24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Liked the Mirachoro Pria
"We had visited the Hotel previously and were concerned about returning after reading some comments on Trip Adviser.
The comments proved to be unfounded and we found the Hotel to be excellent value for money and virtually unchanged from our previous visit 2 years ago.
The decoration are bright but are in keeping with a holiday hotel and you soon get used to them.
The bedrooms are are excellent with most having good views over the bay.
Service was excellent with tables cleared. friendly staff an an excellent room service. Food was warm and quickly replenished but we do find that the choice of food in a Portugal 4* hotel is not as good as its Spanish equivalent. The only comment about the dining facilities is that an extra coffee machine is required together with an improved toaster.
An excellent holiday and we will return. This hotel offers excellent value for money"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
Enjoyed the area
"This was our first trip to the Algarve and we had booked the holiday on the basis of our friends, who accompanied us, having stayed at the
same hotel 2/3 years ago. However we were very concerned regarding the comments made on some of the late 2006 reviews for the Mirachor Praia hotel and seriously considered attempting to switch hotels. In truth we are very glad we went ahead with our holiday. The hotel was very good indeed. Mention of the garish painting of the interior of the hotel, particulkarly in receptionand the bar area was vastly overstated in the early reviews and as regards noise and complaints re the bottle bank, then our view is that some people must be very hard to please. There was no disturbance to mean anything and certainly had no effect on our holiday enjoyment. The 2nd floor bedroom was very good and had an excellent bathroom plus a 5 foot double bed - wish we had one at home!!!! There is a fridge, hair dryer and tv in each room. A good balcony allowed us to enjoy a panoramic view across the town and sea. The room was cleaned daily and the towels changed everyday. The staff were extremely hard working and that included the cleaners, reception, bar staff and the waiters. During our 14 day stay the head waiter was on duty every evening and ensured a smooth running of the dining area. We were on half board terms with other residents on bed and breakfast only. This
meant breakfast was a busier time but we never had to wait to get a table and on an evening we were pleasantly surprised to have a 4 seater table reserved for us and we only ordered water!!!! The meals were plentiful with a good breakfast choice of fruit, cerals, cold meat, cheese and traditional egg, bacon, beans and sausage with plentby bread and rolls. Possibly an extra tea, coffee, hot water machine would be of benefit to reduce the only queue which occurred in the dining area. The evning meal was a set 7 day rotational menu with soup, a salad bar and then a hot bar with a fish choice every evening and then meat, which was aminly pork, turkey and beef/veal. Two/three lots of veg and chips. Possibly boiled potatoes more often would have been a nice change form chips every day and whilst this variation did occur it was only available for three nights in the fortnight. Outside the hotel is a sizeable car park which eliminated any problem with regard to overnight parking of the hire car we had for 7 days. There is an inside heated swimming pool and jacuzzi but the sauna was "out of order" during our stay. A good outside pool at a maximum 1.3 meteres depth was also clean and allowed people to have a good swim. There was a functional pool bar as well with plenty
of sun beds and brollies, with extra brought out by the hotel staff as the hotel numbers increased. We found Carvoeiro a compact, rather hilly resort with sufficient in the way of bars and restaurants for those who wanted such extra facilities. We would have no qualms about
recommending the hotel and like others we spoke to would willingly go back in the future. Our first holiday in Portugal and the Algarve
in particular was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Friendly people who spoke English plus the all important very good weather."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
Still good value
"Well, we stayed at this hotel a year ago and went back again this March. Things have changed in the year since we were last there.
When we went last March the hotel was decorated with creams and beiges throughout which was lovely, but this time I have to agree with the comments about the decor, I am not sure who decided upon the clashing lime greens, blues, oranges etc., that the communal areas have been decorated in, but if you haven't been to the hotel before I can see how this would be off putting.
We did see a few signs of the hotel starting to age, for example our shower had a slight leak, but not enough to prevent the shower from working and the food heater in the dining room seemed to be broken and consequently unless you arrived for breakfast upon opening, the hot food did get cold.
However, I still think the hotel - on the whole - is very good value for money. It really depends on what sort of holiday you want. The main reason we love this hotel is because it is quiet and we don't have to queue at the bar for hours for our drinks/cocktails, but some people seem to find this a minus point. There is no noise at all of a night time and the beds - as always - depends on your taste. The beds are firm, but that is exactly what we like.
The comment about the rooms at the end of corridors is absolutely spot on, if you get one of those rooms, you will hear the door slamming every time someone comes through. This was the third time we have stayed here and have never been unfortunate enough to get one of those rooms.
Whenever we have been there the staff have been friendly, helpful and happy to do anything for us - although we have always been out of season, so they probably weren't at their busiest.
In summary, this hotel may well not be what you would expect for an English 4*, probably more like a 3*, the decor is a bit garish, but it is still good value for money. We had half board this time and I definitely would not recommend it - there are plenty of lovely restaurants within a short distance which will give you a much greater variety."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of March 2007
Hotel Spoilt our holiday!
"Arrived after a long journey to be given a room at the back of the hotel, they had completely dis-regarded our requests at booking stage. When we spoke with Reception got a "tough luck" attitude from them no offer to room move us even though there were rooms vacant.
Restaurant was like Faulty Towers but worse, had to queue to get a table for 20mins and then wait another 10 to get it cleared and set. Before going to the buffet which was pretty much the same every night. Bar service in the restaurant was a joke, the guys clearing the tables also done a run to the bar to get drinks orders, then came back asking for money and then again to give you the change so if the restaurant was busy you were waiting after you had finished eating to get your bar bill paid.
The decor of the hotel was garish to say the least, in the bar area to name a couple of colours bright lime green, bright cerise pink on 1 wall, not what you would expect.
To be quite on henest this place has put me off going back to the Algarve for fear of ending up in another dump like this!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 21st of January 2007
Fawlty towers ala Portugal style
"We booked a 4* hotel expecting a relaxed luxury break, however I wish I had read reviews on this hotel before I booked. Like the others I found the staff unhelpful. The food was terrible, the bar empty and when we complained about the room as the door lock was faulty, the bathroom reaked of methane gas and the room not as requested we were faced with an attitude of hard luck if you want a better room pay extra. We paid extra and like others the cleaners came round in the late afternoon when we were trying to have a siesta. Towels were infrequently changed. The bed linen wasn't changed once during a whole 7 days and a dirty bathmat was repeatedly put on the side of the bath for use.
The coffee machine broke down one morning during the breakfast rush and it was so bad it was funny. The maitre de was at one end with a spanner and the customers queued up at the other hoping it could be fixed in time for breakfast tea. No alternative such as hot water was offered! The gentleman in charge of breakfast most mornings could be heard having screaming matches with the kitchen staff. The beds were extremely hard and uncomfortable. We got such a bad impression of the hotel in the first day we never ate there, however we did hear other guests opinion of the food offered.
I would like to go back to the area but never, ever to this hotel again."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of January 2007
Don't expect 4* in this 4*......
"A TripAdvisor Member from Somerset UK
If you read previous reviews it seems a bit hit and miss with the experience you will have here.
There are a few others things I can add after my stay in September 2006.
Don't rely on being able to hire their advertised beach towels...we were expected to drip dry for our 1st day and absolutely forbidden to borrow the room towel, with an attitude of 'tough luck'.
Don't expect clean towels in your room when you put your dirty ones in the bath...they may be picked up, folded and put back.
Avoid rooms at end of corridors next to exit doors as these will slam shut and rock your bed when people come and go.
The staff are a mixed bunch and range from rude to not very interested in the quality of your stay.
Avoid phones in foyer....1 euro for a very quick LOCAL call.
At busy times expect a fight in the breakfast hall.....and queue at the one drinks machine for 110 rooms!
The hotel is set off the main road and quiet, but relaxing by the pool you can listen to the sound of breaking glass from the recycling bank outside the hotel grounds and noisy traffic.
Overall this hotel needs to look seriously at customer care. I would not stay again, and was also disappointed with Carvoeiro itself...although advertised as a quaint fishing village, it is now more bucket and spade."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of October 2006
If service is important to you don't stay here...
"Our stay in Carvoeiro was absolutely wonderful overall. The village is lovely with just enough to keep you occupied for a quiet 10 days in the sun. There are lots of lovely restaurants and some lovely bars which are open to the small hours with live music etc. The main square has live music on some of the time which gives a lovely atmosphere. I found the beaches in the area were very small as was the village itself so if you are looking for more than sunbathing eating and drinking go somewhere else in the algarve.
This hotel has the makings of a perfect place to stay. It is very near the town and has restaurants and bars on the doorstep but is not at all bothered by noise from these. It is decorated really well inside and the rooms are lovely with big balconies and really comfortable (hard) beds and powerful showers. It also has a lovely big pool with plenty of room for sunbathing and a pool bar.
