39 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Please don't waste your money!! My partn...

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Thu 19th of June 2008

"Please don't waste your money!! My partner & I have just come back from Vilamoura, staying at Parque Mourabel,how glad we are to be home! Both of us have spent much less and got so much more from a holiday. The accomodation is so so old fashioned, the bed so tiny, the bath was filthy, big cracks in the bathroom tiles, generally in need of a good spruce up. This I think they are beginning to do, as on arrival having been told we couldnt check in till 12pm,.....4pm, still waiting we were told we could have an alternative room, so we did, we heard it before we saw it, circular saws, drills, the dust and smoke alone, our room was between 2 apartments being refurbished, we took one look in the door, took a few photo's to take home & laugh about, & back to reception we went, to wait for our original room, it was honestly that bad! We got the impression many of the apartments are privatly owned, as the one we stayed in was up for sale, they had obviously tried to have a go at tidying things up, painting the floor terracotta... we know this as we still have orange feet & socks.

Overall, we were sorely dissapointed with the accomodation, my recommendation, stay away, I think perhaps somewhere a little closer to the marina would suit a lot of people but I don't think we will be returning there again!
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 19th of June 2008

We stayed in the Oasis Village part of t...

3
Average
by
Reviewed Wed 11th of June 2008

"We stayed in the Oasis Village part of the complex. The resort was very nice. apartments OK, Nice pool, good restaurant, local shops, restaurants, 4 euro taxi ride to the marina. The only down side which put a bit of a dampener on the holiday was having a mobile phone and digital camera stolen from our apartment. Both items were well hidden and to find them someone would have had to rummage through all our belongings. We were on the 2nd floor and the only way into the room was through the front door via key. We reported it to the receptionist as soon as we discovered it and he called in the local police straight away.The police arrived within minutes and they confirmed no sign of forced entry. So, we assume it had to be someone with a key. We assumed that someone from their management team would have paid us a visit the following morning to check on our well being but we ended up going to see them to complain. We had the usual response that it could not be any of their workforce as they have been with them for many years,etc,etc. However a very helpful lady responsible for PR activities at the resort looked after us and took us to the local police station and acted as interpreter whilst we had the relevant paperwork filled in, our thanks to this young lady for explaining the proceedure and looking after us. So I would suggest to anybody holidaying in this resort, do not leave any valuables in the apartment unattended. There are safety deposit boxes behind the reception desk for money and passports etc but are not deep enough for items like cameras."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 11th of June 2008

I went to this location with similar cau...

3
Average
by
Reviewed Mon 14th of April 2008

"I went to this location with similar caution to a previous writer to this location seeing that it had mixed views. We arrived late so that was a bad start but no fault of the hotel of course. We were the most further apartment away from the reception in the Mourabel building. When we got there it smelt a little un lived in but as we arrived at 11.20pm we just wanted to get our heads down. The apartment was for 4 and there was only two of us. The double bed was however very small and the mattress did have a slope from one side to the middle. However I can say that the single beds were very comfortable. The balcony was also enormous. The kitchen had very new cupboards and the bathroom also looked very new. However the rest of the apartment was dated walls a little dirty in places and the curtian and windown could do with updating. Also all the other windown look like the orignals and quite old. I would say that it is struggling to be a 3 star location. However we did have complimentary milk fruit and wine in the room. The bar was being refurbished at the time of our visit. Drink price were ok but bar food prices were a little high. The restaurant was ok and prices also ok. However I would definately not recommed going here in the main part of summer as the bar area was quite small. The Oasis looked as if some of the had had a recent rending improvement and not yet painted and Pe Do Lago were on the other side of the road didn't look well occupied."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 14th of April 2008

My wife & I booked our first holiday abr...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Tue 18th of March 2008

"My wife & I booked our first holiday abroad for many years and were a little apprehensive about Parque Mourabel considering the very mixed reviews, but the two weeks cost seemed to be excellent value so we decided to take a chance.
I can only say that we had a marvellous time during our stay there. We thought the food was above average, with three choices for all three courses on the supper menu and cooked in tasty sauces. The breakfast was pretty routine, but the friendly staff would vary it if requested.
Indeed we found the staff helpful and chatty despite some language difficulties - all goes to make the holiday.
The accomodation, one bed apartment, was spacious, clean and tidy. The bathroom and kitchen looked as though they had recently been refurbished so we were perhaps lucky there.
The room service was excellent, in fact too many cleaning visits! I agree the mattresses were hard and the beds were narrow.
We took advantage of most of the tours, (payable), that were offered as there was not a great deal to do at the complex. The Marina, beach areas, and local town were in reasonable walking distance but minibuses are available for the less mobile.
We were blessed with some glorious weather during our stay, no rain and not a cloud for ten days! Lucky? I don't know but the locals seem to think the weather pattern in the Algarve has shifted to warmer climes in March so it might be worth swapping that 4 hour flight to Teneriffe for a shorter one to Portugal.
Bad points? Not many but not a holiday for children, but for people who want to chill out from the stress and strains from work and routine life at home.
Everything is expensive in the Algarve, food, clothes and gifts. Need to shop around in Vilamoura and at nearby local towns to find the best deals. The hotel bar was fairly reasonable but not cheap. The house wine was good and cheap by the bottle! Local bar in walking distance was very good value, and Hilda our host was excellent.
Why the 8 points rating? Place could do with some decorating inside and out, night entertainment in hotel could be improved, hotel tours and transfers pricey for local areas, internet access not private.
We are looking to book again next year so we are either easier to please or we hit a good fortnight.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 18th of March 2008

i booked this hotel because it said dis...

