30 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I been to Algarve and Portugal 5 times a...
"I been to Algarve and Portugal 5 times and had read others review on Marina Park and thought I had prepared; however I was still surprised. As other said the room had no kettle. The cable could only pick-up BBC World news and sky news in English. The room did not have a phone, microwave, cd or radio. There were only 1 big pot and a skillet. It was a nightmare fixing breakfast as you had to use the pot to boil water for tea. No mugs in the kitchen only little cups. There was not a piece of paper (no information phamplets) in the room. Absolutely nothing on how to call a doctor or any information of the area. Of course there was no internet on site. There was constant construction noise right outside my balcony as they are building 3 hugh buildings the width of the resort. We could not sit on the balcony because the workers were looking in your face (we were on 2nd floor - top floor). When this construction is finished your neighbors will face you on your balcony. You need a car (we had one) as the hill is a monster to climb and no taxi is available at the resort (no phone to call one either). There was no soap nor refreshments (coffee, tea, shampool) in the place. Lagos is great and the apartment ensures you visit the town! Also the lounge is only a pool bar and closes early, it's part of the cafeteria. "
- Travel date: Thu 11th of September 2008
Just returned from holidaying at the Mar...
"Just returned from holidaying at the Marina Park, apartment was great and very spacious, with good view of pool area and gardens, also fly overs from local aerodrome which were entertaining from both poolside and balcony. Couple of mossy bites initially after not plugging in deterent, however, they weren't really problematic when taking precautions thereafter. Staff were generally pleasant except for one occasion when I came back from shopping with no pass card, which is needed to enter pool area (wife had it inside), security guard cross examined me for flat number to cross check, despite obviously knowing me from coming down poolside every day and acknowledging him. Beds were easily available, but onsite restaraunt charges were exhorbitant e.g. 3 euros for two small waters. We, like others, took our own in, despite notice advising guests must buy within poolside area. This is our third visit to Lagos and remains a favourite, going back to good eateries such as O Artista near Tivoli Hotel, Maharajah for a curry, opposite fire station. Our favourite Italian is tucked away round from Tulip Roundabout in a Square, it is called Pizzeria Gato Pardo, it looks like a local's favourite and the meals and service were excellent and inexpensive. Also near the Tulip restaraunt is Dom Luis restaurant, we recommend the battered fish, chips and mushy peas served only on Friday nights. A new place we tried was Lemon Grass on the Travessa de Mar, a Thai Restaraunt, where again the food was excellent, we went back twice for their Thai curries. A few disappointed servings came at the Koh-i-noor restaraunt and the Navegador, the pakora at the first came with no sauce and main curry tasteless, at the latter the potatoes accompanying meal were cold. The location of the Marina Park has it's pros and cons, pros being it's quiet, security good, staff and accomodation good. Cons being the steep hill, no nearby facilities e.g. pubs,restaraunts, to bring down prices on site and to save guests walking a fair distance into town. We did the Meia Praia beach one day, again a good 20-30 minutes walk, paid our 8 euros for 2 beds/umbrella in a nice location with friendly beach staff, the only thing which stopped us returning was the sea temperature, it was baltic!!!
which was a pity as we generally prefer to swim in the sea. We would certainly recommend Marina Park and Lagos, the only downside was the airport transfers both coming and going. I see another reviewer also experienced with Thomas Cook, they travelled from Manchester, whilst we went from Glasgow, but identical problem i.e. a three hour transfer both ways, with numerous drop offs in Albufeira, Carvoveira, Praia de Rocha, Alvor then Lagos. This is a trip of approx. one hour/ one hour and a half, I know because this is how long it took before with other tour operators along the N125, I think it is high time Thomas Cook looked at this, as I'm sure other people have complained. "
- Travel date: Tue 9th of September 2008
My family and I have recently returned f...
"My family and I have recently returned from this wonderful resort. Upon arrival, the reception was warm and welcoming. The only trouble was that Thomas Cook failed to inform us that we were not able to check in to our rooms until 3 hours after we arrived. There were 8 of us. (including 4 kids) Having been on the road for 11 hours, we were looking forward to starting our holiday. However, the reception staff informed us that we could still use all the facilities and leave our luggage in their care. The facilities were excellent. Nice pool, lots of loungers, tennis courts, bar/restaurant next to the pool. There is no entertainment on site so it is quiet. Shop available near entrance. Shop was very reasonably priced. Bar was a bit pricey (Â£2+ for a can of coke, Â£3+ for 400ml of beer.) However, buy cans of pop from shop (85p ish) or shop from local super market 10 mins walk away. (6 for Â£2). Room facilities were excellent. Very clean (never saw a cockroach), washing machine was a godsend. One bedroom apartments can sleep 5. Maids come round twice a week, change linen once a week. Not brilliant as far as disabled access goes, but blocks have lifts up to rooms. The pool area has card key access. The loungers cannot be 'towelized', while you go to the beach. If you want a lounger, you must stay within the area (easy for us having 4 adults.) Loungers available from about 9-9.30ish. Tennis available from earlier time. There is construction going on to expand the park, but we hardly knew about it. There seemed a lot of people near the contruction area, but very little noise. The walk into Lagos is down a bit of a hill. It looks steep, but is quite gentle really. The local area is very clean. Good assortment of restaurants, shops, nightlife is not bouncing. Taxi back to apartments is 3-5 euros. Lots of sports bars, marina is beautiful. Recommend a trip to see the dolphins. We went twice!! Never had a bad meal. Visited Slide & splash and also Zoomarine. Both I would highly recommend. Reception has a printed weekly weather forecast available to view which helps when planning days out. We were fortunate in that we never saw a drop of rain for the whole two weeks. We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and would recommend this site to everyone."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of September 2008
We went to, Marina Park for 2 weeks in J...
"We went to, Marina Park for 2 weeks in July/August, very hot, the apartment were well kept and very clean, there was also plenty of room in the three bedroom apartment we booked. However, the apartment we were first allocated was in block 7, which overlooked a building site; the building site is about 25 meters from the balcony and the workers are loud â screaming and shouting all day, also if you stay in the apartment all day expect to here the building site, they start around 7 am. After complaining the reception said there were no other rooms available, so we were forced to ring Thomas Cook, who said, they did not need to inform customers of small building work the area, even though this was a 6 storey apartment block being built, with cranes and diggers running about it all day, they had deemed it small. But Thomas Cook did contact the reception and a new room which was allocated to which was previously reserved for guests arriving that evening.
The new apartment was in block 11, which had stunning views over the Lagos football stadium, the river, a small airfield and a traveling circus. Also beware, when in the apartments the balcony doors slide open from both sides and only one side locks properly, the other side can be pushed open from the outside, when going out be sure to roll the shutters down over the doors.
The apartments are well equipped, washing machine dryer, etc but no kettle, and there is limited kitchenware, the apartment only give you enough for you party, so if there is 8 of you, youâll get 8 forks, 8 knifes and 8 glasses, so donât lose any!!.
The security can be a bit pointless at times, as when entering the complex the guard simply waves at you, he doesnât know whether you staying their or not, there is more security around the pool then in the whole complex, there is two guards, who only let around the pool if you have passes and then you not allowed to play ball games or have any fun or they kick you out, but if a kid dive bombs into a pool and nearly lands on you then they donât do anything!!, also if you want a sun bed be prepared to get up at about 8:30 to get one when pool opens, otherwise you stuck on the grass, which is not good when the sprinklers come on, other then that the apartments are excellent and well worth visiting.
The location of the apartments is not as good as they are up a steep hill and when you get down the hill there is not many British restaurants, we only found one which was always full you have to wait for the tables. There re more over the foot bridge on the other side of the river, and into the town, this usually takes about 40 to 50mins to walk from the apartments, but would recommend Only Fools & Horses restaurant and Mullens Bar. Although a bit of a trek the beach is well worth a visit, if you go to the section near Lindaâs Bar, you will be able to have waiter service from the bar and they will bring you food and drink to your sun bed for a small tip.
There are plenty of boat trips on other that take you fishing and around the small grottos on the coastline. There are plenty of stands around the marina ready to hassle you as you walk by, but if you go over the bridge to the main street there are more which offer the same service for cheaper, some boat owners sit on the main street and ask if you want to go on boat trip, they let you choose where you want to go, they simply drive you there and their much cheaper then scheduled boat trips. The Portal Do Infante restaurant on the marina is well worth a visit and staff are very friendly as is the Pizza Hut, who do deliveries to the apartments.
The Pinco Doce supermarket a couple of hundred meters away large end well stocked, like the size of Asda, the on-site mini-market is good, the staff are very helpful, they do the reps job mainly, they will give you directions and translate things for you, and if they havenât got specific items in-stock then they will order it for you and get their the same day, they also speak very good English. If your going to venture out and you havenât hired a car the local bus service is not that good, taxis are the best way to travel and cheaper.
Thomas cook rep was only there for 15 minutes only a week, if you wanted to see a rep you had to ring the Thomas Cook office which proves costly.
