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“Disappointing :(”

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Alvor Baia Resort Hotel
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

We have just got back yesterday after spending a week there(myself,partner and 21 month old) and to be honest we won't be back. We booked this in feb and after reading the reviews on this we requested a pool view as with a baby knew we would spend a lot more time in the room then normal (naps and hot times of the day) with a baby and wanted to get the sun and phoned to make sure, was told no problem. When we got there, we were put in nearly the furthest away and facing a building site and hospital and in the shade all day long bar an hour around 6 or 7. The worst part was feeling like 2nd class as most of the people are all inclusive and we were B&B and we encountered a lot of problems like, pool bar we couldn't use as they don't deal with cash, no knifes and forks (to have lunch) in the room and if you went and got them the cleaners would take them the next day. No kettle, instead you get a pot and lid with holes in. 4 cups and 4 glasses and that's it. No plates, no even tea towel or dish cloth to wash or dry the cups. If you are staying here, don't take your eyes off your food or drink because unless you have it up to your mouth it's gone. I could really write an essay about it but you get the story. Really don't know how it's a 4* apart from its looks.

Stayed: June 2014
5  Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2014

Thomson should be ashamed for describing this as a 4 star platinum I have been in better 3 stars. Hotel looks good, rooms are great, staff are good, pool very good, food basic and not very hot, deserts mainly cakes. Both restaurants are more li work canteens, plastic looking furniture, no table cloths, very noisy, no evening dress code, people wandering in, in there swimwear. Drinks in the bars are served in plastic beakers, this is ok by the pool but did not expect it in the lounge bar, even the tea and coffee were served in polystyrene cups. Would I return "not if they paid me"

Room Tip: try a different hotel
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tony H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014 via mobile

I was really looking forward to this holiday. It's our first holiday overseas with our 1 and three year old. We booked with first choice and unfortunately it'll be the first and last time I book with them. If it wasn't because we got such a great deal, less than £1500 for all inclusive hotel, flights, transfers for 10 nights and car hire for 7 days I'd be seriously annoyed. We stayed between the 15th and 25th May.

Can I start by saying the hotel room was good. Clean and large with a telly in each room. The beds were really comfortable too.

But this is where it ends. There were the following problems:
1) the food, that is supposed to be hot, is always luke warm or cold. In fact after the second day, we only ate breakfast there, it was so bad. It's also very very monotonous.
2) I agree with the comments about the staff from prior reviews, they are not the best or the most friendliest.
3) the pool was freezing cold, neither of the kids would go in it. And if you want to use the indoor pool with kids, you can only use it between 1pm and 2pm and 6pm and 7pm. You also have to pay €5 per adult and €2 per child. You also have to wear a swimming cap which they charge €3 each for, so maybe bring your own.
4) I complained to the first choice reps regarding the lack of towels. You have to pay a €20 per towel refundable deposit at reception and you can then go down to the basement to collect a towel each day, not easy with two toddlers. We ended up buying some cheap ones in alvor. The first choice reps were not particularly helpful. Apparently they raised a complaint with ABTA, as we weren't told about this when booking with first choice, but I never heard anything. In fact they cheekily came into our room, even though I had the do not disturb sign on the door, leaving a bottle of undrinkable sparkling wine, saying they were glad they had resolved our complaint!
5) As I've said we were with two children. I'd say it took us 20-25 minutes to walk to the main strip in alvor. On the way back it's all up hill I'd say its too difficult to walk to the beach, not to mention the distance but the fact there are no pavements! The hotel have a shuttle bus to the beach which operates between 9 and 6 and goes hourly with a two hour break at lunchtime. Not nearly frequently enough. We only took it once, as we had a car most of the time, and it was jam packed.
6) I agree with the other reviews about the entertainment, pretty bad. But I do have to say, my three year old loved it!
7) There was a fire when we were there. They did not evacuate the hotel. The dining room was filled with smoke. It was really dangerous. I even heard the first choice rep saying how dangerous it was and that the hotel should be evacuated.
8) During our stay, they closed one of the two restaurants for the day for a private function. The hotel was packed with these other guests and there were massive queues at breakfast. It was ridiculous. I complained to the manager and he said i had a right to complain but said there was nothing he could do.
9) the queues to get a drink at any time of the day are ridiculous. Once v queued for 20 minutes for a drink. I won't explain the layout as previous reviews have adequately described it.

