86 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Just got back from a weeks holiday in Alvor with my Wife. I agree the de core is a little dated, but the apartments are larger than any 1 bed ones I've been in Greece or Italy. What do you expect from a 1985 development! There functional and clean, and despite what others say, you do get a Remote for the Air Con, and not that we used it, but the TV has BBC 1, CBeebes and Sky News.
We went half board, which wasn't great but for Â£30 a head for a week, be got a 3* breakfast and a reasonable evening meal selection. We did however eat out 3 nights, as Alvor old town in only 15min walk away. Waiters were very friendly, and would have a laugh with clients. My only criticisms are that the buffet wasn't always covered from fly's, and drinks were not included. The on site supermarket is 2 min walk from the Restaurant, but would be annoying if staying over the road in the overflow section which also has a pool. Yes the site has two pools, and lots of activities organised for kids, including a kids club. Lunches are best eaten off site or self catered in the apartments well equipped kitchens. We were fortunate to be on the second floor above the reception, overlooking the pool, when helped as my wife is 6 months pregnant.
The beach is a little further than the town, so would advice taking the bus or leaving early. Under no cercumstances consider staying in Praia da Rocha, only visit the beach during the day."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of June 2009
Not bad for price
"My family and I - 2 adults - 2 kids - stayed at the apartments in May 2009. Having read the reviews we were a bit dubious but having booked we thought "what the heck"!
Never having been self-catering before - always half board - we didn't quite know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised. Even hubby who leaves everything to me then moans after was happy with it all and wants to go again!!
2 bed apartment - plenty big enough with huge balcony. The good points about the whole holiday were:-
The weather - of course that is what we go abroad for isn't it?!
The pool was good - we used the one over the road from reception. Fairly quiet in the morning but you had to grab a sunbed in the afternoon.
the location wasn't bad. We walked to the beach every morning and meandered down through the shops to get there. We are fairly fit so that wasn't a problem. The less infirm would need taxis as the roads are very busy and difficult to cross.
The cleaners were nice and cleaned every other day.
Alvor town/village was lovely - very picturesque - especially the harbour. Unspolit unlike some very bland resorts.
bad points were-
we seemed to be next to a kennels(?) and the racket of dogs kept us up nearly every night.
It was expensive to eat out so we ate in a few times but the kitchen was a bit lacking in basic equipment so that was not the easiest of things to do. Also the supermarket was a bit lacking we thought.
Nearly 2 hours transfer from the airport - not advertised on the blurb. We had to drop off the world and his wife first!
The staff were a bit short at times and not too welcoming.
We managed to go to the wrong welcome meeting - partly our fault but misdirected by the staff - we walked in to a meeting that had nearly finished and assumed we had our timings wrong. A few days later our rep contacted us - then we realised our mistake!
Things that could improve it would be:
Maybe an update of the apartments - especially kitchen and bathroom shower.
Welcoming staff. Bearing in mind most of us had been travelling or at least up for 10 hours or more- a better welcome would have been nice - a jug of orange juice or something rather than a curt "your rooms arn't ready yet but there is a snack bar over there". We did use it - only once. It was ok but again very pricey.
All in all though we would go again.
- Travel date: Mon 1st of June 2009
good and bad
"me and my girlfreind stayed here last year for two weeks with thomas cook. 1st ov all the staff are very unhelpfull and not at all what you call welcoming, are apartment which was on the top floor was very very basic, 1 bed, air con with no remote, bath/shower acceptable but no hot water, 2 sigle beds wen we asked for double, staff did nothing, and are balcony was discusting, covered with dead isects and swarmed with bees and wasps as bushes and trees go all way up to the top of the terrecing, and on arrivall the lights didnt even work! and the pool was so cold i dint even get in, and the bar/restraunt on site was nothing special, there idea of an english breakfast is jam on toast! but if you are after basic accomodation and a cheap get away i suppose it ok, cant fault the place tho Alvor is a great place with a 5 min walk to town centre and nice places to eat and drink and 5 mins in a taxi to de roch town with a beach to die for. over all if you are thinking ov staying here just remember its basic and a bit run down but acceptable with a supermarket on site which was good but a bit pricey, self catering option far better overall holiday good."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of April 2009
"Booked privatly owned apartments,when i saw some of the reviews i was worried, but i needn't have,my kids loved it they met loads of kids of a similar age in this family resort.The apt was large,clean and tidy with all mod cons,ideally located at the block opposite the supermarket,the pool is busy,thats why the kids enjoyed it..entertainment was poor at night,but you will want to go to Alvor most nights anyway for the good food and entertainment.The atmosphere in the town is great, relaxing and friendly,The beaches are the best in the world, zoomarine and slide and splash are fantastic attractions..already booked to come back in 2009..CANNOT WAIT TO AUGUST 09"
- Travel date: Mon 26th of January 2009
Excellent family holiday
"Hi We have stayed at the Alvorferias apartments 4 times. We have booked this independently from a private owner. The 2 bedroomed apartment was newly refurbished with excellent facilities.Fridge, washing machine, microwave, TV, spare bed linen, towels etc.
