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Old Feb 3, 04, 3:23 pm   #1
 
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Arrow Portugal Starwoods: from the Algarve to Porto [Master Thread]

We are visiting Paris in early April and would like to get away for a week to a warmer climate. Portugal seems to be the front runner right now amongst the places we have not seen in Europe. When checking the *wood prperties, there seems to be a major difference in room rates for Algarve coming at about 250 euros as opposed to Lisbon and Porto at around 120 euros.
We are mainly looking for good climate, clean surroundings and some good food. Any suggestions on how best to divide the week based on past experience. Also, how are the *wood hotels in these locations? Thanks. Mukesh
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Old Feb 3, 04, 6:38 pm   #2
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Algarve is a beautiful resort area. Lisbon is an ordinary city. Lisbon is for business and there are plenty of business hotels. Algarve is for fun, and there isn't as much competition in resorts.

The Lisbon Sheraton is a decent business hotel with a nice towers lounge service. You'll be well taken care of and most tourist activies are a short cab ride away.
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Old Feb 3, 04, 10:16 pm   #3
 
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Thanks for the inputs. Sound like a 2-3 days in each place may be the best option. Anyone with any comments about Porto as a place to visit and the Sheraton!
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Old Feb 4, 04, 1:11 am   #4
 
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I love Lisbon and hope to return this year. The Sheraton there is "nice" -- check out those threads above for more info; but I think Lisbon is definetely more noteable than "just for business". I had some splendid shopping, walking, exploring and nightlife in Lisbon.

My favourite people/culture in Europe are those of Portugal and found this warmth and openness throughout my exploits in Lisbon.

[This message has been edited by AA_SPG_Fan (edited Feb 04, 2004).]
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Old Feb 5, 04, 7:29 am   #5
 
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I have decided to split the stay in portugal between Lisbon and Algarve at *wood hotels. I will be leaving Sheraton Algarve to catch a flight out of Lisbon. Any one has any information on direct transport to Lisbon ariport! I will also send an email to the hotel to find out. My flight will be around 2:00 P.M.
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Old Feb 5, 04, 9:09 am   #6
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Retired FF:
I have decided to split the stay in portugal between Lisbon and Algarve at *wood hotels.</font>
For what it is worth, I visited the Sheraton Algarve a few years ago, while staying in Albufeira ... just went for dinner: they had a pretty good restaurant called the Portulano or something like that. I cannot speak for the quality of the rooms but the property looked pretty good. I think it has a decent golf course, too, if it is the place I am thinking of.

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Old Feb 5, 04, 10:08 am   #7
 
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The Sheraton Algarve is an excellent property on a cliff overlooking the oceans, with an elevator that takes you down to the nice beach area. The buffet breakfast, which I believe is included, is lavish and not to be missed.

Villa Joya, the only Michelin 2-star restaurant in the country (at least when I was there), is excellent, although difficult to find.
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Old Oct 14, 04, 9:19 am   #8
 
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Thumbs up Sheratons in Portugal

Hi all,

Just back from a vacation to Portugal, wanted to share my thoughts on the *wood hotels there.

1. Sheraton Algarve
- In a word, wow. Amazing property to hit the first nights of the trip. For 10K points a night, I couldn't have asked for better. We (girlfriend and I, both 26) arrived at 1 PM, and asked to check in. No problem, they had my PLAT in the system, and the room was ready to go. Upgraded to a 2-floor suite with balcony facing the ocean, very nice. Amenity recognized without asking, free bottle of wine in the room within 15 minutes. Also, as a first time visitor, I was given a coupon for a free round of champagne in the lounge bar and a survey to fill out... fill it out, 1000 free points. very sweet. Nicest reception woman every, no attitude at all. Property was amazing, beach was great and the weather made it even better. Cheap grocery store across the street so costs were minimal. Eat at the patio cafe one afternoon, ran us $26 Euros, a little pricy, but that is expected. Room was spotless both days. Free parking.

2. Sheraton Lisboa
- Very nice hotel, don't try to take the back street to get there Checkin wasn't as smooth: PLAT status recongnized, room on the 22nd floor was very nice and had HARDWOOD floors... first time I have seen that is a *wood room. Youngish front desk girl didn't recognize PLAT amenitity, had to call later to get more wine, not a big problem as I am use to it now. Parking was $16 Euros a day, but cost was WAIVED because I was on the top level floors, very nice perk. Pool was ok, but in the shade for the most part, and quite busy for a weekday. The Club Lounge breakfast was spectacular. Amazing spread, best I have seen yet. Overall, very nice "city" hotel, would be a nice place to stay on business, and a nice place to regroup in Lisboa. Walking distance to most areas of interest. 7K points well spent.

