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“Great location; away from it all”

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Sao Rafael Atlantico
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sesmarias
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Stayed for a week with my partner, went for a week of relaxation and that is exactly what we got. The hotel was very spacious, modern and airy, loved the clean lines and decor. The grounds and outdoor pools were exceptional. Indoor pool also great, gym looked well-equipped but did not use it. Food was good, particularly the Al Fresco restaurant in the grounds. As noted by a previous reviewer the queues for breakfast were a bit of a nuisance on some days. The roof top chill out bar was also very good. All staff very polite and knowledgable. We upgraded to a sea view room and I would strongly recommend this - the view from the balcony across the grounds and out to sea were beautiful.

The only minor criticisms of the hotel were the absence of a shop (usual to find one selling a few basics in a 5-star hotel) and a lack of information in the hotel room about the facilities.

The hotel has a boardwalk to the local beach - San Rafael - this is very nice but MUCH better, small secluded and with a great little cafe/ restaurant, La Sardinha, is the neighbouring beach of Praia dos Arrifes, also a short walk from the hotel.

We went into Albufeira for one day and spent a few hours in the old town and at the marina, however the rest of it was much too commercialised for our liking so retreated back to the tranquility of the hotel! So although the hotel runs a free shuttle three times a day into the town, if you're after R&R, the hotel and neighbouring beach has everything that you need.

Room Tip: Definitely worth upgrading to a sea-view room.

Room Tip: Definitely worth upgrading to a sea-view room.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank RM_Thornbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2014

Dear Guest,

Your review was very appreciated. It made us proud and gave the motivation to keep working and improving day after day.
We feel very happy with your satisfaction and it was a pleasure to welcome you.
Best wishes.


Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 June 2014

Me and my partner stayed here last September.. We had a room on the second floor facing the pool. The Rooms are big,clean. modern, well equipped and the shower room is massive.We had a brilliant 10 days here and the beach off the hotel is something else! We stayed by the pool some days but with so many trees around you find yourself in the shade half of the day. Lunch and breakfast was fairly average and because of that we didn't eat in the hotels restaurant. On one if the days I treated myself to the spa for a full facial and a hot stone. I myself am a beauty therapist and was very pleased with the hot stone Massage and would highly recommend getting one. On the other hand the facial was not good at all. It was a different therapist and she was quite rough and used a tissue a lot to take product off witch was very rough on my skin. She also pulled a chair up beside me while I had my mask on to try sell me the products - a big no no ! Wasn't worth the money and was not relaxing at all.
Apart from that we loved CS, staff are very friendly and organised taxis for us every night and the hotel it's self is gorgeous. Will be returning soon :)

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank sarajayne_whittle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing São Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
Your review is very important for us, in order to improve our standards and provide a better service. We feel very glad to know that you have enjoyed the hotel and staff, we work every day with looking for our guests satisfaction. We hope to welcome you back in a near future.


Best regards

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

Fantastic sized rooms. A real luxury having separate room and bathroom for the kids. Can't understand peoples comments on Tripadvisor about not enjoying the food here. It was amazing! Lots of choice: fish dishes, delicious lamb, beef, pork....fantastic fresh salads which stacks of choice. The staff were very attentive. Good local wine and they do serve spirits - maybe not the mainstream brands but good quality. The two local beaches are just 10 mins walk away...both very beautiful. The hotel up the road does some really cheesy and not particularly good evening entertainment a couple of evenings a week if you get bored at night! We went to Slide and Splash with our boys.....such fun! Worth the money and spent hours there. A taxi was 40 euros return.

Room Tip: We had a ground floor, pool view, deluxe suite...think it was 0116....great room if you want to be c...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Shawsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear Guests,

We work hard everyday in order to provide to all our guests a great stay together with a great experience! Go far from guest's expectations it's all that makes us happy and proud!
Thank you for share with us your family holidays!

Kind regards

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

Booked for couple holiday, cheeky 5 day break. Hotel really nice, it's quiet, but actually that's not a bad thing. We were half board, wouldn't bother with evening meal if went back, as other good restaurant nearby. Basic rooms were well worth the money and all had balconies. Staff were very attentive & eager to help.

Room Tip: Even basic room was worth money. Village room was fine.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Julie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear Julie,

Thank you for taking some time to leave your review.
Was a pleasure for us to welcome you at São Rafael Atlantic hotel, we appreciate your preference.

Best wishes

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Reviewed 17 June 2014

Beautiful large modern rooms, a great walk in shower, no baths, and no charged extras such as safe and fridge. A five star hotel that really is 5 star. The gardens, pools, beach and buffet breakfasts leave nothing to be desired. All the pools are modern and clean, for the inside pool you need to wear a cap, available for 5 euros. Reception so helpful and the service is superb, although you have to wait awhile if they are busy in the pool snack bar and a queue to get any cooked eggs at breakfast.
The only fault I found was that drinks are a little expensive - but what the hell I'm on holiday.
With Flights via Easyjet from Bristol, Hotel and you need a car a week for two including food and drinks works out at around £1800 - £2000. But its luxury.

John W.W.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a sea view
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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3  Thank JohnWW W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear Mr. John,

Was so nice to read this from you!
Your opinion has all our attention and we are always trying to improve our services. For sure it came to help us a lot, thank you!


