28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
great place. not far from torist area.
"Stayed in 2015 in April. all inc for Â£600 great value. long thin spread out hotel 2 story. not much hot water. nice staff. the chef is a laugh. going back in 2016. "
- Travel date: Wed 13th of January 2016
worst holiday ever!
"Just returned from Pinhal Do Sol- and glad to be back. I will start with the good points about this place. Its very clean,you can get free bus tranfers to and from the beach and marina regularly. Its a budget break,you get what you pay for, the food is ok-not much choice.
I really felt sorry for the kids as there really isnt anything for them there.No entertainment except karaoke. Me and my sister booked a long weekend (fri-mon) after having a terrible 2 months (i miscarried). She thought i could do with a quiet break. On arrival at 10am we were told our rooms would not be ready until 2pm, we didnt really mind waiting as we were just happy to be there.
We went to the bar and smiled at the waitress (jessica) she turned and said ''do not smile at me, i hate smiling'' we laughed at first as we thought that must be her trying to be funny. she then said she didnt like me as i had the same hair colour as her??(odd) and then we asked for some sangria-she added ''i hate you both more now''? we again laughed-with shock??!! i replied-this is a good start-she smirked and said ''hhmmm your new yeah..great! but please do not smile at me''. I was so angry i allowed her to make me feel so rubbish.
We went to the pool and at lunchtime she walked passed us in the restaurant and said ''you are still here'' we laughed again-its was such an awkward situation you didnt know what to do? i went to get my lunch and she said to my sister ''i think she has eaten enough''
(im a size 14 and very concious of my weight after everything)
-my sister looked horrifed and we immediately went and complained- i was very upset. The receptionist straight away said ''oh this is jessica'' as though she knew instantly who we were talking about. She said she would speak to her. We spent the next day/night out of the hotel as i was so upset and we didnt really make use of the all inclusive we paid for.
We decided to return to the bar and restaurant as this was our holiday and no one was going to make us feel bad. When we returned to the bar she said ''oh you'', we ordered our sangria and she added ''i wont make it nice''?? we left and sat with some friends we met there, she came over and said ''i hope i dont see you later because i hate people who make complaints''- i was so embarrassed. Later a waitress came and asked if we wanted drinks then jessica said something in another language and the waitress said ''im sorry she will hate me if i serve you-because you complained about her'' she walked off. I was in total shock- never in my life have i ever experienced anything like this..This experience made my whole weekend awful- i was always feeling awkward-my sister would order drinks and we would always be insulted. This was supposed to be a weekend to make me feel better and i was just so down, i couldnt wait to get home.
We spent most of our time outside of the hotel, she overheard us telling some friends we were leaving the following day and she walked past and said ''good''- Our friend said just complain again but we were so fed up and didnt want to give her the reason the treat us any worse.
I spoke to other people who had very different experinces and said she was lovely to them, i also spoke to some who had similar experiences to us. Im sure there were more good points about this place but we didnt get to experience them as Jessica made it well and truely horrible for us to want to stay. I dont know how she gets away with, i run a health spa and if any of my staff dared to speak to my clients in that way they would be out the door in a flash.
Our bath leaked, you will not find a fridge in your room (as all inclusive i expected at least somewhere to put cold water) we stayed in the converted villa at the end of the resort (we hadnt asked for this?) and walking back down a pitch black pathway for 5-10 min at night is very uncomfortable.
We paid for all inclusive and never really made the most of it, i now feel like i could do with a break after that stressful weekend. Im still in shock but to be honest i doubt if anything will change there as she walks around doing this sort of thing all day. I have never complained about anything in my life-
I just wish we would of the had the same experience that others had on here, jessica is a bully, rude and because of her i will never return to pinhal do sol nor will i recommend this hotel.
Thankyou you Fatima (receptionist) for trying to resolve the issue even though it made things worse. thankyou to the maids for always helping where they can. Mario for his smiles.
- Travel date: Wed 26th of October 2011
"Just before we left to go on holiday, I made the mistake of reading some of the more negative reviews and wondered what we were letting ourselves in for.
But I would say to anyone who is going to the hotel to not listen to all the moaners.
The hotel, pools and the restaurant were all clean and the accommodation was pleasant.
As it is only a three-star hotel, it wasnt the most amazing room we've ever stayed in, but it was clean, comfortable and great value.
I know some people here have complained about the staff, but they could not have been nicer to us.
We witnessed some guests being unnecessarily rude to the staff, so perhaps that may explain some of incidents.
