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“Loved this hotel, loved Albufeira” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel

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Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel
Ranked #7 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Loved this hotel, loved Albufeira”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

Stayed at this hotel with a friend for 4 nights in August 2011. It was our first time in Albufeira and we had a great time.

The hotel itself was much more modern then we expected, the room was large and spotless. The pool area was nice and it was always possible to get a lounger at anytime during the day although you would have to get up early if you wanted a particular spot.

There was a good choice of food at breakfast, we would go down quite late and there was always enough food left. Dinner was included in our package, we had this once and it was fairly basic but okay. Due to the lack of atmosphere we preferred to eat out on the other nights.

The beach was a 5min walk away, very picturesque coves and also very hot with little shade so take an umbrella or rent one.

We ate in the beach cafe for lunch on two occasions, a lovely place to get some shade and a cool refreshing drink, the food was tasty and reasonable too!

There is a taxi rank just up the road from the hotel. We got a taxi to the old town on 2 nights for 5 euro each way. The old town is a little quieter than the main strip and has something for everyone, lots of bars and restaurants and shops and market stalls. Heading back to the hotel at around midnight we found ourselves queueing for a taxi for about 20 mins, may be worth pre booking a taxi or going home earlier/staying out later as this seemed to be a popular time to head home during peak season.

We also enjoyed going out on the strip, at the quieter end there are a couple of good cocktail bars that are less busy and where you can get a seat. The bars nearer the bottom were much more crowded, you will get pestered to enjoy a free shot, but having a few of these we found the offer much less enticing.

Overall a great holiday and a hotel we would return to in the future

Room Tip: We were near the lift but its such a modern hotel you do not hear anything
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank 2009Kate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (447)
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English first
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

We stayed on a b&b basis for 4 days arriving 23rd December. The hotel is beautiful, we got the booked sea view and the room was really nice. With the exception of one person (Ludo who was so helpful), the service was not to the standard I would expect from a hotel of this rating. We were given the distinct impression that over Christmas the hotel was operating around the requirements of the staff rather than the guests. There was no bar available other than in the restaurant which shut by 9.30pm most evenings with anyone wanting to buy a drink having to plead with them to open up. For those dining in the restaurant in the evening there was a buffet which was never what was advertised! We ate out but, having enquired if it was possible to eat a la carte, in advance booked a table for 8pm Christmas Day. One waiter brought us the menus (which were also displayed outside with the buffet menu) and two minutes later another waiter came and more or less ripped them out of our hands as we were looking at them and told us only the buffet was available. Eventually, we got our a la carte meal which was absolutely gorgeous. I think the restaurant was open as late as 9.45pm that night. There was zero entertainment other than the electric grand piano playing music. To be honest we hadn't gone for entertainment but we had expected to be able to come back after eating out and get a drink without having to stand knocking at the door.

When it came to getting our departure details, they had been left with one receptionist who failed to pass them on when his shift changed, although thankfully I was able to get hold of our rep.

I would not expect this level of service from a hotel with this rating, irrespective of the number of guests or it being Christmas. I really do think that this was only because it was Christmas and, presumably not that busy, although at 9.30am Christmas morning the restaurant was very busy with customers queuing for tables and very little food left. Other than that day breakfast was always lovely with an excellent choice of food.

No, I wouldn't risk staying at this hotel again just in case I got the same level of service again.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SuziKu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
doncaster
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 1 week over new year & I have to say this is 1 of the best hotels I have stayed in, the hotel itself is quite small but very modern, all of the staff are really friendly & very helpful especially the reception staff, the room was adequate for a standard room & the bed was really comfy & very big! no tea & coffee in the standard rooms but we had read previous reviews & brought our own kettle ect, would be a nice touch if this was available in all rooms tho, rooms were cleaned daily & couldn't fault the cleanliness of the overall hotel.
Safe & mini bar in rooms.

weather was as we expected warm in the day,sunny & no rain! & cool at night, the hotel itself is in a great location, although at this time of year a lot of the bars are quiet, got busier for new years eve tho, we stayed in the hotel for new years eve & had the gala meal for 65 euros per person, the food was gorgeous!

Menu

Welcome drink
Canapes
Cold Buffet
Fish - Jewfish confit with scallops & stuffed cannelloni
Meat - Surf and turf filet mignon & king prawns & sweet potato crisps (wine with meal)
Creme brulee with red fruit & coconut ice cream

Champagne & raisins on the roof to watch fireworks!

Portugese cabbage soup & assorted tapas

Brunch next day

I would highly recommend this hotel & would return to this hotel may even indulge in a suite next time! Thanks to all the staff for a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: ask for a higher up room
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lynniepbDoncaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rhyl, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

Spending New Year in Portugal has become an annual must, and 2011/12 was no exception; although this was our first trip to Albufeira. We arrived at the hotel, no later than 11.00 a.m. on the 26th December, and were pleased to find that our room was available immediately, and that our requests on booking had been followed to the letter. (Although just to be on the safe side I sent an e-mail to remind the hotel that a double room had been requested). The growing tendency to provided twin-bedded accommodation as standard is something hard to fathom in hotels that are clearly popular with couples of all ages. Check-in was efficiently and courteously handled, and, within ten minutes, we were pleased to see that our deluxe room with sea view was all we had hoped for.

