Staff could speak very little english and got orders mixed up. Very young staff, who spent time with other female holiday makers and took a long time to serve you at bar. The service at night was very slow also.
No entertainment except for the saturday night which you would not even call entertainment.
We had to ask for extra bed linen on first night and only we insisted the owner wanted us to wait until next day.
When we arrived we paid rent for safe and on the morning of departure, 7am, our safe jammed. When the bus arrived they contacted the hotel owner who said she would come after she got a bath. She arrived 3/4 hr later and as a result we missed our bus and had to get a taxi to the airport which cost 70 euros. The owner was actually staying in the complex and did not make effort in any way to help us. We asked if she could use her courtesy bus to take us to airport, she just shook head and kept walking away from us.
Other guests also complained because they had paid deposits for tv aerials, etc and they did not recieve their deposits back. On telling the budget rep about this, she said they had numerous complaints about the owners attitude. Other guests also said that their safes had also jammed and they had to wait in their apt for a full day and she still never sorted it until next day.
Also the shower in bath was disaster. you had to hold it in your hand in order to get washed and hot water was limited. I would not reccomend this accomodation to anyone and think that the owners attitude to her clients was despicable especially as she sat in the apts the night before our dept entertaining her own private guests and yet the clients who had paid 800 euros for week were treated like dirt the next day.
Travel operator: Budget
When we got settled in we all went to get something to eat in the snack bar, the food was beautiful and the service at the bar was excellent and all staff were very friendly to everyone.
The cleaners came everyday with clean towels and soap, they too were extremely friendly. They changed sheets made beds and mopped our apartment before leaving.
The courtesy bus was always on time the driver spoke no English but was always smiling.
The pool was always cleaned, tennis courts were cheap and there were swings for children.
I enjoyed my first visit but the second was better that
Travel operator: budget travel
Travel operator: Buget Travel
I was pleasantly surprised and a little relieved, to be honest! It was our first time to stay in apartments as we had gotten used to 4 star hotels.
Our apartment was basic but clean. No toaster or grill, but that didn't worry us too much. Infact we didn't intend on cooking at all, so we were not too put out about the kitchen facilities. We did have the necessary to make tea/coffee in the morning and have a bowl of cereal, etc. The cooker and fridge all worked and there was always plently of hot water.
My only little quib would be the shower - it was one of those handheld type things - which is a nuisance if, like me, you like to linger in the shower. But my other half suggested it may just be a device to deter people from lingering and wasting water! Maybe he was looking on the positive side, I don't know. Either way, I would have been more comfortable with a wall mounted shower. But it was mangeable for a week.
The staff were very friendly. We had been told by Budget that we could not check in to our apt before 2.00pm, but on arrival at 10.30am, we were given our room straight away.
We didn't eat in the cafe/restaurant, so I can't comment on that. We heard, there was no entertainment for the duration of our stay, although apparantly there had been entertainment at the same time last year (2003)
The location of the apartments can be off-putting for the elderly, those with children or those who don't like to walk. There is a courtesy bus to Alvor/Praia de Rocha three times a day and if you time your trips correctly, you can get dropped to the beach, spend all day there and get back to the apts for 6.00ish. Plus its handy to carry home some groceries and water.
We made use of the bus and the friendly driver, even if his driving was a little erratic at times!
We walked the 4kms into Alvor every evening (takes about 35-40 mins at a good pace) and got a taxi home later at night - cost
Travel operator: Budget
The place was advertised as 3 Kms from Alvor but was in fact 4 to 4.5 Kms from Alvor(verified by a taxi driver). There are no local shops bar 2 local mini markets, mini being the operative word here. So if you need to do some serious food shopping you have to taxi in to Alvor EUR6 inc tip, EUR12 round trip. But there is no point as there are no adequate cooking facilities. Remember no kettle, no grill, no toaster. We had a camp stove frying pan about 3" diamater which would cook an egg at a time so it was all pointless. All in all the cutlery was in a disgusting state both rusted and dirty and we would not use anything until we had scrubbed it.
As for a view it didn't matter you looked out onto a side street with a hedgerow. I talked to 5 different couples/groups who were really upset including one couple from Cork who complained that they had the smell of sewage emanating from their sink so only felt safe sleeping with the windows open. The bed in the our living room had a 2" mattress and a missing castor so I thought I would try the sofa bed only to find that this was was totally wrecked with the mattress all bust and the framework itself broken and smashed. It took me 15 mins to fold it back together.
All in all, Myself and my partner, felt completely cheated on this trip along with with a good few others. I have never ever complained before in my life but this was plain diabolical and if I can prevent other people suffering the same fate then it will be worth it. I should say that a good 90%/95% of the people here were Portugese and it appeared to be the equivalent of a Butlin's Holiday camp to them. We found out that they were paying EUR120/EUR140 per week for the same apartments. It would appear to me that Budget were just looking for rooms. We were told by a member of staff that Budget actually owned some of these apartments which makes it all the more incredulous that they would subject us to this. If this is true they certainly cannot claim that they were unaware of the standards as I doubt that they would have purchased apartments unseen.
I have taken photographs of our apartment and some of the complex as I fully intend to complain to Budget. I don't know if they will turn out as I did not have have a flash for my camera but I did purchase a 200 ASA film which should give me a better result.
Travel operator: Unknown
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