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“Great Holiday!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balaia Mar Hotel

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Balaia Mar Hotel
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Praia Maria Luisa, Albufeira 8200-925, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #33 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Holiday!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014

We visited there for 5 days in September 2014. We rented one of the two bedroom Apartments, and it was so much better than we had anticipated. And we had anticipated to have a very nice room. The Service was top class, and the food was excellent.
We went half board which was really good, as it gave you the option to do something else.
Our Apartment had all the facilities from Washing Machine, Microwave, Espresso Coffee Machine, Flat Screen TV & DVD player. There were also a selection of DVDs to play.
We loved the idea that you could choose to relax by the pool side, relax over looking the pool on an upper level, or you could relax in a small private garden area.
The Beach wasn't too far away, but the price of the sun loungers and shades stopped us from making full use of the beach. The other half of the beach was exclusively fro another nearby hotel.
The transfers from the nearby airport were very smooth, and a 20min ride into Albufeira via taxi is also very convenient from here.
The staff were always pleasant, attentive to your needs.
We had a great time, and would definitely return.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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488 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bolton, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

I agree with all the positive reviews about this hotel. The staff are really friendly and can't do enough for you. Always smiling which shows how well it is run. Jose and Armondo always willing to chat and answer questions. We asked for a room with a balcony overlooking the pool, and that is what we got. although no kitchen we had a fridge for milk, beer etc, and a large kettle with cups. (take mugs if like us you want a decent brew). We went in the first week of October so we didn't expect a lot of other guests, but it was quite busy, but not full. We didn't go all inclusive as we like to eat out, but you can pay on a meal to meal basis, which we did, so we had the best of both worlds. The only criticism I would make is the Lounge bar does not open during the day, and only from 9pm in the evening. It rained a couple of days and it would have been nice if it had been opened in the afternoon, and the TV's turned on, although drinks could be taken through from the pool bar and it was open for sitting in. This is just a minor detail though in what was an otherwise excellent stay. The pool area is lovely, with more than enough sun loungers, and the beach is excellent, and only a short stroll away. It is slightly out of the way, but taxis can be either ordered from reception, or if you stand at the bus stop on the road opposite the hotel you can flag one down. To Albufeira old town it costs between 7-8 euros either way. All in all we had a great relaxing holiday and will be going back.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Struer, Denmark
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

The apartment has a nice kitchen with all the dishes, a good bathroom and sleeping room. But there was a lot of noise from the traffick outside and no sun on the balcony at the apartment, where we stayed. The staff are very serviceminded and allways in a good mood. We had all inclusive and the food was very good.

Room Tip: Ask for an apartment away from the noise from the road and with a sunny balcony.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Monmouthshire, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Superb value for money. Excellent and varied choice of food, clean rooms and very hard working staff combined to give my wife and I a very relaxing holiday. Lovely pool with plenty of loungers and refreshments available nearby.

Great beach within easy walking distance. (Although has a short steep hill, to bear in mind if disabled)

About 3 miles away from Albufeira town, although bus stops are very close. There isn't much sight-seeing in the locality though.

This hotel is ideal if you just want to relax and stay local. We liked it's location because it was quieter than in the main town. My wife remarked how safe she felt there and thought it a good place for single people looking for a safe, peaceful hotel and amenities.

Room Tip: Request a pool-facing balcony
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Doncaster, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014

This was our first visit to Portugal and I am so glad we chose the Balaia Mar.

On arrival we were greeted by a very lovely lady on reception. She checked us in then said that the cleaning lady (another lovely woman) would show us to our room to have a look. The room was no 3 in block C. Once there the room was nice enough but was at the bottom of a stairwell on the ground floor with the windows looking directly over the road. I think the lady saw the disappointment in our faces and phoned reception and spoke to the woman there who then offered us a room in the hotel part, Once again the lovely cleaning lady showed us to room which was fab. It was directly over the shop which I have seen previous reviews about the noise etc but we decided to take that one. After a 20 mins or so reception rang back again to say they had a T2 apartment available with balcony so would we like to have a look at that so off we trotted with the cleaning lady to look at this one. The T2 apartment was lovely, massive with 2 bedrooms, kitchen etc plus 2 balconies. We decided to stick with the hotel room as the T2 would be too big for the 2 of us plus it was further away. The following day reeption rang again to stay they had another hotel room available with a balcony, We had a look but decided to stay where we were to save messing about. It was fab that they was thinking about us and offering us a better room.

The hotel room - (No9) was very clean, quiet and as a bonus had air conditioning (the other rooms offered had fans) Yeah I suppose I could say a bit dated but its only the brown wood of the wardrobes etc which made it look that way. The bed was the comfiest hotel bed we have ever slept in. There was no noise from outside but we slept with the shutters down every night which made the room quite, dark and cool. The bathroom had a full size bath and a shower. The room was cleaned, beds made and used towels changed everyday.

