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“3* as it says. 'Does what it says on the tin'”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Balaia Mar Hotel

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Balaia Mar Hotel
Ranked #28 of 163 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“3* as it says. 'Does what it says on the tin'”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

We had a really lovely time at the hotel. It was quiet because it is the low season but we preferred this. It is a 3* and to be honest couldn't be a 4* unless it was majorly updated. The rooms were small, basic and clean and there was a good selection of food and drinks on the All inclusive deal.
The beach nearby is really pretty and relatively quiet. If you want somewhere away from the neon lights and array of irish bars and fastfood places in Albufeira then this is for you. It was just what we needed and we really enjoyed ourselves. The staff were friendly but also nice as they left you to yourselves. Pool clean and large. I would recommend for anyone wanting a value for money last minute break.

Room Tip: Room 5 was nice with a view of the pool and sun in the afternoon
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank JessyMayB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

I have very mixed feelings as I write this review. We stayed in one of the apartments for a week in October, and given the low price, it must be said that I wasn't expecting much. Having recently been on a one month budget trip around Europe, I am used to staying in basic accommodation. Upon arrival late in the evening, the reception staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and escorted us to our apartment. I was pleased that they had given us a 2 bed apartment (we had booked a 1 bedroom but the place was virtually deserted) as we had asked for a double bed, which was provided. I was surprised to see that the apartments were a depressing concrete construction, resemblant of something seen in the former Soviet Bloc. The decor took me back to my childhood - 80s 'shabby chic' I suppose you could call it, with various tacky decorations, including (but not limited to) dodgy 'artwork', plastic plants/flowers, some dubious lighting arrangements, and a TV fit for an antique shop (have never understood this; they cost about 40 quid these days). The kitchen was ancient fake wood laminate (not resembling any of the photos in the review) and the shower was rusted, with water flowing brown for about 10 minutes. The bed was quite uncomfortable, and the bedding very dated. The kitchen was pretty well equipped, with more plates than a Greek wedding, and a dishwasher to boot. Due to the terracotta flooring, we could hear everything going on in the neighbouring apartments, which woke us up in the early hours of the morning on several occasions - I can imagine this would be even moreso in the peak season. The outdoors area was lovely, with a large table and two sunloungers, and was facing south so got the sun all day. Even though it was on the ground floor, it was very private with large bushes secluding the patio area. Although we were told there was only cleaning twice in the week, the cleaners came every day and emptied the bins, replaced some towels, cleaned the toilet, and made the beds, and they were very pleasant to us. The food in the restaurant was delicious and reasonably priced (14 Euro for the buffet at dinner and this included your choice of fish/meat/chicken cooked to your liking), the cocktails by the pool were tasty, and the wine cheap and of a good quality. The pool, although nice looking, is not that clean and on a couple of days we found several unsavoury items floating in it, including toilet paper, and plastic cups. The beach nearby is gorgeous, the best we saw in the area by a long way, as it is secluded and hence only used by people staying in either the hotel or the Club Med. There is a delightful family-fun restaurant on the beach that serves the freshest and most delicious seafood, again with reasonably priced wine.
Overall, we had a great experience and for the price the accommodation was fine. However, I would make sure that your expectations are not too high if you come to stay here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank StuartWLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Very impressed with the hotel overall, the rooms although fairly basic and a little small are very clean with room service nigh on being daily, it does have a fridge to store water etc and also a TV that has sky news and BBC1, we also had a decent sized balcony with sun loungers and a table and chairs too, the pool area is really nice and always spotless, as is the hotel has an whole, the food was of a good standard, breakfast was the usual sausage, eggs (boiled and scrambled), bacon and beans but this would only be luke warm alot of the time so I usually opted for toast with jam etc which was decent enough plus they had crossiants and fruit too, the lunch and dinner options were mainly the same with a different selection of meats, the food could get abit repetitve at times but the meat on the grill was lovely, there was steak, chicken and lamb kebabs, veal, spare ribs, pork, grilled chicken break etc...it was always cooked perfectly by the chef on the grill, plus they also had seafood, the grilled salmon I had was lovely, they run a shuttle bus of a night that took you into the strip or old town which was free if you was all inclusive, and a cab was was only approx 7 euros so location wise its really good, staff were all very friendly, the young girl on reception could be slightly moody at times but not in a horrible way, but I supppose people cant be happy all the time, the hotel is great value for money and if I go back to Portugal again for another relaxing week then this is the hotel I would defo book again, the only downside is there is no entertainment of a night, if that was sorted it would be a great little hotel, also the sports bar was very empty at night but that may be because we went in late September, but the pool tables kept us entertained for a while, overall great place would recommend it!

