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Alfagar Alto da Colina
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Reviewed 15 October 2012

We booked this after having a great time at the HV Turkey 2 years ago. We felt the place itself didn't offer as much as it's Turkish sister, but then, it is a lot smaller. It also had a lot of "additional charges" unlike Turkey, but I guess Turkey may be different now also.
On arrival we were checked in very quickly ( the reception staff are lovely ) and were pleased to find they had laid on a cold buffet for us. Also the AI which we thought finished at 11pm, as per online brochure, actually went on until 12 midnight! So despite arriving after 9.30pm, we were able to check in, sort our things out, and still go and have something to eat and drink. We even got a bit of karaoke in LOL.
The room was nice, but despite being four of us, and having paid for 4 adults, as both our kids are teenagers, there were only 3 beds made up! I just put the sofa bed that was there out, and our son slept on that, as it was warm anyway and there was a spare pillow and quilt in the wardrobe. Next day I just got a sheet from the maid's trolley and put it on. We were in Block2 but we had a separate sleeping area; it was sliding doors partitioned. So don't know why people have paid loads of money to upgrade. And besides, it is only for a week. Surely you can cope with your kids with you for a week?? You can always nip into the bathroom for a bit of how's your father if you're that desperate!!
Room was clean but the shower flooded all over the floor even into the living room! So we just took our toiletries and clean clothes and got a shower in the indoor pool area each night. It was very clean and no trouble. No point moaning, it's only wasting precious time while you're on holiday, isn't it?
No toiletries, bar a small bar of soap, surprisingly for a 4 star hotel!
I don't like people touching my things so asked for no-one to come in and clean, and give them their due, they didn't. I got clean towels, loo roll etc from the maid.
Food was not as good as in Turkey but still well adequate. I missed fried bread at breakfast. That's the only complaint there. The only time I eat this is on holiday. It's my sinful treat!! I put a piece of bread on the fry plate where the girl was frying eggs and she got all stroppy about it and kept saying "Toaster" I didn't want toast!!! I wanted fried bread!! I asked one of the staff and she told the girl to fry it for me, and the girl wasn't happy about that!! Fruit juices were rubbish which seems to be the norm these days! Fresh fruit available but no oranges, though I saw one of the FC team being given an orange by a chef!! They must save the oranges for the staff!!!!

Drinks selection was good. Lots of cocktails, and branded drinks for the kids, not rubbish stuff.
Bar staff were very friendly and cheerful, esp Fredy (yes, one "d"! ) and Pedro, as were the hosts and the majority of restaurant staff. There was filtered water available all the time from a machine, so no need to buy any. You can fill your bottle up from it too.

The First Choice reps were friendly and helpful, and the Ent's team were very good, Constantly doing activities and things. I think there is a bit of favouritism goes on though, as we won the quiz 2 nights running and got a certificate. (And got full marks on one) On the 3rd night, someone else won and got a t shirt!! Plus our son played the footie challenge each day and the ones he won, he got a certificate. On the last day, he played it and was 20 points ahead. then apparently the guy said, "Right scrap all scores, and start again for the prize" and a little boy who was his favourite got the highest score in the last round and he gave him a first choice football t shirt!! We didn't say anything; what's the point? But it is a little off to be honest. Not very good for the kids to see either.

One daytime ents staff member was very good at her job but a bit like a sergeant major. The kids found it hilarious how she barked at them! God forbid you ever suggest she may be wrong!! haha!! But she was nice enough and very good at what she did.

Disappointed that the big football pitch was permanently locked. We always take a football with us and have a game, but there weren't even organised games for our son's age group. They only had toddler and adult football, and they wouldn't allow him play adult football. We also took our tennis racquets, but only played a couple of times, as you had to go and get the key and then take it back, rather than just go to the court when you felt like it. You were not allowed to get a key for the football pitch. We also took our table tennis bats and didn't see a table tennis table all week!

The kids and often us also, joined in with all the activities and loved the I5 party round the pool each day! We believe a holiday is what YOU make it, whether it is a weekend at Pontins or an All Inclusive holiday abroad. We made the most of it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Big thanks to Jason, whom we have met before!!! and his Ents team, Jen, James, Adele, John, Rachel, Eleanor and Caroline and Tom. Sorry for anyone I've forgotten.

Met some nice people there too.

Didn't use the A La Carte restaurant, as from past experience, you are there hours and eat very little, and there are not enough hours in the day as it is!!!! Plus we have good appetites!

Walk to the beach took about 15 minutes and was quite pleasant.


The worst part was the plane journey home where several babies/toddlers screamed through almost the entire journey. I felt so sorry for them. I have said it before and still can't understand why people take babies and toddlers on foreign holidays. We always took ours to Pontins/Haven when they were small, where they had a great time without the worry of flights, sun, dodgy food and water and unsociable hours. Half of them were probably dumped in the creche/kids club! It's a good job it was a short flight and no later because no-one could have got to sleep!!!

We very much enjoyed our family holiday and would recommend it to anyone who is game for a laugh and makes the most of their holiday. There are always little things that are not quite as you would like them, wherever you go, like but I can see nothing much to complain about here. Well done HV Algarve!

