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“NOT suitable for Couples who like Peace & Quiet or Disabled”

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Alto da Colina Aparthotel
Ranked #53 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
bimingham england
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“NOT suitable for Couples who like Peace & Quiet or Disabled”
Reviewed 17 October 2009

Hotel is BUTLINS in the sun.
Only good point of our week here was the fantastic weather. 35deg all week.
The hotel is locted on a hill, with 2 blocks. Block 1 is where the restaurant and bar are with main pools, block 1 has a quiet pool and snack bar and shop.
To get from 1 to 2 you have to climb steep steps. approx 50 metres and almost a 1in1 incline.
Impossible to push a wheelchair up, and hard to walk/climb for anyone who has difficulty walking (disabled,elderly etc) the Hotel is unsuitable for disabled or elderly.
beach is a 10min walk, but then you have about 150 steep steps tdown o reach it.
The hotel is EXTREEMLY NOISY, not very clean, hygene in the restaurant seems non existant. Food was reasonable ( im fussy) but its not hot, just warm, and sometimes cold if it hasnt been topped up etc.
large bar queue for drinks/coffee etc.
This hotel really is ONLY suitable for families with young children.
Would we go back? NO CHANCE

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mike_helen_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Surrey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2009

We booked last minute (less than a week before) and got a great deal - £757 in total AI for all three of us in a family room which consisted of bunk beds in the bedroom and twin beds(large singles) in the lounge area. The apartment was spotless and had two TVs (one in the 'kids den'). Good selection of TV channels including CBeebies and CBBC etc which was great for our little one. We turned the bunk beds around so the ladder was against the wall to prevent him climbing to the top bunk.

Its great to have an all inclusive holiday with all the facilities of an apartment. We had no problems with noisy neighbours - in fact I thought there was nobody in the apartments either side of us until I saw them in the corridors!

The buffet restaurant isn't as big as I expected but well laid out so you can access the food from both sides so there were no big queues. As well as the buffet the chef makes fresh pancakes, omelettes and fried eggs in the morning and there's usually a roast or freshly grilled lunchtime and evening. The catering manager is on hand in the restaurant to ensure that everything is kept well stocked and to deal with any issues. I once commented that the jacket potatoes were not hot enough and she efficiently ensured that another was supplied. Nothing is too much trouble. The staff clearing the tables did a fabulous job and always made a fuss of our two year old. He became especially fond of 'Bia'! We were very happy that they serve breakfast until 10.30am and dinner until 9.30pm. Its also handy to be able to get your own drinks rather than depend on a waiter - there's a machine for hot drinks, water, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, a San Miguel beer tap and jugs of wine.

We were very impressed to see a proper Bob the Builder walking about and performing with the reps every lunchtime by the main pool. The evening entertainment was also brilliant for kids despite several powercuts - the reps are all down to earth natural entertainers.

The pools were brilliant, especially the one with the water slides although there are a few holes that need repairing as other reviewers have mentioned. Best of all we didn't have to queue for anything, given the time of year I suppose.

There is only one snack bar in the main grounds which was a little bit disappointing - the only food it serves is sandwiches, crepes, popcorn, margherita pizza slices, hot dogs and burgers. The only alcohol available was wine, sangria or beer so you had to return to the main hotel bar to get any spirits. We never used the snack bar in Block 2(Ricardo's), it seemed very quiet and we only ventured there to go to the shop (the only shop at the hotel). Block 2 would be good for adults with no kids who want a quiet holiday.

We went to the beach a couple of times and visited Villamoura by bus (3.55 euros each way). Albufeira is a 20 minute walk but we didn't bother venturing there.

On the day of departure we checked out at 11am and were given a voucher so we could still have lunch at the restaurant and they let us keep our towels until the end of the day even though they returned our deposit. The desk staff are very helpful - one of the cleaners even helped us load our cases back onto the coach as it had arrived early.

