19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
well kept place,spotless
"We had a lovely time staying here,the house/villa had everything we needed,towels/linen given every day ,location was very far out,but we got the shuttle bus to beach/town 10 minutes away,staff were very helpful and friendly nothing was too much for them to sort if one had a issue.There was ants on floor in house only at doors but they were not a problem,house very clean anyways.we booked zoo marine at reception as we had small child with us it was a great day out and was worth every penny.We also took taxi to port mao about 15 euro each way another great day out loads of shops/ restaurants .In all a very good stay but next time we will get car as taxi were expensive,and there is so much to do and see in Cavoerio."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of April 2015
"We arrived at about 4pm,very pleased with apartment spotless fully equipped,went to shop opposite fromt of our place,for essentials milk water bread etc.,CLOSED!notice on door "ask in bar when closed"where we were told it was closed for end of season this was 7/10/11,went back to reception and told them the receptionists expression of surprise deserved an oscar,he told us a supermarket was open about 800 metres up the road,as we are in our 70s and my wife has mobility difficulties it was a fair walk (Tip take your trolly case)we got all our goods and went into the bar/pizzeria next door for a beer,we got talking to some expats and ate there,one of the best homemade pizzas wev'e had.
You really need a car there to get around,although the courtesy bus was very good it didn't return till 4pm so unless you wanted to go during the day not practical.The restaurant/bar on site was clean with tables outside near the pool we thought the menu was limited with restaurant prices for cafe food.,it also closed every night after all diners had finished about 9.40or 10pm if you came in after a meal out,you had no chance of getting a drink or nightcap.
Apart from the bar/shop experience,it is a beautiful place and I would reccommend it."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of November 2011
"I went last August with my 11 year old brother, mum and dad. I thoroughly enjoyed it so I thought I'd write a review and give you an idea of how brilliant this resort is!
When we first arrived, it was 33 degrees and we were told it would only be 26. We got our coach from the airport and were seen to imediately by friendly staff who gave us our key and gave us information about the hotel. There are villas and apartments in the Colina Da Lapa, we stayed in an apartment. We had to walk down a hill to get to our apartment, and then drag our suitcases up steps (which looked like they were there to take up space). After seemingly endless flights of stairs, we finally got to our room and we were delighted with the space!
It was massive - or maybe that was because I'm unusually short for my age - but there was a large bathroom with a shower and bath, warm water and a big sink. The kitchen was pretty spacious too and had every facility. The living room was massive and had a dining table, a sofa and two cushiony chairs, it also had a fireplace (which didn't come into much use with the scorching heat). I had to sleep on the sofa with my brother but it was surprisingly comfortable. The bedroom that my parents stayed in was brilliant! The wardrobe still had space for more when we'd filled it, it was very good. There were plenty of plug points, a desk, a huge double bed and bedside tables. After reading some reviews we were expecting a dirty apartment, but it was spotless. Our apartment had two balconies - One facing the villas and the pool, which was great to keep an eye on my brother whilst he was in the pool, and one facing a neat patch of grass and other apartments.
The pool was very big and clean, and there was a small kiddie pool. There was a shop that sold pool inflatables for very good prices, but often the pool became cluttered with people on inflatable crocodiles and sharks. There were plenty of seats outside for sunbathing and there were trees growing figs (it wasn't very nice when you stood on wet ones in your bare feet, however). There was a really good kids club, I remember going there last time I visited when I was about six. Kids seemed to really enjoy it, as they came out with facepaints and toys. There was a large sand area outside the kids club which contained lots of chipped and broken shells, I got a big cut from treading on one. On one of the days, four very big, very vicious dogs appeared in the sandy bit. One snapped at a little girl. There were quite a few animals there, a couple of cats appeared which we STUPIDLY fed, and they wouldn't leave us alone after that! They were the only two cats we saw though. There were lots of locusts of every colour. On our last night, we were joined by a very beautiful green and grey lizard and a massive yellow praying mantice :]
The staff at the restaurant were very friendly and there was a menu with a wide range of food to suit every tongue. Tons of pizza, wow! So many pizza toppings, vegetarian or not, there's something to suit you. We only ate at the restaurant three of the ten nights we were there, and one of the nights I ordered a spicy chicken thing which came uncooked, pouring with blood. Off putting. After this, we went to the centre of Carvoeiro for tea which was buzzing and lively, much different from our chilled and laid back hotel. Some nights there was calm entertainment, including a very talented and serene sax player.
