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“Abeautiful quiet break”
Review of Vila Gale Praia

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Vila Gale Praia
Ranked #3 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 June 2010

Stayed for a week in early June and although weather was not perfect the overall break was superb and due in no small way to the Hotel Vila Praia Gale. We stayed here last September and while we enjoyed the holiday this time was even better. The service in the restaurant has improved considerably and we had no complaints about anything. The staff were extremely efficient and pleasant, all the facilities first class and the location is perfect for a quiet break in the Algarve. Hopefully we will return.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank coarmaghayes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2010

Just come back and wanted to add a few comments on the Hotel Vila Gale Praia.
Check in very good and efficient and we were allocated a nice room on the third floor (pool view worth paying extra for). The bedroom is large with very big bed, it is on the firm side though. Under the bottom sheet there is a plastic backed terry mattress protector, this makes for very hot nights even with the aircon on.
We booked a table in the restaurant on the first night. The cooking was not good and the pork was cooked to destruction. When the white wine was offered for tasting, it was warm and eventually chilled in the ice bucket. We didn't complain as it was my Birthday and could not be bothered to spoil the evening further. Apparently the previous Chef was very good but is now at another Hotel within the same group. Breakfast is fine.
We tried a few restaurants in the the area and found the three beach restaurant to be just OK. The best beach restaurant is on the extreme left on the beach, it is called Praia Lourenco. Good food and very friendly service.The best one we tried is Jompra Restaurant. Very good food and the staff seem to know many of the Customers. Another good one is Restaurante Sao Domingos.
Pool is very nice, plenty of loungers, Guests mainly British, so no mad lounger dash in the morning! We found the 'calming' music around the pool a little annoying but fortunately they forgot to turn it on some days!
The beach is fabulous, just minutes away.
We will return, hopefully next year.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank miklui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2009

We found this hotel very clean. Spacious grounds with lovely pools and lots of sun beds. The only downside is the half board option. We found that the food was cold as the trays to keep the food warm in were very shallow and they were piled high with food. No matter what time we went into dinner the food was still cold. Also not much choice, only one choice of potato each night, one fish and two meat products (mostly veal and poultry). After 3 nights of basically the same, we asked for a refund and just had b&b. We heard one or two people complaining that the breakfasts were cold also. But we cannot comment as we do not eat cooked breakfasts, plenty fruit, bread, cereals etc. Would go again but would not book the half board option.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank shenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2009

My spouse actually searched this hotel via tripadviser. After reading the reviews on this site, we decided to book this hotel for 5 days via easyjet holidays. This was a good decision as it was much cheaper than booking direct via the hotel.
(Traveling to / from airport / hotel)
To get to Hotel Vila Gale Praia, we took a shuttle bus booked via ResortHoppa. This was actually a good choice. Go on their website and you will find that it costs roughly £14 per person. Just one warning though, it took 2 hours just to get there! Only reason for this, was the amount of stops / drop offs it took. We were tired but we could not have checked in until 12.30pm and therefore, were not angry. Besides it was our holiday after a long stressful year.
Upon returning home, just make sure you login online to reconfirm the return to the airport. This only took 45 minutes to get back as we were the only pair returning at that time.
(Arrival at the hotel)
On arrival, the receptionist of the hotel was actually very friendly and polite. Not like the other reviews state. We were provided with a 1st floor hotel which was rather nice. Not to forget, the reception area was very contemporary. Really nice and was decorated with buddha's and other luxury items. The reception area also has one desktop computer which internet is provided at a cost. The internet is actually quite expensive but this is out of the control of the hotel. It seems they use the same internet provider which can be found at the airports.
We asked the receptionists were we could find a supermarket and they directed us to the nearby supermarket, which is a 5 minutes walk ( I mean a very slow walk). This supermarket is great as it is one of the biggest. You can buy english, Portuguese, Japanese etc food. Water is cheaper when purchased there.
Back to the hotel, the room was brilliant. The whole room was scattered with candles and flower petals. We were also provided with a complimentary champagne and a fruit basket. The room also had a small LCD tv which shows the fox channel etc. You can also borrow DVD’s to see. But to be honest, you are on holiday and do not want to stay in the room. Now, the only problem I would state was the shower. The shower was actually quite poor. The temperature for the water was eratic and the plumbing seemed to be poor. On odd occasions, the toilet would pump out a smelly sewer smell.
Now, the hotel has their own swimming pool which we swam in. The pool was great. As before adults only as I would see some people bathing nude – topless only. The hotel also has a spa, Jacuzzi, gym, restaurant and bar. The first night we had a meal in the restaurant. Just remember to book beforehand by telling the receptionist. This allows the chef to know if anyone is going to eat there that night.
The menu seems to be the same throughout the week, so we only ate their one night. The food was actually very good. Not brilliant but rather ok. You will understand what I mean when I mention the other restaurants we ate in. The cost was not actually expensive either. For the meal, glass of wine, and beer, it came to £35 per person. Nearly forgot to say – the pound sterling to euro was nearly £1 for 1.16 euro. Really expensive exchange rate.
I would recommend that you should try the restaurant. Not bad. The local wine was rather disappointing though.
The bar is rather just a bar. One plasma screen with no sound and no entertainment! So warning! No entertainment. It makes sense as the whole hotel wants to run an atmosphere of calm! Don’t despair! 10 minutes walk up the hill, will bring you to a street with plenty of bars and entertainment – including football entertainment.
Now, the best, crème de la crème! The beach is only 2 minutes walk down hill! Yes! 2 minutes walk down hill! The beach is not fully packed also! I recommend that people go to the beach before 12am. The sea tends to be more calm! By 1am, the sea / waves are very heavy and powerful. As for entertainment you can rent certain things like a banana boat etc. You get my drift. The same things. There is three restaurants on the beach side itself! Only 2 minutes away from the restaurant. Also a shop for ice cream etc. The beach is the longest stretch of sand you can find! It is pure yellow sand and not the rubbish stone sand you see in Greece etc.
The temperature reached 28 to 30 degrees celcius and was enough for a sun tan.
Back to the restaurants – two restaurants nearby should be considered snack bars. Rather disappointing and very expensive to eat. The one hidden on the far side is a seafood restaurant run by dutch lady. The staff are rather friendly but the food not so fresh. We ask for the Cataplana and this was not nice. I am food critic by trade and know when seafood is frozen or not fresh. The taste was bland. You have been warned. But from experience, seaside restaurants try to rake in food anyway they can as they know tourists don’t come back.
(Other restaurants)
Joya Vila – 2 star Michelin restaurant – First thing first! This will break the bank! In our case £360 pound sterling! Crazy but we had to experience this so called Michelin star restaurant. You must book ahead if you want to attend this restaurant / hotel. Just remember to ring the bell! This is only opposite, Vila Gale. Now for the experience or lack of it. Upon arrival you are made extremely welcome by all staff and the head waiter. The old guy is a charm. He can speak many languages and is brilliant. But – usually hangs around with the rich or people who constantly come to the restaurant. The rich tend to be a german couple or Russian millionaires. Don’t blame him as they were buying red wine like no tomorrow. Service was brilliant but expected. The reason for this, is because I have been to other similar restaurants like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in London. As I can compare – I would rate Jamie Oliver’s restaurant much better due to the experience and the taste of the food. They might scream at me.
The food in Joya Vila was too salty! Not being funny! Salty. Way over the top. The food was fresh no doubt but was the chef ill that day? Anyway, I was rather disappointed and especially when we had more than 8 courses. I can even say the layout of the food was poorly created. I can only say that the 2 michelin stars have been held by the service, rather than the food. Money was never an issue but the food was rather bad!
Surprisingly, a restaurant (15 minutes up the hill) called Por do Sol was rather great. The staff were rather friendly and well mannered. It seems to be trait in the area. We order the cataplana as we loved seafood. We even asked for the peri-peri chicken but the waiter told us that it would be too much to eat! He was right! We only ordered the cataplana dish and..........this dish was very fresh! We must have timed it right. Everything in it was fresh and with taste. This dish was satisfying. Definitely recommend this.
Nearby, are 4-5 restaurants which we did not try. Italian, Indian, and two other similar restaurants. This did not feel appealing as we could have this type of meal back home.
(Albufeira)
Gale de Praia is rather far away to Albufeira! It is 15 minutes drive to Albufeira. But..... the hotel has a shuttle bus (free) – 3 times a day. Morning, midday and afternoon. The driver was very friendly. Old town was rather boring. Typical tourist area and tourist rubbish to buy. Every shop selling the same rubbish to entice the tourist. You have been warned. The beach is the same but plenty of people on it. All in their 20’s as the area is surrounded with clubs and bars for the nightlife. The hotels are also cheap and reflects why. So if you are a group – this is the area you want to stay.
We did not enjoy the place – old town at all. Really boring and so many weird people there selling fake goods or people who look rather dodgey. Also tramps as well. Spoils the scenery.
New town is new town. Expect the typical shops to buy clothes and the cinema. But... some nice looking restaurants. This is much further away. Another 10 minutes drive.
Overall the holiday was very relaxing and great. The thing we wanted. We wanted the beach, the sun and restaurants to relax. Also peace and quiet in the restaurant.
I would greatly recommend this restaurant if you want a nice peace and quiet place, nearby a nice and sandy beach! I would also suggest you to rent / hire a car. Do this beforehand! Plenty of parking space. The drive from the airport to this place will take you around 30 minutes. Get a SAT-NAV built in as well. Hire online!
Final note – this place is definitely for the couple with no kids! Children will be bored easily!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Teddy_888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2009

