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Alvor Baia Resort Hotel
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Stayed in Alvor previously and really like the location. The resort is quiet but with lots of interesting walks and a lovely tidal estuary with lots of wildlife.

This new hotel opened for a couple of months in July 2011 (with mixed reviews) which I was a little concerned about, but the price was good so I booked. On arrival we were very pleasantly surprised at the service we received. Bellboys to take luggage to room, reception staff very friendly and efficient. Only slight niggle was lack of information regarding the hotel facilities but we soon found everything with no issues at all. The hotel decor is minimalistic and I thought this would be a problem for me, but the atmosphere is fine and not an issue at all.

The rooms are every bit as good as the photos on the website suggest. Fantastic layout with lots of space. If you want a sunny balcony then opt for the rooms with a pool/sea view, as the rest face out over the car park and are in shade most of the day. This is an extra charge on the booking that I didn't take up but I e mailed the hotel prior to arrival requesting high floor (four floors in tota) and pool view and they allocated us exactly that. Rooms have individual heating/cooling, 2 plasma TV's. It should be noted that the kitchen is very limited with sink, fridge, microwave, 2 ring halogen hob but no kettle, no cooking utensils, no oven and only one pan. However, the hotel is totally all inclusive if booked through First Choice so this is not a big problem. The only other possible drawback is the lack of drawers and hanging space. For the two of us there was enough room but for a family it would be difficult. Rooms are cleaned daily.

Breakfast is fine - toaster, boiled, scrambled and fried eggs, sausages, tomatoes, nice bacon and beans. Also have continental breakfast options and cereals.
Lunch and Dinner - meals could have been more varied but always had four choices of main - usually vegetarian, 2 meats and fish. Also very good pasta choices with 2 or 3 different sauces. There has been some bad reviews about the food but the salad bar was very good and we enjoyed every meal we ate. Freshly baked bread rolls each day. Only improvement would be to put potatoes onto the menu - chips every meal but no boiled potatoes. There is a microwave in the dining room if you prefer your food hotter than it is served.

Every member of staff at this hotel was friendly, efficient and eager to help. Laurenco the barman was especially attentive.

Security staff patrolled the grounds constantly - this was reassuring rather than obtrusive. One day my purse fell out of my bag at the front of the hotel as I got out of a taxi - by the time I had realised it missing and went to Reception (3 or 4 minutes) it had been handed in and after asking me some security questions it was returned to me with all contents in tact. Safety deposit box only cost 10.5 euros/week (cheapest we have ever had) and no deposit required. Pool towels also free of charge with no deposit, although they will charge you 40 euros if you don't return them. Didn't use the spa but several people did (because weather was a little chilly some days) and only heard good reviews.

Didn't use the swimming pool as the weather was not warm enough during our stay and it was quite windy around the pool area. It looked fantasic though and I am sure that in high season it would be full.

Overall, I would say that this hotel is superb for couples; perhaps not as ideal for families with children. Good food, excellent grounds and rooms, top staff. Entertainment not brilliant, but the bars are relaxed and comfortable. I would stay there again without hesitation.

Room Tip: Ask for pool/sea view room for a sunny balcony.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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27  Thank Chrissy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 April 2012

The transfer is about 1 hour 30mins from FAO airport however this soon passed. The hotel is located up a private road with a private hospital adjacent. A Spar shop is located about 5 min walk away and is equipped with all your essentials. Water is priced at 50cents for 1.5litre. 

The beach is 20mins away and a complimentary train runs from the hotel and back at regular intervals. Alvor town centre consists of a lovely harbour and amble bars and authentic restaurants. Again this is approx 15-20min walk down a small incline. Bus stops are located near the hotel. We took a taxi ride to a large shopping complex (aqua shopping centre) about ten mins drive away and this costed €7-8. The centre has a primark, h&m, and loads of eating establishments. 

The hotel itself is very modern with a quirky feel, I believe it's in it's second year and has an occupancy of 1100people. When we stayed the hotel had an occupancy of only 100-120people at the most and I would worry in peak season if the hotel could cope with its first year as all inclusive. 

Food Is average. Two restaurants one called 'green' and the other 'blue'. Only the green restaurant was open during our stay. Breakfast was mix of fruits, cereals and selection of hot items. English tea always available.
Lunch and dinner were very similar. The buffet consists of pasta, chips and pork every day. monkfish and cod, turkey and beef also made appearances. Altogether we found the selection small and repetitive. The restaurant has a drink station where house wines (only red/white), beer and soft drinks were on a self service basis. When the restaurants are closed a snack area is set up with burgers, hot dogs, crisps, cheese, ham, juice etc. 

