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Reviews summary

4
Good
1192 reviews
Brilliant
501
Good
381
Average
182
Poor
74
Awful
54
  • 5 room
  • 5 pool
  • 5 beach
  • 5 service
  • 4 value
  • 5 food
  • 5 cleanliness
  • 4 location

11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Faultless

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 1st July 2016

"We have just returned from a ten day holiday at this hotel. A family of four, with two teenagers. Prior to going, we read many reviews and were rather skeptical. Most were positive. I don't understand how anyone could find fault with the hotel. We found the hotel fabulous in every way. We upgraded to the deluxe family room on booking. The rooms were huge, immaculate and very pleasant. The food was fabulous. The staff were very helpful, with excellent English. The pools were pleasant, even to have a proper swim in. Everyone can find fault if they want to. Finding fault at this hotel was difficult. The weather was tremendous! We would return to this hotel. The hotel has a safe in the rooms with no extra charge. A bus into Albuferia daily at set times. However, is a 30 minute walk. The Marine is a 15 minute walk away. Many pleasant beaches to walk to. The hotel has a small library / conference room with two computers and free internet use. On arrival, our luggage was taken to our room and were given a tour of the the hotel. We always got sunbeds with no problem. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 1st July 2016
  • 4 Location
  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 4 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

More than lived up to expectations.

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 29th October 2012

"Based on the reviews of this hotel I had read on this site I decided to book a weeks stay for my wife myself and our ten month old boy. On arrival you would be forgiven for thinking the hotel had only been open for a few months due to the modern decor and immaculate cleanliness throughout. The staff are exceptionally polite and extremely helpful and all spoke excellent English (which was a blessing as my learn basic Portuguese in one day cd was sadly lacking, or more likely it was me that was sadly lacking). Breakfast is included in the price of your room and consists of fresh fruits, pastries and various breads, on top of this there is a choice of cereals, bacon, fried eggs, sausage etc, omelettes, cheeses, cooked meats and smoked salmon that's all I can remember of the top of my head. The food and service in the buffet restaurant for lunch and likewise the ala carte restaurant for dinner was excellent. The hotel has the usual gym, sauna, steam room etc as well as three outdoor swimming pools (two full size and one children’s) being as it was November it took till about 1pm for them to be warm enough to use, the indoor pool is a tad on the small side but again being that it was November we practically had the whole hotel to ourselves so this wasn't an issue. I really cannot find fault with this hotel and we are defiantly planning on staying there again in the future."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 14th November 2006

Excellent

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 13th December 2012

"Returned from here on Monday 23rd Oct after a weeks stay in the hotel. Facilities are excellent, the hotel is very beautiful, and modern. As we were honeymooners we got a room upgrade on arrival, the room was fantastic. The staff were friendly and helpful from the first moment we arrived until when we left. Hotel is in a lovely exclusive area, not too busy area but a short trip away from the main town. The beach which the hotel owns is also great, very clean and roomy, a short walk away, but you can get the free shuttle service to the beach and albufeira. We didnt eat in the restaurant in the evening but we did have breakfast everyday which was great, lots of choice of food, and we ate in the pool bar which was brilliant also, great value. Overall excellent hotel, would stay here again no question. The weather wasn't good, but you can't blame the hotel for that, but due to the facilities in the hotel this wasn't a problem. *****"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 26th October 2006

Very nice but not 5 star

3
Average
by
Reviewed 10th November 2012

"My husband and I have just returned from a week in this hotel. It was a belated honeymoon. The hotel is very nicely done and very modern. But lacked the luxury you would expect from a 5 star. The staff were pleasant enough but they were few and far between when you wanted anything! We ate in the hotel on our first night and although full there were only 3 staff serving. The meal cost 84euro and was average to say the least. The local fish restaurante out shone it and was half the price! We were also not lucky with the weather which I don't think helped matters. The other bug bare was the house keeping staff they were extremely noisy and woke me each morning around 7.30! Good points were that the rooms were imaculate, fresh towels each day etc. The relax centre/spa was nice and the staff there really helpful. Although we cannot say it was a terrible holiday it was a little dissapointing. We loved Portugal and will return next year but perhaps pick a quieter less spoilt area."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 21st October 2006

