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“Made for families, an oasis of calm but close to the fun. A hidden gem.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Elma Apartments

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Elma Apartments
Ranked #111 of 163 Hotels in Albufeira
Dublin,Ireland
Level Contributor
82 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Made for families, an oasis of calm but close to the fun. A hidden gem.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2009

We stayed here for a fortnight in July, this being our second year to do so. I suppose that in itself says something.

Location. It's a four minute lazy stroll to the beach in floppy sandals. A beach that can be incredibly underused at times. Albufeira an ex fishing village now a bustling resort town is an easy 20min away by beach at low tide & 25min by road. 10min to 'The Strip' -a collection of bars, clubs & tourist shops. Tackey but very popular with the young. Buses & taxis are very easy to find & are reasonable. The immediate area is quiet (in a nice way) but well served with bars, restaurants & shops. Modelo supermarket is the only place to do a big shopping trip. Good value & full of goodies. Do it as soon as you can & get it out of the way. The pool & kiddie pool with snack bar is at the bottom of E block & not overlooked is generally calm. It seems to catch any welcome breeze going, a big plus. The area feels very safe at night.

The Apartments. They are in a rustic Portuguese style. Ours was a two double bed (en suite) with a generous sized living room & a kitchen with a large fridge & freezer, cooker, kettle, toaster etc. Lots of practical furniture & TV. Poor reception but who cares? The couch converts into a settle bed. No AC but an overhead fan in each room kept it surprisingly cool, especially when it crept up to 35C+ in week two. Although it said rooms were made up every second day, ours was daily & enough towels to dry a small army.

Eating out. The Panacea is nearest but didn't impress me, it's ok. Pedro's further up the road is friendly, very good value & has lots to please picky kids. Plain fare. At the top of the street on the main rd is La Concha, excellent food, service & value.Recomended.
If you really like you food, in a league of its own is Tres Palmieras at the roundabout, pricey (for Portugal) but Wow! Surf or turf, you can't go wrong.

Bars. Blue Bar & O Forte. The latter sells Guinness, Cafferys & Magners at a keen price which pulls a lot of Irish & British in. Kids love it. Parents left in peace.

The Manager. Christine is a warm, polite, excellent English speaking, mine of information who should be Minister for Tourism & who will tell you anything you need to know. Just ask.
Downside. Well, small TV poor reception, some fittings need replacing. Who cares.

Tips. Bring ear plugs; some of you fellow tourists can be 'full of joy' long after you've hit the hay.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WanderingAngeus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
waterford ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2009

we stayed in early june big airy spotless apartment 4mins walk from beach,pubs n restaurants closeby,can walk to the strip about 12 mins ,a bit too far to walk to the old town.no problem getting taxi,the lovely cristina will see to it ,we have been going to ALBUIFERIA for many years and the elma apartments and location are the best we have stayed in,will be back there again before this summer ends

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank deiseman_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2008

We stayed in the Elma apartments in June of this year – four of us, husband, wife, son, and his school friend.

The apartments are located in a quiet residential area in Sao Joao that also has a number of bars and restaurants close-by. There are at least five blocks in the complex, which are mostly perpendicular to a one-way street that leads down from the junction where the Panacee restaurant is located to the last block about 300 metres away. In between the apartment blocks are ‘side-streets’ where cars can be parked.

The reception is in one of the blocks, and is managed by Christine, one of the most helpful people I’ve encountered anywhere on holidays. Tickets for water-parks, how to regulate the gas, where to purchase matches – she has all the answers.

The apartments themselves are somewhat on the ‘old-fashioned’ side, but don’t let that put you off. They are quite spacious, and were more than adequate for the four of us. Our apartment was two-bedded, and each bedroom had an en-suite. Each bedroom had a large ceiling fan that helped to keep the air circulating.

The kitchen area has a gas cooker with four rings and an oven. There was also a big fridge and a microwave. There was also a toaster and a kettle. The living area has a wall-fan, a couch, a TV, a side-board, a dining table and four chairs. Outside there is a small balcony with some chairs and a plastic table.

The pool area is behind the apartment blocks and is reached through an entrance off one of the side streets. The pool is nice, and well-maintained. There is a small snack-bar by the pool that sells drinks, sandwiches, burgers, and so forth. Cushions for the sun-beds can be hired for €1.50 from the bar, and there are a small number of parasols available for free.

The Panacee is a bistro-style restaurant situated in one of the blocks. The food is superb, and the waiters are very friendly, and attentive. Look out for their nightly fish specials written up on a black-board in the restaurant. Their Golden Bream is really nice.