Room Tip: I think for a week, room choice doesn't matter. How much time do you spend in it?? If you like to keep fit Block 2 is fine. If you're disabled or have a pushchair you would be best asking for block 1. (Or if you're a lazy beggar! haha)
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank discodeeva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2012

Firstly i must say im not one for writing reviews but we had such a great time i thought i had to! We stayed at the HV algarve in early October, in our party there was 3 aldults and our two children one 2yr old and a 5 month old. We had a 1 bedroom apartment with a sea view ( which you absolutely must have as this will locate you in block one of the hotel. Block 2 is also very nice but you have to climb about 50 steps each day to get to the main hotel/pools!!)

Hotel: very nice spacious and clean in all areas and the staff seemed very helpfull and efficient.

Location: not a great location as it is a good walk to the beach althought the hotel does provide a free bus service which was nice.

Pools: This is what sold me this hotel!! Pools for almost every ones taste, the family splash pool with slides is just brilliant if you have young children, our 2yr old spent best part of the whole week in there!!! The splash park is also brilliant and keeps kids entertained for hours!! The main larger pool is nice size and the first choice guys play various games in the pool throughout the day. Also a quiet pool for you book readers!

Eve entertainment: Ok as said before it is a little cheesy but lots of fun! It's mainly geared up (early eve anyway) for children and we really enjoyed it with our kids.

Food: main buffet restaurant was good lots of selection and changed on a daily basis, San migel beer on tap, lovely!! Snack bar around kids plash pool is great for ice cream and lunchtime food snacks for adults and kids! Portuguese/Italian restaurant was really nice we visited this once and gave the holiday a real quality touch.

Overall: if like us you have young children and want a fun holiday for the kids this is a brilliant place and the kids will not get bored at all!!! If you are looking to go with teenage children I would think twice, I would say that this place is mainly geared up for young kids and I'm sure there are many better places for those with teenagers, same applies for couples IMO.

Top Tip: as above make sure you pay for a sea view it only cost us around £20 and is worth every penny not to walk up them steps every day!!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Stephenmx50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2012

Just arrived back from holiday we all had a brillant time staff at this hotel cannot do enough to make sure you have a good time food was good and plenty of variety would have to be very fussy not to find something was allowed one night a al a carte per week so we all went to the portuguese restraurant was not disappointed even the boys cleared their plates .rooms are spotless as were the main reception and dining rooms .Plenty for the kids to do of all ages and adults are looked after to ,pool side quizzies as well as pool sports indoor pool and gym .plish plash pool and main pools as well as quite pool could go for every Jason parks the entertainment rep was funny and good at his job as were all reps am looking forward to going back and would recommend this holdday to all

Room Tip: we were on 4th floor did not hear any noise at all
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank loretta b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

We stayed here first week Oct with my parents, husband and 23 month old daughter. Overall we had a good holiday. The hotel is very geared up for families and the splash pool with water slides and the play area with water fountains kept our little girl entertained for hours! The food is also worthy of a mention as we found it very good and varied each day. The Portuguese restaurant also serve up a good swordfish dish which I recommend. We had two 1 bed apartments which were really spacious and had a sea view. We didn't think the maid service was very good as room didn't seem to have been cleaned, only beds made and fresh towels provided. Staff at the hotel were professional and friendly, especially Jo, the Manager, and Charlotte, First Choice advisor who helped us deal with a serious issue. The downsides of the holiday was the evening entertainment which was holiday camp style and too loud for us with a small child. There were also no seats left if you got there after 8.30. Also I found being on holiday with a hotel full of English people rather odd as we like to experience different cultures too. The beach was nice to visit and the hotel provide a shuttle service. Apart from the beach there is nothing else around the hotel so you will need to jump in a taxi to Albufeira if you want to get out. Lastly I highly recommend a visit to Zoo Marine which was fantastic and the dolphin show was a real highlight for us.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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4  Thank Holifayfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2012

Myself, Partner and 3yr old son stayed here from 20th September for 1 week. Everything from the flight, transfer and checking in was fab, especially the sangria on arrival! We were told that check in didn't start until 4pm which was a bit of a shock as we arrived at the the hotel at 1030am but on arrival our room was ready. We stayed in block 1 in room 102. It's the biggest room i've ever stayed in and the view of the pool and the sea were excellent. We realised quite quickly that the room we initially booked would have been in block 2 with no seperate bedroom so we upgraded in the uk for an extra £180 for the week, I heard a few holiday makers had paid 400euros to upgrade in resort so defo worth doing it before you go. the Tavern Bar doesn't open until 1030am so a top tip, once you finished your breakfast fill your juice cup up before leaving the palm restaurant or you'll be waiting a while!
There really is something for everyone here, our little one couldn't wait to go to the kids club to see Coral and the gang, he came back every day with a different animal on his face and something different he had made! i 5 Live starts at 730pm but we felt it was aimed at 5yrs olds and over although our son did join in he didn't really understand so instead he went to the late night kids club from 745-915. The bingo starts at 9pm, bingos not really my thing but I played every night! then there's a show and then shut down at 11pm, the tavern bar is open until 1am but the AI stops at 12pm. All in all this hotel is a great set up for the kids and I would say it's a 4 star for the kids but maybe a 3 star for the adults. Although the hotel was clean, staff friendly and great food, for us there was just something missing as a 4 star but we can't quite put our finger on what it was. Big shout out to all the Scottish and Irish people we met and also too all our drinking buddies at the late night quiz, oh and little Man Dave hope you find a toliet you can reach!! lol - already booked HV Mallorca for next year

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Lynne1079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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