11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Dona Filipa a great place to stay and play
"We have stayed at this hotel many times over a number of years and can honestly say its one of our favourite places to stay. The location could not be better just a short stroll from the fabulous beach. The wonderful staff who work here have worked at the Dona Filipa for a long time and each time we go we see the same friendly faces. The food in both restaurants is excellent and if you take up the discounted dining offer it is great value for money especially the champagne buffet.
Okay the rooms are old fashioned but they are large, clean and very personable and portuguese in style. A turn back service is provided every evening with fresh towels.
The San Lorenzo golf course is fantastic and in a fabulous location and if you book a golf deal exceptional value for money compared with other courses in the area. You can now also play at Pinheiros Altos with the golf deals which is equally as good a course.
We will definitely be staying here many times more. If you want plastic palace then go elsewhere."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of December 2010
Pleasant but not exactly glamorous!
"The reception sets the tone: sixties architecture, struggling to be up to date. The hotel was obviously once very young, chic and modern, but now (like many of us!) it is suffering from middle age.
Many of the rooms are rather tired. We were shown several before we managed to get a decent room on the fourth floor. Later we were moved to a room overlooking the pool. It is one of a series of new "suites" which have replaced one of the restaurants and have large balconies with sun beds. I would recommend these, and if all the rooms were as nice as these the hotel could hardly be faulted.
The staff couldn't have been nicer and the service (including room service and in the restaurants) was impeccable.
The atmosphere is relaxed and informal. The location is good. The guests are mostly golfers- but then, since this is Vale do Lobo in March, what do you expect?"
- Travel date: Tue 20th of March 2007
In a word 'Terrible'
"In a word, the hotel was terrible. We expected a 4 star hote, what we got was more like an OK 2 star. The food in the regular restrurant by the pool is poor to say the least.
The rooms are showing serious signs of wear and tear. This was probably a nice place in 1975 unfortuantely, little if anything has been done to maintain this property.
If you've already booked, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS."
- Travel date: Wed 10th of January 2007
Good Hotel, shame about Starwood
"I've stayed here many times before as the hotel is in great location and has its own golf course. However, the hotel infrastructure needs investment as it has seen better days.
The golf course has generally declined in condition over the last five years and the greens this year were very poor. I thought that Starwood would have quickly improved things since their acquisition. I like the Algarvian furniture and the large bedrooms, but they need a coat of paint!
The staff remain very friendly and many of them have been at the hotel for several years. This lack of staff churn gives great continuity of service and a comfortable ambience.
Sadly, the hotel has not kept it room rates at a level which discourages some. This year we endured the company of several Gatwick lager louts whose behaviour and language was a continual bother to families with small children. The hotel management need to sort this out as the hotel's former reputation as a safe and relaxed haven for families, sometimes comprising three generations or more, is being greatly diminished."
- Travel date: Tue 10th of October 2006
Definitely not a 5 star!
"We have just returned from 2 weeks at this hotel. This hotel is definitely not worthy of 5 stars. The reception area is very nice but the bedrooms are average. The air conditioning in the bedroom didn't work properly and dripped continuously causing puddles on the floor. The bathrooms are old fashioned, the shower goes hot and cold. The view from our Room (Number 429) was horrendous. We were looking out onto air conditioning units. The image that is posted on their website is slightly misleading as they only reflect the most expensive suites and not the standard bedrooms which are positively tired. On a positive note the breakfast selection was fine and the staff were friendly and helpful. Overall I wouldn't recommend this hotel for someone wanting 5 star facilities as this may be in a 5 star location, but the hotel only warrants 3 or 4 stars at the very most."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of August 2006
not 5 star anymore
"I have been to this hotel a few times with my parents and boyfriend, my parents have been going for nearly 23 years. Their last visit was 3 years ago and we thought the hotel had been majorily refurbed so we were looking forward to our recent visit.
However, the rooms in my opinion are appalling, merely 3 star. The light above my bed broke when i went to turn it on, tiles in the balcony were cracked and some were missing, the towel rail broke when i hung my towel on it and on the first night brown mud came out of the taps when running the bath. Which is just disguisting for a 5 star hotel.
The location is great so I really hope that Starwood who now own the hotel invest a lot of money on the property coz it deserves it!!
But at 300euros a night for a deluxe rooms it's just not worth a penny."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of August 2006
Great location but not 5 star
"We have stayed at this hotel before and enjoyed it. This time, 3 years on it is starting to look a little tired. We had heard that it had been refurbished but found nothing to show that. Air conditioning in the bedroom was very poor. Room was clean but again a little dated.
On the positive side the staff were great, breakfast great, location great. Didn't eat at the restaurant so can't comment on that. Would recommend staying here but it really could do with modernising and updating. Don't think it is a 5 star hotel (apart from the location). It is right on the beach and a 2 min walk from nice bars and restaurants. We have booked to go back."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of April 2006
A very relaxing lovely holiday
"My husband and I have just returned from a lovely few days at Le Meridien Dona Filipa.
I was very sceptical when I read the reviews prior to our visit but must say I do not agree at all with the comments.
We found the hotel very friendly with a lot of the old Portugese charm and comfort. The hotel was very clean and the bedrooms were lovely in their own way. The only downside was the bathrooms which could have been larger and could do with refurbishing.
The location of the hotel is wonderful with an absolultely lovely beach on its doorstep with miles of golden sands to walk.
The whole atmosphere was warm and friendly and we had a great relaxing few days which was probably also due to the time of year which was very quiet. The weather also was lovely for the time of year with bright sunshine for most of the day.
We would definately go back but maybe not in high season."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of December 2005
"Beware. This hotel is a dump!
How it can claim a five star rating is beyond me as it has clearly not had any work done to it since it opened, and looking at the fixtures and furnishings it is obvious that they were never of five star standard in the first place.
The rooms would rate three stars at a push and the rest of the facilities are no better, if you can find them that is, as the whole place is a badly signed warren of corridors and level changes.
Service by surly staff is mediocre and slow.
To be avoided at all costs."
- Travel date: Wed 23rd of November 2005
Once was enough.
"The hotel is quite pretty. The staff are all extremely helpful. Breakfast was as you would expect but otherwise the food was BAD. The rooms are OK - clean and functional rather than great (really not five star, although housekeeping definitely was). If you want a can of coke from the minibar you should have Â£2 ready. The guests were trully obnoxious - ladies take jewelry. The pool area was overrun by children so we went to the beach, which was clean with beds and towels provided. The cable TV was not worthy of the name. Overall poor value for money."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of September 2005
Low flying golfers - beware
"I have stayed at the Dona Filipa several times over the years and it saddens me that the hotel, once the pride of the Algarve, is simply becoming an extended golf clubhouse. The hotel was previously quite family orientated with many small children enjoying the pool area in safety. Now unfortunately from 3pm each afternoon the pool area is spoiled by the boorish, foul mouthed attitude of large parties of male golfers returning from the hotel's associated gold course. The hotel is entitled to change its profile and of course golfers like the rest of us should be able to have a good time. But alas, unless the attitude of the "Gatwick" golfers can be reined in their loutish behaviour will be to the detriment of families and older guests staying at this otherwise excellent hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of April 2005