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Monica Isabel Beach Club
Ranked #125 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Oswestry
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good and bad points”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Stayed here from 20th to 24th October in room 308. First impression when you arrive at the hotel is 1960's Butlins. We arrived at 12 noon and check in isn't until 3 but we were allowed to use the all inclusive facilities.

Positives:
Room had a sea view.
Clean but dated.
Clean towels every day.
Brilliant shower with plenty of hot water.
Breakfast is very good.
Other meals ok (always something you could eat)
Brilliant location right on the beach and within walking distance of the old town along the beach.
All inclusive drinks were good.
Air Conditioning is free.
Nelson (the bar man) was very pleasant and helpful (much better than the receptionists who were very grumpy)

Negatives:
Very dated décor in reception and pool area needs a total revamp.
No comfy seats in reception.
Toilets in the reception and bar area were very smelly.
Drinks in the lounge were served in plastic cups.
Overall the place has a SHABBY appearance.

Had the weather been better I'm sure we would have seen the place in a different light.

Would I go back there?? NO

Room Tip: 308 has a sea view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank crasherbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wigan, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Booked with four friends for a weeks break 17th Oct 24th Oct, rooms very basic but clean the restaurant was a nightmare queuing for everything when you got back to your table the food was cold the restaurant far to small for the amount of people.
The swimming pool area needs updating the little snack bar was very good and the staff worked hard. In the bar at night the staff very friendly, entertainment not very good but ok.
The hotel a bit too far out for us even though there was a bus but the timing 10.30am 12.30 and 4.30 not very good, taxis ok about 5 euro into old Town.
The staff on front desk not very pleasant all looked sad and not very welcoming. they need to invest into some training on customer care. If you have walking difficulties then ask when booking, we did and got room B 703 just a couple of steps.

Room Tip: If you have walking problems ask for rooms B 701 - 706
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jonzy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

I stayed at this hotel with 2 friends from 9th October-17th October i was very dubious after reading such negative reviews about going but had already booked no need too have been worried our apartment was clean fresh towels every day cleaned every day our apartment was 504 next to the supermarket but didnt pose a problem as we werent in it very much just to shower and sleep bar staff very helpful and courteous if you want fresh fruit juices or drinks like Baileys etc you have to pay extra but only 50% if you show your AI wristband. Bottom pool was clean pool area needed updating like other areas snacks at pool were quite good the burgers and toasties chips pizza etc were cooked to order and there was trays of salad it saved going uphill to the restaurant at lunch when you were settled in your uncomfy sunbed.
Food on the whole was pretty good although other people have said could be hotter that was our only gripe but there is a microwave you can use so that covers the cool food issue we had fresh salmon and squid cooked on the griddle to order at dinner and other items breakfast there was fresh eggs cooked to order its the only AI i have stayed in that you do not have to pay for ice cream either it is available at snack bar all day and restaurant you get a glass of (champagne)!!!!!!!!!!!! on arrival at dinner and if you ask for a glass of wine they give you a bottle! entertainment very average but ok some nights but its what you make of it all in all we all had a great week had some good laughs we went to zoo marine which was excellent a very good day out enjoyed by all and enjoyed boat trip but was the windiest day of our holidays
We thoroughly enjoyed our week met some nice people its not the ritz and we didnt pay ritz money so cant complain will maybe go back next october

Room Tip: room 504 is spacious and near to reception and restaurant
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank dianajohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisburn, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

I have just returned from this hotel i must say for what the 4 nights cost it was very good value.
It is quite a big complex and we were lucky to be in room 805 which is close to the restaurant
and a nice view over the sea. Food although basic was very good with a bottle of wine free every
night included in half board you could eat as much as you wanted. Great location on the beach
and we used the mini bus and the train you can walk along beach to Old Town. Apartments need
refurbushed but very clean. Did not use pool but it looked small for size of complex which could
be a problem in the summer. Priced July 2014 very expensive but would go back in October 2014
if we could get the same deal.

