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“Fantastic holiday!”

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Hotel Apartamento Cerro Mar Garden
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Hotel is situated on a very steep hill with 100 steps down to town/beach, we had three 4 year olds with us and these didn't pose any problems, but could be with pushchairs. There is a small shop for essentials opposite and a Lidl store 10 minutes walk away. The hotel puts on a free bus mini-bus service into town every couple of hours (but not during night).
The hotel is lovely and clean and staff are very friendly, particularly the bar staff and cleaners.
Our room (214) was clean and spacious and looked out onto a roof top garden so our children could play football over the balcony quite safely.
The room has a new well-equiped kitchen and is part of the living room which has a sofa bed, table and chairs and tv (lot of British channels on tv including ITV, ITV2, BBC, C4). The bedroom has 2 large single beds pushed together and a dressing table and wardrobes, hangers are supplied as is an ironing board and iron can be obtained from reception free of charge.
Bathroom has a light that automatically comes on and goes off so when you were making your way back to bed on a night it gave some light so you could easily find your way as rooms are very dark with blackout curtains. Both rooms are airconditioned with is great. Rooms are cleaned daily and maids are very accomodating, if you're in they'll pop back later as they work till 5pm and always leave lots of towels.
Balcony is big with table and chairs and has a towel rail for hanging wet clothes.
Pool lovely and all one depth, and there's a childrens round pool, inflatables and balls are allowed as there is no life guard. Even though they are allowed the pool was never loud and rowdy. There is a bit of a shortage of sunbeds but staff will move towels if you ask if the beds aren't being used, to keep ours we did 'shifts' one family went for breakfast whilst others looked after sunbeds then vice versa.
We only ate breakfast and the occasionally lunch at the hotel. We found breakfast to be excellent, choice of fry up, fruit, lovely toast, ham, cheese and croissants etc.. For our lunches we mainly stocked up with buns from local shop and had sandwiches made in our room each day. Beware if you do this, make sure you clean up well afterwards or the ants will find your leftovers! The ants weren't a problem for us in the kitchen but more in the bathroom and odd ones in your clothes, however when asked the staff did come and spray the areas for us and you've got to expect a few here and there because they are everywhere outside! I'd rather have an ant in my room than a cockroach - of which I saw none!
The bar on a night is quiet and every Wed there is a bbq and the only entertainment is a weekly karaoke session. The games room is disappointing, a bit dark and dingy and only arcade games and pool table. We never saw the bowling being used, always in darkness. The indoor pool nice but you have to wear a swim cap, jacuzzi is lovely, gym well equiped but you have to wear gym clothes and trainers, never used the spa but looked nice.
There are areas of the hotel with gorgeous views but these areas don't seem to be used, and there are shop units under the hotel but not in use which is a bit sad.
When going out always remember to hand your key in, as it's 100 euros if lost!
The town gets very busy on a night and there are hundreds of places to eat at, children's menu all the same no matter where you go - always chicken nuggets, fish fingers, spag bol - never any veg in sight which is a shame as they spend all the time eating the same stuff.
We travelled as a group of eleven at the beginning of August and had a fantastic time. I wouldn't rate Albufeira as a family resort as I don't think it particularly caters for children, on a night it's all bars and restaurants with very little entertainment, but if you can make your own entertainment then it's fine - particularly if you head to the beach to sit on the beanbags on a night so the kids can play in the sand! Perfect!

Room Tip: Rooms on 2nd floor can access the roof top garden.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Stephs11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 21, 2012

just returned from a week in August at this hotel, apertments spacious/clean and all you need for a holiday with a child, plenty os space and privacy in the aprtment, pool area nice but no enough sun beds which makes it a bit of a hassle if you don't want to go to the beach. Overall a very nice aperthotel, albuferai itself is quite nice around the old town, but unfortunately has lost some of its traditional charm and a very bust resort. Have a back massage at the spa, very nice and only 15euros!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank marie1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

Great apartments with good location for the old town (up a steep hill though!) Most of the staff were great (bar and service maids). Unfortnately we ended our holiday with a bitter taste, due to what I can only describe as a management scam!

