We stayed at Laguna Golf for a week, late July 2010 with our 4 kids aged 5-14. These were definitely the best self catering apartments I have every stayed in and cannot fault the standard of the apartments. They were light, bright, spacious, fully air-conditioned and appointed to the highest standard – plasma TV, washer (an absolute delight!), dishwasher, immaculate kitchen and oven, large fridge freezer (none of these miniscule semi-warm, half working fridges with no ice box we’ve had before!). There were two large bathrooms in our 2 bedroom apartment that slept 6 easily (comfy double sofa bed in lounge). All had ceiling to floor windows, a breath taking view over the Laguna golf course and you could even see the sea (just!). The balcony was huge! It must have easily been 40ft long, and had a lovely modern wicker glass topped table and 4 chair set (no rubbish plastic stuff here!). The water was always piping hot, everything worked, comfy beds and pillows. My only SLIGHT (and I feel I am looking for negatives really) was that maid service was weekly, and this included towel and bed change. If you are staying a week, they aren’t going to get changed, and with 6 of us using the quite minimal provision of towels, it meant I was washing them. Not an issue, but lucky we had the opportunity to do so. My own suggestion would be either prepared to wash towels, or take a few of your own.
The biggest downside to these apartments is location. Their own website states “5 minutes from Marina and beach and they DO mean by car. On foot (and it’s not optional in 32 degree heat with small kids and associated kit during the day) it would be a good 30-40 minute walk. Taxi’s were available readily by asking at reception, or by telephoning (they answer in Portuguese – obviously! But do speak English) local numbers that reception readily give out, as they are not a 24hr reception). It was about €4 for a taxi to marina/beach, trouble was we needed 2 taxi’s or the mini-bus style, which meant we spent a small fortune in the week. This wasn’t the worst part of the seclusion and taxi issue, the marina gets VERY busy on a weekend, and we got stuck at 10pm (not late) one night, unable to flag down or hire a taxi – we waited until 11.30pm for a taxi suitable to get us back, we could have walked in that time, but my youngest son had gone to sleep on my knee and the other were flagging after a day in the pool. That put us off going on a night on the weekend, and the next day, which was a Saturday, we went to the Marina during the day for a nice lunch, and bought something to eat in for the evening instead.
The other two issues with these apartments are supermarket location, which again is located at the marina area (it’s actually near McDonalds, called Jaffers). This supermarket gets JAM PACKED in high season. I would go early if you want fresh bread etc and less than a 20 minute wait to pay. There wasn’t a supermarket that I found in walking distance, apparently there had been one but it closed, though I stand to be corrected on this. At any rate, Jaffers is the biggest and closest, though on an evening out where we did not go to the Marina and headed Albuferia way, was saw a large Lidl, (though I was 2 wines into the night and can’t recall where this was except to say it also was not walking distance!)
The other disappointment was that the advertised restaurant was not open in summer 2010 as had been said, and when asked, I am not sure what is planned for summer 2011, there was some vagueness about the answer. The pool “bar” serves lager on tap, but nothing else on draught, and a small selection of ice lollies, water and cans of pop (at very inflated prices). They are totally missing a trick with lack of a snack bar – any with business acumen or catering know how would make a small fortune if they could get even a basic menu off the ground, totally a captive market. When we arrived at 11am local time, after a 3am rise, the best of Easyjet’s cuisine our only option in between time, and our room wasn’t ready, we would have welcomed a cold drink and a light meal.
The apartments are situated on open terrain and the ocean breeze can certainly result in a few parasols ending up in pool. There was a lack of sunbeds, though occupancy in the complex was not at full capacity in our first few days. As we approached the end of July and into local and UK school holiday time, the occupancy was greater, and on a few occasions, sunbeds limited. This is something easily addressed, as there was certainly space for more. The pool area had a Jacuzzi-hot tub which was a very pleasant addition.
I would highly recommend these apartments and we are considering another visit next year already. I haven't said a lot about Vilamoura per say, but my review of our Tivoli stay in 2008 is very detailed, and I welcome any general Vilamoura questions as we have stayed in various locations for the past 5 years.
Finally, there are only three words of advice I would give if you want to avoid the taxi issue and general seclusion for these apartments, and this is something I would definitely do next time, and those three words are…HIRE A CAR!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC