Returned yesterday (16th August 2012) after staying for one week with my wife and two children aged 12 and 16 years of age. Like most on here I read LOTS of terrible comments and was worried about going there - PLEASE do not worry! I will give an honest account of this Holiday Village for the age range that we had with us and help you make the most of your holiday.
On arrival we were met with juice for the kids and Sangria for the adults (nice touch as it was so hot). The transfer from the airport was about 35 minutes on a really nice coach so not bad for kids that may be tired after travelling, especially if you have little ones. We arrived at the resort at 1pm and although they don't have to have your room ready until 4pm ours was and it was a swift check in. Make sure you ask for the key for the safe - this is 10 Euros for the week. Remote control and Air Con is included if you are All Inclusive but you do have to leave a credit card in case you lose their equipment.
Room was a lot more spacious than we thought it was going to be and really clean. Kitchen with everything you need, spacious lounge, lots of British TV and a double bedroom with sliding doors in our apartment. We stayed in Block One. Let me say here that I read how far Block Two was away from Block One (IT IS NOT), if you are less able lets say you may find the steps a struggle but it only took us 2 minutes from Block One to Block Two!! They do have ramps for buggies if you require.
We were all inclusive. FOOD - If you cannot find something you like to eat in this hotel then good knows what you live on at home!! They cater for ALL! Breakfast was brilliant, kids corner with pancakes, maple syrup etc, toast, fresh rolls, jams, hams, cheeses etc, full English breakfast with every type of egg imaginable! Cereal choices, fruit.... Brilliant. Unlimited fresh juice, choice of coffee/tea. Lunch and Dinner. They had different themes every night BUT always cater for the Brits. Sometimes I was embarrassed of the Brits queuing endlessly for the Sunday Dinners they provided every night and not even trying the mass of gorgeous dishes on offer. So I can only imagine the people that complain are the ones who just ate this every single day. We did not go one day where there were not different options. So a typical night of food for dinner was, kids corner - chips, sausage, fish fingers, rolls, pizza, garlic bread and pasta. They always had speciality dish which you must try, vegetarian choices, Sunday dinners, salads, fruits, desserts. Unlimited wine, hot drinks, juices and beers at lunch and dinner. I could go on but food FABULOUS!!! We went at different times and never had trouble getting a table. The only downside is the brochure in the room stated men are requested to wear long trousers to dinner which for a four star I agree with, however I think only saw one other guest doing this apart from myself! Most in shorts! Also a lot of parents just let their kids run around in there and push in the queue, how they don't get burnt with the hot drinks I really don't know! Parent seem to not give their kids any manners in all Inclusive!
We went to the local beach once and walked. Only stayed their about half an hour, packed out and the see was too rough for lilos. The tide was in so no room for kids to play, wish we had checked out another beach did not go back to this one.
We went on the trip to Aqua Show, BRILLIANT, our girls loved it and if you get the chance book in to swim with the Sea Lions (this made our holiday), it is 49 Euros Each on top of trip to swim with them but it lasts for 45 minutes and is way cheaper than the dolphin swim experience. They only had tiny groups and LOTS of interaction. Only two shows per day so worth booking in at the hotel. We were lucky as did it on the day at the Park BUT only just got the spaces!
Small shop on site which sells all the essentials including lilos, rubber rings and all inflatables, they also blow them up for you, major bonus!
Drinks - good selection, on the All Inclusive menu it does not mention things like Malibu etc, but all local drinks are included, their Malibu is just as good and drinks were not watered down. Normal ice cream lollies were not included in price nor were slush puppies but to be honest the kids DON'T need them as plenty of other drinks for them to have in price including non alcoholic cocktails. We did purchase ice cream lollies as the main bar did not do the All Inclusive Ice creams they had to walk to Splash Park to get one. If you are hungry at lunch time DO NOT use snack bars, they get packed and you have to wait a long time with people not wanting to walk the one minute to the restaurant for lunch ! , just go into the restaurant, food way better and more choice without the queue. If you want the snack bar at other times though, good selection for what it is meant for.
DOWNSIDES!! If you children are aged 12 or over and you are going for more than one week you will have to book outside trips and get out more, one week was enough for this age group! Most activities are for the young children and the evening entertainment was for young children. The downside is you have to get to the entertainment bar for around 8pm (at the latest) to get a seat then you endure puppet shows and bingo and wait until 9.45pm for anything else to happen. The entertainment was BUTLINS abroad with the staff performing the entertainment. Great for ten years and under only. They did aqua aerobics and water polo for 16 years and over but the adults took the water polo so seriously, dads trying to outdo each other and my daughter did not like this and stopped taking part. If you are a Dad that likes the limelight (or a Mum) and likes to beat the Jones then a few naff comps for you to take part in pool side.
Towels on the sunbeds were supposed to be removed if you tried to reserve beds, unfortunately this did not happen and unless you join in the stupid game of getting up early to reserve a seat then you will be in full sun and lying on the grass! we saw some people getting up as early as 6.30 am and sleep on the beds to reserve them. massive shock to us as this type of holiday was a first. The Hotel need to sort this one!
Surviving the "Bun fight" was a major enlightenment too!! nothing to do with the Hotel of course, just the rude behaviour of parents and children. Don't eat at around 7.30 as this is when the entertainment starts and the biggest bun fight of all begins! we found eating at 8 ish was a lot more civilised
A week with the same people is also enough, never see so many overweight Brits in one place and kids that are so loud and rude!! But this did not spoil our holiday but one week long enough. Would we go back? If our kids were under ten then yes but not with the age group we had. The reps do work hard but that is their job!
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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