SENSIMAR Falesia Atlantic
17 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Excellent standard expected from Riu Palace Hotel
"We spent a week at the Riu Palace Algarve in July, we chose it because of previous experiences at Riu Hotels, and it did not disappoint.. Because my husband is disabled, we found the journey quite gruelling, but between the helpful taxi driver, and the welcoming Reception staff, we soon relaxed. Our check-in was very smooth, and our excellent well-appointed room was ready for us earlier than we expected. We had a full sea view room on the second floor, in an excellent position. The choice of buffet breakfast and dinner was extensive, and of good quality. Our maid kept our room spotlessly clean. We did have a problem one night with water coming through the ceiling due to the faulty air conditioning unit, but this was soon dealt with. The staff, without exception, were polite, friendly and very helpful. The only downside was the location, because my husband is disabled, he is unable to walk far, so we were pretty much confined to the hotel, as there were no shops or bars nearby. This wasn't really a hardship for one week though. With the weather being perfect, we didn't see a single cloud all week, we had a very enjoyable holiday, and would recommend it to holidaymakers who want a fairly quiet, relaxing holiday in a good quality hotel. Don't go there if you want an exciting night life though!"
- Travel date: Mon 6th of August 2007
"Just returned from 2 amazing weeks at the Riu Palace Algarve. This is a 4-star hotel in name, but feels like a 5-star complex.
The rooms are spacious, clean and newly decorated with mahogany furniture. The outdoor pool and surrounding area are kept wonderfully clean and tidy - there is a large lawn area running the length of the grounds if you don't wish to lay by the pool, and there are more than enough sun loungers to go around, even if you fancy a late breakfast.
The indoor pool and spa area is immaculate - of a standard above what you would normally expect in hotels, and more like a UK health spa. Gym, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi are all free of charge.
The food is excellent, throughout today - the usual hot and cold fare at breakfast, (just) enough choice at lunch (you can't get burgers or pancakes which was perhaps a disappointment - the lunch menu could perhaps do with widening, although we found you could get 'simpler' food next door at Riu Falesia), and dinner was superb. A la carte menu at no extra charge, although the buffet meats, all freshly cooked in front of you, were all very tasty, and a wide selection of vegetables, potatoes, rice etc, and even a pasta/pizza corner for the kids.
I can't praise this hotel enough - it really is immaculate throughout, the room cleaning service is efficient (generally before 10am if you are out of your room), and all of the staff are super-friendly.
Will definitely go back to Riu Palace in the future."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of August 2007
"all round excellent hotel could not fault any aspect . the rooms are of a good standard and size and were kept spotless
the pool area is also excellent and always plenty of sun loungers although some selfish people still insist on reserving them at the crack of dawn
the buffet restaurant is excellent with great choices of chicken fish carved meat and best of all the local fish best of all the alacarte restaurant which we used twice during our stay it was superb
the down side if there is one is the hotel,s location and the building of another riu hotel across the road from the front of the hotel although there was no noise from the building work
i had an excellent holiday at this hotel and will be back again soon
suzy smith paisley scotland"
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of August 2007
Attentive Service, Great Facilities
"Just back from honeymooning at this hotel. Attentive service, friendly staff, great facilities: indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room. Changing facilities for late checkout. Food great, room service free for breakfast! Can choose a la carte option for dinner at no extra cost. Great sea views looking over red cliffs. Would definately recommend and would definately visit again!"
- Travel date: Mon 30th of July 2007
Usual good Rui Hotel.....but not the best we've stayed at
"We had a weeks stay at the beginning of June together with my daughter, son-in-law and family - 6 of us in total. We booked direct with the hotel over the phone (easy to do - will never use a travel agent again!) and Easyjet for the flights (online - easy ,but will never fly with them again until they train/organise their ground staff better).
Last year we had a week at a Rui Palace in Gran Canaria which was really good but sadly this Rui did not quite add up to the same quality/standard. Don't get me wrong, it was clean, the rooms were large and as described, the views from the balcony spectaular, the staff friendly and very helpful and it was overall at good 4* hotel. The food was plentiful but not as good as last year.
Would we stay there again? Probably not, if only because there are so many other places to visit in this world or perhaps in our old age we are becoming too 'picky'.
So, all in all, a reasonable family hotel - but possibly not the best 4* you will find."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
Best Holiday Ever
"Just returned from the Riu palace which proved to be our best ever holiday experience. The hotel itself is fabulous, the rooms simply great and the staff simply couldn't do enough for you. The food was first class, the bar service excellent and the cleaning staff exceptional. We simply couldn't find fault with this hotel and will definately be returning.
One thing that travellers should note. If you intend to take travellers cheques, take STERLING cheques and not Euro cheques. The hotel, like many in Portugal is restricted by Government legislation in accepting Euro cheques. The hotel will charge over 8% commision for such cheques and will only allow a maximum transaction of 150 Euro. They are extremely apologetic and find the situation embarassing. There is a local exchange some ten minutes from the hotel which will exchange at a 3% commision rate, which seems to be the going rate at exchanges throughout the Algarve. However, the hotel will gladly accept Sterling cheques at a 2% commision rate."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of July 2007
CAr hire good idea
"Just had a lovely week in this hotel.Booked direct with hotel cheaper than brochures.used airmiles for hotel at Gatwick ,Avis car rental and Insurance.Could fault nothing in hotel very friendly and humerous staff,felt safe,pool very clean, food plentiful nicely displayed loved show cooking and they did requests ie I dont eat cheese the Italian bar chef cooked me garlic bread with none and used wholemeal bread when asked.Also smoothie bar made up requests.Entertainment every night varied.Not a good choice of hotel if you are not prepared to use car hire, taxi ,bus or rep trips to get out and about-unless laying round the pool all day is what you enjoy.Would recommend Vilamoura and Lagos as nice places to visit but best of all for us wasThe World of Sand at Pera Fiesa2007 ,Its a huge inland exibition 40 famous sculptors 30,000 tons of sand open day and night until Oct ,,7 euros."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of July 2007
as good as we expected
"Having studied previous reviews of this hotel we were expecting something good & weren't dissappointed.Would give this hotel 5* grading.
Excellent staff, reception, waiting & domestic, All very friendly & helpful, nothing too much trouble.Hotel is very clean.
Rooms are a good size, nice chairs on the balcony which although they are plastic, have cushions on them & they recline.
Beds are a little on the hard side, but are huge. Pillows are a little strange, one long narrow one & a big square one!
Dining... plenty of choice, breakfast & dinner, in fact at times an overwhelming choice. Beware though, we had wine most nights, & asked for a copy of our bill the day before we were leaving to see how much it was, only to find on three nights we had been charged for red wine instead of the same make but white, which was an extra 3 euros a bottle, therefore would advise to ask for print out of your bill to check before you go to pay.
Pool area.. we thought we would be able to see the sea from the pool, but it is obscured by the cliff top. There seemed to be just enough loungers around the pool when we were there, but if the hotel was full & everyone wanted one I don't think there would be enough. There were some selfish people who resereved loungers, & took more than one mattress even though there are notices asking you not to do this, & couples who would take the middle two loungers out of a block of four.
One niggle is that there is nowhere you can get a simple snack like a sandwich if you are around the pool, only food available from snack bar, ( which is used as grill restaurant in the evening), which we felt was a little too formal, as it was sit down waiter service, & food provided was more than you would want. We used the indoor pool, sauna, steam room & jacuzzi everyday, yes there are naked Germans in the sauna male & female, however they are not flaunting themselves & cannot be seen from the pool area as there is a door, & there is a notice up saying swimwear not to be worn, only towels.
Location.. about a 10 minute walk to shops, restaurants, bus stops, past the new Riu hotel which is being built.
We used buses to go to Viilamoura & Albufeira, although if you want to go to the old town in Albufeira you have to walk from bus terminal, (not too bad as downhill, but quite a trek), otherwise get the Giro bus on red route (are green, red or blue) from bus termnal, which costs a euro, which takes you down to the edge of the old town. We did get a taxi on a Sunday when buses are fewer, hotel booked it & it cost 10 euro (see previous reviews). Also worth visit is Loule market on Saturday, both market in the town & gypsy market, nice shops in Loule too.
On the whole great hotel, only thing letting it down is location, & for that reason wouldn't go there again as have seen & done all we wanted to."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of June 2007
Jewel in the crown
"Having stayed at other Riu Hotels we were anticipating high standards and we were pleased to find that with a few minor exceptions we were once again more than content with our choice
On arrival we were greeted at reception by a very helpful , attentive and pleasant young lady. On booking we had asked for a room on a high floor that was non-smoking and they duly obliged with a very spacious and well furnished room with a sea view.
For dinner there are two sittings , 6.30 or 8.30 and after your first nights stay you will be required to keep to your appointed choice. We opted for the first sitting , however on one occasion we were late back from a trip to Seville and the same young lady at reception kindly arranged a table for us.
As with all the other Riu hotels the food was of a superb standard , possibly even better than previous Spanish Riu's , with champagne for breakfast and smoked salmon and caviar on the dinner menu !