Anyway I think you will get the gist of this hotel from this review and the others posted. It is definitely not a four star hotel.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
5  Thank Melanie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Hotel on arrival looks great and interior decor great but lacking in so many ways to making for an amazing holiday.
Entertainment...repetitive ,animation team just liked to look good needs a Thompson team in there.
Food..plenty of it but again that was repetitive and mostly cold..warning don't take your eye's off your meal because staff are to quick to whip it away and you haven't finished..wish the bar staff had been that quick with your drinks always a long queue.
Thompson need to rethink on this one....has great potential...we made the most of it and had a nice family break

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank ann_bones142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

stayed here for two weeks and while the hotel is lovely it just wasn't for me too many children and buggies I prefer my hotel a little quieter great for families with young children and plenty to entertain

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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Thank skanker7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

My Wife and I have just returned from 2 weeks at the Alvor Baia. 1st impressions as you arrive for check-in lead you to believe you're in for a fantastic holiday at 1 of Thomson/First Choices Platinum Hotels. The Lobby is enormous, check-in was swift and efficient. No All Inclusive wristbands which makes a change, you use your door keys for meals&drinks. The Hotel has 7 floors with 4 lifts. On floor 0 is Reception,The Grand Cafe that has a bar that is not for All Inclusive and a small shop.Rooms are on floors 0-4, Theirs 2 restaurants on floor -1 along with the Grand Bar 'entertainment' room(I use that word loosely) which has an All Inclusive bar and is where the late breakfast and afternoon snacks are served theirs a games room and Spa on floor -2.
We took our suitcases up to our room.They have a bell boy service who will bring your luggage up for you if you want it. We were in room 345 which is a pool view upgrade, worth the extra £2 per night.Rooms are exactly as shown in the brochure with living area, kitchenette and separate bedroom. Their are 2 flat screen TVs,1 in each room but only 1 remote. Balcony is very big and pool side are great for morning/afternoon sun depending which part of the hotel you're in.
Once settled we took a stroll around the hotel & grounds to get acclimatized, On floor 0 theirs plenty of seating and free WiFi which is available in the lobby, the outside bar/terrace and in the Grand Bar on floor -1. Ideally as a Platinum Hotel it should be available throughout the whole hotel and rooms.
Theres a large pool side terrace with lots of seating and the Pool Bar for All Inclusive guests. Both All Inclusive bars are open from 10am until 11pm. The pool is enormous, we didn't use it ourselves but i'm lead to believe its very chilly. Its only 1.40 metres at its deepest. The grounds are huge and the garden areas and trees are far from established with the hotel only being 4yrs old. This does mean that you won't see many mosquitoes. We saw 1 in the whole 2 weeks. If you have young children there is a large playground and next to it is a mini club building which is staffed every day.
As it was a Sunday when we arrived there was none of the Animation team working, turns out they may as well not have bothered turning up Monday to Saturday either. So lets get into the 1 subject that was the biggest let down of our holiday.....The Entertainment or lack of it!!
In the Grand Cafe each evening there's a singer, he turns up every night and isn't half bad, unfortunately he only has around 30 songs in his set so you do hear the same songs every night which gets a bit boring after a few days. However this is better than the entertainment laid on downstairs in the Grand Bar, for starters its the same entertainment each week, with 1 show performed by the unanimated animation team, that alternates from Miss Alvor to Perfect Couple to Mr Alvor. This is fronted by 1 of the team. the other 2 just want to press play on a sound deck at night. You have an outside group come into to do a 'Best of Dance' night, but its the same both weeks. The mandatory Parrot Show which is reserved for mini club at most 3* All Inclusives we've been too, this was the main entertainment 1 night per week, other nights it's just random out of date music played too loud on a sound system. The bar is also at an angle so you can't even see the makeshift stage if you're sat at the back of the bar.
This pattern of the lack of entertainment is even more striking during the day. Theres NOTHING in the way of an Animation program for the Adults or Children(Unless the kids are at the mini club). There are 2 main culprits, 1 female, 1 male, you can't miss them, hair in a bun/bunch walking around doing nothing all day. This did change slightly in the last 2 days of our holiday, where we saw 1 aerobics session on the grass, a game of darts for kids but the board was too high so they had to stand on a chair, not safe at all. And get this a game of musical chairs!! They need sacking and a real animation team brought in with Archery,Rifle Shooting, Pool etc, its not like their isn't the space, the grounds are vast. And a kids mini disco prior to some real entertainment at night. This is a 'Platinum' Hotel after all! OK thats me off my soap box about the entertainment i'm sure you have the picture by now?
Meal times come with the choice of 2 restaurants. Green and Blue. If you have young children that require a high chair, or require a kids food section then you need the Green restaurant, we ate most of the time in the Blue restaurant. There is a huge selection for breakfast from fruit and yogurts, cereals, croissants to a full English fry up including black pudding and hash browns on some days. Lunch and Evening meals come with soup, a wide selection of salads and dressings, a vegetarian option, several meat options and fish options each meal with spaghetti bolognese if you really can't find anything to eat. The food Isn't at its hottest but its not cold either. Theirs fresh meat/fish fried while you wait each meal but if you want it well done then ask otherwise it comes medium rare! For dessert you always have plenty of options from fruit, pots of ice cream to several types of cakes/gateaux etc.
The hotel is spotless, maids on the go all day in every area of the hotel. Rooms are cleaned daily, towels changed daily and bedding at least 5 times during our 2 week stay, Rooms come with a safety deposit box which comes has a €1.50 charge per day. The bathroom is a fair size with a bath or power shower. Tip for you, even if your eating late have a shower before 8pm or you will find the water goes lukewarm for a couple of hours.
This year is the first time I've taken my mobile on holiday with me, specifically because of the free WiFi, thank goodness I did otherwise with the lack of things to do during the day or to entertain us at night we would have been bored senseless some days.
Please be patient when waiting for a drink, the queues can build up and the bar staff do go as quickly as possible, and watch out for some of the French(not all of them) I don't think the words 'queue' or 'patience' have a French translation and they will try to push in.
If you don't want to sit around the pool all day the town of Alvor is a 10-15min stroll away and the hotel runs a complimentary bus to and from the beach every day up to 6pm.
Nikki&Katie are the Hotels Thomson/First Choice holiday advisers, they spend several hours every day at the hotel, always have a smile and are extremely helpful.

