18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I've just come back from the Stella Maris hotel near Albufeira- and i'd love to go back!!!! The hotel was amasing, the staff are very friendly and everything is clean. Our apartment was very modern and we had two balcony's. if you like eating in then this is perfect for you because you have a kettle, toaster, fridge-frezzer, double sink, oven and loads of cupboards and pans. Like the rooms the pool is clean although you don't really get 'the four star feel' if you no what i mean, it could be a little bigger but if you go earlyish then there's hardly one in so it's not too crowded. there is a little pool for kids but most of them go in the jacussi. Theirs also a bar, the foods quite nice and some nights they have some entertainment (which we didn't go to.) Restaurant wise it's not that good, the only proper one their is the chinese (everyone must go!! the sweet and sour hong kong style is B-E-Autiful!) but the rest are just like little cafe type things. But the one next to the Chinese is nice. The beech is awsome!! it's really pretty but it's about 100 steps down to it =S The supermarket is just down the road but it is quite expensive. The owners must be loaded cos everyone seems to go their. if your looking for a lively night live this is not the place for you. One night at the hotel they did kariokie but i wasnt tht good. overall if your lookin for a quiet relaxing holiday then this the place for you. i think everyone shud book it because it's so nice!! have a great time!! luv Rebecca xxx "
- Travel date: 26th August 2010
"We stayed in Stella Maris Hotel at the end of May 2009 and had a fabulous time. My husband and i took our daughter with us who is 18 months old, she had a fantastic time in the kids pool. The hotel is very clean, the cleaners call everyday and change towels, etc as needed. The food in the hotel was very good too, we found it best to eat in the hotel rather than go down to the square in falesia as the food was not that great in the restaurants in falesia. The staff in the hotel were very pleasant and were very good with kids. The hotel was an alround winner with us and we could not fault it. We will definately return in a few years time when our daughter is a bit older, so she can enjoy it more and attend the kids club, which looked fantastic as all the kids were really enjoying them-selfs."
- Travel date: 2nd June 2009
Hotel- 10/10 Location- 1/10 Overall- 5/1...
"Hotel- 10/10 Location- 1/10 Overall- 5/10 I am staying in the resort as i type this review as you can tell how boring it is to be here ive resorted to going on the internet to pass my time. Do not get me wrong the hotel was gorgeous and the rating is justified and if u like going to bed at 9pm with the rest of the fellow guests then maybe this holiday is for you. However, there is nothing to do in this resort, it is a ghost town. it appears that they are trying to drag people out to this area with flashy hotels but no entertainment after the sun goes down. The only entertainment the hotel provides is a mime singer 3 nights a week. There are two restaurants nearby worth eating in but you do not have alot of choice. we ate in them everynight we have been here. There is a small supermarket nearby, whom the owners of must have more money than the beetles as the prices were extortionate. Although you do not have any other choice but to go there unless you fancy a 20 minute hike to another one that is slightly cheaper. Would not come back to this resort again as i would have had more to do sitting at home for a week."
- Travel date: 9th September 2008
"Just returned (10th July).Stayed for two weeks,had a great time. Apartment spacious,large balcony.Overlooking the kiddie club and pool,very quiet.We found the service good,the rooms were cleaned daily and the staff were generally helpful. The Kiddie club was well organized,usually three sessions a day,"Orlando loved it". Pools were nice, though the usual problem of people sneaking down at night to put their towels down early,"how sad!". The restaurant was a bit pricey,18 Euros per person for dinner and it had no atmosphere.Beach was great and the ten minute walk is no real problem even with the hill. The local restaurants are a bit bland but in a nice little square,in the evening there are battery powered quad bikes for the kids and a "not very clean" bouncy castle. The Supermarket is VERY overpriced,go to Albufeira on the bus and stock up from the Modelo supermarket, and make sure you visit the Pasteleria across the road,,FANTASTIC cakes and very cheap. Aqua parks and ZooMarine very good . A nice quiet resort and overall a great holiday"
- Travel date: 14th July 2008
Excellent modern apartments at the Stella Maris
"We had a wonderful stay at the Stella Maris and they are by far the best apartments we have ever stayed in and deserve the 4 star rating. The resort is quite small but very pleasant with a small selection of shops and restaurants only a short walk away in the square, just enough for a 1 week holiday but i feel there may not be enough variety if you are staying for 2 weeks unless you are able to go a little further afield, there are more restaurants and bars about a 20 minute walk away. We would recommend the Flor Do Mar, we had three meals here all very good, service a little slow and some of the staff are a little forgetful but we enjoyed it all the same. The Pizzeria was very good too. We felt all the prices were very reasonable. There is a supermarket in the square which isnt cheap but has everything you could need, there are other larger supermarkets further away but i believe these are no cheaper. Our apartment was very large and extremely clean and modern, my only complaint with the apartment was that there was no mirror in the bedroom which made things a little difficult when getting ready, other than that it had every thing you needed, our apartment looked on to the playground and as we were on the ground floor our four year old only had to go down a couple of steps to play, which was wonderful. The complex itself was also very clean and well maintained but there was a lack of sunbeds, i dont think they could get many more around the main pool area but more could be provided in the lovely lawned areas or by the other childrens pool. We only ate on the complex once, on our last day we had some lunch which was very good. We would definately return to the Stella Maris for a weeks holiday or if we went for two would hire a car so we could get out and about more."
