Alto da Colina Aparthotel

Estrada de Santa Eulalia Balaia area, on the road to Olhos de Agua, Albufeira 8200 Portugal
4 star hotel


Ratings summary


Rating by feature

  • 4.5 room
  • 4.5 pool
  • 4 beach
  • 4.5 service
  • 4.5 dining
  • 4 amenities
  • 4 value
  • 4.5 food
  • 4 cleanliness
  • 3 location

58 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

fab time


"Well from start to finish it was brilliant.
On arrival at faro airport we were greeted by our rep and within minutes we were on our way, It took about 35 - 40 Min's to transfer to our hotel. The room wasn't ready but after a quick drink and a look around, we were given the key card.
The room was huge, clean and well equip, and nicely furnished balcony was also big and we had a fantastic sea view.
We went to the welcome meeting the next morning and found it not only very entertaining but very informative, so if you are like me and don't normally attend these meetings i advise you to go, it didn't drag on like many do.
I was a little worried about there not been enough for my children to do aged 6 and 10, but i needn't have worried the children's club were fantastic, especially Dave in wavelength having to deal with many stroppy teenagers, but he was brilliants with them, They couldn't wait for the next session, he had a real good repor with them. Even when he was on a break, he always had loads of kids with him.
The entertainment team worked so hard, they were on the go all day and night, doing everything from water polo, tennis, quizzes during the day and performing on the night. James one of the team was outstanding, such a character, he brightened up everyone's day , He has a very good voice as well, he was sure an asset to first choice.
I loved the location of the hotel, we were far enough away from all the hustle and bustle, so we could relax but only half hour walk away was the height of activity. Don't no what it will be like next year as i hear it will go all inclusive, and is having a big extension on it. Well we will have to see. I for sure will be going.
Have fun if you are due to go soon, YOU WILL LOVE IT."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 5th of July 2007

Enjoyed it, but.......


"Just returned from a week at the Hotel Alto Colina. On the whole very impressed with the apartments, however our apartment (119) was right about reception and the noise was pretty bad at night. First night about 12:30am there we a noisy crowd lobby playing pool. I rang reception and asked them to quieten them. I was told by reception there was nothing they could do. In the end I myself went down and screamed at them to “please be quiet” not in so many words (I’d been up since 3:00am that day!!). Thought lack of action by staff was poor. Entertainments team work really hard and did a good job of entertaining my 2 year old. Food at snack bar OK, nothing special and drinks reasonably priced. Didn’t have a problem with taxis as we went out early because of the kids. The strip was disappointing and so was the Old Town and they are a trek away – not 20mins walk as some reviewed! If you turn left on the main road, after around 15mins you will come to O’Assador restaurant. Doesn’t look much from outside but the food was wonderful. The Cataplana was unbelievable and the staff were fantastic with the kids. We were even given a sample of the chefs wild boar sausages, which were delightful. The pools were freezing but most pools are wherever you go however, they were well maintained and spotlessly clean. On the whole, good holiday, good apartments, not great location but we knew that when we booked but for some reason, wouldn’t race to return…"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 25th of June 2007

CHildren's Paradise!


"We have just returned from one weeks stay at the Alto and it is a fabulous place. The entire complex is spotlessly clean and very well maintained. There is no shortage of things to keep children of all ages entertained. There are several pools (although very cold), an indoor heated pool, splash park, playground, kids
clubs several times through out the day, football pitch, tennis courts etc. They have a brilliant Soccer School which the
kids will love, the guys teaching are excellent and also
a Swim Kids Club where you can book swimming lessons
for the children (which you have to pay for of course) But I have to say after just one lesson my 7 year old daughter was swimming
without arm bands! There are also several rides conveniently located outside the main bar so you will need plenty of Euro coins. On the down side, the complex is situated
a fair distance away from the main strip of bars and restaurants.
But as previous reviewers mentioned, a taxi ride will only cost
Eur 4, and unlike previous reviews we were never more than
5 mins waiting on a taxi. You could walk it yourself - approx 30 mins but it is a bit of a hike for younger children. The food at the Alto is fine - typical Bar Food. The quality is obviously better
down the strip but if you don't feel like venturing out of the hotel there is a huge selection on the menu so you're bound to find
something you like. The reps at this complex are absolutely superb, they go far and beyond the call of duty to ensure
everyone has a great holiday. Not being one that would normally
be interested in Reps Nightly Entertainment, I have to admit at
this complex the entertainment is brilliant. They do the usual Mini-Disco for the little ones and then a quick Bingo session, but after that they have something different every night. We did the Zoomarine trip and it is an absolute must! It was a brilliant day out which can be enjoyed for all ages not just children, whilst it may sound expensive at first, you're picked up at 10.25 and not
back until approx 5.30 so it is a full day out."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 24th of June 2007

Great hotel pity about the location


"We have just returned from a two week holiday at the alto and overall had a really great stay.As previously said the apartments are super,everything is new,nicely decorated and kept very clean by cleaning staff every day.The complex is brilliant,lots of pools and splash park,play park,kids club and creche, soccer pitches and tennis courts.Indoors for any rainy days, the indoor pool is great there is also a jacuzzi,gym and sauna.Staff are fine,friendly but not overly.The on site shop is good, pricey for the things from home as you would expect.Food at the bar is ok, basic enough.We didnt eat at the restaurant having heard bad reports from other guests.Entertainment in the evenings is the usual mix the reps really work at this resort.We didnt have any problems on checking in or out as the previous reviewer,however we did request a late checkout- the only thing was we would have had to change apartment half way through the holiday which didnt suit us.A major down side to this resort is the location.It is miles from any thing!Take no notice of those reviews that say "oh its a bit of a walk!!!" Every evening from 6.30 onwards there is a queue of families waiting for cabs to go to town or the strip(awful)Unfortunately it is the same story trying to get home.We queued for 40 minutes or more a couple of nights which isnt great with little ones.We ended up renting a car for eight days which was brilliant, it was the making of our holiday to be honest.The local beaches are beautiful,the old town of Albufeira is lovely,very commercial dont expect an old square with a couple of old men sitting around!!There are loads of places to eat and drink,Bank seems to be the tourist trap.We ate there a couple of times,good one time bad the next.There is a lovely fish restaurant right on the beach where they grill your fresh fish which is lovely but pricey.We did zoo marine one day, it is a good day out,the algarve shopping centre nearby is worth a browse too.The car meant we could do our own thing not rely on reps to organize outings,there were lots of complaints about reps charging over the odds for everything from outings to car hire.One minor thing to keep in mind also.We stayed on the first floor in the first apartment to the left of the lift.There is a certain amount of noise coming up from reception and the bar.It wasnt enough for us to move but anyone who is after a quiet night should specify a room to the back of the complex.All in all a great place to stay........with a car,you have been warned!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 21st of June 2007

Great Hotel, not a great location!


"The Alto Da Colina is a great hotel, the rooms are clean and spacious. The facilities at the hotel are great, although the pools were very cold! This meant that my 2 girls were reluctant to use the pool as much as they have on previous holidays. The food at the bar is OK, the waiters were a bit slow with taking orders etc. The shop is well stocked and not too overpriced, we enjoyed the frsehly baked bread and croissants etc.

The check in procedure was chaotic to say the least, we didnt get our room key until 3pm!!! The mangaer disputed the fact that we had paid for a late check out and was quite defensive! It later transpired that we had in fact paid for the late check out and we had no further problems with the hotel staff.

The location of this hotel was a big down side, there was very little to see and do within walking distance of the hotel. This meant that everything was a taxi ride away. In the evening there were between 10-15 people waiting for taxi's to take them into the main strip/old town, sometimes we had to wait for up to 40 mins, apparently this goes up to 3hrs in peak times!!!! With 4 kids, 2 pushchairs and 1 wheelchair this became quite tiresome. Also the hotel charge you a euro to order a taxi which i found to be a bit cheeky, sometimes they would order a number of taxis on one phone call and still charge each person!!!

