012

Just returned from a wonderful week relaxing here. From our first impression to our last the hotel and it's staff were fab - anything that they could do to help they would do from the minute we got there.

Greeted with a glass of bubbly on arrival - quick check in and off to our room we went. Fantastic room - super comfy bed and the wet room had the most amazing shower which was ace when coming back from a day lazing at the pool.

The three pools were very clean and well maintained although yes they were cold but through the day the sun did heat the water up. That said it was great for a dip to cool off when soaking up the sun on the loungers by the pool. It did get busy by the pool sometimes but then there are dozens of loungers and pods throughout the gardens

The staff throughout the hotel complex were lovely and friendly - always happy to help out. Felt bad for Gemma as the onsite entertainment as so many people didn't want to get involved in activities but she was keen to make sure guests were happy and enjoying their stay.

The Chill Out bar has the best view of all from the hotel over the sea - well worth a cocktail or two. Each evening there was happy hour in the bar so tried a few of them! Staff up there were great - especially when I lost my engagement ring into the floor boards (thankfully they were able to get it for me!)

Definitely recommend booking into the Al Fresco restaurant for a meal one evening - the food is fab and makes a change from the buffet in the Seven Seas restaurant. Whilst we were very impressed by the food at the buffet some people were not so happy - there was a good selection every night and was of a good quality through each of the themed nights. Make sure you have some of their ice cream. Waiters were all very friendly and chat when they could - thanks to Manuel and Maria for looking after us!

We did adventure to Old Town Albuferia and can heartily recommend stopping by the Marina when walking there/back for the yummiest ice cream ever! We did walk back from Old Town too - watch out for that last hill though as it is a killer..... (taxi's aren't that much though). We also adventured out across the cliffs to check out the views - be careful but definitely worth a go if you can work out the path to take. We also went along to Praia De Coelha which is well worth a visit, again for the views.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Claire J
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 19 October 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful review regarding your recent stay at the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
I was delighted to read that you would love to come again. I was glad to know that you were pleased with our Hotel rooms, they are very well equipped in order to provide you a comfy and relaxing stay. Our Hotel Team were so happy for your mention, they were very proud as much I was to know that their efforts were worth it. Our Executive Chef was also grateful to read that you enjoyed our food options, he always try his best to impress our guests and to achieve their tastes.

It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in a near future,

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
Reviewed 5 October 2012

We have been home a week now after our eleven night visit to this great hotel. We had read reviews before we left just to see what others were saying and have read reviews since. Its amazing to see the difference in peoples expectations. As many have already said we were greeted on our arrival with Champagne whilst we checked in and were also pleasantly surprised that our room was ready. We were amazed with the sheer size of the room and also the size of the wet room, there was plenty of storage space and the minimalist feel of the room was well thought out. The rooms were always kept spotless and the housekeeping staff worked hard daily to keep them so clean and were always cheery to, its amazing that when you smile and say hi to somebody you get a nice smile back.

Many people have commented on the food which actually we both thought was excellent, there was plenty of choice and the salads were superb. Every night there was a different theme for food choice from Portuguese to Asian & Sunday Roast.so there was a slight variation on the food available. In our opinion there was plenty of choice for everybody even those people who just want their chips & potatoes. For a change we would highly recommend the Alfresco restaurant and the food served there was also excellent and if you were lucky enough to be there before dark you could watch the sunset and also have the highly entertaining & professional Joseph who was so passionate in his work.
It was also easy to swap your half board to have a lunch instead of evening meal with no extra cost for those that wanted to take a short non expensive taxi ride into Albufeira. Highly recommended is the pool bar BBQ.
We have also read reviews regarding the restaurant staff being moody or uninterested, again we cannot praise them enough. We always found them to be friendly and constantly busy clearing up after people in order that fresh linen and tables were ready for the next guests. So if you needed to wait a few extra minutes for your tea or coffee you could always get up & get it yourself.

The onsite Thompson rep Lorraine was very approachable and had excellent local knowledge, she would often be caught by somebody to ask a question when she was due off or on her way home but still smiling would answer or assist with the question, nothing appeared to be too much trouble for her at all.

The gardens and pool area were very pleasant. clean & tidy, we did find that the pool area became crowded first & as some have said people were seen to be reserving their favorite positions around the pool but that's people for you. If you hunted about you would usually find a nice secluded spot or even take a very short 5 min walk on the boardwalk to the beach.
I am no expert gardener but i could see no issues with the gardens at all, surrounded by palm trees and nice grass what could be better? The pool itself was great it was unlike any usual swimming pool with its array of dark colourful tiles and circular in shape giving you the impression you were in the middle of an oasis.

The Spa is a must and i can recommend the Therapeutic massage i was only planning on one massage but Elis was so good and dealt with an ongoing neck & back problem i went for a second visit.
The Spa itself was very good and the hotel recognized that with a couple of items out of order the cost of the thermal spa, steam room etc was reduced by 50%. Great value.

