More about Porto Bay Falesia
Just stayed at the Porto Bay Falesia from 4th to 13th June in Room 322, generally, the holiday was excellent and would not hesitate to recommend the hotel to anyone.
Just a few comments on our arrival at 10 a.m. we were told our room was not ready but to return at 1 p.m. We returned to be told that our room was not ready until 2 p.m. It was actually 2.30 p.m. before we were given the key. I believe this was poor service and would have expected better and the reception staff were totally unhelpful and seem unconcerned about our situation.
We were surprised not to find any hotel information in our room about e.g. the safe or pool towels and were even more surprised when told that this information should have been given at check-in.
The room was generally very good, it was cleaned very well and the sea view was great, but there were too few clothes hangers (I did have some extra delivered) and although coffee and tea making facilities were provided, we and many other guests, could not understand why milk was not provided.
The restaurant food was very, very good at breakfast (except the bacon and baked beans) and at dinner. The staff were pleasant, but at breakfast were very slow to relay the tables making it difficult to find a table after 9 a.m.
The poolside facilities were good, however the sun beds were just too close together and I could see no reason why the could not be spaced better, some of them were dirty and had they been inspected it was clear they required a clean.
The Buzios bar and happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) were excellent and Ricardo was an asset to the hotel.
The local village of Olhos d’Agua was small, but pleasant and the food in the restaurants was good and reasonably priced.
The best part of the location was the beach, probably one of the best beaches I have seen. Never been to Portugal before but will return. Generally the locals are friendly but just lack that extra bit of customer care.
After staying twice at the Porto Mare in Madeira, where we were thooughly spoiled, we approached our stay at the Porto Bay Falesia with an open mind after reading negative reports.
From the moment we arrived at reception we were made to feel most welcome, the reception staff were very friendly and informative. We had booked a sea view room, requesting a high floor and that is exactly what we got. The view from the room was fantastic, overlooking the pool and the beach, and at night we were able to leave our patio door open, and to hear the sound of the crashing waves on the beach was a bonus. The room was not as big as at the Porto Mare but we found it to be perfectly adequate and well equipped.
Our experience of the restaurants - whether the Madeira, Il Basilico or the Pool Bar was excellent. In the Madeira there was always a wide variety of appetising food in abundance, at any time of the allocated dining period. We found the dining room staff to be very pleasant and always willing to try and locate us a table in the outside dining area, there may have been occasions where there was a short wait, but this was understandable due to the fantastic weather and other guests wishing to do the same.
On two occasions we decided to dine in the Il Basilico Restaurant and once again the food and service was of a high standard.
On one occasion we walked to and from Vilamoura along the beach, which we thoroughly enjoyed but quite exhausting, especially after climbing the steps back to the hotel. On our second visit to Vilamoura we took the service bus, enjoyed a meal in the Marina and then walked back along the beach, stopping for a drink at a beach bar along the way - highly recommended. We also took the service bus to Albefeira and found our way into the Old Town which we enjoyed but were happy to retreat to Olhos Agua.
We found all the staff at the hotel to be very friendly and willing to help, including the Senior Management who were always there ensuring things ran smoothly and willing to listen to constructive suggestions.
To summarise we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at this fantastic hotel in a superb location. We will return.
A & A Gloucestershire
Not wowed. Customer service could use some renovation.
Porto Bay Falesia
I was apprehensive about booking this hotel because there were so few reviews since the renovation in March 2008 (only 2 months ago). I decided to book it because it was bound to be clean and modern and we really did not need a kitchen. (On vacation that’s the last thing we want to see). We stayed for 3 nights. We got a decent rate on Expedia, about $150 US per night.
We asked for a high floor and only got the 2nd floor. The front desk staff were not very accommodating nor apologetic for being unable to fulfill our request. The front desk were generally not friendly, the entire time were there. Our room was nice because it was on the far end away from the pool (more quiet) but still had a sea view. There was a constant sewage odor in our room, however. We have no idea where it was coming from, but if you book here, don’t ask for room 224.
Needless to say, overall I was disappointed with this hotel. It is similar to an American 3 star hotel, definitely not 4 stars. On the outside it looks nice, generally brand new. But there are details that were simply overlooked.
The room is nice with a small 19” flat screen TV with 3 English channels (mostly British). Dark wood furnishings that make the room look modern (see my uploaded photos). There is a hot pot for tea/instant coffee. They have only twin beds. Within European fashion, 2 were pushed together to make a double for us. They charged us $2.50 per night for the key to the room safe which seemed a bit ridiculous. Not a lot, so why not just add it to the room charge?
