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“good holiday but bit remote” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Holiday Village Algarve Balaia

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Holiday Village Algarve Balaia
Ranked #94 of 530 Hotels in Algarve
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“good holiday but bit remote”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

Stayed 2 weeks at end of June/July with a 3yr old. We were in block 1 and have to say room brilliant, balcony biggest I've ever had and caught the sun all afternoon till sunset. Block 1 is the main block but even though we were above the bar area the noise at night was not an issue, especially with doors closed and air con on. Block 2 was a bit of a trek on dodgy stairs/slope and very quiet.
The shop is in block 2 open 8-8 and if go out onto main road another shop 5 mins to the left past the golfvillage and one on right past the bus stop.....but that is it. No bars or shops for at least 20/25 minute walk, and in the nice hot sun, on pavements not suitable for prams or flipflop walks, you really need to get a taxi to go anywhere.

We did catch a bus outside hotel to villamora - took about 30 mins, think it was about 4euro10 each, each way, no charge for 3yr old. The bus was on time unlike back home! Ask at reception for timetable. Remember where you get off as villamoura main town is one way so bus comes back round.

Trip to zoomarine recommended. Dolphins show great then play in pools. They do charge for sunbeds...a small fortune for fews hrs. Lie on your towel!

The courtesy bus to beach good idea and beach worth a visit. We also went albuferia beach in taxi. Went to albuferia many nights to escape the complex. We only went twice to the evening entertainment as it is very loud and a bit cringey but all the kids seemed to love it.
Kids club very good but does have a limit on number of kids in so suggest you queue early! My little one enjoyed wild west adventure, mini beast, park play, bouncing bunnies and a teddy bears picnic. Kids reps very good with them all.

The hotel complex is lovely - bit of issue with lifts in block 1 and stairs are dark and bit smelly. The pools are lovely if a bit icy but didnt bother the children. There was always enough sunbeds or chairs and the reserving was nowhere near as bad as other hotels! The pools are regularly cleaned....you just need to get up early enough if you want to see it being done.

There is a swap shop on 1st floor landing block 1 and reception block 2.... Have a browse first thing on Thursday or Sunday mornings as they are check out days.

Food very nice with good choice. Many not as vast as some hotels but we always managed to eat! Snack bar food good, although ordering can be bit muddled as all ordering same. Think 3 euro for a slush is a crime so stuck to free drinks and ice cream tubs. AI Bailey's very passable and beer may have been watered down but it was free and plentiful.

All in all a nice holiday but we would have liked to have had some places to walk to.

Room Tip: Block 1 318 - best balcony
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MML20102014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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886 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (376)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
glasgow
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014

We have just returned a couple of days ago from this hotel. We loved mostly everything about it. Would just like to say we cannot praise the hard working entertainment team enough, they definitely work tirelessly to make your family holiday one to remember. We were not sure what to expect from the HV as we have never done one of these holidays before. We are so happy that we decided on this place for our holiday. Our son took part in the new skateboarding classes on offer in the HV, he absolutely loved these and passed first 3 levels. Thanks to Chris, Simon and Adam. Dan is fantastic at getting the children and adults involved around the poolside with activities and is a lovely guy. He was very brave and had his head shaved for Tommy's while we were there. First Choice have definitely done well putting this team of hard working, fun young people together. We enjoyed the entertainment at night. We only went to these on the second week there and didn't find it too repetitive at all. The wee ones love the Peppa Pig and Widgets at the start. The team do well at getting everyone involved, and some of the prime time games are hilarious. Polly and Xander are a great double act, they would do so well on children's tv!
We went into old town Albufiera a few times and much preferred this to new town. Little Liz recommended the Bank steakhouse for our anniversary dinner and made the booking for us. We loved the food she got it spot on. She also booked a trip to Seville for us and gave us alot of info about things to see and do.
There's not alot to do in Albufiera itself, but if you are looking for a chilled out holiday and plenty for the kids to do within the hotel, this is the place to book.
The sunbeds are a bit hit or miss, and could be doing with replacing. There are plenty of sunbeds around the whole resort, however if you want one at main activity pool you have to join the sad sunbed army and get your towel down early. We sat at quiet pool a couple of days and it's nice down there and amazing how serene compared to other pool. We didn't use the slide pool or the other little pools.
The food was good, and plentiful, we found breakfast a bit of a struggle but think this is because we were still trying to eat relatively healthily and we have a child with food intolerances. We enjoyed the Portuguese restaurant, weren't impressed with the Italian.
Rooms are big and bright, lots of space for all clothes. We stayed for 2 weeks with 2 children and found space for everything. The microwave in the room is handy. We were in block 1 and liked being in this block. We were in room 211 which was fairly quiet and faced onto gardens rather than the pool area.

