11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"excellent hotel, booked via Purple travel, plenty of choice and good value. Easy walk into town.. Can understand some previous comments about rooms, the view from the balcony overlooking the sea (do ask for a seaview room) is superb and exceptional at dawn. Would definitely use again but off peak only."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of April 2011
"We have just returned from a wonderful seven night stay at the Porto Bay Falesia. The hotel well deserves its four star rating as everything is of a very high standard. The facilities within the hotel eg: pools, spa, jacuzzi and tennis courts are wonderful and cleanliness throughout the hotel is to a very high standard. The buffet breakfast has something for every taste and the service is very good, however, we did find that the prices in the bars and lounges within the hotel were quite expensive, as in the hotel restaurant in the evening. It can be very tempting to sign for your drinks in the bars and have them charged to your room, this may result in a rather large bill on departure. Its well worth going out of the hotel and exploring the large number of bars and restaurants in the local area where prices are much more reasonable, these are all within a very short walking distance.
We highly recommend a visit to Fratellis Italian restaurant in the town, the service and excellent food is a must..
We never took any excursions as we just wanted a 'chilled out' holiday and thats exactly what we got. Gentle strolls, wonderful beaches and stunning scenery, ( and of course the sunshine.) However, if you like it a bit more lively, you dont have to venture too far. The Portugese are very friendly and speak good english. Both the Porto Bay Falesia and Olhos D Agua exceeded our expectations and we will definately be returning in the future."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of October 2008
Fab Hotel. ****
"We stayed at Porto Bay in late september and I must say I have no complaints about this hotel.
Everything is clean and all staff helpful. If i had to find a bad thing to say about this hotel the only thing I can come up with is that the pool was quite cold, fine once you get in but getting in sometimes abit of a shock. We prefered to have a swim at the end of the day in the indoor pool and follow it up with a dip in the jacuzzi, at no extra cost.
We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel, we are a couple in our mid twenties and would defiantly go back again to Porto Bay and to this area of Portugal.
Breakfasts here are full of everything you could possibly ask for."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of October 2008
"My husband and I stayed at the Rui for two weeks and although for the most part it was a good experience, it wouldn't take a lot to for this hotel to go the extra mile and make it even better.
The hotel and rooms were kept very clean and there was always staff around working hard.
The downside for us was the rock hard bed we had. It was so hard we had to sleep on top of all the blankets which we would double over to make a little more padding and then we would use our bath robes for blankets. I don't mind a firm bed, but after the first night I felt like my ribs were bruised (and I have plenty of natural padding).
Also our room was above the area where they had live entertainment every evening so an early nights sleep was never to be, though they did stop at midnight every night, but entertainment was so awful and the show room was empty most nights except for the dreadful bands playing. Maybe they should give up the live entertainment and just have some nice music.
Everything else about the hotel itself was very nice and we found the staff always friendly.
We only had the breakfast and it was standard.
The beach is lovely, but the guys renting the sun loungers have a great scam going. You have to pay 7 Euros if you want to use the loungers between 10 - 2 and another 7 Euros for 2-7. 15 Euros for the day. That's a lot of money every day if you want to have some shade and a comfortable place to sit.
The other draw back is the town is quite small and almost every restaurant has the exact same menu....the exact same menu!!!!!! Piri Piri chicken, fish, steak .The only variant is the ambiance and sometimes the quality of the food. For a change we went to the Italian which make good Pizza but lousy pasta and the English Pub made great Fish and Chips and the owner was very friendly.
Shakers Pub make nice cocktails and will show all the Football matches and have access to the Internet and again really friendly staff."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of October 2008
Set Dinner Times
"We found the Rui hotel excellent in almost every way - apart from the set meal times. Dinner had to be taken either too early or too late for our tastes, i.e. around 6.30p.m. or 9.30p.m if I recall (it may have been 6.00 and 9.00p.m.). However, we were either not hungry for the early sitting or else absolutely raveneous for the second sitting and there was no alternative or relaxing of the rules!
One day we'd been out on a full-day trip and didn't get back until about 10 minutes before the earlier dinner time commenced. (we were on the early dinner-seating at that stage) so we showered quickly and arrived in the dining room about 25 minutes late - only intending to have a light salad meal as we'd eaten a large lunch.
