18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Wonderful hotel - highly recommended
"Just returned from this hotel for the second time in as many weeks. You will read over and over again about the helpful and friendly staff and that is truly the case. Everything is done with a smile with them going out of their way to promote the area and its activities. How we miss those breakfasts and evening meals at the table overlooking Ferragudo! This was such a lovely village to visit. We have stayed at Tivoli Marina in Vilamoura before but this hotel is much more personal and friendly. We loved our morning coffees at 'Gelataria da Rocha' where we could sit for as long as we wanted watching the world go by. They also do best cappuccinos with fresh cream! Can't wait to return asap. Recommend Yellow Fish Transfers - best and most reliable transfers."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of June 2013
Had a very good time here, although our...
"Had a very good time here, although our apartment was situated quite a distance from the main building we had our own pool within the block and the hotel provided a sort of golf buggy to get us to and fro (although the walk wasnt that long and quite nice to walk past all the boats) To get to the main town centre you have to walk either along the street and up steep stairs at the fort or along the beach and again up steep stairs, or along a quite quiet back street not advisable at night but much quicker and less hassel during the day, or early evening. The views were great our apartment was clean and the staff very firendly and helpful. It was quite far away from big super markets but we managed fine.
so overall very enjoyable."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of June 2008
We were unsure before we went as this wa...
"We were unsure before we went as this was a quick budget holiday for us with 3 children for their first ever trip abroad. Some sites said the hotel was more club than family having been taken over by Nikki beach. However I cannot think of anything negative to say.
The rooms were spotless (despite other reviews - maybe the hotel reads these too?) and cleaned every morning thoroughly. The breakfasts were great, the staff were pleasant and helpful and the situation was a dream - in the middle of Portimao Marina.
The main (touristy) strip is up a whole lot of steps and full of Irish bars and English breakfasts - yuck! But there was no need to ever go up there, except to the cafe at the top in the Fort (great milkshakes), as there are excellent restaurants right by the hotel, near the beach, and I would recommend the Dolphin Restaurant and the Italian ice cream/pizza place. You can also get a boat across to the fish restaurant in Feragudo (pricey but very nice).
The hotel has 3 pools but only 2 are in the main complex. Sal****er and chilly but very refreshing. The family rooms are suites with 2 double/twin rooms and a sofa bed in the lounge. There is a kitchenette, bathroom with incredible shower, front balcony overlooking the marina and roof terrace. They are between the main hotel complex and the beach and well away from the hotel bar.
Would we go back? Definitely.
Would we recommend it? No - let's keep it secret, otherwise everybody will be going!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of April 2008
Having read the previous reviews I was a...
"Having read the previous reviews I was a bit wary of booking this hotel. Having looked at the hotel on my visit the previous year I thought it looked good and location fantastic.
I booked directly with the hotel and found the staff helpful. The process was smooth and the information given was accurate. I also booked my airport transfer with them directly.
My visit to the same resort last year entailed a two hour bus journey with a driver who spoke no English. as I result I nearly got left at the wrong hotel and the journey back was as enjoyable picking up the people dropped off on the way there. The taxi clocked 80 Euros but the charge booked through the hotel was 50 Euros. So for the round trip 100 Euros which I would rather pay than site on a bus playing happy holiday maker with no air con for two hours.
We arrived at 11am and had to wait till 2pm to get in our room. No great hardship as we had a bite to eat and some drinks on the strip. But this will be when you get in your room regardless of when you arrive. We asked for a marina view and we got it at the north end of complex. A buggy took us and our luggage to it. Distance from the reception to the north end is circa 400 yards. The buggies run on regular basis but being electric ran out of juice most night about 9pm.
I like a walk to burn off some of the calories you take in on holiday. If you donât like walking or are not fit to you may want to think about staying here. It was no problem for us both.
Rooms were large, clean, good air con, sat TV, balcony and had a great view. These were kept tidy every day and the mini bar stocked up as and when. Breakfast was between 8-11 and busy as you would expect at about 10 am where sometimes cutlery was sparse.
Breakfast selection was excellent with pretty much all you could want. Sitting on the decking next to river each morning was a pleasure. We never ate in the hotel in the evening as the food on the beach and the strip is very good.
They have a cool private beach bar at the bottom of the strip which would be brilliant and I would imagine busy in the summer. In September it was quite but itâs where I would be in July watching the sun go down. The pool is flanked by rooms which would be the alternative to a marina view.
The bar at the top of the pool serves a decent cocktail at a reasonable price. Most staff are friendly except one security guard/buggy driver who had an attitude. Maybe he didnât like me? Overall itâs a nice environment. We were there for a week and would stay there if we visited for two weeks which is about as good a review as I will give. Think about it if you donât like walking if not enjoy yourself.
They only thing I would say is I donât like queue jumpers and some of the reception staff were influenced by Portuguese visitors who thought there need was greater than my own. A quick word from a Scotsman with a shaved head seemed to do the trick!"
- Travel date: Fri 28th of September 2007
The location of the hotel and its apartm...
