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“OK but far from perfect”

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Avala Resort & Villas
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Budva
Santa Monica, California, United States
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“OK but far from perfect”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Hotel Avala in Budva, Montenegro was probably good concept but poorly executed. Set on rocky, steep hill above own beach this huge resort needs to do more to impress its guests. Villas, suites and rooms are scattered on this hill and if you are not in good physical conditions, if you can’t climb at least 50 steep steps, look for alternative accommodation. There are several escalators but at least one of them does not work. Besides, even using escalators cannot get you to every room or villa. You still need to negotiate several sets of stairs. Then there is this set of about 200 stone steps leading from the top of resort down to the main swimming pool. This would be a nice walk if the gate and access to the swimming pool is locked and it looks that it has been locked for quite some time. You have to climb back steep stone steps to get out. How un-thoughtful of management not to put a sign that these steps lead to nowhere - dead end. I might add that signage in this resort is also very poor. It took me about 15 minutes tumbling around before I found the swimming pool and then another 10 minutes to find the way to the beach.

Another bad taste in the mouth was left when we needed beach towels. No, they don’t have them at the pool where you would expect to have them. You have to go down 100 steps to the spa and claim your towels (one per person, period) and then another 100 steps up to the pool. Then you have to return them to the spa or you will be charged 30 Euros.

Interior of the hotel also missed its design target. I suppose the interior designer wanted to create zen-like atmosphere but something is missing and you have nothing but dark lobby, corridors and common areas giving depressing feeling. I feel when I am on vacation, I want cheerful environment, lots of light, sunshine, cheerful feeling.

Hotel rates include breakfast and a huge dining room looks more like students eatery than hotel restaurant. Obviously that hotel is targeting mass market and all services reflect that. There is no personal touch and small details are routinely overlooked but not corrected. To be fair to the hotel, there is a smaller restaurant and a nice, smaller pool half way up the hill which is much more pleasant, less crowded and more reflective of what developer had in mind constructing this massive resort.

SA
Santa Monica, California

Room Tip: Don't book rooms way up. The lower, the better.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

After a lot of searching (we had a lot of boxes to tick) we eventually narrowed down the choice to Hvar in Croatia and Budva in Montenegro. In the end we decided to go with Budva bcs it is cheaper than Hvar (so we could make the budget stretch) and is also easier to fly into from the UK (direct flight to Tivat and then a quick 25min)

Budva itself is awesome and Avala was perfectly located - right next to the old town and with its own private beach (only drawback is that if all ur guests are not staying in the resort they will have to pay to use the private beach), and also very close to the main club (Trocadero) and all the open bars. I had booked a family villa for 4 of us (with the rest of the boys staying in two other hotels) but when we arrived the very helpful reception staff told me they were upgrading me to their Grand Suite!!! (a 3000 euro a night penthouse with the biggest living room I have ever been in, a massive terrace overlooking the entire bay and a 12 person table - thanks Avala we were exactly 12 guys in total and the living room felt empty until we brought back more ppl with us !!)

Aside from the partying and the awesome suite, the hotel had everything you would expect from a high end resort, excellent breakfast, free wifi in the lobby, awesome pool and a casino!

All in all I would def recommend the resort - not even for a stag (we were the only large group of guys, the rest was couples) ... And I guess the fact that we were the only visible stag for the three days made it that little bit special

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
7 Thank PlaBal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AvalaResort, Front Office Manager at Avala Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Dear PlaBal,

Thank you very much for your nice comment!
We are trying our best to meet and, moreover, to overcome the expectations of our guests.
Your satisfaction is the best possible gratification for our effort.

We will be glad to host you on your next trip to Montenegro

With the best regards

Dusan Becir, fom
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

We booked this hotel hesitantly given the poor reviews below, but as we intended to stay only 3nights we decided it's location and pools would be worth it, unfortunately after 2nights we changed to the Astoria.

Arrival and checkin seemed efficient and a staff member on hand to carry our luggage to our Villa (thankfully as there were a few stairs to our villa).

Our villa (204) was two stories, the entry level had a toilet, living area and verandah with an amazing view over the old town. The lower level was the bedroom, bathroom and verandah (no view).

The resort interior is dark as others mention, but it is an intentional design. The resort is very spread out but great location with barely a 3min walk to the old town gate.

The wifi is only available in common areas, which is annoying but I have found the same in other hotels of the same standard.

The pools were great (all working perfectly for the 2nights we stayed).

Now for the negatives:
Villa - our Villa seemed fine on checkin and it really wasn't until late in the evening when we went to have a shower that we noticed the horrible mould in the shower, highlighting the lack of cleanliness and maintenance. Once we saw this the other faults became more pronounced, peeling paint, missing tiles, light bulbs needing replacement, stains on lounges etc.

Towel Cards: the hotel really needs to look into it's process regarding pool/beach towels. Cards need to be collected from reception and then exchanged for towels at the beach or pool... It would have been nice if this procedure was explained in advance rather than waiting for us to get to the beach then sending us back for the cards.

Service: Overall the service is really quite dull. Given the rating (and even more so given the price) we expected a lot more..

The hotel misses the mark on a few basic points:
- Charge for Cappuccino with breakfast
- Hotel policy of not bringing food and drinks on site: in theory I understand not bringing in food, but I was even told I could not take a bottle of water with me to sit at the pool!?!?

We also had a small issue at checkout whereby our Expedia reservation (which said taxes included) did not indeed include the taxes, after complaining they were removed (only 5Euros.. But really more the point).

Overall my opinion on this resort is that it is overpriced. I would have been happy with the hotel had I been paying a more reasonable rate to overlook the many faults/weaknesses.

That said, the pools were good the gym and breakfast were also quite good. So if you are prepared to overlook the faults, lower your expectations and be prepared for the price... You may just have a nice stay.


Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank AliSydney82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AvalaResort, Front Office Manager at Avala Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear AliSydney,

Thank you very much for your stay with us!

We appreciate very much your positive comments regarding our staff efficiency.
Although we are very sorry if there were anything that made your stay less pleasant, your critical objections regarding it will be very useful for us in planing the possible adjustments of some procedures with our guests needs and expectations.

Regarding your objection that " Expedia reservation (which said taxes included) did not indeed include the taxes" I have to remind you on the next clearly visible note on the Avala Resort & Villas Expedia reservation page :
"Fees:
Unless otherwise indicated, the charges below are not included in the overall room price. If not included in the overall room price, they will be charged by the property at check-in or check-out. Charges can vary, for example, based on length of stay or the room you book. This property told us they will charge you for the following:
A tax is imposed by the city: EUR 1.30 per person, per night for adults; EUR 0.5 per night for guests up to 12 years old. "

And the rest of your comment: " after complaining they were removed (only 5Euros.. But really more the point)." - As you can see, the point here is that we always respect the privilege, reserved for our guests, to be right even when they are not indeed.

No matter of these small misunderstandings we believe that you enjoyed with us and we truly hope to see you on your next trip.

With the best regards
Avala Resort & Villas team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Budva hotels

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

We had a spare 2 days between leaving bosnia and arriving in kotor so decided to go to budva for a couple of nights. We booked in at avala via bookings.com at the last minute and I'm glad we did. We loved or stay here. The staff was very friendly and helpful especially as we were traveling with a 6 month old baby. They accommodated our need for a cot and helped get the pram up and down stairs. The pool looked great but the weather stopped us from using it. Great location. You step out the doors and the old town is right there so are a number of restaurants. Breakfast was more than adequate compared to what we have recieved in other restaurants in this area, it includes your standard hot English/American breakfast supplies a medaterranian breakfast bar of meats cheese olives etc a juice station and a healty section with fruits and nuts porridge etc plus tea and coffee. The only thing to improve it maybe would be an omelette station but that's just my preference for breakfast. The room was large. We had a sitting room/lounge room a huge en suite with bathtub and our queen bed. We were wowed by the rotating tv/mirror so we could watch satellite tv either in the lounge or in bed. We don't stay in 4 star hotels very often so it was nice to have a very pleasant stay here.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Stewas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pune, India
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

For the price of 210 Euros a room, the level of comfort and service is not worth the amount. When you pay that much at a supposedly 4 star hotel you expect much more.

The rooms were nice, with a good view but apart from that there were many things we were unsatisfied with.

