Just back from two weeks here - 11 to 25 June 2013. Party of 4 on All Inclusive basis - all adults.
I would not say this was a 4* hotel by the standard of others I have visited around the world. I think they probably got it because of their "facilities" - indoor as well as outdoor pool, gym, spa treatments, hairdresser etc.
Be warned the hotel is isolated - there is nothing close by - no bars no shops and the on site supermarket is now closed! You will need to use their free bus (BUT that finishes at 17.20 and does not run on weekends or bank holidays) or get a taxi to nearest towns. That is unless you fancy a 30 minute walk into Alhos d' Agua or 60mins into Albufeira!! Yes we did both. Taxis are about 7 Euro into Albufeira.
Free bus runs from hotel to Albufeira at 10.00, 12.00, 15.00 and 17.00. It comes back at 10.20, 12.20, 15.20 and 17.20.
On arrival we found the rooms large - with full kitchen, table and chairs for 6, two sofas (which were also beds), large bathroom and twin beds in the bedroom. Lots of wardrobe space. Blackout curtains in the rooms. Air con in the bedroom and living/dining area. All nice and tidy and clean on arrival. All rooms look over the pool and have balcony. We were on the third floor. At least 6 lifts in the hotel as well as staircases. Restaurant on the 5th floor overlooking the pool. It's buffet at all times. I did see some comments about the food not being hot (before we visited). They have signs up saying what temperature it's at (they must have had complaints) and if you want it heated more then you just need to ask. We though it was 95% hot enough. Good selection at every meal - breakfast usual - sausage, bacon, eggs (all ways), bread, rolls, cheese etc etc At lunch and dinner always soup, fish, meat (beef, gammon, pork), pasta and something for the kids if they don't fancy the main e.g. fish fingers. I don't think you will go hungry:-) Oh and if you need something else to eat just to keep you going - the pool bar serves snacks between 11.00 and 18.00. The usual - burgers and chips, toasties etc. The bar also sells crisps and nuts - normal size bag of crisps at 1.5 Euro (ouch!!). But that's better than 2.5 Euro at Faro airport.
I think they could do better with the cleaning side of things - our room was never as clean as when we arrived and the public areas - particularly the staircases were not clean - fag ends and accumulations of hair etc. all the while we were there.
The pool bar was ok - everything in plastic (good for not breaking but horrible to drink out of) - local spirits and Sagres beer. You can only get 2 drinks at a time per person so if you are in a crowd - go up with your mates! When pool area was busy there was often a long queue at the bar. The bar in reception was "soulless" but drinks in glass. And contrary to what someone else said you CAN take drinks from here to your room - all they ask is that you get them in plastic tumblers - seems fair given everywhere is tiled.
Entertainment was TERRIBLE when we visited (June 2013). A guy on a piano, someone on an accordion, a singer and guitar player. Oh dear what about the kids!
Wi-Fi - is available at a cost - 5 Euro for an hour in the lobby. They have an internet kiosk for 1 Euro for 15 minutes in the lobby. If you fancy a walk or the first stop on the free bus - most of the pubs in Alhos d' Agua offer free Wi-Fi! Good excuse to go for a beer:-) About 1.5 Euro a pint.
Safe deposit box in the room - again at a cost - 25 Euro deposit (for a key that goes inside the box) and then 3 Euro a day. I thought that was quite steep.
You can get pool towels for 10 Euro deposit.
Lots of sun beds BUT watch where get them: Looking at the bar with pool to your back: if you choose beds to the right you'll get the sun first thing until about 16.00. Drawback is that the nearer the pool bar you get the noise from a huge extractor fan (from the underground garages I think) gets really loud. It runs for ages - goes off for a while and then starts all over again. If you go to the other side you get the sun from 11.00 (ish) until late.
Pool is large and in places 9 feet deep! Oh but you are not allowed to dive?? We did and no one came near. There is NO lifeguard on duty. Water very cold - sorry - bracing:-) No doubt will heat up a bit as season goes on.
Kids pool looked ok and plenty of seats around for the parents.
Couple of stag do's in when we were there - one of about 20 guys. They did clog the bar! I can see why us Brits can get a bad reputation.
Staff on the whole were very friendly and had reasonable English - enough to get by and certainly better than my grasp of their language!!
I did notice that English speakers were very much in the minority at the hotel a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish mainly.
There was no daytime activities at all when we arrived but that changed about the 19th June when the "animation" team got going. Not the "heart and soul of the party" types but they tried.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Balaia Atlantico is a natural oasis surrounded by the unique beauty and contrasts of the Algarve countryside, among the over 5 km of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. License No. 849 The use of some services such as Fitness Centre, Games Camps has an additional cost. The use of swimming cap in the indoor pool is mandatory. Customers can buy caps at € 4.50 / each at the front desk. For reservations with Breakfast, Half Board, Full Board and All Inclusive, guests should inform any special dietary needs or allergies before arrival. For groups of young guests and/or stag/hen parties, a security deposit of EUR 250 per person will be requested, in cash or by charging the amount on a valid credit or debit card at the time of check-in. If the guest refuses to pay this security deposit, the entrance in the property will be denied. This security deposit will be refunded if no damages are made to the property. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apartamento Balaia Atlantico Albufeira
- Apartamento Balaia Atlantico Hotel
- Balaia Atlantico Hotel
- Balaia Atlantico Aparthotel
- Hotel Apartamento Balaia Atlantico Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve