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“Great holiday, lovely hotel, not-so-great hotel food and even worse weather!”
Review of Luna Solaqua

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Luna Solaqua
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 15, 2010

My partner and I stayed at the Solaqua Hotel from June 6th - June 13th and have no complaints about the hotel itself; it is very well kept inside and out; it was very clean; our room was very spacious and had maid service every day, as well as everything you would need in the kitchen to host a small dinner party (fridge/freezer, pans, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, toaster, kettle, even a juicer!), although you're not provided with cleaning supplies like cloths, washing-up liquid or tea towels; the staff were also very curtious, helpful and friendly throughout our stay. We had no problem getting a seat or a brolly by the pool either, although unfortunately, that probably had more to do with the rubbish weather than the hotel's facilites! Also worth a mention is the fact that there is a small but powerful little hairdryer attached to the wall in the bathroom, so save the room in your case and leave yours at home!

The one complaint we would have about the hotel is the food. We were half-board and so made the most of it, but if you're self-catering then I really wouldn't bother paying the 24 Euros per head they were asking for the evening meal. You will be disappointed. Breakfast was 7 Euros and consisted of a variety of things including toast, cooked breakfast, fruit, cereal etc, and was fine most days - sometimes the sausages were slightly under-cooked, and the scrambled eggs a bit gooey. The evening buffet-style meal was also varied, with a different soup to start each night, salads, chips or wedges, rice or pasta, meat and fish, and something for the kids like pizza or fish fingers. There was also a variety of desserts. Even though there was a good choice of food, the quality of the evening meal was inconsistent at best, and often badly cooked - the pasta and rice was undercooked, the meat was chewy and sometimes slightly greasy, and the chips were sometimes over-cooked. It wasn't all bad though, as the soup was always delicious and the desserts were lovely as well, but staying half-board at the Solaqua is not necessarily something that I would recommend.

The hotel itself is in a great location with a huge supermarket at the end of the street, and various shops and restaurants across the road. It is also a mere 10 minute walk to the Old Town, or you can (and should!) buy an all day ticket for the Noddy Train for a very reasonable 3.50 and go to the New Town, the Old Town or both - it really is an excellent way of getting your bearings and exploring the surrounding area for very little money. We enjoyed the New Town as much as the Old Town, although the bar/restaurant workers in the New Town can get a bit much when trying to get you in to their respective establishments. We ate in Wild and Co one night (at the very bottom of the strip in the New Town) and it was great. Don't be put off by the noisy Western-style bar dowstairs - the restaurant upstairs is tranquil and beautifully decorated, the staff was very efficient and the food to die for (I had the ribs followed by the cheesecake and would 100% recommend that you do too!). We also went to Johnny Hooper's Jazz Bar and had a great night - he is a genuinely lovely guy and the staff do their utmost to make your evening as enjoyable as possible. On a Friday he does a music quiz, a good old fashioned sing-a-long and sets the mood for the eveing with a bit of sax-playing while you're eating your meal. The portions are decent but watch out for the prices of the booze - a peach schnappes at Johnny's cost a pricely 5 Euros compared to the 3.50 we were paying everywhere else. Definitely worth a visit though, but book in advance if you are a larger party.

Overall, apart from the not-so-great food and the cloudy skies, we thoroughly enjoyed our week in Albufeira, and would definitely go back to Portugal in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank H_and_M_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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892 - 898 of 1,036 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2010

just returned yesterday 27th may 2010 from solaqua apts what we can only describe a dump. Firstly we got apt with skip view not pool view as requested, then we were moved 3 days later to 2 floors above but to our dismay bin being collected from our apts and Paraiso Hotel at 4.15 in the morning which sounded like building being knocked, then finally day 6 got apt suitably quiter at the back of apts but our holiday was ruined at this stage. We could not get to jaquzzi as lifts were broken and had to acess them through the unlit -2 floor which was frightening. If you like a nice shower ie one with water pressure dont stay here, also maids dont clean apts properly my 1 year old was on rug one day and his hands and feet were black afterwards. Lastly staff at reception were so rude especially hugo a bald nasty man who obviously likes ruining young happy families holidays. I hope someone reads this review and avoids the nightmare hol we just experienced. PS def not 4* more like 2 key

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank 1972graham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2010

We stayed at the Sol Aqua apartments for a week in 2 May 2010-9 May 2010. Was a bit worried about the accommodation having read reviews, but it was very good. We travelled with our 2.5 year old son for the first time abroad. We had a one bedroom apartment. It was really spacious, very clean and had all of the equipment we needed and two balconies. The bathroom was good and towels were change regularly.

Outdoor pool was nice, spacious at the time we went, but water quite cold. Word of caution for those with little ones..the poolside of the baby pool was REALLY slippery when wet so we were continually telling our son to be careful and fearful he would fall.
Pool bar was OK serving basic food.

General cleanliness of hotel was good, staff appeared friendly. Proximity of hotel to supermarket was excellent. Is a small gift shop in the hotel, but only selling small gifts and snacks.

For us, there was not enough enteratinment at the hotel and very limited facilties for young children. We had rain for two days and the indoor pool was cold, busy and small, there was a very small playground for children, but items mainly suited to larger children.

It took about 20 minutes to walk to the old town which was OK when the weather is good and gets you out. Would recommend buying tickets for the land train for the day to travel around and between the hotel and beach each day.

Found a really good value restaurant in the old town called Os Arcos, Rua Alves Correia, 25. Proprietor very friendly, food brought fresh from market each day, excellent service and such good value. Would highly recommend this if you want food that can be tailored to suit your needs, is fresh, local and not the quick turn around, high priced food in some of the old town, square restaurants.

Generally felt the holiday was good value for money in terms of quality of accommodation, but would probably choose something more family focussed next time with a little more on site entertainment. Ideal though if you are a couple of have a young baby, not looking for too much activity.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Emma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2010

We had a great holiday at the Solaqua, think the 4th star they have is slightly generous. We stayed half board so having the kitchen area in the room so was a bonus as the Modelo supermarket is very close and very cheap . We had a 2 year old so it was great for keeping snacks and goodies. Reception were always very helpful. The 2 pools were great and as the weather was v.hot they soon warmed up. The restaurant staff and first choice were excellent. 3 downsides of the hotel were the lack of parasols round the pool (people were going to local shops to buy there own which you dont expect in a 4star) and the choice of food. The quality was good but choice was terrible, dinners were a bit of a concoction. Breakfast was the same every day.......needs sorting out, self catering maybe a better choice as eating out is fairly reasonable. Entertainment at night consists of a bird show(which was good) on the Monday night other than that there isnt any.....

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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Thank skyblueheaven87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2010

My wife and I along with our 2 yr old daughter stayed here from 15th - 22nd May. After paying £700 for the week half board we were a little sceptical and thought it seemed too good to be true, we need not have worried, the room was large and well equipped (1st floor overlooking the pool) and the hotel itself was clean, the staff were very friendly and well informed about the local area.

We could not find any reviews of the food before we left but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety with plenty of soups, salads, fish, meat, potatoes and pasta/rice to choose from throughout the week as well as some very tasty deserts.

There was also plenty for the kids to choose such as fish fingers,burgers, chips etc alongside the "healthier or grown up" options

There are 2 outdoor pools and 1 indoor which we did not use (as you have to wear a swimming cap to use it), one of the outdoor pools is a childs paddling area 30cm deep which kept our daughter happy and a larger adult pool sloping to 1.6m deep.

The hotel is ideally placed between the strip - very lively with lots of bars, and the old town - plenty of places to eat and drink but a bit more family friendly with street performers such as clowns and puppeteer's for the children, both are approximately a 15 min walk away.

All in all a fantastic hotel which I would definatley recommend.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank stetash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2010

Hotel very nice and ideally located. Pool excellent and train trips into the Old Town etc were also ideal as Albufeira is quite hilly - my travelling partner was a pensioner, so the train was a blessing.......

  • Stayed: May 2010
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1  Thank karenconnelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2010

We stayed from 6th to 20th May. Read reviews so was sure we were in for treat. Went with FirstChoice. All great. No probs going or getting back. Apartments lovely and clean and big. Had hob (four rings) and a combi microwave and fridge with icebox. Maid service daily. Pool cold, but wasn't too bad when we left (there is an indoor pool too). About a half hour walk to Strip and 20 mins to Old Town. Got tourist train first night to get bearings. Preferred old town. Loads of places to eat etc. By apartments there was a supermarket (Modelo) at end of road and opposite on main road was Pingo Doce which had a good cafe serving food e.g. steak and chips and beer was 4.49euros. Went to Zoomarine which kids loved. Getting around is quite expensive - tourist train is 14 euros for family of 2+2 (all day ticket) and a bus to Vilamoura cost us 28 euros, but I wasn't impressed by it. Beaches are beautiful - lovely sand. Beer cheap - loads of happy hours so cheapest large beer we found was 1.50 euros. A great place to stay, loads of places to eat in - Brisasol's coffee/snack bar was great for coffee and cakes (a large selection). Would go back. Weather was glorious when we left - always got a sunbed by pool so no probs there. You'll have a great stay.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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Thank LisHad71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luna Solaqua

Address: Rua do Mediterraneo 14 | Cerro Alagoa, Albufeira 8200-156, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 136 Specialty Lodging in Albufeira
Price Range: $37 - $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luna Solaqua 4*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Luna Solaqua assumes a central position on the Algarve coast. It is just a few minutes from the iconic Praia dos Pescadores, as well as the main shopping area of Albufeira. Next to the hotel, you can find numerous restaurants, bars and shops, typical of tourist offer very characteristic of this region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solaqua Apartments Hotel Albufeira
Luna Solaqua Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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