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“Da Balaia...A perfect French getaway!”
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
Reviewed 6 July 2010

We stayed here for 5 days in June. We had fantastic weather...as is normal around this time. This is a great hotel with amazing views of the ocean. Amazing food, the chefs are geniuses to come up with such a huge amount of top quality food every breakfast, lunch and dinner. The booze is quite good too with San Miguel on tap, and some respectable bottles of white, red and rose at lunch and dinner. The staff overall are fantastic...most of them can speak a good level of English, but as my review suggests, this is NOT PORTUGAL...this is more like a resort in France. But the staff are friendly and always willing to help. Great variety of activities on site (but no water sports which kind of sucked). Amazing pool (i think it's chlorine but almost like fresh water). The spa is top notch and you must have one of their Oriental massages. Not too far away from the main airport in Faro (about 40 mins). Overall a great 5 days at Club Med Da Balaia

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank SundayGrundle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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278 - 284 of 2,933 reviews

Reviewed 5 June 2010

We had a great time here. The staff were excellent, friendly, helpful. They were good instructors, multi lingual and very sociable.
As regular users of club med, we have come to expect excellent food and this place was up there with the very best. Great quality and quantity and available in a relaxed buffet environment.
We booked through Club Med London and when the flight was delayed because of the volcano we were looked after with the minumum of fuss and stayed on without charge.
Highly recommended for a sun holiday, with a magnificent beach. Loads of sports for the more active.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mairtinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2009

This is a fantastic resort which is not only beautiful but very contemporary and trendy. The accommodation in the hotel is first class as is the food and service. Although known predominately as a french company, doing for the french...I seriously recommend it for the brits.

The resort staff are really friendly and english speaking and they try very hard to ensure you are ahving a good holiday.

Given I have two teenagers who incidently loved the resort, I was worriedi they would be bored and irritable .............how wrong was I!!!

My advice, if you are looking for something beautiful, relaxing (but also busy) with exquisite food and good quality wine then look no further... this is the place for you and your family (teenagers. young children, singles, couples or bigger family groups)

Beautiful wonderful Da Balaia............................

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank clubmed4brits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2009

This review is from our perspective as a family with an 18 month old toddler, so is quite practical.

Lovely hotel, good location, lovely food, great grounds with sun-loungers and shaded areas of garden, lovely views of the beach and sea. Nice bar. The all-inclusive deal was good as the range of food and drinks available was excellent.

Transfers from airport were excellent.

Service mainly very good, especially in the restaurant, though a couple of the reception staff were a bit rude and you sometimes had to wait a while for the bar.

Nice pool area, but pool is unheated and was very cold in September - too cold for small children, and in fact for most adults on most days, which was a real shame. Our little one enjoyed the sea, as in the mornings it was quite shallow and good for paddling.

Great beach (blue flag), lovely views from the hotel. Our room had a good-sized balcony with a sea view.

Room itself (standard one in the main pyramid) was spacious, nothing special, but clean, comfortable, quiet etc. They provided a nice travel cot, baby bath and mat for the main bath. Had a mini-fridge (unstocked, but useful). No kettle (for preparing baby bottles) - parents with smaller children had to use mineral water. The only steriliser is in a (tiny and dark, but well-stocked) baby room. Cows-milk (UHT) available. Baby meals (pureed) available in tubs.

Would not be good for anyone with mobility problems as it is on a hill, there're lots of stairs and the beach is only accessible by a lot of (staggered) steps.

Most guests were French and the food was mainly French, it was really good, though the options in the baby section were the same every meal and dull. The restaurant had a good, bustling atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor sections, including a nice one in the garden. It got pretty full outside early at each sitting.

Wouldn't be great for veggies: veggie options limited and even the salads seemed to have meat in!

There seemed to be two main groups of guests when we were there: families with toddlers and babies, and retired people. There were some tensions between guests as some of the retired people clearly thought that children should be seen and not heard.

Didn't use the daycare for kids: if you book when you are there it costs 55 euros a day, 30 for half a day. If you book ahead and the child doesn't settle so you don't use it after all, you don't get a refund. There was a pyjama club at night where kids slept in one room in cots for a few hours, but didn't like the idea. There was no service available where a sitter would come to your room. We ate with our toddler, which was mainly OK, though embarrassing when she got stroppy / made a mess. But it would have been nice to have a night or two with a sitter.

Do-it-yourself laundry services were expensive: 10 euros to wash and dry, and dryer didn't work that well and got charged for the extra tokens we had to request (so 15 euros a time basically!)

Internet (free wi-fi from the receptoin area) was incredibly slow!

This review sounds a bit negative, have written it in a rush with practical things in mind, so should emphasise that we thought it was great, would definitely go again in a few years' time and recommend to friends. It was a relaxing, luxurious place and very family friendly.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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7  Thank Smiler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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
#11 Family Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £210 - £506 (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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