The receptionist, Vera, spoke excellent English and was particularly helpful.
The only reason I am not giving the Pinhal Do Sol top marks is because the hotel is a bit out of the way. Although there is a limited shuttlebus service from the hotel, I would advise you hire a car so you can get out and see Quarteria, Vilamoura, Lagos, Albuferia and all the other beautiful places this region has to offer."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of August 2011
"myself and my husband are just back from portugal and we stayed at the Pinhal do sol hotel I have to say it was really lovely and peaceful very relaxing the hotel staff were all very nice also helpful The hotel gave us a room upgrade at no extra cost to ourselves as our holiday company we booked through requested this fir us as it was a badly needed break. The only downside to our holiday was in general the portugese people I found were extremely rude i wasnt impressed If your looking for a break from the rat race this is the hotel to stay at."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of September 2010
All Inclusive Joke
"11 members of my family went on this holiday recently my sister and her daughter and my neice her husband and 2 children were all inclusive, my other sister and her husband and myself wre half board and my nephew and his girlfriend were bed and breakfast when the all inclusive members went to get drinks sometimes they would get 2 to save them a trip to the bar we realised we were being spied on we went to reception to complain about this and were told 1 drink at a time all inclusive doesnt mean all inclusive it only includes breakfast lunch dinner and drinks till 10 and some drinks must be paid for.the staff are generally rude and find most things an effort one particular evening my neices little girl broke a glass and we asked for a dustpan and brush one of the staff came with a mop and bucket and was really rude NOT ALL STAFF a few are very nice and helpfull.the hotel itself i cant fault.if you go half board or b and b i think you get a better deal"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of August 2010
"Just returned from a 4 night break and i must admit i read the reviews before hand and wasn't looking forward to going. How wrong i was to worry. The hotel was clean, staff were friendly and the food was better in the day admittedly than the evening but the meals were basic but ok.
The pool area was clean and peaceful. The drinks were slightly weak but we learnt to ask for large ones and they were much improved.
Our room was very clean and in a quiet spot near the second pool. The only fault i could find was there was no drink facility at the 2nd pool so you had to either keep trekking to the main bar or find a bed near the main pool which was a shame as the 2nd pool had a much larger area to sunbathe.
I will definately go again and would recommend to friends."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of May 2009
A Great Get Away
"Can't fault it... great place to relax and wind down. Clean rooms, great Portuguese food, 2 nice pools(if a bit cold :o) ), friendly staff, free bus shuttles - the holiday is what you make it! We definitely will be back!
Anyone who has had a problem with this Hotel needs to really consider the package they are paying for - it is exceptional value for money."
- Travel date: Sun 24th of May 2009
Peace and Tranquility
"We have just returned from a 3 night stay at this hotel and i cannot fault it.. Rooms were very clean, shower brilliant, Food excellent varied choice, staff all friendly. This Hotel is set in a nice peaceful area, great for relaxing and offers a bus into Vilamoura and Quanteria if you do want to venture out. I would recommend this hotel to mostly mature couples, with young children that are looking for a get away from it all relaxing stay... "
- Travel date: Fri 15th of May 2009
Who are all these moaners ?
"We are a couple aged 49/50 and have just returned from our second all inclusive holiday at the Pinhal Do Sol (17-24 Jan 09). I cannot understand why people are moaning ! Regarding the previous entry saying the staff were rude, I cannot disagree more. On both our stays there the staff could not do anymore for us. They were very polite, friendly and helpful at all times.
The hotel may be away from the centre of Quateira but the mini bus runs three time per day and if it is full the driver returns for a second journey. On one occasion when walking back from town the manager spotted us and stopped to pick us up even though he was on other business. This was on the first day there.
The food may be of limited choice but there is always a choice of meat or fish. For anyone who likes fish there is a geat variety, all beautifully cooked. We had Grouper, Salmon, Tuna, Perch and Swordfish. There was also Veal, Pork and Chicken. There was tasty, hot soup (spinach, chicken, chickpea, vegetable, bean, pumpkin) and as much salad and bread as you could eat. On one occsion we had fish and after we finished staff bought us the meat option to try too.
Again at breakfast there were the typical meat and cheeses you would find in any hotel, plus cereal, scrambled egg and on different days either sausage, bacon or mushrooms. The bacon and sausge are again of the type found in most hotels on the Med (because remember, thats were the hotel is). There was as much toast, bread and croissants as any person could eat.
