More about Alto da Colina Aparthotel Albufeira
Can't say enough good things about the Alto Da Colina. The complex is beautiful, loads of space and beautiful shrubs and flowers all around. Even though the apartments were full, there was plently of room it never seemed as if there were too many people around. Inside the building is lovely, reception bright and airy, wonderful light feature to watch changing colours. Apartments excellent, large with plenty of room for 2 adults & 2 kids, very large balcony. All fittings and utensils of highest quality. Spotlessy clean, and cleaning is done every day. Staff very nice and friendly and helpful. Great to have a little library - for all those who like to laze around and read all day. Kids clubs seemed very busy - all the kids seemed to enjoy them... Location I thought was fairly ok. Liked the fact it was on a hill as it made for a cool breeze during the day. The walk to the town was a good 25 mins so it may not suit everyone.
Just one criticism. I felt the reps could have tried a bit harder. I dont speak portuguese but managed to work out from a poster I saw that a fashion show was taking place in the square in Albufiera, asked the reps about it. Had no idea what I was on about and really did'nt attempt to find out. They did'nt seem to have any knowledge about what was on locally other than trips they were organising themselves!
Anyway I got to see the fashion show in spite of them and it was really spectacular.
Again, the Alto Da Colina was superb but First Choice need to have a word with the reps.
A home from home
Our family stayed in the Alto da Colina for a week in May 2006 we loved it so much we returned in September and brought our in-laws, we had such a relaxing holiday and our 3 year old loved it. The staff were always courteous and friendly and they knew every child and who they belonged to. You can relax and be assured that your children are safe as the bar in the Alto is spacious and enclosed in glass so you can see your children at all times even when they are in the games area. It is a brilliant relaxed atmosphere with entertainment most nights, the rooms are spectacular with huge balconies. Three swimming pools including 1 indoor pool and a childrens pool, I could go on for hours, I would highly recommend this as a family holiday location.
Della, Sligo, Ireland.
Just what we needed!
Stayed at Alto Da Colina from 29/9 thru to 12/10 and had a lovely, relaxing time. The kids club was great for our 7 yo daughter - who celebrated her birthday out there with a hug from Bugs Bunny and a chocolate cake presented by the entertainments team - it made her day!
Rooms are spacious and clean - although, don't ask the maid to come back later as she won't, and you have to use your towel for an extra day! Plenty of room in the fridge for cold drinks and beer; microwave and cooking facilities if you want to cook yourself something, but you don't really need to as the restuarant serves good quality food, and the snack bar food is ok too.
The staff are really friendly - Carlos, Fernando & Ismael were favourites for our daughter! Spend a bit of time talking to them and getting to know them and you'll get more from your break here. The ents team do a great job, from Grease with a cast of 3, to their own singing nights. A tip for the dad's - book a front row seat when 'Presumed Innocent' do their routine - you'll love it!
The pools were cold in October, but once you'd braved those initial steps in it was ok - the kids all seemed to be enjoying themselves on the inflatables that were lying around - just help yourself as they seemed to be left overs from earlier holidays - saved us a fortune! No need either to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve a sunbed as in October there were loads free throughout the day.
The hotel isn't really within a close walking distance to anywhere decent, however, when venturing out at night we took a taxi - under 5 euros takes you to Albufeira Old Town which is infinately better than the Strip (which is the tackiest place I've ever been!). The Old Town has a number of nice restaurants and shops and is pleasant to stroll around in the evening.
We hired a car for a few days and got out and about - it's really easy in the Algarve - you can't really get lost.
I'm surfing the net now for next year's holiday, but it looks like Alto Da Colina will be hard to beat! Who knows..we may be there again next year!
