My partner and I have just returned from 1 weeks holiday at the beautiful Alvor Baia hotel. We absolutely loved it!
We travelled with First Choice and although the transfer time was stated as being 1hr 45 mins it only took just over 1 hour so that was a pleasant surprise!
On arrival at the hotel we were told that our room would be ready in about 15 mins which was fair enough as it wasn't even noon yet! We were given our all inclusive cards and they took our luggage so that we could go for a welcome drink!
One thing to note-This hotel doesn't use wristbands so your room key card acts as your proof that you are AI- you will need to give this to the staff when you enter the restaurant/get drinks.
ROOM- Our room was ready 10 minutes later, and was on the 3rd floor. Absolutely beautiful! Lovely comfy bed, 2 great big TVs (with quite a few channels in English) a lovely sofa, dining table, wee kitchenette(we didn't use this- apart from the fridge), lovely clean and spacious bathroom (fantastic shower!!!) and a HUGE balcony! Couldn't get over the size of the balcony! Very spacious with a table and 2 chairs and a pool view (I had emailed ahead to request this and the hotel were nice enough to oblige! :) so always worth doing this!) Rooms were cleaned often, with fresh towels and toiletries, and a safe was available in the wardrobe.
FOOD and DRINK- We stayed at the Alvor Baia on an all inclusive basis. We personally thought the food was great! My partner is a very picky eater and can be hard to please but he always managed to find plenty to eat so I wouldn't worry about that! Draught soft drinks, wine, beer and water, as well as fresh orange/tea/coffee/hot chocolate is available with your dinner- you can just help yourself! The hotel has 2 restaurants, the green and the blue, but only the green was open during our stay. It was never too crowded so this was perfect. I must say here that the restaurant staff were SUBERB- always so friendly and were very quick to clear plates/show you to a table etc. As for the food choices: there is a great salad bar, with all the usual bits and pieces along with dressings, cold pasta dishes, meats, cheeses etc. They also quite often had sardines(a Portuguese speciality)and other fish dishes here. There is then also usually 2 different choices of soup, and a table with all kinds of bread and rolls (including croissants at breakfast time). We thought that the food choices were great- there was always a couple of pasta dishes- with a couple of different sauces available to choose from as well as parmesan cheese/chillis etc if you wanted to make something a bit different. There was then always a few different meat dishes, with steak, chicken , pork, veal, and various fish dishes appearing throughout the week. One night there was even octopus tentacles in some kind of sauce as well as oysters and fish pate (which in a nice touch had been shaped in to a shark shape!). This was as well as roasted potatos, mini jacket potatos(they were delicious!), boiled potatos and chips, as well as a few different types of veg. There was also a kids buffet area that usually had something like pizza,chicken goujons, slices of roast beef etc, along with mini desserts for the kids. The dessert table was fantastic- with plenty of cakes to choose from (the chocolate cake was delish!) including some traditional custard tarts which were excellent. There was usually also jelly, plenty of fresh fruit, and tubs of either chocolate&vanilla or strawberry&vanilla ice cream.
Breakfast comprised of lots of different breads and rolls as well as croissants and there is a couple of toasters. They also have 3 different cereals, with milk, yoghurts and fresh fruit. There is then the hot food selection with bacon, sausages, 2 types of scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, fried tomatos, mushrooms etc. I honestly don't know how anyone could complain that there is nothing to eat!!!
The snack bar was also open between meal times which had breads, cold meats, cheeses etc as well as crisps and biscuits.
The drinks were great, not every drink is included in the all inclusive package but there are signs up making super clear which ones are. If you insist on named spirits like we have at home then you may not like this but we didn't care! Can't comment on the wine as we don't drink it but my partner enjoyed a few nice cold beers, we both had the spirits (rum and vodka) and the 'cocktail of the day'(the only one included in the AI)and were happy with them all! We did buy a couple of cocktails one night, only as we fancied something specific, and a Pina Colada and a very good Margharita cost us 12 euros.
POOL SIDE- The pool is HUGE and pretty chilly! Looks great though and plenty of sun loungers with table and parasols! Had no problem at all getting a space but then it was quieter season while we were there!
STAFF- We thought that every single member of staff that we encountered were great! Special mentions to the entertainer (the only thing we went to was the Quiz Night, which was nice) and was a really friendly guy who took the time to chat to everyone and make them feel welcome, and the lovely lady in the restaurant with the blonde hair (we didn't get her name) who always gave us such a beautiful welcome. Everyone was lovely!
HOTEL FACILITIES- This hotel is beautiful and we loved the clean modern design, with the funky lifts and giant blue sofa in reception! The grounds are well cared for and everywhere is very clean. Personally we loved the minimalist design of the hotel, with lots of glass and light. We didn't use the spa so cannot comment, but we did go down to the games area for a few games of air hockey so this was nice to have. There was also a children's play area that looked great and a pool for the little ones.
OTHER things to note- The hotel were happy to call us a taxi to go in to Portimao, the Aqua shopping centre is nice to take a walk round! This only cost us 10 euros each way in the taxi.
We did the organised Lagos and Sagres trip with Thomson/First Choice and would recommend this- good value for money if you want to explore a bit!
There is a spar supermarket 5 mins walk away- next to the Alvor Ferias.
You can easily walk in to Alvor- it's only 10 minutes away, and there are a few nice wee shops/a perfumery here, as well as some bars and restaurants if you fancy a change. You can also easily walk to the beach, or the hotel runs a train shuttle if you'd prefer.
CONCLUSION- To sum up, we LOVED the Alvor Baia! We were very lucky with the weather (it got up to 36 degrees while we were there!!!) and thought that the hotel was great! We would definitely return to the Alvor Baia, we think with that they did fantastically especially as the hotel hasnt been running as AI for long! With a few tweaks and some practice this has the making of a 5* hotel! ENJOY!
Email the hotel before you go and request a pool view room- we did and this meant we had a lovely su...
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