3. Sheraton Porto
- Where to being. Wow. Hotel was opened in 2001 I believe, and it shows. We checked in at 11 AM without problem, amenity recongnized, and upgrade to Executive Suite. 2 rooms, 2 plasma TVs, wine arrived 5 minutes after we sat down. Club Lounge on the 12th floor had ocean views, great appetizer and wine from 6-8, and breakfast from 6-11. The real key to this hotel, was the Spa. Opened in the past 3 month, this is a state of the art facitily that would have been worth paying for, if it wasn't included in the hotel cost (or points in our case!) One note - we ask the cost, and the girl asked "are you with a group?" - I asked her, and it turns out if you are staying there on a package deal of some type, you have to pay to use the Spa. The gym was great, Turkish Bath great, and the hottub was hard to beat. Location of the hotel is not optimal for walking, but with cheap taxi fares (5 Euros to the city core) its not too painful. Hotel is right across the street from FC Boavista's stadium, and our suite could see onto the field, would be nice on a game day.

ONLY PET PEEVE WITH ANY OF THESE HOTELS:
- UNICEF. I understand the purpose of the program, but staying over 120 nights a year, and contributing personally already, the UNICEF charge on the bill per night is a little annoying. At the Algarve, it was 5 EUROS, which you had to ask to remove. Other hotels was only 1 EURO, but I really just prefer to give money when I choose to, not to feel bad about asking to remove a $1 charge from my bill ... not a big deal though, just don't like things like that imposed on me!

All for now, Safe Travels.

T.
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Old Oct 14, 04, 12:26 pm   #9
 
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Porto Hotel was actually opened in 2003 and is indeed a fine property. I'd stay in all 3 Portugal properties again.
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Old Dec 6, 04, 11:29 pm   #10
 
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Travis, how did you get from Faro to Lisbon to Porto? Did you rent a car or take a train, and how long did it take you?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 7, 04, 8:04 am   #11
 
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Europcar

Quote:
Originally Posted by attorney28
Travis, how did you get from Faro to Lisbon to Porto? Did you rent a car or take a train, and how long did it take you?

Thanks!
Hi,

We rented from Europcar (http://www.europcar.com/) at the Faro airport - there are a number of rental car places there, and we found it to be the cheapest... we rented from Faro and dropped in Porto for no additional fee.

The car was very handy as we got to make our own schedule and parking is abundant in most places if you are willing to walk a few extra blocks.

If you have a map this will make more sense:
From Faro:
- We staying in the Algarve for a few days, then headed north to Evora.
- From Evora we went to Lisboa, Lisboa to Sintra
- From Sintra we drove to Tomar (highly recommended - I think we were the only visitors there!) - Tomar is near Coimbra on the map.
- From Tomar we did the craziest drive through the North-East region to Amarante (via Vila Real)... the new highway was not complete when we were there, so the roads are challenging at the least... weather would make them very scary.
- From Amarante we drove to Oporto to the Sheraton and parked it for the remainder of the trip - parking and driving in Porto was pretty tough.

From the Sheraton Oporto it is about 20 minutes to the airport and the car drop.

Let me know if you have any other questions - enjoy Portugal, it is beautiful!

T.


sorry - times are pretty close to mileage - you can drive 130 KM/H on all the highways. The only part that was MUCH slower was the Tomar-Amarante bit... around 30KM/H max. (and make sure you have lots of gas
Lagos to Lisboa is around a 4 hour drive.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 9:03 am   #12
 
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I am going to Portugal in August, Tuesday to Tuesday. Spending two nights in porto, three in Algarve and two in Lisbon. We are flying into Lisbon and picking up a car, then off to Porto then the Algarve and returning the car in Lisbon. My wife and I have not been to Portugal and have different interests, she likes the beach/pool and I like to explore. Any recommendations concerning our itinerary? Should we spend a night at the Convento do Espinheiro in Evora? Any detailed trip reports out there with more touristy stuff to do and restaurant suggestions?
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Old Jul 1, 05, 10:43 am   #13
 
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Just to clarify, the Sheraton Algarve is a member of the Luxury Collection.
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Old Jul 1, 05, 12:34 pm   #14
 
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So is Convento do Espinheiro...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TahitiBoy
Just to clarify, the Sheraton Algarve is a member of the Luxury Collection.
The Evora property is also part of the Luxury Collection. Has anyone stayed there yet? And yes, I have searched, and found no reports. We had the highest opinion of the Porto hotel, even though the Spa and Lounge were not yet open when we stayed there (it was that new). We would put the Algarve in the middle, and the Lisbon hotel at the bottom. We are thinking of returning this Fall, as we enjoy Portugal. One can easily spend several days in Porto just tasting Port...
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Old Jul 1, 05, 2:14 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycflyerrr
I am going to Portugal in August, Tuesday to Tuesday. Spending two nights in porto, three in Algarve and two in Lisbon. We are flying into Lisbon and picking up a car, then off to Porto then the Algarve and returning the car in Lisbon. My wife and I have not been to Portugal and have different interests, she likes the beach/pool and I like to explore. Any recommendations concerning our itinerary? Should we spend a night at the Convento do Espinheiro in Evora? Any detailed trip reports out there with more touristy stuff to do and restaurant suggestions?
You are driving a lot...!
And Evora would still be more driving. I have been in Evora, but stayed at Pousada da Rainha Santa Isabel in Estremoz. Pousadas are the way to go in Portugal. Most of them are nice, the food was never good.

The Sheraton in Lisbon is O.K. ... in 2004 they had "old" and renovated rooms.

BTW, the beaches near Cascais are very nice. The robbery was not there, it took place between Lisbon and Cascais.
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