More about Alfagar Apartments
just back from the alfagar,dont know what last reviewer was going on about.!we were there for a week and loved it,we had two children aged 11 with us and they did not want to come home at all yesterday.the apartment we had was a 2 bedroomed, first floor,uninterupted views of the sea from a very large balcony.the living area was very spacious,and the kitchen was equipped with everything you will need,even a great big proper cooker,with 4 hobs on it,not the measely 2 you get in some other countrys.where the alfagar is situated you do need a bit of transport on those very hot days,so the solution is the hotel run mini bus which leaves every day at 10 o'clock in the morning and drops you to either the old or new town.then you have until 3 o'clock when the bus will pick you up from you're drop off point,and then bring you back.the staff were brilliant,the cleaning ladies were fab,as were all the others.the problem with the dogs did not bother us,just dont encourage them and they will go away,and there was'nt dog poo anywhere that we saw.the pools were very clean and the bins around that area were emptyed regulary,a member of staff on one occasion found a 1 euro coin on the ground one day and proceeded to go around to everyone and asked if they owned it,so you can't get more honest then that can you!we had a day out to zoomarine which was brilliant,it might sound a bit expensive but it is so worth it,once you get in there you only pay for your food and that isit,yet again transport just outside the gates of the alfagar.the gardens which are all around the complex are all lush and green an very well maintained,the beach is spotless and great fun.dont bother with the strip,as it is very tacky,we walked down there one day,and just turned arouned and walked back again,the old town is brilliant,little winding streets,lovely resturants,great shopping,ignore work which is ongoing at the front of the town,it is only to facilitate a car free plaza,the rest of the town is fully up and running.booking for two weeks next time,loved it.
Could be better
We recently stayed at the Alfagar Apartments. We stayed in a two bedroom apartment with a view of a building site on both sides!! Not quite what we had asked for! The complex has three pools which are very clean, nice gardens, very green.
The steps down to the beach from the complex were very steep and felt quite slippy due to the sand. The alternative was to walk via the main road which took longer but was on an even keel.
Unfortunately the apartments were approximately a 25 minute walk to The Strip and even further to the Old Town. The taxi service was even worse as you had to queue up for a taxi and we ended up walking back rather than waiting for over an hour.
I would not go back to the Alfagar but I would definitely go back to the Algarve!
We booked our trip only 2 weeks before going, we got a good price and like any other last minute deal we dont expect too much with the moto "you get what you pay for!". Its a week in the sun away from my desk wooo hoooo! However we were realy impressed by the Alfagar Apartments, we were abit worried when we were told our accomidation was over the resturant but once we got there it was fine. For a start we were expecting a tiny studio instead we had a huge 2 bedroom apartment and we never heard a peep from the resturant or any smells; It shuts at 11pm anyway. the apartment was really nicly decorated and spotlessly clean, the maid came 5 times that week and changed the sheets and towels twice and the other times made the bed and cleaned up; more than enough for us.
The rest of the alfagar is a large complex with 3 pools one espcially for children and has wendy houses, slides etc on the grass as an additional play ground. The two other pools are excellent very clean and lots of beds and umbrellas. We stayed at the biggest pool because it was near the bar and our apartment (it also has a baby splash pool) but the middle pool was just as nice and had beautiful sea views. The beach is only a 5 minute walk down some steep steps so not for people with walking problems or people like me that dont work out enough! However the beach is really lovely nice clean sand facilitys and a cafe for snacks and drinks.
There is also a very well stocked mini mart on sight other reviews said it was expensive but I didnt and was very convient for fresh crossiants, bread, water etc. The big supermarket was a 25minute walk which you wouldnt want to walk with a 5L water bottle in the heat would you? You would have to get a taxi (which are in expensive about £3.50) but that would add price to the bigger supermarket so 6 and 2 3's.The bar on sight is excellant for food and drinks, good value and the staff are very nice. A full english is 7E with a hot and cold drink, if you walk 5 min towards the strip though there a few cafes namly Coyote with the same deal for 2.50E! We didnt eat at the resurant because we went out everynight but it looked popular. The whole complex was very well looked after always being cleaned,sweeped or mowed, the gardens are immaculate. We only saw 2 dogs and one cat rarly and they were no trouble at all. I have to say that the Algarve as a resort is the only hot country that there wasnt hundreds of strays, not one cockroach and no mosi's I usually need a blood tranfusion but not a bite this hols.
The resort of Albuferia is a 15 minute and a 5 minute taxi ride (£3.50) there are some great resturants at the top end namly El Rancho and the rest has loads of bars it is tacky but its a tourist resort. The Old town is a 45min walk and a 7min taxi about £4 is much better good resturants and bars with live music. If you want a taxi you have to pay 80 cents to order and it can be a 30min wait so I recommend walking to the strip and getting a taxi to the oldtown.
