I'd read very mixed reviews on Trip Advisor before we travelled so was somewhat apprehensive when we arrived. however, check in was smooth and efficient and we were provided with everything we needed. We were located in the Mahon block, just across from reception in room 124 - this was a second floor room of a three floor block, with rooms on either side. This did provide a few issues at times - there were families on either side of us and the noise did filter through the walls, and there was noise from the other rooms when furniture was moved or the shower was running. This is generally a feature of this style of building though, so something to bear in mind rather than something to complain to reception about. However, travelling as a couple rather than a family, it may make some sense to allocate the rooms in such a way that the families are all located together, and the couples and older travellers are located together.. This would potentially reduce some of the irritation caused by the general noise of families. Similarly, we felt very uncomfortable on our balcony in the evenings, as we were made to feel like we were disturbing the families either side of us, and we were simply sat quietly talking and having an evening drink. Our room was located across the road from the pool area and bar area, so it was generally quiet and ideal in that respect, but the noise issues and neighbour issues did put a. It of a dampener on our experience.
Overall the rooms were pretty much as expected - two single beds and a fitted wardrobe with a safe, a small wet room/bathroom and a large lounge with a kitchenette. The lounge has two sofas and a flat screen TV on which you can get a selection of German, Spanish and English channels (CNN / BBC1 / ITV). The rooms are basic but clean, although tired and in need of updating in terms of decor and fittings. The bathroom particularly was in need of an overhaul - the shower head and sink basin both seemed to be on a 'make do and mend' basis, although perfectly functional. According to some talk at the hotel and reviews on here, there are plans to upgrade the rooms which would take the experience at the Alba from the top end of average to exceptional.
The facilities around the hotel definitely improved the experience of the Alba - the pool area was more than an adequate size and depth, and cleaned and maintained well. The sun beds were not locked away during our visit and there were always plenty available. There is a Spar shop 2 mins from the complex for SC visitors, although we utilised the AI option and found the food to be, whilst not exactly gourmet or as wide in choice as some AI resorts we have experienced, plentiful and sufficient in choice each day to vary what we had most days. The AI drinks range was sufficient, although restricted to San Miguel, basic white/red/rose wine and a selection of local brand liqueurs (coconut, apple, melon) and whisky/vodka/rum.
The service staff at the Alba were never anything other than polite, proficient and helpful, and the Animacion team were outstanding at amusing the children at the complex (and often the adults too!). The main selling poi t for the Alba though would have to be the location - a few minutes down the hill and down the steps and you will find yourself on Cala Gran beach, while the Esmerelda is less than 5 minutes walk along the street and turning left at the end. Both these beaches are amazing - picturesque, clean, crystal waters and good facilities. The centre of Cala d'Or is only a few minutes' walk, where you will find plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. The town itself is beautiful - quiet, clean, contained and as much of a contrast to the open beaches, scattered shopping and noise and bustle of Magaluf as you can imagine!
Overall, the Alba is one of the better of the 'standard Spanish apartment hotels' that I have visited, although there is potential for some adjustment to make it a complex to come back to on any subsequent visit to Cala d'Or.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.