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“Great gym in Albufeira, Portugal”
Review of Balaia Plaza

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Balaia Plaza
Ranked #129 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
North Wales
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great gym in Albufeira, Portugal”
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

I stayed at the First Choice Holiday Village round the corner and their 'fitness room' was a joke. A taxi driver told me about the Balaia Plaza gym being good.
If you want a gym with great free weights, bench, hack squat, smith machines etc and all normal machines for bodybuilding or cardio stuff then this is your place.
Only 5 euros a session or you could pay a week and you can buy protein drinks for post workout.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank Chunk28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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260 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

This is our third stay at the plaza and once again a good overall experience. Rooms are very clean, air con is spot on. wifi deal for room is 20 euros for a week again very cheap for Algarve. we were there from May11th for 11 days self catering and had a great time getting ready to book for October. There are three mini marts one on site one next door to the aqua marris and one at Balaia golf this sells loads of English food stuff. we hire a car but the main beach is a ten minute walk away and there are bus stops right outside the gate zoo marine pickup daily at the front of the hotel and the old town is a 8 euro taxi ride. well worth the money.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BRADS1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I booked this hotel at the very last minute, after reading some reviews on here and other sites and to be honest I was in 2 minds whether to go or not, but for £27 per night room only which is the price I paid I thought " What have I got too lose". This is called an apartotel, which basically means I got a suite (bedroom, lounge, kitchenette, bathroom) for the price of a basic hotel room. It was advertised as 4 star, and I thought that would probably be a 3 star in Britain, and to be fair that's what I got, but with some 4 star touches.

The pros: Very large apartment with a sea view, spotlessly clean, had a reasonably well stocked kitchenette, so I could do self catering, lovely pool and in a quiet area. Most of the staff very helpful, and a small supermarket on site.

The cons: Very hard uncomfortable bed, not a double but 2 singles pushed together, but not connected and made up as 2 singles, horrible pillows, very uncomfortable sun beds by the pool. It advertised it had irons and ironing boards, but when I arrived I asked for them but the iron didn't work and I was told it was the only one they had!!! They charge you 75 cents to call a taxi!!! It is also like several reviews point out a taxi ride away from any entertainment.

OK so first things first you will have noticed I have put in a quiet location as a plus, and a taxi ride away from any entertainment as a minus, but this is down to what you are looking for. As I had researched the location before I booked, I knew I would have to get a taxi into town every night, and obviously one home again as well, but I factored the cost of these into the equation when I booked, however a quiet location during the day for me was a plus. The pool was lovely, with plenty of sunbeds, but these were very uncomfortable as they were just hard plastic with no mattresses. If you don't want to provide mattresses as part of the price , fine, give us the option to rent them. I have never been to a 4 star property anywhere in the world that charged me to phone a taxi, I must also point out that they do not allow you to charge anything to your room, again I have never come across this before, and I find this strange.

So lets cut to the chase, would I return.....YES. Why, well once you know what is lacking ask yourself, for what you are paying would you expect more.....NO. The place is spotless, the staff are friendly, your room is cleaned daily and towels are replaced, you are in a quiet location, (you know this when you book), and the room (apartment) is huge for the price. I don't know if they solved the problem with the iron, because I went out and bought one for €14, not going to break the bank is it. It's important for me that I go out in clothes that have been pressed, if it doesn't matter to you you can save €14, or maybe they now have another iron. I also hired a car because of the location ( I don't drink during the day) so I had the flexibility to go wherever I wanted. I got a taxi into Albufeira Old Town every night €7 to 8 and the same for the return (because I do drink at night), you can walk to the strip in Montechoro (20 mins), but I would rather stick pins in my eyes than be exposed to the loutish behaviour of its patrons ( but if you like that sort of thing you will have a ball) please note I am not against this behaviour, but at 56 years of age, I prefer something a little more refined, (my preference). Its not 4 star but is a good 3 foe the price it is excellent value for money, and I had a wonderfully relaxing break and met some really lovely people. The bar was always empty at night, and I never ate in the restaurant, so cannot comment, but I would return to this hotel in a heartbeat, and I had a truly wonderful relaxing holiday. I would recommend it to my family and friends for the price I paid, and it would still be very good value if I had to pay £10 per night more.