Room Tip: It was my wifes birthday the day we arrived maybe that helped.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Connor G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

after seeing all the reviews on the site I was in 2 minds firstly I spent around 500 pound that's flights all inclusive and transfers. most people spent around twice that..if that is the case STOP GO ELSEWHERE.stayed 16 till 23 October, meals basic you wont be hungry but the dining room staff are the most sad looking bunch also the office staff as well do your homework as they do not help, bar staff ok very good pool area ok but basic food and for some reason don't discount drinks like they do in the other bars,best accom is block a 105 upwards but watch your belongings as saw police twice.if your all inclusive DONT as just not worth it also no food availabile after 9 pm so if you arrive late....sory nothinh doing like the coffe machines you need 4 cups to get 1 unless you spend 1 euro after flashing ur room card orange wristband.for some reason you need all 3 for food in the dining room band room tkt and your room key gets swiped at all meals strange but true.... the evening is left to your own devices as not a lot going on in a week saw dancers and the parrot show...that's it


tips

go to the bars up the road

and try block a

and there is better and cheaper

and for the hotel who advertise a trip advisor sticker on the front door

please take advice from us brits you can do better

Room Tip: look around first....or get a good price
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kopiteredman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My daughter and I have just returned from this hotel. The location is great, Portugal has great beaches and this doesn't disappoint. However, the sea was cold, waves strong and the beach shelves quite steeply. As we both like swimming in the sea we found this somewhat disappointing, but after all it is the Atlantic and not the Med, so be prepared. There are three pools on the complex, The main pool looked ok but was quite busy and noisy and largely inhabited by the many all inclusives getting their money's worth. The other pool was quiet and a bit of a suntrap but did look neglected, weeds , stray cats and a bar that is closed and looked derelict. Both pools were cold, however the indoor pool although small was OK. and heated.
The accommodation in block M2 was a one bed apartment and whilst quite large and clean was basic but ok for the money. Equipment in the kitchen OK but no kettle and no hair dryer. Also, although there were plenty of plug sockets none were near a mirror, horror of horrors. But the apartment was quiet and had a great view of the sea and lovely gardens we witnessed fab sunsets.
The whole layout of the restaurant left me very confused. The one restaurant was on the 8th floor of the main hotel block so for us it was quite a trek for meals, down the hill into the main hotel up to floor 6 if you were lucky to get the lift or a long walk up 6 flights, then cross the 6th floor to get to the next lift up to floor 8 (we usually walked) and hey ho you're at the restaurant. Food was very basic, we were half board so went to breakfast most days. There was a hot and cold buffet but they ran out of food ie we only saw bacon 2 days, but it did have nice breads, fruit and cereal. Orange juice served in plastic cups and was not fresh but over sweetened juice, only to be tried once. We did not go to lunch at all so can't comment. For the evening meal we really struggled to find something to eat that we fancied or liked, the meat and fish were very poor and we ended up eating salads most nights. There was no atmosphere, harsh full on lighting and a great deal of plastic, could have been in a school cafeteria or a fast food diner.
The proximity to Albuferia enabled us to walk into town 10-15mins and we had a few really good meals, Flavours restaurant was particularly good food and it has two separate restaurants on the main promenade it also offers 15% discount which always makes any restaurant that little more palatable . Albuferia was still lively out of season we went mid Oct, and we really enjoyed the atmosphere, shops and street entertainment. A taxi back to Monica Isabel was 5 euros so didn't break the bank. Local buses were good and reliable and run every 30mins from the top road above the hotel and you can go into and around Albufeira for 1.40 euros for each journey or buy a Giro card from the main bus station for 8 euros which enables you to have 10 bus journeys. It was on one of these jaunts we met an ex employer of the Monica Isabel who stated that the hotel was owned by one of the wealthiest families in Portugal and the head of this family is now very old and does not really want to spend on the hotel which perhaps is very short-sighted as the location is truly splendid and you can't change location, but you can invest in the hotel. It needs a rethink along with a very overdue refurbishment, but it has the ingredients to be magnificent. I hope the younger members of this family spend money on it and restore it to a standard which it deserves. We also were told that some of the staff were not paid last year, this may be down to the financial problems in Portugal itself or the general economic malaise of Europe, but whatever the case it may account for the overworked staff being less than enthusiastic and at times irritated with some of the thoughtless, noisy, and sometimes drunken guests. Cut them some slack and don't forget to tip.

