13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
For the most part our vacation was near...
"For the most part our vacation was near perfect.
we had unit 129 dont know who the owner is.
2 couples 2 bedrooms 2 baths lots of room.
very central as we had a car. no air conditioning
so could not leave patio door open.
the down side.
our unit (probably unknown to the owner)was NOT LOCKED
all the time we were there including the 5 days we were away
several times repair was requested but it was never repaired.
only other thing was that our parking spot was always occupied
by the workers across the street and the 1/2 inch of dust on the car.
the Balaia Golf Village is very picturesque. very large and spread out.
great for early morning walks. l found the front desk to be very friendly and
very very helpful.
At front office their rating of 3* is shown.
l guess the biggest problem was with the tour operator. JM Vacations.
their brochure represented it as a 4*. they also said in a brochure that it was built
in 2005. l spoke to an owner he said more like 12 years old.
we compared 3* & 4* resorts and found a good sized diffrence in the rates.
of course JM Vactions denied our claim. l think we already knew that.
Needless to say we will never book with them again.
We had agreat time and would definitely stay at the Balaia Golf Village again.
Be sure to have a car it is a little walk into town in if you are not a walker.
hope this will help someone to make their decisions."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of April 2008
"Had a wonderful week at Balaia golf resort with my husband and 2 sons aged 18 and 19. Booked a standard T2 bedroom apartment was given a superior one. Very nice with dishwasher washing machine and dryer. It was very well equiped in every way. The staff was really pleasent and helpful.
Free bus into ALbufeira 3 times a day but a taxi only cost â¬3.90.
It was a nice 20 min walk to the strip in Albufeira, so if you wanted the noise you were not too far away. The beach at Mairie Louise was just a short walk down the road. This was very nice if you went down to the left past the rows of sunbeds We dined in the Veranda restaurant on site which was excellent. A buffet for â¬15 all courses covered and eat as much as you want.
I booked about 2 weeks before we went, directly with the resort. I later saw it on booking.com for approx â¬200 cheaper. This was for the standard apartment so I suppose it balanced out when they gave us the superior one.
I would definatly recommend this resort and would return there again."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of September 2007
Return to Balaia golf village
"We returned to Balaia golf village this year, after enjoying our family holiday there in August 2006.
This time we returned with more family, 15 of us altogether.
We managed to get apartments all close by to each other, booking with www.balaia.co.uk who we highly recommend!
Very organised, detailed, and make sure you have all the information you need for that perfect holiday.
Our apartments were near the driving range, which is in a quiet part of the resort. Most of the apartments have all the essentials you need. We were missing a parasol for the terrace, which we could of done with in the summer heat.
We noticed everything was more busy this year, going 2 weeks earlier than last year. It was difficult getting taxi's into villamoura, or albufeira, sometimes we almost gave up. We thought Balaia golf village should maybe have more dining options, as it is such a big complex.
Just one more negative, the flies this year were unbelievable!!!
Billions of them, annoying around the swimming pools,
or having lunch at the golf club, as you couldn't shoo them away.
Funny though, we only noticed them at Balaia golf village.
Maybe the complex was using something to maintain their golf course that attracted the flies??????
Apart from that, we ALL had a wonderful time, the people (most)are friendly, the swimming pools are well kept, and we made plenty of use of :-) The grounds are lovely, my family enjoyed playing golf at the resort and in Villamoura. The complex had an entertainments team, which organised activities like, water arerobics, volleyball, water polo, archery etc.
The beach is nearby....walking distance.
The kids really enjoyed the beach, building sandcastles, surfing, fishing in the rock pools, exploring the small caves.
We went to a waterpark, Aquashow for the day, advice is to get there very early, it get's very busy!!! But once again the children enjoyed themselves.
If we went again, we would hire a car.
Villamoura Marina is a great place to go for the evenings, plenty of choices of restaurants.
Last time I gave this resort a 5... this year I've gave it a 4
Not that we enjoyed it any less, but I think it's somewhere inbetween the two."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of August 2007
just returned from balaia golf village
"Having just returned from a fabulous holiday at balaia golf, i felt compelled to share my experience of this complex.