I was infuriated when the head waiter approached me at the salad-bar and confronted me as though I was a badly behaved schoolgirl, telling me off for being late for dinner! WE WERE ON HOLIDAY FOR GOODNESS SAKE! After that we felt like Rui Hotels must be run like Military Camps and woe betide you if you are a few minutes late for your dinner. It might suit the Germans but we like to go on holiday to relax, not to be dictated to. I might add that we spent about 10 minutes eating our dinner and when we left the dining room there were people still chomping their way through through their main course.
We shall never stay at a RUI Hotel again and for anyone wanting a relaxing holiday we would recommend that they avoid RUI Hotels."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of September 2008
Quite good hotel, wonderful location
"Very good hotel in a wonderful location, specially the big green area on top of the cliff facing the sea! And it is only 142 steps from the beach!
The room was not too big, we asked for a baby craddle, so I asume that not carrying a baby the room may be more spacious.
It includes a lcd tv and a kettle for tea and coffee, which was very useful for preparing the baby bottles.
We stayed fot two weeks, and I spent the first in bed because of the air conditining which is very high in the common areas, lobby and restaurants!
The food is good enough though it could be better. There is a buffet breakfast, a restaurat by the swimming pool for lunch, and they prepare bbqs some of the days. Everybody goes to a themed, but always the same rice and pasta, buffet for dining so we decided to go to the italian restaurant (ony or dining) or the tapas bar by the swimming pool.
Booked through venere.com using the trip advisor best price tool. Reasonably priced. 1800â¬ for 15 days"
- Travel date: Thu 28th of August 2008
"we are just back from a two week hol in this fantastic hotel. My wife and i were out there for our 25th wedding anniversary which is not till october but this is the only time could go. We arrived to a friendly reception manager who booked us in smoothly. We had a room on the fourth floor which looked over the front garden which was a great room as we like to sit on the balcony in the late afternoon. The sun came round to this area about 5 in the evening and was there till the sun went down. I had emailed the hotel in advance as i wanted flowers in the room for my wife on our arrival which were really nice arrangement. We were in our room unpacking when there was a knock at the door this was the porter with a ice bucket and two glasses and a bottle of the hotels champagne for our anniversary. The food was really good plenty of choice. the drinks were on the expensive side would usually go out to the local bars in the evening. rooms were as good of other hotels we have stayed in maid always kept room clean and was good at her towel art and would leave a sweet on your pillow. Hired a car for 3 days which let us see the lovely countryside."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of August 2008
Nice hotel, shame about the place!
"We booked this hotel following a stay earlier this year at the Porto Mare hotel in Madeira. The Porto bay is not as classy or comfortable as the Porto Mare. The rooms are smaller, but adequate for our needs. We paid extra for a sea view which we felt was worthwhile. The location on top of the cliffs is stunning. Breakfast has a wide choice, but a meal in the Basilico restaurant was awful!
Staff are friendly and helpful. Hotel and grounds well maintained and clean. The outdoor swimming pool is large, plenty of sunbeds but be prepared to get up early to put your towel down!
We liked the cosmopolitan feel of the place - it wasnt all Brits!
We did not go to the entertainment. Sounded dreadful, usual resort fare. But as we were on the 1st floor we couldnt escape it.
The beach down below the cliffs is lovely, but it is a steep climb. Even though the weather was perfect, the sea was still rough and it drops away steeply. You need to be a strong swimmer.
Olhos d'Agua is small with a few restaurants. Dont come here for a fun filled hectic night life!
Best restaurants we went to were the Alzul and Ambrosia. Drink at the same bars as the locals - much cheaper. the area around the town is pretty much a building site with golf complexes and apartments springing up everywhere. There is no 'old' Portugal here. It is very touristy. Overall, we got lovely suntans, the hotel was good but we would not revisit this area - too many tacky shops and restaurants."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of August 2008
A very pleasant hotel
"We stayed at the Porto Bay Falesia between 5th and 19th July.
The staff were very pleasant and very helpful.
The food and drink at the poolside bar was very good, especially the pizzas and the steak was marvellous.
The Italian restaurant was open in the evening and we tried their meals on two occasions (we shared a pizza and then the following time we had Lasagne and Spaghetti Bolonese). The poolside bar was open in the evening serving Tapas, which was ideal for a snack (but quite expensive for the amount you received)..
We did not try the main restaurant in the evening.