"The location of the hotel and its apartments around the marina and Arade River is pretty hard to beat but, that's about all this hotel has going for it!
We arrived by train at Portimao to find no taxis at the rank and after waiting (with lots of locals) for some time it was evident that we were all going nowhere!
We telephoned the hotel and asked them if they could arrange a taxi to collect us - sure they said - no problem - 5 minutes they said. Thatâs what you expect from a 4* hotel but, it didn't happen. After an hour and a half we hitched a lift in one of the locals' taxi.
Our faith in humanity restored we arrived at the hotel only to be told we couldn't check in because we were 10 minutes too early and our room wasn't ready!
We had to ask for the porter and his buggy to take our luggage. We were clearly expected to walk the 300/400 metres to our apartment with all our luggage.
The room still wasn't ready - not by my standards anyway - and my name is not Kim or Aggie. The cheap plastic patio furniture was covered in dust and cobwebs and a used Elastoplasts adorned the patio floor - lovely!! Fluff and hairballs were gathered in every corner of the apartment kitchen/diner.
The reception staff were rude, unhelpful, and disinterested. What all the staff did seem to have in common was a Masters degree in not knowing their a***s from their elbows!!
Not wishing to spend another cent in the hotel we spent a memorable evening exploring the bars and eateries around the marina and Praia de Rocha - none of them have even half a star but they were all without exception, a bit more clued up on what customer service is all about.
Breakfast the next morning just confirmed our first impressions - more bun fight than buffet. The only tables available were still occupied by the previous incumbents' cutlery, crockery and other detritus. Still, the tables are quite large so we just picked one and pushed all the stuff to one side. It was all still there when we left.
I can honestly say that I have never seen so many hotel guests all searching for the same breakfast essentials, cutlery, plates, cups, knapkins. Some staff might have been useful to point us all in the right direction, but then again perhaps that was just a blessing in disguise!!
Checking out was as uncomfortable as checking in, with the only positive thing being that we stayed only one night and we were leaving - hurah!
I wouldn't give this hotel one grain of Portugal's finest sand, never mind four stars."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of June 2007
We booked a cheap end of season holiday...
"We booked a cheap end of season holiday flying from Kent International (Manston) and chose this hotel from the Kent Escapes brochure.
The service and facilities at Manston are a revelation, are unhurried, courteous and completely unlike the more popular airports. Travel via Manston if you can!
The Tour Operators collection and return to airport were satisfactory.
The hotel was a disappointment. We were allocated a very comfortable and large room in a block over 300 metres walk from our room to main reception or dining room. A very long return walk if one forgets one's teeth!.
There was, theoretically, an on demand electric buggy to take you. In practice this just did not happen. Complaining to reception about our distant accommodation, we were told that the hotel was full for the next four nights and they might then be able to find us a room nearer reception and restaurant.
The Tour Company rep was not able to help. Breakfast was good and the a la carte dinner very slow but excellent and not expensive.
Another disadvantage was that there was virtually no lounge or bar area for a pre or after dinner drink. The staff in reception were barely polite and failed to pass on receipt of an urgent telephone call from England.
We felt that the hotel was not sure if they were a holiday hotel, a conference hotel or even a sort of condominium. The brochure warned of none of these shortcomings.
If thinking of staying at the Tivoli be very careful!"
- Travel date: Wed 20th of December 2006
Loved this hotel, setting etc
"Spent a week in the Tivoli Arade in June 2006.
This was our second visit to this hotel and it was as enjoyable as the first time. We came home and booked again for next June.
Getting up each morning to the views of the fabulous boats and beaches over the water gets your day off to a great start.
The short walk to the beach makes it an ideal location for a lovely beach holiday. The hotel is in such a peaceful setting and the town within such easy access.
You can be in the bustling night life and remove yourself to the quiet and calm of your hotel in minutes.
Looking forward to returning to this lovely destination."
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of September 2006
"We Have Just Returned Last Night From This Hotel And Can Honestly Say Location Idyllic ,Comfort And Space Is Execellent ,As Long As You Are Fit To Walk A Distance To Your Room From Hotel If Allocated The Block Furtherest Away From Hotel Main Building .Easy Access By Taxi To Smaller Resorts By Taxi. We Met Up With 3 Couples All Of Which By End Of Holiday Agreed Enjoyed Hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of September 2006
"This is not a 4* hotel. We spent 10 days here and would not return.
Our Junior 'Suite' was 1 large twin room with a fold-down bed and tiny cooking facilities, basically a hob and sink with very limited crockery and no utensils.
The 'sitting area' was a table and two chairs crammed in.
I cannot believe this hotel is apparently 3 years old, there is obviously a damp problem with mould on the walls and curtains.
The air-conditioning was all-but useless and very noisy, not conducive to restful nights.
The staff were unhelpful and were obviously fed-up with complaints, making little effort to help in enquiries. We asked to see alternative accomodation and gave up waiting as we felt we had wasted enough of our first day. We were quickly given the impression that it would be a great inconvenience to query anything.
There is virtually no information in the rooms, we had to ask other guests about breakfast times etc.