This was only holiday that I was not ready to return home from!! Would definitely return.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shuvoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fife, scotland
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2009

We have just returned today, had an amazing time, definately a family hotel has all you could ask for kids, my 4 year old son never stopped. always loads to do. After reading good and bad reviews about food and block 1 being very noisey, we found the food was great a wide variety, we had a corner seaview in block 1 definately worth the extra money had a pool view and a seaview and I have to say "it was very quiet as your at the far end of the hotel Rm 1302". Rooms very spacious with everything you need only thing I could say is they should have an iron in rooms after all it is a 4 star hotel. First choice/thomsons staff all great and jenna,shaun,sarah,dotty spotty sox,kayleigh,michael and dj smithy put on some great family entertainment "well done guys yous are amazing".Hotel bit out the way 4 euros to albuferia and 6 euros to old town which is a must see very traditional. If you take a right at bottom of hotel road and walk straight for 20 mins you will find bars shops ect this is where you will find a supermarket which is far cheaper than hotel supermarket. If you have kids I would recommend zoomarine great day out for all the family. Hotel was really nice spotless clean, only thing a would say is that the local staff at hotel very slow, lovely people but a wouldnt like to be there in height of season as there were queues at bars. Would definately return as we were all inclusive and I thought it was good value.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cheeko1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
here
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 October 2009

My husband and I changed our holiday desitination at the last minute because of bad reviews for the hotel we were going to in Lanzarote, it was without a shadow of a doubt the best decision I have ever make, the hotel is fantastic, staff fantastic, weather fab, cleanliness second to non, room cleaned six days withtowels change as well, also three times a week change of pool towels, there was so much choice in the restaurant for every meal, I put on half a stone because I did not want to miss out on any of it. usual food abroad is veal, veal and more veal not on these menus, we had every type of fish, meat and vegetables you can imagine and in abundance, fresh fruit, cooked breakfast (including porridge) you name it, it was there and it was all served by tremendously polite and friendly staff. The holiday reps work really hard both day and night and put on some really good shows. We have four grandchildren and would recommended this hotel to anyone with children of all ages and couples alike.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank holidayHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derbyshire
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2009

We booked this holiday over a year in advance with First Choice/ Thomson as we were getting married in Aug 2009 and decided on the Algarve for for our Honeymoon. We already have 3 young children, girl age 6, and twins age 3, and so wanted somewhere with a short flight and family friendly. My dad and step-mum came with us too so we could have a break from the children now and again. After booking we read so many good and bad reviews I wasn't sure what to think, but I can definately say we had one of the best holidays we've ever had as a family.

Although the brochure stated a transfer time of over 1 hour we were first drop off and so it was actually only 25 minutes which was great. We were greeted by a drink when we were checking in, altho I will say you do not get any help with your cases up to your room, we had 5 cases and two pushchairs, so I had to stay with the 3 kids whilst my partner did runs to the room with the luggage, whilst the reps watched, there are lifts though however. We booked a 'one bedroom corner seaview apartment'. We stated when we booked at the travel agents that we wanted a 'quiet room' in 'Block 1' on a 'high floor' after hearing on the reviews that Block 1 was much better than block 2. I'm glad we did as there is a treck to block 2 if you have cases or a pushchair and it is overlooking a main road. So I would DEFINATELY ASK FOR A QUIET ROOM IN BLOCK 1. We were lucky and got what we asked for and our room was fantastic and spacious, lovely and clean and also in a quieter part of the hotel. Everyone in block 1 seems to have a double balcony which is lovely, we also got an extra one on the side as we were a corner room, definately worth the extra money if you can afford it. The room, was very spacious and the views of the sea and pool were amazing from our room, which was room 302. You do need to put down a deposit when you arrive for the air conditioning and the tele remote, why I don't know, but you get these back when you hand them in when you leave. There are some lovely pools around the hotel and the splash park for the kids is fantastic. We went all inclusive and the food was good, yes it wasn't always red hot but there was plenty of choice and you have to remember they are catering for the masses, we always found something we liked.
The kids club is amazing, the In2 Action reps really make this hotel and my kids fell in love with them. The kids club is usually 2 hours in a mornin, 2 hours in an afternoon and one at night, if your child is 3 or over these are free. I only sent my kids to the clubs if they wanted to go but they wanted to go to at least 2 every day and they had so so much fun. We went away with 3 very shy children and came back with 3 completely different kids, who would get up dancing and singing and messing around with the reps, it was lovely to see, I can't emphasise enough how fantastic the reps are. They especially loved, Kayley, Scott, Pete, Neil and Emma who were brilliant with them all holiday, and not forgetting Dotty Spotty Sox who was very entertaining for the kids and the appearance of Bob the Builder every day which they loved! The kids could'nt have possibly had any more fun than they did on this holiday.
There isn't much around the hotel, if you like to walk and have a pushchair if you have small children then you can walk along the main road to San Jao 'The Strip' which is a 20 minute walk where there are a few shops and bars, just before you get there there is also Santa Eulalia beach which is lovely. Even better is a taxi ride to Albufeira Old Town which has nicer places to eat and lots of little shops and is about 7 euros at the most in a taxi, the hotel will ring one for you for 50 cents charge, they turn up within minutes. We took a day trip to Zoomarine which is definately wort a visit, we didn't book with the reps though as it was more expensive, instead we booked with a tour company at 'the strip'. It was a brilliant day out and for 15 euros each me and my little girl had our photos taken touching a dolphin. You could if you wanted swim with them but it is around 140 euros and it is best to book in advance if you want to do this.
There is plenty of entertaiment around the main pool during the day and at night there is entertainment in the Starlight Theater, from 8 till 9pm is the Ministry of Fun for the kids with dancing and games, then bingo and then a show usually, You WILL come home singing the kids clubs famous songs which are 'Chocolatte' and 'Cartoon Heroes', they are played at least 3 times a day but we loved it! Overall we all had a Fantastic holiday and as soon as we can save up we will be going again. Believe me we did not want to come home, my daughter was sobbing when she had to say goodbye to the reps, we all shed a few tears actually, we'd had such a great time!!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sissireds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nottingham
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2009

We booked this resort with our friends and their 2 boys (6 & 11 months), we have a 19 month old little girl. When we arrived we were told that we were in block 2 where as our friends were in block 1. I quiried this stating that we should of all been together. We were told to inform the First Choice team. When we got into our room i was extreamey dissapointed, we were the furthest room away overlooking a building site. The room was very small with no seperate area for our daughter to play in. It was however very clean and modern. I complained to the reps who stated they would look into it, i complained every day for 3 days without success. They would not move us for love or money. I then resided to the fact that we were staying put. Be aware if your put in block 2 especially in a twin room. Our friends room was lovely and spacious as were all the apartments. We also spoke to 4 other couples who had also complained. Just be aware. Saying that we had a lovely holiday, the food was great with lots of choice. We ate in the Portugese restaurant 1 night also, i would say don't bother stick to the buffet!!!!.
The weather was also great wall to wall sunshine except on our last day where it rained in the morning with sunshine in the afternoon. I think this is very common though for this time of year.
I would say that this resort is awsome for couples with young children, our daughter was a little too young for the kids club, we did however put her in the creche for a couple of hours, the staff are great with excellent facilities. Our friends boy loved the club.
All in all we had a super holiday and i think we will return when our daughter is a little older.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank archiebold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2009

The bad points first!

(i) On arrival, we were allocated an apartment in Block 2. For starters, none of the rooms in Block 2 have a seaview. As the brochure clearly suggests that any booking for a 'one bedroom apartment ' on an all inclusive package has a 'balcony and seaview' we were unimpressed. Additionally, our transfer bus got us to the hotel by 10.30am, but apparently in the (very) small print of the brochures it states that check in time is not officially until 4pm, so our room was not actually ready on arrival. We were directed towards the restaurant and bar in Block 1 to wait......here we encountered another major problem....

(ii) The incline between blocks is VERY steep!!! Bad enough if you have an under 2 who is still finding their feet and reliant on a pushchair, even worse when you are 5 months pregnant like me! I would go as far as to say that taking a pushchair down this slope with a child in it is actually fairly dangerous. We took him out and carried him down when we needed to go to the shop later in the week. There is also a very tricky step at the very top of the slope which sort of defeats the point of putting in the ramp next to the steps.