We were not expecting entertainment so late into the season and pleasantly surprised by the daily activities that were on offer. Gemma was an excellent host with a fantastic singing voice too, she was never pushy if you did not want to take part, she came up with a few games & quizzes during the day that anybody could take part in. Gemma even managed to get 6 of the hotel staff involved with 6 guests for the Aqua Golf one day which i think was great fun and successful it also meant that the winner Travaresh (sorry for the spelling) could show off his skills. All the staff that took part were great sports and it gave the guests a chance to find out what jobs they did from front of house staff to others that you would not ordinarily see. (Good Job Gemma)
The evening entertainment was also well organised the Guys Will & Ben (Willjamin) were very talented musicians and had their own unique style covering so many different Genres of music. It really did appear that they were happy in their work and they had an amazing quality of playing to each others strengths. Gemma as already mentioned has a fantastic singing voice, we will also miss the Tuesday night "Elvis" who was superb. I am no Elvis music fan but can appreciate talent of somebody who can fire up a crowd the way he did and managed to get people up and dancing & having the restaurant staff running out asking for more.

In summary, we had a great time met some wonderful people including guests and staff and would definitely go back next year provided it stays as a couples/adults hotel as i'm sure the whole concept of peace and tranquility would be spoilt by young kids and their parents.

Room Tip: 300 series garden rooms quiet with palm trees and water feature just outside the ample balcony
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark A
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 15 October 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel let me take this opportunity to thank you for sharing such wonderful review regarding your recent stay with us.
I was delighted to read that we were up to your expectations and that you would like to visit us again. I was glad to know that overall you were pleased with our Hotel services and facilities. Thank you so much for your inspiring words about the Hotel Team. From the Housekeeping, Restaurant, Executive Chef, SPA, TUI Rep’s and Entertainment Teams, they were all very proud to know that you were pleased with their services. We are truly lucky to work with such dedicated Team who always have a friendly smile for shine your day.
I was thankful to know that you enjoyed the variety of our food options and the tasty meals at the theme buffets and Al Fresco restaurant. Our Atlantic SPA really worth a visit, it is a very relaxing spot to take a breath. Our Therapist was thankful to know that you enjoyed the Therapeutic Massage.

I was very happy to read that you did enjoy the Aqua Golf Tournament with our Hotel Team, they had a great pleasure to joined our guests and had moments of joy and fun. Tavares was very happy for your mention, he really was on his top!

Once again thank you very much for your value feedback.

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

Best Regards,

Álvaro Aragão
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 4 October 2012

Just back from a great week,a thoroughly lovely experience celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. The staff were very helpul, and our room was spotless and very comfortable. Yes, the food could have been better, but it is hard to mass cater for so many people with the choices available. On the whole it was good, but i must ask one thing, please get some more salt and pepper pots !!!!! There were not enough for every table, and every meal we had there were always one or the other without anything in it. Please get the waiting staff to fill them up once a week:) We had a lovely surprise for our anniversary, with champagne and strawberries being delivered to our room. If you are reading this and thinking of going to this hotel then please do, you will not be disappointed. We would love to go back, with more of our family next year. Just one more thing, the hotel could make better use of the garden area, as a lot of guests liked to sunbathe there rather than the pool area. With a little bit of imagination it could be a lot better, without too much expense or effort.

Room Tip: sea facing, or 4th floor facing the gardens
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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1  Thank bertybhoy
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 8 October 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing such positive review regarding your recent stay with us.
It is a great honor to know that you choose the CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel for celebrate such a special occasion like your Silver Wedding Anniversary. I am thankful to know that you enjoyed the surprise that we arranged for you on this special date. Thank you very much for your kind words about the Hotel Team, they were delighted to know that you appreciated their services. I was grateful to know that you enjoyed our Hotel rooms they are very well equipped in a stylish design just to provide you an unique and relaxing experience.
I do highly value your comments, it helps us to improve the quality of our Hotel services and standards.

It is a great honor to know that you would love to visit us again.

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

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
Reviewed 4 October 2012

We visited this hotel last oct.. We stayed in room 450. We really enjoyed everything this hotel had to offer... So therefore we booked for this oct... I must admit the reviews are somewhat startling It does not sound like the hotel we stayed in last oct.. So if you are reading this Alvaro Aragao the manager we hope your standards have been ,maintained.. Firstly reviews have stated that. The lawns were overgrown. Last year we always sat on the lawn with a pod and it was delightful the grass was always attended to. So lets hope when we arrive on oct 11th they will be a delight again.. Looking forward to meeting the staff again. Marie....

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank granhan
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 8 October 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of CS São Rafael Atlantic Hotel thank you for taking your time to share your opinion regarding your stay with us.
I was delighted to read that we were up to your expectations on your last visit and that you are coming back to visit us again.
Our Hotel Team strives to maintain a continuous improvement of the quality of our Hotel standards and to provide you the best service in order to achieve our daily goal: our Guests’ satisfaction.

It will be my pleasure to welcome you back on the 11th October.

Kind 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

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: £79 - £261 (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):
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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