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“England in Portugal”
Review of Vale do Lobo

Vale do Lobo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Vale do Lobo Golf & Beach Resort offers a unique concept in luxury living. 1,500 residential and holiday properties, makes it the largest luxury resort of its kind in Portugal with endless facilities and services in a unique location
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We spent the spring bank holiday week in Vale do Lobo. The villa was stunning; very comfortable with a great sea view. The sandy beach is popular and there are lovely walks along to a variety of beach & cliff cafes.

The resort is very plush and immaculately groomed. However, it's all English speaking and the restaurants are international (and over-priced). A car is essential if you want to visit your host country and eat authentic local cuisine.

The golf courses are great, but even at the recommended rate of play, you still get hurried on by the staff... even when you've given way to the (smaller) group behind you ~ the correct etiquette ~ and there's no-one else in sight behind you.

I would recommend hiring a car and using Val Do Lobo as a base.

Thank Nigel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale-do-Lobo-Algarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about Vale do Lobo. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your villa and the beach and appreciate your comments about other aspects of the resort.
About 90 percent of the staff in Vale do Lobo are native Portuguese and they would be more than happy to speak with any guest in Portuguese if they prefer, however staff members also speak many other languages, including English, to help guests of the resort who travel from all around the world and do not speak the local language.
Thank you for your positive remarks about the golf courses and in regards to the playing times: in order to ensure all our clients have an enjoyable game, our staff motorises the players pace of play along the round, it is recommended that the clients stay just behind the group in front during their round and the expected time to play our courses is 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Thank you once again for your review and we hope to be able to welcome you back to Vale do Lobo in the future.

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123 - 127 of 186 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2014

Booked mainly as a golf holiday, and just out of season. Had a great time but found it a little compact. We only spent a week at the resort and I'm not sure if I would have liked two weeks, and I definitely wouldn't have liked it in the high season. A little expensive if you are a family and eating out all the time. Great for older teenagers as it comes alive at night. There are a couple of well known clubs and lots of young people to mix with. Also lots of security, so no worries about things getting out of hand. All in all, a great place to visit and I would go back.

Thank Jan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale-do-Lobo-Algarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a fantastic review of the resort and we appreciate your comments and feedback about your first visit to Vale do Lobo.
Those who book a holiday directly through us are able to take advantage of our resort and welcome cards that offer significant discounts and promotions on golf, restaurants, activities and other facilities within the resort. We find that this usually helps families to keep costs down while still enjoying a luxury holiday experience.
Thank you again for choosing Vale do Lobo for your holiday and we are very happy that you found it to have not only fantastic golf courses but also much more for every member of the family.
We look forward to being able to welcome you back to the resort in the very near future.

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

I first visited Vale do Lobo 23 years ago and have returned every year, bar one. 14 years ago we spent an indulgent couple of months there, between jobs, during which time we investigated the possibility of making Vale do Lobo our full time base and running a business from there. Although we didn't follow it through then, I have never given up on the hope of retiring there. In 1995 I was asked to write an article on Vale do Lobo for a magazine. So, 14 years on, are my feelings still the same? Of course they are!

The resort was originally started by Trusthouse Forte plc and Costain Plc in 1962. It was the first development in The Algarve of its kind which, up until that point, was a fishing and farming community. It was taken over by Dutch Entrepreneur Sander Van Gelder in 1997 who developed the resort into a self-contained community of villas and apartments that it is today, but it has so much more to offer. Two beautiful golf courses, the Tennis Academy, two kilometres of beach, many restaurants and, just so you don't have to go out of the resort at all, a supermarket. In 2006 Van Gelder sold Vale do Lobo to a group of Portuguese and International investors, by which time had earned itself the label 'Europe's Finest'.

So what is it about this resort in Portugal's Algarve that makes it feel like home to me? Why is it such a magnet? Is it the heady smell of the pine trees? The classic white Portuguese villas and apartments with their terracotta roofs? The Bougainvillea that thrives in abundance and the beautiful Jacaranda trees that bloom in May? Is it blue skies or the miles of Atlantic kissed terracotta tinged beaches? The people? The climate? Why do I have such an enduring love for a country that isn't my own?

I suspect, deep down, it is something to do with my grandmother's Greek genes that keeps pulling me back here. I love the heat. Two hours from the Mainland UK and it is considerably warmer. Over the years, I have spent New Year there, played tennis in shirt sleeves and enjoying a coffee afterwards in the early January sunshine.

The people we have met over the years have come and gone. Owner's and renters alike have come for multiple summers with their growing families who have now fled the nest. Some of them keep a pied à terre here whilst new families with their growing broods have taken their place.

There are many grand, opulent villas tucked away behind the well-manicured shrubbery. Some of the more sumptuous villas are indeed owned by the rich and famous who come and go but many of the apartments are occupied 12 months a year, mostly by ex-pats.

There has been much development in and around Vale do Lobo over the last 23 years. Some of the beach restaurants and bars that we used to access via bumpy undeveloped tracks now have purpose built paved roads leading out to them. The restaurants themselves have been raised to the ground and rebuilt to accommodate the ever increasing influx of tourists. Some of the restaurants, happily, are still being run by the Portuguese families who started them.

When the Euro came into force in 2002, local developers seemed to start building with a vengeance. Villas began to erupt amongst the pine trees in the area surrounding Vale do Lobo. Will the building ever finish in Val do Lobo? I can't say. There is always something new being built, revamped or rebuilt, every time we go back, in the name of progress.

With the exception maybe of August, Vale do Lobo never feels overcrowded. In May for example, there is no need to book to go out for a meal and we, pretty much, had the swimming pool at the Tennis Academy to ourselves during the 2014 May half term.

This is a resort for couples, families and friends. Somewhere you can relax and switch off.

I have a Bucket List as long as my arm but the draw that Vale do Lobo has for me is immense and know that, one day, I will spend more time there. It just a question of when.

1  Thank Sally E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale-do-Lobo-Algarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2014

Thank you for your fantastic review of Vale do Lobo. We really appreciate such wonderful feedback from our guests and we hope that your comprehensive review and comments will be of use to others considering a trip for the first time to Vale do Lobo.
Thanks again and we hope you continue to visit Vale do Lobo for another 23 years and beyond!

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Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

After almost ten years of coming to vale do lobo we can honestly say this place is truly amazing. We never get bored of it, it is constantly evolving and always impresses. From the luxury villas to the manicured lawns every aspect of this destination oozes luxury. If you like golf, this place is golfers heaven. The restaurants are good for people who like atmosphere but not for those who want a fine dining experience - head to the outskirts for that.

You will see many celebs, footballers and other sports stars on your stay, there is a good reason for that as the sporting facilities here are world class.

This place is head and shoulders above all other holiday destinations we've visited. We will probably come here every year from now on.

Thank Soopakev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale-do-Lobo-Algarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Thank you for your fantastic review of Vale do Lobo, it is wonderful to hear that the resort has lived up to your expectations and that you are already considering returning again.
We are sure that other travellers will find your comments very useful as a reflection of the Vale do Lobo experience.
Thank you once again for taking the time to review Vale do Lobo and we look forward to welcoming you back again in the very near future.

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Reviewed 16 June 2014

Really nice 'compact' resort, plenty of restaurants and clean beaches. Liked the beach bar which has a great relaxed vibe. Breakfast at Sandbanks is fantastic with amazing views of the beach. Enough to keep you occupied for a long weekend

Thank kdw72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale-do-Lobo-Algarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write your review about Vale do Lobo and for the lovely comments. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and hope to welcome you back for another relaxing experience in the very near future.

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