If you go with an open mind, don't expect the world, and don't mind being a bit away from the action, I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bigjimBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We stayed at the Balaia Plaza for a week in May, the pictures on their website are really dated, shame, i think the hotel used to be beautiful in the past, now it's old, paint is falling down , the toilet ( the loo) was brown at the back side, so not seating down. After 3 days we had to ask for clean towels. The surroundings of the swimmingpool were full of cups and plates, also a shame when the guy who works at the pool had absolutly nothing to do ( I am nobody to tell someone to work). But you know, for the price we paid we had a big appartment, top floor on the corner, quiet and big terrace. Oh I forgot, the guy at the bar, downstair needs to get education and not forget WE are customers, very unfriendly, same as the night recepcionist with french accent. The Romanian lady from reception is lovely, friendly, helpful, If the boss is reading this: KEEP her and treat her good, best you have at the hotel

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 119JoseOrtega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We booked a super last minute all inclusive trip to this hotel just me and my partner. Pros...
FOOD. WAS. AMAZING. Dinner wise.... breakfast not AS nice but it was good enough! But dinner..... no words can describe how good it was honestly! It was a set menu so soup, salad, a meat fish and pasta that varied each night and a choice of amazing puddings!
The rooms.... maybe I found it amazing because I was expecting a bog standard bedroom and bathroom jobby, but the room was massive, kitchen dinner lounge was huge and open plan, and bedroom and bathroom lovely!
Cons....
some of which were out of choice so not bad for the hotel.... it was quite far away from things so if you dont mind walking then its fine! 10-15 mins to a beach and 30odd mins to the strip! And all the beaches are so hard to get to!
ALSO what would have been really really helpful would have been a "welcome pack" like a short guide about the hotel... about the restaurant,bar, pool bar and all inclusive and whats nearby, buses, any services or help you may need etc etc!
AND if you go.... scrub up on your portugese..... we didnt get our room for nearly three hours and the guy behind the counter didnt realise we were all inclusive.... while we were waiting it was a difficult conversation to have about where we can get a drink when he said that we pay at the bar..... :S

So..... I would truely recommend it for the food and the room :)

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sophiepie234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Travelled here for 1 week in May 2014.
Overall a lovely hotel with a fantastic sized clean room and view (4th floor) from a substantial sized balcony.
All staff seemed friendly except for an older lady with glasses who will do as little as possible to help you during your stay.
Bar and restaurant were empty for the entire week in the hotel so didn't frequent it at all.
Pool area is beautifully kept and plenty of sun loungers to cater for all.
The supermarket attached is basic but has most of the essentials required.

There is a nice beach a short walk across the road through a small estate (takes a small bit of exploring to find)
The hotel is a bit of a distance to the main hub of shops and restaurants but taxis and buses are easy to come by.
The new town is closer with a hectic lifestyle (5 euro taxi)
The old town is more relaxed with a large beach (8 euro taxi)
Overall a nice experience but the distance to amenities was a slight issue.

Room Tip: Top floor has best views
See more room tips
Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Tanora1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

Bad points
When we arrived check in was very brief and took about 3 mins. We were given our key cards and told our room was on the first floor but nothing else. Interaction was minimal and no information was given to us regarding the facilities and what we're entitled to use for free or needed to pay. We had to continuously ask the staff to find out what was what. A welcome pack would have easily resolved this.

Air conditioning only worked 1 out of the 4 days whilst there. Reported when we arrived and at least 4 times afterwards but they were unable to fix it. The issue was with the entire first floor. An alternative room was offered after complaining several times but this room looked derelict and smelled of damp; almost like an unused spare room right at the very end of the hotel (room 106) so we refused it and instead put up with the hot temperatures.

The air conditioning filters/vents were filthy and need cleaning. This was pointed out to which they agreed to clean - never happened.

Water - we experience water shortage and once the water was back on it had a rustic colour - only the warm water. The cold was fine.

Sun beds by the pool side were just plastic - we found these uncomfortable to lay on especially when on your front. Pads/cushions would help otherwise take a few towels.

Gym - you have to pay for this.

Wifi - free in the lobby area only if you ask for the code but will need to pay to use in your room.


Good points
Pool side Snack bar - this in run by an independent company and the staff who work behind the bar (Antonio and his nephew Joao) were polite and very helpful. They're reasonably fluent in English. There are a range of foods and snacks from toasties, wraps, burgers, lollies, etc. And they taste ok. You need to pay at the bar cannot put on your tab.

2 x Pools - kids pool and a decent size adult pool with good depth. However you cannot sit on the edge due to an abrasive like surface.

Staff - generally helpful. Some are challenged with English but they do try.

Cleaners - they do a good job and rooms/hotel reasonably clean.

Supermarket (mini) - right beside the hotel and prices are same as high street supermarket. It's basic so best off going to the other.

Beach (worth visit) - about 10-15mins walk. Go across the road to the other hotel and follow the path till you reach the cliffs which you'll see signs to the stairs. There is a supermarket here too.

We were told the hotel was in a bad way up until this year. It was recently taken over by new owners and is a lot better.

This hotel has huge potential but needs managing better. It seems it is understaffed but this could be due to the time of the year we went.

Most of the restaurants are about 15mins walk. There is a restaurant in the hotel but we never ate here. The nearest one is Martins Restaurant about 3mins walk and food was good.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Mel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balaia Plaza

Property: Balaia Plaza
Address: Estrada de Santa Eulalia | Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8201-913, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#51 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Hotel Class:4 star — Balaia Plaza 4*
Number of rooms: 76
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Also Known As:
Balaia Plaza Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Balaia Plaza Hotel Albufeira

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