We stayed here for a week on half board. When we arrived the heavens opened but a member of staff huddled us under a huge brolly for the short walk to the minibus, then drove us right up to apartment 360 which was on the first floor, lugged our cases up the stairs and showed us around the apartment and explained where everything was.
The apartment was quite a decent size with a separate kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and lounge/diner. We had 3 patio areas, one at the front, two at the back and there were sun loungers, table and chairs and parasols. There was plenty of seating area in the lounge, a TV in the lounge and bedroom. The kitchen, although a bit dated, had everything you would need if you were self catering. All the appliances etc. were spotlessly clean and there were plenty of dishes, cups, pans etc. We bought mugs to drink out of as the cups were small and delicate and we were terrified of breaking them (and losing our 50 Euro deposit)
The bathroom was the one room that needed bombing and refurbishing. I've not seen tiles like that since the 70's ! Joking aside, the tiles were cracked, the bath was disgusting, the drains ponged and there were ants all over the place. We had no air conditioning so had to close the outside shutters and leave the patio door open at night or we would have cooked.
The pillows on the bed were cushion sized and a bit smelly but there were enough cushions throughout the apartment to swap and change. The safe cost 11 Euros for the week but is bolted to the floor of the wardrobe in an awkward to reach place. We had to get down on our hand and knees to open it every time which wasn't ideal.
The whitewashed accommodation is set among delightful, well maintained gardens and lots of tall trees. There are 5 or 6 pools dotted around (we only found 4) and in the middle of the complex is a 9 hole golf course. Little paths lead off the main roads to the various apartments, it's like a labyrinth. I don't think we got all the way around the complex but it was nice to walk around at night and look at the flowers etc.
There was plenty of gardening staff working daily keeping the grounds looking good.
Breakfast was taken in the Clubhouse and like other reviewers, it was quite a trek (uphill in parts) to get there. At least we worked up an appetite getting there and walked the food off afterwards !. The choice of food wasn't huge but you wouldn't starve. It would have been nice, however, to have croissants and yoghurt.
Our evening meal was in the other restaurant near reception and again not a huge choice but enough. The desserts were to die for - I could never decide so ended up with 2 or 3 !. The service in the restaurant was a bit slow at times and we had quite a wait for our drinks bill each night.
Some of these apartments are privately owned (as was the one next door to us) and have been modernised and refurbished. There is a website where the owners rent them out and the prices are very reasonable.
There is a daily courtesy bus into Albufeira but it only runs at 10 am and picks up from Albufeira at 6 pm. It doesn't operate at the weekend.
There is a mini market on the complex but their prices are dearer than if you go into the big supermarket in Albufeira.
We came here for a peaceful, relaxing week which is exactly what we got but there is absolutely nothing to do at night. The Clubhouse closes at 7pm and the bar in the other restaurant doesn't look very inviting. If you wanted to go out for a meal or drink at night, you would have to go to Santa Eulalia approx. 20 minutes walk away. There is a new hotel/apartment block going up across the road so hopefully there will be somewhere to eat and drink.
We would definitely come back again but would book through the owners club to get the better accommodation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautifully landscaped gardens with pine, cork and almond trees are the prefect backdrop for your home in the sun, only 500 meters from the beach. Around the grounds you can enjoy 6 swimming pools, a health club with indoor pool, 4 tennis courts, restaurants and snack bars. A 9 hole executive golf course, golf academy (with resident pro), driving range with putting greens, practice bunkers and chipping areas complete the leisure facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balaia Golf Village Hotel Albufeira
- Balaia Hotel Village
- Balaia Hotel Albufeira
- Balaia Golf Village Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal