Eight of us traveled to Faro on the 16th June 2014 from Newcastle for a one week holiday in the city of Albuferia. Our flight arrived 40 minutes early into Faro and we were still greeted by a very happy and polite man who, (as promised), had my name on a sign to help us know where we needed to be. We had to wait for a short while for the minibus to collect us but if our flight had arrived on time, the collection would have ran smoothly and on time.
The three villas are set back off the main strip along with other neighboring villas, but as well as feeling secure with the surrounds of others, you also feel that you have your own private space and that you are alone. When we arrived at Villa Pavao, we were met by Jimmy (Irishman) and Miguel who were more than helpful to get us settled into our new home. After the show around of all rooms and the main facilities, we were offered the use of the WIFI for a small charge of 15euros for the week - this came in very useful for us (mainly mid 20s and liked use of internet and social media).
The Villa is very secure and provides a safety key box (operated by a pin code) at the front to allow the only key to the front door to be left behind in a safe area in case anyone of the group decides to come home early. There is also a safe for you to store passports, money etc - Jimmy showed us how to use both of these things on the first day and there were no problems with them during our stay.
The only issue we had and is worth mentioning, although it is a very minor thing that happened, is the key for the back door... the back door key will lock and open the door from inside, but when locked and opened from outside, the key does not work. We were locked out for about an hour till Jimmy and Miguel came to our rescue, but we weren't complaining as we had the gorgeous pool and sun to occupy us.
Villa Pavao has the larger pool, garden and in my opinion is the larger villa of the three. Great for large groups and families but would also adhere to the needs and wants of any holidaymaker. Even though the Villas are just a stone throw away to the main strip, the noise you hear on a night time is very minimal and did not disturb us during I stay (you're probably thinking it didn't disturb us because we were the ones making the noise and partying, but we aren't that kind of group - we did have a couple of nights out but mainly our evenings were spent going for a gorgeous meal, a few drinks and then chilling by our pool playing cards). The beauty of the villa location is that you can actually do whatever you want and know that you have the facility close by to enable you to do that.
Old Town is just 10mins in a taxi (about 20mins on the train) costing about 6euros one way where there are market stalls for souvenir shopping and some great restaurants (Mi Sombrero is amazing for Mexican and steak!). The beach is a short walk away from the villa and Jimmy/Miguel will drive you to the main supermarket and back for 10euros to enable you to buy your shopping for your stay and not have to worry about carrying lots of bags and gallons of water!
The whole experience of our holiday was great, from getting in touch with Patrick (phone and email) to find out information about which villa would be best suited to us (he got it spot on!), to the minibus collecting us on the morning of our departure - bang on time! Patrick organised our transfers which helped a lot. Payment of transfers is when you are dropped off at the villa so you don't have to worry about saving the money to pay for your return.
I would recommend this villa and Columbia Group to anyone! We will most certainly be using them again and will be going back to Villa Pavao! Thank you so much to you all that helped make our holiday so easy and relaxing x
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