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Fri 7th of March 2008

" i booked this hotel because it said disabled accessable IT WAS NOT the resaurant was down 4 steps the lifts will not take wheelchair TOO SMALL the staff were helpfull but not suitable for disabled the beds were nearly on the floor on a concrete base the bathroom too small could not get a wheelchair in there i had to eat my meals in an annex on plastic tables next to a room everybody went in to smoke "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008

My fiancee and I arrived at the resort a...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Mon 3rd of March 2008

"My fiancee and I arrived at the resort at lunchtime. We were not expecting particularly high standards as we had read reviews made by previous holiday makers. However, although we could not check in until 4pm as our room wasn't ready, the member of staff on the counter was pleasant and helpful.
When we did get our room we were surprised at how big it was. We had only booked the holiday for two people, but the apartment could house six. We had everything we needed and clean towels were left everyday.
The apartment was a pleasant walk away from the marina, although a courtesy bus was available three times a day.
We only ate in the restauraunt once, the meal was tasty and not overpriced. All the staff we met on our holiday were polite, friendly and always very helpful. There was one family at the resort who had been staying there for 8 weeks, and she couldnt rate it enough. Same goes for us. The holiday did not cost us much, and you certainly get what you pay for, however, we got more than what we were expecting.
The only warning I would give is this. . . We stayed in Oasis Village. The apartment was huge, clean and had pleasant views. However, we were provided with a courtesy room on our final day in the Parque Mourabel side. What a difference! There was no balcony, the room smelt musty and I would not have felt comfortable using the cooker! I could not wait to get out of there! Luckily for us we were on the other side. So remember, if you are going to visit this resort, stay at Oasis Village!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 3rd of March 2008

Do not go there. Amazed at some of the f...

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Sun 27th of January 2008

"Do not go there. Amazed at some of the favourable reviews posted. Parque Mourabel apartment was musty, dirty and very out-dated. Clearly no attempt had ever been made to clean the bird droppings from the balcony. Unfriendly manager/caretaker and family sat out late every night for chat and laughter without any consideration for paying guests. Apartments are well off the beaten track although there are a few shops and bars nearby. All in all, a very poor experience."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 27th of January 2008

My wife and I visited in wintertime (UK)...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Thu 3rd of January 2008

"My wife and I visited in wintertime (UK) and what a nice break it was.

Not a cloud in the sky - 70 degrees.

As for the hotel, although a little off the beaten track in relation to Vilamoura harbour (about 30 min walk) although the brochure said 10, the hotel was clean and the staff helpful and friendly. The food was good, with plenty of choice.

As for Vilamoura as a resort, it is ideal if you are a golfer, with at least 5 top class golf courses within walking distances, coupled with consistently good weather I would recommend both the hotel and resort."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 3rd of January 2008

Well below average is all I can give it....

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Mon 13th of August 2007

"Well below average is all I can give it. We visited with a young child and frankly children are either not welcome or just very poorly catered for. There are no changing facilities and when I asked the staff I was told I can use the men’s toilets. Now the toilets are an experience in themselves as the smell of urine is so strong it'll make you hold your breath. I reported this on the first day and nothing was done about when we left. I guess I was supposed to change him on the urine soaked floor!

I didn't find the staff particularly friendly or helpful (with the exception of the cleaners) - we had a meal that came with a plastic something in it - when we returned it we got a somewhat frosty reaction. No offer of replacement. When we asked for the bill we were still charged for it. In fact I didn't find the Portuguese people particularly friendly - on the surface they are but it doesn't take long to get below that.

We went for a snack at a nearby snack bar and was the only people at the counter - the guy serving busied himself arranging things - when a Portuguese fella joined the queue he started serving him - when I challenged him he just continued to serve the other guy - odd - friends visited a few days later and exactly the same thing happened.
The rooms are OK - old and tired but OK - don't expect to sleep though as the beds are monumentally uncomfortable (different rooms have different thickness mattresses!). There is a very coarse surfaced road running across the rear of the hotel and if the beds don't keep you awake the traffic will.

Check your bills!! Most restaurants in the area added a little something to the bill - only a couple of Euros here and there but it gets irritating. One restaurant even had the correct bill ready for us after adding a couple of drinks and bread to the bill.

The children’s pool in the Pe da Lago is occupied by a particularly irritating child that lives on the complex. Sit and watch as he empties the pool of all other young children! Biting spitting hitting. Nice touch.

So no we won't be returning to Portugal anytime soon - hope you have a better experience.

