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“Clean, but dated”
Review of Acqua Maris Balaia

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Acqua Maris Balaia
Ranked #108 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Albufeira
Bristol
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Clean, but dated”
Reviewed May 10, 2008

My partner and I stayed at this Hotel 1st to 8th May 2008. The hotel is clean, the bedding and towels changed every day except Sunday. The staff were friendly but the room was tired, very dated, no kettle, no plug for basin in bathroom, very little crockery some lights did not work. We knew it was going to be basic and didn't mind or complain. Not 3 star more like 2 star. There is a fantastic Italian Restaurant called Salvatori's within the Hotel run by different people, the food is out of this world and good value, the manager of the restaurant is friendly.

  • Liked — Value for Money
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank eggyjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
kent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2007

This was inexpensive, clean and comfortable. Having read the reviews AFTER booking I expected it to be far worse. The kitchen was basic (we weren't there to cook though, just to make breakfast and drinks). We had to ask for a kettle and a toaster which were provided immediately. Air conditioning was very efficient although we had to ask for the remote control to make it work. The room was cleaned and towels changed regularly. Staff were helpful, although a little reserved.

The restaurant served good food in pleasant surroundings. The service was excellent. The restaurant staff were curteous and friendly, but not over friendly. they were very attentive, we didn't ever have to pour our own wine or water into our glasses. The tables were laid with fresh linen, the waiters and waitresses even unfolded our napkins for us.

The pool was adequate and not very often crowded although sometimes busy around late afternoon when many of the Portuguese guests would use it. The refreshment kiosk was run by the same people who ran the restaurant. It was possible to use the facilities of the snack bar belonging to the hotel next door which meant either walking through the bar or going back into the hotel, out through another door and round to the other hotel.

The town was about fifteen minutes walk away and the lovely beach around ten. For us this was no problem. The area had plenty of shops and restaurants and Albufeira was a short taxi ride away. The hotel provided a free shuttle bus, but that restricted the time we could travel. We preferred to be away from the busy part of town anyway as we wanted a relaxing holiday with a pool, a good beach and good food.

If you want a luxury hotel with ultra modern decoration and furniture and are unwilling to walk anywhere further than five minutes away this hotel is probably not for you. I feel from the reviews I have read that a lot of the opinions are just 'nit picking.' I have stayed in worse places and made the best of it. Some of the high expectations are somewhat unrealistic. You do get what you pay for and if you want a clean and comfortable base for a relaxing holiday in the sun with no intention of cooking, the Domino Do Sol is quite adequate. I didn't notice any of the other guests complaining.

Overall this was a cheap relaxing holiday in the sun. Ideal for two overworked single women!

  • Liked — The massive balcony
  • Disliked — No proper oven
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lazykate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2007

My husband and I stayed at this aparthotel in a studio apartment for 1 week in early April 2007. It was the result of a "free gift" for attending a timeshare presentation in Australia and we did not actually choose the hotel ourselves. Given the mixed reviews this place had received I was rather concerned about what we were going to end up with. The hotel appears to have a rating of 3 stars and is in the RCI network of timeshare resorts. Unfortunately after our stay I would have to give it a rating of 1 star and wonder why it is still part of the RCI stable. If I had booked this apartment through RCI I would have been very, very disappointed! It is rather sad and dilapidated and has the air of an hotel which had been closed, but opened up for summer on the off chance of getting a few tourists through. To give it its due, the hotel did have a sign at the front desk asking guests to bear with them during their renovations. The passage ways were dark and frequently light globes were missing. The room furnishings appeared to have been gathered from local op shops and were years old. Light fixtures were broken or missing with wires sticking out of the wall. The door to the room could only be opened/closed with a good shove. Pillows for the bed were very, very old, thin and lumpy. There was no starter pack of teabags, milk etc, and no dishwashing supplies as is the usual custom with all other apartments I have stayed in. When I asked about dishwashing liquid/dishcloth etc I was advised that they were not provided. I guess this means that international travellers are expected to carry their own dishwashing liquid, scourer, dishcloth???? Or maybe go to the supermarket and buy these supplies for just a one week stay. The hotel did provide me with a teatowel at least. I peeked into other empty rooms on the chance we were just given a dud room because it was a freebie but no, the other rooms were all in the same state. The pool was filled and clean. A few deck chairs were stacked around the pool deck. and what appeared to have once been a shared cafe with the "sister" hotel next door was no longer accessible from Dominio. Overall the pool area had the appearance of not being open for business - maybe it was too early in the season. There did not appear to be any shared facilities with its sister hotel next door as previously suggested in other reviews.
There were some positives: in a good location on the main road into the main part of town with bus stops right outside. Fairly quiet as not in town. A good 15minute hilly walk into town. Room (studio with kitchenette) was clean, of a good size with the beds (2 single) in an area partly separated from the main sitting area. Reasonable size balcony with table and chairs. About a 15min hilly walk to the beach - the last part down steep stairs down the cliff face to the beach (or you could take the long walk around of about 25mins and avoid the cliff). Lovely beach. Minimarket in the hotel next door for emergency supplies.
Overall as it was a "freebie" I really can't expect to get a 5 star apartment. Maybe the hotel is "par for the course" for its category and this area. It has potential but it really needs to be closed for significant renovations.

  • Liked — good size room
  • Disliked — old an in need of major refit
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AussieTravelholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Albufeira hotels

Manchester, GB
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2006

I had already booked the holiday when i found this website so was a little worried!! When we first arrived it was a bit of a shock; the hotel was very '1970's modern' with old floors and colours. There was a mystery odor in reception eugh!! The room was large but in desperate need of a make-over. Furniture was functional but very very basic (not as nice as some of the pictures I've seen). Kitchen facillities were virtually none existent (only a hob, microwave and sink!). We were on the 4th floor (there are lifts) so had a lovely view of the sea and surrounding area from our massive balcony, the room was air conditioned and quite comforatble, it was cleaned daily (by the most annoying woman on the planet!) and towels were changed routinely. We got 'used' to the room after the initial shock!!

The Pool is quite small and probably gets packed at peak periods. In the first week of September, the place was resonably quiet with, mainly, portugese guests. The pool bar is good, the food and drinks are cheap enough and the staff friendly. We didn't bother with the facillities as Balaia Plaza but many others did.

The Restauraunt 'Sabores de Monde' is awsome!! It has been recently taken over by new staff and a new chef. I can honestly say that the food here was the best I had in Portugal, the prawns with black beans and palm oil were amazing mmmmm! It is worth staying here if just for the food.

The hotel provides a free shuttle bus in to Albefeira old town throughout the day which is worth using. The hotel staff were friendly and generally helpful; if a little aloof!!

Place to avoid: There is a resteraunt on the main road, towards the strip, called 'Martin's', We waited ages for a table and were disappointed with the standard of the food (stale bread, dry chicken and overboiled vegetables). There are tons of restauraunts about 20 minutes slow walk form the hotel, go to these instead!

Overall: I had a good, relaxing holiday. The hotel wasn't that bad and most impotantly clean! The beach is at least a 10 minute hike from the hotel so we only went once but the pool was nice.

  • Liked — The Large Balcony
  • Disliked — The furnishings, layout of room and equipment.
  • Tips/Secrets — Eat at the hotel restauraunt. Ask at reception they are generally helpfull.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Selcce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2006

It claims to have a gymnasium and heated pool, but these belong to the hotel next door. Upon arrival the reception staff gave us a ticket and said if you want to use next doors facilities show them this ticket. My Husband and friend wanted to use the gym but was met by staff that were rude and they took no notice of the ticket given to us and told him to pay for the usage of the gym. The staff back at Dominio do Sol couldn't care less and remained complacent about everything. The kitchen area had no facility to plug in the toaster or kettle. We had to place them on the floor which is not child friendly. Our room was never cleaned during our whole stay, despite asking the reception staff twice! The pool bar is again really belonging to the hotel next door. You have access to a tiny corner of it. You can use the little pool side shop but you have to gain full access by walking through the actual pool side bar. Only use this hotel if you are used to roughing it!.

Helpful?
4 Thank duffets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2006

I wish I knew about this website when I booked because I would have avoided this hotel. It was closing at the end of October 2005 for refurbishment and I would say not before time. We were unlucky and had a lot of rain, this meant buckets and towels laid out in reception due to a leaky roof. The apartment we had was tired and dated, the bathroom had mould covering the ceiling and was not what we expected. The bedding felt damp and the wardrobe was damp. There were only a few people staying at the hotel - it resembled the Mary Celest most of the time. The bar and restaurant were understaffed - one lady worked day and night to man the pool bar, restaurant and indoor bar - she was fantastic.

All in all I think this hotel would have been great when it was built and I can only hope that it gets a complete make-over to bring it to an acceptable standard.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Petal_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2005

These have to be the worst apartments we have ever stayed in. Furniture falling apart. Tiles cracked and broken. Rust on baths, and mildew on shower curtains. Pool area just as bad, with tiles missing from bottom of pool, which had debris floating in it. Pool shower, rusted solid, with cobwebs hanging off it. Jacuzzi empty, (looked as if it hadn't been used in years). Large cracks on outside of building and steps. Wooden balcony rails rotted through. I'd advise anyone to give this place a wide berth.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Snowbird2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Acqua Maris Balaia

Property: Acqua Maris Balaia
Address: Estrada de Santa Eulalia | Apartado 978, Areias de S.João, Albufeira 8200-269, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Acqua Maris Balaia 3*
Number of rooms: 113
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Also Known As:
Acqua Maris Balaia Hotel Albufeira
Dominio Do Sol Albufeira
Dominio Sol
Acqua Maris Balaia Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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