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“Lovely hotel but beware of the bug!”

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Holiday Village Algarve Balaia
Ranked #113 of 520 Hotels in Algarve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 July 2014

We stayed from 3rd - 10th of July 2014, 2adults and 2 kids (4&1) the hotel itself is fantastic, very clean, spacious rooms, wonderful pools, great reps and entertainment team, staff friendly ect... The only issues we had was the food, there's not much taste to it and you get a lot of the same stuff daily, we've stayed in a lot of 3star hotels and I must say the food has been better there, also both us adults and the youngest child came down with the sickness bug! I also had food poisoning from the al a carte Italian restaurant which was awful and I was not the only one! We spoke to several people at the hotel who had not just had the bug bug also good poisoning! This did spoil the last couple of days of the holiday. We were considering extending our stay to a second week before we became ill. Like I said the hotel is fab but were frightened to eat anything after the illness.

Room Tip: If you have a pushchair choose block 1 and the ramps between block 1&2 are very steep
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Jemma J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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566 - 572 of 986 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2014

We've just returned, 2 adults and 2 kids (7 & 4) , from a week (not long enough!) at the Holiday village Algarve and had a fantastic time. The hotel is extremely clean, the hotel staff very friendly and the entertainment staff just fantastic! Special mention to Thierry who greets you in the restaurant and remembers your room number after your 2nd visit- he noticed we didn't have a birthday cake for our sons's birthday and off his own back phoned the hotel manager and quickly arranged for a fresh chocolate cake and a number 7 candle to be presented to him at pudding time with all the restaurant staff singing and clapping. Very special moment for the wee man! Food is extremely fresh and great choice. Non stop activities provided by the entertainment team who work sooooo hard! Make sure you don't just use the splash pool where the slides are, but have a few days at the main pool where all the entertainment staff are based and there are activities such as water rollers, zorbing, fencing , dancing, canoeing, water polo, raft building and daily quiz.High ropes are also a must. Great 4g footie pitch with tournaments for dads and lads alike. Evening entertainment great fun if you like to get involved. Shame World Cup was on as some were very quiet but still a great atmosphere. Special shout out to polly pocket, zany zander , baldy Ben, Adam, Jess, mickey, josh in the box, stu, donnie, batdan, miles, Dave, Hannah, jas, Rachel, chris (sorry if I've forgotten anyone!) for making it so much fun- our kids loved you and so did we!

Room Tip: Block 1 - in the main complex.(ask for an apartment with a sea view) Block 2 quite a trek if you hav...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank Heleng250179
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We all really enjoyed our holiday, first time at a holiday village and we were not disappointed there is so much for the kids to do during the day and the entertainment team were all brilliant. All staff behind bars and reception were all friendly too. Couple of little things we didn't like but they didn't ruin our stay: a lot of the sunbeds are really uncomfortable, we found the staff in the Italian restaurant a bit rude and unwelcoming also found the food and service better in the buffet restaurant.
All in all a great stay with lots to do and would definitely come back.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank sullys32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We spent 11 nights with Family 4 Adults 1 Child (8 Years) the hotel is excellent extremely clean and the food is amazing. English are a nightmare with the reserving of sunbeds first towel went on at 06:20 this is around the main pool but in all fairness we weren't bothered as found we would rather be round the pool at block 2 or at the water park, but just be warned. The Portuguese and Italian al a carte are a must to visit as the food was amazing. The entertainment team work extremely hard and there is something for all to do if you want to. My Parents who are in there late 60's also enjoyed and they also thought that the food and cleanliness was amazing. Also worth a comment is first time that I have been all inclusive and not had to queue for a drink. Excellent Service. I would recommend to all and I hope to go back and it be of the same standard.

Room Tip: Block 1 ideal if you have prams as quite a hike up the hill from block 2
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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6  Thank Saccie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

I spent 10 nights with my family 2 adults 2 kids ( 2 year old & 13 year old) the hotel is very nice and clean ; the food is also very good.

I would recommend asking for block 1 if you have small children as the stairs in between the blocks are a nightmare for pushing prams and buggies up them to get to the restaurant which is in block 1 area.

The only bad comment I will leave is the night time entertainment very poor - 90's style butlins if that. (Too loud & too cheesy)

We spent most of the time in the park opposite which is a bad idea as once your little one sees it they never want to go into the venue area anyway.

Maybe a good idea to take with you some long bottoms for the child's play area as my little one kept falling over and cutting his knees as it is very rough flooring.

Other than that great holiday just a shame about the night time entertainment!!

(I forgot you need to put your towels out by 8am or you will not get a sun bed)

Room Tip: If you have small children I would recommend block 1 as you will need to climb the stairs between th...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Craig J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Just back from a fabulous week. No sign of any bug or rashes! The kids (8 and 10) want to go back next year.

