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“The best family holiday yet!”

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Alfagar II Aparthotel
Ranked #10 of 152 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 September 2011

Immaculate and spacious this hotel certainly met our expectations.Great staff who were very attentive and the First Choice team were great too.I also loved the fact that there were many other European tour operators using this hotel so it was nice to meet other nationalities as often these are exclusively British which can sometimes feel just like being at home!
The rooms were very large with everything you could need.The flat screen TV's had a DVD player too which I wish we would have know as we lugged the laptop in case there was not one in the room! The remote control has to be collected from reception before use.
Our children 3 and 7 yrs had a great time at the First Choice kids club sessions and evening parties meaning that we had a rest and had time to relax with out having to keep an eye on the all the time.Thanks to Franky and Lauren.
The weather was great a lovely cool breeze blowing which made the intense sun feel great.We has rain showers one day but this didn't spoil our fun.

There are no pool towels provided so bring your own.The pools were a little cold even in August, which meant they were not used as much as they could have been by the smaller children who found them too cold.The warmer indoor pool was a massive success with the older kids but this was a little annoying as a parent had to supervise them inside when we of course wanted to enjoy the sunshine! The pool area was always very clean and we only had a problem finding a sun bed on one day but I think it was because there was a local holiday and people bought a day pass to use the pool.The slide park was just big enough to occupy the children without feeling you were in a tourist attraction.

Now on to the areas which could be improved!
Bar / restaurant service was slow at times as I had read in other reviews and I had emailed First Choice prior to departure in relation to my concern as it was noted as being slow before the school holidays! However, when we got used to the place we learned to pick our time when there was no queue.Staff were great especially Carlos ,Ricardo and Andre who seemed to work non stop in the bar or restaurant and always made you feel like a valued customer even though we were all inclusive.The Pool bar service was quite bad at times and the staff not so smiley either!
The entertainment in the bar area/terrance was poor but to be honest we met such lovely people we would have been happy with just some background music!The magician was extremely poor even the kids could see how he did his tricks! Then there was reptile man and parrot man both of which were a photo sales pitch! Karaoke and a couple of dodgy fed up singers and that was that!
The restaurant was also very clean and food was good but could be improved as in the evening dishes did not seem to go together but we always found something nice such a piri piri chicken / fish and salad or pasta /rice etc along with themed nights of chinese and mexican which were acceptable.The kids also ate well which made meal times more enjoyable and no waiting for food! We went on an all inclusive basis which will be stopping next year so I this will not be an issue.
The beach was a little too far just to pop for an hour or two with many steps and quite a long walk for little ones.If we did not have small children I think we would have been more often. ( Missing the all inclusive and kids club also made this less attractive to us)

We had a day out at The Zoomarine which was a great family day out lovely dolphin and sea lion shows and great water rides and excellent 4D cinema which was a must. This cost around £70 for all of us and the hotel gave us a pack up and drinks to take with us.

Overall, we would go back if it were remaining all inclusive, as it is the closest we have been to all of our family having the holiday we wanted as the adults want to relax and spend time together and the kids want full on entertainment which is a very tricky compromise to find with out the expense of Mark Warner etc.

Room Tip: Te best views are on the top floors and away from the entertainment/bar area as these were noisy. Tw...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Sallyb45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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708 - 714 of 1,023 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2011

After a bit of a holiday village nightmare last year with First Choice, this was a wonderful break away. Restful, but lots to do and see. Needs a little more flexibility with it's All inclusive policy (less time limits in different bars and restaurants and being able to purchase more than 2 drinks at a time would help) and more staff to man the bars and restaurant - saw the same 4 waiters every days doing breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack bar and evening bar- they must be exhausted! A few queues but nothing horrendous. We couldn't fault the cleanliness and helpful staff. First Choice were helpful onsite too.

Swimming pools were great and plenty, lots of sunloungers available and we went down to the beach a lot - quite a walk down and back up, but well worth it - stunning clean beaches. Playground was fine and the kids club was super - sessions for roughly 2 hours per day and some paid-for evening parties - well supervised and the kids enjoyed it (so did we). Worth noting we didn't send our kids to the late night chocolate party (honest to god what a stupid idea) where the kids ended up covered in cocoa powder and chocolate and as hyper as the energiser bunny. Rest was brill - total confidence in the staff.

