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“Nice hotel but .........”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 5 nights from 29th September this year. I liked the brown and cream colouring everywhere (except the pool tiles looked a bit drab), and found the hotel and my room very comfortable. Bed and pillows were SO nice, and shower really lovely. I liked the modern design of the room and the Kenwood kettle was a welcome addition.

Breakfast was really nice and so much fresh fruit - and it was freshly sliced. Hash browns, eggs ... it was all tasty and freshly made. Only one complaint - the plates were cold, I could not find warm plates for hot food anywhere?

The SPA was lovely and I really enjoyed my time there, so relaxing.

Sao Rafael beach was nice and close, just a small boardwalk away and you can walk along the top of the cliffs for a short bit towards Albuferia from the neighbouring beach.

Now for the bad bit. My first few days were spent avoiding ants and beetles on the terrace outside my room, on the second last day they started appearing INSIDE the room and on the day of my departure I couldn't check out quick enough as there were LOTS of them all over the room. Why doesn't the hotel spray the terraces to prevent this? I had requested a higher floor room upon booking, but this was never granted - I even requested this checking in. Surely a five star hotel has better standards? I filled in the guest questionnaire upon checking out but to date have heard nothing - no apology, not even an acknowledgement.

This hotel is not crowded with package holidaymakers which is a real bonus and is nice and quiet, but not sure I would return after my bad experience, which is a real shame.

Room Tip: High floor, near the end of the corridor if you prefer a quieter room.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank chrissie42ire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 October 2013

Just come back from a week staying at the CS Atlantic. The hotel is only a couple of years old and is very clean and comfortable. The staff were all friendly and helpful. There are 3 pools one of which is for small children. There are sun beds around the pool, more than enough for this time of year. There is not a lot of information about the hotel in your room so need to ask the staff at reception who are happy to help. Pool towels are available from the Spa free of charge. Rooms have a safe, a fridge, kettle & hair dryers at no extra charge and also provide robes and slippers. Large shower room. The hotel layout is quite confusing as not all lifts go to where you want. The decor is brown & cream and has a very Corporate feel to it, could do with some bright colours to liven it up a bit. There are no brochures or leaflets telling you about trips or what's on in the area so once again you will need to talk to reception who will arrange any trip etc for you. The food is ok buffet style but not very hot, so we ate out in the nearby restaurants in the evenings. Praia Grande is quite a good restaurant. It's a 20 min walk to the Marina and about 45 mins walk to Albuferia, although the hotel runs a courtesy bus 3 times a day. São Rafael and Arrifes beaches are lovely- small with sandstone cliffs. At this time of year they weren't too crowded but should think they would be very busy in summer. There is a wooden stairway down to São Rafael beach but if you don't want to use this you can always go out of the front of the hotel and walk down the road. We had a lovely week as always in the Algarve and probably would use this hotel again in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We stayed at the atlantico for 5 days in october. We were in honeymoon which i mentioned upon booking and we were given champagne and fruits waiting in our room on the first night so thank you very much!
The hotel is approx 7euros in a taxi to old town so it was easy enough to get around. A cab to the airport was 50euro but almost 65euros on the way back so be mindful if you booking a taxi.
The breakfast was plentiful lots of variety and very nice. Although we were b&b we spent alot of time in the hotel as we had glorious weather. We ate in the bar and pool bar and we definitely found the food portions were good for the money being charged. It wasnt overly expensive as you would expect in a 5 star hotel. Also we rented a couple of films in the room, i suppose these were the only expensive things we found in the hotel, 12.50 euro a film but you do get it for 24hrs. We didnt try the spa as we didnt have a swimming cap for the indoor pool. The only thing lacking at the hotel is a shop i think for things like a swimming cap and also swimming trunks which my other half thought he hadn't packed only to find them when we got back in the case!! Overall great hotel if you dont mind catching a cab, though the hotel do put a shuttle service on 3x a day.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank Takster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Stayed in this hotel for a week in September. The room was comfortable, with a GREAT shower. There's lots of space for your stuff. Besides our suitcases we kept our golfbags in the room, and there was still plenty of space. The airconditioning was a bit loud, but other then that there was nothing to complain.

Breakfast was good, large selection of food. If you arrive in rush hour, you might have to stand in line for your eggs. If weather allows you can have breakfast outside, the best tables have a pretty seaview. The food in the (pool)bar was pretty ok as well. Burgers and sandwiches, which were great for lunch. We had dinner in the a la carte restaurant as well which we really enjoyed. We did not eat from the buffet, so can't comment on that. The bar on the roof is real nice, I would have really enjoyed having lunch there and just hanging out in the afternoons with a cocktail and a book, but it only opened around 19:00 and at that time the sun was almost gone.

The pools were nice and spacious. We would have liked to be able to order drinks from the poolside. This was not possible however, and if you order a drink at the bar and want to bring it to the pool you get it in a plastic cup. It would also be nice to be able to get your pooltowel at the pool, in stead of having to go inside to the Spa in the basement. The beach was a short walk away and was real nice.

All in all the hotel was good, but not great. We found that it lacked atmosphere, both inside and outside. The look and feel of the hotel was just not that warm and comfortable, which would have made our stay more pleasant.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank LoveTraveling00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Stayed for four nights mid October. Staff friendly and very helpful (especially Stefan), maids make your bed everyday, a free to use safe in your room, our room (we choose) overlooked the olive trees but you could still see the sea. The bed was huge but we could not get a decent nights sleep, pillows were huge, great to lie on but not sleep in. Hotel reception area outstanding and our room was contempary but there was a few things we didnt like eg wet room smelt of damp, toilet had no sink had to use the only one in the room. The outdoor pools were spotless and a friendly area for guests to chat, with bar. The private beach was out of this world, maybe the best beach I have ever seen, however the beach barman was not friendly or helpful. The hotel is in a great spot. If you dont mind walking this hotel is perfectly situated. The buffet breakfast was nice, we went out every afternoon to eat- so I cannot comment on the other food. In truth I would only come back here for the beach and surrounding areas.

Room Tip: We stayed on the fourth floor and had a view of olive trees and a sea view too!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ccccvvvvvvvv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

We spent 8 nights in the CS Atlantic in mid September. The rooms were large, comfortable and spotless with an amazing shower. The spa was to die for. I had a facial which relaxed me so much I thought I'd gone to heaven! I found the breakfast fresh with plenty of choice but the hot option was a little cold. One of the outdoor pools was out of action for 3 days due to a conference but we were not inconvenienced as the hotel beach was beautiful. We made use of the free shuttle some days which was fabulous. The restaurants near the hotel were very reasonable and good quality.

One thing I would recommend is asking for a pool/beach view as we had a dull 'garden' view overlooking the car park. Saying that tho, I can't recommend this hotel enough.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank L_H60Wales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Let's start with the good things. Staff is very friendly and helpfull.
They take the luggage to your room, park the car etc... reception also give a nice amount of info and responds well to questions.
The rooms are nice and spacious, nothing bad about them at all to say.
The location is great, peacefull and with a very nice beach.
The restaurant was a bit noisy, due to loads of people getting their meal at the same time I guess.

Some bad points, the furniture in the bar, the reception, the lobby, looks like animals have aten from them, the leather is ripped and old, the glass in the bar of the tables doe not look clean, on top yes, but underneath, totally not.
In the end our bill of the hotel was wrong for about 50 euro's and it took really a long time before it was arranged.

Too bad for these, but it makes a a moderate 4**** or a good ***

This was the third from four hotels on our trip..

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bjorn8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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