The restaurants along the mainstrip are OK we only found one that was worth a secod visit - El Rancho - do great steak and fish dishes. La Gosteira is a fish restaurant about 10 mins taxi ride from hotel, the staff were lovely as was the food. The restaurants in the old town were OK, alothough best to avoid the 'Bank' restaurant. The place looksl ovely and contmeporary but the food is appauling - you have been warned!!! The 2 restaurants near to the Bank are owned by the same people so expect similarly poor quality food!!

My only last qualm about out holiday was the Casino Nite run by the First Choice Reps, this was a great dissapointment, the show was average, the food was terrible (Dry Pork, chips & tinned peas! Yuk!!), the coach journey was a nightmare, all in all a very poor nite out.

Despite a few hiccups we had a nice holiday, just wished we hadn't wasted 200 euros on the Casino Nite! Would we return, unlikely, the evening taxi routine was enough to put us off!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007

A clean, family friendly hotel with great staff


"We have just returned from the Alto Da Colina and would describe the hotel as very family friendly. There were two large swimming pools (we chose to use the 'lower' pool as it was where the park and football courts etc are located and the kids club). Also there was another indoor pool which we used reguarly.

We had 3 seperate apartments and were delighted that they had allocated us all together which made life much easier for the kids to be able to go between rooms. The aparments are large and very clean, you couldn't wish for a nicer room really. Our air conditioning didn't work in our lounge area but it wasn't too warm so it wasn't an issue ! I advised them on check out and they sent someone straight up to check it out.

The hotel is located well away from the hustle and bustle of the strip. It is a good 15-20 minute walk in either direction to get to any restaurants so consider taking a buggy if you have little ones. Taxi's are very cheap so it wasn't too much of a problem.

The Old Town is worth a visit and there are some lovely bars and restaurants there to visit. It was just 4 euros in a taxi each way.

There is a lovely beach (out of hotel turn left, left at top of road) on your right hand side. There is a brown sign to direct you - I think it was called Maria Luisa ? You have to walk through the Club Med Hotel grounds but you are allowed ! There is a lovely restaurant on the beach which sells great white sanghria !

The entertainment staff were great and worked really hard. You couldn't fault their attempt to entertain and their commitment to the job. They were all really good fun and worked very hard.


Any card works in the slot where you are meant to place your key card for the air conditioning/lights to work. You are only issued with one key so if you take along another card (or even the new gift voucher cards) you can keep your apartment cool whilst you are out.

The towels are very small so if you are a larger person you may want to take extra towels for use in the room.

There are only very small cups in the apartments, literally 3 swigs and your morning cuppa is gone ! I was chatting with the reception staff and I was of the understanding they are going to be adding mugs at some point. If you are a cuppa lover take a mug with you !!

A soft drink from the bar (not very nice as off tap) was 1 Euro 50 - where as if you purchase a can of branded drink from the hotel shop next to the bar it was just 60 cents. A good saving if you are buying drinks for all the family over the holiday.

The hotel shop is well stocked but a little pricey, there is a large ish supermarket (turn right out of hotel then first left) It is quite a walk so you may want to jump in a taxi. If I returned I would take a small supply of essentials from here i.e tea/coffee etc."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 27th of May 2007

