We, as a family of four stayed at the Ponta Grande Resort at the end of October and the place was practically deserted. Of the 60 townhouses on the complex, there couldn't have been more than 10 or so occupied, from what I could see, which meant that most of the time, the large pool was empty. We had a villa with a pool view, and the most people I saw in it at any one time was 3. While we were there, it seemed the number of people on-site trying to sell apartments on the complex outnumbered the holidaymakers. There always seemed to be 6-8 "estate agents/timeshare" people sitting around the outside bar area, and showing people around one of the townhouses that was obviously set up to show.
The reception area is clean and bright, and the reception staff are extremely helpful and friendly, and are actually the best feature of this place. However, despite the tennis court being totally unused for the week that we were there, they would not let my young sons play for less than 15 euros an hour... my sons offered 10 euros of their pocket money, but it was refused... preferring to see the court unused than to accept a fair offer from a couple of kids, out of season!
The townhouse itself was a disappointment, if I am to be truthful. Advertised as a 4 star property, I was expecting more, but it was very basic and I would just about give it a 3 star rating. Everything that you need is there, but it was just a bit run-down. You have to leave a 60 euro returnable deposit at reception at the start of your stay, for the tv and aircon remotes and to cover any breakages. There is apparently free wifi access in the reception lobby, but I didn't know about this, otherwise I would have taken my netbook, rather than having to rely on using the one computer by the bar area. There is also a games room downstairs with a couple of pool tables, air hockey, a couple of driving simulators and pinball machines.
The resort is a couple of miles out of Albufeira old town, (which suited us) and I would recommend hiring a car to get about. The lovely Sao Rafael beach however, is a gentle 7 or 8 minute stroll and, whilst I can see it getting packed in the high season, was very low key at the end of October, despite us being blessed with wonderful weather in the mid to high 20's everyday!
There are a few restaurants closeby, within a few minutes walking distance, but a we never used them, as a glance of their menus showed them to be quite expensive. Far better value for money is offered in the plethora of restaurants in the Old Town, and my personal favourite was O Tunel, on the steps of the tunnel by the Beach. However, a real gem is Ze do Peixe Assado, on the other side of the "Strip", which is well documented on this site.
All in all, we had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday, but it was the freedom of the hire car that made it so. I would stay at Ponta Grande again, but I know what to expect.... not 4 star, but 3.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Within walking distance of Albufeira's marina, this 4-star resort offers luxury rooms and villas in a garden setting. It features an outdoor pool, tennis court and Albufeira views. Guests of the Ponta Grande Resort can soak up the sun on the terrace as they watch their children in the playground. The Ponta offers bright and air-conditioned accommodation. There are also self-catering villas that come with a fully equipped kitchen and a balcony with panoramic views. A grocery store is available inside the resort. If guests prefer, they can also visit the restaurant, which serves á la carte international cuisine. The Grande Resort is less than 1 km from the Atlantic Ocean. Guests arriving by car have free private on-site parking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ponta Grande Hotel Albufeira
- Ponta Grande Resort Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal