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All reviews lower pool thomson reps land train free standing bath half board star hotel beautiful hotel waiter service paving slabs open plan bathroom cocktail making veal mood lighting sea view breakfast and evening meal walk along the beach relaxing holiday
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Reviewed October 16, 2017

Our room was superb & cleaning services excellent.
It's a pity that the hotel is too isolated with no evening "promenading " possible.
The drinks cost at the hotel were extremely expensive eg 2cups coffee +2 baileys (measures ) were priced at a total of €19 ( £18+) nowhere else to go so they had the monopoly, such a pity !!!!

Room Tip: Best views
Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank david l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 16, 2017

Local Area:
It was our first time to the Algarve and the Sensimar experience and we experienced it all for one week. We loved the location of the hotel. It is very near to a long sandy blue flag beach, about a 5-10 min walk depending on mobility. We watched some very beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the beach. If you stand in front of the ocean and walk to the right, you will reach Lagos in no time (35 min). If you walk towards the left, you will reach an estuary with amazing wildlife. You can swim in the ocean or in the river and there are many places on this long beach to explore. There is a tiny ‘super market’ in the fishing village, about a 10 min walk from the hotel. Take the little road train if you want to explore the most beautiful cliffs of Ponte de Piedade - It’s an amazing place for photography. In Lagos, there is a lovely church (St. Anthony’s) to visit, full of baroque style architecture.

Lots of choice. There are two (cold & hot) buffet areas in the restaurant serving many food options. One (cold & hot) buffet area is in the centre of the restaurant, the other well away at the back of the restaurant. Both cold buffet areas are similar but hot buffet areas serve different dishes (there is no signage about this) – make sure you check out both to make the most of food options on offer.
There is also a nice area at breakfast marked 'gluten free' with nice breads and biscuits. Be early to get good choice as they do run out of the nice rolls & bear in mind (if like me you have coeliac disease) that these are ‘gluten free’ items and cross contamination can happen due to sheer volume of foods being handled & customers served.
At dinner they can cater to any dietary requirements. Again gluten free bread can be provided and the chef can make special gluten free desserts if requested. Best to speak to hotel staff at restaurant door to get help choosing dishes suitable for special diets.

Cooking for a huge amount of guests can be challenging and sadly one evening we came across uncooked chicken which was a health & safety risk (hence we take a star away from what otherwise would be 5 stars for this property). We advised hotel management (Pedro) and the pot of meat was taken away from the main food area immediately.
The Gala Dinner concludes with an impressive gigantic cake celebrating ‘TUI Sensimar’. We have travelled the world and never seen anything like it! It was a pretty amazing cake.

We had a 4th floor room with a side view of the sea and Lagos in the distance. Afternoon sun on balconies. It was very hot in the 2nd week of October, no shade on the terrace. Music can penetrate in the evenings (it did on Friday when there was some loud event on). People smoke on balconies, by the pool, on the beach. When needed, the technician came very quickly and solved our issues quickly and professionally (e.g. safe was jammed and an alarm was set on the phone by a previous guest which kept ringing every night at the same time). Good news - there is no extra charge for the safe. Kettle provided. If you need more milk or anything else, just ask the lovely cleaners and they will provide without a fuss.

Beds are hard. We asked for extra toppers. Again, the lovely cleaning ladies sorted it all out with a smile.

Small Tui shower gel and shampoo bottles are provided. No conditioner so bring your own if you like. Tui Thomson does have a swap box where people are encouraged to leave behind any surplus items for others. This is very thoughtful and we have both used and contributed to the box. Numerous book swap points are available across the hotel so you are never stuck for a novel to read.

There is a small shop in the hotel but appears to sell only a few items. ‘End of season’ we were told by the lovely staff member. It is stocked with mostly wine or cough drops. There is an opportunity for the hotel to improve the offering. From our experience of having travelled the world, similar types of tourist hotels do well with a shop on the premises selling snacks (‘fisherman's friend’ type of mints aren't ‘snacks’), local handicraft gift options, post cards, water, at ‘reasonable’ prices. The current shop feels redundant and doesn't appear to target the current customer base (Tui/Thomson package holiday package tours). There is one tiny shop in the fishing village (take back exit of hotel, through side gate onto street, take left, then left at bottom of road onto main road. Walk past the train stop, you should see sign for ‘Supermarket’). You will find a tiny room in someone's house with a bare minimum of overpriced goodies. You will be grateful, that there is something & understand better the power of monopolies.

There is happy hour in the evenings before dinner (‘the pound is weak and drinks feel overpriced’ is the key message from TripAdvisor reviews) and some organised events both during the day and evening. A daily ‘Tui news’ paper is published which lists events of the day & can be collected from reception.
Indoor swimming pool (warm and lovely) and use of small gym are free. Use of sauna, jacuzzi and hammam incur an extra charge and are not in use normally so you have to book them in advance so hotel staff can start up the facilities for you. Eur11 per couple but free if you book a massage. We booked the massage, used the sauna (which was nice); hammam wasn’t working well and Jacuzzi had a technical fault (no bubbles) which they were hoping to fix soon. There were amazing hydrotherapy showers (cold/hot) next to the sauna. Massages need to be booked a day ahead (or three in our case as one of the masseuse was unwell) and there is a different ‘special offer’ daily. We paid around EUR 65-70 for a one hour fantastic massage per person!

