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.
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- Also Known As:
- Acqua Maris Balaia Hotel Albufeira
- Dominio Do Sol Albufeira
- Dominio Sol
- Acqua Maris Balaia Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve