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All reviews thomas cook reps self catering hotel paraiso old town off licence kids club games room crazy golf can't comment on the food entertainment team bit dated outdoor pool great holiday family holiday large hotel all inclusive food one bedroom apartment
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Reviewed October 12, 2008

Just returned from our [myself, partner and 2 year old daughter] holiday at Paraiso de Albufeira in the Algarve and I can't say enough about it! I even called friends when we arrived to encourage them to come out and join us!

We booked our holiday through Thomas Cook who were superb. Flights were at a great time considering we have a 2 year old. The transfers were easily done with friendly and helpful service. And the hotel is more than we expected. It was beautiful from the exterior and very welcoming. The hotel reception is clean and welcoming. The staff on reception were happy, welcoming and efficient.

We were accidentally booked into the wrong room but were upgraded to the most incredible suite, which we had more than enough room in.

If you actually wanted to wander off the complex, the neighbourhood is quiet but so very accessible to anything and everything you could need with Modelo (grocery store) minutes away.

However, there is no need to leave if you don't want to - there are shops on premise; 2 swimming pools outside and one heated indoors; Kids Club; mini golf, tennis courts, basket ball courts, football pitches... plus you can get hairdryers/ irons/ ironing boards from reception. There are several bars and restaurants on the premise.

Our only regret is that we decided to do self-catering rather than all-inclusive which is clearly the better option and one we will be doing next time.

The old town is very quaint and sweet. The beaches are sandy and golden. The marina looks like its from Balamory. The new strip is vibrant with nightlife. And everything is within walking distance or a short taxi ride. (Alternatively you could sight-see on the Mini Train!)

We loved our holiday and are looking to book again very soon!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank RocknRepublic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2008

We stayed at the Paraiso 25th Sept to 2nd Oct and I would def recommend to families. The hotel was large, clean and had plenty of seating and toilets. We had 2 one bebroom apartments and both were clean and large, my friends apartment was huge!! The swimming pool area is big with plenty of sun loungers but be warned the water can be a bit on the chilly side.

We stayed all inclusive and the food was mostly good although breakfast became a bit boring as we were not keen on the sliced bread or milk so choices were limited. The dinners downstairs were brilliant with a good selection every night, however it doesn't start till 7pm which for me with a 20 month old daughter was sometimes a bit late.

The evening entertainment was brilliant for kids esp over 3 yrs and the reps were really good, some of the shows they did were entertaining for both kids and adults and the energy they put in was amazing.

The hotel is in a good location about 15 mins from the strip (lots of bars) and 25 mins from the old town (better for families) which we really liked. The hotel does do a bus service to the old town but we walked instead.

For people with children Zoomarine is def worth a visit and we also visited the marina which has paragliding and boat trips. Unfortunately we had 1 1/2 days of rain so couldn't do everything we wanted to do as nearly everything is outside so be warned if it rains small children may get bored.

Overall our stay was very enjoyable and I would stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank popple78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2008

As a six month pregnant traveler with a 20 month old girl my husband and I were looking for a relaxing holiday and we found it here. The hotel has various apartment options but we chose the one bedroom apartment. It was spacious and well maintained. The kitchen was well stocked with kitchen bits which were good as we picked self catering.

We booked a cot for the little one which was not there when we arrived but housekeeping sorted it within the hour.

For the first night we ate in the hotel and got good service and food. It was slightly pricey but worth it.

We missed the holiday rep on our first morning so explored on our own turning left out of the hotel. After a few walks to a shabby beach we turned right out of our hotel instead and came across "The strip" with good restaurants and a good beach at the bottom of a steep hill.

The only downside to the hotel was the internet access in the lobby that crashed every time I used it. Overall I would recommend the hotel and the staff were super!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Jwool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2008

First off all I would just like to say to anyone who wants to ask question’s and get a honest and realistic answer about the Paraiso De Albufeira don’t hesitate to email me at shaun.jobson@live.co.uk. The only thing I can’t comment on is the restaurants.

I travelled on this holiday in our own apartment and my parents and sister were in a separate apartment.

First of all this is the best hotel I have ever stayed in personally. I’m just your average guy middle of the road really I’m not la di dar as most of the bad reviews on this hotel seem to have came from people I would describe as la di dar.

Anyway on to the hotel – was first greeted by that beautiful entrance with the fountain and headed inside. The reception desk is huge and all looks very swish and clean.

We were told that self catering check in was from 2 pm but as it was 1.30pm this was not a problem. (There is a room downstairs for luggage and if it is not manned it is locked at all times – I however only seen this room locked once.)

The Room:

We got to our room which was 518 and my parents were in 521 and found that this was the biggest hotel room I have ever stayed in. first you have the huge living area which for us included a large sofa with a pull out bed underneath a large living room style chair a small TV and a couple of tables and a desk.

The kitchen area was large and had electric oven / grill / hobs and there was a separate kettle toaster and microwave. From there was a small hall way between the bed room and the bath rooms. The bathroom was huge and had bath/shower large sink mirror area and the usual toilet beday.

The bed room was also large with a very very large wardrobe which had enough hangers draw space for a family of 5 easily. There was then 2 single beds pushed together to make a double a large dressing table / mirror area and another large chest of drawers next to that.

Then it’s on to the balcony which was huge and had a large plastic table and 4 chairs there was also a clothes airier as well. So to sum up large room excellent facilities.