I booked through flightline.co.uk and flew with bmi baby it was very reasonably priced for a family of 3 in august.
I was very impressed with the apartment - it was basically a bungalow on the 2nd floor facing the tennis courts, very spacious with a well equipped kitchen ( could have done with mugs for tea and cereal bowls ). Two outside areas with chairs tables and sun loungers. The apartment did not have air conditioning ( although some apparantly do ) but we had a large fan. The weather was around 30oc which we found perfect although the portugese say that this is mild for august.
The facilities on site were clean and very good pools restaurant fitness centre, and nowhere seemed overcrowded for the time of year, we had no trouble with sunbeds and no noisy revellers at night, very quiet and relaxing, it was a little haven away from all the hustle and bustle.
If you like to get out and about then ideally you should rent a car, we did seem to spend quite a bit on taxis and they are not always esy to get hold of at busy times. You can book a free curtesy bus into albufeira for the day - that was very useful and we used balaia's transfer service to and from the complex at 30 euros each way.
We booked 2 trips zoomarine which is great for the kids and has a lovely swimming pool/sunbathing area where you can relax. My 9 year old daughter went swimming with dolphins - a magical experience! we managed to get a cancellation as they were very busy, i am not sure if you can book before you go.
We also did the half day jeep safari and afternoon aquapark- this was an excellent day out, 8 jeeps on a very bumpy ride out in the countryside and mountains, through little villages growing olives oranges lemons etc, amusing and informative driver, stopped on the way for a swim in a cool river, great day out.
Ideal base for families who like quiet peaceful nights, but not too far from attractions. would definitely go again."
- Travel date: Wed 15th of August 2007
Great place even if you don't play golf
"What a great apartment and complex. The apartment we stayed in was decorated lovely and over looked the golf course. I booked this though [--] as this particular apartment was getting 5 star reviews. Looking forward to going again this year."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of May 2007
Lovely location and excellent value for money!
"We have just returned from the Balaia Golf Village. It's a beautiful location. The facilities were first rate. The surrounding gardens - absolutely lovely.
A wonderful atmosphere for families or couples.
We would certainly return, and not hesitate to recommend this complex to others. You will not be disappointed."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of May 2007
Family place and good value
"We have just returned from our trip to Algarve and Lisbon. Stayed here for 5 nights and will give you the honest feedback that you are looking for.... It has great outdoor pools and we loved being close to the beach too. You can't beat the price and if travelling with younger children (ours aged 5 and 2) it was outstanding. Of course your villa will be owned by others and you cannot guarantee the type of furnishings or cleanliness from one to the next. However we were pleased with ours and although the website that we booked through said "fabulous views" we did not have that. This place is great if you are looking for a location that you can walk to the beach and hang out by the pool. If you are looking to "see Portugal" then head north up to Lisbon. Definitely an R&R spot. A family told me that they had been coming here for 3 years, always in May and they loved it... could always swim in the pool outside. There is an indoor pool too... and a good fitness centre. The golf course is cute but not challenging. Tennis is expensive (rentals 4 euro/hour per racket, court 11 euro and balls 4 euros) so if you want to play tennis bring your own stuff. Staff is pretty good ... a few excellent team players but some overworked as it is a busy place. There is a great family friendly restaurant on the nearby beach that we HIGHLY recommend. If you are looking for an inexpensive portuguese getaway I would highly recommend this. If you are looking for more, the club Med is just down the road (on the beach). Local fish market has the best fresh catches of the day and just down the road. You need a car to access most things so count on renting one unless you don't mind paying for taxis or tours."
- Travel date: Fri 18th of May 2007
"We stayed in the village on the basis of other peoples comments on this and other websites and were not dissapointed, the location is great, espaecially if you have a hire car. The resort was quiet and sunny, the perfect holiday for March, when it was snowing back home. The 'village' grounds are really well maintained, our only gripe was that only 1 of the 6 pools is heated in the 'off season' and this closes prompt at 6pm. We were also pleasantly surprised at the size of the appartment, which was far larger than we had expected ( would have slept 4 adults and 2 kids )and was fully equiped, down to a juicer for juicing the local Oranges!
We will definately return in the future."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of April 2007
Just about the best to stay in the Algarve!
