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“Bugs in the Bed - big ones, baby ones, dead ones! They couldn't care less.”

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Alto da Colina Aparthotel
Ranked #54 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 September 2010

The flights to and from Faro from Gatwick were very well organised and hassle free. Both flights were delayed slightly, but this was no problem. The cabin crew were all very pleasant.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the First Choice staff were very friendly and helpful, and we were offered drinks whilst checking in. We were quickly in our room and very happy.

The entertainment staff were incredible, along with the soccer school coaches. Our son (aged 10) was in heaven! The pools were amazing, the slides were supervised for safety reasons and the activities day and evening were excellent.

On waking the first morning, we found a couple of bites on our back, and assumed this was because we were in a hot country and insects are around, so put it down to experience, and went a bit heavier on the insect repellent.

On waking the second morning, more bites, this time on the backs of our legs too - "must be from under the trees by the pool - must use more repellent!"

The third day, a fresh bite was found on the back, but we had been in the town all day with T-shirts on! Very strange - how did that happen?

On the Thursday night, I found a bite on an area which is always definitely covered! (on a white bit!) OH NO! Yes there can be only one reason....we pulled back the sheets, peeped under them ... bugs in the bed - loads of them! Dead ones, live ones, big ones, baby ones - you name it!

They were everywhere, we pulled off the mattress and there were many more!

This was about 1.30am - we phoned reception - they sent a young man up with a can of spray! We told him that under no circumstances were we going to sleep on that bed.

He then came back with a duster to dust off the dead ones, fresh sheets and a mop to mop up the dead ones fron under the bed!

We again reiterated that we were not going to sleep on that bed! They told us they cannot move us to another room as they are full.

As a last resort, we phoned the First Choice 24 hour helpline, if anyone could help us they will - the staff here are amazing!

We spoke to a young man named Roland, who seemed to take pleasure in asking us many many questions, asking why we thought no-one else has reported the problem and asking why we didn't tell them about it sooner. He finalised the call by offering to text us a call reference number!! I asked him if texting us a reference was actually resolving anything - he finally agreed, after much pleazding, to try to find us another room.

We then received a call from reception saying we could be moved for the night (by now it was 4.30am) to a different hotel. They promised in the meantime to clean the room from top to bottom and get rid of the bugs! We moved to a different hotel, as soon as we entered the place the smell was indescribeable! The best I can say is think macerator/drains/sewers. It was heaving. OK, we thought, let's just get a couple of hours ( we did have 2 children wth us who didn't appreciate all this!) We therefore proceeded to check the beds, as you would after the other experience, they were heavily stained, heavily ripped and absolutely stunk!

We decided at this point to walk back to the previous hotel room. Didn't particularly enjoy this with 2 very tired children dragging up and down hills in the pitch black!

We were there, 4 of us on a sofabed, waiting for the cleaners who were going to do the room from top to bottom - you guessed it - they didn't show!

We went to see the First Choice staff first thing, but there was a notice sayng "Backat 9.45am" Went back at 9.45 and was told they would look into it! Still no action, juast waited and waited for phone to ring in the room. Went back mid-afternoon. Finally, someone did come up to see us, look at the beds, and put us in a room at the sister hotel later that day, so we could get some sleep on our last night.

We missed a whole nights sleep, a whole day's holiday and had 4 nights being eaten alive!

What an amazing place!

Unfortunately our memories of this holiday are horrific due to not only the bugs, but more so by they way the problem was handled.

We have sent this review to FIRST CHOICE giving them 7 days notice of our intention to post the review on this site, giving them the opportunity to add a comment or change anything they feel is not correct - they did not have the courtesy to respond!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank jacksmumndad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 September 2010

This was a first class holiday complex, they cleaned the hotel from top to bottom every day. The rooms were very big and spotless, ours had great views over the pool. There was always something for the kids to do (9 & 7) and they loved the slides which was where we spent most of our time. The kids club was open on average 3 times a day! We stayed just before the school holidays and while we were there they had new sunbeds and other equipment delivered ready for the busy period. You couldn't fault the food always something nice to eat and the kids were well catered for. Only a short taxi ride into Albufeira, Zoo Marine is also a must, kids thoroughly enjoyed it and the waterpark. All in all one of the best holidays we've had and certainly one of the best hotels, although we were in block 1 close to everything block 2 was down some steep steps and am glad I wasn't down there. I was keen on the beach either although Albufeira beach was ok and we spend most of the time around the pools anyway. We would definately return.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Katella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2010

Stayed in alto da colina aug 5th - 12th. Glad we only booked a week! Were horrified by the food initially but got used to it. Ate lots of fruit and drank lots of water. The staff were very unhelpful and badmannered particularlly in the shop. My kids loved the clubs and the reps were excellent. Location okay but not great. the GYM was awful - if you like to excercise as I do forget this place. The GYM had not cardio machines and was located so far away in such a small box like room with no windows that I would have been afraid to go there on my own.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank corey175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2010

Great kids clubs and plenty to keep them busy whilst you are there! Rooms are really spacious and of a good standard. Albuferia only a short taxi ride, 7 euros, but in a nice quiet location. Excellent value for money and 2 very happy kids!

