The accommodation is in sort of lodges, rooms set around the grounds amongst trees, close to the sea. Our room was spacious and comfortable, although the bathroom was a little damp as it had no outside window. There was a fridge and a kettle, but no tea or coffee, although we were given tea on request. The setting is beautiful and the gardens are well kept. There is a little trail along the coast and lots of sitting areas to watch for whales or enjoy the sunset. This isolation means, however, that it isn't possible to visit another restaurant for dinner unless you feel like driving. I don't like driving to find my dinner, which is why we ate in their restaurant for the three nights we stayed there.
We found the restaurant food to be of variable quality for dinner. On my first visit, I ordered beetroot ravioli stuffed with goats cheese and olives. I was unable to discern beetroot, goats cheese or olives in any of it. It tastes like cheap pasta stuffed with spinach in a basic tomato sauce, and it was surrounded by soggy cauliflower and carrot pieces. And it was all lukewarm! I complained. The dish was exchanged for the prawn and pasta gratin, which was fine. The next night we selected from the Chinese menu, and the dishes were tasty and generous. On our final night, we opted for a relaxed dinner of burgers in the bar area of the restaurant, which was quite quiet and atmospheric, being dimly lit, with the door open so we could smell the garden and enjoy the gentle breeze. Halfway through our meal, a woman walked in (presumably the owner?), turned on the bright lighting, closed the door, turned on the aircon, and brought in a badly behaved child to eat dinner at one of the other tables. No word to the other guests (us)! Rude.
The breakfasts were quite frankly poor, and brought the idea of self service to a new low. The waitress was rude and unhelpful, refusing to let us or any other guests sit at one of the few tables that were laid with cutlery. Instead, we had to sit at an empty table with crumbs on the cloth, and then go and get our own plates, cutlery and food. The bowls of fruit, scrambled eggs, bread etc were not replenished very often, and when my husband asked for more eggs as the container was down to the last dregs, the waitress glared at him and flounced out to the kitchen, later replenishing said eggs with very bad grace.
Overall the rooms and the setting are excellent. However the restaurant is not of the quality expected, and this, together with the attitude of some of the staff, is disappointing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aldeia da Fonte is a "Charm Hotel" conceived to be a bastion for truly sustained ecological tourism. Its edification was based on the traditional local architecture and involved mainly the use of regional natural materials, such as basalt, our volcanic rock. It is a five-building based hotel, perched over the sea, having the splendorous Pico Mountain for background. The surrounding artistic gardens, with most of the original flora preserved, reflect the care and elegance invested on this serenity haven. The hotel provides 32 charming accommodations, each with personalized decoration that includes restored antiques and recuperation of various objects, depicting history and local culture. Its restaurant, "Hocus Pocus," has earned reputation of the best restaurant of the island. An Oasis of peace and serenity, in the Atlantic Azores, midway from America to Europe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aldeia Da Fonte Hotel
- Aldeia Da Fonte Nature Resort Pico/Lajes Do Pico