Jardin Autos - thanks - great little car great service when we got a puncture.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 13th of August 2007

Don't Go Here! We arrived to a musty,...

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Wed 11th of July 2007

"Don't Go Here!

We arrived to a musty, grim, dirty-feeling, nasty, out-of-date apartment at the Parque Mourabel and wanted to move out straight away!

However, I talked my boyfriend round and told him to give it a chance. 3 hours later the music started from the on-site bar directly below us! This continued until past 12 midnight. Locks and cupboards were broken, we didn't feel the apartment was secure or safe and it smelt.

I cannot understand how any travel company could let a client of theirs stay in the apartment that we were first given.

The next morning we made a fuss and were eventually (after many words of complaint) moved across the road to the Oasis part of the complex....what a difference!! It was clean and modern and felt wonderful, especially after our first day's experience.

However, there was no pool available on this part of the complex and we had to return to the nasty side to use the pool area there....which was of course cracked, old and not particularly clean (with a lovely layer of grease from sun cream and dirt in general floating invitingly on the top).

Don't get me wrong, I have travelled extensively and even worked abroad in Portugal and Spain for years, so I'm normally not over critical. This apartment complex was horrible!

The only good thing about it was the courtesy bus that takes you away from it!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007

Oasis Village = Not bad at all!

4
Good
by
Reviewed Wed 17th of October 2012

"After reading some reviews on here, we were rather apprehensive to say the least about the Parque Mourabel!

The Parque Mourabel/Oasis Village/Pe De Lago complex consists of the three different 'hotels'. There's a central reception, three pools, bar which serves light snacks & more 'substansial' menu - it's not a restaurant you'd eat at at night, but for a breakfast or bigger lunch than a sandwich it was good. We didn't eat there for a larger meal but the snacks were good & from what we could see, so were the meals.

We mainly used the pool on the Parque Mourabel complex, which is by the bar/restaurant. It was nice - lots of greenery, can't say getting a sunbed was ever a problem (it was busy, but we always found one, during peak season in July/August!) - there was also a pool on the Oasis Village side...this was alot larger, but there hardly any spots where you're in the shade there. Overall the pool area at the Parque Mourabel was nice - I've seen much worse, the grassy areas made it quite appealing.

We stayed on the Oasis Village side. It was literally a 1 minute walk across a quiet road to the reception/bar/pool. We'd booked a 2 bed apartment - what we got was HUGE! We had an upstairs which masses of space, a large living/dining area - it could have done with some updating...but it wasn't something that affected your stay unless you let it. For what we paid, we couldn't complain. Whether the other 2 complex's are different, I don't know, but I would definitely go back if I could be guarenteed to stay on the Oasis Village side.

We did have trouble checking in - we waited about an hour & a half after they said our room would be ready...but...the room we got definitely made up for this. Whether there was a 'mistake' in giving us such a large apartment..I'm not sure - but the staff were always very friendly & helpful.

Overall, if you want a relatively cheap hotel (by Vilamoura standards!) - & don't go expecting 1st class luxury, from what we experienced, this hotel was fine. You're about a 1/2 hr walk from the main Marina, or you can get a taxi which is about 5 - 6 Euros. Alot of restaurants are quite pricey in the main Marina - but have a look around & find the 'old' Vilamoura....it's located towards the back of 'Figo Bar' which you can't miss, it's in the main Marina - & there's lots of lovely restaurants there. We ate there everynight...the food & service was excellent!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 13th of December 2006

Basic apartments, a long walk to the marina, but good food.

4
Good
by
Reviewed Wed 5th of December 2012

"We have just returned from 2 weeks at Parque Mourabel on a half board basis, with our 1 year old daughter. Her 2 sets of grandparents also stayed for a week each.

We had a large top floor apartment with a huge roof terrace - as others have posted, these are the best rooms to get for space and views but seem to be allocated to those on longer stays like us. The apartment was reasonably decorated with new bathroom and modern kitchen, and a new boiler, but some of the furnishings were a bit outdated. Our apartment only slept 2 (plus cot) which meant we got proper sofas/chairs - our relatives fared worse with very uncomfortable sofabeds in their lounges on the lower floors of the hotel.

The rooms were kept reasonably clean with regular towel changes - not the best floor cleaning though (a pain when your daughter is crawling all over the place). That said, the roof terrace was very baby-safe - not something you can say about all holiday hotels' balconies.

We found the restaurant fine - 3 choices of starter, 3 choices of main course, hardly any choice of pudding for those on half board - and the staff great. We skipped the dubious entertainment in the bar - but at least there was something on if you couldn't be bothered to go out for the evening.

It's a long walk to the beach or the marina - 20 mins at least, each - and well worth using the hotel's courtesy minibus or hiring a car to explore the rest of the Algarve, as we did.

All in all, the Parque Mourabel is an old (probably 1970s) apartment complex which has been only partially updated - there's certainly more work to do. But the staff make an effort and the restaurant food is good. I don't think you can beat it on price, but it's up to you whether that represents value for money or not."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 28th of November 2006

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