Room Tip: The rooms that are nearest to the pool area on the ground floor seemed quite good location wise
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank steven c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dudley, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

Very impressed with this hotel and Portugal , WE were given a nice room with a great view of the pool. the pool area is lovely and clean however the pool is very cold and were unable to swim. We stayed for 3 nights all inc just returning this week. The food at hotel is very nice and had a great selection at evening meal (fresh meat bbq) Our lunch time meals where made to order due to hotel being very quite. The drinks on offer for all inc were great. the free shuttle which runs 8pm to 10pm to the strip (which is 5 euros) and the old town (8 euros) was great and the driver was very helpful. The reception staff where great aswell and helped us book a quad bike tour. Over all we would defiantly stay here again in the future. Thanks for a lovely holiday :)

Room Tip: room with pool view, we was in 3 ourselfs :-)
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank emsy19811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bathgate
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

we spent 12 days here between september and october,on arrival we were met at receptiion, and were made welcome right away,the receptionest even took one of our bags as she showed us to our rooms no 108 and 109 located behind the pool, the hotel is very very clean ,and the staff are excellent ,very friendly helfull and fun, the drinks were included as we were all inclusive and unlike other all inclusives the beer was san miguell as apposed to local bath water ,the spirits were good but if they ran out (which they did)they just supplied the real mcoy ie baileys pernoid and smirnoff without any fuss,the meals were excellent a great choice always something differant and it was the first time ive been to an all inclusive where they cooked your meal individually for you and as i like my meat and fish well done this was brilliant for me,the pool is spatious with pleanty of lybeds and tables and chairs ,at any time the staff will help you no matter what you want ,also if youhave been all inclusive you will know that a lot of the time when you go for coffee or drinks the waiter ill say one band one drink well the barstaff very quickly relise how many are in your party and will serve you multiple drinks no problem and as my party love there coffeee that was great we didnt have to all go to the bar each time we felt like a coffee, the quality and quantity of the food was excellent ,the waiters put out just enough of the veg potatoes pasta etc then kept topping up so it was always hot and fresh, there are afew small supermarkets around the hotell and a shopping area about 10 mins walk , albufera is a 6 euro taxi ride away ,and the desugner shopping center is a 12 euro taxi fare away, it was quite amazing how clean the whole area around the hotell was ,and the staf seem to be always doing something, there is no doubt some people might find a flaw with this hotell but for myself with some 35 years of holidaying abroad this is one off the best if not the best

Room Tip: rooms 108 and 109 gett the strong morning sun and cool shade from about 3pm
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MilfordW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

My wife and I arrived back on 5th october having spent 10 nights at the Balaia Mar. We wanted a bit of sun after the terrible summer we had, so this was a last minute holiday. Our room was in the hotel and overlooking the pool. It was a good size room with a king size bed, actually two singles pushed together with a mattress topper. It also had a fridge and kettle with two cups and saucers for tea.The tv had bbc1 and channel 5 in English. The balcony had table and two chairs and two sunloungers on it. It was massive and got afternoon sun. The patio door had shutters which you could close when leaving. The bathroom was a good size too with a shower over the bath, a hairdrier and shaver point. The room was cleaned every day and towels changed when needed. One point to note is that the hotel does not supply pool towels you have to bring your own, although you can buy them everywhere from about 7euros. Also the reception do not change traveller cheques and when booking a trip i had to pay in cash. I mention these because the banks are in Albufeira and close about 3:30 and the nearest cashpoint i could find was about 15 or 20 minutes walk away in santa Eulalia. There is no entertainment in the hotel but taxis are about 7 euros to the old town and as has been said there is a free shuttle bus to take you there BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE ALL INCLUSIVE. The meals are adequate and well cooked although repetitive and not very exciting. Same frankfurters at breakfast, same cereal, same desserts, only creamed spinach for veg every day.If you are picky or choosey you will go hungry. The best bit of the hotel is its location on Maria Luisa beach, an unspoilt beautiful stretch of clean sand. The waves can be quite strong but lifeguards are on hand

Room Tip: rooms in the hotel overlooking the pool for afternoon sun and large balconys
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunseeker584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed at Balaia apartments for 5 days and we really enjoyed our stay. We had half bred, maybe the breakfast wasn't variable enough, but the dinners were always great. Every evening different kind of fish and meat. The beach is also very near to the apartments and its really nice. If we will have opportunity, we will definitely go there again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gedas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balaia Mar Hotel

Property: Balaia Mar Hotel
Address: Beco Maria Luisa, Albufeira 8200-635, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Albufeira
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#23 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Balaia Mar Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Balaia Mar Hotel Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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