My wife and I (mid 30’s) made the wrong choice and booked a week at Pinhal Do Sol last summer, it might be a bit late now for a review but we don’t think things have changed since then so here’s our thoughts:
First of all, we chose to book this hotel as it didn’t seem too bad, some reviews were not very convincing but we know some people are very picky about everything so we took it with a pinch of salt, the rates were also below average and our budget wasn’t very high so we went for it.
The hotel complex as a whole is very decent and has potential, but the cons outweigh the pros.
First of all, location is a major issue, you can really realize about this only once you get here, it is quite far from the coast (about 2 miles / 3 km) and fair enough they provide these free shuttle buses back and forth but it’s still a drag to depend on them, there are two scheduled in the morning, one in the early afternoon and the last at 17:30, it takes you down to Quarteira and Vilamoura and comes straight back (for those who were already there), after this time you need to rely on cabs.
The first day we actually walked all the way to Quarteira as we were curious about how long it would take and well...it took us about 40/45 minutes, clearly not something that can be done on a daily basis, part of the road is also lacking a pavement therefore dangerous as well, we were very quickly wondering why on earth a hotel was built in this location, it is on a main road but there is absolutely nothing once you go out, just a built-up area inhabited by local people.
Although our stay was between July and August, there were not that many guests, the two areas of concentration are the two swimming pools, one at the front, one smaller at the back, we used them on a couple of occasions but there were very few people (most of the hotel guests were probably down in Quarteira or Vilamoura) and we had a feeling of being in an isolated place, there was no buzz, no music, no entertainment of any kind, there weren’t even any children screaming.
We stayed on half-board basis, breakfast was not great, the coffee / cappuccino, etc, were dispensed by a machine and tasted foul, the food on display was of mediocre quality, plenty of biscuits (easy / lazy option), some squash (tasted cheap and chemical and again, lazy option), the usual toasts, bread, jams, etc plus some cold meats and cheese, as a whole when you wake up in the morning and you think about breakfast it should be a joyful moment, well it wasn’t enjoyable at all. As some other reviewers have pointed out, there’s a Lidl at short distance going towards the coast, it’s likely that most of the food comes from there.
Dinner was organized a bit better and we don’t have too many complaints about it, you can eat indoors or outdoors by the pool and the food was of quite good quality.
What happens after dinner is the big issue: nothing! There’s a bar serving drinks of mediocre quality but there’s no music, no entertainment...and no people, you have a feeling that you don’t really know what to do, other than going down to Quarteira or Vilamoura, so a taxi back and forth is about €15 (but some evenings a cab to come back may be hard to find or, especially from Vilamoura, you might have to queue up and wait for your turn).
Accommodation: depending on where your bedroom is, this might be another issue, the hotel has very long corridors of bedrooms and if you are given one at the end of the corridor you find yourself walking and walking and walking for so long that it becomes boring.
In our case, unfortunately, something very bad happened, something that totally spoiled our holiday: 3 days after we were there, we had left early in the morning for an excursion near Faro, upon our return in the evening we were asked by the receptionist what our room number was and once we told him, he replied with something that made our heart sunk, our bedroom (+ other two) had been broken in and burgled, what we felt in that moment is really hard to describe, we rushed to our bedroom but couldn’t get in as the door handle had been forced opened and then forced closed in whichever way I’m not even sure about; with the help of the receptionist in the end we managed to get in, the room was in a bit of a mess, some of our possessions had been stolen but I’m not going into more details about this; the police was then called for a report etc etc.
What I would like to highlight is the lack of security in this hotel, the burglary apparently happened in the early morning (nobody called us from the hotel, they had our numbers!) as by the time the cleaners got to our room it had already been burgled, there are no cctv cameras anywhere, especially in the corridors, so nothing could be done to find out who the burglars were, the hotel management showed some compassion and offered their help but we were not feeling really helped, there was a sense of carelessness about what happened to us.
As we didn’t feel safe any longer in staying there, we were then transferred upon agreement to another hotel in Quarteira town, the new hotel was better but our holiday was completely ruined, we wanted to go home, we had to go on a daily basis to the local police station asking for news about our case and deal with not very helpful policemen + we had to go to the tribunal in another town inland to finalize our case, as a whole an experience to forget.
In our opinion, in case of doubt whether you want to book your stay at this hotel or not, please don’t, unless you don’t mind being isolated, far from the coast and unless you have a car, so that you can go anywhere as you please.
You might as well stay at a hotel on the coast, where there’s plenty of choice, better still stay in Vilamoura and avoid Quarteira altogether; if you listen to our advice, once you are there and you visit both towns you’ll understand why, and you’ll thank us for this tip.
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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