We were booked into this resort via our Club La Costa Vacation Club points. From reading a previous review from a CLC member, I was horrified and nearly cancelled.
CLC assured me this would not happen again and that the matter had been resolved, so we took a chance and went ahead with the booking. This resort is primarily made up of individual townhouses that are mostly timeshare, although I think there may be some private owners and you can book directly from one of the on-line hotel/travel bookers via this website. The area is quiet and residential with plenty of upmarket accommodation and villas.
A pleasant 10-minute stroll from the road opposite takes you to the very picturesque San Rafael beach where there is a pleasant beach bar and sunbeds to rent. A 3 hour walk takes you across the cliffs to Gale where you will see more lovely beaches and beach bars – a 40-45 minutes stroll back along the main road. As previously mentioned in other reviews, it is a 20-minute walk to Albufeira Marina and a little further to the Old Town. There is also a lovely walk along the beach from Gale to Armacao de Pera and more lovely beach bars to sample.
The resort itself is classed as 4 star but I would say this is a little bit on the high side. Although the pool area and grounds are clean and well kept, the townhouses are basic and could easily be upgraded to luxury accommodation. The units are spacious, but they could do with a complete refurbishment programme. The one we were allocated (53) had been recently painted and the bathroom had been modernised and was clean with plenty of hot water, and lighting was good.
The kitchen was large, but lacked a washing machine or dishwasher and the microwave was rusty inside. No washing up liquid or basic kitchen amenities were supplied. It annoys me when you have to buy washing up liquid in a timeshare resort. No tea/coffee/milk sachets either. Well stocked with cutlery and cooking utensils, other than there were no coffee mugs or large tall glasses (we went out and bought these for ourselves). We eat out so did not cook at all. There was a laundry at 4 Euro per load (not sure if this included detergent and softener as did not use).
The fridge was a large upright new one with a good-sized freezer compartment. There was a small shower room with toilet/washbasin adjacent to the kitchen area in the small hallway. The lounge was large with double doors onto the good-sized patio area.
There was only a café style aluminium type small patio table with 4 chairs that were not very comfortable (the apartment was for 6 people)! The patio area was big enough to have sun-beds on but these were not supplied, which is unusual for timeshare accommodation and is something we have come to expect. The lounge was comfortable with a large widescreen TV.
Upstairs was reached by a marble staircase where there were a large bathroom and two bedrooms. Adequate wardrobe space and drawers, but not enough clothes hangers. Dressing table and mirror in the main bedroom with an electrical point, but nothing in the second bedroom for anyone who wanted to dry their hair! The small second bedroom did not have an outside window and looked directly over the lounge area. There were sliding shutters that gave some semblance of privacy.
May be suitable for children, but I would not want to sleep in it as it would be too claustrophobic. Air conditioning in the lounge, and bedrooms. Maid service, every other day with one-bed linen change per week. Good quality towels supplied and changed regularly.
It was quiet during our stay and the pool was not crowded, therefore sunbeds were in plentiful supply.
The resort does not supply beach towels. We did not use the restaurant so cannot comment. The bar is cosy, but spoilt by the football memorabilia, although if you are a football fan you will love it, as did my husband, who is!
All sports catered for and the many large screen T.V’s show all matches. Prices were reasonable and it was a lovely little spot to stop off for a drink on the way home in the evening, so don’t let the football stuff put you off. There was entertainment put on by the resort for those who did not want to go out and about in the evening.
The resort is made up of 63 townhouses and has a spa, tennis court, large chess/checkers board, children’s play area, lovely main pool and children’s pool. Plenty of sunbeds but no mattresses. Would recommend a hire car to get the most out of the area and there is plenty of parking at the resort.
Check-in went smoothly and we were advised that our accommodation would not be ready until approximately 16.00 hours which was not a problem as we sat at the bar and pool. Check out is good at 11.00 am (usually 10 am at timeshare resorts).
This resort would be perfect if there was free Wi-Fi, Sky TV with English channels, a washing machine and dishwasher, steam iron (the one supplied was from the arc). Despite this and although basic, we would go back again as the area is lovely and the beaches superb.
We enjoyed our stay and there are some excellent restaurants in the area. The ones we really liked were O Marinheiro (turn right out of the main entrance and walk about 10 mins) – just off the main road and Castelo do Mar Bar Restaurante, just past the marina in Albufeira. There is an excellent supermarket in Gale (Apollonia) – about 10 mins drive away. The one close to the resort is expensive and only stocks basics.
Staff were always pleasant and helpful. So management take note and upgrade to make this into a luxury resort