Pool Area:

The pool area is huge and I mean huge. The pool its self is huge. It starts off with a shallow end where there is bar stools around the pool with water at knee level when sitting on the stools then a standard area and fairly sized deep end where the water is 3 levels. Now when we went which was the start of low season there were a few tiles missing and the bridge over the deep end was shut. Now this in no way can cause injury as I was interested my self and took a good look under the water. I can also comment that 3 days from the end of our stay the pool manager and a repair man were checking the pool out arranging a repair. Around the pool u have a large tiled sun bed area which is then surrounded by large amounts of grass areas for your sun beds which there was plenty of. We could go down at any time and get a bed. So the pool area literally was amazing. As I mentioned there is a bar pool side and a snack bar as well. This is expensive if you’re not all inclusive but we didn’t mind as much.

In the main lobby of the hotel there are a number of shops number one is a general items store now for some items this is totally cheap and some items totally expensive it also sells British news papers and magazines.

Best buys:
Water (1 euro for 5 litres)
Bread
Milk
Juice
Fizzy drinks

DON’T buy alcohol here as there is a very reasonable off license by the lifts and it stocks everything unlike the local super market which seems to sell local beer or wine and that’s it.

There is also a gift shop but to pricey and a expensive jewellery store.

If you use internet access its 1 euro = ten mins.

So hotel in a recap

Rooms , pool , staff , cleaners , pretty much everything about this hotel is 4 star and amazing - only thing I would say is the corridors could be brighter I felt like Stevie Wonder with my sun glasses on.

Outside the hotel to your left is the old town which is 20 mins walk
To your right is the strip about 15 mins walk.

The strip:

Bars I recommend on the strip – absolbar, bananas, coconuts, Reno’s, la bamba
ABSOLBAR is amazing and the owners Paulo and Gry are so friendly

Restaurants on the strip are in general of the same quality all decent food however avoid louigis you will find this place by noticing the really huge dark skinned man who is really canny trying to get you in he is a great laugh tho .

The old town

The old town is really great and more for families than the strip at evening it is a must see place.

The bravo Restaurant is amazing and was our favourite place for meals I think we went 3 or 4 times and we loved it each and every time and the bank as well.

For travelling a taxi will take u anywhere in the day time in Albufeira for 3.25 and evening 3.90 it will NOT go above 3.90 unless you go out of Albufeira and its huge we never payed more than 3.90 and got taxis regularly at night time . However you can’t flag a taxi you have to go to a rank which there is one opposite the modelo to the left of the hotel and one at the strip and two at the old town so you can’t go wrong.

Also visit the modelo which is as reasonably priced supermarket and underneath is a small shopping centre which is good as well.

also visit www.freemaps.net for a map of old town and the strip togethere these maps show u all of albufeira and they are usefull as we got lost on day 1 as we didnt go to the welcome meeting where these are originally handed out however u can pick them both up free practicly anywhere and they are a3 size

Thanks for taking time to read this please don’t hesitate to ask me anything about the hotel or Albufeira at shaun.jobson@live.co.uk

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank shaun260589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2008

Myself and 3 other girls stayed at the Paraiso from 24th sept till 27th sept 2008. We chose this hotel as it appeared to be nice and reviews were fairly good. Our stay was short as 2 of us ladies have young children at home so 3 nights was just what we needed, a bit of R& R time. When we arrived at the hotel at 10am we were surprised that our room was ready which was great as I had read from other reviews that there would be a wait .We asked for a pool/sea view which we didnt get but we didnt mind once we had a balcony. When we arrived into our 2 bedroom appartment on the 7th floor we were pleasantly surprised, it was huge, one of the bedrooms had ensuite bathroom which was great and there was another bathroom just in hall , as there was 4 of us we were delighted as one bathroom would prove difficult with showers getting ready to go out etc...I would reccomend the 2 bedroom apt if there is 4 or more as its quite spacious and living quarters was a nice size too, we had breakfast in apt every morning. Couldnt fault the appartment at all, very clean and we cleaners came in to clean our room and change towels while we were there (mind you i think they only come some days, not every day). We didnt see any creepy crawlees not like other countries. The staff at reception werent overly helpful I thought, ladies especially! When we would look to ring for taxi they would charge us 80cent each time for call at reception which I thought was a bit much, most hotels wouldnt charge you! That would be the only fault and its only a minor one.

The beach was a nice 15min walk all downhill , beach was lovely plenty of sun loungers there, water was lovely. Some women come around on beach offering a massage/shiatsu service, one of my friends got their feet done, she enjoyed it, €10 for 15mins. I myself got a pedicure done in the hotel spa, would recommend it, only €20 for french pedicure for 45mins.

We ate out every evening, Would highly recommend an Italian Restaurant called No Solo Italia up from Strip just top of traffic lights , the ice creams there are to die for, dont bother with starter if you do go as the ice creams are huge!!
Also we went to El Ranchos on the strip, steakhouse (also in the old town. Very nice there too abit more expensive than no solo italia but for a change it is nice. Lovely steaks! and we cooked them ourselves on hot stone! Differente!

Nightlife is good enough, we went to strip, Reno's, La Bamba, Liberte, Reno's had great music and dancefloor! Great atmosphere.

All in all we really enjoyed the break, weather was great except for last day when it rained but didnt stop us enjoying it as we got taxi to algarve shopping centre, about 10km from albuferia, about 10eur, loads of nice shops and food court there too so we had some lunch there.

If you do go there enjoy!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank IrelandCaitriona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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