Nice hotel - shame about some of the staff

3
Average
by
Reviewed 5th December 2012

"We have just come back from a four night stay in this hotel. We stayed in a deluxe room overlooking the pool. I have to say that I agree with some of the other comments in that it is a beautifully finished hotel. The rooms are very contemporary and simply styled in a very minimalist way. Taxis cost about 6 euros per trip into the town and you are far away from all the noise. On the downside, some of the staff were less than friendly. We ordered breakfast to our room one morning which was dreadful. Although our price was to include bed and breakfast, having it delivered to the room cost an incredible 18 Euro per person despite the fact that it was the same food from the buffet breakfast. It was freezing cold and inedible. There are no bathrobes (something I would expect in a five star hotel). There is a kitchen area which looks great until you realise you are not able to use the hob (rules of the hotel for some reason). There isnt even any tea or coffee in the room, again something I would expect in a hotel of this calibre. Instead you have to order it from room service at a cost of 3.50 euro per cup! However, there is a supermarket just across from the hotel which sells everything you need at a fraction of the cost. The main reason we chose this hotel was for the Spa and thankfully it was wonderful. The beauticians and therapists are very friendly and professional. The two pools are a good size but the gym is incredibly small. No bigger than a small bedroom/study in your home. All in all its not a bad spot to stay in but I would expect more from a five star hotel - at the very least you usually get tea/coffee facilities even in a 3 star."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 16th October 2006

Fab out of town hotel

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 10th November 2012

"Brilliant hotel and definitly not the norm for Albuferia, The Sao rafeal is ten minutes by taxi from the old town and the hotel runs a free shuttle service to the town 3 or 4 times a day and to their own private beach on the hour (during season) The rooms are very contemporary and beautifully styled, with a small kitchen area and luxury bathrooms. The facilities are great two huge pools, a spa, small gym and great food in both the pool bar and restaraunts. I will definitly stay here again as it is away from the noisy town area and offers the best of both worlds!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 9th October 2006

Wonderful hotel

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 26th October 2012

"My sister and I stayed at the Sao Rafael Suite Hotel for 7 nights in late July, early August 2006. We had booked a double deluxe room but on arrival were upgraded to a family suite! This was huge with three bathrooms, two bedrooms and living areas. The suite was spotless and very well equipped. Room cleaning/towel changing/evening turndown were all done daily and efficiently. The pool area and surrounding gardens were also spotless and well maintained and the padded sunloungers were a real bonus along with the lovely big fluffy towels provided as required. We had booked on a bed and breakfast basis and breakfast was very well catered, freshly prepared and with a huge choice. We also ate lunch in the hotel on a number of occasions and were not disappointed by the consistently high standard. We only had dinner in the hotel once as we wanted to try other restaurants in the vicinity (exploring the local area reveals some lovely, quiet little places) but again the buffet served was of good quality offering lots of choice. The area is very quiet and perfect for those who just want to get away from it all and "chill out" which is exactly what we needed. The hotel exudes an air of calm, quiet efficiency and we would not hesitate to recommend it. All the staff at Sao Rafael Suite are polite, cheerful, charming and very willing to assist in all ways possible and must be commended. Unfortunately, the only negative experience we had was on our last night when we decided to have dinner in the beach restaurant belonging to the hotel. We booked a table and on arrival at the restaurant requested a table on the outside terrace only to be quite curtly informed that this was not possible. On being seated inside the restaurant we noticed that the place was crawling with flies (we actually had to cover up our bottle of wine to stop the flies from crawling all over it and I counted 50+ on the window/frames. We waited a long time before anyone took our order and a long time for our food to be served during which time several diners complained about their meal being undercooked. This seemed to apply to both meat and fish dishes. One man sent his fish back twice before giving in and abandoning the meal. Our food when it arrived was acceptable, although by that time my sister was so put off by the flies that she couldn't face hers and only ate two mouthfuls. The waiter lifted the plate without even enquiring if there was a problem with the food. We were also annoyed to observe that there were several vacant tables on the outside terrace although we had been told that it was not possible to sit there! A shame that this experience was the only down side of a wonderful holiday. We found the Portugese people very friendly and welcoming and would love to return in the future."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 15th August 2006

Fantastic modern hotel

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 13th December 2012

"Stayed in this hotel for three nights in mid July. On arrival my husband and I found the staff extremely cooperative and welcoming. Very professional service provided. The hotel website very much lives up to the descriptions. The rooms are huge with an en-suite bedroom, a large living /dining area and a second bathroom (all ultra modern). An added attraction (which we didn't realise in advance) was the fact that both the living area and the bedroom have separate fairly large balcony areas. Flat screen t.v. in living/dining room and bedroom. Ordered room service on two different nights. Again, service very professional and choice of food quite nice and reasonable (compared to some of the other 5 star hotels we've stayed in). One can avail of a very good variety of food at breakfast. Service here is also excellent and the staff are very helpful. There are two resturants within the hotel. The hotel is quite and the area immediately surrounding it is also quite enough (which means one can have a relaxing evening sitting on the balcony!). The hotel is located about 4 minutes from a fantastic, but quite small beach (very popular) with golden sands. The hotel provides a shuttle service to and from the beach every half hour if required. Overall, delighted with our stay ..... will definately be heading back in the near future and rwill be ecommending it to friends."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 4th August 2006

Very nice!

4
Good
by
Reviewed 20th October 2012

"Spent a very nice 10 days at the Sao Rafael in July 06. The hotel was very, very clean, pools were great and the beach (very nice sandy cove ) was only 10 mins walk. The sunbed and towels service at both pool and beach was very very welcome. Breakfast was very good particularly if you go at 8.30 (quiet) and not 10 (busy)! Only downside of this hotel was that there were not many places within walking distance to go and eat in the evening. Got a taxi into Albufiera a couple of nights but didn't particularly like it. A bit "resorty" and a bit dirty. The staff at the hotel could not do enough for you and Portuguese in general were very nice indeed. Had a great time and would recommend it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 1st August 2006

Loved it!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 21st October 2012

"Stayed at the CS Rafael for a week in June and had a perfext holiday. The hotel is stunning and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The room was spotless though sometimes the maid turned up late on the afternoon. The food was good and the breakfast was excellent. There are so many fruit juices to choose from in the morning! There are 2 large pools though on eof them was out of use during our stay due to some sort of concert which annoyed me a bit but there was pleanty of room the other one and there was never any mad scramble for loungers. Towels were always provided. The hotel is in a quiet location so if you're looking for lively then don't stay here although Albufeira is only a short drive away. It's the perfect place to relax and unwind and wouldn't hesitate in going back. Was an excellent hotel, definitely one of the nicest I've stayed in."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 27th July 2006

Liked it

4
Good
by
Reviewed 5th December 2012

"Spent a week there during the half term holiday with kids (7 & 10 years old). Good hotel with helpful staff. Two outdoor pools always had space. Good indoor pool which was not crowded, probably because weather was good and everybody was out. Plenty of towels etc. Only had breakfast at the hotel, good and plenty but at the end of the week may feel a little repetitive. Beach is a 10 minute walk when you use the little gate opposite the 2nd outdoor pool (need yout room key for this gate) - there is hotel shuttle but only hourly. You get free towels etc at the beach on production of your cards that reception give you. Need a hire car if you use this hotel as it is 2 miles away (a positive thing) from Town. You need a car to enjoy Algarve anyway. Note: the hotel has virtually no name board - it is the building opposite a bright blue neon signed hotel called Maritim. Room was OK although the bed turning service (converting the sofa into a bed) was a mess as they turned up often very late or not at all. Overall would return."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 19th July 2006

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Sao Rafael Suites is also called

  • Sao Rafael Suite Hotel
  • sao rafael
  • cs sao rafael suite hotel

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