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“Our first time to the Algarve-a very good choice”

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Pestana Alvor Praia
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Certificate of Excellence
Dudley, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Our first time to the Algarve-a very good choice”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

It was our first visit to the Algarve and indeed to Portugal, and we were not disappointed! We will definitely be returning. We stayed for 1 week from 10th to 17th October and had a lovely time.

The weather was great, the hotel was in a lovely spot so you had the choice of sitting by the pool but also the beach was just a short walk down the steps (or you could take the lift) where the hotel had their own loungers and sun shades. There was also a small indoor pool (if the outside pool was too cold-it was quite cold!). The beaches were amazing,

The walk into Alvor town took about 20-25mins (depending on your pace) although a little dark when walking back at night. Taxis were quite reasonable we were told. Alvor town was lovely, plenty of little shops and loads of places to eat. There are also plenty of opportunities to do some walking if you like to (we do). Claire (our Thomson holiday rep) took us on a walking tour of the local area on our first day-which was very useful to get to know the local area. We did the board walk to Alvor and around the estuary on our own the next day and also inland to upper alvor and back to the hotel-about 9 miles in total. Next day we walked the other way to Vau which was also a nice walk along the coast.

We also took the courtesy bus to Portomao and caught the train to Lagos-a lovely 20 minute train ride. We decided that our last 2 days should be "chill out days" so spent time around the pool and on the beach-lovely to have the choice.

The food at the hotel was great-both breakfast and evening meal. I had read a few comments about the evening food being samey but we didn't find this. The staff were very friendly and the hotel was clean and rooms comfortable. The bathroom may have benefitted from a facelift but clean and functioning. I will agree with other comments that it is more a 4* than a 5* as some parts need a bit of updating. The price of drinks in the hotel are a bit steep but there is so much choice in town, it wasn't a problem.

We would certainly return!

Room Tip: We had a garden view-very peaceful although looking at the sea view rooms, that would have been nice...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank ldeeming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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london
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

The Pestana Alvor Praia is a lovely hotel in a perfect location and apart from one major gripe and a couple of small ones, it would have been (nearly) 5 stars all round.

So lets get the problem out of the way.
The Pestana Alvor Praia may as well be a retirement home. 90% of guests were 70+ !
This is not an exaggeration and not a quirk of the time of year as the hotel clearly catered for their clientel long term. This had two significant knock on effects for those non senior citizens.
We went half board and although the breakfasts were excellent with plenty of choice, the evening meals were cringeworthy. Notice I didn't say bad. Everything was very well presented. They rotated about 6-7 mains calling them something (hilariously) different every day with various oddly selected veg combos.
The trouble was that the food was tasteless. All of it. It turned into a running joke after a while how the "chefs" could possibly cook all the flavour out of the food? The curry tasted of nothing. The chilli tasted of nothing. The goulash tasted of nothing! Don't get me wrong, I am not a massive fan of hot spicy food but I like it to taste of the thing its made of. The disappointment of the food was topped off by the desserts. They were all defrosted catering affairs. Meaning that everything was soggy. Pastry and sponge all wet. Everything that looked like cream or mousse or cheesecake was the same synthetic foam that reminded me of tasteless angel delight. The only saving grace was the ice-cream which was actually cart-d'or.

The brochure and website boasted "evening entertainment" so we checked it every night and every night it was either the silver mulleted Nigel on his casio keyboard or the awkward Jaun and his silent guitar. I actually saw him pretending to play while he sung over the backing track.
All the music was aimed squarely at the geriatrics who just sat and stared at Nigel and Juan like zombies. I cannot find words to describe how bad this was.

After about 5 days of this we realised we had been duped and I questioned the management on how they could improve things.
"How about some tastier food?" "How about lighting up the outside of the hotel at night so we can walk around?" "How about having some live bands or dancers?"
Each of my points were politely met with the same answer: "No, they don't like it" #shrug#

The other gripe was the complementary drinks. After breakfast there were none. There are NO tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms and you have to pay through the nose (double) for everything even water. I was stunned at one bill another guest paid: for a glass of wine and a litre bottle of designer fizzy water 17euros!!! Tea for two was 5 Euros.

When it comes to drinks you are have no option for dinner. I just ordered coke everyday at 3 and a half euros. One evening I refused a drink at dinner and the waiter was so stunned he asked me to repeat my reply!

If you are not happy to pay double for drinks, my advice is to bring a travel kettle and your own tea and coffee. If you go left out of the hotel and walk down the hill past the Delphina hotel to the main road you will find a small supermarket at the bottom of a small tower block with a big "Orange" sign on it. 5 litres of water is 85 cents. Coke, beer and wine is normal price. Stock up here and fill the empty mini bar fridge.

It's a real shame because everything else is brilliant. Stylish decor, spotlessly clean, beautiful beach, glorious weather, friendly staff, HUGE bed -very comfortable, indoor pool, gym, spa, sea view etc.etc. all wonderful. By the way, there is ZERO night life locally but the restaurants are good.
Oh, and just in case you are wondering if my age is biasing my review, I am 51.

So, the main point is, if you are a 70+ year old or have the mentality of one, you are going to absolutely love it here! BUT, if you are not, avoid it like the plague!

Room Tip: Ask for a high up sea view. We were in 512.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank Johnnycake53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coatbridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

16 of us booked but one dropped out last minute so I ended up in a room alone which was great. We booked our trip through Golfbreaks.com who were great at getting us the most competitive prices for combined hotel and golf. We booked and paid for the Pestana Dom Jaoa II but they had some booking difficulties and upgraded us to the 5 star sister hotel with sea views which was great. They even provided us a couple of dinners and 20% discount as we had assisted them in a similar way previously. Staff in the hotel are very professional from the moment we arrived reception staff and cleaning staff to bar staff and restaurant staff everyone was courteous pleasant and helpful and obviously well trained in customer care. Unit Manager Angela Quintal took time out to meet me and ensure we wanted for nothing.
Transport was included in the Golfbreaks deal and we were picked up every day from the hotel and golf courses at our convenience and to and from the airport all in good time. We played Gramacho, Vale Da Pinta, Silves, Pinta and Gramacho and finished with Boavista. Gramacho and Vale Da Pinta are great courses and have slightly differing degrees of difficulty but we all had mixed choice of favourites. Silves has a great layout with spectacular tees and views but is slightly spoiled by the scrub land in some areas. Boavista seem to be the favourite of most although the easy start is deceptive and the degree of difficulty increases as you play. Spectacular views of Lagos and Praia DA Luz and holes over gorges and water hazards are not for the faint hearted. We all enjoyed it greatly. Tee off times around 12:00 allowed cobwebs to clear have breakfast and to get back after golf for a refreshing swim in the cooling waters of the sea. Waves can be powerful but beaches are best in the world and in our fifties were taken back to be children again having fun with friends.
Taxis to Alvor we organised by the desk on request and cost around 5 euros per trip. Choices of eating venues were only bettered by the choices of bars. Best food by a margin was Capacho Cozinha Portuguesa who organised tables for 15 but were always busy and best to book in advance. They were always happy when we broke into song and even though I say it myself we have some great singers in our group. The Black Stove was our favourite haunt for drink and song and Keith Wilson on stage was talented musician and singer and a great laugh especially on Friday night. All of the Irish pubs in that area were great fun and had share of our custom later.
All in all I would like to say thanks to everyone who contributed including God for the great weather as the previous 2 weeks were not so good.
Constructive criticism for the hotel may be to consider improving the quality of sausages and bacon at breakfast but always ate my fill from the other choices available. Irish sausages and crispy bacon done some days would be a welcome change.

Room Tip: The sea view and sunsets are worth paying for but we managed to negotiate them with the change in ho...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BigBhoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
peterborough United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Stayed here for one week from 3 October with my husband and my sister and brother=in-law to celebrate my birthday. All the staff were fantastic and we had the most wonderful holiday. the weather was great,so we could enjoy the beach and walk into Alvor. it is very nice village with quaint shops and good restaurants.

Room Tip: we had a lovely room on 5th floor. we had a sea view and the sun rise and sunsets were a sight to b...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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2 Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kilkenny
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Stayed here for 5 nights in October on a golf holiday with 9 friends. Its our 12th trip to portugal and our first time in this hortel.
Ther room was a great size with 2 balconys. All the facilities were oerfect and we loved the lift to the beach!
Most of all, what stands out here, are the staff. Could not fault anyone of them.
Again, as with all hotels, the bar was too expensive.
We will return (and do our drinking in the village)

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank easygoing28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
south wales
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We stayed from 26th Sept for 1 week. Unfortunately dreadful weather rain and storms!!!!
Thomson Hotel not rated as yet but should be 4star. lots of feature steps everywhere which could cause problems. Thomson rep Clare an absolute star, extremely helpful and knowledgeable regarding the area and great fun. Hotel Manager Angela and her staff can be congratulated for running a happy ship everyone chatty and eager to help. The area is lovely not to far from pretty town of Alvor (lots of little shops and plenty of bars and restaurants) Would definitely return.

Room Tip: Definitely upgrade to Sea View Room the higher the better.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sunshineseeker14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cotswolds
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Have just returned from a 7 day stay at The Alvor Praia.This was our first stay at this hotel and would return again.Booked through Thomsons.The hotel had no star ratings in the brochure as they only started to use the Hotel last year We have stayed in 5star hotels on many occasions and would rate this one as 4 star.It just lacked some of the little extras that would have made it a 5.Bathrooms lovely and clean but need updating like the rooms have been.As said before the prices of the drinks are very high we paid 22 euoro for a bottle of Mateus Rose and the equivalent of£7 per glass a cup of coffee by the pool was 3.50 euros and a small cup at that.Suggest you take a travel kettle like we did and make your own in your room.Breakfast was excellent!!!Evening meal were good quality but have to say we did get bored of the same things by the end of the weekand the themed evenings were rubbish!!!Romantic evening??where were the candles,flowers?? All the staff were very friendly especialy Angela the manager of the hotel such a lovely genuine greeting!!We had a 4th floor garden view room that overlooked the front of the hotel,it was very quiet at night and lots of native trees and plants to look at and listening to the large water fountain was very relaxing didnt worry us at all not having a sea view.It was my Birthday whilst there and I had Champagne and a cake left in the room was a lovely surprise in deed and better still we didn't have to pay for it.My husband had flowers delivered and i have to say they were the best flowers I've received whilst abroad!!All in all we would go back again but would have a few meals out at night and we would award it a 4 star .

Room Tip: Dont book if your not prepared to walk or pay for taxi's.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ozzyCotswolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Alvor Praia

Property: Pestana Alvor Praia
Address: Praia dos Tres Irmaos, Alvor, Portimao 8501-904, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Alvor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Alvor
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Alvor
#4 Luxury Hotel in Alvor
#5 Romantic Hotel in Alvor
#7 Family Hotel in Alvor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Alvor Praia 5*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana Alvor Praia is a 5-star hotel in Alvor, Algarve. Located on Praia dos Três Irmãos, one of Algarve's best beaches, complete with white sands and tranquil, crystal-clear waters. It's surrounded by expansive gardens, an outdoor swimming pool and an elevator for direct beach access. If you wish to relax, visit the indoor swimming pool with plenty of natural light, the Spa where you can schedule a Magic Spa massage or beauty treatment, the Turkish bath or the gym with the latest equipment. If you wish to enjoy your meals with your family or have a cocktail, the Pestana Alvor Praia offers 2 restaurants and 2 bars. You can even make use of one of the tennis courts or golf courses only 15 km away. The little ones can enjoy mini golf, the playground and Kids Club (available from June until September). All rooms have Wi-Fi and air conditioning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Alvor Praia Hotel Alvor
Pestana Hotel Alvor

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