My wife and I were unable to get a signal on either of our phones. Therefore, we had to use the hotel phone to call home as my wifes grandmother passed away unexpectedly. The room notes stipulate 0.25 euro per unit, which we interpreted as reasonable and affordable. Unfortunately we were later to find out that a unit has no association with a minute!

On checkout day we recieved a bill for 316 euros for the phone use (my partner estimates that combined calls totalled <60 minutes). The news was devastating to us, we argued that the charges were extortionate and were by no way indicated in the hotel room notes (0.25 euro per unit). The hotel manager for the day responding that we should have checked what the charges were! When we asked her to explain what a unit referred to she said that there was no specific detail as this varied on time of day/distance of call etc. We were fleeced!

Using the room phone worked out to be more than 5 euros per minute which sounds expensive, especially compared to their description of 0.25 euros per unit!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Brian060885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

My husband two daughters and I stayed in Cerro Mar last sept for 1 weeks, we were delighted with the apartment, it was large, spotless, had fridge freezer, dishwasher and washing machine, full oven and hob and every thing you would need on holidays. There was a number of pools available to use, and I never had any problems getting a sun bed, maybe this was because it was not peak season. The food was great, the rooms were cleaned every day. It's ideally located near the old town but very quiet and peaceful. We were there with other family members as we were attending a family wedding, and must of us have opted to return this sept on holidays again. I can't wait :).
There is a Lidel just 5 min walk up the road which is very hand to buy water and the basics, and it's only €3 back in a taxi with the shopping. My parents love to travel and have found these apartments among the best they have stayed in, so much so they returned to cerro mar in Jan for 4 weeks and as well as holidaying with us in sept are returning in Jan for 6 weeks.
Could not praise this apartments enough.

Room Tip: Request a sea view if available.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank SMOC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We visited the Cerro Mar Garden Hotel in July and stayed on a self-catering basis, in 2 bedroom apartment. The rooms are excellent very well equipped, with washing machine, dish-washer, full size hob and oven, fridge-freezer, 2 bathrooms and a TV in lounge picked up BBC and ITV which was handy for keeping up to date with the Olympics. Apartment had a balcony with sea views, note some on higher floors have larger balconies!

There is a large LIDL supermarket 5-10 walk away for all the basics, but many small supermarkets in old town and another just across the road which is more expensive than most. Old town 5mins walk away but down approx. 100 steps, steps not a problem at night but when hot in middle of day can be a bit of a challenge. They do run a bus from hotel, but only every two hours with 7 seats. There are many reasonably priced restaurants, our favourites being the beach basket for excellent seafood and there is a very good value tourist menu at Adega Dom Pipas (just of main street to tunnel). The beach is very nice with a breeze every day and very reasonably priced water sports are available.

Only negative points, is there were some noisy guests who came back between 2-5am who made a lot of noise in corridors, often banging on doors and one night someone rang our door bell at 5am. Also there are not enough sunbeds, so if you want a bed get down to the pool by 9am. The reception staff will remove towels of you ask them, as many guests tend to reserve a beds then go for breakfast.

Overall do not let negative points put you off, as we would not hesitate in recommending this accommodation or resort, it was a truly relaxing excellent holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