In Carvoeiro there was a very nice little beach but I couldn't walk on it in my bare feet because it was too hot. There were so many shops in the town centre which we got to by taxi (quite cheaply), including clothes shops, hair accessories, Giraffe icecream parlour and pool inflatable shops. So many restaurants! Our favourite was the seafood restaurant practically on the sand. Delicious, I'd recommend it to anyone, great large portions!
Overall, I think this is a BRILLIANT resort - Probably best for families with young children, it may be too off the beaten track for teenagers unless you're a quiet, chilled and laid back teenager like myself..!
Recommend this to anyone. Excellent value for money holiday of a lifetime."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of July 2010
A unique experience.
"Firstly, in all fairness, we didn't book this accommodation. My 2 daughters and I were moved here during the volcanic ash flights ban drama.
We were booked in as full board which we were grateful for as lots of people had to pay their own way. However, if I had payed to spend my holiday here I would've been very disappointed.
The apartment itself was big but not very clean. When we got into bed there were stains on the blanket and suspect hairs on the 'clean' sheets (say no more). The bathroom was tatty and after the first person had showered there was no hot water left.
The kitchen was big with a washing machine and fridge freezer. However, if I was a self catering guest I would've been a bit disappointed at the utensils. There were 3 tea/coffee cups that were the size of egg cups.
The weather was dreadful and it rained all day every day so we didn't get to test out the outdoor facilities.
We got the courtesy bus to Carveiro which had a few nice shops and a little cove. If I was self catering I would've eaten here every day/evening.
Now onto the restaurant... These may have been special arrangements for the stranded guests but the food was literally depressing. Breakfast was a bowl of cereal and bread roll with cheese or ham. Lunch was a roll with cheese or ham. Dinner was frankly a children's portion and we were given 2 choices. No desserts.
We went to the shop to stock up on food as we were so hungry but the shelves were bare. The woman told us it's out of season so they don't have much. She wasn't kidding.
Also, quite a few guests had become ill whilst staying here although we were all ok.
The complex is in the middle of nowhere and due to the weather we were bored stiff. But at the end of the day it was somewhere to stay until we could get home and not our holiday. I wouldn't want to have a holiday here to be honest."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of May 2010
ideal for young families
"We have just booked to go back to Colina Da Lapa for the 4th time. We have three children, 12, 8 and 4 who all love it there. The resort is ideal for families with younger children although it may be a little too quiet and off the beaten track for teenagers.
The 2 bedroomed villas are roomy and well equipped and there is a large grassed area around each semi-detatched villa; ideal for children to play safely, within sight.
Our 3 loved playing in the sprinklers when the grass was watered in the evenings!
The staff, without exception are lovely. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they are great with the children.
This year we have booked accommodation and flights separately - accommodation through Monarch Hotels and flight also from Monarch. It works out much cheaper that way even though the package deal would also be through Monarch/Cosmos.
The restaurant on site provides snacks and light meals during the day and traditional Portugese evening meals. There is a small shop which has most things you might need but it's a bit expensive. There's a little supermarket within walking distance also.
The courtesy bus runs to Carvoeiro and a small local beach but taxis are inexpensive and reception will call you one at any time.
Our only criticism of the resort is the pillows, they feel like they are padded with cotton wool balls and take a bit of getting used to!
Colina Da Lapa is well run and provides a safe, friendly environment for young families to enjoy a peaceful relaxing holiday.
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2009
We re-visited Colina Da Lapa again this...
"We re-visited Colina Da Lapa again this year for the 3rd time and went with another family so there was 8 adults and 2 children in two villas. It is everything anyone could ask for (unless you want to be in the middle of the nightlife that is).
The villas/apartments are beautifully set in landscaped gardens, and having a villa each we bought a BBQ and sat outside with the music on most nights. It was fantastic :-)
You are not able to walk to the local beaches as this resort is in Sesmarias nearer to Ferragudo than Caroveiro and is well inland (which may not be obvious from the descriptions). We hire a car which we is a must but if you would prefer not to hire one there is a courtesy coach but you are tied to their times. We hired a car from the airport and dropped it back off at the airport after our stay (cheaper if you book car online as well).
The villas and apartments has everything you could want, except for mugs! (you can get two mouthfuls of tea from the ones supplied!) Take some if you like a good cup of tea, or buy them from the Intermarche supermarket which is about a 7 minute drive away. We took a radio with us and a portable DVD player and Reception also provide a list of DVDs you can ask to have put on Channel 1 - or take your own and they will play them when you request.
The staff are the most friendly and accommodating you could wish for - nothing is too much trouble and they are just lovely. You won't hear a sign or frustration at your questions or requests.
Maids visit daily - a lovely treat.
The only criticism (and it's a small one) was the pillows - filled with what seemed like hard cotton wool balls, and so uncomfortable. Perhaps they are the same all over Portugal.
There was no entertainment (but it didnât really bother us). The restaurant was fine, good fresh home cooked food, although we preferred to go out to the restaurants in Carvoiero. Kitchen is equipped with everything you could need if you want to cook in some evenings.
Pools are not heated in Portugal, so too cold for a dip, but weather was nice and hot so we all enjoyed sitting on a lounger reading.
Small shop on site for the essentials.
If you want a relaxing holiday, away from crowds, in beautiful setting, with plenty of space between the villas and the friendliest staff you could wish for, you will love this place. If you want nightlife and noise and English meals, this isn't for you."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of October 2007
Had a wonderful week here at the beginni...
"Had a wonderful week here at the beginning of May. Complex is fantastic - nice and quiet with a lovely pool area. Lots of space and the gardens are kept lovely.
We had a 2 bedroomed villa and as there was only 4 of us (2 adults and 2 children) we had plenty of space. We had a fully equipped kitchen with full oven and fridge/freezer, lounge/dining area, cloakroom and upstairs 2 bedrooms and full bathroom.
The villa was lovely and clean and this was the case throughout the week with regular maid service. There was plenty of grass space around all the villas and so my 2 boys had loads of room to play football!
A kids club is provided by Cosmos Holidays and although my children didn't use it it looked O.K.
We had a car for the entire duration and as these apartments are not really walkable to the beach or Carvoeiro this is essential. We drove around the area and came across beautiful beaches that were almost deserted - fantastic. Carvoeiro itself is the nicest resort on the Algarve for me as I have been to a few other areas and I would definitely return to this area. All the locals were friendly and we didn't have a bad meal in the resort.
If there was one thing to say about the accommodation that lets it down slightly it would be the evening meals. We ate there twice for convenience and both times we were slightly disappointed with the standard of food. There was plenty of choice on the menu and the surroundings were lovely but I wouldn't say it was 4*. Also I agree with other comments about the pillows - they are very lumpy!! They are really clean but just strange!!
Overall a brilliant, relaxing family holiday and we will definitely be returning here along with lots of other guests that we spoke to!!"
- Travel date: Thu 20th of September 2007
Superb location, superb apartments. We w...
"Superb location, superb apartments. We were here for a last min holiday. We had a superb apartment. It was very quiet, which is what we were after and a superb view over to Portimao. Reception staff very good (Sergio) Good for Golf as there are courses very near. I don't know how busy it is in high summer, but there is a kiddy club. Pool bar and restaurant.
The breakfasts are great, very cheap for what you get. We only used it on our last day as we had no food left. It is a 35 min walk downhill to the beach which is FAB and Carvoeiro. Go to Tia Ilda, not cheap but good especially the fish and Veal with herbs. Taxis are cheap and there is a courtesy bus. Do as we do hire a car because it is a bit out of the way.
Not a lot of nightlife on the complex but there in Carvoeiro."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of October 2006
Fantastic Professional staff
"Colina da Lapa came to our rescue, I can't praise the reception staff there enough - we were booked Into Vila Gaivota via Expedia - when we arrived they claimed not to have the booking (but Expedia claimed to have faxed confirmation - and we contacted Vila Gaivota to ask questions and request transfer and they never indicated a problem) BEWARE - we found out that this had been happening to others recently, and that there is a Portugese agent in between Expedia and the hotels! We will be triple checking with the accommodation in the future!
We were sent to Colina da Lapa in emergency for the first night - they said straight away they couldn't accommodate us all week, but in the end we did stay there - as we got fed up waiting for Expedia to sort it out wasting our first day - but we had to move accommodation twice.
They couldn't have been more professional, friendly and helpful. They were more help than Expedia and Vila Gaivota combined, we were not their problem but they went out of their way to help make things easy for us.
