Portugal’s five-star Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort has apologised for ‘not meeting expectations’ after complaints it was unprepared for the number of Brits arriving at the weekend.
Guests said rooms were not ready on arrival, there were not enough sunbeds, near-two-hour queues at the restaurant and six-deep queues at the only bar open.
The resort appears to have been taken by surprise by the amount of guests arriving over the weekend.
One guest who arrived last week, described the resort as quiet and calm, saying hotel staff ‘couldn’t do enough’ but said it ‘felt like a completely different hotel’ over the weekend, when more people arrived.
A guest who arrived on Saturday said: “They just seemed to be unprepared.”
Another set of guests arrived at the weekend to be told they’d have to wait for six hours to check in.
On its web site, the Anantara Vilamoura, on the edge of the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, says it ‘strictly adheres to physical distancing best practices’, but guests said people were queuing six deep at the bar.
Currently, only the buffet restaurant is open, although others are expected to open later this week.
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort Hotel Manager Marta Mota Pinto told Travel Gossip: “We apologise as we clearly are not meeting the guests expectations.
“We are trying our very best to turn some of these aspects around, however we should reinforce the fact that we have to still obey several government indications regarding COVID safety guards that do not allow us to increase number of tables, chairs or sunbeds in order to comply with safe distancing in between guests.
“We are hoping to have softer indicators due next month and until then we will accommodate the best way possible all guests’ necessities, our teams are available to assist and follow up on any further issues or queries.”
She added: “Our health authorities have strict rules regarding social distancing and timetables when it comes to restaurants, pools, bars, beaches – there must be an assigned number of tables chairs and sunbeds per square metre and there must be sufficient distancing in between tables, chairs and sunbeds, thus not allowing us to have full capacity to comply and assure health and safety.
“We hope this will be alleviated towards June but until then we are obliged to comply.
“Also, the use of masks is still mandatory everywhere, exceptions are accepted during meals and while seated and when sunbathing. The number of passengers inside buses or vans is also restricted.”
Last week, travel agent Kay Byrne Clueit, who reported for Travel Gossip on her trip to Portugal, said a waiter at her hotel ‘ told us they were a little unprepared because they didn’t think anyone from the UK would come’.