The Sao Joao beach is a short stroll down the hill by the Monica Isabel Beach Club. You can walk right in as far The Fishermans Beach in Albufeira, in about 15/20 minutes.

It’s about a 30-minute walk by road back into the Old Town. The ‘Strip’ in Montechoro is about 15 minutes in the opposite direction. There are one or two small supermarkets in the immediate vicinity where you can pick up the essentials: water, bread, cold drinks. I recommend the local Bar Azul as a nice place to have a drink on your way out for the evening.

There is a large Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets about 15 minutes walk from the apartments. A taxi back costs around €3.50, or there are two bus lines (Blue/Green) which head all around Montechoro but eventually pass by the main road near to the apartments (€1.10 per trip).

If you are looking for a peaceful spot for a well-earned rest, then the Elma may be for you.

  • Liked — Quiet location
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Irishwhite01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2008

When searching for a holiday it is difficult to know which is best, but the other reviews were very helpful to make the decision. Comments that the rooms were old, I would call them more rustic, but a good size, and for the price you pay value for money. Even through it was 32c while we were there, we did not miss aircon as there was a good breeze. But try not to get one near the road, as there is some traffic noise at night.

Christina was very helpful from recommending a very good fish restaurant to getting money back from the tour guide over a failed trip, to advice on do you really need to go on the tours, is there a better way to see things. She also very clearly told us how to get to the two local super markets, one a short walk and the other more of a taxi ride (which were cheap).

The location was very good easy to get to the beach and the pool as all have said it was easy to get a sun bed, but do bring your own pool/beach towels. We found that ti was best to go to the beach in the morning and pool in the afternoon.

Overall the food in the area was OK, nothing special, but the restaurant in the complex was one of the best we tried. A walk into the old town for an evening meal was nice, but the food nothing special.

We went with my 83 year old mother, wife and 7 year old daughter and we all enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere…….take a few books and relax with a nice chilled glass of wine!

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Woodsie61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tipperary
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2008

I booked this accomodation after readin the reviews on trip advisor, i was a little dissapointed with the elma appartments. The appartments were spacious and in the centre of things and the pool was comfortable but what really annoyed me was the that the place was falling down. Everything seemed to have been broken e.g the nobs on the kitchen cupboards and the place was not very clean. Cristina was very helpful.
Tip: in many holiday brouchers it says the towels are supplied. This is only for the rooms and these can't be used by the pool so bring your own.

  • Liked — Near a beach and at the centre of things
  • Disliked — Poor quality of accomodation
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank dockleaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Castleford
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2008

we have just returned from the Elma last week and we had a great time, The appartments are very nice and clean. two bathrooms and plenty of space to relax. our room overlooked the pool which was always on the quiet side which was great because the Elma is in a great position in a quiet area but not too far to walk to the strip on a night ( 10 mins ) . Taxis cost approx 4 euros to the strip. theres a really cheap buffet restaurant nearby if your a bit short only 12 euros for two meals. also two english speaking kids tv channels to keep the little ones occupied. Christina was excellent in reception and was very made us feel very welcome and because its a family business they all do there bit to make it as care free as possible. we will be definetly promoting this hotel to friends. Steve and Dasa from Castleford.

  • Liked — the friendly staff
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank johnCastleford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mid Glam South Wales
Level Contributor
98 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2008

Booked this holiday over the phone, via a travel service provided by my bank, approx 4 weeks before we went. Given several alternatives, which suited dates and airport we wanted. After reading previous reviews we decided to go to the Elma apts and were very pleasantly surprised.

Cristina was as helpful as I had read and although there were only 2 of us we had a 2 double bedroom and 2 bathroom apt, which was spotless. We had maid service every other day and it was good to see that the bathrooms were regularly cleaned. We did not use the self catering facilities as all surrounding bars provide snacks etc.

Would recommend eating at the Panacee restaurant, just at the end of the road for both snacks and evening meal also the Tres Palmeiras restaurant on the roundabout, which we went to on our last evening, really special.

Very pleasant walks into the old town via the beach and 'The Strip', both of which take only 10/15 mins. Close enough to the buzzing nightlife but far enough away if it isn't your thing.

Would highly recommend these appartments.

  • Liked — Location and standard of accomadation
  • Disliked — No air conditioning
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BluebirdFACup08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elma Apartments

Property: Elma Apartments
Address: Forte de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200-325, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Casino and Gambling Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #111 of 163 Hotels in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Elma Apartments Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Elma Apartments Hotel Albufeira
Apartments Albufeira

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