We went All inclusive and this had set times Breakfast 8-10am, Lunch 1:00-2pm, Snacks 3-6pm and Dinner 7:30-9:30pm. Soft drinks started at 10am and Alcoholic 1:00-11pm.

Food - The food was amazing and everything was fresh, Yes I know as others have said a bit repetitive but we didn't mind having a choice of fresh (cooked while you wait) Chicken, Steak Fish and Ribs every night. Aside from this choice there was a different main meal every night (Lasagne, Chicken curry, paella etc) There was also Chicken, Steak for lunch as well with a different main course as well (spag bol, Pasta with a different sauce etc) There is also a different homemade (well tastes homemade) soup every night as well.

The salad was very fresh and was gorgeous, There is an open kitchen so you can see Sylvia preparing the salad every day before putting it out.

The drinks included in the AI are Beer (San Miquel on draft) Wines, and Spirits. No cocktails cider etc but plenty enough choice.

The staff in the restaurant/bar were fantastic and very friendly. There is Jossamer AKA Rapido who is a lovely guy, a bit of a joker and brings a smile to your face, Speaking of smiles (or lack of) there is Jose Santos AKA the miserable barman (as per previous reviews) Noooooooooooooo Jose is amazing, we loved Jose. He is another funny lovely guy. I think the miserable look is his "angle" like Posh Spice haha. Armando is the other waiter/barman who was also lovely and never stopped he always seemed to be looking for things to do. Not to mention the young lads who worked in the kitchen and the catering staff. Everyone was lovely and hard-working Balaia should be proud of the staff they have.

The pool area was very nice and quiet. Lots of sun loungers and area to sit. The pool was of a good size and although cold was very refreshing on a hot day. Again the staff were hard-working every night we watched while they sorted out the pool and tidied the area and in the morning the pool area was always clean,tidy and hosed down.

There is no entertainment at the hotel but we didn't mind this as it made it more relaxing. It was our first holiday without our little girls so was glad otherwise we`d have felt even more guilty for leaving them. If you want entertainment then the hotel is not far from `The Strip` and the `Old town` Every night there is a shuttle service from the hotel between 8 and 10pm. It is not a return tho but the taxis were regular and cheap. 4 euros from the strip and 8 euros from the centre of the old town.

The beach is beautiful and is supervised by lifeguards. Its literally a 5min or so walk from the hotel.

All in all this hotel is fabulous and I would definitely return and would recommend it. Top marks to Balaia Mar and again you should be proud of ALL your staff from reception to cleaners to the restaurant.

A******************************

Room Tip: Say no to room 3C Any rooms in the actual hotel are the best as they are closer but are only hotel...
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2014

On arrival at reception we were asked if we had eaten as the restaurant was closing in 10 minutes to which we replied no. The lady behind reception then showed us to the restaurant and told us she would check us in after we had eaten. Great start to our short break.
Our room was behind the complex in an apartment block. Big enough room with kitchen but no balcony and you had to walk back around the road to restaurant and bars. When we went back to the swimming pool we noticed the rooms around the pool with balcony. In the evening I asked at reception if it was extra to change to one of these rooms. The lady told me that they were all full but there were some people going the following day and we could change then at no extra charge.
The staff behind the bar were very friendly and we had no problems getting drinks. Jose Dos Santos was particularly helpful and personally can't understand why he doesn't have a job as supervisor at the hotel.
The food was ok. We generally found something different to eat each night. As the hotel was quiet our meat was cooked to order. Some of the food ie chips and veg could have been a bit hotter.
The hotels location is a bit away from the main bars and restaurants of Albufeira but not too far from the beach.
Overall the hotel was very clean,staff very helpful and really good value for money. We certainly wouldn't hesitate in staying here again which mainly is a lot to the staff being very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed October 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Pros:

Huge very clean cheap room with lounge area and balcony.
Lovely quiet pool area with lots of loungers in the sun all day, but we were at the end of the season so this is to be expected.
Pool was much larger than expected and very clean.
Great all inclusive food with good variety of salads, fresh grilled meat and fish each meal.
All inclusive drinks menu was varied with many wines, spirits, soft drinks and San Miguel on tap!
Friendly helpful staff mostly.

Cons:
Cocky barman, more interested in making confusing jokes to his customers than actually serving drinks!
Pool games are not included, be warned you are timed as soon as you take the balls from Reception, and will be charged without warning when you return them- we played leisurely for over an hour, blissfully unaware of the bill awaiting us!! having said that- very enjoyable atmosphere in the games area of the very large sports bar.
Very lumpy and hard pillows... get ready for neck ache. but comfy beds.

Room Tip: Always request a room NOT on the roadside - pool side or rooms facing in are the best!
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balaia Mar Hotel

Address: Praia Maria Luisa, Albufeira 8200-925, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Albufeira
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#23 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Balaia Mar Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Balaia Mar Hotel Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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