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Luz Ocean Club
Ranked #8 of 9 Hotels in Luz
Reviewed 13 August 2009

We were very impressed with the standard and cleanliness of our two bed apartment. We had a lovely balcony with a spectacular sea view. I could not fault the apartment and absolutely would not hesitate to book again. In fact we had already booked to go to another part of the Algarve next year, before visiting Luz and we rather wish we hadn't!The kitchen was a good size and really well equipped with everything you could possibly need to self cater, right down to rolling pin, weighing scales, mixing bowls, a whole array of serving bowls etc. Maid service was very good - they came in 3 times per week, changing towels twice a week and linen once a week. If we had decided to bake a cake while we were there, we had all we needed! Our only gripe was there were only 3 wine glasses and 3 cereal bowls, and on reflection I can't understand why we did not let Ocean Club know because they would have sorted that out in an instant. We experienced problems with hot water supply and the Ocean Club reception were really efficient at getting someone out - a maintenance man arrived within 15 minutes. Annoyingly the problem reccurred the next day, once again they were out to fix it within minutes. He diagnosed a faulty thermostat and replaced it, and came back to check that all was well on the following two days.
Both pools we used were clean and well maintained with plenty of loungers to go round. Only slight irritation for us was the 'no reserving sunbeds' rule publicised everywhere was not actually enforced. A large group of golf enthusiasts would daily place their towels on the sunbeds before the published opening time of the pool and disappear off for a round before returning to claim their prized shady spot after lunch. I arrived bang on opening on two consequtive days but still failed to bag a spot under the shelters provided. However, plenty of shade is available under the lush trees at the pool near the Baptista supermarket. I have read another review concerning prices of food/drink. I would agree these were pretty steep at the poolside. However, the 'no food/drink unless you buy it here' rule was thankfully quite lax. So, you win some/you lose some on the rukes front!
The village of Luz itself is a beautiful resort. It has a lovely atmosphere and is quiet, yet vibrant even at the peak of the season. There is everything you need right here, and although we had a hire car, we seldom felt the need to use it. The place could not feel safer, despite the negative associations it might have.
I have read a review complaining that everything is too far away from Ocean Club. Granted the walk back from the sea front is uphill. However, my father a lifelong smoker and angina sufferer managed it without ill-effects (in fact I had hoped the daily walk up the incline might make him think about giving up!). Like most places in the Algarve there is a slope to the beach/sea, which at some point needs to be done in reverse. This is unfortunately a problem of geography, which I feel actually makes the views more spectacular and stunning. Distance is NOT a problem. Luz is a smallish resort... I wear a pedometer and found that a triparound the whole town, top to bottom, east to west was actually no more than 2 miles in total.
In summary, a fab resort and a unique place.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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153 - 159 of 205 reviews

Reviewed 10 August 2009

Just returned from 2 weeks self catering at Ocean Club. We travelled with Thomas Cook and everything was as booked. Transfer took 1 hour but when we arrived check in was quick and smooth. We requested a 2 bedroom pool view appartment which also had a fantastic sea view.
The appartment was huge with massive lounge and seperate dining room, maid service was ok and towels changed once a week.
Only negative thing is the price of food and drinks at the tapas bar, I thought daylight robbery was illegal, but these guys get away with it on a daily basis.
4 cheese toasties and 2 portions of chips set me back 20 euros, large beer costs 4 euros.
Appartments are located in great spot with plenty of bars and restaurants located within 5 minute walk. all food types catered for from curry to chinese and italian to english.
Would highly recommend and will definatly book again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Worcesterblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2009

We have holidayed with Mark Warner many times in the past, but had been going off them - we are a couple without children and, in the early days of Mark Warner they had some nice small adult-only resorts where it was possible to chat to like-minded people over dinner, and make new friends. In recent years we feel that MW have realised how much more money they can make out of families, and their offerings for the childless have dwindled to virtually nothing. Anwyay, we managed to get a half-price deal to Praia da Luz, so decided to take the risk.

And we were pleasantly surprised. Our apartment was amazing - 2 beds, 2 baths, lounge, dining room, kitchen, balcony. The only criticism would be that the bedding didn't have mattress covers etc, and I suffered quite badly from my house dust mite allergy - suggesting the mattresses were not that clean.....

There are 4 swimming pools in the resort, one of which is adult only. Unlike other resorts we have visited, the adult only rule was actually enforced, and the pool was a lovely haven of tranquility. So nice that we spent far more time there than we had planned to!

Our package with MW gave us all breakfasts (good), 5 dinners (also pretty good), but no lunches. The first day we ate lunch at the Mill (poor), a few days we ate at the adult pool (fair to poor), and another couple of days we bought food from the supermarket (well stocked, but not cheap). MW used to include wine with dinner but now that has to be paid for separately, however it was good and only €2 per glass. The food highlight was "Pastelaria Chicca" - see separate review in the restaurants section.

