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“Fantastic Family Holiday in Balaia”

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Alto da Colina Aparthotel
Ranked #53 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 September 2011

Just back from a week at Holiday Village (also known as Alto da Colina) in Balaia, Portugal. Hotel resort was fantastic for families. We stayed with your 2.5 year old daughter and she had a fantastic time. The First Choice Reps were amazing, just so dedicated to making it a great holiday experience and always happy to help or answer questions. We stayed self-catering so didn't eat in the buffet restaurant, but we did eat in the hotel's own portuguese restaurant which was ok - not a great selection of food. Had the piri piri chicken which was very bland! We were expecting some 'heat' from the sauce but didn't get any. There is a shop onsite which is okay and handy for us next to block 2 - we took a lot of packet foods with us to save money and im glad we did as the same pasta packets were in the shop and much more expensive! There isn't much around the hotel to be honest - it's not a busy 'resort' - we walked about 20mins up the hill towards Olhos d'Agua to a bigger supermarket there one day and stocked up on some salads which were better than what was on offer in the hotel shop.

We ate in the 3 Maria's 3 times during our week and the food was just soooooooo good and pretty reasonable prices too - It is just up the road to Olhos d'Agua and about a 10-15min walk. We tried the portuguese cataplana which was a fish dish and was yummy! It was 25 Euros for 2 people and was served in a big silver dish with 3 types of white fish, lots of prawns and clams in a lovely light sauce based on tomatoes and corriander I think it was - served with lots of boiled rice. Also had 2 great steaks there. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the staff were really nice and friendly and I would definately recommend it - they do a meal-deal type thing as well for about 11 euros per person for a 3 course meal - it wasn't really out kind of food as we like to try local stuff - but if you are just looking for fish and chips, omelettes, soups and desserts then it seemed good value.

Back to the hotel - there are lots of swimming pools and plenty of seating areas. We stayed by the family/kids splash pool most of the time and our daughter loved it! There is just so much for kids to do, and when the kids are happy it makes a difference! You even get towels free and changed 3 times a week for taking to the pool!

We stayed in Colina Block 2 and i'm glad we were in that block, it was much quieter (apart from the noisy neighbours above us who dragged furniture around a lot and had a very noisy boy who whoooped all the time from 7am - he was our 7am alarm clock!). The apartment was a 1 bedroom apt and was really big and spotless clean! I have absolutely no complaints at all about the accommodation or facilities onsite.

If you have young kids then this is a great holiday village to go to, but perhaps not the kind of place if you want to also be in the hub of a busy resort, as it isn't! You can get a taxi easily into Albuferia but we didn't bother.

The Beach was lovely at Santa Eulalia, which was only a short 10 minute walk through the Alfagar hotel/village complex opposite the Holiday Village - you follow signs through the complex for the beach and along the cliff top and down some stairs which are not too steep. We didn't take the buggy though.

We have not been to the other First Choice Holiday Villages so can't compare it - but it was good value, very clean and safe with loads of stuff for everyone to do.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Footdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 September 2011

This was our second visit, we stayed in Aug 2010 as well.
We have 2 kids under 9 and had a family room with den both times, this means the kids get a room of their own with bunk beds with a sliding door from the main bedroom/living area. Both rooms have a balcony.
This is a great resort for younger kids, under 12 I would say. Lots of pools, some quiet, some noisy with slides etc. Kids clubs are good and our kids enjoyed them, cater for different ages and staff really good.
Food was better than last year, large choice but still quite a bit of fried stuff. There was always something Portugese on the menu ( we like to eat the native food not British food when on hols). Coffee not great still though!
Hotel is clean and pretty well maintained seeing how busy it is during the season.
We went all inclusive both times. From 2012 all Thomson/First Choice resorts will be AI we learnt.
Beach is a 15 min walk away, down hill on way there...
Trip to the water park is good, expensive, but some of the rides are truly scary!
The resort staff recognised us when we arrived this time which was nice as well.
Hope this helps!

Room Tip: allocated as you arrive
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rich T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2011

The hotel is nice & clean but the food was just okay. Good size apartment with massive balcony overlooking the pool & sea. There is plenty going on throughout the day for children to keep them entertained. The evening entertainment wasn't much good and it was inside which got very hot. Taxi into the Old Town approx. 6 euro but it is really buzzing at night with plenty of fab restaurants. We stayed at the holiday village in Majorca last year and I would definetely prefer it to the one in Algarve.

Room Tip: Email the hotel directly to request a pool/sea view.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank DonegalCornsheds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2011

a nice hotel with spaceful modern rooms,yes food was a bit pants but edible.we stayed in block 2 which was lovely & quiet,our room had a nice sea view from the balcony which was huge.too get too the restaurant you had to go up a few steep steps to block 1 but not hard unless mobility is a problem.good choice of pools & plenty of things for kids to do if they wish.beach isnt far if you cut through the sister hotel across the road.

Room Tip: room 2304 nice & quiet & sea view
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank amy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2011

Just returned and the must say the place was great. Nice location for us as not in the noisy centre of anywhere but not too far from main bits. Around 5euro in taxi to new town and 7 to old town.
We were self catering, and glad of it. We ate on evening in the hotel and it wasnt great, no where near as much variety as I have experienced in other all inclusive places.
As self catering we were given a charge card to add drinks and snacks to the bill, which is very usefull. Surprised to see that lots of stuff wasnt included in AI like normal ice creams and slush so we found lots of people were AI and paying anyway??

The slide pool is good, our 3 year old loved it. He wasnt big enough for the big blue slide but the smaller orange slide he loved, even if he did find a novel way of getting to the bottom (its not slippy enough so half way down he ended up pushing himself to the end)

The reps are great, lots of fun and the the trips didnt seem over priced either.

The kids club was ok although our 3 year old didnt seem old enough to join in with some things and there was no way he was going to a kids club chocolate night at 9pm ??

The evening entertainment is very well produced and almost profesional acting and shows every night. My 3 year old wanted to dance tho and the disco finished early and he got a bit board of the shows so ended up in the play area which is very good too.

Some tips.

The hotel charges 50c to call a cab. Your mobile may be cheaper and also quicker. Get a service number and make sure nobody else nicks the cab. Get a number from a cab firm in the the town.

Trips are ok and no more expensive than local tourist info shops etc.

For a nice meal go in to old town and enjoy the street theartre. The clown who makes balloon models became my sons close friend and made his holiday memorable. The mime artist is very funny and made us all laugh and look out for kitty who appears on the corner later on.

For an english meal go to coconuts 2 in new town. Really nice english/irish bar and they have everything from weetabix and english sausage to chip butty and meals etc.

In the evening, if you have young kids who need to be worn out, go to coconuts 1 bar which is near coconuts 2 and is own by same people. A great night with shrek and fiona making an appearance for over and hour (they must have got very hot in their costumes) and they made sure that everyone was involved from my 3year old up to young teens and even mums and dads. They made sure my 3 year old who could do some of the games, actually got a go and helped him with it. Great night.

If you havent done it before - swim with dolphins, its great.

Check the beds, my son always woke up itchy but we were fine

All in all a good holiday for us

Room Tip: Email the hotel direct and ask for COLINA 1. COLINA 2 is ok if you want quiet and a hard walk
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank cwcwcwcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2011

Just returned from a one week holiday and had a great time. Went with my mum and my 9 year old son. He had a ball! There was so much for kids to do, morning, afternoon and night. He loved the Football Academy and the kid's club at night. The First Choice staff were always very helpfull and friendly and so were the hotel staff. Only a couple of slightly negative points - food - breakfast good, lunch ok, dinner a bit poor. Not much choice, but I still ate enough at every meal, but my mum and son struggled sometimes at dinner. Night time entertainment - definately fantastic for the little kids. First Choice entertainment team were very good at night, but was a little disappointed that they seemed to be on every night but one, so got a little repetitive. Don't think I would stay there again, but only because I would like to try another First Choice Holiday Village.

Room Tip: Definately better to stay in Building 1, that's were most things happen.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank lemcshane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

If you have kids book this place its fantastic.
Its a Thompson Family choice hotel and they have got it 100% perfect.
We flew with them but didn't do their transfer as with kiddies the bus takes forever and the kids are already fed up travelling by then we booked a company we had been told about by my brother they are called yellowfishtransfers the kids were made up cos we got a minibus as there was 6 of us and it had a big yellow fish on it the kids thought it was the best minibus in the airport car park , we kept spotting their cars and mini buses around an about the town and the kids used to spot and count them when we went out.
The Reps met us at the hotel when we arrived and checked us and and took us to the room and explained where things were. And the next day did their welcome meeting thing which was good actually we learnt alot and we booked a water park and zoomarina,
The kids club was fab kids couldn't wait to get there every day and loved the reps who ran it.
The play area well i just wanted to get in myself lots of bright coluoured shoots and funnels ans slides , kept them quiet all day as well as the many friends they made of various nationalities which was also nice,..
We all had the best holiday and i highly recommend it if you have children..

Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
1  Thank patron_john
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alto da Colina Aparthotel

Address: Estrada de Santa Eulalia Balaia | Balaia area, on the road to Olhos de Agua, Albufeira 8200, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#27 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#36 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £29 - £422 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Alto da Colina Aparthotel 4*
Number of rooms: 132
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Also Known As:
Alto Da Colina Aparthotel Hotel Albufeira
Alto Da Colina Aparthotel Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Club Alto Da Colina
Alto Colina

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