Reviews summary

( 700 reviews)
  • 2 room
  • 3 pool
  • 5 beach
  • 4 service
  • 3 amenities

19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Do not come here

Reviewed Mon 20th of August 2012

"Iv visited many many countries and stayed in many different hotels & apartments from 2* to 5* this review is not an exaggeration it's the truth ! It is impossible to say everything in this one review of my experience of this hotel. For starters I knew I was staying in the studio apartments not the hotel itself as I booked this and I expected it to be less quality than the hotel as hotel is 4* and studios are 3* I was not expecting a 5 star resort. But what me and my boyfriend experiencd here there are no words to describe the treatment we received from the rude staff at the hotel & The most disgusting room I have ever seen it was no more than a 1*.
Rooms are suppose to be cleaned 6 days a week but in reality the beds where hardly ever changed as I noticed the same stain on the bed sheets for a long time ! Maids do half a job by making the beds to make it look like its changed , bins not changed often, clean towels/ toilet roll sometimes not left , rooms themselves have no air con , no kettle , fridge was broken as it had this terrible loud noise coming from it & covered in rust with the most disgusting smell of rotten fish when was opened . No sun came near balcony so very hard to dry clothes , nowhere to hang clothes as there was bird droppings all over balcony. Rooms basically have never seen an upgrade in the 35 years they are there. The place needs demolished. Paint flaking everywhere, rust on everything.
The staff are rude, unhelpful and unprofessional, especially the 3 women we had experience with. We arrived at hotel at around 11am we were checked in abruptly, staff did not greet us or wish us a good Time or anything and just handed us the most confusing map to find our own way to the room ourselves as the studios are in blocks away from the hotel the complex is massive consisting of the hotel itself, ALOT of villas and 2 blocks of apartments. somebody could have helped us to our room as they where all sitting about chatting but didn't bother helping and left us to find it ourselves it took us a long time to find the apartments dragging suitcases in the severe heat at one stage finding ourselves unknowingly walking to the beach ! When we eventualy found it we had to lift our suitcases up 4 flights of stairs as no lift ! The staff where so unhelpful through our whole holiday they made us feel like an inconvenience we came across no other guests that spoke English as there first language nobody from uk or Ireland unless they ran away from hotel at every opportunity like us !! It was all Portuguese people which was one of the reasons we feel like they didn't want us there . We witnessed the female staff on reception desk laughing and joking about guests as they walked past laughing about how fat a man was and about "Dutch" people and many other unprofessional things like them leaving the phone off the hook ( thinking to myself that was dangerous because what if I needed to contact the reception if something happened to me or my boyfriend as we where away from hotel in studios) they just left the phone off hook to continue laughing and making fun of how guests look as they walk past. We witnessed this while waiting for a taxi which always took them ages to ring for us one night them telling us to wait outside and I asked how long would it be and to her reply she said "I don't know wait outside all night I don't know" the cheek we received was unbelievable and they very clearly talked about us when we walked away looking over discussing and laughing in a different language that they knew we did not speak as we spoke English. Taxis to Albefueira are 18€ each way we had to pay this every night as no places to eat round hotel ! There is nothing around hotel to do me and my boyfriend where lucky to have enough money to be able to go in and out of Albefueira and enjoy ourselves but this might not be possible for families. We chose not to eat in hotel as staff where so rude and don't cater for the Irish or English only Portuguese and German, we spent a lot of money it was a very expensive holiday because of the money we had to pay gettin to places. There was one nice cafe we ate in for breakfast that was very cheap just outside the complex . 
You are very brave if you are coming here Thomas cook booked us here they said they have sent loads of people to the studios but they need to stop in my opinion English / Scottish / welsh & Irish are not welcome they make that very clear by the way they treat u . 
Hotel is right on the beach it is beautiful but is very crowded with locals who drive and use hotel parking for the beach ( they aren't suppose to but nobody stops them) there is cars parked everywhere on every bit of path available so u dodge ur way through them to get to it. 
Do not come to this hotel or stay in the studios or villas unless u want to be treated terrible live in a dirty prison cell . It would be hell for an english speaking family. very disappointed as this  was my first time in portugal and very much enjoyed my holiday when I was away from complex the staff gave a very bad reflection on portugeise people and their country shame on them no idea how they can get away with treating guests like that . The worst women on reception was slim, brown hair,with red glasses look out for her in my opinion she should be sacked ! No manager in the world should have unprofessional staff working for them. If u are already booked change hotel ! 
Sorry for very long review it still hasnt even got half of what we experienced in it goodluck to future guests we have never experienced a room / staff that where this terrible."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 18th of August 2012

You get what you pay for

Reviewed Tue 4th of October 2011

"Just returned from two weeks stayed in the apartments section, and yes it was very basic, but generally clean, but to be honest you get what you pay for. If you want to go somewhere away from the usual "Brits Abroad " then this is great, The beach was lovely, completely un-crowded and clean. You could walk 35 mins up the beach to Valamoura , it's got nice places to eat , just a shame about the people on holiday there. If you want to eat nearer to the hotel, there's another area with bars etc only 10 mins walk or a nice little pizza place, sorry but no MacDonalds !!, go to the strip in Albuferia for that, well actually avoid the strip and go to the old town, great restuatents on the front, not the ones selling English food.

We found the hotel reception very freindly and extremly helpful. We also went to Lisbon for 3 days via train which was no hardship.

The only downside is that all the taxi drivers seems to have seen Death Race 2000 too many times, always have your seatbelt on.


Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 4th of October 2011

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 2 Room
  • 3 Pool
  • 4 Service
  • 3 Amenities

Just got back today. Thought I would wri...

Reviewed Thu 22nd of May 2008

"Just got back today. Thought I would write a review to help others thinking of staying in this hotel. If you book a sea view you will not be dissapointed, fantastic, the food was good quility the reception staff were helpful.

The hotel is very clean and for an old hotel very well maintained, both inside and out, the rooms were cleaned to a high standard every day, the beach is private and is pure sand.

The bad part, the staff in the resturant are rude and arrogate, you will pay for everthing, no fridge, no kettle, not allowed to take food to rooms, drinks very expensive, get the drift. this holiday will cost you twice what you would expect from a simular star hotel anywhere else in Portugal.

Holiday was great, but spent most of the time outside the hotel, "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 22nd of May 2008

I wish I had seen the previous reviews b...

Reviewed Wed 2nd of January 2008

"I wish I had seen the previous reviews before travelling over Christmas 2007. All the unflattering comments expressed still held good when we were there. We went to the Alfamar as a last minute substitution. We very nearly returned home the day after arrival as there were hardly any guests. The reception staff were unable to tell us anywhere we could find a restaurant closer than 2km (I found 3 cafe bars open within 5 mins walk the next day and the Xmas entertainment promised in a message to our travel agent did not exist. Drinks in the hotel bar are very expensive eg 9 euros for a 4cl measure of blended scotch.

One week later having decided to tough it out and having had 7 days of Springlike sunshine we were glad we had stayed:it was very relaxing (mostly). The hotel is in a beautiful but isolated location. The facilities are VERY old eg the gym is about 20 or 30 years out of date, but weights are weights and the hall is very big not like some cupboards in posh hotels I've been in. The Russian track and field team were there during our stay. On some days payment was demanded to use the gym 10 euros to the hotel or 5 to the man that occasionally supervises it.

The health suite was a big attraction for myself and 2 teenagers. We used it everyday but not all the facilities worked eg steam room, showers and plunge pool were out of order. Depending on who you spoke to bats (shabby) were or were not available for the table tennis. The internet was available some days and not others (a problem for 2 lovesick teenagers).

Food was ok but orientated to German tastes. Take a bottle of HP and you will be ok. Seriously we paid £650 for 2 rooms for 7days and it was worth that but no more. If you like quiet holidays and speak a little German (I do) then you will have a good time as per the favourable review above. This hotel is for book readers and walkers who may hire a car to see a bit more. It is not for families out of season unless budget is the main factor. I would look to book for Olhos D'Agua next time and if I had not paid a cheap price I would definitely have complained/sued and the misinformation re entertainment still wrankles.

Oh food. I thought it was good value but limited. It was one meat and one fish dish plus salad (good) plus spag bol every single night. I love cakes/puddings and they were excellent (catering to our German friends again). Chatting to the Germans about all this they thought the hotel merited 3 stars (not 4) but the people I spoke to were from Dresden ie ex DDR and their response to me raving about Munich was that it was very expensive. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 2nd of January 2008

Having booked this resort (hotel/villa)...

Reviewed Tue 25th of September 2007

"Having booked this resort (hotel/villa) on line with a great discount, both my friend and I thought we were getting a great deal. We booked the villa, originally priced at 1300 euros and discounted to 280 euros as a last minute booking (2 days before) we really thought we were on for a good deal!

We got a Taxi from Faro airport which cost 50 euros to the Alfamar (Airport Taxi Prices Over Charging!!).

On arrival the hotel itself was clean and tidy, with the reception staff very friendly. We got the key to our villa which was positioned (2 minute walk) across the way from the main hotel. On closer inspection of our villa, well, if I had paid the full price for the accomodation I would have been extremely angry. The villa was very dated, with basic old furniture. There was a TV in the room as advertised with sky, but there were a selected amount of channels (only BBC WORLD and CNN NEWS in English). There was no remote control, therefore if we did watch the TV it had to be loud at the level it was set.

The villa was cleaned and there was a maid which cleaned the villa everyday.

The main hotel offers towels for the pool area which you have to give 10 euros deposit (which you get back at the end of the week). You can change your towels everyday for clean ones.

The main pool in the hotel looks new and well maintained. There are lovely new sunbeds.... BUT..... there are a selected amount of them which is clearly NOT ENOUGH for the amount of guests staying at the hotel and villas. They do have a notice that states you are NOT allowed to reserve the sunbeds, but no one takes any notice of this. There are people just lying on the grass area. To the side of the pool area is a lock up with 100's of old sun beds, but these are not permitted to be used.

There is a bar/snack area by the pool but this only has a small choice of snacks to purchase.

By the villa's there is a small pool which appears not to be used any more. It is not maintained and doesn't appear to be cleaned. When we arrived there was 2 broken sun beds along side the pool.

We ended up using this pool as at least it was empty. We got the sunbeds from our villa and dragged them to the pool everyday. During the week more and more people from the villa's thought this was a good idea and joined us. It was nice and quiet and you could at least have a sunbed of your own! The pool wasn't too bad, cold but at least it was somewhere to swim and relax.

There is a private walk way to the beach. This is a great idea. You can walk down to the beach and walk along and access the neighbouring resort (which has better small shops and supermarket) this is about a 20-30 minute walk. On the beach you can hire the sun beds and sun shades for 15 euros a day. There is a small beach shop which sells basic drinks and some snacks.

There is a small gift shop in the hotel that has a small amount of items (post cards etc) this is only only open for limited hours in the day and closed on Sundays.

There is a (what they call it) a supermarket shop on the complex. This most be the biggest shop with the smallest amount of items sold in a shop I have ever seen. It is totally over priced, and there is only about one of everything!! So if the person before you buys the loaf of bread that you had gone to the shop to get. Your out of luck. Again there are limited opening hours and closed on a Sunday (which is useful as the flights get in on a Sunday, and so you would not be able to buy any supplies for your villa).

The restaurant is available for room only guests, however the only option you have is to have the 3 course meal which will cost you 21 euros, failing that you would have to catch a taxi into the main town to eat at the local restaurants (at another cost to you).

The taxi service is good BUT..... If you get the hotel reception to call for a taxi for you, there seems to be a higher charge for the guests!! (for example, it would cost you 15 euros to get into town if the hotel calls for you. If you call and book it yourself it will cost you 8-10 euros)

A great Taxi firm is RADIO TAXIS ALBUFEIRA (+351) 289 58 32 30. They get there in about 5 minutes after calling and they are really good prices. They also took us back to Faro airport for our return flight home and it only cost us 38 euros.

