Atlantic View, Vila Nova Cacela, Eastern Algarve is a lovely large airy bungalow set adjacent to the owners villa. surrounded by carefully planted rock beds with meandering crushed rock walks around the property with plenty of assorted algarvian flora to delight the senses. As promised, there were herbs by the back door; rosemary, lavender, mint, chives. Also a couple of lemon trees, several olive trees and a carob tree.
The bungalow itself is of a modern design with sweet algarvian touches like the delightful white wrought iron window guards; tendrils of exotic climbers curling around these window guards add a very romantic touch and demand to be photographed.
Plenty of room for four people with a large modern kitchen/diner with microwave, oven, dishwasher and a dual fuel hob. masses of cooking equipment and crockery. On arrival we were treated to a welcome pack of water, coffee, sugar, milk, tea, biscuits, eggs and bread. A toilet roll, a kitchen roll and dishwasher tablets were all ready for us in addition to soap and hand cream in the bathroom. large fluffy blue towels and several quality tea towels in addition to good quality bed linen. The list of 'extras' are not exhaustive
The television, a large flat wall mounted version has good reception of the British channels. The sofas are large and comfy, making late evening lounging a pleasure with the patio doors cast open to the garden.
The barbecue is large with a huge, beautifully tiled preparation area and stocked with wood for both the barbecue and the wood burner in the lounge.
The local beach is Manta Rota. This lovely beach is serviced by a large parking area, with plenty of wooden walkways to take you over the dunes to the sea. There are plenty of sun beds for rent. A host of cafes etc complete the scene.
However not all in the garden is rosy
Not once during our negotiations was the fact that two properties share the same plot, apparently the owners villa and the bungalow. Had we known this we wouldn't have booked as privacy is paramount to us
Access to the bungalow is via a very narrow, very bumpy track. No good for the less abled and wheelchair bound folk. This track runs between the Park home estate on the right and a Portuguese home/croft on the left
The bungalow is on the left, further on along the track is a villa which appears to be owned by locals and I cannot be sure but appears to be attached to the bungalow somehow
Access to Atlantic View is via a rolling gate. The gate, became both an object of dread and an early warning system whilst we were there. I am 5ft and have arthritis. I cannot shift that gate at all. My husband is 6ft and works out, he found the gate both difficult to push/pull and to ensure it stayed on its runners. The gate also made quite a noise when it opened however if it is you that is moving it, that's fine but when it makes that noise when you are both sunbathing in the garden, that is not so fine.
Turning into and out of the property via this gate is Very difficult. We had hired a small Mitsubishi Colt (just big enough for my wheelchair) and that only just made it, in and out. There is no external parking available
On arrival we were met by a man who is apparently engaged by the owner to be the meeter and greeter. He appeared welcoming and as it was pitch black by the time we arrived we were grateful to have someone to show us around, not least on how to open the gate!
He 'popped' by again the next day to see if everything was ok. Except for the kitchen cupboard door that had fallen off, everything was fine, oh and except for the 'soft close' drawer that wouldn't, but that seemed too trivial to mention.
We were told by the meeter/greeter that the owners were having work done to their villa, so when hearing the gate open and close and a car draw draw in and out we assumed it was the workman and as the workman never ventured around our side of the building it was no problem. Initially I never felt like our privacy was compromised...however enjoying the sun on our third day I looked up from under my hat and spotted the meeter/greeter emerging from the shadows around the side of the owners villa. He had already told us that he used the owners roof terrace frequently to look at the 'marvellous' views across to the Atlantic (the only place where the sea can be glimpsed in the far distance... And up several stairs, again no use to less abled people) but I had presumed that this wouldn't be the case whilst our bungalow was in use. However he was there, he explained, to water the plants (midday with a temperature of 30 degrees), he proceeded to overhead water a couple of plants *fellow gardeners will spot the deliberate mistake here. 3/4minutes at the most and he was gone. As were my feelings of ease. I couldn't sunbathe in the garden again.
Torrential rains arrived one night; a relief given the humidity, unfortunately, the twin room that we were using was without windows but did have ceiling vents. One very soggy husband later, the vents were closed and the floor was mopped, but that left us without ventilation. *A note to the less abled traveller, shutting the vents require strength, agility and dexterity.
Finally a quick word about the neighbours. Unfortunately we never got to meet them but we picked up quite a bit of Portuguese whilst we listened to their several times daily heated discussions. And for you dog lovers out there, there are about 2/4 dogs behind the bungalow somewhere and 2/4 dogs at the end of the lane, and boy do they like to communicate; day and night.
So would we return? Well I am writing this 6 days before we are due to return home and surprise surprise it now appears that as of last night, we have new neighbours in the owners villa. Unaware that we were to share the garden overtly as well as covertly, my husband is now on line booking our flights home ASAP. We can forgive the Portuguese
neighbours and the dogs, that just happens anywhere, The broken cupboard, the rain and even the gate, ditto. But lack of privacy. Not at any price! Take from this review what you will.
