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“a good quality french speaking club”
Review of Club Med Da Balaia

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Club Med Da Balaia
Ranked #24 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“a good quality french speaking club”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

we were a family in this Club med for 2 weeks in July2014 and we had a great time there. First, if you don't speak french you'll feel excluded. Also, even in July, the ocean is around 16 degrees and it can be quite windy so we were surprised to be often cold around the pool or in the semi open restaurant. Otherwise it's many good points, very good food, clean gardens, good tennis courts and nice swiming pool, nice bar-cafe and friendly staff.
We felt the rooms could be refreshed, 4 clubMed stars (tridents) don't match normal hotel stars. We did see few mice and cockroaches and some of us had to switch room because of a mouse but the reception was understanding and made no fuss about it.

Green Features: some efforts are made but the all inclusive concept dents them nevertheless
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunlightfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

As a first experience at the Club Med I have to say that it's all very positive.
If you are looking for holidays with young kids, this is your place.
First the location is perfect so as the weather.
Staff is very friendly and professional. There are so friendly that one guy is dedicated to wish you:" bon appetit!"
I found that French are often bad in services related to hotel and restaurants but this experience showed the opposite. They are very detailed oriented always smiling and willing to help you.
However it's better to speak
french and can be hard for non French speakers.
Food deserves a one star Michelin. I might exaggerate a bit, but it's very hard to make high quality food for 700 people. Choice is very large. Food is so good that you sometimes feel spoiled.
As far as Childcare, it is the best service in the Club. Ana Rita and her team were fantastic. My girls enjoyed being there. Audrey, Filipa and Ana Sofia were almost crying and we had to leave.
We felt part of a family especially when the receptionist came to say goodbye and wave his hand while the car was leaving the resort.
Great holidays with a lot of great memories.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rebeccaohayon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oeiras, Portugal
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

In here you can find lots of activities like mini golf, kayak, tennis, fitness and loads of other entertainment. I went there and there is a show every night. I can't also forget about the amazing beach beneath the cliff where the Hotel lays. Fantastic place and wonderful hospitality, I highly recommend.

Room Tip: Ask for a beach view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoaoAgria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

I am sorry to say that this vacation here did not start very well and did not improve at all. We arrived by car and there is parking on the premises, which is good; however we were to told right away that they did not like English being spoken here (we are Australians - not British but that should not have been a problem anyway) but only French. We did not get any help with our luggage nor were we greeted warmly at reception. We were not offered the complimentary drink that we normally receive at Club Med nor the bubbly welcome by any GO's . We basically were taken to our room and left there with no instructions except to check the tv and oh, by the way you have a good room with a view. WOW big deal. We had no idea where the restaurant etc were, which meant we wandered around to explore the facilities. We were surprised that the activities normally on offer at the other club meds we have been to were limited or offered not on a daily basis. (By the way, I have been to 10 Club Meds prior to this one and will probably never try another one). We could not believe the condition that the mini golf course was in, the lack of golf clubs or service for the golf course close by. You had to buy golf balls for the boutique, which was hardly open. Service from reception was non existant. You had to fight to get a sunlounge near the pool and the quality of the pool towels as well as the bath towels were not good. The food at the resort - well, it is the worst we have ever eaten - even Club Med Kani killed this resort. The GOs really were not friendly, except the local Portugese GO's - if you were not French, forget coming here. Oh by the way, I am in the Travel Industry so can be over critical of places I go to but never will I sell this place. It will be interesting to see if it remains open next year. The room we had was fine but the ones in the golf tower were disgusting. This club med attracted a crowd of French with very young children. The beach is the best part but could do with a bar facility closer to the sun lounges. Both my husband & I enjoyed Portugal and look forward to returning to a different property in the future. Thank goodness we need did book a week or more here.

Room Tip: Facing the sea - on a high level
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank sharonbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We stayed at the resort 2nd - 9th July. My wife and 21 year old daughter stayed in the Pryamid. My 18 year son and I in the Golf. Some of the earlier comments caused much concern re the Golf Hotel. Having stayed there - almost totally unfounded.

The Golf rooms are slightly tired but not enough to complain about. Before our arrival we insisted that we be moved to the Pyramid - one room that was possible, the other the next day. After spending one night in the Golf we were very happy to stay put. Much larger room and we enjoyed the space.

The distance from the activities depends on what you want to do and of course which room you are allocated. We were at an end of a corridor - not dark or dingey. Very quiet and only took a minute or so to restaurnt and pool.

This was the most French resort we have stayed at (6 now). We were told out of 700 plus guests on the first night only 11 were English. So if you want the Portugese experience this isn't for you.

In a tennis lesson 3 of us were English - 2 were French. The lesson was conducted in French first and English second.