Will Definitely Be Back Next Year - Fun For All The Family


"We stayed at the Alto Da Colina for 2 weeks from 5th May - 19th May 2007 and already we are missing it loads!! The complex is fantastic with plenty to do throughout the day. 2 large swimming Pools, 2 kids Pools and an indoor pool (just incase it was a little windy or dull). The shop on site had plenty to choose from to stock up your apartment with food, even though some of the British import foods could be a little pricey (5 Euros for a pack of Bacon approx £3.50) but other than that it was great. There were Pool tables and Arcade machines for the Little ones (and Adults) to play on. The Kids clubs throughout the day were great as we have a 12 year old Son, his friend of 13 years and a 3 year old son who were kept entertained by the Kids club Reps 7 days a week which gave us some 'Chill Out' time. Adult entertainment throughout the day was good too involving Football, Tennis, Water Polo, Daily Bingo or Quiz which was good to get to know others in the Hotel and have some Fun. The food around the Pool area and in the Bar and Restaurant was pretty good both day and night. We only gave the Restaurant a try once or twice but the food was of good standard and i didn't here many complaints about it other than it cost a few more Euros than down the 'Strip' or near to Town which can be expected of all Hotels in my opinion. The rooms at the Hotel were Fantastic. We were based in Room 111 at the back of the Hotel overlooking the Balaia Golf Resort Village but this didn't matter as we still had a Sea View and a view of the Golf Course, rather than the Pool Area. The rooms had everything we could have wanted. TV (Showing English Channels, Sport, BBC,etc...) Good Air conditioning. The kitchen was fantastic it had everything you needed to prepare a descent meal for the family, Cooker, Microwave, Coffe Maker, Kettle plenty of kitchen utensils, plates, bowls, etc.. A nice size Table and Chairs both inside the room and on the balcony for dining. As we stayed in a 1 Bedroom Apt the master bedroom had 2 single beds pushed together to make a double (a large double may i add), the living room had a bed settee and a pull out bed which were both of ample size (as long as you weren't over 6ft). The bathroom had a very large bath, Power Shower, BDay and Toilet. A huge Mirror with Marble Vanity Unit and Sink. The decor and tiling was beautiful. I would just like to add that as i've mentioned the TV & Air Con that there does need a deposit leaving at reception for these items at the rate of 60 Euros which you will get returned when you hand them in at the end of your holiday (Please keep the receipt they give to you as it can cause problems if you loose it!!) There is a safety deposit box in the room, you can obtain the lock and key from reception for 10 Euros per week which is non-refundable but all the same it was great for a little piece of mind knowing that your valuables were safe. The night time entertainment in the Hotel is Fantastic, 8pm Mini-Disco for the kids, 9pm Adult fun time (Audience participation) and 10pm a show which is put on by the Entertainment team (Kelly, James, Natalie & Amy). These 4 people do one hell of a job from 10am in the morning until after midnight and the effort they put in is second to none. Everyone gets involved and it suits all tastes. We had a fantastic time with them (they even came to see us off on their day off!!) Saturday night is 'Karaoke' night and Sunday night they normally have a 'Parrot' show for all the family (we got to see it twice as we were there for 2 weeks!!). If you find that the hotel isn't for you then you can venture out to the 'Strip' in the new town of Oura or maybe the old town. It will cost you approx 5/6 Euro in a taxi which can be called from the hotel. The taxis are of excellent condition (Mercedes Benz) and the drivers speak very good english which helps to get you to your destination!! If you are travelling to the 'Strip' there are lots of Bars & Restaurants of all types of cuisine and at very good prices. A few i would recommend are Wild & Co., The sizzling Stone, Ankora, El Rancho, Bananas (Bananas is maybe more for a daytime snack) and Coconuts who do a fantastic 'Good old English Sunday Dinner', The Clay Oven is also great for you 'Indian' food lovers. Erins Isle is a big name Irish Fun Bar (which is located close to the Hotel Montechoro) you will probably see lots of Taxis with this place being advertised on them. It has Pub food a restaurant 7-11pm, a big kids area, mini-golf, etc.. Well worth a visit. If you are heading for the 'Old Town' it is a little more laid back but lots of Restaurants to choose from in 'Square Garden'.'Fishermans Beach' at the Old Town is also a great place to visit for fine Fish & Seafood cuisine. All in all i found Portugal to be very good value for Money. We did a lot of food shopping (As we were Self Catering) at the 'Modelo' this is located just past the 'Strip' and it has everything you need at very low prices (very similar to an Asda or Tesco). It also has a big Shopping Arcade underneath with clothes, electrical goods, etc..
If you have an urge to shop till you drop, i would recommend 'Algarve Shopping' Centre. It will cost you about 11 Euros to get there from the Alto Da colina (£7.50) but for how far away it is it's great value for money. All the big name stores and designers are there ( Zara, Mango, etc..) there is a huge food hall with too much to choose from. A 10 pin Bowling Alley and an 8 screen Cinema. (Films are in English with Portuguese Subtitles).
over the road from this is a 'Nike Village' and other stores. Another Great day out is the Waterpark. If you love slides then this is the place to go. A coach runs daily from the Hotel at 08:55 and 10:50. It will cost you 17.50 Euros (£11.50) for Kids (up to the age of 10) and 22.50 Euros (£15.00) for adults. Kids under 4 years old go free. The coach will then pick you up at approx 4:45pm and drop you back off at the hotel. I hope this review has been of help to anyone visiting portugal or the 'Alto Da Colina'. It was our first time and we will definitely be returning to this Hotel next year. We have found a place where we feel at home and hope to have many more years visiting Portugal with Family or Friends. Please feel free to contact me if i can help you with any information."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 25th of May 2007