  • Stayed: July 2010
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Thank Bshazzyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

We were a group of 9 family members ranging from 11 months to grandparents. The holiday was booked online using the First Choice website and we were booked all inclusive for a week. Unfortunately the First Choice systems somehow decided that as we were a group of 9 that we should have 3 rooms sleeping 3. The holiday was booked indeed with 3 rooms but they should have slept 2 adults; 1 adult & 2 kids; and our room was for 2 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. The room we were given in block 2 didn't have room to swing a cat. Somehow despite being told they were at full capacity we were given a 2nd room on the floor below meaning my husband and I were split from eachother for 4 nights along with the kids who we alternated sharing with. We did get the adjoining room for 2 nights but on the final night there were no spare rooms so 4 of us and 3 packed suitcases shared a room designed for little more than 2 adults.

The food was horrific. None of us are into Michelin star restaurants but the food was so stodgy you could have used the pizza bases to fill any cracks in the wall and the crepes to paper over. The snack bar provided very little choice during the day that we resorted to buying food in the supermarket. All of us including an 11 month old baby suffered from vomiting and/or dodgy tummies if you know what I mean. Kids may like the food but the chips were like cardboard, burgers were very processed, crepes like cardboard, pizza that had barely a topping (oh, one flavour only for AI otherwise you had to pay for something different). We ate in the restaurant twice out of 7 nights and ended up spending a not so small fortune eating out the other 5 nights. The Italian restaurant night was the worst for all concerned. Being pregnant and not being able to eat is hard enough without vomitting up what little you have managed to eat.

And heaven forbid you have young kids or worse still have a buggy with you, you'd better pay to upgrade to block 1 or you'll find yourself walking up an extremely steep hill from block 2 where at times we were practically horizontal trying to push the buggy up. Due to this we only went up for breakfast so thankfully didn't experience lunch.

All the activities are up at block 1 and to be fair there are a lot of them. Unfortunately the kids only got to experience one session of the kids club which they didn't enjoy but as the trek was so hard going in 40C+ heat they didn't get to the water park or playground.

If you can afford to upgrade and ensure block 1 and believe me we paid more than enough as it was then feel free to go here. From what I've read the hotel is changing to solely First Choice All Inclusive next year so personally I would save my money and go somewhere else. We paid over £7000 for 1 week (5 adults, 3 kids, 1 infant) booked a few months in advance and it was a waste of money. I've never had such a small 4* room, eaten such poor 4* star food nor had so little choice in a supposed all inclusive price plus our rooms overlooked a busy road so we had to rely on the pathetic air-con as the noise when opening the patio was too much. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this hotel even to my worst enemy.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank caz1979Belfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Just returned from 'The Holiday Village Algarve' and have got to say it was exactly what we were looking for!
Travelling with my wife and daughter of 8 years, this holiday was excellent for us. The room was immaculate and a very good size. The food was great, and no dicky tummies!!! The entertainment was brilliant, the young staff are really quite talented and made all the kids feel very special. My daughter did alsorts of stuff, archery, raft building,stage show to name but a few, and in the process made a load of friends which I hope she will keep in touch with. The splash pool and other pools all fanatastic!!
The place is fabulous for this kind of holiday and I would whole heartedly recommend it to families who want their kids to be entertained and therefore parents can enjoy aswell.
Just one thing, the hotel has a policy of not reserving sun loungers around the pool, which I agree with. Unfortunately some Brits did not, and put towels on loungers at ridiculous times and didn't return for hours!! It was like the Germans had landed!! I really wish the hotel management had carried out their threat of removing towels if this was done. This would have been highly amusing!! On the whole though, brill! They can't account for ignorant Brits abroard!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank jdhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2010

First the good stuff. The entertainment for our kids was very good and both daughter (4) and son (12) found plenty to occupy them and had a good time in the kids' clubs. The apartment itself in block 2 was clean, spacious and well appointed, and there was no noise from adjacent rooms.

However, the holiday was spoiled for us by the truly atrocious food. Having parted with 600+ pounds at the start of our week to upgrade to all inclusive, we were dismayed by the very poor quality on offer. From breakfast (no decent coffee, no fresh orange juice despite the site being surrounded by orange trees) to lunch and dinner (hideous, greasy vats of slop) there was nothing fresh or flavoursome to be found. Worse, our son spent one whole day of the holiday being violently sick which we trace back to a very dodgy burger he was served in the "snack bar". Our daughter, too, was sick on the final day, which also co-incided with an electricity failure in the canteen. (Didn't seem to stop many guests from shovelling down stone cold plates of rubbish.)

The location too was poor - the beach was totally inaccessible for us with a puchchair and indeed for anyone it would have involved a half hour trek. The staff glumly told us that taxis and hire cars were impossible to obtain in August, so I resorted to working the phones to find a hire car from a company not affiliated to First Choice just to get out of the place.

In sum, if you want to lie on a lounger and fry in the sun whilst your kids are tolerably entertained, this place could be for you. If you want more from your holiday, book a hire car in advance in the UK or, better still, avoid this place altogether.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank SteveP707
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 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: £26 - £156 (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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