A tip for people who like us hate the bus transfer that goes around the world to drop others off 1st it took us nearly 2hrs for a 40min ride! It is a set 28E taxi approx £18 and worth everypenny to us. We were going to do it on the way back but the rep told us that there was no need it would be direct to the airport but it was a lie and it took 9 pick ups and 2 hours plus we were ther hours too early for the others who had to make their earlier flights!
All in all a Fab holiday very impressed would definatly go back.
Would not return
Booked with Club La Costa. Alfagar Resort is very clean with three pools (very cold but good to look at!) and landscaped gardens. Staff however were unfriendly and disinterested with the exception of those
working in the shop. The apartments are not airconditioned and have no fans so can be uncomfortable when hot, as it was when we were there last week and its not even midsummer. Although our 1 bedroom apartment had a great view and was in a quiet location, it was not the most comfortable. There are two twin beds pushed together in the main bedroom - mattresses extremely hard and pillows full of little bits of foam. Nice big bathroom though! There is no information in the room about local attractions or restaurants and the TV did not work at all for the duration of our stay despite being changed after 4 days. Not that we went on holiday to watch TV but a news update would have been nice! As mentioned in other reviews, there are 4 or 5 dogs roaming around who are pretty friendly although leave the odd little 'package' in their trail....Food at the bar was good value and inexpensive as was wine & beer. We would not return to Alfagar and expected a better standard of comfort from Club La Costa accommodation but its the first time we have stayed at one of their resorts so cannot compare.
beautiful views and gardens, tired rooms.
There was so much right about the alfagar. overall the design of this large complex was first class. the position over the cliff and the views are awesome and the gardens were fantastically well maintained. the staff work tirelessly, cleaning and serving in the food and bar areas. the supermarket is very good and good value. the staff are helpful.
i made many a walk down to the beach, which is worth the 152 steps back. the beach is spotless and not to crowded and above all else, felt safe and friendly.
The downside was the tired feel to the rooms which need updating and a decent taxi service to the strip and surrounding areas. you can feel a bit cut off at first and can be forgiven just drinking and eating in the alfagar for the duration of the holiday. the food is ok, although the menu can get a little tiresome. if you are prepared to wait for a taxi, or make the walk up a fairly busy main road, the strip is lively and fun. the old town is bigger than i expected and is a short taxi ride away or a really testing walk away.
overall, it was ok. the pools are brilliant, the view, gardens and overall feel is welcoming, but for me the downsides have left me thinking it will be only the once for me.
just a few good pointers
We stayed at the Alfagar in June 07 the weather was good for the time of year, so a must for an early holiday.
It's a fairly big complex in Balaia just a 5 min walk to Albufeira
The apartments are a little tired but always clean and with everthing that you should need, the only problem was our beds which were hard.....
The views from all the rooms are all good some view the sea but most either oversea one of the pools or the tennis courts.
There is a few friendly dogs owned by some of the residents (not strays) roaming about, usually caught sleeping under palm trees in the heat of the day. If you see the blond one give it a scratch behind the ear for me.
Another tip the chinese restaurant Royal just on the roundabout as you get to Albufeira, it doesn't look great from the road but inside is lovely. The duck is to die for..
The old town is very quaint, not advisable if you have expensive shoes as the cobbles will trash them.
The prawn cocktails are also a must, we had a great one down one of the small allys on a first floor restaurant just away from the square.
Overall I proberly would go back it was a good well run complex with a good location, no hassles just a relaxing holiday with beautiful views of the sea.
And if you have kids they'll love it, lots to do in a safe enviroment..
Could be so much better
Our Alfagar experience simply made us wish the place was better run. On arrival we had a couple of hours to wait for the room (arrived earlier than room available) so we walked around a bit . What we found was a small bar area with dirty tablecloths (we later realized these were cleaned once per week) situated between two lovely little swimming pools. The staff were not unfriendly but gave an impression of being very busy even when we were the only people there.
We ate pizza and some chips - portion ok - pizza nice - just spoiled by the state of the tables.
On to our room . Ours was a 1 bed apartment. It has an old and very noisy fridge. A full but aincient cooker (not even number on the dials) which was in need of a clean in the areas than a superficial wipe would miss , a kettle and a coffee machine.
The beds were two single beds pushed together with mattrsses that didn't meet and a sofa bed so worn down that we had to use cussions from the single chairs to make them ok to sit on comfortably.
The bathroom was a good size - but the tiles were cracked , the plughole rusty and water initially a lovely rust colour.
the ceiling had remnents of mould which had not been properly treated. -little black specks.
Still we went to the restaurant - avarage wait time to get food was 1 - 1.25 hours from order to arrive + staff seemed unable to actually get our order right - For instance I ordered saute potatoes and got chips.
The supermarket is very expensive - unless you think 2.89 euros (approx 2 pounds) is fair for a loaf of bread. It is however well stocked.
In its favour
there childrens playarea is a good size for kids up to 10 yrs and the little kids pool is very nice.
It has a good family atmosphere - no parties of people just familys.
The grounds are very clean and tidy and the dogs/cats didn't really bother us.
The beach (which is at the bottom of some fairly steep steps) is lovely . Clean , small and a suntrap.
The minibus service is excellent to the old town.
It is quiet and the pools are excellent (though deeper than you think so beware).
would we go again - probably not unless its 3 star rating was improved - indicating just a bit more attention to detail.
It's possible we had the worst room in the hotel but I think that unlikely.
Overall it was just disappointing that the standards were not suffiently high to merit the 3 stars that it has.
Late Availability 7 days for married couple - hired car at airport
We used the apartment as a base to see as much of the Algarve as possible. We didn't use the entertainment / bar / restaurant so we couldn't say that the resort was 'terrible' or 'excellent'.
Apartment was great for 2 - and located nicely on the edge of the resort, away from bar and pools. Excellent cleaning service, superb pool. Gardens are well-kept and a feature of the resort.
Reception staff v helpful. I understand comments about waiting a long time for room to be ready - esp for family. With hire car we didn't hang around and explored parts of Albufeira while room was prepared.
On-site 'supermarket' sells everything, so handy for emergencies - but more expensive than a real one - as you'd expect.
We'd go back for the price we paid - good value for money - and the location gave us easy access to the motorway and therefore trips to Tavira, Olhao (ferry to island beach), Silves (Castle and Cork museum + great restaurant), Ferragudo, Lagos (Marina), Quarteira, Carvoeiro, Loule (markets), Vilamoura, Guia (retail therapy).
... and who let the dogs out (and kittens)?
2 Adults,2 Kids 9/3 Found location excellent, beautiful views of beach from cliff top.Beach access approx 60 steps + small sloped path,(no pushchair) Please be aware the complex is 20yr old, Kitchen + bathrooms are abit tired and worn, however they are cleaned everyday.The 3 pools are varied in size and clean. Kids play area abit worn out, however safe. The supermarket is excellent.The night entertainment was poor (cheap bookings)
Each night its best to book a taxi (4euro) and go to different towns the food and street life is fantastic.Albufeira old town,or Vila mura marina. Safety: need to watch toddlers near cliff edge path . Please note we felt very safe at night walking to and fro and in towns at times upto 11.30pm or even later locals very friendly and helpful (genuine). not a moskito in sight. would not go July / Aug again its way too hot all day + all night.Overall the apartments are not bad and must have been lovely 1993 as the Thomson award plaque states.It was just acceptable.
hated this hotel
My husband ,myself and four children booked this hotel on line. It looked absolutly beautiful by the pictures!!! Big mistake we got there checked in and check right back out after seeing the room.
The room was such a dissappointment it was dirty, no closet space the view was obstructed by huge trees, the paint was chipping everywhere the floors were a disgrace, I could go on and on. They refused to give us our money back they had no other rooms to show us so we lost over 1000.00 because of there policy. We filed a formal complaint with the city against the hotel and are still waiting for the outcome. BEWARE of this hotel the staff is ignorant and rude and no help was given we traveled all day to reach our destination of hell.......Thankfully we found a beautiful resort not from there.
Alfagar Apartments Portugal
I will be staying at these self serve apartments in April 2006. Any one know of it? or the area? I will be a single female travelling on my own! Should I rent a car?
RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
I forgot to add where these apartments are it's Alfagar is located in a privileged spot 5 kilometres from the centre of Albufeira
RE: RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
Do not know those apartments. I can just tell you that the region of Albufeira has some of the best tourism facilities in Portugal.
About transportation, the trains of the trans-Algarve rail are run-down, decades older than those in Lisbon and Oporto (Portuguese government's fault).
Going around by bus in the Algarve is also not very convenient: too many detours.
Therefore, renting a car is a good idea. In this case, you can drive to Albufeira (good night life), to Lagos and Sagres (the west end of the Algarve, with beautiful natural beaches and waves on the west coast), or to Tavira, Monte Gordo (the eastern end, close to Spain, with drier landscapes and a warmer sea).
RE: RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
Thanks for the info - How is the weather in April? & the 1st part of May?
RE: RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
The weather in April, May is normally warm, specially in May. However, you may expect some rainy days in April. In May, it is usually sunny.
Actually, for me, May is the most beautiful month of the year in Portugal. It is usually warm and sunny while the landscape is still green due to the winter/early spring rains.
RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
I've been in those apartments 2 years ago. It's a great location, right in front of the beach. The apartments are cosy, I think you have a full equiped kitchen in most of them. There is a swimming pool, tennis courts, ping pong and other game activities. The apartments are quite near to Oura, where there are lots of nice restaurants and night life. I think that you could be better off renting a car if you plan to go out alone late night (its a 20/30 min walk, I think). But then, maybe the best is to get a cab when you go back to the apartments. However, renting a car is a good option if you want to see a bit more of Algarve. Hope you have fun!
RE: RE: Alfagar Apartments Portugal
Thank you all!! --I will most likely be renting a car for my stay ---thanks again