Hotel Customer Services:
Pedro, the General Manager of the Hotel, is very customer oriented. He is the main ‘go to man’ in case something/anything does irritate you on your holiday. He comes across as a very charismatic leader & a visionary. He is supported by a team of individuals with varied experience and enthusiasm (e.g. we were overcharged on departure but as we kept detailed logs we were able to argue for the actual costs robustly. We were then given the receipt for an incorrect room by the reception staff. When we realised and tried to return it to the correct owner the next morning we were told they had already checked out).
The cleaners do deserve a special mention as they are very customer focussed.
Hotel stars:
This is not a 5 star hotel in the ‘traditional’ sense, but none of the hotels servicing mainly package tours are. It is a good 3.5-4 star hotel. Stars are allocated on facilities and this hotel has some of the facilities of a 4 star hotel and was very clean.
TUI Thomson:
The hotel was independent until 2013 when it became part of Thomson ‘couples’ offering. More recently it has become part of the Tui Sensimar offering. We are not familiar with Sensimar but felt the hotel was transitioning to whatever this new status meant. There is a transition period taking place to ensure a good marketing fit.
UK Thomson staff - young reps (especially the very knowledgeable and self-assured Mitch) represent their firm well and do a good hard sell of Thomson products during a ‘welcome event’.
Thomson staff are present at this hotel 5 days a week and have a room dedicated to them near the reception area. There are no other tour operators represented in the hotel though a TUI German rep does pop by. There were only 3 papers, in abundance, on offer in the reception - all UK tabloids (the Sun; Daily Mail and Daily Express). If you desire any other read, there is very good Wi-Fi free connectivity.
TUI transfers: We booked the TUI private transfers after reading reviews about the duration of coach transfers. We were very satisfied with our private transfers. Both ways we had amazing drivers who imparted knowledge about Portugal and the Algarve region. So yes, it may cost a bit extra (margins) rather than booking with a local company but we did experienced the ‘added value’ of knowledge transfer.

Room Tip: 4th floor view of sea and city for afternoon sun on balcony but room will be hot
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank Monipest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 15, 2017

If your looking for a place to totally chill out look no further, stayed 5th October to 12th October and the weather was scorching high 20's to low 30's This is an excellent hotel with very friendly staff, other posts mention stained carpets this is true but from what I saw they weren't dirty, maids and cleaners worked constantly through the day to keep the hotel immaculate, ok it could probably benefit from a little TLC in places which may be done throughout the closed season but even if it was the sane next year it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.
Drinks in the hotel are a little pricy because your a captive audience no bars around the hotel apart from a couple of beach bars these closed at ten when we were there plus the fact that drinks were about the same price anyway, you need to go into Lagos for cheaper drinks we found them to be half the price walking will take you 30 minutes or 10 minutes in a taxi expect to pay around 7 euros a trip.
Food was ok a bit repetitive but in my experience buffy food generally is but good quality and hot and always something for everyone. Entertainment at night is generally low key but one night thinks were livened up with a couple of fellas playing covers of rock songs,they were brilliant!
Some comments in other posts mentioned long transfer times this depends on the amount of drop offs the coach has as Sensimar Lagos is next to the last, it took us around 1hr 30 arriving but 2hrs 15 departing bit of a drag but no big deal for us.
We had a double room with balcony and sea/pool view on the 4th floor this was brilliant and another brilliant thing is that you can get a sunbed at anytime of the day.
So to summarize a fantastic hotel with friendly staff 10 out of 10 Sensimar Lagos.
Would I go back? absolutely!!

Room Tip: 4th floor double room with sea/pool view.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 15, 2017

Fabulous time fabulous sea view suite 337 worth the upgrade for views and privacy 3 balconies with 3 sea views just book you won't be disappointed. Tips happy hour 6.30-8 buy your drinks there and take to restaurants.Water bottle provided but once that's gone supermarket pingo in Lagos very cheap for wine in room and water.Transfer to from airport 90 mins no problem

Room Tip: 337 suite fabulous
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Trina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 13, 2017 via mobile

Still here and last day is tomorrow. You get greeted by a welcome drink and on your first day you also get a bottle of wine and chocolates. I think the photos of the hotel speak for itself so going to leave some useful info.

Staff helpful and pleasant - The TUI reps are here every day of the week for assistance and you can join a welcome group also which Gives you info on excursions and places around. Mitch and Lucy were very helpful and passionate about Lagos.
Hotel- clean luxurious and reasonable priced drinks, beer 4.50 Euro’s and cocktails 7, but a decent amount of alcohol in them. Happy hour 630-8, 30% off.
Buffet - nice food and plenty of choice. Something for everyone.
Avoid forgetting anything as paid 6.50 Euro’s for some dove shower gel in the hotel shop. Always plenty of sun beds, table service or to the pool. Music and bands in the evening - very low key but Lagos has bars open till 6 and in the morning and takes cost only around 7 euros.
TRANSPORT- Lagos town is a couple of miles, lots of bars and quirky shops. Can get there by train or bus which is 1.20 euros or a land train which takes you all along the beach and you can hope on and off off on each stop for 3.50 euros each. Or the walk is only about 35 mins. There is what they call a supermarket 5 mins up the road, but in fact it is a convenience store which has been set up in someone’s front room. Best to head Into Lagos and there is a proper supermarket or if you have a car there is an Aldi or Lidl.
THINGS TO DO - we booked excursions through the reps but I’m sure if you pre book they will be cheaper. 49 Euro’s each and we went to visit the caves and you get a BBQ on a secluded beach with a drink included - well worth it. We then went to Silves and Monchique up the mountain - be warned from this hotel takes about 1.30 hours and has a lot of hills and walking, but beautiful scenery.

For someone who doesn’t like “chilled” holidays I have enjoyed it here and would defiantly recommend it. You need to bear in mind his is a 5 star so the prices of the alcohol for example wouldn’t reflect this, and also it is buffet style so you are going to see the same types of food each day, but it is well cooked and they have themed nights and remember Lagos is only a short bus ride away.

Hope to come back one day

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Nutlou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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