Room Tip: block 1 room 211 is fairly quiet and central for everything
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank geri1Glasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Felpham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2014 via mobile

We had a fabulous time at this hotel early July, staff were really helpful inparticular the bar and restaurant, the place is just right for children as there is no end of things for them to do from several swimming pools one with slides, splash area, that is also great to cool down in as an adult. The play park is well equiped and for older ones there is the arial rope course. The evening entertainment is very good for all ages, our toddler loved it, which included a pantomine on the saturday night. We had a family room with sea view that had a large balcony, air conditioning was a must as it was hot hot hot!!! the transfer is short also only including the one hotel. The beach is near by and there is a foc shuttle mini bus down and back that gives you roughly 2 -3 hours on the beach. The restaurant near the beach are great with good choice of food and drinks and there is a good shop. Near to Albufeira, the old town is worth a visit, we didn't walk round the new part,so can't comment. We did visit Fiesa while staying, a recommended day trip. Overall very nice holiday.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Lesmondo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Healing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

Just returned from a week in this hotel, a holiday is what you make it and we had a great time with our daughter and friends and their children. However we have been to two other holiday villages ( Tenerife and Majorca ) and this one has been our least favourite, it's difficult to say why just lots of little things really.

The rooms are large and clean, but didn't have the regular maid service, clean towels and mini bar that's been included before, but there was a kitchen with a fridge and toaster. Try for block 1 it's the main hotel.

Wifi is free but you can only get a connection in reception which is a v small area with lots of other people trying to do the same, yes you are on hols but if you are trying to keep working or run a business it's not ideal.

The pool and splash areas are nice, but not enough sunbeds or good unbroken/ unsaggy beds ( these are not comfy!) Daytime entertainment it plentiful and should keep the kids busy. This hotel could do with a swap box like Majorca where unwanted inflatables, ball ect went when you left.

Bars are ok in day but sell lots of extras crisps, sweets and ice cream this is not what I expect from an all inclusive and this is not the case at the other HVs we have visited it's like the hotel is trying their hardest to make more money out of you. At night it's only plastic cups still! Yes I agree for kids but not adults at night, wine in a plastic cup isn't 4 star! Also there wasn't any cava available like other HVs it was 12 euros but cheaper in the supermarket in block 2.

The restaurant is ok, food ok but not as wide a selection as previously experienced and had waiter service for drinks in other HVs but not here so constant queuing for drinks and the food. It's quite a small restaurant so can feel a little claustrophobic at times.

Evening entertainment is inside, yes inside in the lovely warm Portuguese climate not ideal, oh and still plastic cups and extra things to buy, there are a few plastic ice cream chairs and tables outside but this is not comparable to the lovely seating areas of the other two HVs, entertainment Is for kids, there is a game show every night which is v repetitive and then a show or act.

We went to the Old Town twice which is a much better night out even with kids and there are lots of lovely restaurants, bars and shops. I recommend you book what the hotel call a transfer into town, take your mobile and get the drivers card so you can use them again or you can wait a very long time for taxis at the hotel.

Finally we used a Yellow Fish transfers for a private transfer to and from Faro airport, they are brilliant and lots cheaper than Thomsons. We got to the hotel before everyone else and had unpacked and had lunch before the coach got there!

Overall I think this is more of a 3 star plus HV and the other two we visited are in a completely different class 4-5star.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Oxo22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dingwall, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