Riu seem to have invested heavily in Olhos d' Agua and they are near to completion of a large Club Hotel which is sandwiched in the area between the Palace Algarve and the Riu Falesia , making 3 major hotels all within kicking distance of one another
Other than the visual aspect from the 3rd floor there was no building noise or major inconvenience ,with the exception of it being fairly dusty on windy days.
The village of Olhos d'Agua is fairly small but growing, it has the usual assortment of restaurants and bars both near the beach and on the higher level up the hill past the pharmacy,we found the Portuguese bar the "Oasis"to be very friendly and their prices for drinks were unbelievably low.
The beaches along the coastal strip behind the Palace Hotel are
breathtakingly beautiful with white sands and stunning contrasting rock formations. One word of caution , there is a path along the cliff tops behind the Hotel , which has a very steep drop with little or no protection on the paths , they are fairly narrow and in two places terminate without having any warning signs in place -definitely not a place for children.
Previous contributors have mentioned a problem with charges for taxis. Our own experience was the cost of a metered taxi from the airport to the Hotel was 42 Euros. A taxi to Albuferia was 6 to 7 euros. On our return we had a private unmetered car arranged by the hotel to the airport at a cost of 44 Euros ,exactly the amount we were advised by the hotel reception. The driver was very punctual well mannered and a considerate and capable driver.
Finally ,the staff at this hotel from the cleaners to the management are very pleasant and helpful and in the main we found the majority of Portuguese people to be the same , which all in all contributed to a very memorable holiday."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of June 2007
Friendly, peaceful and total chill
"Just returned from a week at this hotel. It was great! I ate in the buffet restaurant each night and am VERY fussy eater.. but didnt struggle at all. Every night you will have a selection of meats, fresh fish, pasta, pizza, salads, fresh fruits, vegetables, carvery, veggie dishes and puddings... MMMmm you just cant have one! For breakfast again the list is endless champagne everyday and smoothies made fresh...and probably everything you can think possible to have to start your day is there.
The cleanliness of this hotel is faultless and the staff are some of the most well mannered and friendliest Ive met in Europe. The hotel is situated high and the beach is a steep walk-but achievable. The town of Olhos D' Aqua is very small with a few tavernas, tourist shops & bars. The outdoor pool I found cold (but my husband says Im a wimp) the indoor pool was warmer and I had it all to myself. The bar staff are generous with the measures of spirits and are so friendly-as are all the restaurant staff.
There doesnt appear to be too much for children and the evening entertainment is tame... but people watching and the friends you make are much better!
This is NOT a lively resort and if you want clubbing go elsewhere. We were tipped off about the cabs at the hotel (however not by the rep who was aware of the scam) and agree for the short walk our cab was 4.50 both ways - so take note - oh and we had a Merc which is what the excuse is for the 10euro price.
We also experienced another European country using the sauna naked - if offended maybe you should stay away.. or maybe just smile to yourself and take no notice.
This is a place to chill, relax and meet some great people-which we did and it made our holiday just perfect. Dave, Ellie, Jill and Pat - hi & thank you! x"
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
"My favourite hotel ever its so well run and so well located.
I can fault nothing.
Its in a quiet cul de sac that looks over the beach. And the Falasia beach is spectacular long and wide . Its vast and it is possible to walk all the way to Vilamoura on it.
We dont go high season as its too hot and too busy.
We like may and september , the weather is still hot to tan and enjoy the heat but not too hot that you cant move round in it.
We go bed an breakfast they arrange a good spread.
We eat out at night as the restaurants are good and varied .we like the Italian Fratellis best of all and also Nelsons for a variety of dishes and a nice atmosphere.also has wifi.
I would recomend yellowfishtransfers com to get you there.
They have lovely vehicles fitted with free WIFI.i,m not sure of the brand but they are new ones.
The drivers speak good english and give good info . They seem interested in you as a client don,t just drive..its a nice drive with them and good enough value .
- Travel date: Tue 30th of October 2012
paradise in the algarve !!
"just spent an absolutely fantastic 11 nights in this hotel and couldn't have asked for more ! it was so clean, the staff were very friendly and helpful, the food was amazing and you weregreeted every evening with a great flourish by all the staff on your way into the restaurant for the evening meal!! the bars and restaurants were a fair walk into the town but it was a good way to walk off all the delicious food we had eaten! the reason there is no short cut from the hotel to the main town is that the local council wouldn't allow it and that came from a local resident. my partner and i will definitely be going back in the very near future. if you want the frantic nightlife you can go into albufeira costs about 7.50 euros by cab mid evening and about 9 euros late evening."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of July 2012