A party of around 40 of us stayed at the Alto Da Colina between 31 August and 14th September. Ages ranged from 3 months to about 65 and as far as I know, we all thought it was fab! Brochure says transfer's about 90 minutes but was only about 40 - I think this was because we were 2nd drop-off. Thursday's are always a busy day here - when most of the flights operate. Reception managed to get us all checked in in about 10-15 minutes which was great. Deposits are 60 Euros per room (which you get back on departure) if you want the air con and TV remotes (air con won't work without remote and is great on a night). Also, be prepared to leave your party's passports at reception overnight - standard procedure and you get them back next day. Rooms were fantastic - there were 4 adults in our room and we were really comfortable. Large, furnished balconies were great for a few early evening drinks (and at 1 euro for a bottle of wine from Old Town we had plenty of those!). Kitchens were very well equipped - we didn't use ours very much but there was everything from Spatulas to Sangria Jugs - as well as toaster, fridge, kettle, microwave and hoards of pots and pans! If you do a lot of cooking on holiday then you won't be disappointed! Sofa bed and pull-out in the lounge area were very comfortable, more so than the twins pushed together in the bedroom so we thought. Ask at reception for extra key cards if available - means you have more freedom if you aren't together 24/7. Also, any kind of credit/debit card'll work the electric - handy if you want to leave the air con on while you're out. If you're gonna phone home quite a bit then get a Redstone phonecard from one of the reps (not the other ones that they sell at reception). They cost 10 Euros and you get £10 credit so bit of a saving there. They can be a bit tricky at first but there's easy to follow instructions at the table where the phone is. Do not use the phones in rooms, probably common sense really - doesn't everyone know you always get stung using hotel room phones?! Someone at reception even advised me to wait until the reps came to phone home as it cost so much from rooms - which proves that they aren't "just out to make money" as some people think! Reception staff can be a little moody at times but are okay - I'm sure I wouldn't be sporting a cheesy grin every second of the day if I had to do their job! All staff are great here - the Portuguese are such lovely people it does make a difference. Bar staff are absolutely fantastic - Ishmael, Ricky, Alex and the rest! They seem to be there all day, everyday and really do work hard. They don't think twice about having a chat with the guests and really make you feel welcome. A pint of 'Super Bock' lager was 3 Euros in the bar and is quite nice actually, soft drinks were about 1.50 Euros and spirits with mixers about 4 Euros - not too bad really. Bar food was pretty average, things like toasties for 3 Euros and Pizzas for 6 - fine if you didn't want to venture out. There is a restaurant at the hotel although we never went. There's a menu in the lift - was about 12 Euros a meal I think. First Choice entertainment team were good. Always had a lunchtime quiz at around 12, and Water Polo or Volleyball later on in the afternoon - always good for a laugh! Mini Disco for the kids was good - although it can start grating on you to hear the same songs each night (I was singing 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' in my sleep my the second week!), but it's a family property so what do you expect?! Bingo was okay too - prize was about 34 Euros which was handy for a couple of rounds! Different entertainment each night but nothing outstanding. Karaoke on a Saturday, Traditional dancers one night, reps did some pretty good stuff though - Mr/Miss Alto Da Colina contest and a Mr & Mrs contest too. Nat and Ant do a good job - especially for what they get paid! Would be a lot better if entertainment was outside but people with small kids go to bed quite early so not really fair on them. Bar's meant to close at about 1am but we were there until about half 3 sometimes and as long as you keep the noise down they don't mind. And you can't hear the music from your rooms at all - not unless you sleep with the front and balcony doors open anyway! The on-site supermarket is more expensive then others in the area, which we expected being on a complex - took the biscuit a bit that packets of Tetleys with '79p' written on were marked up to 4 Euros but what can you do?! Staff in there are very miserable - bring the tone of the hotel down a bit, really wouldn't hurt them to smile once every year or so! Pool area(s) in this hotel are great. Really large freeform pool with plenty of sunbeds to go round, never saw anyone on grass. Not many umbrellas though which can be a problem in the scorching heat when there's no shade! There's also another small pool at the front part of the hotel - next to the playground and kids' splash area which are also great. This hotel also had a gym, sauna, indoor pool, hot tub, jacuzzi, hair & beauty salon, creche, kids' clubs and multi-sports courts but to be honest we didn't really use these - had too much fun by main pool. Other reviews were spot-on with the comment about there being loads of inflatables on a Thursday, few on a Saturday too. A few people have been moaning about the location of the Alto Da Colina but it does say in the brochure that it's in Balaia and states the right distances to beach, Strip, Old Town etc. Yes, the taxis are a pain but if you wanna walk, walk! Reception charge 1 Euro for a taxi call and at most times they come straight away. Between about 6pm and 10pm there's always a queue - understandable because that's when everyone goes out. But usually if they tell you an hour it's never more than 15 minutes so make sure you wait outside for it! Taxis to the Strip are 3.90 Euros and about 5-6 for the Old Town. To come home wait at the taxi rank where you get dropped off. The Strip is very much for younger people - mainly R n B music and free shots with drinks etc. We always started off at Tic Tac for lethal free shots and then make our way up to Green Bar (4 vodka plus mixer for 10 Euros) and then up to La Bamba and Garage etc. If you do go to Garage make sure you've already had a few because drinks are a bit pricey. Cafe Del Mar is always good for the last bar - cheap drinks, good music - next to taxi rank. We definitely favoured Old Town for nights out. Great little side streets with live music and street acts – the Rock Café was by far the best spot for nights out. Fantastic staff, happy hour with buy one get one free on all drinks, and the best entertainment in the area. Each night the music alternated between 2 great bands, with a disco afterwards until about 4. We didn’t really venture out much on daytimes but the times we did we visited the old town beach and shopped there too – everything from clothes shops to countless liquor shops! Overall a great holiday – will definitely be returning!