Drinks are all local brands, the beer is quiet nice however the wine was a little ropey! Cocktail of the day is available and hot drinks are no trouble. Your key card acts as your charge card for your all inclusive package so it is asked for when you order drinks! No nasty wristbands! Entertainment was none existent, parrot show,bingo and karaoke but due to the low occupancy this was hosted in the lobby bar which was cramped and lacked atmosphere. There is a larger evening bar downstairs  but this was not opened during our stay. 
There is a games room with air hockey, pool and arcade machine 

Rooms were fantastic, consisting of a big bathroom with power shower, living room with sofa bed, kitchenette with microwave and fridge. Large king size bed with a large balcony. 

What you don't need to take
Pool Towels (provided for €40 deposit on your room-no cash needed)
Iron/board delivered to your room on request. 

Free Wifi is available in public areas and some rooms close to the lobby. 

Pool area is large and no sun bed reservation was required. A children's play area is located at one end with a children's club which I assume opens in peak season. 
The hotel has an indoor spa and pool area. The circuit package gives you access to the Turkish bath, sauna, pool and invigorating showers for a cost of €10 a day and you also need to purchase a showercap at a cost of €2 for use in the indoor pool. It's worth noting you can leave the spa and return later in the day without being re-charged. 

Verdict: ultra modern hotel, however food and atmosphere let it down. A few tweaks and it would be perfect. 

Stayed: April 2012
23  Thank jetset1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Just returned from a holiday with husband and 18 year old daughter staying at the Alvor Baia. We loved every second there. The hotel is beautiful with lovely spacious rooms and balconies. I have never seen such a large swimming pool. The staff were brilliant and I must make special mention to Hugo the entertainment manager who went out of his way to find a lovely bottle of wine for me. The hotel has an army of staff who seemed to spend all day either cleaning or attending to guests. The food was delicious with something for everyone. We stayed on an all inclusive basis which worked really well for us. The noddy train to the beach is great and if you get chance do the tour of Alvor with Hugo. My daughter found plenty of other people her own age to hang out with, in fact we could only persuade her on 2 occasions out of the week we were there to leave the hotel she liked hanging out there so much and my husband and I chatted away with other guests all the time. A buzzy, happy hotel which we did not want to leave but we will return to. Well done Alvor Baia.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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27  Thank climmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

My family and I are veterans of this area and have had many many lovely holidays in and around Alvor; quite a few times we have stayed at the Plaza Real in Praia de Rocha and driven to Alvor every evening for dinner with the children. Plaza Real is ok, great kids club, nice rooms, bar snacks/meals ok, and ok atmosphere. The place has started to get tired and the pool furniture is in desperate need of replacement. We know what it is like and the children have a great time, we did try to get in but there were no rooms available, which is why we ended up at Alvor Baia Apartamento........
We booked this hotel direct towards the end of the summer and took our young family. When you arrive the hotel looks stunning, very modern and quite a grand reception/lobby area. It is all very pleasant, but the atmosphere is flat and there doesn't seem to be much character.

Parking: Yes, at no extra cost, although I could see it becoming over subscribed.

Food: We were B+B thankfully. We did dine on one occasion, it was ok. The meal was on the house due to another issue I'll cover later. We spoke to quite a few people who were on Half Board and they had become quite fed up with the meals after about 3 nights!! I could see why, the buffet didn't vary in choice at all. The beautiful fishing town of Alvor is only a 15 min walk away, the quality of the restaurants is superb and they are all child friendly. There is no need to eat at the hotel really.

Rooms: Really smart, the beds and sofa beds are really comfortable. The bath room is really nice too. However, there is absolutely NO storage space, the draws and wardrobes don't accommodate any where near enough. If you are able to empty your cases in to the wardrobes, there is nowhere for you to put the then empty cases. We ended up living out of the cases; the room was sold as a 2 adult and 2 child room. Four medium sized cases with clothes for two weeks and we could put very little of it away!!

Kitchen: Yeah don't get excited about it. Although this is marketed as an ApartHotel the kitchen is useless. We had budgeted to prepare some evening meals in the room, we have young children and sometimes after a hard day playing in the pool or out at the local attractions, all we want to do is prepare a simple tea and put them to bed. No chance. The two ring hob is great, there are just no pots and pans for us to use on them. There is no frying pan, no chopping boards, no kitchen knives for slicing or chopping, and no peeler. There are side plates, tea cups and knives, forks and spoons. There is a metal jug thing which we could prepare cups of tea and soup with as long as you are ok using the tea cups for the soup. No bowls. No oven, no toaster. Beans on bread for dinner, children?? Useless. Massive fridge for us to put milk, juice and beer in, oh yes you can keep cheese in there too. Had we have known it was so ill equipped we would have chosen to go somewhere else. Somewhere a little more rough round the edges that did have all the kit to boil rice or pasta or to slice an onion. I moaned a bit to the people at reception, "I am sorry sir, the kitchen is for just making tea and coffee. We don't really want the smell of food cooking in the hotel." A manager I spoke to after this apologised for his colleagues response. He said that "this is not true" Although he didn't give me the reason for the kitchenette being so pointless. He did organise dinner on the house that evening as recompense, dining that once was enough thanks, the food was ok. I'm glad we didn't have 14 of them to try and get through.

Breakfast: Really nice buffet; toast, bread, sweet bread, cereals, cold meats, cheese, yogurts pastries, cakes and some really great fruit. The Portuguese version of a fry-up too! Teas, juices and coffee's. The staff and service were excellent, very friendly and very attentive. A few high chairs too short I think. But on the whole a big thumbs up for Breakfast.

Swimming pools/activities: This area was a bit a disappointment too. Don't bother getting any pool toys, lilos, dinghies, balls etc. They are not allowed. There is a guy who supervises the pool and tells you off if you let you child use them. The pool supervisor is not a lifeguard, he just ties up the parasols and tidy's the sun loungers up a bit. I think he used to behave like a traffic warden, he'd hide round the corner and wait until the lilos came out and then pounce. We were all really annoyed at this. The pool outside is MASSIVE and a few children mucking about on inflatables seemed a small ask. By the way the "Boutique" in the hotel foyer sells all these things, but you have to go somewhere else to use them.
Don't try and take the children into the indoor pool, it is for adults only. It is really nice especially if you want a break from the sun, just don't expect the whole family to be able to follow you in.
There are no other activities to speak of.

If you are single or a couple, then you will be suited to this place, unless you really like using inflatables in the pool. If you have a young family stay away, go and stay at the Club Alvorferias over the road, it isn't as swanky but it isn't pretentious either and the rooms are spacious, with a properly equipped kitchen, Kids club etc The children would love it.
Don't expect to be able to prepare meals and certainly don't do anything more than B + B

Once the big package companies get hold of this place, a lot of my grievances may be resolved. As it stands from my experiences in 2011 I'll stay away. I will always recommend the Alvor area for everyone, young, old, families and singles. It is perfect. It has everything. I won't however be bringing my family back to Alvor Baia Apartments. If we leave the children at home I may consider it.
I hope this helps people with similar circumstances. I've tried to be fair and give credit where it is due.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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36  Thank mark j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2011

My friend and I booked the hotel fairly last minute for a short break away. We were a little apprehensive as we could not find any reviews with it being so new. We weren't disapointed at all, the hotel is very modern, spacious and clean. The rooms are lovely with a small kitchen unit. We stocked the fridge up with beer, wine, water and snacks, which was good. There were some drinks in the fridge but no prices on them, so we were unsure to whether or not they were complimentary.

Check in was very, very slow and staff were struggling. I think this was purely down to the hotel having just opened and a staff training issue. I am not sure how they will cope with such a small reception desk when the hotel is open to full capacity. The same applied with the waiting on staff, they were slow but were trying very hard to get to everyone and get their heads round everything. Jose the bar man was great and made us some fantastic cocktails. Thanks!

The pool is lovely, it was in a bit of a wind tunnel but it was a welcome relief from the heat. We did have one horrible day, where we sought refuge in the lovely spa. The facilities are fantastic and for 10 euros I don't think you can argue with it.

The half board food wasn't great and we only ate in once. I can understand what people are saying about the canteen feel. It was a bit clinical and could do with a bit of atmosphere. Vegetarian choice was limited, however I appreciate that this is a cultural thing. Breakfast was good, the porridge was lovely.

Alvor is lovely too, we walked to the beach and into town which was a nice walk, the beach is beautiful and the beach bars are really nice to relax in. The restaurants in alvor are lovely too, lots of fresh fish and a good selection of places, all very reasonably priced. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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50  Thank LeylaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alvor Baia Resort Hotel

Address: Estrada do Alvor, Galo Loiro, Alvor, Portimao 8500-322, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao > Alvor
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Alvor
Price Range: AU$184 - AU$552 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Alvor Baia Resort Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 402
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