Evening entertainment at the hotel was very poor indeed. No staged area so a few small activites around the outside bar area. Very random too - one night a karioke session, another night a man turned up with a few reptiles, a poor quiz done by First Choice - and we couldn't hear the questions as she didn't even use a mike and a few other bits and pieces. This really needs sorting out as I expect people who did go for the evening times, were sorely disappointed. We were fine though, happy to sit out, enjoy the chatter and wine.


Around the area:
Visited Zoomarine (ok but get there early to secure a locker for the day otherwise you have to carry everything round with you), the stunning village of Silves - castle was well worth a vist as is the catherdral (for just one euro) next door - hundreds of little street-side art galleries too (cost around 35 euros each way in a taxi from the hotel). Also went to the markets at Loulé which were lovely, esp the food market and the marina at Villamoura (20 euros each way from the hotel by taxi). We also did a trip out with Dreamwave to find wild dolphins - what a fab trip - we found them- totally amazing!

Would definately recommend the holiday and hotel, but hope you don't need evening entertainment.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Nikkia27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2011

2 adults, 2 teenage girls (16). Could not fault anything at all. Our rep, Anna, was friendly and extremely helpful, as were the attractive bar staff Ricardo and fabio! Rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable (we booked 2 rooms, which luckily were right next to eachother). Weather was gorgeous. The pool area was very clean, and you never had to fight for the sunbeds. The pools themselves were quite chilly, but refreshing after a hard days sunbathing. The steps down to the beach were very steep, over 100 steps, ( yes we counted) but were manageable for us, perhaps not so for older people or parents with buggies, certainly built up an appetite for dinner. We were all inclusive and there was always a good selection of food,very tasty, and often there were themed nights. The desserts were lovely. The restaurant staff were friendly and efficient, and knew our drinks orders by the end of the the first day, we didn't even need to ask! The girls were happy, as 16 year olds they were considered adults so made the most of the piña coladas!

Would definitely recommend 'zoomarine', the dolphin and sealion shows were superb, supposedly the best in the world. All 4 of us swam
with the dolphins- what an amazing experience. At 150€ each it's not cheap, but the best money we've ever spent.

We only stayed for a week, and were sad to leave. Unfortunately this was the first and last year of all inclusive at alfagar2, so we were lucky to go whilst we could.
A fantastic holiday and would absolutely go back.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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3  Thank Beckz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2011

We stayed in this hotel, all-inclusive in July. We had our best family holiday to date.
The rooms are huge and have everything you need. A twin room with lots of cupboard space and a door on to the balcony, a living room area with a sofa bed, a dining table, kitchen area, tv/dvd and doors out on to the huge balcony and a storage room with an iron and ironing board, where we kept our luggage.
We paid for a sea view, initially we had a sea view which also over looked the pool but we ended up moving rooms due to a noisy crowd of boys in the room above us who came in at 3am each morning still wanting to party!
We were moved without hesitation, the reception staff were very helpful.
The room we were moved to had a better sea-view and overlooked the football park.
The food in the hotel is fine, we were never stuck although it's not geared for all-inclusive, always a queue at the coffee machine and also at the show cooking for omelettes etc. The pool bar did not serve to all-inclusive customers between 12-3 which was annoying, some days it would have been nice to have had lunch at the pool bar rather than go to the restaurant.
The pool bar and the "red bar" are under-staffed, very rarely was there more than one member of staff serving and the service was slow.
Dinner finishes at 9 and they mean 9! at 9pm the kitchen staff start removing food from the counter which was a pain. We found 9pm a little too early. It's still hot and sunny until late so we were often leaving the pool area just before 7.30 and then rushing to get ready for dinner.
We ate out a few times and also ate in one night and enjoyed the sea-view eating our dinner on the balcony. The kitchen was home from home and had everything needed to cook a meal.
The hotel is spotless, there was always staff busying about to keep it clean.
The evening entertainment wasn't up to much but we knew that before we went. We went out for a walk after dinner a couple of times to a cafe and had a coffee and a cake in "Cafe Crème " (go out reception and turn right and keep walking - probably a mile and Cafe Crème is on the left hand side) I can highly recommend. Two large lattes, two fresh orange juices and 4 cakes for €9 - bargain!
The pools are fantastic and there was no bed reserving which I loved. The staff were very quick to remove towels which had been abandoned.
Our kids (7 & 4) went to the kids club twice in the whole 2 weeks. They met friends and were quite happy playing in the pool or on the water slides. But the kids club staff were lovely and great with the kids.
The first choice rep is useless. The welcome meeting was a waste of time, she spent all her time trying to sell trips etc and told us very little about the resort or the hotel. I complained to her about the group of lads in the room above us and she told me they were foreign - she had gone to their room and asked them to keep the noise down. Which was funny as all the lads spoke English with English accents!!
We went to Zoo marine for the day - I can highly recommend a visit there, especially if you are travelling with kids. We booked through reception though - it was cheaper than the rep!
We had a fabulous holiday and met some great people - thank you for making it a memorable holiday. The cocktail of the day is always worth a try!
I would definitely return to this hotel again, a few wee tweaks and the hotel would be perfect. I would rather the hotel was either all-inclusive or self catering, I didn't like the fact it was mixed - paying customers were definitely given better service than all-inclusive which was disappointing since we had obviously paid up front.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the 3rd floor or above with a sea view.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank rhonamcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2011

