Because we were with a big group with limited time (mid week) and energy (we all work full-time and have 37 children between us! but left them at home...) we opted for an all-in trip this year for our annual get together (this year to celebrate 25 years!). Normally not our thing but if it is yours, this place has it all. Very good beach, very good sports - golf paradise around the corner. Please note that if you wish to do golf every day: better to book a golf package as I have never paid this much for a round of 18 holes (EUR 170 plus clubs hire plus buggy) even though it was also the most stunning one and very much worth it. Near the hotel is a par-3 course, really tough! and the tournement fun (but who won?).
We were with 16 girls and there was something for everyone to do whether spa or sports or laziness. No complaints on the rooms either, on the contrary, except one because of noise and it was changed without ado or cost.
Not so good was that when we did things in small groups or ordered lobster as an extra in the dining restaurant, or even used the hotel shops; one of us would be billed and we had to pay this in advance (via a clubmed card [why?]) than sort it between us without receiving a detailed invoice. Annoying time-wise (we did not leave and thus check-out at the same times) and some of us live in GBP- or Kronen-land (so no Euro's to swap ...). WiFi for a week cost €20 (can be shared with 4), would expect this in the all-in in 2013 and the connection more stable/outside.
Again the entertainment not our thing, especially because of the dubbing in French (aqua sport - why in French?). Even the lovely cleaners would greet with 'Bonjour' rather than 'Bon Dia'. Personally I didn't like that (especially as there was a good mix of ages - few children and very well-behaved - and nationalities), I would go to France not Portugal for that!
I prefer to go to an authentic little local restaurant rather than buffet twice a day when holidaying, and to be fair this is possible.
Transfers (we came from different countries at different times), food (buffet), bars were all 10/10. In fact, we had to slow down on intake, there was just too much to choose from! Also very pleasant was the fact that when we asked the very friendly maitre tables were reserved for us as a group, so no stress and very good times to catch up.
I have given 3 stars for service because I found the service from ClubMed Holland not as expected. No response of pre-booking golf and quite a few problems with names (extra payment) and transfer arrangement. Our account manager was on holiday the week before and did not appear to have a stand-in.
The reception and staff in Faro was very polite and helpful.
Location/weather: The red coast line was very very beautiful with a great walk along it and the weather so good that we could swim (which I normally don't do in Europe!). The week before us (i.e. 1week of October) was the sole week this year with rain.
So I have tried to give some insight that I would find useful myself but I had a great time in De Balaia and can recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Da Balaia stands on an ochre cliff in southern Portugal, overlooking a magnificent white sand beach. The Resort allies sports and well-being in an outstanding setting. It's a world to unwind in, perfumed by the woody scents of parasol pines, olive trees and eucalyptus. Comfort and cosiness are to be found everywhere, even in the reception area where marble floors and deep red walls set the tone. This is a Club Med Resort where families, golfers and Spa enthusiasts live together in harmony. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Club Med so you can book your Club Med Da Balaia reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Club Med Da Balaia Hotel Albufeira
- Da Balaia Club Med
- Club Med Albufeira
- Albufeira Club Med
- Club Med Da Balaia Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve