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“Thoroughly lovely holiday”
Review of Vilanova Resort

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Vilanova Resort
Ranked #135 of 162 Hotels in Albufeira
Ipswich, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Thoroughly lovely holiday”
Reviewed 3 September 2010

My husband and I booked this holiday in November 2009, as the reviews for the Vilanova were really good at the time. As it got nearer to our holiday, I had a look at the latest reviews, and was horrified to see how bad they were. So we turned up on the 23rd August, expecting the worst, and were totally taken aback at how NICE the vilanova resort is!
We arrived at 10,30am, and asked if we could check in early (website says check-in from 2pm so we didn't think we could but worth a try). We were told they would try their best, and they spent some time talking to the cleaning crew via radiophones trying to sort it for us. They then said to come back at 1pm, and that we could leave our luggage in their luggage room and enjoy the pool if we wanted - so we did!
We went back at 1pm, and were told that a room was ready, but as I had emailed before we arrived to ask if it would be possible to have air con, the receptionist (Carlos) said that a room with air con would be ready at 2.30pm if we'd rather wait for that one - so we did. He was very apologetic (as we told him, nothing to apologise for!), and very polite.
When I'd emailed them, I'd also asked for a quiet room overlooking the garden away from any groups of younger guests (bearing in mind I'm only 28!!) as we wanted a quiet holiday. When we got our key at 2.30pm, our room was on the third floor of block 5 (the main apartment block) and had an amazing view of the very well tended garden (lawn mowed every other day, sprinklers on morning and evening, litter picked up every evening and morning) and clear blue pool (cleaned every morning).
We'd booked a 1-bed apartment, which I'd recommend over the studio apartment - we had 2 wooden beds pushed together, which were comfy (take your own pillows though - they were not comfy!) and there were 2 'beds' in the living area that we used as sofas, which were mattress/cushions on concrete. Still fairly comfy though. Everything was clean, tidy, with cooker, fridge, cupboards full of cooking utensils, bathroom was basic but fine, good water pressure....
Maid cleaned every single day, towels changed every other, beds made and sheets changed.
Air con worked great, bit noisy when starting up but hardly noisy at all once 'warmed up' - we had it on all night and slept fine. Occasionally you'd hear the odd guest being a bit rowdy on their return from the Strip at 5am, but we only heard it twice and it was stopped very quickly.
Pool was gorgeous - very very clean, not too chlorine-y and didn't ruin any swimwear. Lovely cool water too. Could probably have done with a few more sunbeds, as they were hogged quickly, but a towel on the grass worked pretty well. Good pool bar and snacks.
A 'train' (it's on wheels) to the old town stops right outside vilanova every 20 minutes, costs 2 euros per person one way, or 3.5 euros for a full day pass. Takes about 5 minutes on the train to get to the old town, which isn't as old and quaint as we thought it would be but when you wander past the main square into the side streets it's a lot more quaint and pretty. Found an AMAZING restaurant just past the main square (went through the square and out the top left by the wine shop, then up a side street that's right in front of you). It was called Adegas Dom Pipas, and was a proper portuguese restaurant selling genuine portuguese food, not lasagne and chips like all the other restaurants. Staff were amazing, especially Sao, the smiley happy waitress who seems to work there all day every day. Open from 12-3 and 7-11 every day except Mondays when it doesn't open at lunchtime. Excellent fish, and the steaks were the best we've ever had. Pretty cheap too - a huge fillet steak for 12.50 euros. Favourite was beefsteak algarve style, which was a medium steak topped with a homemade sauce made from tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs. Delicious!
Would also recommend the Jeep Safari with Sul Travel, we booked them through the Ticket Shop in the Old Town (go down the escalators and it's a few shops up from the cafe with the icecream freezers outside). Our driver was Hugo, he was only 22 but knew everything about the area, stopped to pick up herbs and show us fruit trees, showed us how they remove cork from the trees and dry it, took us to a gorgeous man-made river with a cafe/bar, had a fabulous lunch in a traditional restaurant, sampled Medronho, the local alcohol they call Firewater, before stopping at a beautiful waterfall with a crystal clear pool at the top that we swam in. The day lasted from 9am - 4pm, and was 45 euros each (including the lunch, which was a 3 course meal of homemade soup and bread, roast pork with potatoes and salad and fresh fruits, with unlimited wine, juice and water). We had a lovely family of 3 from Swindon with us, who also helped to make it a fantastic day.
Would also recommend visiting Fiesa, the sand sculptures, which is 8 euros to get in, and we booked it as a trip with travel costing 5.40 euro each. Go in the evening though to get the best lighting for pictures.
We also went on a boat trip to see wild dolphins and caves, which was 35 euros each and worth every cent.
Zoomarine was also good, especially the seal show and the dolphin show. Good family day out, but make sure you take your swimming stuff as it gets VERY hot and there's not much shade during the shows, which are about 45 minutes each. But there are swimming pools, diving displays, flumes, a rapids ride, lots of fun and a good way to cool off.
Overall , we had an amazing time. If we'd just hung out around the hotel and not gone farther than the Strip we'd probably have not had such a good time and spent a lot more money, so I'd recommend making the effort to go out during the day and visit some places. Plus, it was definitely a good idea to email a few days before we went to request air conditioning as they did their best to accommodate our request, and it really made a difference!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Raemondo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 2 September 2010