We found the all inclusive option good value. Yes, the spirits were not branded but again is this any different from other places. I read an earlier review where staff were criticised for serving slowly. Again we found things different. Staff were always there to serve and if they were away from the bar there was a bell to ring. The bartender would be with you in seconds, something I often felt guilty about this knowing they were busy.
Snacks from the bar menu were offered at lunch time. There was a very good choice including five type of salad, burgers, bolognese, various omelettes, pizza, and toaties. You could even have mini steak, egg, chips and salad. If you were still hungry sandwiches and toasties were available to keep you going until dinner !
The bar area was clean and comfortable, as was the seating area around the pool. The weather was not suitable for pool use but it was a lovely location to sit and unwind, even on the rainy days.
The rooms were clean and comforable and had a very good heater meaning the room could be as hot or cold as you required. They were cleaned every day.
The location means that there is little to do in the evening and no where to have an evening stroll after dinner but this did not bother us as we were looking for a relaxing time and this is what we had. I would not recommend this hotel during the winter for anyone with young children due to there being little to occupy them. In the summer the pool and paddling pool would help.
For couples looking for a relaxing week, at a reasonable price, we would say ignore the critics, have an open mind and give it a try."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of January 2009
"Very rude staff, not very comfortable room, but enough clean, unwelcome restaurants, fakes drinks, small pool and garden.
Unlikely recommended in the future, but I think good for old people and disabled people.
- Travel date: Fri 16th of January 2009
Faulty Do Sol
"Where do all these people who have wrote a good review on this hotel come from are they the owners friends and relatives or are they just mad!!
This has got to be the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. We arrived at the Pinal do Sol about 9pm having driven from Faro airport, first impressions of the hotel were very good, the place looked nice and clean. Check in was fast and the night staff very friendly. He showed us to our room, there was no heating no hot water and no lights, he asked if we would be ok untill morning, I told him no so he showed us some rooms in a small villa quite a distance from reception and all other amenities. The rooms were nice and we had a car so the distance would not be a problem. We were all hungry but the resturant was closed so we went to bed looking forward to our breakfast the next morning .Big mistake! spicy chipalatas cold beans very strong cold coffee with powdered milk there was also toast and cereal.The sausages were repeated every other day ,on the alternate days it was small pieces of fatty streaky bacon and powdered egg . As it was winter the pool was to cold to use and there was nothing else to do, no games or daytime entertainment .This is where the hire car came in visiting all the little fishing villages towns markets and beaches that I loved when I used to live here in almancil. Most of our time was spent away from the hotel only going back to see if the food had improved. It hadn't, every thing came with cold chips or crisps it was quite honestly shameful for what was supposed to be a 3* resort. Some previous reviews mentioned that the English were moaning because the food was Portugese and not English as an ex pat I can assure you that all the time I was there, absoluteley no Portugese food was served. Christmas gala dinner was a farse, pressed turkey and chips, cold entrees and blancmange for pudding. Entertainment was none exsistant except a karaoke and a Portugese Elvis which was so bad it was actually quite funny, I have never laughed so much. Drinks were also a problem as the staff were repremanded for serving too quickly so you had a long wait at the bar. I am not in anyway running down Portugal as I love it like a second home, it just makes me angry when places like this give it a bad name."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of January 2009
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT BOOK THIS HOTEL!!!!!
"Good points first, the hotel was clean and rooms ok. (thats it)
The food was terrible, we booked this hotel for over xmas as the site advertised a Gala xmas dinner which was basically turkey and chips, plus entres of cold fishfingers left over from dinner that day and cold cheese parcels left over from dinner theday before, HORRID! The xmas menu also offered the choice of red, white or sparkling wine, when we asked for sparkling we were told it was no on offer. We had to kick up an enormous fuss and show the waiter the menu before he would finally agree. We were served the sparkling wine upopened and slammed onto the middle of our table by the moody little git!
On our last day we had fish paste and crisps, yes crisps being kept warm in the hotplate (please see pics).
The bar was tiny and usually only had one member of staff unless the manager made his usual visit, requesting staff slow down service as people we drinking to quickly! we were repeatedly told to WAIT! for a jug of sangria.
Xmas day was that upsetting I had to report it, when I spoke to the manager he couldn't care less and offered us a 2 euro bottle of wine to go away.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON at this hotel the same time as us could not get over how disgusting the food was and for many had ruined their holiday, like other reviews state you are out of the way and its 7 euro in a taxi for the nearest eatery. We spent over Â£400 on food for what was supposed to be a cheap break.
Do not take anyone you think much of to this hotel!! you will regret it!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2009