Yours sincerely

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Reviewed 16 June 2014

Just back from a great week long stay at the Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel.
We really enjoyed the hotel and its facilities. It’s a really new modern hotel with lovely rooms and great pools, gym and spa.
We would definitely return.

Only one negative experience which is worth mentioning. The queue for breakfast in the mornings was annoying. For the first few days of our stay, the hotel was obviously very busy and this resulted in a queue to get seated in the restaurant for breakfast. Some people were queuing for maybe 10 mins. This was only really a problem for the first 3 days we were there. After that getting a seat was no problem. However, all week, there was also a queue for the omelette station. Maybe for 10-15 mins each morning, so much so that my husband was finished his breakfast by the time I sat down usually. This wasn’t ideal and having a 2nd person on this station would have made a huge difference. Although I didn’t really want to spend that time queuing, I love having an omelette for my breakfast and so it was worth the wait. However on about the 4th morning, there was an incident at the omelette station. I ordered my omelette (in English – the omelette chef speaking very good English, as I had known from previous mornings). She then said something to me in another language which I didn’t understand. She kept repeating herself and eventually I said that I didn’t understand at which point she just started laughing – and then went off to go about her business. I was quite annoyed as I didn’t really know what was after happening and I felt that she was laughing at me rather than trying to be friendly. Anyway, as I’m still waiting in the queue for my omelette I tell myself just to forget about it and don’t let it ruin my day. But what happens next made the whole thing worse. The omelette chef then proceeds to ask the girl behind me what she wants. This girl is speaking in another foreign language and the chef is obviously having difficulty understanding here (real or put on I’m not sure). So the girl ordering walks around to where the ingredients are set out in a dispenser and points to the ingredients she wants – now she was extremely polite in the way she went about this, but the chef obviously thought this was hilarious as she starts laughing behind her back, throwing her eyes up to heaven and then starts looking around at a few others in the queue trying to join them in her little joke. I was absolutely moritifed for the girl in question who had no idea what was going on but the chef was obviously having a particularly childish day and felt like having a bit of fun at the guests expense that morning. She clearly has a very distorted view of what is acceptable in a customer facing role. In any event, I stayed away from the omelette station for the remainder of my holiday, as I did not wish to have a repeat of that mornings events.

Having said the above, this was an isolated event, limited to one member of staff and I would not let it put anyone off coming to this hotel.

Pros:

Lovely new modern hotel – very clean
Rooms are spacious and luxurious
Beds are extremely comfortable
Spa, Indoor Pool and Gym are all 5 star
Fabulous beach
Good selection at breakfast & lunch
Outdoor pools are good and there were enough sunbeds.

Cons:

Location is about 5Km from Albufeira and in a quiet area – you need a car
The Spa doesn’t offer beauty treatments – just massage and facials
The hairdressers is closed permanently
There is always a long queue for the omelette station (10-15 mins)
Sunbeds at the pool are uncomfortable and many are damaged or dirty
Staff were generally polite and efficient, but were not what I would describe as 5-star trained.
Would have preferred if the indoor and outdoor pools were heated.
The bar in the evenings did not seem to have much atmosphere and was very quiet.

Room Tip: A car is needed to get the most from your holiday if staying in this hotel.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jackie0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear guest,

We are thankful for your review.
All the aspects you have mentioned deserve all our attention and for sure will help us to correct some imperfections and avoid them to happen again in the future. We apologise for any inconvenience and hope to have the chance to show you that these are not our standards. Hope to welcome you in the future and share with you a great experience!

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 16 June 2014

Hi,

We have just got back from a weekend stay at the Sao Rafael Atlantic and I must admit this is perhaps one of the best hotels I have been to. We have been to Hilton (Dubai), Marriott (London), Renaissance (Malaysia), Hyatt (Bali) but this hotel is right up there. I cannot praise enough the support we got from Sonia at the front desk - from arranging an amazing complimentary cake, chocolates and drinks for our Wedding Anniversary prior to our arrival to helping us with taxis, locations among other things. She was fantastic!!!

Rooms were top notch - panoramic views, massive bed, huge showers
Breakfast was great with tonnes of choice
Hotel's private beach was breath taking
Swimming pools were fantastic - my 2.5 year old son literally stayed in these for the most part of our trip
Children's play area in the Sao Rafael Suite hotel (sister hotel) was also amazing. we left our child with the staff, Veira and Vanessa and they did a brilliant job in looking after our child who has never stayed away from us for a prolonged period. My son thoroughly enjoyed the bouncing castle, drawing and lego facilities.
SPA facilities were brilliant
Albufeira town centre was about 15 minutes away - costs around 10-15 euros one way´

I could probably go on and on but I will just end it saying, We will be BACK!

Thanks Sao Rafael Atlantic for making our stay so amazing.

Room Tip: All rooms are great!
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Shairaz A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rui V, Gerente at Sao Rafael Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear guests,

First of all, thank you for choosing to stay at São Rafael Atlantic hotel.
As you could notice, we have the two hotels in the same location and we feel proud to know that we could give to you all the things you could expect from us in order to have a great time!
Looking forward to see you again!

Kind regards,

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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: 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: £84 - £337 (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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