Toilet rolls are hard to get hold off in the apartments; the maids only leave with about 4 for a whole week, which doesnât get far with 8 people.
The hill up to the apartment can be quite hard sometimes, especially during the main sunshine hours, but early in the morning or later on at night is a lot easier.
The on-site restaurant is very expensive, all the items you can buy are at least a euro cheaper in the bars at the marina.
The baggage allowance your allowed to take is only 15kg, when departing Thomas Cook donât charge you if you are a couple of kilos over weight, but they do when you are returning, they charge you â¬11 (8 Pound) per kilo over weight;
Coach journey to the apartment took 3 hours, we were the second to last drop off, and also no rep travels on the coach to and from the airport. At the airport there is no rep to tell you where to go you have to find the check-in desks and gates your-self, but airport staff very friendly. Only other complaint was returning to Manchester airport, it took two hours for luggage to come up.
Excursions were limited and if you booked one you would need to travel a couple of hundred meters to the Pinco Doce supermarket to meet the coach, this is where you be dropped of after as well.
- Travel date: Thu 14th of August 2008
I recently stayed at the Marina park wit...
"I recently stayed at the Marina park with my husband and our three children aged 11, 9 and 8. We had a fantastic time. The apartment had two bedrooms which were spotless and well serviced during the holiday. The balcony was private and very large. Having a washing machine made life so easy - for the first time we came home with all our clothes washed and ironed!
We managed to walk in and out of the town many times a day and didn't find the hill home at all steep! The children walked happily and it took no more than 15 mins to get into the town centre. The beach is even quicker. The Marina park cafe is fair enough - great for a coffee whilst the children are swimming; would not recommend the breakfast it consisted of 2 hotdogs, 2 eggs and some beans. The staff are all very friendly and helpful - excellent with children.
The complex felt save and didn't have many groups of lads and/or ladies, more families and Grandparents. We liked the fact that there is no entertainment - the complex is quiet and you are not forced to endure tacky events because other kids are! The pool entertained our children 12 hours a day.
We also liked the security and finishings we felt that the complex was firstclass and very professionally kept. I would however, agree that the security surrounding the pool is completely over the top - children were not allowed to play with balls, yet they could dive-bomb on top of you and no one would bother. The pool looked bigger than many we saw in other apartment blocks, swimming lanes or adult swimming times would have been good. The tennis courts were easy to book and free if you take your own stuff. The play park is limited.
lagos is a friendly vibrant town - plenty of places to eat and drink. The Marina bars did seem expensive. It is easy enough to find good reasonable places to eat in the town. Children are welcomed and really looked after well. The Portuguese are friendly and very helpful. If you have a football mad son I would recommend that you buy a football top before you go as they averaged 80e - very expensive, the fakes are naff and poor value too.
We travelled with Thomas Cook and be warned the transfers from Faro to Marina Park are terrible. Ours took over 3 hours after boarding the plane at 6.45am we did not arrive until 3pm, hot, thirsty and very hungry to find that the cafe closes between 3 and 6. Thomas Cook are not very apologetic about this and we felt it was unreasonable to expect children to sit on a hot bus with no toilet for such a length of time. Lagos is an hour tops away from Faro - direct transfers cost around 80e for a family of five each way and can be booked easily online. Further more I would not recommend the Thomas Cook excursions - we booked one because we wanted the convenience of leaving from our apartment - what a joke - you have to walk to Pingu-Doce and then work out whether or not you hang around the carpark or the 2 bus stops outside! The rep was unhelpful, rushed and felt that it was accpetable for a mum and her 11-year-old to walk around after a trip at midnight to get home.
There are a lot of places to vist for day trips and if you are considering Splash and Slide be prepared for a full day in the baking sun - buy an umbrella before you go 6e! Consider hiring a car to make the most of this trip as we took the coach and it cost 5e each and dictated that we left the park at 4.15pm - this meant we had to endure the really hot sun to get the most out of the day - we managed 11 slides each in the time allowed at the park. This is the first holiday I have been on where I have seen really bad sunburn on adults and children!
Marina Park though is 4 Star - top quality holiday!
- Travel date: Tue 29th of July 2008
we have stayed here for the last 5 summe...
"we have stayed here for the last 5 summers.
the hotel is situated in a great spot near the marina and a pleasent walk to town.
the beds arent great and the pillows are terrible like all in the algarve.
we certainly noticed more irish staying here especially last year .
we thought we had arrived at a gypsy convention."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of July 2008
We were guests of the Marina Park last m...