The bathroom was the most disappointing. The shower was not a fun experience. Like most Portuguese hotels, there is no shower head but a hand held spout that is stuck up on the wall. The shower water is difficult to direct and the curtain smelled moldy. It turns instantly burning hot with no notice and then temperate again in the middle of the shower. There is only “conditioning shampoo”. No separate shampoo and conditioner so you should bring your own (for all hotels in Portugal). We had one tiny bottle of shampoo for 2 people and they did not replenish. They only gave us a new bottle when we left a note asking for an extra bottle. There is no shower gel, only hard soap.
There is not a single clock in the room (or any Portuguese hotel rooms for that matter) which can be frustrating, especially in our attempts to get over jet lag by waking up at standard times. We placed wake up calls that came in on time even though they have a manual system. (If I were not on vacation, I would not trust it though).
The service of the staff is definitely not up to par for a holiday resort. We went down to the front desk and asked for extra towels o be sent up and they never came. We asked why there is no clock and they said that the vacationers don’t want to know the time when they are on vacation.. . . An excuse for not buying alarm clocks.
The bar was wonderful and it stays open until 1am. Very good service there. I did not try any of the other restaurants so cannot say anything about them.
I think this hotel has potential but only after they improve their customer service.
Great food - but expensive drinks
Having stayed in the wonderful Porto Mare in Funchal, Madeira, a couple of years ago, we thought we would give the Porto Bay Falesia a try on our first visit to the Algarve.
We had asked for a high floor and were given one on the third floor with a side sea view, which was O.K. It suited us as we went out most mornings when our balcony had no sun, but after we returned at lunchtime we then had the sun all afternoon and early evening.
The room was not as big as the one we had at the Porto Mare, but of course the Porto Mare was built to their specifications, whereas the Porto Bay Falesia had previously belonged to the Riu hotel group.
The twin beds were each about four feet wide, and extremely comfortable. The mattresses were firm (that is supposed to be good for you) and we slept very well.
The bathroom was O.K., but occasionally the shower suddenly changed to very hot for a few seconds which could be a problem with a young child. The shampoo bottles supplied were labelled ‘Conditioning Shampoo’ which is presumably shampoo and conditioner all in one, and were fine. Regular replacements were provided, and the towels were changed regularly even when they didn’t really need changing.
As we were the only Thompson travellers the day we arrived, we were asked to attend the holiday reps talk at the Riu Palace hotel over the road. We don’t normally attend these as they have previously been a bit of a hard sell, but these reps were very good, and didn’t try to push anything. However, they did say that the tap water tasted metallic and gave people upset stomachs, and therefore should not be drunk. As our guide book stated that the tap water is O.K. to drink I tried it, and it is absolutely fine !
I could not discern a metallic taste, and in fact drank gallons of it while we were there with no ill effects. So don’t waste your euros on bottled water.
The only dealings I had at our reception desk were on arriving and leaving, and the staff were pleasant and efficient.
Breakfast was very good, as long as you bear in mind that bacon and sausage abroad are not like those in England. There was plenty of everything. The only gripe we had (which has already been referred to by others ) is that there was no fresh orange juice. The orange juice supplied was not nice, so we had sparkling wine instead.
The evening meals were excellent. According to my receipt from Thompson we paid £7 each for each evening meal, which was a real bargain. As a meat lover, I had plenty, and whilst we were there had beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck and veal. My wife was more than happy with the salad and fruit available. The soup and the sweets were good too.
The bar was O.K. but expensive. A large beer was 4½ euros, and a small beer 2½ euros. A gin & tonic was €5.70. So if you each have a couple of drinks each per evening that comes to quite a lot of money when you come to pay your bill. The bar staff were friendly (the restaurant staff not so friendly). We only had lunch at the pool bar once - a sandwich and a beer each and it cost €18.
There is internet access at a computer on the first floor and you pay in advance. It is expensive at €5 for 15 minutes, and when I used it the first time I was unable to get connected to the internet and gave up after ten minutes which had cost me €3.50. Cheaper to go the The Fat Canary bar and café in Olhos d’Agua and pay €1 for the first fifteen minutes and 50 cents for each subsequent 15 minutes. (And a large beer there is only €2).
The hotel grounds were very well kept, and there has obviously been a lot of recent planting.
I don’t know what provision there is for parking guest’s cars at the hotel, but the surrounding area is a nightmare with parking, particularly after the new Riu hotel opened over the road whilst we were there. Parking on the pavement seems to be the norm, and the pavements, where you are able to walk, are in very poor condition, and it would be easy to trip and fall if you are not careful.
Olhos d’Agua itself has not got much going for it, but there are places to sit and drink coffee/beer overlooking the sea.
