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“Portugal...or France?”
Review of Club Med Da Balaia

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Club Med Da Balaia
Ranked #21 of 152 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 5 September 2010

Once you got your head around the fact that everything was french you can get down to the serious business of relaxing, and what a place to do it. Absolutely top notch from start to finish. We were greeted at the door with a refreshing drink and it was explained how everything operated in the resort. The pictures online gave the impression of a virtual paradise and its just as good in real life.
The beach was stunning, the pool with a view of the ocean was just amazing but the highlight for me was without doubt the restaraunts on-site. The amount and quality of the food was just staggering. The chefs would gladly prepare anything for you and nothing was too much trouble. Every evening had a different theme i.e Chinese, Italian etc. but there was always a selection of the old reliables in case these options did not suit your palate.
I could go on but you get the picture. I would have no hesitation going back only this time we would bring the child, so whether this will change my perception of the place, only time will tell.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Eiresun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 2,945 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2010

Baby Club was awful and many parents filed a claim against Clubmed

The baby club safety is not guaranteed at all, the children hang around outside without any adult to take care, nobody can come in because the doors are open all the time! The nurses don't smile, don't talk to them, don't like them. Babies are crying and the inly thing they is to shout at them "stop crying". We saw the babies going for a walk under the sun by 30°C!!

We wanted to enjoy and relax, so we left our baby to the baby club. After three days the baby was crying each time we were approaching the babyclub. We found out that most of the parents had the same experience. Worst of all, the managers wanted us to believe that OUR children were responsible for this catastrophic situation.

It is obvious that they don't care at all about the babies. The price is COST high for the service.

If you have a baby, DON'T GO there.

Just like many other families, we filed a claim against the Clubmed.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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12  Thank coline1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubMedUK_official, Manager at Club Med Da Balaia, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2010

Families are at the heart of our holidays, and we monitor our resorts daily to ensure the high standards we expect from our childcare facilities are achieved.

In this specific resort, 93% of our customers stated they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the service provided overall at the Baby Club Med in Da Balaia this Summer.

Club Med is surprised to see this review and can only assume this is an isolated complaint, but is continuing to review the standards and would like to reassure families of the best in class childcare we offer.

Kind regards,

Club Med UK.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

I have booked a 1 week holiday (gbp 3.600) over the internet for me&my wife and my 2 young daughters (the younger one 3mth old), Club Med made me book 2 bedrooms (apparently the 2 cods do not fit in one bedroom). The confirmation came stating two separate bedrooms and when I called the central booking line they say nothing can be done as the hotel is super popular and is fully booked!? I have been trying for 2 weeks to sort it out but staff is unhelpful at best saying 'we apologize and you are on priority wait list' really disappointing...what a scam...get the money in and sort out later if possible...

Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
7  Thank Marcello C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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: £227 - £449 (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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