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“Fantastic Place”

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Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha
Certificate of Excellence
Handforth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Fantastic Place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2010

Where do I start with this review?

We booked a last minute 4 day getaway (from the election) leaving 5th May returning 9th May - picked up a real bargain and thought a 1 bed apartment for 4 days anywhere would be ok. Well upon arrival we were met by the wonderful Laura who had our room ready (earlier than advertised) we were walked from reception across to the block of apartments and shown our 1 bed room apartment!!! This room consisted of a ground floor that had a fully equipped kitchen including a washing machine (first time ever for me in an apartment), dining area, settees (including a bed settee) and a tv (which surprise surprise in Portugal showed Portuguese programmes along with CNN news - not sure what people expect? BBC and ITV?? - see a previous review) , we were then led upstairs to our upper complex that had 2 bathrooms and 2 separate bedrooms - this1 bed apartment could have slept 6 people comfortably.

With only 4 days in Portugal we were determined too see as much of the area as possible. Praia da Rocha beach front is a 5 minute walk away, the beach is huge, access either down a ramp (near the police station) or one of the many steps. At the East end of the resort there is a Marina - you can walk from here along the beach the full length of the beach to Praia da Vu (you have to leave the beach at 1 location). Another glorious place to visit is Alvor we walked along the cliff to Alvor via Praia da Vu - it took about 2 1/2 hours and we later found that it was about a 8 mile walk, locals had told us it was 45mins away!! they meant by bus which is how we returned (via Portimao). In Alvor you will find a quaint fishing village with a lot of restaurants - we had "lunch" at the restaurant at the bottom of the village next to the quay, we ordered sardines, potatoes and salad at 6euro each, well this lunch consisted of 6 mackerel sized sardine each along with the salad and potatoes - this was supposed to be lunch!! needless to say we didn't need a large evening meal.

Lots of places to eat in Praia da Rocha (every cuisine you can think of), we wanted to try typical Portuguese food (so thanks to Trip Advisor) we ate at Ju and Casa da Rocha just turn to the right as you reach the main strip both are located near to the fountain - both of these restaurants are not the cheapest but are excellent food. If, like me, you have never been to Portugal and have tried piri piri chicken in the UK then don't be fooled by the gravy boat of piri piri sauce the bring to the table - in Ju they served 6 pieces of chicken and I thought 2 spoonfuls over the chicken would do as a tester!! Lips and tongue tingled for quite a while after that - thankfully there is good supply of cold beer and ice cream for your desert. It is nothing like the piri piri you are used too but is very very nice - You have been warned!! Portuguese style steak is another recommended meal, it is served in a bowl with gravy and potatoes (my description isn't doing the dish justice), also any fish dish is a must. Cataplana is the local dish (served in a covered round dish) we didn't have time to try this dish but will do when we return.
Lots of places do 6.90euro 3 course specials if you are on a tight budget and there are plenty of 1 or 2 euro a pint places (prices on the main strip down near the police station are 3 or 3.5 euro a pint).

Local transport is very cheap. A day ticket (which you purchase on the bus) costs 1.5 euro each, you keep this ticket show it to the bus driver and can then travel anywhere all day, we found out too late that we could have used the bus to get to Albufuria or Lagos for this price - you just get the bus to Portimao and there are buses to lots of places. Portimao has a nice Marina, when we were there (Saturday) it was the speed boat Grand Prix which was interesting to watch the time trials - the main race was on the Sunday.

Too sum up I'd thoroughly recommend Praia da Rocha to all as everyones tastes will be catered for (food, drink, entertainment etc). Most of all though I can't recommend highly enough the Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha and especially Laura (who is a very talented artist) who cannot do enough for you - she makes your holiday.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Corky1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2010

Travelled there in Oct 2009 for one week. On arrival we were greeted by very friendly and helpful staff who showed us to our duplex apartment overlooking the pool. We were blown away by the quality of the accomodation which consisted of a downstairs lounge with adjoining open plan kitchen and dining area. The kitchen was fully equipped with everything you would need including a dishwasher and washing machine, there was also a downstairs toilet. A spiral staircase lead to the upper level which had two good size bedrooms and the bathroom which included a whirlpool bath (excellent). The balcony overlooked the pool area, we were also able to get snacks and drinks from the poolside cafe. The hotel was only two minutes walk from the beach and numerous restuarants and bars, we would frequent "Claires Bar" most days for our breakfast, reasonable price at around 20 euros for the three of us, which included coffees/juice. We loved the HUGE ribs at "Big Reds Ribshack", we have healthy appetites but was amazed at the portions, and we must not forget the rather large wedge of apple pie they do as dessert!!. Finally we must comment on the woman who looks after the apartment (LAURA) who although liked to chat was fantastic, very helpful and pleasant.. Holiday was excellent value for money booked through Travel Republic and got our own flights through Ryanair.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GrayAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2009

Just got back from a one week stay at these apartments with my partner and our 3 year old son.
Laura the owner was lovely- she let us check in early, and made sure we had an apartment with no stairs as we had a little one in tow. She also let us stay later, so that we could leave closer to our flight time.
The main propblem was the lack of cleanliness in the apartment. I ended up sweeping and mopping the floors, seeing as the cleaners clearly had not bothered to do this before we arrived. Our feet were filthy, and there was clumps of dust in corners of the room and under the beds. The shower didn't work properly, due to the vast amount of limescale blocking up the holes. I stripped the beds and washed the covers because they smelled damp and worryingly similar to urine. The cleaners came to empty our bins twice during the whole week, although they did change our towels once. They never came to clean at all- which i thought was disgusting. The TV only showed portuguese channels and the news, which we found boring. Although we went out most nights, it would have been nice to have been able to watch something sometimes. The beds were extremely uncomfortable, and we all enede up sleeping on the sofa bed in the livivng room area- which was awful. I was glad to get home to my own bed!
Despite all of that, the hotel was in a good location- close to bars, restaurants, the beach etc.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chestnut84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha

Property: Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha
Address: Sitio dos Castelos, Praia da Rocha, Portimao 8500-801 , Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Praia da Rocha
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Praia da Rocha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Apartamentos Castelos da Rocha 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Apartamentos Castelos Da Rocha Hotel Praia Da Rocha
Apartamentos Castelos Da Rocha Praia Da Rocha, Portugal - Algarve

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