Baia Grande Hotel, Albufeira | Tea & Post

Monday, 3 August 2015

Baia Grande Hotel, Albufeira

Booking a holiday during the school summer holidays is just asking for trouble. Prices are through the roof and very often you'll get to the hotel and find yourself overrun by tiny humans.  In addition to being noisy, it's also pretty difficult to relax in the pool when the kids decide to have diving competitions and throwing balls round. Unfortunately, summer holidays was the only time I had free for a break so I searched the internet to see what options were available. Whilst browsing on Expedia I came across Baia Grande in Albufeira, a hotel that seemingly had all of the facilities I was after. It ranked quite high on Trip Advisor and had some pretty good reviews along with two swimming pools and a bar.

We arrived quite late at the hotel and were able to head straight to the room after checking in. We were very happy to find that the room was large and air conditioned with twin beds that could be pulled apart. A huge wardrobe complete with a safe meant we could both hang up all of our clothes without fighting over space, there were even two extra drawers in the bedside table and one in the dressing table. A little table in the corner of the room with two chairs would act as the best place to come for a cup of tea when the afternoons got too hot and a similar table and chairs was outside on the balcony, perfect for playing cards with a bottle of wine. As we arrived in darkness we couldn't quite picture the sea view we had requested, that all changed by the next morning! 
A Typical Day At The Hotel

In the mornings we would head straight down to breakfast which was including in our deal, there was such a wide range of food available! You could have anything from a full english to croissants, fruit was readily available and there was a large pot of porridge you could dip into. After breakfast we'd head back to the room and get ready for the day, a standard one being that we'd put on our swimming costumes and don the swimming caps we had bought from the hotel shop. We used the indoor pool a few times as my nan hasn't swum in years and can't climb in and out of pools, especially ones that are deep. Luckily this one had steps leading down to it and was one depth that was easily walked across. 

We'd then head outside where we could grab a sun lounger with no trouble at all and laid ourselves out to dry off in the morning sun. This is probably where I got most of my reading done before it got a little too hot and I had to jump into the pool to cool down. Lunch starts at around 12pm at the poolside bar and as we'd often eat breakfast very early, we'd usually be ravenous by this time. Especially after swimming! The menu was filled with delicious salads, toasties and even main meals if you were that hungry. I usually went for a bowl of roasted veggies but on my last day I discovered my favourite, the duck and orange salad. I was a bit gutted I hadn't found it sooner. 

Our afternoons were always quite varied based on what we fancied doing. Sometimes we laid out in the sun a little longer or headed back to the room seeking the cool reprieve of air conditioning. Often we jumped on one of the free shuttles that would drive us into town or to the beach. If we missed the shuttle then the reception staff would happily call us a taxi (it would only cost 3-4 euros each into Old Town!). If we had chosen to stay in the hotel then we would be eating dinner at the Mermaid Restaurant where a buffet was provided for 22.50 euros a head. The salad bar was amazing, there were so many options to choose from. After dinner we'd head to the piano bar for a few cocktails and to listen to some music before heading to bed.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Baia Grande and we actually found that there weren't as many families there as we were expecting so were able to enjoy a peaceful, relaxed holiday. I'd definitely stay there again. 

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