Happy travelling folks
On receiving this review from Owners Direct the owners emailed us a ranting, aggressive and threatening response. Very very upsetting. They had not responded to our email complaining about the privacy issue.
Many tourists go to the U.S.
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I have been using flipkey a partner / division of tripadvisor that was introduced to me by tripadvisor. Customer service is slow;
They have a team of "specialists" including Lindsay and Adam who are extremely unprofessional and abusive. Flipkey employees Lindsay and Adam put travelers and hosts safety in danger.
When you have a problem, if you are able to speak on the phone with them, they are snobby and unhelpful or abusive.
I had already a horrible experience with a flipkey traveler, who was a scammer and ended up costing me a lot of money and I was on my own, so definitely will not allow any flipkey traveler in my home unless i speak to them first
so basically flipkey and tripadvisor when it comes to renting vacation homes are useless and dangerous they put families in danger both travelers and hosts
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Reviews are great, but people are a lot more likely to review something with a negative review than an honest or a balanced review.
It's great to find restaurants, hotels and activities, and I base every hotel I go to on the trip advisor rating.
I use Tripadvisor regularly. I never book any hotel without checking it on Tripadvisor. I also post reviews of any hotel that I stayed in to help future travelers. Their forums are helpful and I found recommended drivers and guides in many places, that we traveled.
We were ripped off by Trip Advisor. The photos of the hotel turned out to be fake. When we told Trip Advisor (3 times) - they failed to take any action and STILL let people book.
See the reviews: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187147-d233800-Reviews-Tonic_Hotel_Louvre-Paris_Ile_de_France.html
We booked Paris Hotel Tonic Du Louvre. When we arrived we noticed the reception/rooms were NOT the same as the picture. The rooms were filthy and run down with obnoxious staff.
Trip Advisor ARE STILL allowing people to book based on this wrong info. You can find reviews from unhappy customers all over the web.
Dave Naylor found this review useful
Whenever i travel business or pleasure i always check out Trip Advisor. As reviews are from actual guest they are for the most part reliable - However, you do need to read several reviews to make your own mind up. We recently saw one poor review amongst a lot of good ones and you could tell that the people leaving it clearly had their own agenda and it was simply untrue or embellished far beyond the actual problem. We booked the cottage regardless and the other reviews turned out to be true. Maybe trip advisor needs more moderation but it is very good regardless.
I always refer to Tripadvisor prior to booking holiday accommodation. The site has taken a lot of worry from the online booking experience - before, it was impossible to know if a B&B/guesthouse or hotel was all it purported to be in its own advertising gumph. Naturally, reviews are written from a personal perspective, and therefore readers should take from them an overall picture, but I believe that the contributors generally give honest descriptions and opinions. When accompanied by photographic evidence, reviews can be invaluable and remove much of the risk from booking a holiday online.
I thoroughly enjoy visiting different places/restaurants and give my truthful views of the places I've visited.. It's a brilliant read.. Love to read the reviews of places I've visited myself previously but more importantly I like to see if it's worth going to from other peoples opinions...
What is the point of a review site? No, I really mean that, what is the point?
Is it to help people make a decision over something? It sounds like a grand idea, get everyone who travels, stays at hotels and take holidays to rate them. That way we all get an honest point of view about that product or service before we make a disasterous uninformed decision of our own.
Tripadvisor have taken a good idea and piled it upon piles of other ideas, like a mountain of dead donkey's rotting and steaming and stinking of yesteryears fashions they have missed the fundemental requirement for a review site and that's relevancy. Good and useful reviews pushed aside in favour of the interloper or paid promotion.
It wouldn't matter if the results were good but they're not. It would be better if it was easy to use, but they the bubble searches funnel you toward their paying customers and highlight the bad reviews for businesses that refuse to engage or advertise with them.
As a potential user it annoys me that the scope of my horizon is limited by a short sighted group of editors vying for their next pay-packet by targeting the highest bidder and whose each new article is better than the next.
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If you venture to Tripadvisor then this is my advice: Remember to take sunscreen and be careful whose advice you buy.
Without Tripadvisor the last 3 holidays would not have been as great. I love this site. Such great, balanced reviews from people and so easy to use. Given the great things I have learned on this site, I am now giving back and have submitted something like 90 reviews. I hope these guys are around forever!
Tripadvisor saved me a bunch of times from booking bad resorts, etc. However, you really do need to look at the review date, as a lot of places change management, etc. Take all the reviews with a grain of salt as well. But overall it's a good resource site that I use to help me place trips/vacations.
Anyone can write anything that they wish about a business from slanderous remarks to lies. This could potentially ruin businesses. It is a website that is biased towards the reviewer, leaving little, or no, control to the business owner. Should be banned. They should be sued, fined heavily, and removed from the internet.
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