10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Basic but clean
"I booked this studio before reading reviews, was worried before arriving, but was very surprised when we arrived at the hotel. Booked in okay staff on front desk very helpful, yes as some reviews said our studio block was at the far end of the hotel, but it was only a 5 minute walk to the hotel , the bar, pool , and beach are very close and well looked after, the small beach bar/cafe was great for a few drinks and burgers were lovely, the location you cant fault. The studio is very basic , but it's just somewhere to sleep and shower, yes it's seen a lot better days but the holiday is what you make it, we had clean towels the maids were friendly, if you make the effort with people they respond to you, we were self catering ,the bars just outside the hotel grounds all do good food, drinks are cheap, the staff are friendly , if you want a few more bars follow the road up past the supermarket, turn left by the caravan park and follow the road straight along ,you will come to a great little square where there are shops bars ,etc, and a great cocktail bar up in the far right hand corner, great singers and great bar staff, this place is what you make it, we didn't pay a lot , yes I've stayed in better places, but for what we paid you can't go far wrong the location I would give 10/10,the studio maybe 7/10, it's what you make it after all, basic , clean, cheap, but well worth a visit, if I wanted a short break again I would go back no problem, sometimes it's best to make your own mind up, if I had read reviews before booking I may not of gone, which means I would of missed out on a great holiday"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of September 2016
"Despite some reviews we decided to book the apartments at the Alfamar Resort Algarve Gardens after checking the place out last year during a visit to Albuferia. We stayed in Block 2 basic but comfortable and clean. We asked for and received on arrival a new kettle and toaster - rooms cleaned and new towels provided each day - cheap restaurant (free wifii) and supermarket nearby. Full use of Hotel facilities including indoor heated Swimming Pool-Jacuzzi- Hot Tub and clean towels provided. No karaoke bars or discos so if this is what you want this is not for you. Beautiful gardens and outdoor pool and plenty of sun beds in the large gardens and lawns surrounding the pool. Easy access to the truly beautiful beach (best in the Algarve) I think that most of the criticism is that FALESIA is not Albuferia and those who want karakoe,kiss me quick hats etc.,or fast night life should choose in Albuferia. This place is ideal for those who want a quite holiday in truly beautiful location. Cheap car hire aviiailable but make sure you have proper insurance.will definitely return next year. "
- Travel date: Wed 25th of July 2012
basic and clean
"We have just returned from staying in a studio apartment. Very basic but very clean - no kettle or toaster though .A bit of a walk up to the Main Hotel but worth it when we got there. We had the use of the the Hotel and its facilities which was great. Lovely pool and right on the beach and clean towels given to you to use each day. Abit out of town but we soon found our way around using the local bus which stops just outside the apartments on the road next to the Dream Pub run by an English Girl. Beer and food good prices. Taxi to Albuferia cost 10euro - we shared with another couple we met. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves."
- Travel date: Fri 17th of September 2010
Much better than expected
"I made the mistake of booking a studio before reading the reviews however we had a really good holiday.Yes the studios are dated but very clean and with a separate kitchenette in ours,so no noise from the fridge at night.What we loved about our studio was the view from the balcony. Luckily ours faced south and west on the second floor so we had lovely view over open countryside and beautiful sunsets.I took a travel kettle and did manage to cook some dinners if we couldn't be bothered to go out as their are pots and pans etc.Could have done with extra pillow each though.
As we are older the location suited us but no good if you like noisy nightlife.Dreamz Bar just across the road did very good meals freshly cooked for 7euros including drink and coffee.Few more restaurants along the road and the square is about 15mins walk away with more bars and restaurants.
Beautiful pool set in wonderful gardens leading down to lovely uncrowded beach where I stayed while hubby watched World Cup matches in the bar. Perfect! "
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of July 2010
On arrival at the "resort" we attempted...
"On arrival at the "resort" we attempted to check in at the main resort, which having been interrupted by other residents leaning over and speaking to the staff, who rather than asking them to wait their turn, stopped what they were doing and proceeded to have a full blown conversation, took the best part of half an hour. We were directed to our "studio" apartment with the aid of a shoddy photocopies map, and eventually found our apartment which was on the third floor of a councilesque block of apartments ( with no lift ). A seperate kitchenete and bathroom with adjoining bedroom isnt exactly "studio" in my books. The room itself was very basic and dated, the furniture damaged and worn. Electrical sockets in the kitchen were damaged and waiting for a child to stick something sharp into. But there was a balcony at least.