Lots to do for little ones!


"We stayed at the Alto from 3rd-10th May 07. We had a 19 month in tow so we were concerned as to how she would take it. She loved it as there is so much to do and lots of places in the compound to explore so no worries there. We stayed in apartment no.124 which was lovely, clean and huge inside and had a lovely big balcony. I would not reccommend this room during the high season as we were directly over the bar and it's very noisy at night. So if you have very young kids don't stay in rooms 120-140 as they are over the bar area. We asked for a lower floor apt with sea view but with a baby our little one's age we could have been higher with no problem as the railing is too high for her to climb over but any kids over the two-ish mark would be perfectly safe.
The food at the Alto is dreadful, It's ok if you're stuck on the first or last day for a snack but other than that there are lots of lovely restaurants heading to the strip or the old town. One in particular is the Chinese called Chines Royal (Outside the complex, turn right and it's a 10-15 minute walk. Big red exterior, you can't miss it.). They couldn't do enough for us and our child. Two starters, two main, two deserts and a half bottle wine was only 33 euro. Delicious. So all in all don't worry about how your child will get on here as it's a haven for kids. Our only problem was our little terror had an ear infection which we didn't diagnose til we got home so she had major tantrums and we didn't know why. We found the reps to be a big pain. We had little one booked into creche but we didn't use it in the end as we found them too smiley one minute and stoney-faced the next. All in all, we would return here with kids but if you are planning on staying in the Alto and you have no kids with you, you'll probable hate it! Hope that helps. Enjoy!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 17th of May 2007

Fantastic Family Accomodation


"My family and I spent a wonderful week at the Alto da Colina from April 11th to 18th this year. Having read the mixed reviews of the hotel on this and other websites, I promised that I would write a fair review on my return. We have 3 children (10, 4 and 2) and this was definitely the most enjoyable holiday abroad we have had with them. The accomodation was second to none - spacious, modern and impeccably clean apartments with plenty of space on the balcony for the kids to play safely. We had a 2 bed sea view apartment initially which was HUGE but due to the noise levels from the bar (we were right above it), we requested an alternative apartment. All of the sea view 2 beds were occupied but we were given the choice of a standard 2 bed or 2 separate 1 bed apartments. As my mum was travelling with us, we went for the two separate sea view apartments which were located side by side. This didn't cost us anything extra and as far as we were concerned, was a more than satisfactory solution to our complaint. The management really couldn't do enough for us and acted immediately on our complaint. I would imagine though it would have been more difficult if the hotel had been full. For this reason, I would advise anyone travelling with young children to specifically request that they are not given the room overhead the bar - as spacious as it is, I think the noise would be an issue in high season. The hotel itself has great facilities for kids - the playground, football, tennis etc, not to mention the pool areas! The only downside is that it is a considerable distance from the main strip - if you are trying to walk there with young children that is. That said the taxis are cheap and the drivers are friendly so there's no excuse for not exploring the old town (which is much nicer than the strip but definitely too far to walk). There are 2 beaches within 15-20 minute walk of the hotel; again, this can feel quite long if you are expecting small legs to walk there and back! Overall, I would really recommend this hotel to families - we will dfeinitely go back with the kids! I really didn't want to come home when the week was up - and that's a first!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 8th of May 2007

good place to stay


"the hotel is clean and tidy.I would say that they are only big enough
for two adults and two children up to about twelve years old after that I would go for the bigger apartment, not that it isn`t big enough just thought not enough privacy for four adults. the beds were too hard for us but we were told that they only have firm beds in Portugal ( not so sure ) so used the sofa bed and put you up (fine if your a small adult shorter that about 5foot 5). the kitchen could do with a grill and perhaps an oven but other than that it was clean and tidy.