The hotel itself is not very old but i think is due a bit of a tidy up now as the pool is cracking a bit and the paint has peeled away. The sun beds and umbrellas have had it and need replacing. It could also do with a more regular clean in and around the pool.
There is one main downside - the staff. In general they are moody and unhelpful.
Cleaners - often didnt come till 5 pm to clean the rooms. One day they knocked and I was undressed so asked for them to come back in a minute - they didnt bother so no towels or made bed that day.
Bar staff - I found ok but many other guests moaned about their manner and begrudged service. The bar is empty at night due to lack of atmosphere.
Waiting staff - by far the worst. We went HB (DO NOT GO HB) Breakfast is ok as you can excuse the canteen feel and the food is actually quite good (if not a little repetitive). Most mornings you will have to lay your own table.
We only ate dinner 3 out of 10 nights in the hotel as every time we arrived for dinner every table was piled high with dirty plates. One night I asked the waitress to make us a table up and she banged and tutted. We then heard her go screaming into the kitchen. The same night there was no soup or salad buffet left and all the veg had run out for the main course. It was over an hour before the restaurant was supposed to close.
Needless to say we ate in the number of lovely restaurants in town the rest of the time which bumped up the cost but eating in the restaurant in the hotel would have ruined our holiday.
The strange thing is that the Portugese are so friendly out of the hotel !!!
I would say that this could be a wonderful 4* hotel but at the moment it is not working hard enough for it's rating. The staff ruin it with their lack of enthusiasm in their jobs and outright contempt when asked to do anything. The manager wonders around a lot but is oblivious to the problems here."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of September 2006
Great Value - Lovely Hotel
"This hotel seems very new and is extremely clean and tidy. The pool is large and there are always enough space around it. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated and again are kept very clean, and have large balconies. The resort itself isnt amazingly special but there are a few really nice beaches just a short walk down the road rather than the one in town itself. We used the reliable efficient bus service to get about - it picks up from just outside the hotel. i can't comment on dinner as we ate out every night but breakfast was pretty good - english and continential. All in all an excellent hotel at the price - would definitely reccommend."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of September 2006
Nice Rooms with great terrace!
"We stayed here for 6 nights in August 2006. The outside is large and box-like but the halls are brightly painted and well-maintained. The rooms are new and very nice---air-conditioning is welcome. The terrace is large and makes the rooms seem bigger. Bathroom is lovely. Everything is nice and clean. A bit hard to get to your room with luggage if in the far wing. The breakfast was included in our rate but it was disappointing. The fruit was mainly canned with occasional fresh but that went fast. The croissants were like stale bread---but to be fair we had just come from Paris. The worst was the coffee machine. It provided everything from cafe au lait to hot water for tea and always had a line-up for a frustrating experience and not great product. Coffee in Europe is usually a wonderful experience but not here. Also, the orange juice was powdered orange drink----awful. Another reviewer noted the fresh oranges that were near the buffet table and I don't understand why they couldn't squeeze some of this each morning for a small but noticable detail to good service and the little touches that tourists remember. Aren't Spain and Portugal citrus growing territories? Lots of hard breads and ham and cheese that wasn't even Portuguese style, eggs, but kind of a flat breakfast and I would not include breakfast if I stay here again. Great location at the top of the hill and very quiet!!! Loved this. Try eating the best pasta at Medici's across the street. Also try their Lasagna--it is the best I"ve ever had, and I'm part Italian. I'd stay here again, as on the whole it is a little sanctuary in the noisiness of Carvoeiro. Barb J Langley BC Canada"
- Travel date: Sat 19th of August 2006
A fantastic holiday
"We booked this holiday through Teletext and it was a 4* HB allocation on arrival. We took our chances and it was a great hotel.
First of all we loved the resort of Carvoeiro - it had a great feel to it, and actually felt like there were lots of locals - not just a tourist hotspot.
We stayed for 2 weeks and the weather was fantastic. We hired a car and did lots of sightseeing.
What ever you do don't believe the reps in relation to public transport (or much else for that matter) - we used the bus service on a number of occassions, and although the buses are maybe older that what we are used to in the UK, they were on time and very reliable.
We did a fantastic trip out to see the dolphins in the sea at Pria Rocha - a truly amazing experience.
Tours recommended by the reps were seriously over priced for what they were - we saved a fortune by hiring a car and covering the ground ourselves. And the so called best market in Portugal is a disaster!!