Hotel staff were abrupt and often seemed disinterested in dealing with you in an sort of reasonable speed. The hotel restaurants were both self service and overpriced for what you were paying for. The beach itself is a few minutes walk from the hotel and was indeed very nice. The main problem we found was in the evenings.
There are, asides from the hotel restaurants, only 2 snack/bar/pubs open in the evenings ( one of these doesnt open until 8.00pm ) and the menu's are very limited. Dont even think about cooking in the apartments as the 2 hob cooker is not really suited to anything more than boiling water for tea ( no kettles provided ) or cooking basic meals. But on the plus side in addition to the aforementioned snack/bar/pubs there are a couple of cafes that do a nice range of lunchtime snacks. Most of the staff speak a version of English but the resort itself seems mainly catered for non - UK holidaymakers, going as far as to say this is a resort built around the private bungalows for the Portugese to enjoy a weekend away from the city.
Completely by accident on our way back from Albufeira itself we noticed there were a few restaurants at other closer resorts, the nearest being around a 15minute walk - but in my mind why should you really have to walk to another resorts restaurants?
If you want a quiet beach holiday then this is recommended. If you dont want to go somewhere where you feel as if you are the only English speaking people there, or if you dont want to have to walk to another resort ( try getting a taxi...! ) then you would probably want to go to the other resort in the first place. Although by the end of the week when the fire alarm was set off by "accident" we were finding the entire thing so farcical that it was something you had to laugh at - Portugals Fawlty Towers but without the amusing staff.
- Travel date: Fri 5th of September 2008
We stayed in the studio apartments , ba...
" We stayed in the studio apartments , basic but cleanish,there were some damaged areas to the doors and decor was dated, very thin walls and we did not get clean towels every day.The apartments are a few minutes walk from the hotel with no lift. But they do have a balcony which was nice.The staff in the hotel were not that helpful. The beach is very close, it is private and clean, but in the afternoon the tide/current were quite strong.
It is not centrally located which , when booking , we did n't mind. We wanted somewhere quiet and relaxing , however we discovered it is VERY isolated with a "choice" of 5 places for lunch , and only 3 for dinner, including the hotel. The other two places had the same menu and it was chips with everything! They were practically dead every time we went there/walked past - one night we went to eat and there were no staff there to take our order!The hotel food was laid out in a buffet style and was of a poor standard for 21 euro per head. We found some other places to eat , including a chinese, in another complex about 15 minute walk from the hotel, with not only staff but many customers too!
There was entertainment in the hotel every night which was family orientated. The hotel has two bars which were expensive and there is another "pub" on site but it was not open every night.
There is a supermarket and mini market on site which had a good choice of food/drink but the studios only have a two ring hob , and we did n't want to cook that much anyway!
The high point was the weather and the beach , I would reccomend for families but would suggest not to stay in the studio apartments and you would need to hire a car. If you don't mind basic, low standard food, very little atmosphere and walking this is the place for you! I would not stay here again.
- Travel date: Fri 5th of September 2008
We stayed in a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment w...
"We stayed in a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment with 4 adults.
The apartments were tastefully decorated and comfortable, well equipped for self catering, and spotlessly clean. What we really liked about the apartments is that they were very centrally located, close to the Albufeira Strip (about 3 minute walk) as well as the beach (about 10 minute walk).
The location was fab - close enough to "The Strip", but no noise was ever heard from the strip during the night. Being so close to everything really worked for us as one is spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs, clubs, and restaurants. To get a taxi to the famous 'Old Town' also only cost us Euro 3 and a taxi rank about 2 minute walk from the apartment made this easy.
The transport from the airport was friendly and efficient, and the little 'finishes' when we arrived were a really nice touch (tea, coffee, wine, biscuits all available to get you relaxed from the moment you arrive). The roof terrace (with your own private area with chairs, table, barbeque, etc) has spectacular views of Albufeira and was a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We also managed to do a few outings (Great Escapes is located about half way down the strip) and do all kinds of excursions at good prices. If anything, the only down side was that a week was not long enough to do everything, including day trips to Spain, so we will definitely go back and stay at the same place. And if you enjoy your fashion, Algarve Shopping in particular is a must - great for fashion and value for money.