- Travel date: 7th July 2008
Great family holiday
"We stayed here for a week in June. There was my husband and I and our daughter who is 4 and our son who is 1. The hotel is great. Nice pool and a lovely little kids splash pool about knee deep, with little fountains and a little slide for the little ones that no one has mentioned on reviews - this is round by the kids club - the kids club was great and our daughter loved it, really gave us a break and will prob try to go on holidays with a kids club again - I was a bit skeptical but it was very safe and she loved it! Rooms were fine and balcony is massive! The beach is lovely - just down the road but beware of the steps (100 of them) with 2 buggies it was a struggle but worth the effort! A few minor downers.....hotel staff by the pool were a bit over worked and service a bit slow. Towels on the sunbeds early in the morning - prob be a problem in high season. People go on about the location but the little square down the road is rather sweet I thought - a few snacky type restaurants and a few shops. And the Chinese is great! For us as a young family it was ideal for a week....maybe two weeks and you'd need a car to go to some different restaurants. I loved every minute and wish were there a bit longer!"
- Travel date: 6th July 2008
If you read only one review then let thi...
"If you read only one review then let this be it! We decided at the last minute to get away for a week. We have previously visited Portugal a few years back and we knew we were guanteed to have a great time. There were four of us travelling - Myself, My Wife and our two boys aged 4 and 2. We hunted the web and this hotel/apartment from First Choice stood out mainly because of it's decor/facilities looking more modern/stylish and at a very reasonable price. We paid Â£898 for a week S/C for 4. We took on board feedback from reviews and booked a car via First Choice. During the booking process you have the option to cancel the airport transfers which will save you Â£60, and therefore if you are planning to hire a car strongly suggest you collect from the airport and drive to resort. The car cost Â£78 for the week (that includes insurance!) which proved the most competitive rate. Those people that later decided to book a car, not only paid the Â£60 transfer fee but also Â£150 per week for car hire.If you are concerned about finding your way - Don't be! The roads are easy to navigate and the Algarve/Albufieria is connected by the straight forward motorway with all resorts fully sign posted. The tickets arrived in good time and contained the usual information you need about check in etc.. However, first choice did not stipulate which terminal the flight was departing from, which caused some confusion as most of us went to the south terminal opposed to the north terminal! The flight time was perfect at 2.5hrs - with 2 kids that enough. We collected the car and made our way to the resort easily without getting lost. It took about 25 minutes and saved time without having to drop all the other holidaymakers off first. As the flight was early, we arrived at the hotel at 1p.m but the room was not ready. It's useful to have some swimming clothes ready so you can enjoy the facilities and start your holiday opposed to being sat in reception for hours till your room was available - Changing facilities and a locked luggage room are free for you to change and leave your belongings. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful and the rooms were cleaned daily. The apartments were perfect for us. We had a seperate bathroom and kitchen, twin beds which we pushed together and a sofa bed along with dining table and etc seating....The decor was modern and classy. We had a ground floor room but all balconies were large and spacious - Safety deposit boxes are FREE to use in your room. The hotel was every sense of it's 4 stars*! During the day we ventured out - The car gave us the freedom to explore beaches, water parks and other cities. Some we recommend are Santa Eualia beach as it long and narrow and ideal to keep an eye on wandering children. A small walk along the beach takes you to rock pools - The kids loved crab hunting! Zoo Marine was great - You get to see dolphins, seals and birds shows. There is also a few rides for the kids and aquarium. The slide and splash waterpark was great but better for older children