Presented like an eco-luxury resort, where the kids do social activities in the beautiful nature. Actually, it’s a self-catering place with no activities or available facilities.
Look at their website and you think this is heaven, reality is that it is an extremely poorly managed resort. Which probably initially was created with the right intentions, small hotel with an eco-chic style, good facilities and service. Then greed took over, they built a lot of townhouses and villas, which they sold and then now rent out, but did not expand the facilities or hire more staff. The typical hotel real-estate scam. The hotel is by the way still a construction site.
Now under Covid-19 it is obvious that they take advantage of the situation, and offer no services at all for guest staying in the houses. They have house rules which make no sense, and which we did not experience at two other similar priced hotels we stayed at during out Portugal trip.
Let me just list a few of the issues during our stay:
- Initially told no Wifi during the whole stay, we got our travel agent to complain, then it was suddenly possible to fix it ASAP.
- Cook your own breakfast as kids not allowed in the hotel building.
- Overgrown greenhouse which at arrival was introduced as an oasis where they harvest their own veggies. It was obvious that no gardener had set his foot there for months.
- Countless things broken in the villa (chair, lights, wifi, loose tiles everywhere, electric curtain not working etc. etc.)
- House had own parking, but not useable for rental customers, so one must park at hotel and walk.
- Design before function in the houses taken to the extreme, which becomes very tiresome.
- Dirty kitchen wear, and since it was self-catering then everything you needed was missing.
- No hotel amenities in the house at all.
- Impossible to get through to the reception, typically took at least 3 calls.
- BBQ experience offered, that is they deliver the raw food and the wood, and you do the rest. Let’s just hope you don’t have hungry kids…
If we wanted self-catering and no service then we would have booked a proper independent villa somewhere else. The reason you book at a hotel in a certain price range, is for facilities and service, both things are non-existing here, so why stay at all?
We did make management aware of our grievances during the stay, some things got fixed, many not. No apologies, but a 25% discount on one nights stay was given, and a bag of dry cookies at checkout, priceless.
3 families travelling together, staying in different house types, all had the same kind of experience.
Worst hotel I have stayed at for many many years.
If you have to go to Santa Cruz then stay at the sister hotel, Noah Surf House, which is extreme well run and at 1/3 of the price, plus it seems like the staff there actually care…