We chose this hotel on the basis of the rave reviews and were not disappointed. It was spotlessly clean, lovely confortable bedrooms (well worth the supplement for pool view) , relaxing pool area with discrete music and plenty off space. Breakfasts were very tasty - the hot buffet had a range of dishes - unusual for the continent. We decided to eat in a local fish restuarant just down the road overlooking the bay. Hotel restuarant looked nice but lacked the local charm of the fish restuarant. Cocktal bar in hotel slghtly spoiled in my view by showing football on a large screen after dnner! Beach is a few hundred yards away and is really lovel, - typical Algarve coves with big rocks and breakers coming in. Two beach bars to visit and watch the world going by over a drink. But if you are looking for a place to relax, this could be 'it'.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Caroline61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2009

Stayed here in May for my 50th Birthday and was that impressed we re-booked on returning home.
Just as good this time, super staff friendly with a good sense of humour yet polite.
Nobody should ever consider bringing children, there is absolutely nothing for them, no childrens menu's, nothing. It's not geared that way, it's for couples to relax and be well looked after in a peaceful surrounding.
We enjoyed the fine dinning on our first visit, but the menu was changed the day we arrived and had nothing much we really fancied although we did eat twice in the hotel, I think the guests would prefer some authentic Portuguese dishes on the menu and would then support the hotel restaurant more.
So to sum up, if you want a nice relaxing, clean hotel with great staff and a very nice beach very close, along with good local restaurants (Sao Domingese? spelling a 5 Euro taxi away, busy every night and lots of regular Portuguese customers) then this is the place.
We will no doubt be back!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bonneville900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2009

This hotel was pretty good. No major complaints. Comfortable beds and very quiet. If you are looking to be near the beach, then this is the place. Very quiet at night - if you want to to experience old town/new town, you will need to take about a 10 Euro taxi ride into town. Never ate dinner at the hotel, but had lunch on a few occasions - pretty good and healthy, price is fairly reasonable in my mind.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank continentaltraveler4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Praia

Address: Estrada da Gale | Apartado 2204, Albufeira 8200-385, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#2 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £84 - £205 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Praia 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This adult's only hotel is located in a peaceful Gale district of the city, close to the like-named sandy beach. It is about 8 km to the city centre of Albufeira that offers countless shopping and entertainment venues and that can easily be reached by making use of the public bus service that departs from a stop located just 150 m from the hotel. Faro international airport is located some 50 km away. Completely renovated in 2004, this 3 storey hotel has a total of 40 double rooms. Guests have access to a vast pool and garden complex, a spacious foyer with lifts and a 24-hour reception desk, a games room, a TV room, a newspaper stand, several shops, a cosy bar and an air-conditioned a la carte restaurant with a separate non-smoking area. Room and laundry services as well as medical assistance are on offer and guests may make use of the parking facilities. The tastefully decorated rooms come equipped with a bathroom with hairdryer, a telephone, LCD TV with cable, a hi-fi stereo system, a kitchenette, a minibar/fridge, a double bed, carpeting, air conditioning, central heating, a hire safe, a sitting area and a balcony or terrace. In the outdoor area there is a swimming pool, a snack bar and a sun terrace with parasols and sun loungers laid out ready for use. It is also possible to make use Satsanga Spa with mega Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room/Turkish bath, fitness room, a massage service and beauty treatments. The nearest golf course is approximately 1 km away. Guests may select their breakfast from a wide buffet; lunch and dinner may be chosen from a menu although the evening meal may alternatively be taken a la carte. Guests have the opportunity to book a half board stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Praia Hotel
Vila Gale Praia Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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