We booked this on the understanding there were childrens' activities and facilities. There are NONE.
The 'well equipped gym' is 600 yds away from the main hotel in an annex and is certainly not well equipped.
The pool is fine but surrounding tiling was dangerous, people slipped over on a regular basis, no supervision at all.
Some of the staff are friendlier, but only what one should expect, the maids do a decent job. Breakfast was average.
Overall the impresssion is of uninterested, poorly paid staff in a resort which has been badly built and is neglected. It is akin to a group of apartments with no central communal area and very few facilities.
The surrounding area is beautiful, restaurants are good value and Lagos (15 mins away) is lively and pretty good value. The praia de rocha beach is very nice and golf courses like Penina and Palmares are excellent, just don't stay at this hotel."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of August 2006
Ants in the bed, the bathroom, the kitchen and useless staff!!
"As with previous reviews,when you first walk into your room there is that "wow" moment, however this didn't last long when we noticed ants crawling around. Within a hour we had phoned reception to report the problem, phoned again the following day by which time we had ants in the bed, on the kitchen top, in the bath, everywhere. Getting no response we made the hike to reception (we had an room a golf buggy ride away) only to be told it's hot, it's near grass what do you expect?
Again we were told someone would be and yet again nothing. Getting nowhere we asked for a new room to be told none were available but at least a lady did come round with a spray.....lots of dead ants on the floor but the ones who could climb were still having a ball.
Finally we were told you can have a new room but not until after 2.00 pm the next day. We explained that we would be out all day with the 4 year old at a water park and would it be ok to move when we got back at between 5.00 - 6.00 pm - YES.
We got back at the time we said to be told as we weren't about at 2.00 pm they had given the new room to someone else. We asked for another room, none available, we asked to speak to the Manager, not available, we explained ants in beds were not acceptable to be told the hotel doesn't have ants!!
Time to get annoyed and yes they did have a room, the manager was available and perhaps they may have been ants in our first room. I don't like being lied to and the staff at this hotel did.
A few other points but worth bearing in mind we did stay during August:
Towels by the pool by 9.00 and guests then arriving back around 11.30.
Breakfast served until 11.00 so hence the towel situation
Could be a scrum to find a table at breakfast as it was a free for all.
Food usual, cold drinks warm and hot food not so hot. We thought choice was poor when compared to a Vila Gale hotel.
We didn't find the rooms well cleaned at all, sand from the beach was not swept up.
There are a number of cracks in the structure of the buildings and bits of concrete have fallen of. I know these buildings were only built 3/4 years ago but major repairs will be need in the not to distant future
Finally.......after all the problems with the ants and speaking to the Manager, they still tried to bill us for items that we had never had. When they finally accepted that the items were not ours no attempt at an apolgy was made.
I would never go back to this hotel ever again even if it has not fallen down which it could do."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of August 2006
10 out of 10
"My husband and I have just returned from the tivoli arade.We stayed for 6 nights.We had a fabulous time.Hotel was great .We had booked a double room not realising it was actually a double junior suite so we were pleasantly surprised (loved the dressing gowns and slippers).We had a great view of the marina from our lovely terrace which was decked with lounger and patio table and chairs.
The breakfast was really good - buffet style offerring hot or cold options. We ate out every night , a couple times at the 'Dockside' at the marina , the rest of the time in Praira de Roche.Would recommend 'Titanic' resturant , the service was top and the lobster was FABulous .It was done up like the titanic ship , great ambiance.All in all a brilliant hotel for location , cleanliness and not a typical BRITS hotel abroad.Only small downside was it would have been nice to have a bar in the hotel for drinks at night to talk to other holiday makers before or after dinner."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of July 2006
ahotel that is a little different
"We stayed at the hotel in early June. We chose this hotel as it was on the waterfront and was, as a result relatively flat which suited my mother who has some walking difficulties. Check in was at the same time as the first Portugal World Cup match had just kicked off. Despite this distraction for the reception staff they were very pleasant and helpful.
Our room was in an annex that was on the other side of the marina. A buggy was available to take cases to and from the reception area and also at other times if required. If you have a car need to drive about half a mile to get to the rooms.
There are two floors of rooms in this part of the hotel and we had two rooms on the ground floor. Each room had a patio with a table and two chairs which overlooked the marina. The room itself was quite large compared to normal hotel rooms. In addition to the bathroom there was a small kitchen area equipped with a fridge, small stove along with cutlery etc. There was also two chairs and a table, draw space and satellite TV.
Also in this block was a fitness room equipped with treadmill, rowing machines , bikes and weights. A smaller outside pool was also located nearby. We later found that pool towels could b obtained in the shop here rather than in reception. There was some confusion with room numbers when getting pool towels so make sure they note it correctly or someone else could get charge for the towels!
The restaurant was located in the main hotel building and provided a reasonable choice for breakfast and evening meals were also satisfactory. There are a few other restaurants on the other side of the marina. Other restaurants are in the town which is a shortish walk away.
The staff were always courteous and helpful.
The only disappointment we had was the weather â started the week off OK but then changed to heavy rain."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of July 2006