Hi guys 'n' gals, thanks for reading my review.
My wife, my 3 year old daughter (her first holiday abroad) and I recently came back from a week in Quarteira, and at at the Pinhal do Sol hotel.
We arrived at midnight and was efficiently checked in and given clear instructions to our room. The only qualm I had on the first night was that we was placed at the far end of the hotel and with two large suitcases, and a big holdall bag, pram and 3 year old whingy tired daughter, it was a bit of a struggle to get there, especially with all the corridors. A porterage service would've been gratefully welcomed at this point, but that wasn't available.
The room was more than above average though. Big and spacious it was enough to accomodate 8 people in the big beds, we decided to push the beds in our daughter's "room" (an annex seperated by a curtain) together to create one big bed. The master bed was already together to create one big queen size-esque bed. I had originally requested a ground floor room too because we was worried our daughter would climb up on the seats on the balcony, but that never happened (our daughter listens well) but there's thick glass to prevent going through the railings. One problem though, in her "room", the window could be opened fully and we was on the 2nd floor so heaven forbid anything happens to anybody staying there. I know in the UK, the opening of said window would be restricted.
The first morning and breakfast was average. Catered for both British and continental guests. The toast machine was a bit hit and miss, but on the 3rd day, what they called bacon was absolutely disgusting. (If you're British, you'll know what I mean with what I'm about to say) It was like the pre-packed processed ham you get in supermarkets, flash-fried for a few seconds. It was inedible. But this "bacon" only surfaced a couple of occaisions more. A nice touch though was the Spumante they served properly chilled in an ice-bucket. My wife did spend a couple of days though finding the way to make a perfect cup of tea though (two red label tea-bags to brew for 6 minutes then add milk ;) )
Afterwards, my daughter wanted to try out the play-area. But on surveying it, I could only let her play on there supervised and not for very long. Two miniature plastic slides about 3 feet in height set around broken and uneven safety flags and a wooden border didn't leave me with the best feeling my daughter would be safe. Pinhal do sol, if you're reading this, please fix.
On to the location. Whilst Quarteira is a lovely place, the hotel is a bit out the way being 3 miles out of it on the outskirts. That said, the hotel puts a free bus on 3 times a day to Quarteira and Vilamoura, and a taxi from the hotel to town is about €7. We had to use this regularly as we had only booked B&B, hence the title of this review. The hotel is great if you book A.I. as most of the other guests at the time had done. The hotel do offer evening meal, but this comes at €10.50 each and we didn't fancy doing this for the three of us each night. Even though you get a discount of €1 pp if you book a meal for 3 nights. So going here Full Board or all inclusive if you don't want to fork out for transport to or from the town is fine.
The staff were very helpful, as we flew Ryanair, we had to print our boarding passes before we left, so they did this for us. They rang for taxi's when requested and they sorted out a power cut at our end of the hotel within an hour of reporting it. Safe's are available for hire at €10.50 for the week.
It was heartening to see the pool being cleaned (for the first few days at least), but by the last day it was full of leaves and petals on top. It could've done with someone cleaning it regularly during the day.
One plus point, was the fact that you could sit in reception, or the bar, or the pool and tag into their free unrestricted wifi. That killed an hour most nights.
Beer (which is what I'm most interested in ;) ) was €2.90 for 400ml, which equates to about £3 a pint. Not too bad. Noticed if you're AI you get a slim glass (possibly about 200ml) for your beer and other drinks. Don't bother with cocktails/milkshakes, you get them in a slim glass despite the picture on the menu being in a big tall glass. Bit disappointing looking back as they were €3.20.
The AquaShow waterpark at the top of the road is good, book in advance to get a discount.
All in all, the hotel was average to good. But it's down to you and what you want from your holiday. We made the best of what we had and in the end, enjoyed ourselves.
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Hotel Pinhal Do
- Hotel Pinhal Sol
- Quarteira Sol Hotel
- Sol Hotel Quarteira
- Pinhal Do Sol Hotel Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal