THE BEST BAR IN ALBUFEIRA
I have just got back from Albufeira and I can honestly say that the best bar in the town – whether you are talking about The Old Town or The Strip – is without question – BELLA VISTA SPORTS CAFE. It is situated between the old town and the strip just off the roundabout with the two wristwatches. It is located above and behind the Pingo Doce Supermarket (Supermecado) and also behind the McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets facing The Brisa Sol Hotel. The little train that travels around Albufeira leaves you off at the Brisa Sol so it is easy to get to and as you may know the train will then take you back to The Strip or The Old Town and all for only 4 euros per day unlimited travel. Failing that if you do not wish to take the train a taxi will cost you about 4 euros to get to Bella Vista Sports Cafe from The Strip or The Old Town. So all in all, well worth the price to get there which you will save in drinks and food.
The bar is very modern but thankfully has old fashioned prices. A large beer will cost you 1 euro 70 cents and is served in a beer mug which has been cooled in the freezer – most refreshing. And as for the food – well it is superb value. I dare anyone to eat the Bella Vista’s Giant Toastie in one sitting and priced at 5 euros it is as good as two meals in one. The bar also serves various salads, burgers and of course pizza. All are EXCELLENT.
I must admit that I did not like most of the bars I attended in Albufeira because I thought all they wanted was your money – well I was a tourist. But Bella Vista Sports run by a guy named Bruno Xavier is the exception. It is a warm, welcoming, friendly and most enjoyable place to spend an evening on your own or with family and friends. As the name suggests it is a Sports Bar with four large plasma screens showing different sports from around the world. And for the more energetic among you the Bar also has its own outdoor football pitch, beach volleyball area, tennis, darts board and the best pool table in Albufeira where you can play non-stop for a full hour for only 5 euros or if you like just have one game (you only get billed for the time you use – no hassle at all).
Bruno is a really nice and genuine guy who finds the time to speak to all of his customers which is a nice touch. I kept him going as he is a Canadian from birth who looks and sounds like the legendary 7-time American Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong (he is actually an ex-footballer). Bruno enjoys mixing with the young and old alike at his bar and nothing is too much trouble for him.
So if you are going to Albufeira check out the Bella Vista Sports Cafe and tell Bruno Chalkie recommended a visit to his bar. And by the way it is open from 9.00am to 4.00am!
John White THE CLUB GIANT TOASTIE
went to Brisa sol Sept 2004 with Alan (husband) who wasnt too fussed about going to Portugal.But what can I say- about A perfect Holiday, apartments were spotless,pool fabulous,and location couldn't have been better.Needless to say Alan loved it so much and we will be going back in the near future.The road train stops outside apts. and takes you either to old town or the Square ,but they are both close enough to walk into .Jean 57. Alan 57
Good value hotel
My partner and i stayed at the Brisa Sol in a studio in August 2004. We were a little disappointed with the quality of the studio as we have stayed 4* before and felt this fell a little short, however when i consider the cost (we went with Thomson, best price by far) we got very good value for money. i would recommend paying for a pool view as we overlooked the car park and dustbins which were emptied by truck at 6am every morning! The staff at the pool bar/cafe really make this hotel. The quality of the food and price made it our choice for lunch everyday! The pool was fantastic we had no fighting for sunbeds in a morning and laid out on the hotel side nearest the bar for sun virtually all day. The location of the hotel is spot on a 15 min walk to left to the old town and same to the right for the new town. The old town is a real find, some beautiful resaurants and a really relaxed atmosphere. Overall i would recommend the Brisa Sol and would have no hesitation in returning myself.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED - DO NOT GO !
Traveling were a party of 4, M36&F34 and M22&F49.
We flew from London on a package deal with First Choice (£320 each for an ocean view self catering apartment, 2 sharing an apartment, we had 2 apartments between 4 people)
We had not been to Brisa Sol before, but we had all been to Portugal at various times.
One of the main reasons for visiting Brisa Sol was the reviews on Tripadvisor (great service).
However things have changed since the reviews I have read !
It was rumoured on our 1 week there that the owners or management had just changed and they were cutting back on maintenance and staff!
Anyway, as soon as we were dropped off by First Choice reception told us that the rooms wernt ready and we would have to wait for 1.5 hours! (we didn't want it to spoil our trip so went to the coffee shop around the corner and sat and chatted for 1.5 hours!
Upon our return to reception we were told by a different person that the rooms will take another 40 minutes, it was now 14:55!