"Our most recent visit to Balaia Golf Village was in September 2006. We stay there most years at this time, as we have timeshare there. Our experiences of staying there have always been excellent. It is a most attractive, peaceful place to stay, and because there are so many separate pools, one never gets the feeling that the place is crowded. The on-site restaurant 'A Varanda' is also excellent and now that there is also a super market at the entrance to the complex, there is everything to hand. The golf course and club house are also great. There is a bus stop just outside the complex with regular transport to and from Albufeira or eastwards along the coast. Balaia Golf Village also does transfers to and from Faro Airport, so a hire car is not essential. The nearest beach, 'Maria Luisa' is only five minutes walk away and the Santa Eulalia beach is also close by. In fact, we cannot speak highly enough of Balaia Golf Village.
An excellent neaby restaurant is 'The 3 Marias' - just a few minutes walk away at Torre da Medronheira (on the outskirts of Olhos d'Agua). The set tourist menu at this restaurant is varied, of excellent and very reasonably priced - in fact, the best value around. The family who run it are also extremely friendly and helpful. There is also a large modern Marachino supermarket with everything you might need on the approach to Olhos d'Agua.
In all, Balaia Golf Village is a superb location for spending a quality holiday in the Albufeira area of the Algarve."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of January 2007
"We stayed in a two bed superior apartment on the ground floor next to the indoor pool. Apartments were very spacious and clean. We had a washing machine and dryer which was just brilliant. Resort was beautiful, very well kept. Maid service every day, plenty of fresh towels, changed twice while we were there. Indoor pool is small but very quiet, i had two small children, 2 and 4, who loved it. Gym very small, but again very quiet. There was supposed to be 2 outdoor heated pools but they were not heated while we were there, even though when i booked i was told that they were!
Supermartket on site is very good, i did not find it that expensive, as some other reviewers did. Lovely fresh rolls every day and very convenient. Reception staff very friendly. Restaurant was beautiful. Again it was dearer than most of the other restaurants around, but it was really beautiful. We ate there two evenings and had absolutely no complaints, a couple of very friendly waiters there too.
There is a beach about ten minutes walk but it was not very nice, horrible smell of sewage and quiet dirty, open sewer on the roadway leading to it. There is another beach, Saint Eulalia, about a twenty minute walk away that was beautiful.
Only problems we had was our apartment had a patio but we never got the sun, people across the way from us had sun all day! Apartments had table and chairs outside as well as two sun loungers. Also the walls are very thin between apartments. We had to complain one night to our neighbours as they were talking and laughing too loud and the children couldnt sleep. They were very good about it though. Overall i would highly recommend this resort and would definately go back, albeit to an apartment with a patio that gets the sun!!"
- Travel date: Tue 21st of November 2006
The resort complex was really nice and c...
"The resort complex was really nice and clean, with well kept gardens and friendly staff. My boyfriend and I booked a 1 bedroom apartment and it was so spacious for the two of us. (There was enough space to sleep 6!)
The apartment was cleaned daily and it had all the usual mod cons. We also had 2 balconies! (One with sun loungers the other with table and chairs.)
The pool area's were lovely and enough sun beds to go round. (We went in a quiet week in June). The beach is in walking distance as well. The resort restaurant was good, serving a mixture of European food. (The fish and beef kebabs was particularly tasty.)
My tip is to definitely rent a car to get around to see more of the area. There are bus stops right outside the complex that take you to local towns. We weren't keen on Albufeira, but try visit Vilamoura and Quinta da Lago instead. Overall, a great relaxing holiday for a couple but if you have children it would seem suitable to."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of July 2006
The apartments were very good and in a n...
"The apartments were very good and in a nice setting. It was a bit of a trek to the beach but worth it when you got there. Unfortunately the holiday was spoilt by a burglary at our apartment. We spoke to several residents and this seems to be a regular occurrence, although this is denied by the management.
The staff were very surly and curt in their service if they didnât feel like it they just didnât serve you. We had no assistance after the break in and the security staff were aggressive.
We found a lovely restaurant on the beach and spent most of our evenings there. If you are looking for any entertainment the nearest places are a taxi ride away"
- Travel date: Thu 30th of September 2004