Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews Club Med da Balaia, Algarve
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Club Med Da Balaia, Algarve

Fois gras, beef tartare, oysters, beef wellington, all cooked and plated in front of you. This surely isn’t a buffet? At Club Med da Balaia, it is!

Club Med has a reputation as being one of the best all inclusive resorts for families, and the fact that it was originally French owned, I assumed the food would be good, however, nothing prepared me for the quality and variety of food and facilities available at Club Med da Balaia.

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The fire show at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

With subtle jazz music playing in the background, the first thing that struck me was how quiet and relaxed Club Med Balaia was. Although fully booked, the resort has massive grounds so it almost felt empty.

I was told that Club Med resorts are all similar, with lots of wide open spaces, so there is no scrambling for sun beds in the morning and certainly no loud pool games or pub quizes. Hearing ‘Bonsoir’ from dashing french waiters is a nice touch too – my first impressions were very good!

I don’t usually book for all-inclusive resorts as I like to dine out, but Club Med is not the same as other all inclusive resorts. One of the stand-out differences between Club Med resorts and other all-inclusive resorts is the food

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The flying trapese at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

There is an a la carte restaurant on site, but we ate mostly in the buffet restaurant. Buffets are not normally my thing either, but the word ‘buffet’ doesn’t adequately describe what is on offer here.

Club Med da Balaia is a 4 trident resort (Club Med have their own unique star rating system), however, the buffet here was better than most buffers I have seen in a five star deluxe hotel.

Fois gras, beef tartare, oysters are just some of the delicacies on offer, and each are cooked and plated for you. I had the most succulent beef wellington and if I had paid for it in good restaurant, I would have been delighted.

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
Beef Wellington at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

If you want plain food, there are plenty of self serve stations serving fresh pasta and pizza, chicken and chips, all home cooked.

They also have a corner for babies and even supply a blender if you want to make your own. Everything was hot, there was no queuing and no one hanging around for the chefs to bring out more because it is all cooked in front of you.

There is no need for plates piled high with food, the whole dining experience was quiet and relaxed, no noisy chairs scraping across the floor and plenty of staff to attend you. Wine is served by the bottle at your table and it was extremely good.

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The fish chef happily posing for the camera at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

The other main reason Club Med holidays are so popular with families is the facilities on offer. Club Med invented kids clubs and they offer some of the best you are likely to find. They cater for children from 4 months – 17 years, all free of charge with the exception of the baby club, which needs to be pre-booked.

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
Kids Club at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

The bright airy clubs with excellent facilities are just one of the reasons that kids are delighted to come here. The sports facilities are the other.

They have free tennis and golf lessons, a flying trapese school, archery, kayaking, mini golf, football, volleyball, the list goes on! T

Club Med da Balaia also offers great facilities for adults, with lots of fitness classes each day, from pilates to zumba, you name it, its here. They have a large swimming pool and an adults only infinity pool.

Although all rooms are very spacious, they vary in style and standard, depending on which block you choose.

Sarah Slatter, The Travel Expert reviews Club Med da Balaia in the Algarve
Archery at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

I was also surprised at the number of adults here without children. I initially thought that Club Med resorts were mainly geared towards families, but in fact there were lots of couples there who love the food, sports facilities and the spa. The resort is situated on a stunning sandy beach too, which perfect for a swim or a stroll.

Club Med have 66 resorts worldwide including cruises and adults only resorts. Although the name suggests the Mediterranean, they even have resorts in the US, China and the Maldives. They have the only all inclusive resort in Florida, and offer ski resorts which open for 6 months each year! Maybe it’s time for a Club Med World sub brand?

Club Med Val Thorens Sensations, Ski Resort
Club Med Val Thorens Sensations. Ski Resort
Club Med Punta Cana Creactive
Club Med Punta Cana Creactive
Club Med Kani, Maldives
Club Med Kani, Maldives

Evening entertainment varies from parties in the bar area to theatre shows. The white party which is common throughout Club Med resorts is a great night, where most guests wear all white (not compulsory) and champagne is served on arrival.

White drapes are scattered all through the resort and it has an ocean club feel. They also have dancing competitions and even a fire show. Although they have theatre style shows, sometimes these are in French. They do offer multilingual shows and circus style or singing where language isn’t an issue, but not every night.

Club Med da Balaia, Algarve review by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The White Party at Club Med da Balaia, Algarve

Overall entertainment is low key, if  ‘Chocolata’ or Karaoke is your thing, look elsewhere! If on the other hand, top class food and sports facilities is what you seek, then look no further than Club Med.

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