Now the entertainment. Ladies and Gentlemen Old and Young, Single, Couples or Families.... Take note........
This complex must be the worst hotel I have ever experienced for evening entertainment!!!! If you are lucky, you might get some sort of entertainment for 45 minutes of an evening, however even the quality of that is so very poor.

The music is terrible, the singers which perform there are ok but should be classed as backing music at a restaurant not labelled entertainment!!! and the big Saturday night finale evening of your entertainment is sure to finish at 10pm after you have watched one man dance to childrens songs!!!! A lot of unhappy guests.

The problem is, you have nowhere else to go, unless you want to take a taxi ride to and from the strip or the old town square every night for food and something to do. This is very poor whether you are a family, couple of any age or group.

There are limited sports facilities like mentioned on the other reviews. All of which seemed to have no maintenance done on them for many years. Maybe in the height of when the hotel first opened they might have been ok with a lot more to offer, but... not now.

Overall I would rate this hotel poor. Mainly because you would expect clean accomodation with friendly staff as standard. But the rest of the hotel needs to be decorated, modernised and they need to re-think the whole complex as you are out of the way from the main town and any other resort which really limits you unless you spend lots of money travelling everywhere."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 25th of September 2007

Beautiful Beach!

Reviewed Tue 18th of December 2012

"We stopped at the self-catering apartments which are owned by, and within the grounds of, the 'LTI Alfamar Beach and Sports Resort' hotel. They are however independently known as the 'Algarve Garden' apartments. A bit confusing and you may find it easier to advise taxi drivers that you are stopping at the Alfamar as this is where you need to check in anyway.

The apartments themselves are two blocks of flats with a number of apartments on each floor. They are situated in the beautiful gardens that surround the hotel which are full of palm trees and colourful flowers. The grounds are well looked after and very green compared to the dry arid landscape of most of Portugal! There is a controlled sprinkler system that kicks in every night so watch out when walking around that you don't get a sudden surprise!

Unfortunately though the apartments themselves are quite basic so do not expect to be able to undertake much self catering in them! There were only 2 electric hobs- no oven or microwave and the 'preparation' space is also limited. However, they are well kept and clean with a large fridge and small freezer section (although I'm not sure how you could cook frozen food!- we only used it to make ice cubes!). There are however enough pots/ utensils to get by and certainly there was enough for us to have breakfast and the odd lunch etc.

The apartments are also kept very clean. The maids came in every day with clean towels and cleaned the bathroom and made the beds.

You may have been led to believe from photographs of the site that the self catering apartments are little bungalows situation in the gardens and although there are numerous beautiful bungalows, most of these seem to be personally owed/ rented by Portuguese families rather than places that you can rent for a holiday. Most English appeared to be placed in the apartment blocks that we were located in, so please do bear this in mind and do not have great expectations of staying in a pretty little bungalow!

However one of the benefits of the apartments that as they are part of the Alfamar hotel you can use all the hotel's facilities. There is a beautiful pool surrounded with free sun lounges and parasols. There is also a vast grassed area, shaded with palm trees and dotted with more free sun lounges and parasols. Even better is that this is one of the only hotels on the Algarve coast that has direct access to the beach. Straight at the back of the hotel is a little wooden walkway that leads you down to the gorgeous sands of Praia De Falesia. The beach is backed by orange sand cliffs and there is a lovely sea breeze that takes the edge of that hot Portuguese sun! There are also sun lounges and parasols to hire on the beach but we found it cheaper to buy our own parasol and set up a little further down the beach. It is a quiet family beach where you can enjoy the sea and sand without too much disturbance from noisy kids and families!

The hotel also has a bar with entertainment in the evening, although I must add that the entertainment is more like something from Phoenix Nights- a bit cheesy and involves Portuguese cabaret acts singing English songs! But it helped pass the night away.

There is also a Restaurant on site and it costs 21 euros per person to eat here. It was a buffet self service and although it was quite varied in the choice and there was always salad and deserts available, we found a much nicer and cheaper way to eat was at the little local restaurant just situated on the road at the entrance to the hotel. It was only 20 euros in total for an absolutely wonderful, delicious meal and drinks. It was called Acetoas. We would definitely recommend it.

I must also advise though that the area that the hotel is located in is a little removed from any main town or social area if you do not have a car. Out of the hotel is a 'main' road that has the restaurant mentioned above as well as two other cafes and a small supermarket (although there is also a supermarket on site). Essentially there is not much that much to do at night time apart from go to the hotel bar or catch a taxi into Albufeira (but please also bear in mind that we were told on a Saturday night at 10.00 pm that a taxi would not come out at this time of night due to how busy the taxis are and how far out of town the hotel is!). The bus service in and out of this area is also not brilliant. The buses are once an hour and start in the morning at about 8.00 am and finish and 10.30 am and then start again at 1.30pm and finish at 7.00 pm and on one occasion one bus failed to arrive. You need to bear this in mind if you are planning a day out somewhere as the buses from even the main bus station in Albuferia also tended to finish at 10.30am and not start again till the afternoon.

Although the above sounds quite negtative we did however have a lovely holiday. This hotel is an ideal place for couples that need a relaxing beach holiday by the pool where they are not too bothered about partying every night and going too far."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 4th of September 2007

Excellent Stay

Reviewed Wed 17th of October 2012

"We stayed for a week from 9th July until 16th July and, apart from the fact that we were never up early enough to reserve the sunbeds, we had an excellent stay.
The staff were very helpful and we were never kept waiting. We found the food was good and plentiful but we didn't feel that it was upto 4* standard.
We would have liked to have seen a slightly more varied menu but, having said that, we never went hungry.
The hotel has its own beach but we were charged €7 to use the sunbeds on this beach. I feel this should have been free for the hotel guests.
We would have no problems staying at this hotel again and, for the price, it is excellent value.
The grounds were great. We can't say much about the swimming pool as there were never any sunbeds anywhere near it so that we could spend time there.
One thing we think would enhance the rooms, would be a the facilities to make tea and coffee."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 27th of July 2007

Nice Hotel Bad Mannered staff

Reviewed Fri 9th of November 2012

"Hotel was very beautiful, especially for the price. Lots to do at the hotel, beach and food was fantastic. However we found the staff here to be very rude to us during our stay and unwilling to help.

Very nice rooms liked the location of the hotel, as it was not in the centre. Food at the hotel although nice was very expensive for what it was. Would recommend any one staying here to visit the restaurant and bar just outside the complex, where a three course meal costs as little as 30 euros for two as oppose to 21 euros each in the hotel.

Good transport links from just outside the hotel, bus runs very frequently here and travel reps going to the hotel daily.
Would recommend Jeep safari and zoo marine which can be arranged from the hotel.

This hotel is ideal for any one with small children or some one who enjoys quieter surroundings.

The only thing that would make me think twice about going back here is the attitude of the staff"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007

nice if you want a peaceful retreat......

Reviewed Tue 18th of December 2012

"My self and my son (15), have returned from a weeks holiday at the Alfamar.... I think some of the other reviews were unfair ......If you want to look for criticism, then I guess you will always find it!!! Reception staff were a little "frosty" at first, however, if you smile and chat they were more than helpful, it was a bit manana, but you're on holiday!!!
The room was modern clean and tidy, lovely chambermaid came daily, and nothing was too much trouble. We had an amazing seaview.
The restaurant was spacious, and had a lovely balcony area where you could sit and dine. The food was always fresh, I think they tried to cater for most nationalities, but I guess nothing compares to ordering what you want from a menu. Restaurant staff very pleasant, and always happy to help.
My son was expecting a lovely sports complex, and I agree this was a bit lacking, however, he made friends with the animation team, and he was busy most of the day, evening was probably where it was missing lively entertainment, but hey the location and views were spectacular. The jeep safari excursion was fab, quite costly but worth every penny......
it is perfect for singles or couples who want to chill out, and just simply relax.
Is it always necessary to have full on entertainment, sometimes its nice to make your own enjoyment, and appreciate your surroundings. enjoy xx"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 24th of June 2007

Loved it

Reviewed Mon 19th of November 2012

"Although I read the reviews, I didn't worry too much about them, and it was the best that I did. All the reviewers who said the hotel was horrendous, were either too picky or are only used to staying in top luxury hotels. Forgive me if I liked the hotel...
I'll start with the negative aspects (or with what I thank that can be negative aspects):
- For couples with kids, there is no animation team, only a large room with several games, coloring books and so on. So, either you put on your mind that you'll find yourself playing with your children, or they will be bored. May I say that despite of this, the hotel had lots and lots of children (simply, instead of playing with the animators, they played with their parents, just as it should be).
- The hotel is 3 km outside Albufeira, so if you intend on going to have fun at night, you'll have to hire a car and then head to Albufeira. There's not much near the hotel.

Positive aspects:
- rooms simply decorated (as all german hotel chains are) with good air con and great balcony with sea views (extra).
- food in abundance and varied, excellent desserts.
- the hotel is one of the cleaniest I've ever seen and i've been to Cuba, Brasil, all Canary Islands, Italy, Tunisia, Egypt. They have plenty of staff here that never stop the entire day.
- The hotel has a direct access to the enormous and peaceful beach, making it possible to be on the pool, head to the beach for a dive and return to the pool again.
- In case you decide to stay all day at the beach, there are parasols and sunloungers (10 euros a day for a porasol and 2 sunloungers).
- There is an internet corner (expensive, 1 euro for 10 minutes) for you to keep up with what's going on in the world. There is a minimarket, a beachclothing shop on the ground floor.
- bearing in mind that the hotel is Half Board, if you decide to have lunch, you have several choices: either the snack bar with self service and plenty of choice, or the restaurant Caravela, and yet, the pool bar.
- There is a indoor pool, mostly deserted, a Jacuzzi room and sauna (all free of charge).

Ah, just one small thing: the hotel has 170 rooms, and in July, 90 of them, were occupied by British people. So, loneliness is something you won't feel there.

Belive me, Falesia has the most gorgeous beaches in the Algarve and you should not let unfair opinions ruin your vacation."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 10th of July 2006

We have just come back from a week at th...

Reviewed Mon 3rd of July 2006

"We have just come back from a week at this hotel. The hotel is lovely, very big and clean. It is located right near the beach and it is a very nice beach. All we really wanted was a good relaxing week, which we got.

The food was very nice, deserts were lovely, quite varied but could get a bit boring if there for two weeks. The service in the restaurant and bars was very good.

It is, very much so, a German Hotel. We discovered that the Manager is German and we were probably the only English there at the time. The hotel definitely caters for German people (TV, Food, Staff). If that does not bother you then it is worth going.

It is very isolated. You have to either walk very far or catch a very expensive taxi or a very long bus with a very rude bus driver to get anywhere. Probably best to hire a car if you are staying at this hotel.

The pool was nice, a bit too many children making a noise though.

Overall the Hotel was very nice."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 3rd of July 2006

Not too bad

Reviewed Thu 25th of October 2012

"We have just come back from a week at this hotel. The hotel is lovely, very big and clean. It is located right near the beach and it is a very nice beach. All we really wanted was a good relaxing week, which we got.

The food was very nice, deserts were lovely, quite varied but could get a bit boring if there for two weeks. The service in the restuarant and bars was very good.

It is, very much so, a German Hotel. We discovered that the Manager is German and we were probably the only English there at the time. The Hotel definately caters for German people (TV, Food, Staff). If that does not bother you then it is worth going.

It is very isolated. You have to either walk very far or catch a very expensive taxi or a very long bus with a very rude bus driver to get anywhere. Probably best to hire a car if you are staying at this hotel.

Overall the Hotel was very nice."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 2nd of July 2006

Hotels near Alfamar Hotel

Top traveller tips for Alfamar Hotel

  • MarJan55 by MarJan55

    "Get out and about, and also enjoy the Beach "

Alfamar Hotel is also called

  • LTI Alfamar Beach & Sport Resort
  • Alfamar Beach Resort

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