One day we walked to Vilamoura along the beach. It is a good walk but quite a long way. We went to Albufeira once on the bus (€1.80 each for a single). The old town area is supposed to be nice, but we weren’t very impressed. Many of the bars/cafes even have televisions outside. We also went to Vilamoura once on the bus (€2.60 each for a single) At first sight the harbour area looks quite nice, but closer inspection reveals English type bars (with televisions) and some tacky shops. We went on the bus to Faro (€3.85 each for a single) and the old town area is O.K. Worth a trip. We also went on a half-day coach trip to Loule. Tickets €8 each from Paradise Tours who have a little office down the road from the hotel. We went on a Saturday when there is a market, but it looked cheap and tacky so walked up into the town which is very pleasant. The market hall is well worth a visit.
We probably won’t stay there again, not because of any problems with the hotel, but there is not much to do in the area if you don’t hire a car. However, if you are happy to stay around the hotel and pool all day then you will have a good holiday.
Wow!! Fantastic holiday/fantastic hotel....!!
We have just returned from a week in this hotel and it was lovely. My husband, daughter (age 4yrs) and I had a lovely relaxing break in a stunning hotel. It is spotless and the staff are so friendly & efficient.
Unfortunately there wasn;t that many other children when we visited, although we did met another family with a child of similar age - and we can't fault the hotel once, even for 2 children the evening entertainment continued with clowns, balloon making & a mini disco, every night....
If I had one criticism it would be that the hotel does have quite a few Germans staying & most of them are so stern faced and unfriendly! Even to the children....but I guess the hotel can't help this!! And everything is in English (entertainment/menus etc)
I would recommend this to anyone & definitely go back.....
A fabulous Hotel
Myself and my wife had a wonderful stay here in early June. We had stayed at a Porto Bay Hotel (Porto Santa Maria) a couple of years ago during a trip to Madeira. The PSM was so good that when we fancid a trip to the Algarve we looked for the hotel first rather than the resort and we weren't disappointed. The location in Olhos dAgua is excellent providing you don't want night clubs. There are a smattering of lovely restaurants in the town serving excellent food at reasonable prices and serving good house wine that doesn't put a dent in the wallet. The hotel itself is spottless, both rooms and public areas. Rooms are not huge but big enough. The pool area at the rear of the hotel has stunning views across the sea and there are plenty of shady areas to go if you just want to read your book, with equally stunning views. The beach is 5 mins walk away down some pretty steep but safe steps that might have you puffing a bit on the way back up.
Breakfast is a buffet style and there is every taste catered for with the option to sit in or, as we did outside admiring that view again. The bar also has indoor or outdoor seating as well with waiter service and a tempting choice of cocktails.
There is a small shop 30 seconds from the front of the hotel or a supermarket 10 mins away.
We found the staff always friendly and very helpful, as were the staff at all the local eatery's.
Overall if you want a great place to stay on the Algarve your going to struggle to top this.
Fantastic holiday, Fantastic hotel
After reading so many negative reviews about so many different places - this was the first mostly positive hotel I had read about and the reason I booked for a weeks B&B holiday in June 2008.
All I can say about everything to do with this hotel is excellent - the staff (could not do enough to help with anything), the facilities (outdoor chess set, pool table, ping pong table, tennis courts etc.)
The pool area was beautiful, all sun loungers and umbrellas were brand new, kids pool area was lovely, restaurant by the pool was great also.
The rooms were a good size, as were the bathrooms, powerful shower, all very new and clean. Balcony was also a good size.
We did not have a sea/pool view but I can imagine that the view from those rooms would be great.
The breakfast in the hotel was lovely, fresh and a wide selection of food.
We ate once in the Italian restaurant at the hotel 'Il Basilico' which was good and we also stayed at the hotel one night for the buffet which was good but a little pricey at 22 euros per person, so not really worth it unless you have a very large appetite.
The only thing I could say that is not so positive actually has nothing to do with the hotel - it was the village Ohlos D'Agua - it is very small and a little shabby - but not shabby in the quaint / chic sense of the word.
The restaurants where we ate were OK, but not spectacular.
Quite a few steps down to the beach (130) however they did not feel steep and they were very wide, deep and well maintained, and the beach was clean and beautiful with 2 restaurants on the beach front.
Would definitely recommend this hotel.
Excellent Location and Hotel
Stayed for 11 nights B&B in this hotel during June, the hotel is 5 mins from a small town with a few restaurants and a few bars, couple of recommendations for nearby the hotel are the Ambrosia Restaurant and also the Ciccone (SIC) Indian Restaurant, both these are 5-10 mins walk from the hotel, there is also a beach if you walk down from the hotel, this is a 5-10 min walk and quite steep which can be trouble if you are older of with disability but we loved it, it can be accessed from the actual hotel grounds by going out of a gate at the back and the beach is very sandy with no pebbles and the sea was lovely.