Stayed at the Vilanova for a week commencing 24th August and I was extremely apprehensive prior to arrival having read the poor reviews. Our party consisted of my wife and I, my five grown up children and their partners, and my grandsons aged six and three. We stayed in block 2 which was away from the strip, but next to the main road, so our noise problems were traffic rather than music and noisy people. Yes, there were a couple of times when people were being particularly noisy in the early hours, but not necessarily people staying at the resort. There was one incident where a group of portuguese youths were loud, standing on their balcony at 4:30 am, but a visit from the security guard quietened them down.
Both the main pool and the kiddies pool was clean, and was kept clean by staff at sunrise every morning. The poolside bar had a good variety of drinks and food at reasonable prices. The rooms are dated and yes the beds are mattresses on concrete bases. I would recommend taking your own pillow for extra comfort. I would not recommend this resort to friends, but if you want something cheap and cheerful in a good location, then its not too bad for the money. Talking of value; the Wild and co. restaurant on the roundabout at one end of the strip is certainly not good value. 24 euros for a fillet steak (300g) and chips is not good value. The steak was chewy and the chips were awful. Nice decor though and that what you are paying for. A beer was five euros and a can of coke three euros. There are plenty of restaurants about where the food is better quality and less than half the price.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Bluenoselouie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kildare
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2010

This place is a dump, in every sense, theres no other way of putting it. I am a regular visitor to the Algarve. This place was good but current owners have abandoned it. Full of larger louts, lots of fights, no security, and everything is broken. They repair nothing it seems like no one cares. The pool is filthy, and the apartments are old and very dirty. Location is fine but whoever is managing or trying to manage this place should be put out of business by the tourist regulators.Have a look at CPO and the reviews that gets and you see the difference.There are many bad reviews on this place and they are all true. No matter who you are stay away from this place.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Prince100Kildare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Albufeira hotels

Aberdare South Wales
Level Contributor
82 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2010

My partner and I have just returned from a weeks stay at the Vilamora Resort so here is a list of what was good and bad at that time. The apartment was clean, basic, and dated, and as other reviews state the beds are mattresses on concrete bases. Our sheets and towels were changed in the week we were there, I know this because I had a fake tan before I went and it came off on the sheets the 1st night ! ! The cleaner came in everyday to clean the bathroom and make the beds etc. In the kitchen, there was everything you could possibly need, down to a potato peeler and juice squeezer, even t-towels were provided. We had no air conditioning in our apartment, we found this to be horendous as the weather was really hot. The gardens around the pool were well kept and the swimming pool looked clean when we were there, so maybe the resort has been reading the reviews of other people and cleaned up their act. We did notice every morning that someone was taking samples of the pool water. I would say that maybe they should invest in more sunbeds, as all the beds were taken very early in the mornings. The biggest issue of our stay was the noise, it is as bad as other reviews say. Because you are so close to the main road, the main strip for bars etc and there are loads of youngsters staying at the resort - sleep does not come easy. On a plus side the staff were nice, helpful and pleasant.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joolsmay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 31 August 2010

My heading says it all because that is all this hotel is good for. We arrived and were allocated what the called a studio appt. It was HORRIBLE BEDSIT basically the beds which comprised of concrete slab with bedding on were uncomfortable and the bedding looked like it was from a charity shop. Every morning around 4am yobs came back and banged on doors, set off fire extinguishers and fire alarms, plus I saw two large cockroaches on our floor at night all of which do not make for a great sleep. The pool area was'nt much better, the pool was freezing, loungers were very few and you would have to be up early to get one. Also if you have kids the pool was deep with no lifeguard on duty. Overall a awful hotel which i would never recommend or stay at again.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank daz2408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2010

We stayed here in July of this year - it is not fit for anybody - there is no lifeguard and the pool is filthy - all our swimming gear had to be dumped there - villas were clean enough - that is the only good thing to say about it - it is extremely noisey and run down - very old and worn out - there is no playground and hens and stags can do whay they want - it is very very disappointing !!!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank FAMILYDUBLIN08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2010

on arrival to our studio i was shocked to see concrete beds and no air-con in 34-40 degree heat witch we had for the 10 days we were there was not good all we had was a little fan . hotel staff were very friendly and helpful but the resort it self was dirty the swimming pool should have had a health warning it was green and i dont think it was cleaned while we were there our studio over looked the pool ,there was bits of food and paper floating in it people were drinking in the pool also . good points ... its in an ideal location in the middle of the strip everything you need is close by villanova is perfect for groups of hens , stags not for familys with young children. if you want to sleep at night forget it having your door kicked at 6am is not my idea of a relaxing holiday

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank leprachun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vilanova Resort

Property: Vilanova Resort
Address: Areias de Sao Joao, Albufeira 8200, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Vilanova Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 226
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Vilanova Hotel Albufeira
Vilanova Resort Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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