This was our first holiday abroad for 3 years and we were very much looking forward to our holiday in Portugal. The Alfagar II is only about 3 years old and it is a beautiful hotel. The overall standard is as you would wish of a new(ish) building. The decoration is modern and undamaged but most of all VERY clean and tidy.
We were impressed by the amount of maids/cleaners there were milling around both day and evening busily cleaning and tidying up. The whole pool area (including the sun loungers) is hosed down every morning and the cleaners make it look brand new . This can be said for the whole site in general.
The main pool is large and interestingly shaped. The pool with the two slides is excellently equipped for both toddlers kids under 10 and the two big slides keep kids and adults entertained all day!!
The food in the restaurant is of a very high standard and the set up in getting your food each meal time is simple and quick with rarely a hiccup or wait in being seated or to actually help yourself to the food. Like most men I am not too fussy when it comes to food and thought that the choice was plentiful - however my wife did comment that although there was always a choice, it did lack a little variety on a day to day basis.
The rooms are superb with an amazingly well equipped fully fitted contemporary kitchen which had a fridge freezer, microwave, toaster and a proper oven & hob if you need it if not staying all inclusive. The main bed is very comfy with a proper mattress but the sofa bed is not good - our 14 year old son hated sleeping on it as he said it was "well uncomfortable". The room had a double built in wardrobe with hanging space and shelves and there was other furniture for clothes to be stored too. There are two sets of sliding doors out onto a massive balcony with a pool/grounds view with even a slight glimpse of the sea! We cannot fault the accommodation at all, there's also a TV with some English channels to watch while you're getting ready for the evening.
The staff were all very friendly indeed and made you feel welcome day and night. The "Red Bar" which opens at 4:30pm till midnight is a very nice place to enjoy the evening with ample seating outside and tv's inside if you wish.
HOWEVER - all that said, we feel that the hotel is let down by the tour operator. The lack of organised activity for older kids is extremely poor, actually it's none existant!! There was stuff laid on for young kids of say 2yrs to 7 or 8 but after that - NOTHING. Our daughter is almost 11 and we felt that there was zero organised things for her to do. The same goes for our 14 yr old son too.
There is a really good astro-turf football pitch on site which you are free to use anytime, but there is nothing set up & organised for the kids!!! Why isn't there five-a-side tournements for the kids (and dads come to think of it)? It could also be used for other games such as netball, rounders or cricket etc. There is a huge raised tiled space next to the pool (which is over the pools filtration system we think) that could be used for loads of activities for kids - ie discos or bat and ball games -ANYTHING, but again, nothing. What a waste of usable space.
Both our kids luckily made friends with other children of similar ages which meant they made their own entertainment in the day and also at night as the evening entertainment was mediocre at best.
The reps on site were ok if you approached them with a question or query but to say they were half hearted & fed up looking as they walked around the site is an understatement. We were not impressed by the quality of rep during our stay and the female rep who was on the bus to the airport on our return was rude and grumpy to say the least. She should take my advice and retire 20 years ago!!!!!
The evening entertainment was awful to be honest. The magic show was dated and dragged on a bit & the kids lost interest. The reptile show was not a show just two blokes taking a few snakes & lizard out of plastic boxes and plonking them on kids shoulders, taking a digital picture & asking the parents for €10 for the privilege. The karaoke was...... well karaoke & there was various keyboard/guitar acts singing songs that nobody under the age of 25 would know. In short, the evening entertainment was not geared up for kids and it was not really good enough to keep the adults happy either.
To summarise, we loved our 2 weeks away and glad we went . We met some wonderful families out there who all pretty much share these views. It is a great pity that the tour operator hasn't invested more time and effort into this hotel in terms of activities and give the paying guest some decent entertainment. The hotel owners and staff definitely strive to deliver a superb service and this in turn gives you a wonderful, clean and efficiently run establishment.
Would we go back to the Alfagar II.........? Yes, maybe but ONLY because of the high standard of the hotel and the staff within & NOT because of First Choices efforts