We liked Praia da Luz and enjoyed not being "in the compound" as is normally the case with MW holidays.

The MW staff were excellent and nothing seemed to be too much trouble.

We felt we got good value for money at £399 (half price); wouldn't have considered booking at full price.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Janet H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2009

I booked this holiday very last minute with Mark Warner over half term week. We had a lovely apartment which was a 10 minute walk from the Mill Restaurant. The apartment was well equiped, clean and everything worked. The maid came in 3 times a week to clean and change the sheets and the towels were changed once.

The Mark Warner facilities were excellent, my 7 year old daughter used the kids club every day and had a fantastic time. The activites were so well organised and the Mark Warner staff were very friendly and keen. There were lots of acitives for the adults also from aqua aerobics to tennis. There is also a beauty salon and the girl who runs it Georgina, is an excellent beauty therapist.

Mark Warner have three sites with family pools, which are all excellent, so clean with facilites for a drink and food. They also have an adult only pool which is located nearby.

The food at the Mill Restaurant was lovely, a great variety and very well presented. The breakfast in the morning was a buffet style with a full english available every day.

Praia Da Luz is very pretty, the beach is very clean and we had a really good holiday. There are a few hills and the cobbled streets can be slippy especially with flip flops.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank loobylou2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2009

We ( a middle aged couple) have just returned from a week at Praia da Luz with Mark Warner. We went with trepidation after seeing the mixed reviews on Tripadvisor but had few options available as we could only take this particular week off at the last minute.

Although we were the opening week for Mark Warner, with a few teething issues, we had a fantastic time. The service was a little slow at first but improved over the week. We had a fantastic two bedroom apartment (for only 2 people) with ocean and garden views. The food was above average (particularly compared to some other reviews) and the staff were enthusiastic and welcoming.

I would however throw in a few words of caution. This resort is spread out over some steep slopes that are very slippery due to the cobbles. So not the best place for the elderly or someone uncertain on their feet. However the upside of this is that there is plenty of walking to burn off breakfast and you don't have a chance to feel institutionalised.

The surrounding countryside is beautiful with exhilarating walks over the cliffs - but beware climbing up to the obelisk. It's a steep climb and is rather scary on the way down - slippery stones with no hand rails!

We went by accident but will certainly be returning.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ChampagneGeraldine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2009

We booked the holiday with Thomas Cook and, after a long transfer from the airport, were given an apartment at the top of a long steep hill from the beach, far away from the restaurants and supermarket, at about 9.30pm on a Sunday evening with no supplies whatsoever and the world's worst, most basically drawn, incomprehensible map to the resort (and my husband is very competent with maps and even he was scuppered). We felt dumped basically.

The room was awful, the beds for the children were in a cupboard and were worse than terrible and we had nothing for them to eat. The Ocean Club is a vast spread out complex, not contained as we had expected, and the part we were near (at the top of the resort) had a restaurant. However, my husband walked down there to see if we could get a table as the children were very hungry (and everywhere else seemed too far to walk and the supermarket was closed) and he was told there was no room and he should have made a reservation the day before (pretty hard when you've only just arrived).

He managed to get a couple of bottles of water from the reception desk at the bottom of the resort a trek away, bring them back and, because of my girl guide ingenuity, I had brought along some sachets of hot chocolate, some packets of beanfeast and smash (not great but better than nothing) and we had some nutrigrain bars, so the children did manage a hot meal of sorts.

The next day we complained about the room and were moved, no nearer to the amenities, but the room and, the beds and the kitchen were much nicer and in a cleaner condition.

The resort is clean and the staff are friendly enough, and I did like the place, but it's just so spread out. We didn't have pushchairs to contend with so we were ok, but we did notice that people who did struggled with the cobbled pavements, which are like sheet ice when they are slightly wet.

The beach is lovely, there is a nice atmosphere down on the promenade and the constant breeze in summer is welcome. I loved the restaurants (make early bookings in summer), there is a lot of choice. Looking out over the bay at sunset eating olives and drinking portugese wine is bliss - I rarely drink alcohol but I thoroughly enjoyed having a few glasses whilst on holiday there.

The jeep safari into the Monchique mountains was fantastic. The children commented that it was the best trip they have ever done on any holiday they have ever been on. They even swam in the lake. They were right, it was wonderful. I had no prior expectations but, even if I had, I think it would have been pleasantly surprised. The views are amazing, the food at the top of the mountain in the restaurant was lovely and, although it was hot, I could not get the feeling that I was actually in Switzerland out of my head for some of the journey.

If you go, hire a car, it's well worth it. We went to Zoo Marine and it was cheaper to go under your own steam (and you get longer there). Also, if you are self catering, you find cheaper supermarkets out of Praia da Luz and you can stock up in one go and don't have to shop again the whole time you're on holiday.

We also found a Sand Festival whilst we were there which would not have found without the car - it was brilliant. Huge sand sculptures of the Pyramids, the Last Supper, Mount Everest, the Eiffel Tower etc etc, it was mind blowing what these artists can do with sand. They had stalls and food there too, which was good value, and it was very laid back - we spent most of the afternoon there and thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

I did enjoy my time at the Ocean Club, I am glad I went self catering. We stayed in the pool until 7pm most evenings - the children loved it and we could choose whether to go out to eat or stay in and watch the sun go down over the sea from our terrace, it was lovely.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank Georgiana2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2008

Just got back from two weeks at Ocean Club, which we booked with Mark Warner. I'd never used Mark Warner before and it was a bit of a pricier holiday than I'd usually go for. I therefore had quite high expectations - and was not disappointed.

Accommodation: The apartment was much bigger than any I'd ever stayed in and had a very well equipped kitchen, especially considering that we were staying half board. The furniture was a bit old and could do with some updating just to spruce it up a bit - and I would agree with other comments re air conditioning - it was fine in September but I wouldn't want to be there in July or August with no air con! Perfectly adequate bathroom and lovely big balcony which had sea views and got the sun pretty much all day. We were based by 24-hour reception so we were really well placed in the middle of everything - town, pools, beach and only about a 7 minute walk to the main eating area.

Activities: Loads to do. We were there two weeks and didn't get through it all. I tried sailing for the first time and the free introductory classes are a really good starting point. I don't think I'll be buying my own yacht just yet but I'd definitely give sailing a go again. The tennis was excellent - we had some group lessons which were very good although we were lucky and got a very small group of three plus coach - I think for the price (we paid 90 euros each for 4 x 1hour lessons), if the group had been much bigger it wouldn't have been so good. social tennis every evening (free) was also a nice way to spend some time on court. there are some lovely guided walks (would definitely recommend the two coastal ones), mountain biking, lots of fitness classes (not that I was rushing to those!!) water polo, beach volleyball, table tennis, surfing, three lovely pools including one adult only one (bliss!) - and all free with MW.

Locality: Very well placed. Weather was absolutely brilliant, although perhaps you would want a bit more wind if you were really into your sailing. The town of Praia da Luz is very pretty, Lagos (next door) worth a day trip and is better for nightlife and Burgau (next door the other way!) has a lovely beach. If you hire a car I'd probably stick to exploring the southern and western coastlines rather than heading inland - there are some beautiful beaches to see.

Food: Having read previous reviews I was a little concerned about this aspect! But can honestly say this holiday yielded some of the loveliest meals I've ever had. The food provided under the Mark Warner package (breakfast daily and 5 evening meals per week) was really delicious - plenty of variety (although perhaps a little less if you are vegetarian) and all food really well cooked. The Portugese evening (Thursdays) and BBQ (Fridays) are well worth going to. For those evenings when you need to make your own arrangements you HAVE to try Chica's - a little cafe / restaurant on the first street down to the beach from the Mill (green front and lots of blackboards) - all the food there is really delicious but the desserts in particular are just amazing and the owners are so friendly.

Staff: Genuinely made the holiday. I was a bit apprehensive about the whole "social" feel that seems to be standard with MW holidays but it really did make the trip. Every single member of staff was thoroughly professional and yet really welcoming and friendly at the same time. Jemma and Lauren did a fantastic job of bringing everyone together on the first social meal and we met loads of other guests that way who we then knocked about with for the rest of the trip. The catering / waiting / bar staff were all exceptionally friendly and I didn't notice any slow service. It was lovely to be able to go around the town and see so many friendly faces.

Also we were caught up in the XL problems (we were supposed to be flying back with them the day after they went under) and the resort manager John and customer services team were excellent in getting us alternative flights home that were as convenient as possible.

MW generally: very impressed. Staff are a cut above the usual tour operators and the range of activities on offer and the food included in the package made it good value for money even though the initial holiday cost is higher than you might pay with other operators. And we don't have kids - if you did, the general feeling from parents was that the services on offer were great and so you'd probably get even better value for money than we did. The bar prices were high and it would be nice for these to be reviewed but I won't hold my breath.

All in all a really excellent experience - I would definitely go to this resort again and I would defintely use Mark Warner.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Thorchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luz Ocean Club

Address: Praia da Luz | Vila da Luz, Luz 8600-160, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Luz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Luz
Price Range: £180 - £614 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luz Ocean Club 4*
Number of rooms: 150
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Also Known As:
Luz Ocean Club Hotel Luz
Ocean Club Portugal
Luz Ocean Hotel
Luz Ocean Resort
Ocean Club Apartments
Ocean Club Praia Da Luz

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