Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas to all Friends of the CPO

Friends of CPO would like to wish all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

New Acquisition - Forte da Oura

MGM Muthu Group began with just six European hotels in its portfolio. Since then it has expanded its presence, particularly on the Algarve where last year it took on the luxurious Forte do Vale. Now the CPO "family" has grown further by the acquisition of the magnificent Forte da Oura, one of the largest and most popular hotels on the Algarve.

Forte da Oura is a spacious and sought after 4-star hotel with 115 modern and fully air-conditioned apartments each with a private balcony, a large outdoor pool with a private area for kids and a dedicated pool bar, a stylish restaurant, wonderful entertainment, a children's play area and a tennis court. It is situated directly beside MGM's Oura Praia Hotel.

As well as the leisure market, Forte da Oura offers a full range of services for business travellers and meeting planners.

Some Reflections from a Weekend at CPO

This is the first post on this blog, hopefully of many, that has actually been made from the CPO itself. Having arrived on Friday night for an untypically short weekend visit, I was determined to see whether anything had changed very much since my last time here, for better or for worse.

One of the "for worse" parts is that the weather is pretty dire - dry, but cold. There's no feeling homesick for Blighty while it's like this.

But there isn't really very much the management or the team at the Clube Praia da Oura can do about the elements. One piece of bad news that does come from within is that the hard-working and ever-popular entertainer Bruno has moved on to pastures new. Bruno was an absolute legend and an institution at CPO, a real character who personified everything that is fun about the resort, not only providing entertainment and laughter in the evenings but also calling the numbers at bingo (in the days when it was permitted by the Portuguese government), helping to run the pool parties in the summer and even managing activities such as archery during the day. Bruno will be missed by many and we wish him all the very best in his new work.

The CPO itself continues to excel in its service to its clients. The room as always is spotless and the small but thoughtful "added touches" - some basic foodstuffs in the fridge (for which one is always grateful after the flight and transfer in), bottle of wine, toothbrush and other little bathroom essentials, are always much appreciated.

CPO's portfolio of entertainers would appear to be expanding, and the strategy of encouraging cross-patronage around the family of resorts and hotels would appear to be progressing well.

Obviously this week there is a Christmassy feel as well, although I will have missed the carols in the open air by arriving too late on Friday and departing too early on Monday.

It is always a pleasure to be at the CPO and always a sadness to leave. Three nights are never enough to completely rediscover a feel for a place but there is clearly much to be optimistic about.

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Oura Praia Hotel

The Oura Praia Hotel is part of the CPO "family" and is situated just a short walk from the CPO site as one exits the north side of the site.

The hotel boasts a veritable array of leisure facilities and activities for guests. Outdoor pools, a sauna and jacuzzi, tennis court and gymnasium are available for use and indoors the Café Latte Bar and Trevi Restaurant serve a range of food from breakfasts to evening meals as well as hosting (at Trevi) night time entertainment, often with Bruno the Club Praia da Oura's lead entertainer. There is also a bar at poolside where one can choose from a range of soft drinks or cocktails.

The 126 self-catering apartments are all newly redecorated and are equipped throughout with satellite television and air conditioning. From the balconies and the furnished terraces guests can enjoy views over the pool and Oura village.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Weddings at MGM Hotels

CPO owner MGM Hotels is offering a range of wedding packages to suit most budgets and provides a dedicated Wedding Team to help organise the whole event from start to finish.

Up until 31st March 2015 MGM is offering a "Stay 5, Pay 3" deal on new bookings only and subject to availability.

Contact Hotel Reservations on +44 (0)845 4680164 (UK) or +351 289 249 850 (Portugal).

Monday, 1 December 2014

Rui Sá - Saxophonist

Rui Sá - or Rui Sáx to use his popular stage name - is a saxophonist and entertainer who regularly performs at the Piano Bar at the Clube Praia da Oura.

A long-time favourite of guests, Rui is appreciated both for his instrumental talent and for his slightly eccentric style, in which he interacts with his audience and personally "serenades" individuals wherever they may be in the bar at the time!

Musically he is invariably note-perfect, and whether he is playing classical or modern he always perfectly captures, indeed creates, the mood. His impressive array of saxophones, which he always has lined up and alternates between, gives of an impression of a man who really does take his task seriously.

Although his family background is in music, 52-year-old Rui once traded his musical career to go into sport, where he competed in the triathlon, as well as supervising at hotel health clubs.

Returning to music in 2005, he undertook work in hotels and bars, which is where he is today. In 2012 he completed a degree course in Saxophone at the Conservatory of Music in Lagos (Portugal).

It is often noted that even people who are not often attracted by his genre of music - the author included - find his sets compelling and make a special effort to come along when he is playing.

Rui has a website which can be seen by clicking here. Not unreasonably it is in Portuguese so non-speakers will need to use an online translator.