We recently stayed at the Jardim for 5 days after searching for an All Inclusive deal online. We pretty much knew what to expect when we arrived, after reading reviews and seeing pictures of the resort, which didn’t discourage us from booking - it was a low-cost holiday afterall. We were right to have kept our expectations low as the resort can really only really be described as being run down and in major need of a complete renovation. The gardens are well maintained but the exterior of the apartment blocks are in severe need of a lick of paint before it will ever look attractive from the outside.
Our apartment was a decent size, close to the main reception, restaurant & bar and had a nice sea view from the balcony, but these were really the only positive things to note about it. The room was very tired and dated, all furniture worn, faded and discoloured. Everything seemed clean enough at first, but on closer inspection, certain areas appeared to be quite dirty and there was a strong smell of urine coming from the separate WC for the first couple of days. We just closed the door and it remained unused but the smell did eventually go. Houskeeping serviced the room each day but it was really only the beds that got made. Floors weren’t swept and towels were never consistently changed – sometimes our wet towels were left hanging out on the balcony to dry! Glasses taken from the bar when we wanted to have a drink in the room were left dirty by the sink and never washed or removed from the room.
The food started off ok and slowly went downhill. On the first night we were pleasantly surprised by the choice available at dinner – nice selection, all freshly cooked. Desserts were limited and a bit disappointing, mousse or gateau – not much of a selection, and this didn’t change. Breakfast was always ok, the usual - nice croissants, madeira cake, mini pastries and assorted hot items to make up a cooked breakfast. Lunch was always the previous night’s leftovers and the selection at dinner gradually got worse as the week went on. It was edible and we never went hungry but 5 days was long enough! The restaurant, if you can call it that, was very small, and we sometimes struggled to get a seat at busier times – always go early if you can, you’ll get a table to yourself and the food will be warmer! The buffet counter was in a large empty room just off the main dining area which could really be used for setting up more tables.
The drinks at the bar were good if you could find someone to serve you - free poured measures and didn’t seem to be watered down so no complaints there. There was always a daily cocktail available which was a bonus as the info on our booking confirmation advised that cocktails were not available on an All Inclusive basis. Beer, wine and sangria were always on tap at meal times and bottles of water were available at the bar. They completely ran out of vodka one night, with no apology or reasons offered, which wasn’t really acceptable. The bar area itself was also small but not very appealing to sit in anyway – there was a strange smell coming from the nearby toilets, filtering through into the bar, the tables were dirty and sticky, covered in food remains and the large TV screens were usually showing football. Very loudly. We much preferred to sit outside with our drinks but it was just unfortunate that we could only do this a couple of times throughout our stay as the weather wasn’t great.
No entertainment whatsoever but no complaints there either as entertainment in these kind of places is never usually up to much! Nothing geared towards kids which was a shame – there were a few children staying while we were there and they all looked completely bored and uninterested.
The poolside area was in a terrible state – loungers and sunshades dating back to the 70’s (much like the apartments), mostly broken with stained and faded mats that you really wouldn’t want to sit on anyway. There was one main pool, divided in two, and a smaller children’s pool but they were both freezing cold so never really got used. The poolside never got tidied at the end of the day – loungers remained in the same position that they were left in, never stacked away or arranged neatly. The hotel don’t provide towels for the pool so you’ll need to buy your own if you don’t remember to take them.
The location of the apartments is fine if you don’t mind walking – the old town and beach are about a 15 - 20 minute walk away, mostly uphill on the way back. The walk really only became a problem when we wanted to venture into town more than once or twice a day and by the end of the week I was getting a bid fed up with it – we went to the beach every day and back for lunch, then back to the town at some point later in the day, either to go back to the beach, or later at night. Some people have counted the number of steps they faced during their walk there and back, but I’m not sure what way they were going as I don’t remember an awful lot of steps, and the hills themselves aren’t really anything to grumble about if you’re fit and healthy, it’s really just the distance.
Albufeira old town is a lovely place – the beach is nice and the main square has lots of little streets nearby with bars, restaurants and shops. The main strip and Oura beach in the new part of town is a 15 minute bus ride away. There’s a bus stop right outside the complex and it only costs €1.40 each. A taxi will cost around €7 / €8 and doesn’t take as long.
I would definitely recommend Albufeira for a holiday but not the Jardim Apartments unfortunately – we were probably being a bit more negative because of the weather, but all things considered, it’s too far from the town centre, the food needs to improve and everything requires complete modernisation.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.