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“FIVE STAR HOTEL”
Review of Hotel Praia Sol

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Hotel Praia Sol
Ranked #29 of 48 Hotels in Quarteira
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“FIVE STAR HOTEL”
Reviewed 20 September 2013

THIS WAS our second time here and everything i said last time stands.
Everything in this hotel is great,the clean, the swimming pool , the food and the staff.
we missed Maria and Paulo but we knew a new member of staff named Mafalda , she is loved and very helpful.
i don´t undeerstand the last reviews because it looks that people weren´t at same Praia Sol as I was.
we will be back soon.
thanks for all.

Room Tip: choose a front room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sally m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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English first
Swanwick, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
33 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

This is a simple three star property with around 40 rooms and without a doubt very good value for money. It is a great choice for a short break, being slap bang in the middle of Vilamoura and Quarteira, and walking distance to the beach and marina. I actually thought that the hotel could easily be a four star one with a few improvements. We picked it as we usually like the smaller boutique type hotels, modern and quiet. We were not disappointed on either of these aspects.

The staff were a little thin on the ground, therefore service was not too efficient. This is something that we have grown to expect from 4 - 5 star establishments This may have become irritating after several days, but fine for a short 3 day break and considering the price we paid. The public areas, pool, gardens and rooms were modern and well kept, but the sun loungers by the pool area could do with replacing, as could the outside seating. The pool was clean and there were some umbrellas. All rooms had balconies or a terrace with two chairs. Inside the room there was air conditioning, flat screen TV, comfortable beds, desk, full length mirror and plenty of drawers and cupboard space. The curtains were thick enough to keep the sunlight out and we heard no noise from outside or from our neighbours. We were located at the front of the hotel on the 2nd floor (top floor). We did hear the infamous barking dog, but not from inside our room. If you are a cat lover there are plenty of cats roaming around the neighbourhood and all seemed happy and well fed.

The rooms do not have tea or coffee making facilities, so you may wish to bring a travel kettle. Fridges and the room safe are available for hire, which we would have definitely done had we stayed longer, but we felt it too much hassle to arrange during our short stay. The bathroom had a modern sink with mirror, bath/shower (the grouting needed a clean in places), bidet and toilet. Bath towels and hand towels are provided, but not beach towels or facecloths. Limited toiletries are provided - two sachets of shower gel, shampoo and two bars of soap. There is a hairdryer, but not a powerful one. There could have done with being a few hooks in the bathroom. There is a supermarket close to the hotel for any forgotten supplies. If you take a left out of the front door, walk to the T- junction and then take a right. It is about 250m along the road on the left. Tip – cold drinks/beer are at the back in the deli section.

Breakfast at the hotel was adequate and the restaurant pleasant and bright. Fresh bread, tomatoes, cheese and ham, also a small selection of hot food usually scrambled eggs and sausages. There was some cereal, fruit and yogurt, tea and coffee and juice. Not great quality, but we always found something that we liked. Again perfect for the price we paid and you can always go out for breakfast if you were not happy with the choice offered. The bread made me laugh as a previous reviewer had complained about the dangers of small slices of bread being stuck in the toaster and the use of metal tongs/ lawsuits etc. The hotel appears to have remedied this by supplying the largest slices of bread I have ever seen and banished said tongs! We were only on a B & B basis, but did have lunch at the hotel twice which we really enjoyed. Lunch and drinks were very reasonably priced. Do try the green wine, a light crackling Portuguese white wine under 10 euros a bottle.

We were told by one member of staff after she rolled her eyes at us that a late check-out was impossible. We waited until we spotted another member of staff at reception and were given a two hour extension. This was really helpful as we were able to spend the morning at the pool, check out comfortably and then have lunch at the hotel while waiting for our private transfer. The transfer from the airport is around 25 min. There is a shower and toilet by the pool area that you could possibly use for a late check-out, although there is no mirror and it is a very basic facility.
The bar and lounge area at the hotel were contemporary and a nice place to sit if the weather was not conducive to alfresco drinking/dining. There was a pool table and some English books. Wi-Fi was only available by reception.

My conclusion - This is a good hotel for the price. Probably the cheapest price we have ever paid for a hotel, so we were surprised by the value for money. I think it is all about expectations. With some improvements it would be excellent though. The hotel is perfectly situated and well decorated and is only let down by the outside furnishings and service levels. Although it did appear that some staff were in training during our stay.

Tip – For Vilamoura you can either head out of the front of the hotel towards the Crown Plaza and right along the beach for the marina. Or out of the back gate and take a left. The few times we did use the back gate we had no problems with access, but agree it would be better with a key card. For Quarteira head out of the front door and take a left. Head towards the supermarket and bear left.

Would I return? Probably not, but that has nothing to do with the hotel, more that I found Vilamoura a little too built up and touristy for my liking. The beach reminded me of Bournemouth and the area was not as upmarket as I had been led to believe (by friends) and we found it hard to locate any traditional cuisine. You would have no problem finding an English breakfast or a lilo though!