"We were guests of the Marina Park last month and were 2 families of 3. We had a 3 yr old and my parents and teenage sister were in the other apartment. The apartments are fantastic, very spacious with all mod cons, they could use a kettle though, still canât figure out why there wasnât one. A fine fridge freezer, washing machine and oven was provided which I made great use of having a small child. I couldnât fault the accommodation although my parents and sister werenât impressed with the sleeping arrangements for her; it was a pullout sofa bed with a mattress the width of an envelope on a wire frame bed. I imagine that small children would be comfortable sleeping there but not an adult which my sister is. She had no comfort in that bed â donât know where the 4th person was to sleep? They came and took the sofa away and replaced it with a new one but with a thicker mattress.
In my apartment the sofa had a bed underneath it and you just pulled it out and it was very comfy. Some of the apartments are privately owned and the management company obviously rent them out on behalf of the clients â you can EASILY tell which are the privately owned apartments and which are the complexes.
The pools are great for both old and young, my little fella lived in the baby pool. Just to note the poolside bar and cafÃ© is very expensive and also the staff stand around looking at you when you go to the counter, they are very slow to approach you. The beer was the most expensive in Lagos from what we could see and we drank a lot of it around the town! Also they donât allow footballs, any pool toys in the pool so donât try to bring one in as there is always someone on duty watching what is going on and tell you off!
Other than that the only complaints I have are that the towels are not changed often enough â at least they werenât in both our apartments. We arrived on Thursday and they were changed on Monday (that was ok) they then werenât changed until the following Monday and we were leaving on the Thursday. They also didnât provide enough toilet paper in the apartments and we ended up buying our own, not that we needed it anymore than anyone else but 2 rolls (and very small ones at that) to last a week was a bit mean.
The hill up to the apartments was a bit of a killer at times, now we are all fit people but rolling a buggy up that hill was unreal. Especially if you had been to the Marina or the town during the day, so be warned, in very high temperatures it is tough. We got a taxi a few nights home and that was only 5 euros.
There is a shop just outside the complex which is handy but is expensive and only stocks the necessary Items. There is a huge Pingo Doce Supermarket just down the road (via the hill again!) which is perfect and stocks everything you need and is very cheap but again you have to negotiate the hill on the way back so donât buy too much or if you do get a taxi back!
The Marina Park is a lovely complex but you need a car if you donât want to do the hill or if you have small kids, their little legs simply wonât be able to climb it. We have stayed in Lagos before in the Villabranca Apartments which are outside the town again but you donât have to climb mountains to get there. We all agreed that we preferred Vilabranca. If we go back to the Marina Park we will hire a car!
- Travel date: Fri 21st of September 2007
As first time visitors to Portugal we d...
" As first time visitors to Portugal we decided to do a little research into the Algarve's resorts and accommodation and opted for the Marina Park in Lagos. We weren't disappointed.
After eventually finding the car hire desk within Faro Airport (Guerin) it was an easy drive to Lagos, taking about 80 mins. We found the apartment complex and were pleasantly surprised. Set in modern, well maintained grounds, the blocks looked to be recently built and just what we'd been looking for.
The reception staff were friendly and let us have the key over 2 hours before we were due to book in. Our 1 bed apartment was at the edge of the site and had panoramic views of the sea, the city, marina and the mountains to the right. It was well equipped with washing machine (great to go home without any washing to do!), large fridge, oven, hob and even an iron. A kettle would have been handy though.
A large pool was a short walk down a number of steps with free loungers, parasols and a relaxed atmosphere. The poolside bar and restaurant looked nice but was a little expensive and had no atmosphere. This was something that the whole complex was lacking as there was no entertainment or facilities other than tennis courts. This didn't bother us as we only wanted to use the apartment as a base to stay in.
Lagos itself isn't buzzing with clubs and therefore doesn't attract the type of visitors that you would expect in rowdier resorts. It feels more sophisticated and there are plenty bars good restaurants and a couple of clubs if you want them. Let the touts show you up the windy streets to hidden bars for some good offers on drinks.
We got the train to Albufeira one night and it was good to let off steam and go mad at least once during the holiday but the drinks were more expensive and we needed to get a taxi back to Lagos. Cheap, silly hats though!
Although the marina and town were only a 15-20 minute stroll away, the car made it easy to visit the supermarket, beach and exploring the local area. The walk back up the hill didn't put us off especially after a few drinks but the elderly or less fit might want to get a taxi. I recommend the mountain of Monchique, the view from the top is breathtaking.
Would definitely return.
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007
Booked independently on internet (Centra...
"Booked independently on internet (CentralR.com) what we thought was for a 2 bedroom apartment. Turned out to be a one bedroom. Beware when booking direct as because we had booked for 2 adults and one child they assume that a one bedroom apartment is sufficient.