Room Tip: Dont pay the 30 Euro deposit for the TV remote in the room - you can manually turn the TV over!!!!!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
5  Thank Neal T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

my family and i returned from the alfagar2 last week . we found the hotel staff to be very friendly and helpful. our apartment was spacious, modern, and spotlessly clean. the balcony was big enough to hold 2 sun loungers, a table and 4 chairs and still had room for our 7 year old to kick football.
there is a wee bar and terrace for entertainment. in fairness the entertainment is a bit ropey. alternatively , you could walk 2 minutes to the bar in alfagar1 which had some decents acts on ; singers, folk dancers etc...
the pools at the hotel are fantastic, in particular for the kids there is a big splash pool with water slides etc. our son pretended he was on "total wipeout"- and had a whale of a time. there was never any difficulty getting sun loungers ...
there is access to the beach from the hotel- but it is via very steep wooden steps covered in sand- impossible for the elderly or buggies. you can take a dander along the main road instead to the beach- but frankly, the pools at the hotel were so nice, it's not worth the effort.
foodwise, if you stay self catering, there are a number of supermarkets nearby to get the essentials. we ate in some fabulous restaurants, and i would particularly recommend a cantina ( so good, we went twice ) and fratelli's in olhos d' agua and o assador on the outskirts of olhos d' agua.. the worst dining experience was at pampas in the old town square in albufeira. appalling food and service. avoid at all costs. in albufeira however there are some good bars with live music, and some great ice cream shops.
the hotel has a kids club which is good , and offers the parents a couple of hours respite.
location wise- the hotel is roughly 10 minutes in a taxi from either olhos d' agua or albufeira. would recommend highly.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank BelfastKeentraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

We had a really good week at the Alfagar II. The apartments were great and well equipped. We laughed at the one bar of soap allocated per week. The balcony was large with a lovely sea view. The evening entertainment was pretty awful, but we knew it would be bad as we had read the reviews on Trip Advisor. However, it became more tolerable the more cocktails you drank! Not much entertainment for our 14 year old daughter, but luckily she met two lovely girls. Rosie and Katie, and they had a great time together. Unfortunately the sun loungers were reserved early every day, mostly by the Dutch families who were staying in Alfagar I, so that was a hassle we could have done without! The food was great, lots of choice every day. The wine was pretty awful, but I seemed to get used to it as the week went on. The First Choice Rep (Anna) was great and very helpful. Overall, a good holiday and we would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank Alison T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alfagar II Aparthotel

Address: Santa Eulalia - Balaia | Apartado 866, Albufeira 8200-912, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Albufeira
#8 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#9 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £26 - £219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Alfagar II Aparthotel 4*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Alfagar II Aparthotel has an unbeatable location overlooking the sea. Together with the Alfagar village, set in a beautiful 11 ha property of gardens and cliff formations (a protected area of natural beauty), with spectacular views along the coastline. Situated in the center of the Algarve, in Balaia area just between the villages of Albufeira and Olhos de Água. Composed of 90 modern, comfortable apartments in a modern 5-storey building. Alfagar II Aparthotel is ideal for families, with his wide range of facilities, such as a children’s pool with slides and splash area, and for all those seeking a quality holiday in a quiet setting, while remaining within easy reach of shops and lively night entertainment ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alfagar Ii Aparthotel Hotel Albufeira
Alfagar II Aparthotel Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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