Great holiday! definately recommend this one!!
I have just come back from this holiday after 2 weeks with my husband and two children aged 4 and 9 and i must say it was one of the best holidays we have ever had, the kids absolutely loved it, they do so much for children and will certainly not get bored. the kids club was great and my kids went in nearly everyday for 2 hours and it broke up the day for them a bit, instead of being by the pool all day, and us parents get to do a nice bit of sunbathing in peice. My son aged 4 did the holiday soccer school which was fantastic and would recommend this and was very cheap with 2 x 2 hour sessions at around 35 euros. There were swimming lessons too that looked good also. Fab mini kids waterpark on site and playground, my kids were just never bored!! Evening entertainment was very good selection, especially for kids, they loved the 1 hour mini disco that was on every night. Bingo is on every night too which does get boring and we didnt bother doing this or the quiz's. There was some great entertainment on which starts evey night at 10 , a mixture of comedy, shows etc. The music can be very loud and therefore you will here the music blasting out until 12 some nights from your hotel room. The first choice reps were very good and were always on hand if you needed help, i recommend the gypsy market if you love clothes and shoe shopping which is on every wednesday. The taxis are very cheap and the main strip is only a few minutes away which we went to quite a bit, lots of nice restuarants. i recommend Wild & Co at bottom of strip. The only downfall on the hotel was the restuarant on site, the food was poor, not impressed one bit,, we just ate out nearly everynight (and the chinese down the road is the best ive had!!)
Hotel rooms were fantastic, amazed how modern and clean they were, the best i have stayed in and maids came in eveyday.. I well recommend this holiday if you have children and i will be back again in a few years time for sure...
wehave just returned from the alto and what agreat place it is. the facilities on site are superb. we stayed in a one bedroomed apartment and i would have to say it was the best we have ever stayed in. swimming pools, kids clubs, soccer school etc excellent. cant comment on the evening entertainment as we never stayed in. just a few negatives, found the onsite shop staff to be very rude, need to smile more. also the pool side bar at the front of the hotel is very expensive, i paid 2EUROS AND20 CENTS for a can of tango when it was only 60 cents in the shop. i did not have a problem with the location except perhaps a couple of bars nearby would not go a miss. we never had a taxi to the strip, we walked WITH A PUSHCHAIR about 20 mins to the bottom end. some nights instead of the strip we went left at the bottom of the road and walked to olhos de aqua ( about same distance) some nice restaurants and bars. agree with others about the beach. ok to walk to, but a bit of a pain getting back (up hill) i would recommend this hotel to anyone. p.s. forgot to mention, pools a little cold and quite cool at night!
Great Time had by all
The hotel is clean and reception staff cannot do enough for you. The rooms where first class abit wiffy at night due the drains but if you put the plugs in before you go to bed all's ok. The Hotel staff are aware of the problem. The resturant sells quite bland food and a little expensive for what it is, but its convinient. The supermarket is really expensive and the staff are miserable. The pool's and splash area is clean and brilliantly looked after. The park can get very hot during the day and afew kids got bit from mites at the sand pit. The reps are friendly and helpful, The entertainment at night is mainly catered for the children but the entertainment staff are good at what they do. It can be a bit of the same old stuff if you stay at the complex. The Kids reps are ok. The bugs bunny staff are good at what they do. I didn't rate the staff at the creche at all. My daughter hated it and didn't go in. They made no effort to interact with the children. We booked 12 sessions before we left which was a waste, but we did get a refund from them which is a bonus. If you hire a car do not hire from the reps they charge over 100 euro more than they do in the strip. So go there and get one its much cheaper. The location is a bit distant from anywhere but you can walk to the strip I advise you get a taxi there & back they only charge 3.90 euros which is VFM. Over all we had a great holiday and could have done with another week, but all good things must come to an end. Hey ho. Enjoy
No point in doing this
Just back from the Alto do Colina. We were there on a family holiday with 2 boys 16 & 14. Plenty for them to do including football which one has to pay extra for €4 to play. This was supposedly for insurance but when an accident happens, which did to one of ours, we had to pay for doctor and hospital ourselves. So be careful. Found the reception staff not very helpful. There was always a queue. They never finished dealing with one person at any one time. Bar staff were super. Noticed a lot of people including kids with cotton wool in their ears. It was rather strange that so many people had ear infections. Never saw anyone cleaning the pool. Location of the hotel is a bit out of the way and waiting for taxis can be a while. Although the views from the hotel room is the best we have had. The rooms are very spacious and very clean. The kitchen has everything that one will need. Kids and adult entertainers tried their best in the evenings but the area was rather small. The First Choice Reps were not very helpful, especially if you were Irish, and we were not the only ones that thought this. Perhaps this is because we don't complain as much. If you have a late flight home it is nearly impossible to hold your room for a late check - out. You are told one thing by your rep and another by reception staff.