Overall we really enjoyed the holiday. Good food, great weather, a really nice apartment - I would definitely recommend to anyone else. The only reason I gave it 9/10 is that there was no pool, but if, like us, you love the beach (and it was so close) then it won't matter."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of January 2008
PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE LOVELY PI...
"PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE LOVELY PICTURES OF THIS RESORT.
Unless you have a guarantee that you will be either in the 4 star hotel or the bungalows, which appear to be reserved only for the Portugese, you will inevitably end up in the staff quarter, youth hostel style accommodation where we were.
The rooms were shabby, and extremely basic as well as being particularly uncomfortable and having paper thin, walls, floors and ceilings. Our balcony was falling to pieces, and had a gale force wind blowing on to it, morning, noon and night.
Hotel staff were particularly unhelpful and unfriendly, and it was only the pure luck of bumping into another English couple that ensured that we didn't make the trek into Albufeira every night at a cost of about 20 EURO by the time you had got a taxi home (the last bus leaves Faleisa at 7pm and there are no return buses).
The local restaurants were actually very nice, but if you are to believe hotel staff they do not exist. Cue: Shoulder shrug and stare.
Didn't see a rep all week and there were no English information packs in the hotel.
In short, if you are looking for anything more than just a bed, then give this one a miss - it's the pits.
- Travel date: Tue 7th of August 2007
Algarve Gardens are actually part of the...
"Algarve Gardens are actually part of the 4* Alfamar Beach Resort. My teenage daughter and I had booked a studio with breakfast included. There are two studio blocks amongst the bungalows in the huge gardens of Alfamar.
After checking in at the hotel reception we had to make our own way to the studio blocks which were a few minutes walk from the main hotel. We found we were on the third floor, and be warned; there are no lifts so it is a real struggle taking luggage up.
We were pleased with our studio though, fridge, TV, basic kitchenette but didn't want to cook anyway. Luckily took our own kettle as there wasn't one. Adequate bathroom with bath/shower, toilet and bidet.
Deposit for safe and remote control for TV was 40 Euros which was refundable. Cost for safe was 7 Euros for the week.
The hotel was lovely and the pool and gardens were large and beautiful, set right by the beach.
Good selection of food at breakfast. We had dinner there a couple of nights which was 21 Euros each. Good selection again, although for me being vegetarian it was more restricted.
There was entertainment every evening for an hour or so. In the day there was water gym etc. Nice team of entertainment staff. All nationalities there, mostly young families and couples of all ages.
Its quite remote so no easy access to shops or nightlife. 21 Euros by taxi one way to Algarve Shopping which is a large shopping mall although they don't sell tobacco and cigs in large quantities. 14 Euros to Albufiera old town, lots of shops, tobacconists and a great beach. You can walk to Vilamoura along the beach from the hotel, takes 45 mins. We were told a taxi was 21 Euros but got charged 12 on the way back.
Had a great time and would recommend it as long as you donât mind being so remote.
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
We booked the Algarve Gardens tourist ap...
"We booked the Algarve Gardens tourist apartments and a Charter flight.
Sales dept of tour operator very good, after care, they never rang back when I logged calls - would not use them again, due to lack of information, telephones always engaged, failed to quote on insurance for me although 4 times requested.
We were advised the address was Falesia but it was really Acoteis so if you are hiring a car watch for the signs, head for Falesia but then Acoteis to get to these apartments, they belong to LTI Alfamar Hotel which is sign posted from 7km distance.
The apartments are old but very very spacious, no air con and very basic kitchen so take a bottle opener and a couple of cups! Beds are old and very uncomfortable but the space and sun terrace all make up for the aged facilities.
The resort is very good in terms of access to beach and swimming pool, the beach is cleaned and has a reasonable snack bar, plenty of sun loungers and canopies to hire the hotel have a restaurant that is buffet/ help yourself, very poor food, looks good but isnât, no fish on buffet at any time.
Service around the hotel bars is good and not too expensive. Local restaurants are within walking distance but to be honest its all tourist food - chips with all!
Travelling into other bays is easy with a hire car - Albufeira is the lively place, but itâs not easy to find shopping malls for real quality goods. Alhos de Agua is about 10 minutes away and worth a visit for its good restaurants, La Cigale was good.
Generally a good relaxing holiday, ideal for young kids due to pool and beach.
- Travel date: Tue 29th of August 2006