We have 4 children aged from 3-16 years of age. The complex is very family orientated with entertainment at the pool, massage at the pool and night entertainment. The complex restaurant offers a variety od snacks and meals at night time at very reasonable prices.
Alvor town is 5 minutes walk and has many shops,restaurants and bars. It suits families and couples but not young people looking for clubs, although Praira da Rocha is only â¬5 in a taxi if you are looking for nightlife.
I would highly recommend booking Alvorferias apartments independently,and have already booked for summer 09. Alvor is a very relaxing holiday with plenty to do if you want to entertain the kids."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of January 2009
alvorferias apartments book private owned ones they are much much better
"I stayed at Alvorferies apartments in August everyone complaints about the apartments yes if you hire the ones through the reception or Thomsons you get the tired ones with the horrible furniture.but there are privately owned ones in this complex we got ours much cheaper from the internet and hired ours direct from the owner very reasonable. and budget airline the apartment was fantastic everything new bathroom , new beds sofas and what a view from the huge private terrace and two balconys o and satalite tv on a big screen it was brill!!!!!!!!!!!.It was a lovely walk into the stunning town and the food was great.We only dealt with the owners management company who picked us up at Faro four prople for 45 Euros and then showed us round we were at the quiet end across the road the location was really good apartment brill but i feel this apartmet complex gets bad reviews and we had a great time and are going back next summer to the same lovely apartment.the staff were nice at the pool bar so all in all the lesson is book private owned apartments they work out cheaper with easy jet flights and are heaven and enjoy your holiday !!!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 24th of October 2008
BEST VALUE APTS
"Having read some very bad reviews about the apts.. i feel i had to respond,i have stayed here For three years running,and feel i must have stayed in a different appartment than some of the reviews.I have Found the apts always clean tidy,staff friendly and helpful,food good and inexpensive,granted it is a Family complex..remember your kids want to meet other kids on holidays,if this doesn't suit..try the Himalyas..as for Alvor its a little piece of Heaven..What a better way to beat the credit crunch,than a cheap relaxing holiday in a beautiful resort..tip.. book block opp the supermarket at the main complex...p.s your kids will thank you for it,the Himalyas are too cold.."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of October 2008
I have given a lower score then what I w...
"I have given a lower score then what I would have, purely because the changes they had made from 2006 were a big shock & they have spoilt it. Also, I think because they were building a new villa over the back, we did see the odd rat by the pool, this didn't really bother me, but some people I suppose would get a little upity about it.
That's about the only bad thing we can say really, oh apart from the restaurant closing, I really loved having a coffee there, while watching the kids in the pool.
If anyone from the hotel is reading this, please reopen the restaurant & revert the games room back to where it was.
We have been 3 times now, we have found the staff over accomodating if you are polite & not complaining. On our last visit in October of 07, we asked for a room change & was moved no problem, they have always upgraded out room free of charge.
Pools are cold but really refreshing, normally really quiet on the opposite side from reception, really lovely.
We love alvor & the village, it's busy enough with shops & restaurants etc, but not too over commercialized & if it did go that way, it would lose a LOT of people.
Definatly go & see zoomarine & go to slide & splash rather than aqualand because, in my opinion slide & splash is a LOT better.
Will be returning in July 09 & am really looking forward to catching up with the people we have met previously.
Hopefully there will be a lot more going on in July then in October.
- Travel date: Sat 27th of September 2008
If your reading this and you have recen...
"If your reading this and you have recently booked to stay at this accomadation, please cancel make any excuse and get your money back ( feign an illness), now I was not expecting the Ritz bit I have just returned from the Club Alvor ferias and it's a tip, the room was smelly and damp, the kitchen equipment was something that I would have thrown out years ago, the bed linen was not changed during our stay ( 1 week ) the towels were changed once and the room was cleaned twice, if you call a dirty mop over the tiles as cleaned, the bed was no more than a camp bed, it's by a main road that resembles brands hatch all you can hear is brakes screeching and horns blowing, you take your life in your hands trying to cross the road,
Good Points; the town/village of Alvor is really nice, old cobbled streets that twist and turn revealing some fantastic restaurants, we ate at a different place every night and food fantastic at reasonable prices, there are lots of bars some good some not so good, quite a few Irish bars as well. Baroda bar had some really good live music look out for twin flames female singer with a great voice, also most bars have sky or setanta so lots of footbal etc on the tv.
To sum up, we spent as little time as possible at the club Alvorferias and made the most of the town/village I would return to Alvor but not at the Club alvorferias. I must admit that this is the first time we have had poor accomodation with thomson, but this is not 3 star
KEEP WELL AWAY YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of September 2008
Having read some frightening reviews abo...
"Having read some frightening reviews about the complex and having 2 kids under 3, we were a little anxious about this holiday to say the least! However, we had a great time and found little fault with Alvorferias.
Sure, accomodation is basic, but clean. Our room was cleaned every other day. The pool was not as busy as we thought (And the pool over the bridge is much quieter!) and the staff were fine.
There is a ten minutes walk down the hill to the lovely town of Alvor. Plenty of places to eat out and to be entertained. With all this in the resort I wonder why people want to stay at the apartment complex all night! There is so much more out there!
Overall, I would recommend Alvorferias to those seeking basic, clean accomodation a short walk out of the centre."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of September 2008
We booked these apartments after reading...
"We booked these apartments after reading plenty of good reviews on this and other sites. However, I fully agree with all the other recent low scores awarded and can only assume it is like others have said and the apartment standards have dropped rapidly in recent months - the whole complex really does have a run down and nobody can be bothered feel about it.
We arrived and like other commentors had to wait at least 5 minutes for the man to get up from his desk to 'welcome' us. He was the rudest most unhelpful person I have ever come accross. We were visiting as 2 families and asked to be located close together if possible - we were placed on separate complexes with a main road separating us. This can be avoided by using the bridge but a good 5 minute walk was hardly what we considered close to each other.
Thankfully we had a clean 2 bed apt with good air cond. Our friends were not so lucky and had a pokey 1 bed apt with air con that didn't work and no blackout blinds or working shutters. The weather was gorgeous but for them that just meant sweltering sun blazing into their apt all day leaving it very hot on a night. Their balcony was the size of a postage stamp and to add insult to injury the air con unit for the air con that didn't work was on the balcony taking up the tiny bit of space they had! The man at reception couldn't have cared less.
On the plus side we found the bar staff very friendly if you took the time to chat to them. But although they were lovely and the bar was fine for a daytime drink and snack under no circumstances would you want to stay there on a night. The night-time bar is shocking and unfortunately like a bar in Blackpool but with heat. The maids were regular and did a good job so no complaints there.
The pools are far too small to accommodate the number of visitors in peak season - get out early if you want a lounger. As for others, lots of older teenagers diving off the bridge made it dangerous for the younger ones and the sunbed man just turned a blind eye. The beach is lovely but not a 10 min stroll as others have said - not with kids anyway. Take the car - oh but watch out as ours got broken into whilst parked at the beach. Be warned - there are only a couple of very busy restaraunts on the beach and not much else for quite a trek so be prepared and take lunch with you.
Alvor itself is probably gorgeous out of season - but in Aug it was just packed every night (and we went every night to get away from the awful complex). It looks like a bit of a trek but its 15 mins at the most to get into the centre. We were lucky and found some lovely restaraunts frequented by Portuguese - if going try Marafados, Green Door, 5 Quinas, Alcaide (I think!) - you can find them on the free map available all over. Oh and another tip - it is so busy you have to book every night or you will not get in anywhere decent.
All in all, my first visit to the Algarve was a big disappointment. Not as picturesque as I'd expected and much more tacky than expected. If this had been a cheap holiday I wouldn't have had many complaints but it was similar in cost to what we have previously paid for private villas with a private pool. Out of season Alvor will be a gorgeous town as it was much nicer just when it was quieter in the day but at peak times it is very busy. As for the apartments - do yourself a favour and go somewhere else - they are overpriced and the staff have given up on them which is a real shame as with a bit of TLC and some staff who cared more the apartments could be great.
Despite all the bad points we had 2 weeks of glorious sunshine and were with good friends so still managed to have a fab time, but felt like I should put this review on to help others either avoid the apartments in the first place or at least go with the right expectations.
- Travel date: Tue 19th of August 2008
I have travelled around europe for the l...
"I have travelled around europe for the last 10 years mainly by booking package holidays, I have stayed in about 10 different 3 star apartments, apart from a terrible 3 star apartment complex in Cyprus back in 2001 this was the worst place I have ever stayed, Im not one for moaning but this place is simply terrible, here are the facts:
1 The reception staff are rude and extremely unhelpful, they did not even acknowledge our problems never mind sort them out. They hid behind their computers at the back of reception and left you standing for what seemed like ages before they even came to talk to you, with a long face rather than a welcoming smile.
2 The apartment I was given was smelly and dirty, It had no kettle or Toaster, the bed linen is changed once a week so I never got mine changed, the towels are changed every 4 days, there were bulbs missing which they did not replace after I had informed them. There was not enough hot water to have a bath, no joke if you were in the shower for 5 minutes the water went cold, I was in a 3 bed studio so i dont know how 3 people would get washed their, no chance. once you left the apartment and took your keycard out, the electricity went off, so the fridge and air conditioning went off too.
3 There is no restaurant within the complex (even though there is a picture of one on the brochure), there is a pool side snack bar with a limited menu which is not suitable for an evening meal, more of a light snack, you never got all your ordered either, they did not give you the orange juice which was adversised as part of the full english breakfast.
4 Now I know everyone has different opinions of whether smimming pools are warm or cold, the pools here were the coldest I had ever swam in, there were no life guards either and the bigger kids could more or less do what they wants, they constantly dived off the bridge into the pool, parents with smaller kids took their kids out of the pool.
5 The main pool outside the reception was very cramped, no joke if you put your arms out each side of your lounger you could touch the 2 loungers beside you.
6 The bar is like an underground bunker with no natural lighting, very dark and small, hand on heart I had 2 drinks in it one nice and could not wait to get out, there was nowhere you could sit out at night and enjoy a drink. the night time entertainment consisted of a live singer one night, karoke the next, a parrot show and the rest i cant remember, nothing that enticed me going.
7 A Lot of other people seemed to be complaining alot too.
8 Check out time was 11am, my flight was 7pm, i waited in reception for the bus for about an hour, it was sweltering and they would not put the air conditioning on, it was very uncomfortable.
All in all the apartments were simply dirty and uncomfortable, the staff were not friendly, I left the apartments for the town centre every night to eat and drink, I did not look forward to returning to the apartments. Alvor is a lovely spot and well worth a visit but this place was not nice at all, it was not a good base to enjoy your holiday from, most people I spoke to there felt the same.
I spoke to peole who have been coming here for the last number of years, they were of the opinion that its gradually getting worse. It has the feel of a place that once was good but is now in decline, it definately needs a good shape up.
I would have loved to have wrote a good review about this place as nobody likes staying at a bad place which takes from the enjoyment of your holiday.
I would advise anyone going here to be prepared or cancel if you can, if you have booked half board cancel straight away, there is no restaurant, only a snack menu with about 7 different options, so if your eating twice a day work it out."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of July 2008