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“Facilities and food quality suffer as a result of kids club costs”
Review of Luz Ocean Club

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Luz Ocean Club
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Luz
Certificate of Excellence
Bedfordshire, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Facilities and food quality suffer as a result of kids club costs”
Reviewed 10 September 2009

The cost of the Mark Warner holiday for half board was higher than other fully inclusive hotels with kids clubs, so I expected a high standard of facilities. The apartment was excellent, large, beautifully clean, fully air-conditioned with a great view of the main swimming pool and sea. The kids clubs were well organised with great staff and a diversity of activities for all age groups. The resort staff including the manager were exceptionally friendly and helpful. However, this is where the good news stops. The Millside bar and dining areas (inside and out) were scruffy and in need of renovation. Wooden slatted furniture was very worn and some broken. The bar in the swimming pool was not open and apparently had not been open all season. The swimming pool is large but not heated and was far from inviting to adults. When a guest had an accident in the pool, it took some time for the pool attendant to take action and that only involved using a net to remove the faeces. No other action to temporarily close and test the pool was initiated. Even if there was no health and safety risk, a closure and re-test would have been a good PR exercise to instil confidence in the pool users. The food quality was generally very poor. The buffet breakfast was the best for choice, but probably because that is the simplest cuisine to produce. The evening meals were poor in terms of both choice and quality. The main courses were the worst and particularly the first Saturday night buffet and the extra cost Friday night barbecue. Meat was tough and very poor quality. The saving grace on the a la carte evenings was the dessert menu. We were told that the pastry chef worked with Gordon Ramsey and this certainly highlighted the difference in quality between courses. I did not feel that any of the evening meals provided good value. Whilst it is pleasant to eat 'al fresco' on warm evenings, this should not mean a compromise in standards. It would have been nice to have proper dining tables with tablecloths or at least side plates and fabric napkins instead of paper serviettes. It felt like fast food style having to use my paper serviette as a plate to put bread on. Whilst the kids enjoy themselves being on the go with the various activities, the adults seem to have to pay the price by accepting a reduced level of food and facilities.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MaryTraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Bristol
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2009

Having been on a few Mark Warner holidays I had high expectations of the ocean club. the staff were lovely and although I like to do more sailing, as my partner does not sail, the beach facilities were fine, and staff extremly helpful and kind. The food was excellent, absolutley amazing. However the hotel manager John - well, one of the most unpleasant people I've ever had the misfortune to meet. He was rude, uncaring, always seemed like he had somewhere more important to be. I was very put off as have found other managers to be great. We had a small problem with the room in that there were a lot of ants, and found that he actually blamed us for this saying we'd left food out - despite us only being there 30 minutes! when we explained this he actually said 'oh well - i guess its all my fault then!' i cannot believe how utterly rude he was. i refused to let him ruin my holiday, god knows how anyone can stand to work for him and how he ever got the job anyway!!!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rx500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
staffordshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2009

We have just returned from a week in Praia da Luz, Algarve staying in a self catering apartment at the Ocean Club resort. Luz itself is lovely, the people friendly and helpful. There are some lovely restaurants. We particularly enjoyed The Lime Tree and ate there twice during our week and received fantastic friendly service and wonderful food. The white house wine is great!! The beach did get very busy but the atmosphere was fun and friendly.The Ocean Club however was a slightly different story. Our apartment was spacious and very well equipped. We did find noise from the other apartments above and below disturbing as was the road and pedestian traffic, which is constant all day and most of the night. We were situated next to the Garden family pool, which was lovely but a littly shabby. The water was murky and if you are brave enough to swim to the bottom, you'll wish you hadn't. The area around the pool is beautifully set out but need cleaning regularly and it was often the case that, on arrival in the morning, we would have to place empty cans, lolly stick etc in the bin before settling down. Although there is a strict policy of "No ball games, large floats, or sun bed reserving", these are blatently ignored by the majority. My eight year old daughter was hit in the head by small rubber balls being skimmed across the water by children and adults alike, and I was hit in the stomach by two older boys playing football by the pool with no word of apology by either the children or parents. The large floats were quite dangerous to the smaller children who were jumped on and forced under the water. Sun bed hogging is the rage with my husband and I watching from our balcony the exploits of three men and their towels every morning before the pool opened. They would let themsevles in with the staff and place their towels on the best beds at least an hour before the pool opened and although amusing I found it a little annoying that nothing was said or done by the staff desite notices around the pool to prevent this activity. The reception staff at the 24hr reception were not overly friendly or helpful and in the case of the young lady during the morning, positively rude and unhelpful to any hapless traveller who may ask for help. After my encounter with her, I stayed away. Overall, my family and I enjoyed our week in the sun with huge thanks to the people of Luz, though not particularily Mark Warner and The Ocean Club. They need to get to grips with the shabby facilities and poor staffing levels and soon.

Aug 2009

Helpful?
2 Thank GandCinWS7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2009

We stayed at Ocean club with Mark Warner for 2 weeks with our 2 children aged 14 and 9. The whole experience was very good. The kids/ indie clubs were brilliant."Best holiday ever " for my hard to please teenage son. The accomodation was excellent with beautiful, large, well eqipped apartments. The washing machine was very welcome !
The food was excellent. The barbecue was not so good but that would be my only criticism of the food. I would strongly recommend this for families with teens. We will be going back !

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank dprUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knowle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Worcesterblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
58 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Janet H
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

Property: 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:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Luz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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