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“it is what it is”

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Monica Isabel Beach Club
Ranked #124 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Reviewed 9 November 2013

just returnd from a short 4 night stay for under £200 with tranfers and all inclusive cant be bad !!! i was just on my own and i enjoyed everything no complaints not like some !!! it is what it is a nice friendly hotel with free busses to strip or old town , room was big and clean , allways food something to eat and drink , staff lovely especialy the to girls in the pool bar . lovely setting you just have to walk along the beach to the old town ( i sat on the front in the old town and was drinking lager for 175 a pint ) !!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank frank_b_danks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,875 - 1,881 of 3,027 reviews

Reviewed 8 November 2013

arrived on 26th october-2nd november 2013 family of six and we were all inclusive, we arrived before lunch was shown to our rooms after getting lost twice as the place is a maze block m1 105 & 106 and the rest of my family where on another floor,room out dated but clean and spaceious,towels changed and beds MADE each day.food was disgusting same thing morning noon and night, restaurant not very clean,dirty plates,cutlery etc never clean, we took to eating out. the staff was very rude and unhelpful the pool area was filthy as was the in door pool (full of hair) only one working lift,the entertainment at night was very poor the bar service was terrible as only one member of staff serving at the all inclusive bar.the only plus side was that it was close the beach which is beautiful and it was not very far away from the old town which is must to visit,local restaurants where nice and value for money. albufeira is a lovely place to visit and we would return JUST NEVER TO THIS HOTEL TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY!! WE AS A FAMILY TRAVEL TO QUITE A LOT OF COUNTRIES WE ARE NOT PETTY MOANERS OR HOTEL ASSASINS. if you are looking for a budget holiday without the kids then place is for you but if you want a nice relaxing family holiday then stay clear of this hotel .

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank michele m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

If you are going here, then get a room/apartment away from the main/dining building, we had apartment 606mi .underneath the dining room, they clean the dining room till gone midnight, you can hear every table drag, every chair scrape, not to mention the kitchen staff arguing ! Hardly 4 stars in my opinion, although service and cleanliness were excellent. the area is excellent with the beach less than a minute walk away, the indoor pool is excellent, Now if you like feeling like cattle being loaded onto a wagon then the buffet style dinner is just the ticket for you. Heard rumours of staff not being paid for 3 months due to a take over bid, so may explain a few things, But overall we will not be stopping at the monica isabel again, Just too basic, air con that didn't work. Portugal yes ......... Monica Isabel . . . . NO

Room Tip: Stay away from the building containing the dinning area, Terrible noise of a night till gone midnigh...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank bobadob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I recently returned from the Monica Isabel, we had a lovely time the room was clean, tidy and quite big room 501 block A...Myself my partner and little girl of 5 took my parents with them in there 60s and 70s - the hotel it self is nice, most of the staff are very friendly and helpful Nelson Daniel and the girl with long blonde hair (sorry do not know her name) - were the best they couldn't be more helpful. We decided to go all Inclusive as we hadn't been to the Algarve before and was unsure how close we were to the local restaurants etc... the food wasn't very nice, same things most of the times and found hairs in our food, needless to say we ate out most of the time. Both myself and my mum were very poorly for a few days after eating in the restaurant at the hotel, we spoke to about 6 other families / couples who also had been very poorly with sickness and upset tummies.
The drinks in the all inclusive were all very watered down so we went to the bar at the top and had to pay but between 11am-11pm they were half price (as we were all inclusive) so that was good and that drink was nice and the proper stuff :)
I would return to this hotel for a cheap break as the rooms are nice, the views are beautiful and very close to the beach which my daughter loved...however i would go self catering as there are plenty of places to eat out close to the hotel.
I loved the old town...cannot wait to return to The Algarve :)

Room Tip: Ask for room 501 block A (1 bed apartment)
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Hazel1985_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I went to this hotel during the October school break with my partner. I would only recommend this resort if your on a very tight budget with the kids, otherwise stay clear all costs.

Pros
Excellent location. Its very easy to reach old town and ora from this hotels location


Cons
Poor customer service if not rude at times
Dreadful food. This is what dog food must taste like
Decor is very dated...maybe 1970's - mid 80s
Entertainment was poor
Short staffed
Our beds were damp

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank joe b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Thank goodness the reviews I read before I arrived were unfounded. These people must either be petty moaners or hotel assasins.
We arrived on Saturday 2nd Nov expecting a sour faced receptionist, but the lady behind the desk could'nt be more friendly and helpful. Even though we arrived before our room was ready she gave us our all inclusive bands and said we could start using the facilities right away. We returned later and was escorted to our room. We were stunned by the panoramic sea view and hotel complex below us. We were in block F1 room 305. The apartment was huge with seperate kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, dressing room and two balcolnies. Had we been given the wrong accomodation? Suprisingly not!
Yes, the apartment and hotel decor was very dated, but I hadn't planned on sitting indoors for the length of my holiday. As we met more staff we noticed how pleasant, helpful and hard working they all were. Unfortunateley, the only negative were many of the guests who treated the hotel restaurant as a pig trough and took far more than they could eat and left behind. We even saw how ignorant and rude they were to staff. After our first day we chose to eat half an hour before the restaurant closed as it was much quieter and the rampaging guests had all gone. There was much to choose from at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The hotel complex is situated on a fabulous endless sandy beach and a short walk along the beach or paralel road would take you into the quaint old town or new town in the opposite direction. We sadly left on the 6th, but would have loved to stay longer. This was my first experience of all inclusive and would consider it again, but avoid peak feeding times as it was more like watching pigs at a trough. I was ashamed to be a Brit as manners are left at home (if they ever had any). But the staff, accommodation, location and weather get top marks!!

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room with sea view. We couldn't have been more pleased with our apartment.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank LesPeters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

I've just returned from a four night break at the Monica Isabel, and felt I had to write a review, totally based on my experience.

Having paid a ridiculously small amount for All Inclusive (I was an AI virgin until last week!) - and having read the reviews of some previous guests it's fair to say that I was dreading it (stupid, I know). In the event, I could not have been more pleased with what I got - a pleasant welcome from a helpful and friendly receptionist who even got me tagged up with a bright orange "badge of shame" bracelet earlier than she needed to so that I could start the AI experience straightaway.

The biggest surprise was the apartment - a fantastc size with two balconies, newly fitted kitchen and bathroom and new mattresses etc. All spotlessly clean and with two TV's and sun beds on one of the balconies. However, the standout feature was the amazing view - panoramic 360 degrees of clean blue sea. The sunrises and sunsets were breathtaking. A fantasic location, a couple of minutes from the beach and easy walk into the old town or the Strip. Great beach too, albeit slightly cold in November!

Food was fine - certainly enough to eat and good choice. I'm amazed as to how they can do it for the money.

All staff were friendly and helpful, as long as they were treated with the common courtesy and respect everyone deserves.

Ok, so the hotel is a fair age and could do with some TLC, but overall my expereince of Monica Isabel has been very positive and I feel it deserves a decent review, as I say, based on my experience (although I understand that others' expereinces may not be the same as mine).

Were there any drawbacks? Unfortunately yes, and I'm almost embarrased to say this, but the behaviour I witnessed from a minority of fellow guests was shameful. Rude, aggressive and ignorant behaviour with a lot of loud swearing, these guys showed no-one any respect in their quest to max out on the AI food and drink. At closing time the AI bar looked like Beirut. I made the mistake of going there the first night and beat a hasty retreat. Late night drunken shouting from a couple of "ladies" on the first night certainly didn't add to the happy holiday experience.

A rather large "lady" loudly passing wind at the pool one day in full view and earshot seemed to sum up some of the guests' idea of etiquette.

The staff deserve a medal for their patience.

I would certainly go back, but I would avoid the AI bar and just do my own thing, taking advantage of the hotel's facilities. Fantasic value for money. If you're thinking of going, I'd say go, and make the most of most of it, warts and all.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Coz_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monica Isabel Beach Club

Address: Forte Sao Joao | Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200-325, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £14 - £169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Monica Isabel Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel includes Monica Isabel Beach Club 4 Stars (Aparthotel) and Monica Isabel Beach Club 3 Stars ( Tourist Apartments). It has a privileged location in Albufeira, on Albufeira beach and only 500 meters from “Avenida Sá Carneiro “a popular avenue (better known as The Strip to foreign visitors) which is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants and a wide variety of shops. The Albufeira Resort is central to traditional shopping areas, restaurants and bars from throughout the region and only 1.5 km from the Historic and Cultural Centre of Albufeira, the Mónica Isabel Beach Club offers a variety of services that allow your holiday or short week-end break to be unforgettable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monica Isabel Hotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Aparthotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Aparthotel Hotel Albufeira
Monica Isabel Beach Club Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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