Hell on Earth!!
We had a week here mid Sept 06. Weather was superb, pity the hotel didnt get anywhere near as good.
The problem was our room location. They allocated us Room 012. (If you do book here, you would be wise to avoid this room) It was ground floor, 1m away from the decking area where all the pool tables, air hockey etc is. This means no privacy and a horrendous amount of noise.
It also has an adjoining wall with the supermarket shop; at night all you hear is the buzzing & humming of the fridge units - they are really loud!
BUT - the main problem with this hotel, and in particular room, 12 is the so called entertainment. It runs loud & late every night. The quality, at best, can be described as mediocre - the Karaoke is pure hell. We complained for 3 days trying to get them to turn it down and move room for us but the First Choice solution was to downgrade us to another hotel. We would have to pay 10Euro per day taxis to come back to the Alto to use the facilities - great !
If you tried to have the noise level back in UK as the Alto make guests suffer in certain rooms , you would be issued an ASBO.
We arranged and moved hotel straight away, to the Lake Resort in VIlamoura. Our choice and at our cost. We had a fantastic last 4 nights.
Hotel manager at the Alto was anice guy, he tried to get a room change for us but nobody wanted to move, First Choice reps offered no decent solution and infact made us feel like we were being unreasonable (I suppose, as they all seem about 15 years old they dont understand what its like dealing with a crying 3 year old due to the noise being so loud he cannot sleep)
Alto Hotel facilities are ok, location is a downside - too far from the beach and strip.
Would I go back ? - Absolutely NO to the Alto, even if they gave me a week there for free.
Absolutely YES to the Resort Lake in Vilamoura, it was stunning.
Brit n' Chips!
Stayed at the Alto from 5 - 12 October. Suite (room 319) was fine with views of the sea + golf village. We were disappointed that the clientele all appeared to be British, as we like the opportunity to mix with different nationalities. There's also no chance of spending a relaxing evening at the hotel due to the amusements/karaoke/bingo, so I guess you'd say there's little chance of our returning to the Alto. Thought the strip was brash and didn't rate the restaurants too highly (mostly unimaginative, and chips with eveything), although we did book a table at Johnnie Hooper's saxaphone bistro. It was an incredible night - excellent food, great atmosphere and good company. Would certainly go there again!! Thanks to all those who recommended the restaurants which were just a short walk from the Alto (eg) Three Marias and Tiffany's. Both the food and service were really good. Also the advice to head for the beach near to the Club Med was spot on. It was our first trip to Portugal but hopefully not our last although we would probably choose a different area.
Albufeira - Portugal
tunnel to beach old town
albufeira portugal beach
Hi, I am going to Albufeira in early September with a couple of mates and hope to do some fishing from the pier and rocks. To be honest I don't fish much, although am keen to impress as the other guys do. Does anyone have any experience of fishing in Albufeira, keen to know where is best to fish from and what to fish for? I have a very cheap kiddies rod and a few even cheaper lures bought on ebay; ideas appreciated? Thanks Col O Yard (the stard).
Re: Gone Fishing
Well Col O Yard (the stard)
Firstly from your comments it seems like you won't be catching anything this year regardless of where you fish from. I was in Albufeira at a similar time last year and along with a small crowd of bemused onlookers watched someone matching your description (cheap rod and tackle) hanging a line in the sea from the pier with no success. Co-incidentally, I am out again this year and as a lover of fishing (lake and river) motivated by last years experience have upgraded my fishing rod and tackle. I prefer fishing from the rocks to a pier but like you would appreciate views from others who know the area?
Miller The Fish
Re: Gone Fishing
Don't know where to begin on this one.
I'm a bit like Fishlesspalmer, no decent tackle and no idea about fishing. Have been to Albu several times and back there again shortly and will be taking a rod. Suggestions on where to fish appreciated as want to spend as much time as possible away from the bars. Yes thats where my name came from.............!!