The breakfast was very good, a choice of juices. The orange juice was fresh and had loads of ice in it. There was sparkling wine which was very refreshing. There was a choice of fresh fruit, cooked breakfast (fried, scrambled and hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, etc.), cereals, cooked meat, cheese, various assorted rolls, sliced bread for toasting, cakes, etc., prunes, yoghurts. Coffee and tea were supplied (bearing in mind that you get a selection of packet teas) and the teapot only contains hot water. I would definitely recommend the breakfast.
The walk down to the beach takes about 10 minutes and you need to wear sensible footwear as it is quite steep.
We paid extra for side sea view, which we did not think was worth it, as in the morning you could hear the lorries and coaches coming up to the hotel (quite noisy).
There is a small supermarket within a minutes walk from the front of the hotel - this was very useful and quite cheap.
They have a happy hour every day (5.00 - 7.00).in the bar by the side of reception. They also have entertainment every day - which is good.
The library is on the first floor and there is quite a selection of books - in many languages.
The hotel rooms were very clean and spacious. There is Sky News, BBC World, ITV and a few other channels.
The beds were very comfortable.
On our arrival there was a basket of fruit left for us - which we thought was lovely and two bottles of water.
The First Choice rep was very helpful.
I think we would definitely stay there again."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of July 2008
highly recommended hotel
"what can i say, we booked for one week in june and it wasnt long enough, if you are looking for luxury, to get away from it all this is the place for you.
as soon as me and my boyfriend checked in we knew we had made the right choice on our first visit to portgul, the reception were very welcoming and as we arrived at 10am in the morning we were surprised to be given our room right away. we would recommend a sea view as it was the icing on the cake, beauliful views over the sea, the room wasnt very big but compact with a hugh king size bed plasma tv on the wall, bathroom was clean and compact with an excellant power shower over bath, plenty of storage for tolietries, hugh mirror on wall. balcony was small which was dispointing overall after balancing out the room and views it was accpetable.
the pool area is gergous with plenty of sunlongers, small kids area for families with a paddling pool, the best thing was on the edge of the cliff they have designed a seating area which is down a few steps if you want to cool off or have a drink from the snack area, it is beautfully layed out with hugh cushioned sofas and chairs overlooking the sea. waiters walk around all day taking drinks and snack orders from sunbathers. alhough you do have the option of sitting in the snack bar/ restuarant which is outside the pool area, i thought it was very expensive for snacks you would be looking to pay resturant price. just have a drink!!! that way you would have tryed it out.
the breakfast good althought i wouldnt recommend the meals in the evening as you have plenty of resturants to eat in for half the price 5min stroll outside hotel, i recommend the italian pizza place which has a terrace where you can eat, excellant presentation of food. there is an english snack bar which serves good homemade food. further down to the beach plenty of resturants and pubs, no night life just resturants.. the beach does not have loads of sunloungers and it is not yet commerlised but you could buy an umberalla for as little as 6 euros and lie on the beach.
excursions are cheaper if you go the travel shop in the town outside the english snack bar. do not book with your rep too expensive..back to hotel, steps down to beach not to steep and well worth the walk down, you can walk to vilmouria if you want to waste qulaity time as i did not think much of it, just a marina with boats and expensive shops nothing else to do. aubelfia is worth the visit, do not book a taxi from the reception walk to the town and when you return in taxi from any of the towns do not mention the hotel name as they charge you upto 6-9 euros more just ask them to drop you off outside that lovely italian i told you about earlier which is at the top of the road to htel.
a vist to the sheraton hotel snack bar is worth a visit which over looks the sea where you will take a stroll along the beach. 7 mins walk along the beach from your hotel.
cocktails half price in the porto bay falesia from 5 to 7pm well worth it. overall i will definelty book this luxury hotel to couples even the small families with well behaved children!! as it not for the chavs! lager louts! noisy young couples! as i would not want this place spoiled as i plan to return again. you can say its like stayed at the hilton or marriot 5 star ."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of July 2008
4 Star all the way
"My wife booked a 3 day stay as a birthday present and I can honestly say that this was one of the finest experiences in luxury I could have hoped for. Not only was the location stunning, overlooking a beautiful beech, but the facilities of the hotel were superb - the champagne breakfasts as standard definitely went down well!!
The staff were attentive to our needs and the cleanliness and decor was outstanding.
There were plenty of loungers to be had and staff were available to bring drinks throughout the grounds.
A fabulous touch was that we had not told the hotel that it was my birthday however after returning from a day at the pool, a bottle of champagne was waiting in an ice bucket with the compliments of the hotel - its the little touches such as this that made our stay all the more special"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of July 2008