the bathroom is well equipped with both a shower and a bath, a hairdryer is also supplied. the air conditioning and tv remote controls are supplied from reception and will cost you 60 euros which you do get back at the end of your holiday (make sure you get a receipt). the bar is fine for drinks and the food is fine nothing fantastic but sandwiches, pizza etc, didn`t try the restaurant though
many people did, all the staff were fine and helpful. the shop is a little pricy for somethings but the water is much cheaper there and you only have to carry to your room. the pool areas were always clean and tidy as well as the rest of the hotel.

the walk into the town is about a ten to fifteen minute walk away very easy going a little incline but nothing much. the strip is very commercialised so go to the old town or even hire a car and go away from the crowds. the jeep tours of the real Algarve are worth doing with lunch included the best chicken we had there. all the drivers are friendly and will answer any questions.

the weather was warm during the day but a little chilly during the night you might like a cardigan or a warm top to stay out during the evening. no entertainment gets going in the town until about ten or eleven pm,but go`s on until at least six or seven am. zoomarine is only really worth visiting if you have small children or you have never been to seaworld as the shows are just smaller versions of these.

all in all a good place to stay for a friendly clean hotel even if you get a landview you can still see the sea and your room will be cooler in the evening as the sun is around the other side of the hotel, but the view is still worth it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 28th of April 2007

Super hotel but no Kids Club as advertised runs in the winter


"A nice very family friendly hotel, with spacious rooms, good food and very helpful staff. We traveled as a party of seven including three children under ten who were all really looking forward to the First Choice Kids club as set out in the winter catalogue. A month prior to departure we were informed by our Thomson agent that "Due to a recent review we know longer plan to have a kids club at this hotel".
I now understand that in April 2012 families who booked into this hotel were also notified that the kids club would not be running. During our stay we learned from the holiday reps and the hotel staff that actually the Kids Club and water park facilities at the hotel only start on May 1.
Why for at least the last two years First Choice/Thomson have advertised a non-existent Kids Club is beyond me. The Kids Club is also advertised in the December edition of the 2014 catalogue; rather strange when we were informed that a Kids Club "would no longer run" ? If you are booking a holiday with children for March/April 2014 enjoy the nice hotel facilities and helpful staff but I question if a Kids Club will exist no matter what you are told by your travel agent or what is in the catalogue. Could this be considered product mis-selling ? "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 18th of April 2013

Rating breakdown

  • 3 Location
  • 3 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 4 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 4 Value
  • 4 Food
  • 4 Cleanliness

Amazing holiday


"We have just returned from a weeks holiday at the Holiday Village Algarve. I travelled with my 4 children ages 16, 13, 13 and 10 and my niece who is 14.
We had the most amazing week! The hotel and rooms were very clean and tidy, the food was brilliant with something for everyone.
The kids clubs were great with varied things to keep the kids fully occupied. The evening entertainment was absolutely fantastic with the entertainment team being full of energy and always friendly and helpful. Had the most amazing time and really didn't want to come home."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 13th of October 2010

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food
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Top traveller tips for Alto da Colina Aparthotel

  • m w m walker by m w m walker

    "Slide and Splash if you have children "

  • dr00ler by dr00ler

    "Albufeira is just like Blackpool but with sun - tacky. Get out into the beautiful Portuguese country "

  • lizzy by lizzy

    "dont go on the blue slide "

  • clairecornthwaite by clairecornthwaite

    "Albufeira had very smelly drains. "

  • sarahelizabeththomas by sarahelizabeththomas

    "The beaches are beautiful. "

  • nandi70 by nandi70

    "Great restuarant on the beach, but expensive for luch, 2 adults and one 7 years old 60 euros! "

Alto da Colina Aparthotel is also called

  • Alto Da Colina Apartments
  • Alto Da Colina
  • Alto Da Colina Aparthotel Albufeira

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