The hotel is a nice hotel, in a good location. We both loved the pool - especially the swim up bar! The weather was quite hot when we were over and we loved spending time reading at the pool and cooling off. Because it is the Atlantic the sea water was ice cold so we didn't really go in to the sea that much - it was quite a painful experience in a bikini!!!!
The only thing which we really didn't enjoy about the hotel was the food. It was repetitive and not that great. We ended up eating out most nights even though we were staying half board. That is my only gripe.
We loved the walks (short distance) into the town every evening for a crepe or an ice-cream, and walking along the coast road.
We got engaged at sunset at Algar Seco when we were there, and it is very beautiful. Lots of happy memories from that holiday!
There are loads of good restaurants to eat very cheaply - especially fresh fish. I can highly recommend Prima Vera for something that bit more special!
I would definitely go back and stay in this hotel, but on a bed and breakfast basis."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of August 2006
Had a good time at the Mirachoro
"It does look a bit boxy from the road but this hotel has a warm heart. Disregard all posts about it looking bland inside. They are decorating. While we were there they painted our corridoor rose pink! Well I say rose pink, they are colour washing all the cream walls with vibrant colours. It's a bit "rustic" but it's colourful. The painter got to our door and stopped because it was during the world cup and Portugal were playing.
The pool area is nice. Be prepared to fight for a lounger though! Those towels were appearing from around 8am. Our room was on the third floor and had a massive balcony and a sea and pool view. It was lovely. I think those in the rooms at the back of the hotel and facing into the courtyard miss out on a lot. The sunsets are awesome.
The room had a large bathroom, water is a bit iffy when next door has a shower, but adequate for a 4*. Not much in the way of toiletries, sachets not bottles and crap soap. Take your own. Ditto beach towels - you can have one from the hotel but it's a 20 Euro deposit. The bed was hard.....really hard. If you wedge a bit of card in the room key holder you can keep the aircon on while you are out having dinner so it's cool for your return.
Breakfast is the one thing that lets it down. It was "adequate" (please bear in mind I'm a foodie). The coffee is out of a machine that uses milk powder. The orange juice - well just don't, it's like undiluted orange squash....orange flavour! What is really frustrating is there are large bowls of fresh local oranges at either end of the buffet...have one of those! It's pretty standard fare - hotdog sausages, bacon, eggs, bakery bits, cold meats and cheeses (all processed to the hilt) odments of fruit, tomatoes, tinned fruit, yoghurt etc. We didn't eat there at night.
Places we recommend - A Marisqueira is next to the hotel on the left as you leave the carpark. Go there - ignore the rest of the menu - pick a fish from the display and have it barbecued then and there. It is to die for. The potatoes and veg it comes with are iffy but you can ask for chips and salad if you must.
Boneca Bar and restaurant at Algar Seco - walk up the hill, turn right at the first opportunity, follow the road, bear left again, bear left when you get to the edge, walk down to the car park and follow the steps down. Feast, watch football, listen to the man on his guitar and watch the sun go down from the cave! Wear insect repellant.
There are several good ice-cream shops in town for those ice-cream moments, one in the main square and one on the road into the town.
If you hire a car: The market is not on in Loule at the moment, it's being renovated. Silves is being renovated. Go and buy a roman chair from the chair man of Monchique - he's on the way down from Pico da Foia and they are cheap. Stop at the Caldas de Monchique - it reminded us of Portmerion. You can buy local Lagoa wine at the big supermarket on the way to Carvoeiro.
Enjoy - it's a great place."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of July 2006
Value in Carvoeiro
"Spent one week at this hotel and thought it excellent value for money. The rooms were clean and big enough, although some days the maids appeared as you were getting ready to go out for the evening! We stayed B and B and would recommend nothing else as there are several good places to eat nearby. Food in the hotel was OK, with breakfast bringing the usual continental bacon, tinned fruits etc. One word of advice though, if you want toast, get up early - to say the toaster was slow would be an understatement! Pool area good and water clean, although as stated by others, the sun loungers and parasols have seen better days. Hotel location is very good and only a five minute walk from the main bars and restaurants. Would certainly recommend the Vila Medici for either lunch or dinner (yes, it's Italian, but it's very good) and Havanna bar for early (two for one cocktails 7-8pm) or late drinks. The beach is very clean and Carvoeiro is generally a nice place to visit. If you can, get out and about and visit some of the local towns, to get a bit more of a feeling of Portugal."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of June 2006