This hotel on paper was everything we were looking for. Suites, a la carte restaurant, Thalgo spa, pools.
Firstly I would like to say we loved the area, close to great beaches, beautiful countryside and good restaurants. We hired a car as suggested by various people on here and enjoyed exploring the area.
We stayed in a townhouse and were on half board. The townhouse was very spacious with two bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs and a lounge/diner and kitchen downstairs. The overall condition was average with stained sofa and chipped chairs. The kitchen has a washer, dishwasher, fridge and freezer, however was lacking in other areas. Plates and cutlery were provided but no wine glasse, etc. It was very difficult to prepare a meal with no equipment. Why would I need to prepare a meal when on holiday? Well the food was dreadful. We arrived late and room service stops at 9.30 so we headed to the buffet. We were greeted with cold, dried out food from being under lamps for so long. Salads and cold dishes looked unappetising. I tried the chocolate mousse and after one mouthful had to spit it out as it was full of nuts. I have an allergy and nothing was signed so beware. We asked the waiter who said there was nuts in it but did not seem at all concerned that I had eaten them or if he could help.
We made excuses for the food, being late etc and headed to breakfast the next day. All hot items were cold and the quality of everything else was awful. Very cheap ingredients, the most ridiculously cheap orange and apple juice I had ever tasted. Jam so sweet you couldn't eat it. I could go on but you get the idea.
The only other time we saw the food again was when we were still at the pool at 7 when the buffet opened. We witnessed the waiter tipping a big dish of food upside down and it didn't move. The staff all thought this hilarious but shows what they were thinking of the food they expected us to eat. Looked at the menu everyday and culinary delights included turkey a la orange and spiritual fish!
Back to the townhouse. Quite clean although some cobwebs and filthy toilet brushes. You were expected to use the same towels and sheets all week, which is not very good when some red medicine was spilt on the sheets and they weren't changed all week. Same with the towels, when we put them in the bath. They were taken away and not replaced!
Service was very mixed. Some staff great, some a little fake and over the top. Staff at pool bar were useless, one man told me to see someone else when he was standing there not doing anything. After 20 minutes of our drinks standing there and noone bringing them over, we went to get them and the lady shouted at us that she had been too busy doing another bill and another order. When we said we would leave the drinks, the response was "whatever".
Some responses were dealt with immediately, some took days with several phone calls.
This could be a great hotel but it wasn't. We wanted to like it but there were just one too many faults.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in a typical Portuguese rural landscape and just 60 km west of Faro Airport, Vale d'El Rei Resort is near to the village of Carvoeiro, south of Lagoa on the way to the famous Marinha beach. Surrounded by flourishing vineyards, and endless stretches of Atlantic coastline, this is a unique place where nature imposes a slower pace life. A relaxed atmosphere, supreme comfort and authentic Algarvian hospitality ensure that each visitor enjoys a genuine "home from home" experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vale d`El Rei - Suite & Village Hotel Lagoa
- Vale d`El Rei - Suite And Village Resort
- Vale Del Rei
- Vale D'El Rei Resort Lagoa, Portugal - Algarve