The flags for the World Cup. All the nations competing expect one were flying. Yes the England flag was missing. The Union Jack was there though!

Food was faultless as were the GOs.

The excusions are expensive - Faro and Loules but one knows the price so up to you. I should have hired a car for the day instead.

Most of shows were excellent especially the Mama Mia, The comedy night though was poor or at least the humour was not to our taste. Most of the sketches involved 2 men removing their trousers and standing behind each other. Considering this is very much a family resort it wasn't appropriate and some people did walk out.

Would I recommend this resort - yes and yes if you want to experience France in Portugal.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim_Alan_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyon, France
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

This was our second visit to Da Balaia, proof itself of a great holiday last year. Will we go back? probably not unfortunately (or it will have to be by car), and I will tell you why

Firstly the bad points:
The big one is this: we bought a holiday from Club Med. That included travel, which they booked for us on TAP Air Portugal, flying to Lisbon with an onward short flight to Faro. Having got up at 3 in the morning with our 3 year daughter to get a 6am flight, we were not best pleased to find that the flight had been delayed 3 hours. The result of this was arriving in Lisbon at 10.30 having missed the 9.45 onward flight, where we were met by a TAP employee who gave us a boarding pass for the flight that they had transferred us onto...at 23.05! This flight would get us into Faro at 23.50, add the time to get luggage and a 45minute transfer and you check in at about 1am if you are lucky. Now, there are times when this kind of thing is unavoidable, but in this case the Club is just over 2 hours drive from Lisbon - so the solution is obvious, get a car. We called Club Med in Paris only to be told that this was a TAP problem and there was nothing they could do about it. I am still fuming at the lack of any sort of customer care, totally at odds with the Club Med image and with the service at the resorts. The above is a shortened version of events, there were many phone calls and the service was dreadful. Thankfully, the Club themselves were much better as I will highlight later, but beware of Club Med as company - a problem like this and you are totally on your own.

As for other faults - I still hate paying a fortune for a luxury all inclusive and then being asked to pay additional sum for wifi, which is free in most basic hotels. As others have mentioned, the rooms in the Golf Hotel are in need of modernisation. As is the building, but I do actually quite like it and actually prefer the Golf to the Pyramid.

Now the good points:

Firstly, to complete the story of our journey. We called the resort, explained the problem and that we wanted to go by road and they sent a car to pick us up - exactly what should happen in this kind of situation. If you have a problem, call the resort directly, don't expect the Paris centre to do it for you.

We had a fabulous rest of the week - particular thanks to the team at Da Balaia who really make these holidays: Ana and the Petit Club team (big thanks to Ana, Ella and Chloé) gave my daughter a fabulous week, she was full of beans and really well looked after; I learnt to play golf and had my first round on a golf course as did my wife, Xavier and David were patient, relaxed, very professional and great fun not just in the lessons but all week. Julie, Allison and the tennis team also made participating fun and that spirit goes through everybody whether it is David's entertainment or Mirko's football. My one criticism of the team last year was at reception, this year they were fantastic!

As others have said before, the food at Da Balaia is great - you can eat healthy balanced meals that taste great...but if you are anything like me you will be too tempted by so much lovely food that you abandon all your best intentions!

We also spent time at the beach, which was fabulous - I love having the choice between the pool and the beach right in front of the hotel, no transfers and no fuss - just a hill to get down, and get back up.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank olimar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014 via mobile

We, a family of 5 ( including 3 kids 9 year old twins and a 6 months old) had a great time.
When we arrived our suitcase and stroller were lost. GO's went out of their way to get us free toiletries and essentials. Our interconnecting family room in the Golf hotel was basic but very clean and functional ( I do not understand the negative comments).
The baby club was amazing, staff excellent. We felt very comfortable leaving our 6 month old. She got a lot of attention.
Food quality excellent as well. The only downside is that smoking in the pool area ( although not allowed) is tolerated. This needs to be better enforced.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank drapj005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Med Da Balaia

Property: Club Med Da Balaia
Address: Praia Maria Luisa 8200-854 | Albufeira - province de Faro, Albufeira 8200-925, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Albufeira
#11 Family Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Med Da Balaia 3*
Number of rooms: 372
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Da Balaia stands on an ochre cliff in southern Portugal, overlooking a magnificent white sand beach. The Resort allies sports and well-being in an outstanding setting. It's a world to unwind in, perfumed by the woody scents of parasol pines, olive trees and eucalyptus. Comfort and cosiness are to be found everywhere, even in the reception area where marble floors and deep red walls set the tone. This is a Club Med Resort where families, golfers and Spa enthusiasts live together in harmony. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Club Med Da Balaia Hotel Albufeira
Da Balaia Club Med
Club Med Albufeira
Albufeira Club Med
Club Med Da Balaia Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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