These factors combined meant that we approached the First Choice reps immediately to ask to be moved to Block 1. Their response to the seaview issue was that we had not paid the supplement. As I had the brochure with me I pointed out the relevant paragraph which is fairly self-explanatory, but the rep still insisted that seaviews only come with supplement. If this is the case, then the brochure is guilty of false advertising.

They then said they would try and sort out a room in Block 1 for us, but could not do anything til 2pm. This was at 11am and our toddler had been awake since 3.30am for the outward journey - you can imagine how this went down! They then told us that reception could not move us until Saturday (this was on Thursday) - clearly a move designed to shut us up temporarily, but as I pointed out to them, we were the first transfer in to the hotel on their busiest transfer day, so if they could not move us there and then, they never would. Finally 90 mins later they allocated us a new room - it even had the necessary seaview....then we just had to wait another hour for the promised cot to materialise!

And so to the good points - and the rest of the holiday was indeed lovely! Our room was large with sliding doors between sleeping area, so baby could sleep whilst we were in the living room/kitchen area in the evenings. The allocated cot is a standard travel cot and comes with sheets provided. The 'double bed' is actually two large singles pushed together with separate sheets - no stealing of the duvet for a week! The kitchen comes well equipped with microwave, kettle and hob and utensils. We only needed the kettle for bottles and used the microwave once as the meals catered well for both us and our 15 month old.

Food - can't fault it really. Plenty of choice from a hot and cold buffet at all meals, good salad bars, different 'themed' nights for dinner e.g. oriental, Italian, TexMex each night. Lots of options for kids - we did not have a problem finding anything for the little one to eat and they supply plastic bowls and spoons etc. Everything on a serve yourself basis and eat as much as you like. The waiting staff were lovely, very efficient, great with the kids (patient!).

Drinks - on all inclusive package local beer and wine was free as were soft drinks. Water available in jugs on counter but you had to pay extra for bottles which seems a bit tight.

Facilities - there are 6 pools - nice one outside block 2, lovely big (cold!) pool outside block 1 with nice sized baby pool adjacent. Also two pools on other side of complex - one with slides and one large pool next to the splash park. To be honest, the latter pools and splash park are in need of renovation - large chunks of concrete mising out of the floor of the slide pool in places and it all just looks a bit dated, but we spent most of our time round the top block 1 pools anyway which were lovely - I assume this is what they were working on from comments in earlier reviews and it has all been done well. There is also a nice sized indoor pool which is a better temperature for babies which also has a jacuzzi although the bubbles were not working the entire week we were there.

We did not see much of the evening entertainment as, contrary to what we were told by the travel agents, babysitting is no longer available on site. You can book a creche session from 8pm-11pm and 'park' your child there in their buggy if they will sleep or you are happy for them to play at that time of night - not really an option for us though as unlikely he would sleep in pram in a room full of other babies without waking up! Between 8-9pm is dedicated to the kids in the entertainment theatre - Dotty Spotty Socks seems to be the main attraction along with 'the Hokey Cokey' and the incredible jokes which the kids are invited to tell on stage (example from 4 year old "why did the hedgehog cross the road? Because he wanted a car"....that was one of the better ones!) Our little one loved dancing to the music, but mostly just attempted to escape back out of the theatre at every available opportunity...We used the creche a couple of times during the day - all the staff have some form of childcare NVQ, stocked with lots of good toys and ball pool in baby/toddler room. Separate room for older kids which we did not see.

You can get as involved in the daytime entertainment as you wish - or avoid it completely. We did the daily poolside quiz a couple of times, my husband played football one evening, and I contemplated getting a massage done on site but never quite got round to it. Typical!

Finally, the First Choice reps were always present for a good few hours each day if you needed them. The transfer to/from airport is a very nice 30-40 mins and the hotel is first drop off. Flights were on time more or less (in flight meals were dire - veg curry at 10am on way home!?).

All in all, a great holiday, nice location near to good beaches, friendly staff, decent food, clean rooms. Just a shame that they do not think more carefully about allocating rooms for families with very young children and that the First Choice brochure is apparently not in accord with what actually happens in practice in terms of seaview allocations.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Loopyllama
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

Property: Alto da Colina Aparthotel
Address: Balaia - Apt 866 | 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:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Albufeira
#28 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
#38 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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