The balcony was small, but had enough room for a table and two chairs, and more importantly was bathed in sunshine from 10.00 to 16.00......luckily for us, every day of our stay. The double bed was king size, and comfortable, and we enjoyed trouble-free sleep throughout our stay; (although the couple in the next room liked to rise early and practice their town crier routines to each other from about 07.00 each day). It takes all sorts I suppose, but it did not spoil our experience. Perhaps they had single beds at opposite ends of the room??

The bathroom was pretty perfect, with powerful, hot shower...and thankfully, a bath. The only downside to the bathing/showering experience were the towels and dressing gowns; fine for wee Jimmy Krankie, (my wife), but a bit snug for me, (Giant Haystacks). And, for a four**** hotel, the towels were desperately in need of renewal. At home, we would chuck them away, long before they got to that state.

The lounge area of the hotel is stunning, but not at all comfortable; so it was lucky that the weather was so good, we did not need to spend time in the bar/lounge area, as we probably would have, had we had a couple of rainy days. The breakfast room was light, and pleasant, and the selection of fruit and cooked food was plentiful, and of a high quality. Mind you, the bread company, that seems to supply toasting bread to every hotel from Turkey to Portugal,
must be having a laugh. It is universally awful, and one wonders if the buyers have ever tasted this imitation cardboard.

So all in all, there was very little to worry us; and our stay was very enjoyable. Even the guy singing 'We Are The Champions' in pidgin English at 01.30, during the New Year's Day bash, was quickly forgiven. We decided to abandon the hotel festivities, and enjoyed the experience of the concert and fireworks, held down by the beach, which go on through the night. As an old grouch, a 01.00 finish was enough for me, but it was an unforgettable night.

Albufeira itself is a pleasant place to stay for New Year, certainly helped by the beautiful weather we enjoyed each day. There are many good restaurants and bars, especially in the area of the beach and the Old Town. Think I would avoid sturgeon pate next time though! Trust me. We shall return, and will return to the Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Hotel; so long as double rooms and hot baths are available!

Room Tip: If you do require a sea view, no problem. You pay extra. If you require a double-bedded room, for wh...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank windbag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2011

We stayed at this hotel over the Christmas period. As the review is about the hotel and not about Albufiera, I will start with the hotel, which we loved. We had the Deluxe room with a front sea view. The views off the very roomy balcony were indeed amazing. The room iself was large, with a kingsize bed and all the usual room amenities. The breakfast buffet was very good too and the staff were freindly. I have however docked one star because on one day, the cleaning staff forgot to re-lock our room after it had been cleaned. Luckily nothing was taken and everything valuable was in the safe but the staff were a little blase about the error.

A few general comments about Albufeira at Christmas time....It was a lot quieter than I expected and about half of the shops and restaurants were open for business although this decreased in the evening. A lot of people seemed to arrive on Christmas Eve and the breakfast buffet was overrun on Christmas morning. We loved the hotel, loved the climate (during the day at least), loved the beaches but were very disappointed with the resort itself. It was very tacky and pitched at English people who wanted to be Ennglish with the heat turned up. It was far easier to find a full English breakfast than anything very traditional. In every bar, it seemed mandatory to have 15 screens all baring sky sports at high volume and most pubs seemed to allow smoking, which is antiquated. The 'strip' was extremely tacky, we got a taste of what it must be like in the summer. The 'old town' was a bit nicer butg was still full of 'English' restaurants. We would not return to Albufeira and would seriously think about whether we returned to the Algarve at all. We did a day trip to Lisbon, which was a long day but we would recommend.

Finally, a few restaurant recommendations. The best restaurants that we found in the local area were Mangello and Paulu's. There was a very nice restaurant right in the fromt in the Old Town, where we had a seafood meal on Christmas day. We also drove out to VIlamoura a few times which was much nicer than Albufeira.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Chris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel

Property: Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel
Address: Urbanizacao Quinta Pedra dos Bicos, Lote 24 | Santa Eulália, Albufeira 8200-389, Portugal (Formerly Hotel Pedra dos Bicos)
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#7 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €
Hotel Class:4 star — Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 142
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Aqua Pedra dos Bicos is an island of serenity in Santa Eulalia, near the busy Albufeira and at 500 meters from the famous "Strip", one of the main nightlife atractions. The direct access from the Hotel to the Bicos Beach - 400 meters away - and the inspiring view over the Atlantic Ocean complete this unique Hotel in the heart of the Algarve. This 4-Star Hotel, from Details Hotels & Resorts, features a daring and modern architecture, offering a memorable and relaxing experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pedra Dos Bicos Albufeira
Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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