We have just stayed at the HV Algarve for two glorious weeks of fun filled entertainment, and loved it so much, we thought we'd write a review as soon as we returned.....our suitcases aren't even unpacked yet!
Firstly, the highlight of our holiday was most definitely the entertainment team. They work tirelessly day in, day out to ensure everyone is happy, relaxed, and involved if they so wish. They are highly professional at all times, and are utterly amazing with the children. Our sons, 8 & 5, were so upset to leave them today, and are already begging us to book for next year!
The hotel itself is immaculately cleaned on a regular basis, and for this, we must thank our lovely cleaning lady (room 340, block 1 - super quiet room with a great view) and the restaurant staff. The main pool itself was spotless, if not for a few lazy folk who wouldn't pick up their own empty cups, and the quiet pool was just a wee haven of tranquility if you needed some time out.
My husband and I are real foodies, and there wasn't one day or night we could complain about the food in the restaurant/pool bars. It was fresh, tasty, varied and plentiful. We particularly enjoyed the Mexican night and the Sunday carvery......the Yorkshire puds are to die for! There was a great selection at breakfast; the pancakes being a particular favourite with our boys, as the coffee was for us!
One minor gripe would have to be the amount of sun beds that were reserved with towels by 7.30am, despite clear signs from the management around the pools asking to refrain from doing so. Perhaps a sunbed voucher system could ensure a fair distribution of sun beds?
Our boys used the kids club facility, and enrolled into the football academy, and enjoyed them both immensely. The vast variety of activities kept them engaged and involved, and they were especially pleased with their complimentary t shirts, which they asked the entertainment team and their new found friends to sign before we departed. A lovely keepsake of a very special holiday.
Thank you to all the staff at HV Algarve and First Choice who helped create so many happy holiday memories for us. It really is a wonderful place to experience.

Room Tip: Room 340, block 1 is fab!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SunbedStalkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

Stayed at holiday village first week July. Checked in with ease at 11am due to all departing guests being away early thankfully, usual Algarve check in is 4 pm. Receptioni staff are friendly, reps were around reception but not interacting despite earlier reviews. There are 2 lifts in block 1 they are small. There are only 4 floors and all lazy guests use them. We have a baby in a buggy and I waited 8 lifts to come and go full of adults before I could get in , nobody would go out to let us in. The rooms are lovely however if you are a family of four staying for two weeks you will struggle for storage space. There is one wardrobe and three drawers in the bedroom.
Staying in block 1 is better if you have small kids/ using a buggy. The steep ramps down to block 2/quiet pool/ supermarket are a nightmare even just in flip flops . The drinks at the bar are ok. Wine is ropy but after 1 you will get used to it. There are previous reviews stating the beer is watered down and some days it feels like it is. Food is average. Breakfast is the best of the day. Lunch at the restaurant is ok, pool bar snacks ok, dinner is ok 5 out of 7 but I'm sure you will agree booking a holiday village is not about the food, it's about how good your kids enjoy their holiday and our will give this place 11 out of 10. The water slides are great For under tens and that's where our kids spent their week. They didn't join kids club as didn't want to, but all kids we saw going had fun,the park is good too. All pools are good but cleaning of pool next to splash park let this place down. Couldn't see the bottom for 3 days and as a holiday rep myself many years ago disgusted at this.
The entertainment team try hard, round the main pool they are on the go all day, they have a great range of activities for all. Night time entertainment lets this place down, the standard holiday village village widget show and i5 live shows are the same as 2 years ago when we went to holiday village costa del sol( avoid) kids enjoy but that is it. The rep show are all singing- well they think they can sing, there are no local acts or professional shows as advertised. The evening entertainment is indoor and is a small venue, not all guest will get in here esp in sep/ cot when the Algarve temp cools. You will think I am negative about this place but I'm not, for what we wanted from our holiday this was great, kids 4 and 1, there's nowhere to go outside the hotel, Balaia is a one horse town, Albufeira 6 euros in a cab. And I know the Algarve well. As holiday villages go, we've tried a few and they mostly work for us, it's not too big and in your face, we would go back . First choice reps are visible many hours but they don't know much about local area. As a previous employee of this company I am saddened by the standard of reps knowledge these days, I remember more from 20 years ago working in algarve than Liz knows now !!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
glasgow
Level Contributor
47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

Just back from this hotel and it is a fabulous family holiday, great selection of food and activities each day. Location OK, really need taxi for getting around and not much within walking distance. Kids club and entertainers all brilliant fun. Entertainment a bit repetitive at night and they could do with some professionals acts to entertain the adults. Our kids, 8 & 4 yrs loved every minute of their holiday, hotel transport to beach was good and worth a visit - lovely beach. Only negative point I had about this holiday was the lack of drinks/ice cream not included for the kids - slush puppies drinks and cones/ice creams not included which for me is essential if paying all inclusive only small ice cream tubs on offer for kids and AI finished at 11pm which is early if you want a few coffees before bed! Otherwise, brilliant holiday and would highly recommend it, we preferred staying in the quieter block 2 as the daily poolside music at block 1 would have been too much for me. They could do with more sun umbrellas - hardly any for the amount of bed which as always are 'reserved' with towels. Hotel staff lovely also.

Room Tip: block 2 much quieter
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank grapefruitGlasgow
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

Property: Holiday Village Algarve Balaia
Address: Balaia, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #94 of 530 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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