A 10-minute downhill stroll into Albufeira Old Town
All apartments have balconies/terraces and cooking facilities
Spacious sun terrace with poolside bar and sea views
Optional all-inclusive plan covers meals, snacks, and drinks
Two swimming pools and a separate splash pool for kids
Some apartments feature sea views
No air-conditioning or Wi-Fi in apartments
Complex looks dated and is poorly maintained
Lots of steps and no elevators; steep walk back from town
Mediocre food at the restaurant
Albufeira Jardim is a no-frills apartment complex set on a hillside overlooking the popular Algarve resort of the same name. While it's an easy stroll down into the old town, many struggle with the steep climb back up, as well as with the complex's numerous flights of steps and stairs. There's little evidence of modernization, especially in the 175 dated apartments, though all have kitchenettes and some open to sea-view balconies. Plenty of pool space is a bonus and an optional all-inclusive plan helps budget-conscious travelers, though food is mediocre and child-friendly facilities are in short supply. All in all its a get-what-you-pay-for property, and prices are low. The Vale de Carros offers equally rock-bottom rates and a kids' club.
Pleasant, but dated apartment complex with lots of steps
Albufeira Jardim's exterior of a long, low-rise reception building with flaking weather-worn whitewash and streaks of water stains very much sets the tone for this disappointing complex. The lobby area, while clean and presentable, bears all the hallmarks of a space that hasn't been modernized since the property opened in the early '70s. Rough cobblestone pathways lined with lawns and -- in some cases overgrown flora -- connect a series of equally unkempt-looking accommodation blocks. Built into a hillside, navigating the property involves plenty of slopes and steps, and the apartment buildings also lack elevators. Accessing top floors means climbing several flights of stairs. Its position, however, does mean numerous vantage points for enjoying the gorgeous views over the Atlantic, one being the hotel's spacious and sunny pool terrace. Clientele are mostly composed of British tourists attracted by the cheap rates -- a mix up of families, couples, and groups of vacationing friends.
Set on hillside within walking distance of Albufeira Old Town and sandy beach
The complex is set on a hillside overlooking the popular resort town of Albufeira in the sunny Portuguese Algarve. Besides other apartment buildings and hotels there's very little in the immediate surroundings, though Albufeira's charming old town is a 10-minute walk downhill and full of numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. It's around another five minutes to the resort's long stretch of beach, though many struggle with the return journey and choose a cab over walking uphill. The lively nightlife of the renowned Strip is about a 10-minute drive from the complex, and 10 minutes in the other direction will lead to some quieter beaches. The nearest airport is outside Faro, around 40 minutes' drive away. The Portuguese capital of Lisbon is about two and a half hours.
Simple apartments with kitchenettes; many have sea-view balconies
Albufeira Jardim has 175 apartments, which include Studios (for two adults and a small child), One-Bedroom Apartments (sleeping up to four adults), and Two-Bedroom Apartments (sleeping up to six). Interiors are a dated combination of scruffy-looking tiles, tired wooden furniture, and garish fabrics; most apartments show numerous signs of wear and tear. All open to balconies or terraces set with what looks like reclaimed bar furniture, and these spaces overlook tennis courts to the rear or feature views over the pool and sea beyond. Tube-style TVs require the rental of a remote control, though there's a decent selection of English-speaking channels. Apartments include kitchens with ovens, electric hobs, microwaves, and fridge-freezers; all showing signs of age. Traditional tiled bathrooms come with shower/tub combos, wall-mounted soap dispensers, and bidets, though no hairdryers. In-room Wi-Fi is not available, and lack of air-conditioning means units can get very stuffy over the inevitably hot summer months.
Spacious sun terrace with three pools, a poolside bar, and sea views
The highlight of the complex for most guests is the expansive sun terrace, which features two main pools (large enough for a swim) and a third pool for younger children. Loungers, however, need to be updated and a shortage at busier times means inevitable early-morning towel reservations. Pools can also be icy outside of the peak summer months. The terrace has a poolside bar serving drinks and ice cream, accompanied by views over Albufeira and the sea beyond. Pizza and burgers are served in the indoor bar. Most dining takes place in the hotel's main restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet-style; food is edible though mediocre at best. There's no daytime animation programs (and limited child-friendly facilities generally), though evening entertainment is put on most nights. Ping-pong and air hockey tables are placed under an awning. Free Wi-Fi is available in the reception and bar areas.
An optional all-inclusive plan covers all meals and a range of snacks between mealtimes. Drinks include domestic beer, wine, and spirits, plus all soft drinks and a cocktail of the day. Drinks are served in tiny cups so expect lots of queuing for refills over peak times.
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