On arrival we were very pleased with the spacious apartment but our holiday was ruined by lack of security at the hotel. Our apartment was burgled on the 3rd evening of our stay and the security box plus contents removed as well as possessions including clothes, toiletries, mobile phone and medication which were in the apartment. Entry was made through the front door and not via the 3rd floor balcony doors. Hotel staff were most unhelpful and no apology or assistance was offered. The rest of our holiday was spent arranging new passports, seeking medical advice and getting money transferred from England.However our thanks must go to our Thomson's Rep who was extremely helpful.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
7  Thank Lesley E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Just returned from a 2 week stay in July 2012 and this place is amazing. We stayed half board and travelled with Thomson. We stayed in a 1 bedroom apartment(room 215).
I read the reports on here and thought I might not enjoy it but my wife and I both fell in love with the hotel, the staff and Albufeira.
Upon arrival at about 1pm on Sunday 8th July the rep on our coach said that the rooms may not be ready until about 3, but to our surprise it was ready and so was all the rooms for fellow travellers. The checkin was quick and surprisingly enjoyable as all the reception staff are friendly and most talk really good English which was good as me and my wife do not speak a word of Portugese.
There is a lift from reception up one floor where you then walk through the garden to the apartment block. Here there are 2 lifts so you never have to wait long for one or there are also the stairs.
The apartment comprised of the bedroom with ample wardrobe storage for the 2 of us and also plenty of draw space. The beds were comfortable but the pillows were slightly lumpy but i have no doubt would of been changed if we had asked. The kitchen area was fully equipped with a fridge,cooker, freezer, washing machine, dish washer, coffee maker, kettle and all the usual kitchen utensils and plates cups etc. For us this was an added extra as we were staying half board and didnt really use it to be honest. The seating area comprised of a bed settee and chair, dining table and 4 chairs, tv with channels of most nationalities. Then the balcony which was the full width of the two rooms and had an outside table and 4 chairs and a place to hang out your wet items of clothes. Our balcony looked out over a garden which was landscaped on top of the restaurant roof and so we had a lovely view and were not overlooked. Also both the living part and the bedroom were equipped with airconditioning units that were both remote controlled and could be set independently.
The maid service does go on till about 5pm most days so the room may not be serviced till later on in the day than you used to, but it is always spotless once its done.
The buffet breakfast in a morning runs for 2 hours(8 till 10) and does get a little repetative but the food is all of a high standard and temperatures of hot food is frequently checked. Waiter service is ace as and I will hit on this more later.
Evening Meal(7 till 10), the buffet meal choice is a little limited but is also of a high quality. You have a choice of soup of the day, salads, hot meals and desserts. You may struggle with food choices for younger children. you dine in an a la carte restaurant so the surroundings are very nice and the tables are all set when you are seated. You pay for the drinks and the wine is a little dearer than in the town but at the end of the day your on holiday. The waiting staff are all really friendly and i can only say that the people who thought they were unfriendly were probably like that to them. So from the young lady over them all, Marcia, then Daniel, Tiago, Marisa, Bogdan and Andre you were all fantastic. After a couple of nights they all remembered which table we preferred and what drinks we liked so made the experience more enjoyable. The restaurant caters for both the buffet diners and a la carte diners but while we were their never really got that busy.
There is no evening entertainment to speak of in the hotel to speak of, as the town is so close and there are literally hundreds of retaurants and bars there, but there is a bar open till 1am everynight. Kareoke is on on a monday and live music one other night a week. Once again this bar is quiet with most people opting to go down town. Anusca the cocktail maker is working here most nights of the week and is a very friendly young lady and nothing is to much trouble. We were drinking Mojitos one night and she wouldnt make us any more as the mint was not up to scratch. So she made us one of her own cocktails and said if you dont like I will make you something else free of charge. We were in the bar till 1-30 one night drinking with a young family and although Anusca had a friend waiting to take her out that night on the infamous strip, she never once tried to make us leave the bar for her to close. Great customer satisfaction is what all the staff strive for.
The pool in the gardens is like a free form pool and is no deeper than 1.5m. There is also a smaller childrens pool and an indoor pool in the spa which we didnt use.
The sunbeds are in a little short supply and if your not down early you may struggle to find one. But at about 10am if you dont have one and there are towels on some beds, pop along to reception and mention it. Anna and one of the maids will come along and remove towels off the beds for you as there is a sign in reception telling you that they cannot be reserved, so be warned.
The hotel is situated almost on top of a hill and you have to walk the famous steps down to the square. We counted 98 steps so it could be a little tricky if your a little less mobile or have young kids in pushchairs. But there are plenty of taxis around and are reasonably cheap. Also be careful of high heel shoes ladies as the pavements are cobbled stoned and not the flattest.
For self caterers the Lidl is about a 15 minute walk away and has a taxi rank on the carpark for you if you dont want to walk back.
All in all this hotel is fabulous and at some point in the future we shall holiday here again and I would reccommend it to all.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Nick J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Apartamento Cerro Mar Garden

Address: Rua Antonio Aleixo, Albufeira 8200-091, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 135 Specialty Lodging in Albufeira
Price Range: $45 - $98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Apartamento Cerro Mar Garden 4*
Number of rooms: 83
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Hotel Apartamento Cerro Mar Garden Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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