1) The steam room opens from only 4-8 in the evening
2) You get one towel per guest at a cost of 30 Euros for lost towels -- we were always stressed about losing our towel cards.
3) The wifi is free only in the lobby and extremely slow when you pay to use it in the rooms.
4) The hot tub is cold, and the rude staff makes many excuses as to why the temperature cannot be raised, even though the temp is well under the limit proposed by the hotel.
5) The beach advertised is also not free for guests (which is what I thought is ridiculous). You must buy a chair for 25 Euros to use the hotel's "private" beach.
6) Overall poor design of hotel with dark hallways, and towel desk only at inside pool, one way escalators and non-optimized elevator.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank realfoodindia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AvalaResort, Front Office Manager at Avala Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Dear Pune,
Thank you very much for staying with us.
I read carefully all your objections.
One of them surprised me- You, as a hotel's guest, were charged at the hotel's beach for the price of sunbeds and umbrella that is announced and applicable for non-hotel's guests only?!
If something like that happened you should immediately contact the reception.
Free usage of hotel's beach ( with chairs and umbrellas included ) is service guaranteed to all hotel's guests. We never had the accident like that, so, if you still have the invoice issued for this "trade" or if, at least, you can remember when exactly it happened I would highly appreciate forwarding that information from your side on my e-mail (fom@avalaresort.com).
Thank you for all other objections that will be very useful for us in planing of our future activities and making decisions for possible procedure changes
We truly hope that, except of these few objections, your impression of staying with us remains pleasant and we hope to host you again.
With the best regards
Dusan Becir, fom Avala Resort&Villas
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Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We returned home from Budva on Sunday after a lovely half term week away (last week in May). It was our first time away with our 6 month old son, and we took along the 3 grandparents for back up. Consequently we were a group age ranging from 6 months to 66 years old.

LOCATION: On the whole, we loved both Budva and this hotel. As other guests have mentioned, the location and views cannot be beaten. On seeing the location of a couple of other hotels we were considering (in Becici) I am confident we made the right decision. Overlooks the old town and the sea. Beautiful.

BEACH, POOLS, SPA: Though the beach was closed on arrival, it could still be used (closed just meant the bar was shut and there was still a bit of sorting out left to do) and it opened within a couple of days of our stay. Whilst shut, we brought our own food and drink and the staff were fine about this as they were unable to offer anything else. Beds and brollies are free for guests and towels can be got from the beach (when 'open') or the spa. You need towel cards - and don't lose them! The outdoor pools were also closed on our first day, but opened on the second; the infinity pool is amazing. It lost the sun earlier than the beach but therefore would be a perfect place in the height of Summer. Though there is limited seating and therefore this might be a problem in busier periods.The indoor pool was open throughout our stay. We spent ample time at all three and enjoyed it very much. We also used the beach around the corner (walk right as facing the sea). It was a better beach. Here it cost 15 euros for 2 beds and a sun umbrella, which is expensive but to be honest cheaper than I've paid in Cyprus and other places. The beer was better too. :)
We didn't use the spa, the treatments are expensive, but you had to go through it to get to the outdoor pool.

FOOD/DRINK: We stayed half board and found breakfast in Bruno's to be fine (plenty of fruit, cereal and yoghurt, bread, cheese and cold meats; hot food was fine though some unusual items at times); we found the evening meal in the restaurant at the top also to be fine. There was a huge selection of salads, cheeses, cold meats and breads; always a soup of the day; a number of main meals options including a pasta, white meat, red meat and a fish dish. The view from up here is lovely. Drinks are quite expensive, as they are in most hotels. We ate out a couple of times (just for a change of scenery), we especially enjoyed Jadran National Restaurant on the marina; staff are dressed as saliors and they have a three person band singing traditional music - they have a great choice of seafood as well as chicken and meat dishes and they are very reasonably priced (VERY large dish of mussels 10 euros and large domestic house red 2 euros). The beach restaurant next to the hotel beach also makes a nice Montenegro sandwich (about 5 euros). The bar next to the clock tower, in front of the citadel, is a lovely, quiet place to pass the time (large wine about 4 euros) and the draft beer is also good. The bars directly opposite and backing onto the wall are more pricey for wine; beer is okay... they are the place to be seen. We had many a giggle at people discreetly taking individual pouting selfies whilst they thought no-one was looking. There's no shortage of places to drink and eat though, all serving food until late.

STAFF: I am shocked at the number of reviews on here referring to impolite staff. We found everyone at the hotel to be polite, friendly and welcoming around the beach and pools, restaurants and reception. Everyone smiled back and made conversation when we did and everyone had a smile and a wave for our little boy, the waitresses in a morning often took one of our baby spoons or a pot to wash before we left, they often gave us a lift with the pram if they were passing, and once they got to know us were ready and on hand with a high chair as soon as we sat down.

ROOMS: I think we had a superior room to accommodate the cot; parents had a 2 bedroom superior room (upgraded due to a delay when checking in). The rooms were... roomy, very spacious, nicely and tastefully decorated. Clean! Nice balcony overlooking the front. The bath was like a swimming pool for our little one! The cot provided was a proper (metal) cot, not a travel cot, well padded out and comfortable.