At the airport you will be told which block you are in (1 or 2). You need to remember this as the bus drops off in both blocks. Long queues for check-in due to volume of guests arriving in both blocks, but check-out was very efficient. You must leave your credit card details if you ask for a TV remote. Safety deposit key and lock provided for 12 euro a week (and again you must leave your credit card details). Large First Choice beach towels are provided free (but you give credit card details). You can change them at reception on Tuesdays and Saturdays-so no need to bring bulky towels :) Wifi is available in main reception or payable in rooms. Daily maid service except sundays and bank holidays.

We were self-catering. We were offered all inclusive package at a discount on check-in, but decided not to go for it as we like eating out at different restaurants. however most people were all inclusive. We did eat a few nights at Giovanni and Vasco-the restaurant in block 2. Its one restaurant divided into 2: an italian side (Giovannis) and Portugese side (Vascos). Different menus for adults are provided, but the kids menu is the same. The food and service was excellent. Valter from block 2 reception also works in the restaurant and is so helpful and friendly. The restaurant manager also very friendly. You book these restaurants at Ricardo's Bar by pool 2. the bar is open 11am until 5.30am. You cant book more than 3 days in advance. They close on Thursdays. We shopped in the supermarket on site (beside block 2) and the Intermarche which is a 15 minute walk away. From block 1 turn right as you leave hotel. Right again at the crossroads. Keep straight down an incline, then up until you hit a roundabout and take a right. Intermarche on the left. If you want to walk to the beach it is down the small road to left at the bottom of that incline. Keep straight and you reach a lovely beach. You can hire sunbeds and umbrellas. We got a taxi to the old town (about 9 euro) for shopping and food. There is a big beach there also.

Just to mention Holiday Village Algarve is a Falcon/First Choice/Thompsons concept. None of the bus drivers or taxi drivers knew it. You need to ask for Alto da Colina Aparthotel.

We did a day trip to Zoomarine which was amazing. We decided to get a taxi ourselves to get the full day out of it (cost about 17 euro each way). We bought discounted tickets online in advance, so just had to scan in on arrival. When we booked with tour operators in other countries they drop you off quite late and leave early so you cant get everything in. I dont know if the same in Portugal. I know from reviews that the bus service Zoomarine offers itself does arrive well after the park opens. In july it opens from 10am until 7pm so we so spent the whole day there. Got all the shows in the morning and saw T-Rex exhibition, animals, aquarium etc. Got pictures taken with animals (you pay in advance for this-ranges from 10 euro for photos with the exotic birds or barn owl to 25 euro with the dolphin). We spent the afternoon on the Zoomarine beach, in pools and kids went down the slides. You can hire a locker (although there was none left when we looked for one at 3PM).

The girls also went on a one hour trek in Albufeira Riding Centre and did a one day pony camp (run on Saturdays 9am to 2pm). 6-7.50 euro each way in a taxi. The owner is English and all the girls attending camp were English.

The only negative is the air conditioning in the room which sometimes spat out hot air. We didnt report it as it wasnt a major issue once you keep the curtains closed during the day (The sun really heats the room). We were out all day anyway.

Overall an amazing holiday. The place was spotless. Pools were amazing. The high ropes and zipline a huge hit with the kids. You book with the reps in reception for a time slot, then report to the hut by the playground or at the start of the high ropes course. An adult must be present to sign them in. Adult can then stay with the child or tell reps where you will be. You try to land on your feet at the end of the zipline and get a cert if you do.

Kids club and reps were excellent. Thanks Josie, Liz and Dave. However all reps without exception were brilliant. An adult signs kids in an out. Timetables up in both receptions. My kids usually dont bother with Kids Club but they went to it a lot here.

WE stayed in block 2 which suited us as its quiet and pools quiet. No problem getting a sun lounger at any time. Its one of the few places you dont need to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve a bunk (no bunk reservations allowed-towels are removed). There are steep steps up to block 1 which didnt bother us, but could be an issue if you were pushing a buggy (we saw people struggling).

Would definately go back. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Choose block 2 for a quiet room, but block one if you have a buggy
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank HolidayDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Hotel clean
Food average. No special themed evening or added flare v boring typical food

Tips:
Go to albufeira marina by taxi and then you have plenty of restaurants and all the boats trips you could want. You can do dolphin driven through the reps which is v good but there are others.
Zoo marine = very good for whole family.need 2 days to enjoy it all there.


Hotel pools nice
Cocktails are v poor
All inclusive drinks need improving

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Gemma292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Village Algarve Balaia

Address: Balaia, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #113 of 520 Hotels in Algarve
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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Also Known As:
Holiday Village Algarve Balaia Hotel Algarve

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