Room Tip: We were very happy with our room 212 at the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank turquoise23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamble, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

Just returned from a week at this hotel & like the previous review we were glad it wasn't for two weeks.
Obviously greatly understaffed. Even saw the cook cleaning the rooms one day. Beds weren't made on two consecutive days. Bedding or towels not changed during the week & toiletries not replenished. Rooms not cleaned on Saturdays or Bank holidays. Even ran out of muesli at breakfast.
All in all a hotel not to be visited again. How it is was awarded TripAdvisors certificate of excellance I will never know.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Valerie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 September 2013

We have just returned from a week at this hotel and were very relieved that we had not booked for two! I see little need in spending time detailing my experience of this hotel. Simply read the two reviews below from 'MrWad' and 'hicrooke' as we agree with everything written from both guests.

One thing that was missed off their reviews is the tourist road train which provides rides for tourists around the resort. It passes the hotel and during the late evening, and even past midnight, it circles the roundabout directly outside the hotel, a number of times. This is clearly done to entertain the passengers and loud cheering and screaming is encouraged.

In summary, this hotel needs investment in staff, equipment and food to bring it up to anything like a 3*.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2013

This small hotel is fine overall and not bad value for the location – Vilamoura is lovely - but we were disappointed on quite a few fronts (see below). Other than these issues, we did enjoy our stay and the hotel did the job. It was in a good location when you can get in/ out the back, whilst no doubt very much cheaper than those around the marina. The rooms were nice with good aircon and TV (BBC and ITV), but the pillows were terrible and need replacing. None of the rooms seem to have a great view, e.g. none have a sea view, but the view was OK from our room on the 1st floor (apartments and palm trees).

The dinners were very good (although as it’s a small hotel, you always have to pre-order for the next day from two menu choices – it’s not a buffet). The lunches we had there were also good and there’s a good selection. Bar prices were mixed – 2 euros for a pint of draught beer, 1.50 for mineral water, but 2.50 for cans of soft drink.

The main issue is insufficient staff. Those who are there work extremely hard and clearly do their best but morale appears to be low, which is not surprising as they are expected to cover the restaurant/ kitchen, bar and reception at the same time! There only ever seemed to be two on duty at the most, out of the four who seemed to work there, plus the cook and occasionally a cleaner. Hence there was no-one on reception to check us in when we arrived and we had to wait some time – not a great welcome or first impression (and the latter was unfortunately proved right!). Some of the same people even clean the rooms on some days – which incidentally are not cleaned every day and some days only have a ‘light clean’. In short, the management needs to stop trying to save money and hire more staff as this definitely has an impact on the guest experience and overall sense of enjoyment.

Breakfast is another area where improvement is needed. It is exactly the same every day and in terms of hot food, there is only ever sausage, scrambled egg and baked beans (no bacon, mushrooms etc.) and absolutely no variation on this. There are a few basic cereals, yogurts, tinned fruit, ham/ cheese (pretty flavourless) and toast, but no creativity e.g. the occasional pastry or different kind of eggs to make it more interesting. The tea is tasteless, although this is probably a continental thing anyway!

Another area that needs investment is sunbeds! There are not always enough and at least half of them are old, broken and/ or extremely uncomfortable! Otherwise the pool area is nice and pretty quiet, if quite small. (They don’t have pool towels so bring your own.)

The other main annoyance is that, while the hotel is conveniently located for the marina through the back gate (10 min walk past McDonalds, turn off at the bakery), to get out you have to find a staff member who has a spare minute to open it, and buzz to get in again. They are all so busy that this is an issue. They also don’t open it after 10 p.m., which means quite a lot longer walk around the back or a much longer walk around the seafront. It would be a simple solution to add a coded keypad.

A couple of other things that seem tight and which I have never experienced before in a hotel is that you have to pay daily for a safe and a fridge. I don’t know if this is a local thing but it’s annoying.

I would definitely recommend Vilamoura in general – the marina is fabulous and we spent lots of time there in the daytime and evening – there are loads of places to have coffee/ lunch/ ice cream/ dinner. There are also boat trips from the far end, near Parky’s bar – tickets are sold all over the place. We did the cheapest, 16 euros for 3 hours with a swim, which was good. The beaches are also lovely – Vilamoura beach is nice but sunbeds with shade are 18 euros for half a day/ 25 all day! Falésia beach is possibly even nicer and sunbeds 11 euros for half a day, but it’s a long walk to get there, as it’s on the other side of the marina. The Old Village is worth a couple of hours’ visit. We also went to Albufeira on the bus (40 mins, 4 euros), which was quite nice. Overall we had a lovely, relaxing time. There was enough to do and the weather was perfect in September, about 28 degrees.

Room Tip: The hotel is always full so our preference couldn't be accommodated. Most rooms are okay anyway...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrWag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Arrival:
When we arrived at the hotel at mid-day, we were checked in and given our key card for the room, that was it; not very welcoming at all. We had to ask how to get to our room.

Hotel:
The hotel is starting to look shabby. The rooms are basic, but good enough; there was quite a lot of mould in the bathroom, and cobwebs in the bedroom though. There was a TV, which my husband managed to get a few channels on (BBC1 and ITV mainly). There were some weird anomalies such as a network point situated just above the toilet (?!) a random old shower button on an empty wall in the bathroom, and a speaker in the bedroom ceiling with a volume button next to the bed (we never worked out what this was for). The aircon was the best thing about the room. There was a nice balcony, but only two old dirty plastic chairs and no table.

When we made the booking, my husband requested we be allocated a quiet room, however we were given a room on the ground floor which I suspect is the noisiest floor. Other people's reviews have mentioned the sound of dogs barking throughout the night - that's nothing compared to what we had to put up with; we had noise from live music (Dire Straits badly sang with a Portuguese accent...what?) and the TV in the bar area (watched by the night-staff all through the night), people accessing the back gate at 4am in the morning and the telephone/door bell ringing at all hours to contend with. Pro Tip: Take ear plugs.

The pool area was OK, they could do with getting some more loungers and parasols; of which most of them were broken or the bases were too large to hold them steady. It is also quite noisy as there is a skate park and stadium located just behind it.

The hotel has free WiFi in the bar area, but it's pretty poor and intermittent. We didn't know about this until day 5 of our holiday because we weren't told about it and it's not advertised anywhere - you have to ask at the bar for the password. We only found out because another guest was complaining about the signal. They offer desktop PC's that connect to the Internet at €1 per hour, presumably giving a better connection. There is a decent pool table too, €1 per game.

Staff:
The hotel is understaffed at all times. The staff that are there (we saw 4 different faces, including the cleaner) appear to be seriously overworked; most of them we saw working everyday of our 7 day stay. I am confused as to why lots of reviews say the staff were friendly - we struggled to get or see them smile at all. It made it awkward when asking for the back gate to be opened. I am not sure if it was because they are overworked or because they are generally sick of tourists? Whichever it was it made me feel uncomfortable!

Location:
The hotel location is good. Head out of the front door, bearing right, for a 10 minute walk to the lovely beach. Due to the hedges and fencing around the hotel, it's not possible to walk down the sides of it, god knows who designed it that way. You have to exit out of the back gate for a 10 minute walk to the marina/restaurant/shop area. The back gate, which saves a 300 metre walk, is locked; you have to ask a member of staff to open it from the reception area. 9 times out of 10 there is nobody on reception. It got really tiresome having to wait at reception for a disgruntled member of staff to open the gate for us - I started to dread doing it, sometimes we ended up just going the long way around (which is a pain in 35 degree heat). When you wish to go back into the hotel through the back gate, you have to press a bell which alerts staff at the reception. The whole process is annoying and as another reviewer has stated - why the security for this door, when the car park and front of the hotel is always open to anyone? I highly recommend that the hotel either scraps the security for this door, or install a key pad entry system and give each guest the key code. The door says on it that it has "limited use after 10pm" - IF ONLY. It was being rang, opened and crashed closed till 4am as mentioned earlier.

Food:
We had breakfast at the hotel everyday, I'm not sure we could have put up with it for another week. It was below average; it comprised of tinned fruit salad, tomatoes, ham, cheese, lots of bread, sausages, scrambled egg, rock hard baked beans, waffles (some days), 3 cereal options, 3 flavours of yoghurt, tea, coffee and "juice" (which was cheap squash). I would suggest if you are planning on having a hot breakfast to have it early as it just sits there for the duration of breakfast otherwise. If you want to toast your bread or waffles, you have to use one of the two toasters provided; the problem is, the toast-able bread is too small and gets lost in the toaster and the supplied tongs are metal; it's only a matter of time before someone is electrocuted. The hotel should invest in a more commercial toaster to avoid a lawsuit from an American guest.

The hotel also provides snacks/lunches throughout the day. We thought these were fairly priced and decent. I would recommend asking for no mayonnaise if you are not fond - otherwise your food comes drowned in it.

We chose to eat out at different restaurants instead of eating at the hotel in the evening. The evening meals were very well priced though (3 courses for €10), but I wouldn't expect restaurant-quality.

We would visit the area again, but would certainly choose a different hotel.

Room Tip: I would suggest asking for a room at the front of the hotel on the first or second floor.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank hlcrooke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nottingham
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013 via mobile

This was our third visit to this hotel and we had a great chilled out holiday again.
The staff work really hard and are very friendly especially Rui who is a credit to this hotel and does anything to please.
As other people say the back gate is a great shortcut to vilamoura , which has lots of restaurants, bars, nice cars and boats to drool over.
Some people compare this hotel to the ones near to the marina but fail to remember its half the price !!!!!!
Been back less than a week and we want to go back.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank cooperNottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Praia Sol

Property: Hotel Praia Sol
Address: Rua Quinta do Romao, Quarteira 8125-301, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 48 Hotels in Quarteira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Praia Sol 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Praia Sol Hotel
Hotel Praia Sol Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal

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