WEATHER: Not that the hotel can control this but thought I'd mention it for other 'shall we go in May?' travellers. Mixed; a day or two cloudy (but warm and enough UV to burn); one day rain (we took the bus to Koto); the rest sunny and pleasant. We all got a decent tan.

TRIPS AND VISITS: We did the 'Montenegro Tour' taking in Koto, the Serpentine Road (UNBELIEVABLE VIEWS), a village and a town which once served as the capital. A good and enjoyable day out. We used our tour operator (Jet2) for ease; there are plenty of operators outside of the hotel, however just check the commentary you receive will be in English as many cater for Russian travellers. Everyone is running the same trips and those on the streets are 5-10 euros cheaper than the holiday companies. On our rainy day, we also took the bus back to Koto, as it was a pretty place to visit with a lot of history. We didn't climb the steps due to having a baby in a buggy and the fact it was wet made the steps extremely slippy but by all accounts it's worth the climb. To get there is costs 1.50 euros from the main bus station. The station is a 15-20 minute easy walk and easy to negotiate once inside the station, with regards to buying tickets and getting on the right bus. It's a nice walk around the marina and it's worth the 2.50 euros to go into the citadel for the view from the wall. The lovely little church in front in amazing inside, you can't take photos but more than worth popping your head in for a look.

THE NEGATIVES: We very much enjoyed our week, however there are always niggles, some of which are down to the hotel and some of which Jet2/the resort. We had 5 pairs of hands to negotiate our baby/buggy, which is good as there are a lot of steps in and around the hotel. There is a lift that takes you down near to the beach but this wasn't open until the beach officially opened and it stopped operation at 20:00. There is also one down to the casino (from where you can access the street) but again there's a step or two once down. There's also a step at the main entrance (where the coaches drop off). The restaurant where the half board evening meal is served, is on the equivalent of floor 6. To reach it you must start on floor 0 and take steps and 2 large escalators. One evening the baby had already fallen asleep in the buggy therefore the guy on reception suggested we take the escalator to floor 6 and then use the fire exit onto a roof space/air-conditioning unit space to access it, with the baby still in the buggy (not possible using the conventional way). This was much easier but you still had a couple of steps to get up to the fire exit and back down again and a number of further steps to get up to the restaurant. We managed fine (we have a small baby lol) but if you have MOBILITY ISSUES this is not the hotel for you.

We had issues checking in, along with a couple arriving also with Jet2. They had rooms, my parents and mother-in-law were provided with an upgrade (2 bed superior room I think), and it was resolved within an hour however we'd been waiting on the bus at the airport (Dubrovnik) for an hour and 15 mins for other flights to come in, plus flight, plus transfer, plus early start so we really could have done without it. The transfer from Dubrovnik took about 2 hours but it's a nice drive and soon passes; nice views, plus ten-fifteen mins on the car ferry where you can get off soak up some sun and get some fresh air.

We also had to call down more than once for a cot and my parents room wasn't serviced one day and again they called twice to remind them and in the end they just left it.

Free WIFI is only in a section of the lobby, not a problem for us as though we like our social networking and keeping up with the news it's actually relaxing and nice to have limited access and have a break from it all.

The rooms at the front, facing the wall, where we were, had some street noise; not a problem for us but in high season will probably be louder so if you're a light sleeper you may want to bear it in mind.

OVERALL - LOVE BUDVA, LOVE AVALA AND LOVED WHAT WE SAW OF MONTENEGRO! :) Don't listen to the haters, go and see for yourselves xxx

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Tigeralfiewoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AvalaResort, Public Relations Manager at Avala Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Dear Tigeralfiewoo,
We are so glad that you enjoyed your holiday with us. Your comments are the best possible prize for all our efforts.
Hoping to see you again next year, we would like to express the gratitude to you on behalf of all our team
With the best regards
Avala Resort & Villas management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carron, Fakirk United Kingdom
Level Contributor
130 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

This is great hotel the location on the beach next to Budva old town you can't ask for a better location. The hotel staff are very good the reception staff all speak very good English, the pool and facility's are superb but just book for B&B as the evening meal is not in the main resturant bit in a all inclusive resturant on top of the hotel. There is enough places to eat in Budva that are very good. Cannot fault this hotel on much at all enjoy your stay,

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Gordon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Avala Resort & Villas

Property: Avala Resort & Villas
Address: Mediteranska 2, Budva, Budva Municipality 85310, Montenegro
Region: Montenegro > Budva Municipality > Budva
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Budva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Avala Resort & Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 274
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Avala Resort & Villas Hotel Budva
Avala Resort And Villas
Avala Resort Budva

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