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“Truly wonderful holiday at Club Med Da Balaia”
Review of Club Med Da Balaia

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Club Med Da Balaia
Ranked #23 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 8 September 2009

We have just returned from a 10-day fab holiday at Club Med Da Balaia. We are a family with an 18-month old toddler. Absolutely everything was provided for us, from pushchair, high chair, travel cot, grobag, change mat to bottle warmer etc. This is the most relaxing holiday we have had in ages. The food at Da Balaia is gorgeous. We had lobster, foie gras, freshly grilled fish and lots of other delicious food. The house wine served at lunch and dinner was of very good standard. Our daughter also ate freshly prepared food from the baby buffet. We stayed at the Pyramide Hotel and had a newly refurbished room with sea-view, it was lovely. Air-con, fridge, flat screen, we felt spoilt!
The swimming pool is fantastic and our daughter loved it (especially the pancakes and fresh fruit being served at the pool bar from 4pm!) The pool is not heated though so I am not sure how cold it would get out of season. We didn't spend much time on the beach as our daughter doesn't like sand (!!) but it is beautiful (white sand and clear water). There was a real international feel about the place with Brit, Dutch, Spaniard, Italian, Portuguese and of course French guests. Finally, the staff was very kind, eager to help and make us feel welcome - Thumbs-up!
We will definitely go back to this Club Med. The only downside we found was that some guests tended to smoke on the outside terraces where we ate. We had a word with the "Chef de Village" about it who said he was going to enforce smoking and non-smocking area on the outside terraces so hopefully this won't be a problem for much longer.
I would highly recommend this Club for families with small children. We had a ball!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank MrsMonkey77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 - 288 of 2,934 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2009

Lets be quite clear about this, at Club Med Da Balaia, you are staying in France not Portugal. This was fine, as far as we were concerned, but, you do need to understand that everything is French, including the excellent food, the polite children, the appalling music and entertainment, the vast majority of the staff and about 98% of the guests.

A nice location on a good beach.

Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
Thank uplifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2009

The communal areas were lovely. There was an astonishing choice of delicious food at mealtimes - everything from burgers and pizza to fresh oysters and sushi. The puds were to die for. Deffinitely not recommended if you're hoping to lose weight. The snacks between meals weren't great - you'd be forgiven for thinking the sandwiches were toasties as they 'd become so desiccated in the sun. And we never got near a crepe as the queues were so long. There were fridges in our rooms so we would take pastries from breakfast to have with our tea in the afternoon. The cocktails could be a bit hit and miss depending on who made them although I had some great margueritas and granny developed a taste for pina coladas!! Other included alcoholic drinks were very good and were not limited to just local spirits.

Our room was comfortable and well equipped with an interconnecting door to our children's room. The view was lovely. My only complaint about the room was that the nearest smoking area for the night bar was below our room so we had to keep the balcony door closed when the kids were asleep as it could it get a bit noisy.

The location of the beautiful beach couldn't have better - a short walk down steps - and was ideal for small children. Unfortunately the pool wasn't heated however my little ones (4 and 2) weren't put off even in April.

On the whole the staff were friendly and helpful. The holiday worked really well with small children and we will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank popmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2009

We stayed here in late June just as they were gearing up for the summer season. This is our third Club Med and this resort is absolutely top notch. The location is great, the beach is a stroll away (down several sets of steps) and is stunning. There is a private sunlounger area for Club Med and a resident lifeguard/caretaker.
The pool area, bar and resturaunt have been renovated and are superb. The rest of the Hotel is a bit older but it's well maintained and spotless.
This resort is aimed at couples with under 3's and older couples. It has a more grown-up feel to it than some of the resorts based around sports etc. We have two children 3 and 5 and though they were too big for the kids club they loved the resort. The two standout features of this club are the food and the staff. They were both beyond fault and the professionalism combined with the fun club med atmosphere made for a fantastic holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2009