This same procedure happened twice more until we were allowed to get into our rooms at 18:05!
No amount of words with reception would help, they are very cold-faced to pleas from hot and sticky holiday makers!
The room was a mess, dated, warm (air conditioning did not work). Bed was too firm and very lumpy, no cold water in the sink, although the shower was quite good.
The room was only cleaned once every other day, and not cleaned well.
Our first fright was urine in the cupboard that held the safe/ironing board! We called down to reception, but after also going down, 2 hours later no one came to see to it, so we had to clean it up best we could, although we had no disinfectant!
The pool is large, but very cold, the sun is only over the whole pool at the very end of the day.
Get up early! The hotel staff open the doors to the pool at 9am sharp, by 09:10 ALL the beds with parasols are taken, by 09:15 ALL beds are taken.
The hotel wasn't full but people by the pool did nothing but shout and squabel about beds all day. A lot of people would put their towel on a bed at 9am and not sit on it until 2pm! British were the worst (blush).
(special note to 'Frank' - the german guy that thought it was funny to empty other people's ash trays into the children's pool - get a life, no-one thought it was funny!!!)
So, we had been there 2 days when the worst happened!
We woke to hear an odd 'shacking' noice, we turned the lights on to see COCKROACHES over the sink area and floor!
We reported this to reception, they seemed to know and said it would be dealt with - it wasn't !! We spoke to the First Choice rep, but we got a different excuse each time until our week was up. We will be reporting this directly to First Choice. Ever morning we would wake up to cockroaches, they would dissappear in the day, but you just knew they were there!
Also while we were there, 3 other rooms were evacuated as they were found to have large ant nests in them! I asked why they were moved and we wern't, I was told that they paid extra, but he wouldn't tell us how much more! Very odd! I think it was because we were Bristish.
We are not yobs, we are 2 teachers, an accountant and a student, well presented etc. so I couldn't see their problem.
The whole hotel seemed to have an insect problem!
Also be aware of the LOUD music from the hotel bar Every night! It starts at 8pm and goes on until 1am - its VERY bad singing that vibrates through the hotel.
The breakfast in the hotel is 6.50 Euros for a buffet, the cold cheese and meats are ok, but the hot 'selection' is disgusting, scrambled egg that tastes like wet powered egg, bacon with more bone than meat and sausage that smells like sweet raspberry jam (dodgy)! Everyone seemed to go through the same pattern of trying it once and avoiding it like the plague!
If your are taking children be prepared to stay up very late with them, the best time to eat in the Old Town is 11pm as its too busy and loud from 8pm until then.
The thing that topped it all off for me is finding a dead cockroach in my luggage when I returned home!
Overall I'd say this hotel looks as if it could have been good at one time, but is tired and is slipping quickly into being a NO GO HOTEL !
Stayed here may 2004. Very good hotel with well appointed pool area with loads of sunbeds. We had studio overlooking car park so try and get view over pool, it makes a difference. Hotel is situated midway between "the strip" and the old town. We much preferred the old town which has many excellant places to eat.
We stayed here for 5 days 31March - 5th April.
Very Good location, lovely hotel.
Staff very friendly.
Could not fault this hotel at all.
Hotel Suggestions Please
I'm helping my sister and her family plan a holiday. She has 3 young children (age 1, 4 and 6 years). They like to stay in small, friendly, family run hotels/apartments. They don't mind if it's basic but they would like a swimming pool need a good location; close to town and the beach. Can anyone recommend somewhere? Preferably in the Old Town, close to Fisherman's Beach.
Re: Hotel Suggestions Please
The only place I can even think of in the old town/Fisherman's Beach area is the Mansao Bertolina. The pool is on the roof as I recall from photos and past reviews. A big problem with anywhere in the old town is that live music and bars play loud until 3am in summer, so the little ones would need to be good sleepers. The adults too probably.
None of the other places I can think of have swimming pools as they are either too old, too small or both. There was a strange idea until recently that, with the sea 50 yards away or less, a pool was unnecessary. I mean too old in the sense they might have been built 30 or 40 years ago - they have been done up since.
The bigger, newer, hotels and apartment hotels with big pools are much further away from the beach and are neither small nor family run.
The nearest decent ones are the Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa and Brisa Sol, both about 10 minutes walk. These are apartment hotels at the top of the hill outside the old town. They have a the Modelo shopping centre close by plus several fast food joints over the road.
I hope that gets you started at least.
Re: Hotel Suggestions Please
Check ou the brand new resort in Albufeira - Eden Resort