over 12. Fiesa is amazing at night - They are sand sculptures of your favourite characters/movies etc... One thing we noticed was that for all these attractions, children under 5 go free! The prices at the venue were cheaper than going with your tour operator and having a car you can come and go as you like- avoiding queues! We didn't spend much time at the hotel but from our observations, the main pool area had sunbeds with towels sprawled on them from stupid o'clock in the morning. I'm sure everyone just left them out from the previous day and there were no German's in sight!!! - Yes that's right - It was our fellow Brits!! If you take a stroll around the back of the hotel there is a play area for the kids and grassy area which was always empty and if you continue around even further around the rear of the hotel (onsite) there was a mini water park for the kids with slides, water shoot etc. again, this was often vacant! There is also a kids club that runs -We didn't use it but it had regular time intervals throughout the day and lots of different actvities.. Opposite the hotel was a running track with your typical athletic events including long jump,high jump. There is also a football pitch.The facilites are shared with the hotel opposite but often not used. We often took the boys over for a game of footie. run etc.... They thought it was great! We would definately go back to this hotel and the Algarve again - Albufieria can be a little loud,ladish so it was nice being out of it to relax, unwind and rejunvenate."
- Travel date: 29th June 2008
Very Good Hotel
"We enjoyed our stay at this hotel for the following reasons; - clean and very well maintained - friendly staff - excellent child facilities (dedicated child playground and child playpool) - quiet location, away from hustle and bustle - short walk to beatuiful Falesia beach - short walk to local shop/restaurants - reasonable price for hotel (approx. â¬80 per night) The only signifiacnt drawback of the hotel is that the pool area is not large enough for the amount of guests staying at the hotel; there was lots of competition for the sun-beds around the pool. Here are a few small gripes; - balcony door cannot be opened from outside when closed (our child locked us out on the balcony!) - room front door can be easily opened by child - no microwave in kitchen - no english language satellite stations on TV - stairs had to be navigated to get access to our "ground floor" room"
- Travel date: 26th June 2008
Well equipped and maintained apartments
"My husband and 4 month old baby and I have just returned after staying at the Stella Maris in a 1 bedroom apartment for 7 nights. Having read many of the positive reviews before we booked, I am happy to say that the apartments lived up to our expectations. The room looked just like the photos, was very spacious, clean and well maintained. Our kitchen was one of the best equipped we had stayed in, having kettle, toaster, fridge freezer and good selection of plates, utensils etc. ( I had asked for a microwave in the room and it was also supplied). The safety deposit box works out at 2.50 euros per day, and if you want beach towels for the pool, there was a refundable 20 euro deposit. The TV in the room had only 2 English speaking channels, CNN and Euro sport, and a music radio channel. The towels and bins were changed daily and beds made. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful. Top tip- if you want a sun bed at the pool, you need to get up at about 7am and get your towel down, or you won't stand a chance - there are definitely not enough beds. The Stella Maris is in a quiet area with the nearest supermarket and restaurants about a 5 minute walk. This said, the small square area had a few small shops, 2 local restaurants, a Chinese Restaurant and a Pizzeria, an ice cream shop and a cafe. The food was nothing to rave about in any of them, but the Flor de Mar was the better of the 2 local ones. We did walk the 20 minutes to the shops near the Sheraton, and ate in the La Lagousteria; the meal was good but dont order the chocolate mousse - it was still under cooked in the middle and my husband got food poisoning. I would definitely recommend thee Stella Maris apartments and we had a lovely quiet week, the only down side was the lack of any good restaurants nearby."
- Travel date: 24th June 2008
Quite â Possibly too quite?
"Spotlessly clean, very helpful staff, great value, generous self catering apartments Leisurely 10/15min walk to glorious beach â albeit with steep hill and many steps which were easily manageable 3min walk to Supermarket, several shops, six (?) restaurants and two barsâ recommend friendly Bar33 for quite coffee or beer and âFlor do Morâ for simple food well done Downside â possibly too quite/remote Aside from shops and restaurants 3min walk â not much else around â¬12/15 Taxi to either Albuferia or Villamoura, although there is a limited bus service Plenty for kids, but not teenagers â or indeed party animals of any age Although there is a huge construction site close by, it in no way affected us â very quite and very clean Better TV would be nice â cartoon network and some English language station aside from CNN All in all great value for money Top Tip âBar33â and âFlor do Morâ â see above Romantic 45min walk along beach to Vilamoura â at Vilamoura look out for bridge behind dunes to roundabout and Marina âO Mariscoâ at Vilamoura Marina, great food, friendly service and value for money, superb desert menu â ask waiter for recommendations âAdega Ticostaâ opposite Sheraton â rustic Portuguese restaurant, although rough and ready, great food excellent value"
- Travel date: 14th June 2008
An excellent getaway!
"I stayed at the Stella Maris for 1 week in a Studio w/c 29th May with my wife and 10mth son. With only a 30 min transfer from Faro airport the realitively quick journey after a 3 hour flight with a baby was appreciated! Check-in was very quick and the reception area very clean and modern. Our studio bedroom was on the 3rd floor of the hotel overlooking the gardens and childrens playarea. The open plan appartment was excellent and included an ironing board, hair dryer and toaster which was excellent. The bedrooms were splotlessly clean, as was the pool and restaurant areas. The pool area was pleasant but not overly huge - so be prepared to get up early to 'claim' your beds! Also do be aware of the parasols - as if the wind picks up they seem to easily fall over. My wife got a bang on the head - which whilst vaguely humourous could have been more serious. You have been warned! The beach is lovely, nice and quiet, and very safe. The sea was freezing though!!!! Still didn't stop me going in! We walked to Villamoura along a hillside path one day - well worth a visit - a lot more shops and restaurants than Praia De Falesia which only really had a handfull. We also visited Albuferia old town for lunch - 10 Euro in a cab - which was nice for a change of scenery. We ate at the Chinese restaurant and the Flor De Mer restaurant (nearby) in the main square by the hotel and both were very good! The hanging meat mixed kebabs at the latter were very good indeed! All in all, the hotel is very good and the surroundings very relaxed and low key - ideal for a family getaway. (PS for those taking little ones you can buy baby food in the local supermarket but not baby milk - remember to take your milk powders!)"
- Travel date: 12th June 2008
Highly recommended if you don't mind a quiet location
"We chose this place after reading that the accommodation was spacious, clean and well-equipped. We were aware that the location wasn't what a majority of people would consider 'good', but it was exactly what we wanted and we had a great holiday. We catered for ourselves the entire week after a trip to the hypermarket at 'Algarveshopping' in Guia. We made it there by taking the local bus to Albufeira bus station and another bus that dropped us off outside the shopping centre. We took a taxi back and that cost us 15 euro. To be honest, for more than two people it would be cheaper and a lot quicker to take a taxi there as well. We took the Aparthotel's courtesy bus to the centre of Albufeira for a morning of shopping but since the return bus was too late for us, we took a taxi back. Pricey at 14 euro, we thought. There is a complex of bars, eateries and shops a two-minute walk from the apartments. Obviously the supermarket was a bit expensive, but some items were actually cheaper than the larger supermarket on the approach road, near the Sheraton, so it's not necessarily worth the 15-minute walk there. There are also shops for beach gear and bijoux, and a newsagent. Praia de Falesia beach is beautiful, but the ocean looked too rough for swimming. We walked to Vilamoura marina along the beach - it took 1 hour, but a bit longer coming back because the tide had come in and it was difficult to walk on the soft sand. I've nothing different to add about the Aparthotel itself, except maybe that the reception staff were civil rather than friendly or particularly helpful. Any Portuguese we dealt with in shops were pleasant though - they're likeable people."
- Travel date: 11th June 2008
Top traveller tips for Victoria Sport & Beach
"amasing! would love to come back again!"
Victoria Sport & Beach is also called
- stella maris albufeira