Review – Monte Santo Resort Carvoeiro (Algarve)
In July, we visited the Monte Santo Resort, a family-friendly 5 star resort in the beautiful beach-side fishing village of Carvoeiro.
The hotel becomes visable as you drive around a quiet country lane, and is impressive in its size but blends in with the beautiful surroundings with its natural earthy colours.
We arrived at midday, four hours before official check -in, but we were immediately welcomed into the lobby, offered a welcome drink of a cool, refreshing fruit cocktail and handed information about the resort, including a map, the kids club (Planet Junior), spa menu and all important wifi code and keys. After a 4am start with a four year old and 20 month old, the early and smooth check-in was much appreciated.
After settling into our spotlessly clean room, our impatient four year old was desperate to visit the pool. We were staying in one of the two bed townhouse apartments, which shared its own smaller pool with the block. We opted to explore the main pool area first, which also features a baby splash pool, a restaurant and a bar area. We settled in near the splash pool area and spent a lovely afternoon by the pool – enjoying lunch at the poolside restaurant Monte dos Comensais. The gazpacho is zingy and refreshing on a hot day and the spaghetti bolognese ( with hidden veg) was a huge hit with our two. We went for the self catering option, so had the full range of menu available to us – but after speaking to some other guests who were half board, they explained the menu choice was only two options per course. Needless to say, after a couple of days, this did get a little tedious for them, but the hotel were very accommodating for their family and expanded the menu options.
The complimentary kids club, Planet Junior has a range of activities in the morning and afternoon for children aged four and over. A nice touch were the goodie bags at the end of each participants stay. My eldest went to three sessions and really enjoyed it. The staff were friendly, kind and engaged the kids judging by the popularity, but do be aware, they may be left unattended for a minute or two if the staff need to pop and grab something for an activity. I happened to be there on those occasions along with another parent, so we were happy to keep an eye on them.
Our fully air-conditioned two storey townhouse was very clean and spacious with all the things a family would need. Conveniently, there is a loo off the hallway. The ground floor consisted of an open plan kitchen, dining table with six chairs, lounge area with HDTV including free children’s satellite channels CBBC and CBeebies. There is also an LG DVD/CD player and iPod docking station (although the the docking station is the old style iPod/iPhone connection).
The modern kitchen was fully equipped with a cooker, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, toaster, kettle and coffee maker. A ‘Kitchen Kit’ is available for €7.50 which includes a sponge, a travel size washing up and laundry liquid, multi purpose cleaner and 2 dishwasher tablets. The cupboards are well stocked with crockery, cutlery and a few pots and pans. Watch the video below to see the full range of equipment.
A welcome touch for our young family, were the stair gates on both floors, cot and an IKEA high-chair. The last two can be requested prior to arrival via the ‘Our Baby Must Have!’ service. You can order every item on-line prior to travelling, including car seats, story books in various languages, DVD’s, potties, nappies, sterilisers, extra bottles and teats, bottle warmers, crayons, colouring books, wipes, baby bath tubs and more. Additionally they even have a team of Baby Concierges, qualified English babysitters, a baby listening services and children’s menus.
On the next level, the master bedroom has a large balcony with a high glass barrier. The room comes equipped with a large double bed, two bath robes, and pairs of slippers, phone and an HDTV. The second bedroom, consists of two single beds, phone and a further HDTV. Both rooms have en-suite bathrooms with Jacuzzi bath/showers and Rituals toiletries. View my video below, to have a full explore of the townhouse and all its facilities, including the pool.
Watch on YouTube: Room Tour Monte Santo Resort Carvoeiro Algarve
The hotel is linked up with a great app called ‘B-Guest’ which can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play. This app enables you to plan your stay for not only your time at the hotel (i.e. calendar of nightly events) but also the surrounding area, with recommended restaurants, activities etc; you can even book reservations via the app and it’s all managed by the resort concierge! We used our mobile phone to book dinner online for several restaurants in the area and had our reservations confirmed by the hotel – all organised from the pool and hardly lifting a finger! You can also book a massage, order breakfast to your room; it’s a nice touch that I haven’t seen in too many places before and it certainly makes things that little bit easier when organising activities.
The resort has a fitness track, colourful and well equipped kids playground, indoor swimming pool as well as the main pool, baby pool and townhouses pools. It was very refreshing to see that sunbeds we’re rarely ‘reserved’. It was only during the final two days of our stay that the hotel felt the need to put a sign out reminding people to not reserve beds or leave them for more than 30 minutes. However, we stayed the week before the majority of UK schools broke up, so it was fairly busy. The main pool also has cabana areas which were €6 for half a day or €10 for the full day.
The hotel is not really walking distance to the beach or the shops, especially with young children, but it’s a short taxi ride away of about 5- 10 mins. We decided to hire a car for our trip and this was handy for seeing the further afield local beaches. But if you’re looking to stay just in Carvoeiro, then this is not really a necessity as long as you don’t mind a short taxi ride each time.
For more information of where to eat and what to do in Carvoeiro, read my Destination Carvoeiro – Algarve post
We stayed self catering for 6 nights at our own cost. A townhouse costs €2303.77 via Booking.com + 6% VAT
Breakfast costs €15 per person and dinner €25 per person if you are on the meal plan.
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