Room given was one that backed onto a small road which had a broken patio door (looked like someone had tried to break in). And also a couple of electric sockets which were dangerous. We immediately went to reception and paid extra for a two bedroom apartment.
Two bedroom apartment was very spacious and worth the extra money. The apartment was clean, modern and well equipped with fairly new utensils and a washing machine and dishwasher.
Only one fault - Apartment did not get any sun and as the weather was windy and cold for part of the week, the apartment was freezing for the first 3 days! Would be great in the heat wave!
Found the complex had little to offer apart from the pool which wasn't heated! Has a small snack bar but like most complexes charge a euro more than elsewhere for a drink! Recommend a car hire. Walk into Lagos takes about 20 mins stroll but pleasant enough via the marina and along the prom - unfortunately a bit uphill coming back.
Read on website that it was overlooking the marina I think that is a bit of a stretch of the imagination. Probably could see the marina if on top of the building! I found the complex very impersonal and quiet. Maybe different in height of season.
Lagos has a good weekly large market with plenty of bargains. Lagos has a lovely old cobbled town with a good selection of restaurants and shops.
- Travel date: Thu 9th of August 2007
My Family of 5 went to Marina Park for 1...
"My Family of 5 went to Marina Park for 10 days from Dublin. Apartments are very large with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We have 3 children age 16, 9 & 3.
Apartments are very clean and having a dishwasher, washing machine, full size fridge freezer (so bring your ice pops with you for the kids) and proper cooker was just brilliant as I was able to make dinner for the little one and didnât worry about what she would eat, as the large supermarket had everything, it is prob the size of an Asda Supermarket.
It is about a 10 min walk. Down the hill is great but coming up again is hard work (unless you have a few drinks in you) but well worth the trip.
I would say these apartments are the best we have stayed in yet.
The pool was great for my 9 yr old and the little pool is great for the toddlers. The only thing that lets these apartments down is there is no entertainment at all and I think with all the people going to them it would be a real bonus. But it is only 10 mins walk to the marina and about 20 minutes to the town it is so easy to walk to town and just get a taxi home it is 3.80 euros home.
We also got a late check out which cost us 55 euros but when you have a little one it is worth it. If you are going to these apartments do not bring a lot of clothes as you really donât need them & bring your dishwasher & washing machine tablets with you.
I hope this has helped anyone reading this & we will be going back I rate this 8 as having a steep hill to climb and also not having any entertainment These apartments would not be suitable for anyone in a wheelchair or back problems because of the hill.
p.s Donât use marina parks car hire, shop around.
- Travel date: Tue 7th of August 2007
This was our third visit to Lagos and by...
"This was our third visit to Lagos and by for the most pleasurable.
We stayed in a three bedroom apartment, which was very spacious and had everything you could need, including a washing machine, dishwasher and remote control air conditioning in every room.
The balcony had great views and was almost triple the size of a normal balcony. There was two bathrooms, one which was an en-suite with a full sized bath, and the other with a shower. These apartments would benefit from a kettle and a microwave.
The pool area was very spacious with plenty of room to sunbathe with free sun beds. The pool was a good size the only drawback been for us was that inflatables and other pool toys were not allowed in.
The marina park is situated on a fairly steep hill, which after a busy day could be a struggle.
The best place to find an inexpensive snack in the centre of Lagos is Britaica snack bar and ice cream parlour, with service second to none. The best restaurant we dined at was Portal do Infante on the marina.
We had a great time on the grotto boat trip. The water parks and Zoo Marina are defiantly worth a visit.
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of August 2007
This hotel is situated right next to the...
"This hotel is situated right next to the marina and is nothing more than a 5 minutes walk to the town centre of Lagos. It is extremely large and beautifully laid out. The pool is often not very busy and the rooms are of brilliant size.
The town of Lagos is fantastic. It has the perfect mix of beautiful beaches, affordable restaurants and the best shops in the whole of the Algarve. The restaurants range from Italian, Chinese to seafood and English ( only fools and horse pub and restaurant).
I would defiantly recommend a visit to the church and museum opposite the police station, it is breath-taking. The boat trip to the grotto is fantastic and the cinema is is a good night out if you take your own sweets and see an English or American film.
I would also recommend a trip to the water-parks and Zoo Marina- the dolphin show is incredible!
The area of Lagos is perfect for almost anyone. Although it is fairly quiet at night with not many karaoke bars or nightclubs. There is however much more to do in the day including boat trips, water-sports, gorgeous beaches and really good shops. "
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of August 2007