For our first trip abroad since January (courtesy of Covid-19), we chose the region of Algarve, Portugal to spend our fall holidays in this period of pandemic.
Algarve is an ideal spot for a week of holidays: sun, blue skies, wonderful beaches, beautiful landscapes, very good food and restaurants and most of all the Portuguese people are so nice.
We chose to stay at the Anantara Vilamoura Resort to check out the first luxury hotel of the Minor group in Europe.
The building itself is of contemporary design with an elegant, sober and chic ambiance. The hotel has a view and a direct access to the Oceanico golf course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer. The lobby is luminous and aerial with a big tree in the middle, “planted” by a local artist to welcome the guests.
Our check-in was smooth and nicely handled by Elodie, a French native.
Our Deluxe Garden Room had nice proportions and included a large bathroom that was ingeniously separated from the room by a series of sliding doors and screens, creating an open plan, bright space during the day, or an intimate mood-lit bathroom for a relaxing soak in the tub. It also had a large balcony with a sofa bed to relax and chill.
Our breakfast at the Victoria restaurant (indoor or on the terrace) was nice and had a good offer, be it slightly reduced due to Covid. The service was friendly and warm.
To be fair, due to the current Covid-19 situation, we have to say that not everything in this five-star hotel is on par with some of their Asian counterparts.
We brought it up to the hotel General Manager, Marta Pinto, who said they are doing the best they can in these singular and unprecedented circumstances. Here are the few things that, in our opinion, should be reviewed and changed at the Anantara Vilamoura Resort even in this period of Covid-19 crisis:
The hotel should not charge 1;5€ for the Nespresso capsules that are in the room, at least two capsules a day should be included in the room daily rate
The kid's club was closed - even though kids are less likely to spread the disease
The gastronomic restaurant, Emo, and the seafood restaurant, Ria, were both closed which was too surprising as six miles away the Epic Sana Hotel kept his restaurants open
In terms of sustainability, there is a big difference between theory and reality: the pool bar still uses plastic straws and glasses apparently to comply with local policies (if that is so then those policies need to be amended)
For room entertainment, the hotel charges 10€ for a movie on demand
We noticed that the cushion of one of the couches in the corridor on our floor was stained and dirty
The Anantara Vilamoura Hotel probably deserves another visit - post Covid-19 - to see its full potential as a luxury resort.
Av dos Descobrimentos nº 0
Tel: +351 289 317 000
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