I read the other reviews before going and did not have high expectations. However I really was very pleasantly surprised. It might be something to do with the refurbishments - but the pool, restaurant and bar area were absolutely beautiful and it felt like we were in a very luxurious resort. Other parts of the hotel weren't quite as lovely but still very pleasant.
We were met at the airport and taken very comfortably and swiftly to the resort. We were given keys at the airport and so didn't have to undergo a labourious check in procedure.
The room was comfortable but fairly average and the air conditioning didn't cool at all - not really a problem in may but if that was the case in the height of summer I'd have had more of an issue.
I am surprised by the comments about the staff as they were all SUPER friendly and helpful, more than I've experienced in most hotels.
The food varied from very good to superb, each meal (other than breakfast) was different and the choice was immense. Particularly impressed with the fois gras night and the 'fish' night where there were literally mountains of fresh shellfish, fresh fish and every variation you can imagine of sealife! The wine included was of good calibre, the cocktails (particularly the mojitos!) were pretty good and there was absolutely no pressure whatsoever to spend any money on any extras (indeed there was little opportunity). Pancakes and ice cream and watermelon by the pool in the late afternoon was good fun too. We had a go at the driving range and archery and there was pitch and putt and tennis available too.
We ventured out to Albufiera one afternoon, a taxi was 6 euros each way.
The only real downside was that the pool was not heated, at the beginning of the week it really was quite unpleasantly freezing but towards the end it warmed up. A shame that our 6 month old couldn't have a dip because it really was too chilly. Again only really an issue out of season.

They have wifi that you can use with your own laptops but there is also a few computers in the lobby you could use for a fee.

The place is otherwise fantastic for kids and particularly easy if you have a baby as the baby room is open 24hrs and has baby jars, yoghurts and fresh fruit plus a steriliser and microwave available. The baby buffet has plenty of fresh food and there's a blender and microwave available plus lots of ikea highchairs which are comfy and easy to use,. We had a 'baby welcome' in our room which included cot, bottle warmer, changing mat and baby bath and we were even provided with pre-sterilised packaged water to use for bottles (so we didn't have to boil it). We didn't use the baby club but it looked great and another time we probably would. All the kids in the kids club seemed to be having a great time. A good tip is if you think you will use the baby/kids club even a few times you may as well book it for the entire week as it is much cheaper in advance , you can book it there and pay a daily rate of 60 euros or a half day of 30 euros.
In summary we really enjoyed our break, and felt it was excellent value for money. The refurb is fantastic and the whole experience was very pleasant and the baby facilities far and beyond anything you would get anywhere else. We'll be going back I imagine.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank martian101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2009

I stayed in this hotel with my husband and 22 month old son. We booked a premier package including a suite. We were greeted at the airport by a friendly representative and had a good ride into the resort. Our room had fantastic views but inside was a bit run down and many things were slightly broken like the curtains and doors (not what I expected in a four trident suite!)

Like other reviewers, I found the front desk staff unhelpful to the point of rude. Most of the staff spoke little if any English which didn't help either.

Note that while there is wireless connection available in hotel you must bring your own laptop. There are no computers, no business centre, and they will not assist you by letting you use a hotel computer, even if it is to do something important like check your flight (which I needed to do!)

The food was good, although served by grumpy, unsmiling staff. The cocktails were undrinkable as they were all about 50% alcohol and tasted horrible.

The only pool was unheated and freezing. We were there for a week and it was never warm enough for us to use which was a real disappointment as my toddler loves the pool.

We did not use the Petite Club but did view the facilities which were clean, bright and friendly looking.

We needed the Infirmary for our son twice and were cared for very well. Our nurse Caroline was excellent, very reassuring and helpful and exceedingly sweet to my little son.

The absolute best thing was the beach. It is amazing! Incredibly beautiful, there are cliffs and caves and all sorts of things to do. My toddler was thrilled hunting for shells and playing with seaweed and marine life.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Traveller8272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2008

We had an absolute ball at the al balai portugal. When we arrived I did think the hotel looked dated and a bit seventies but as soon as we went out into the grounds they were so beautiful and we didnt stay in our room or the hotel much as there was so much to do. I understand others concerns about the language as the main language is french and we are fortunate enough to speak it. The instructors give better coaching in french than english but seem to get the message across. We really enjoyed our time with the staff who made our holiday so much fun. Our son went to the petit club every day and the pyjama club at night. I know there have been some complaints about the petit club but the facilities are excellent. The french have a different approach with children, where children are just expected to go in to creches and schools without much fuss and dont get as much attention showered on them as our little darlings in the uk . So as far as quality of childcare goes petit club is excellent for french but for more sensitive british children used to alot of attention they may struggle as they are expected to just get on with it like all the others. My son who was two got to play tennis, mini golf and put on a show it was great for him. Great for us too as we got to play tennis and do all the activities everyday.

I loved the food and couldnt believe the standard of the meals. Cocktails and wine were superb. The value for money was excellent. We had great fun with the other guests and the GOs encouraged everyone to mix. I will definitely be rebooking this year and hopefully bringing some friends with us.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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Thank holidaylover98
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

Address: Praia Maria Luisa 8200-854 | Albufeira - province de Faro, Albufeira 8200-635, 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
#9 Family Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £218 - £557 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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