The site is very well laid out - good views, and great gardens - a combination of small blocks of apartments - just 2 storeys tall, and semi detached 2 story villas - with privacy as there is space in between the blocks, and parking provision for cars. Tennis courts, beach volley ball and bowling green.
There is a very small mini market on site for basics.
Plenty of sunbeds, and space around the pool - lawned terraces in addition to the paved area.
Apartments and villas extremely spacious and well equipped (washing machine, toaster, microwave, even blenders and juicers in the kitchens! - our last apartment had a dishwasher!) - clean and well maintained. Maid service every day except Sat.
We started in one bedroom apartments, which were great, and our last accommodation was a two bedroom semi detached 2 storey villa - huge! - 7 french windows!
Bar and restaurant staff were also friendly and good. Food was fine and reasonably priced. Drinks cheaper 7pm-8pm.
We had originally not chosen this because of the location out of town, - but they run courtesy buses to Carvoeiro twice in the morning, and once in the afternoon, and once to the beach. Twice a week (charged) to Portimao.
We walked to the beach once - about 1.5km - turn right from the site and left at roundabout.
Taxis are also cheap.
There is a supermarket 10-15 mins walk away (turn left out of the site)
Ferragudo is nearby if you want a more traditional town - there are also more beaches there - no taxi rank, but we got a phone number from the pharmacy and called one from a phone box.
There are also a few restaurants in Sesmarias 10-15 mins walk (left from apts). The first pizzeria very good. Also went to one near the water tower further along - good food and cheap but less atmosphere)
They also arranged a transfer to the airport for us - 45euros - cheaper than Vila Gaivota had quoted."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of September 2006
Great value for your Â£'s
"I have just got back from 1 week stay at the Colina De Lapa in Portugal and thought it was superb value for money. It was 3 min drive to Carvoeiro, we had a car but there was a free shuttle service. It lovely and quiet what ever time of day. We had a 1 bedroom apartment, with a huge bedroom, same sized lounge & dinning area, large kitchen with big fridge freezer and even a washing machine & 3 balconies! TV and spacious bathroom. It was really clean, staff were so friendly. The bar restaurant was also great value with a full english breakie until 5pm with tea & toast for just 4.60 Euro's. There were plenty of sun lounges anda cute little on-site shop were you could buy hot fresh bread if you got there at 9:30am ish. Fully recommended and I will definatly be returning."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of September 2006
colina lappa the best
"The Stanley family: Kildare Ireland July 2006
We have just returned from the Colina da lappa after a 10 day break and I have to say the complex was excellent. My three children ages 16, 12, 10 had a great time they made lots of friends. The staff we ever so helpful . The restaurant the food was good. I found there could have been a little more entertainment every nite for high season . You do need a car it you want to get out and explore, this can be arranged with the reception as they have deals on with worldwide rentals. You have a David Ledbetter golf course Pestano and Grammoch just up the road if interest in a round of golf and they do some offers including a buggy and golf clubs, as my husband and 12 year old son went out . We will definately be going back and would highly recommend this complex to any one."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of August 2006
My recent holiday to Portugal was amazin...
"My recent holiday to Portugal was amazing the as soon as you land at Faro airport you know you have landed in heaven. Portugal has everything I want in a holiday and the Portuguese canât do enough for you. Colina De Lapa is about an hour away from the airport and is catered for every age group the apartments are amazing and there are bigger villas for larger families.
The kids club is wonderful and great to entertain your kids for a few hours each day. The staff at Colina De Lapa canât do enough for you and the food is truly amazing. If you wish to venture out you may need a car but the restaurants are cheap and the food is good for the money. The beaches at Carvoeiro are down a cliff and kids will love it and adults alike the courtesy bus to the beach runs frequently.
Getting bored of sunbathing and wish to spend some of them euros well for just 20 euros in a taxi is Algarve shopping what I called shopping heaven it has even got a sun roof and little settees to rest those weary feet after a long day every shop is different from bikini shops to perfume shops and even English shops such as accessorize. Hungry yet well there are plenty of places to eat and I promise you will be spoilt for choice I was.
This is my second trip to the Algarve and are definitely going back again flight time was only 2 half hours which is great if you are not keen on traveling and most budget airlines offer cheap flights to Faro another great reason to go I will be again might see you there. xxx"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of July 2006