Room Tip: Go for an apartment rather than in the hotel. If you are in the hotel avoid floors 6 and 7 they will...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mariaw187069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Albufeira hotels

No
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Me and my partner stayed for 5 nights from 23/09. We are 22 and booked this holiday as a last minute cheap get away. To be fair this is what we got.

Transfer was slightly longer than expected due to so many drop offs but .. We found the driver very very nice. He Made our first hour in Portugal a laugh. Pointing out authentic Portuguese restaurants near the hotel was a nice gesture. Even more so the fact my boy friend left his mobile on the coach and after being in the resort almost 30mins I get a tap on the shoulder in reception it was the driver with the phone!! I could not have been more grateful. He'd finished his drop offs and come back in his jeep. Made our holiday!!

To the reception staff..... Being fair they are Blunt , rude, and maybe slightly helpful if your lucky.

We were in c block with a few stairs down and was a but hilly but were young and don't mind too much. The room was fine by our standard we booked and expected a studio. It was clean and spacious with a nice terrace with An odd but nice view - ahead - a large sandy rock and flowers - to the left the sea and sand. Fresh towels everyday. Air con good.

We were all inclusive and we were not sure what to expect as we are quite adventurous and like our food and had read previous bad reviews. But it was what it was and we ate 3 meals a day. They need to have bacon every day not once a week and real sausages not hot dogs & Better coffee and fresh juices not cheap warm squash. You get drink service for lunch and dinner which was good. There was a lunch on the Wednesday and we were both shocked as it all looked so fresh with more variety than other days. I thought they'd just had a delivery. We agreed it was the best meal of the holiday apart from when we ate out.

Snacks from pool bar were handy.

We didn't spend much time round the pool except to eat and cool off from the beach if the sea was a bit rough. Beach was lovely. Use the blue sun beds on the right only 10 euro compared to 12 on the left??

We also agreed we should of invested in an umbrella for 7 euro on day one. But we enjoyed it.

The drinks were fine. We just made the most of the beer and bottled water All day long.

Was a good location. 2 minutes max. To the beach , 5euro taxi to either old town or strip or 15 min max. walk to both.

Whole resort aimed and full of 60+ French. Which is fine but they should advertise this and make it clear. There also visiting on a separate package with blue bands which was interesting.

We wouldn't return to this resort or recommend though. I would visit albuferia again. But That's just me. Don't panic if you've booked already there's plenty to do around town and it's not 4 or 5 stars it's 3 and that's what you pay for.



  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Anonnno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monica Isabel Beach Club

Property: Monica Isabel Beach Club
Address: Forte Sao Joao | Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200-325, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#49 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Monica Isabel Beach Club 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel includes Monica Isabel Beach Club 4 Stars (Aparthotel) and Monica Isabel Beach Club 3 Stars ( Tourist Apartments). It has a privileged location in Albufeira, on Albufeira beach and only 500 meters from “Avenida Sá Carneiro “a popular avenue (better known as The Strip to foreign visitors) which is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants and a wide variety of shops. The Albufeira Resort is central to traditional shopping areas, restaurants and bars from throughout the region and only 1.5 km from the Historic and Cultural Centre of Albufeira, the Mónica Isabel Beach Club offers a variety of services that allow your holiday or short week-end break to be unforgettable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monica Isabel Hotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Aparthotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Aparthotel Hotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Beach Club Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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