In summary the Hotel is fantastic, the food is good and the rooms are great, but until the entertainment issue is resolved this is a 4* Hotel with 2* Entertainment and shouldn't be a Platinum range holiday. If they do alter the entertainment it has the potential to be a fantastic 4* Holiday for Couples and Families.

As I say in all my reviews this is just my opinion, I understand that everyone has their own requirements, needs and expectations from their holiday. If you have any questions whatsoever please send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Room Tip: The Pool View upgrade is well worth it, we had Room 345 which has a huge balcony with a view of half...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank Big_ChrisB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

The hotel looks amazing, love the design of the building and the interior decoration BUT that's about it!!
On arrival we found our room dirty!! The floor wasn't hoovered, beds were a mess, towels were dirty and more impotently the was a pee mark on the toilet seat !!!
Have ask for my room to be clean up came back after 4 hours and the room was still dirty !! We have traveled 2 days to get to Portugal as we live in Highlands and traveling with a 3 year old had to leave a day before to get to Glasgow and stay over night to catch plane early at the morning AT THAT POINT WE WERE VERY VERY TIRED AND HUNGRY!! I complaint at the reception (again) and been forced to change my room - nobody apologise, nobody helped us move our bags instead I received poor service and felt like I'm bordering them.
We felt very unwelcome plus we soon found out that most of the staff are rude and arrogant, honestly there is only 2 or 3 people we found nice and helpful.
We found our self spending most of the time out of the hotel...
There is not many drink options in the all inclusive bars, there were always queue and the bar staff were very slow or chatting with other member. When booking holiday with Thomson I have been told that they have daily cocktail ,soon found out that it's just vodka with fruit jus!! There is a bar available on the ground floor which was serving real cocktails but there prices were absolutely ridicules.
The entertainment was shocking !!! We were there for 14 night and were tired of it after couple of days. The kids disco started very late and every day was exactly THE SAME same song same dance move same people bla bla bla... There was normally other show starting after the disco which was going for ever!! Once we wanted to see the Parrot Show so had to keep my son awake till 11 pm!! I'm not gonna mention the entertainment on the ground floor... All I can say is that there was the same guy singing the same some every night !!
Food was very average and most of the time cold! I felt eating the same thing over and over again and for some point had to got to town to get MacDonald!! Once while having our breakfast the fire alarm went on and lots of smoke started to coming out of the kitchen. We have been told nothing and had to leave the room as couldn't breath in the smoke. We found that all fire alarms were on ,the lifts stopped and you could smell the burn even on the 3rd floor - felt very unsecured... Again we have left the hotel for a day.
The Thomson's rep were absolutely useless, untrained and unprofessional. After complaining about the dirty room we have been totally ignored for the rest of the time and even when passing by she just tired her head in a different direction and didn't say hi.
A could go on and on about what was wrong with this hotel... All I can say now it that I am very disappointed and feel that I have been ripped off by Thomson Holiday!!

TOTAL RIP OFF

Stayed: May 2014
1  Thank iMA8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alvor Baia Resort Hotel

Address: Estrada do Alvor, Galo Loiro, Alvor, Portimao 8500-322, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Alvor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Price Range: £95 - £282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Alvor Baia Resort Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 402
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