The hotel reception and staff were excellent and it was my girlfriends birthday and they sorted a few extras out for me and were overall very helpful and very pleasant, most Portuguese people were very friendly, there are a lot of Germans at the hotel but who cares you do not go on holiday to make friends anyway, although saying that the German people as a whole are very rude and typical German as we would say, it really isn't just a stereotype!! :-) No manners, no decorum, arrogant, the usual really...
There are 3 main places to travel in to, Albufiera Old Town,Albufiera New Town and Villamoura, we never actually went to Villamoura but its further out that the other two and around 12-15 Euros by Taxi we were told.
Albufiera New Town was basically a strip of bars and your typical Brit Abroad place, was dreadful and full of a lot of scumbags and dirt, we went for one night and stayed an hour...
Albufiera Old Town is much nicer and a mix of bars and restaurants, there are restaurants along the front of the beach, I'd especially recommend two along there, El Rancho Grill house and a Mexican I can't remember the name of but it’s the only Mexican one there!!
Cab costs around 5-7 Euros for New Town and 6-8 for Old Town, special tip is to get the cabs from the actual rank and not the hotel as it's dearer, the rank is only 5 mins from the hotel and near the local supermarket.
I would definitely go back to this hotel and also recommend it, people have moaned about this hotel with small picky points like view from room? Who cares you do not stay in your room do you? And the orange at breakfast not being pure orange? Can that really ruin a holiday for you?...
If you just want a perfect location away from it all and a lovely beach and pool option then this is perfect.
A Beautiful Hotel and Holiday .....
We have read many reviews for various places and they always make you wonder if you are making the right decision. This time it was a perfect decision!
The hotel was beautiful, we were half board for a fortnight and every night the choice of food was excellent so something for everyone.
Our family consisted of a couple of over 60's, some of us in our 30's and a 3 year old - so finding a hotel that meets everybody's wish list was a huge achievement! Beautiful Pool, Perfectly Clean hotel and the daily service for cleaning was superb, excellent restaurants for lunch and dinner and ofcourse the Mini Disco (which was quiet as not many children, but the staff were lovely!) We even took part in a daily exercise class overlooking the ocean every morning!
It may be worth booking a sea view so that you can experience of waking up to an amazing view.
The beach is a walk down many steps, however it was a great beach and even nice for an evening walk!
The hotel deserves to be in a village that is much nicer than Olhos d'Agua, however after visiting Albufeira Old Town and Vilamoura we were happy to go back to our village!
We will go back as it was such a lovely hotel to stay at.
We hope this review helps!
My favorite desyinations in Algarve:
*** Not to be missed:
** Very Interesting:
Vila Real de Santo António
Beaches: Carvoeiro, Rocha, Albufeira, Falesia, Armação de Pera, Monte Gordo, Oura
"A weekend destination"
More than 80% of the Portuguese elect Algarve as their top destination in weekend, specially in the long weekends allowed by holidays at the beginning or end of the week. Then, the roads become congested, hotels get full and prices rise. But there's always a solution for everyone, and a diversity of options - beach, of course, but also history, gastronomy, wild places and lively nightlife. The only indispensable thing is... sun. But he uses to be there.
"A Holiday destination"
Algarve water uses to be 2 or 3 degrees warmer than the western coast, and that makes all the difference. From hotels to camping, from children to senior people, couples or singles, everybody finds easily their own program in Algarve (even those who use the sea as a pretext to go there, but end getting no time or mood to go there).
Western area (barlavento) uses to have predominance of foreigners, eastern coast (sotavento) has more Portuguese. But all the Algarve is a floating multicultural population where sun is business.
Albufeira - Portugal
"two more vodkas over here pleeease..."
albufeira portugal beach
wHAT IS WEATHER LIKE? COMING ON SUNDAY
DOES NAYONE KNOW WHAT WEATHER'S LIKE, HEARD IT WAS GONNA RAIN ALL NEXT WEEK? cAN ANYONE GIVE A LOCAL UPDATE??
Re: wHAT IS WEATHER LIKE? COMING ON SUNDAY
I think you can check this link: www.albufeira.com (you will find all main info & weather forecast)
I found it useful before going to Albufeira. I cannot tell you about the weather now cause I was there in August so it's rather different now.
Re: wHAT IS WEATHER LIKE? COMING ON SUNDAY
Metcheck is pretty accurate, in my experience: