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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #18 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 June 2013

We stayed at Vidamar 10th to 14th June having taken advantage of a cheap deal. We had read the reviews so we were aware that some of the hotel facilities were not open (although the tour operator, Teletext Holidays/Broadway Travel mentioned nothing of this). For the price we paid we were completely satisfied with what we got but I wouldn’t have been so happy had I paid the full published price. The hotel was only about 20% occupied during our stay but we were still not able to take advantage of the late check out that we had arranged at booking because the room was needed for new guests, presumably that means that a large number of the rooms are not yet ready.
The hotel is part of a brand new development and although there are views over the golf course and lagoon, there are also views of masses of the same style/same colour buildings everywhere. Whether you think of the hotel as “fab architecture” is a matter of personal opinion but for me square boxes stacked one on top of the other is boring. The hotel was clean any tidy but all a bit too brown for me – everything came in various shades of brown – the walls, tiles, carpets, furniture, table linen, decking round the pool, outside buildings etc, etc – everything was brown! There was no colour anywhere and no pictures on the walls to break up the dull monotony. The only “music” was some awful non-descript music piped into the restaurant and corridors. It didn’t inspire a holiday atmosphere.
There is nothing much to do outside the hotel apart from a walk along the beach or a visit to the tiny supermarket 10 minutes away. There are no shops, restaurants or anything else within walking distance. Albufiera is several miles away so to get there or anywhere else you will need a taxi/hire car.
The main outdoor activity is the pool. There are three – a large swimming pool, a children’s pool and a chill out pool with swim-up bar. The first two were at 18° whilst the chill out was at 32°. Consequently all the kids were in the chill out pool so you end up with a kid’s pool with a bar! The chill out pool is very slippery on the edge and we saw lots of people step in and immediately slip over and bang their heads; there is bound to be a serious accident here before long. There are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas around to pool - all brown of course! The entertainment staff started to make an effort to put on a game of darts or table tennis and there was a yoga group one morning but they have a long way to go to make the hotel into anything close to a “resort”. That said, they have to start somewhere and they are trying to get things going.
The food was pleasant and adequate for the low occupancy of the hotel. It was a bit disappointing to find that the evening meal in the buffet restaurant, paid for as part of our booking, excluded drinks, you have to buy your bottle of water. I’m not moaning about the cost so much - €2.50 a bottle, but a 5* hotel not supplying drinking water is poor.
The rooms were OK, comfortable but nothing special. There is a free safe, a mini-bar (costs €6.00 to have unlocked), TV with a reasonable range of channels, kettle and cups (but no sachets of tea, coffee or sugar once you have used the initial two provided). We were told twice not to drink the water in the room yet none was provided for teeth cleaning. The free wi-fi is intermittent and you need to ask for the logon code from reception.
We found the bar rather expensive. A 33cl can of beer cost €3.50 when the exact same can at the local supermarket was just €0.69. A small non-alcoholic mixed fruit drink was €4.00. Guests don’t like being ripped-off which was obvious by the numbers arriving at the pool with their own drinks and the lack of patrons at the bar.
This is a decent enough hotel for a 3 or 4 night dash for some sun but I wouldn’t want to spend my main holiday here. It’s simply not ready for the holiday trade. However, the staff (who without exception were friendly and helpful) are obviously keen to get this hotel up to standard so hopefully when the main season starts everything will be running to plan.
Finally, an update on what is and is not open:
Buffet restaurant and Portuguese restaurant, snack bar were open
Japanese restaurant was only open two nights in our four night stay but appeared to have no customers.
Italian restaurant is still being built. The opening is scheduled for the end of June but they will have to get a move on because the exterior walls are not finished yet.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank 4-go-travelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CardosoJ, General Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your comments and for sharing your thoughts about your recent stay in Vidamar Algarve Hotel.
The only two facilities that are not yet available are the Mamma Mia italian restaurant (mid July) and the Kid's World (3rd week of July); apart from this, the west wing of the hotel bedrooms is also not yet available and Guests may the better side of the Hotel as from the end of this month.
As you've experienced, our Hotel is contemporary, elegant with a minimalistatmosphere,; yes, I agree and it is planned to improve the general decoration, however, despite these facts, we know we won't please every single Guest at 100%, as this seems to be your case.
Yes the Hotel is located in a quiet area, on the sand dunes of a beautiful beach, alongside a 18-hole golf course and near a Lagoon Nature reserve. Yet is takes only about 15 minutes to Albufeira city centre. It is not intended for Guests looking to stay near a city centre, very close to the night life, our Hotel does not offer this type of expectation.
It's dissaponting to know you did know exactly what you've bought, as our board basis is very clear everywhere: Half Board (Accommodation, buffet breakfast, dinner no drinks included); there are many board basis these days and this is the one chosen since the beginning, this is the basis we advertise and promote. Within this board basis, we included the Ocean Buffet for both meals; Guests can also take advantage of the dine around option by dining in any of the other themed restaurant available and receive a food credit of € 15,00 per adult (€7,50 per child 3-11yo). The Koi Sushi is open 5 days a week, the portuguese Sabor a Mar is opened 7 days a week as it is the Ocean Buffet,
I hope I've covered all your points and again thank you for your time.

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Reviewed 15 June 2013

My husband and I just returned from a 7 day stay. I booked the holiday as it was my husbands birthday on the Monday and management sent a bottle of bubbly & chocolate cake to our room, this was a lovely surprise.
I was a little scared by the previous reviews, and I have to say I agree with some of the comments. However, we found the food in the restaurant wonderful, both for breakfast & dinner, there was a good choice of quality food. The staff were very friendly & helpful, the hotel extremely clean and bright, the room was lovely.
The only negative point I would make is that getting to Albufeira by taxi at €15 each way to expensive and we did this only once. A hotel bus would be a good idea. We did however walk to Gale along the beach which was nice. The boardwalk onto the beach is a great idea an you can follow this all the way to Gale as well.
No shops in the area, however we walked to the restaurant /bar 5 mins away along the beach for a late evening drink. Lovely view of the sunset from there.
The pool toilets were open and the pool bar opened on Friday, so it's all coming together slowly.
All in all, we had a lovely time. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a relaxing getaway. I suspect next year it will be out of our price range.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank Choc59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2013 via mobile

Gorgeous hotel, fab architecture, amazing pool, beautiful beach but apart from that pretty poor !!
I agree with most reviews/lack of staff,start up problems and need to close to finish the hotel to a 5* standard !! Day 1 tea and coffee provided the other 2 days nothing and didn't ask as the staff seem harassed to a lot of other visitors with problems !!
The ocean restaurant is good, breakfast fab, evening meal no so good. A little tasteless and atmosphere canteen like !!
The restaurant in the garden (can't remember the name) is really fab looking so it drew us in to have lunch on day 1 but after waiting 20 mins for a waiter then 10 mins to order then 30 mins for our drink to arrive then another 1 hour 20 mins for our 2 salads !!! Really mad !!! But when it arrived both were lovely,tasty and perfect.
So annoying as this hotel will be great in the future !
If I could advise- I would say this will be an amazing all inclusive hotel when it's got organised.
No guest information in room not enough staff better quality of food and last touches to be finished. May return one day to see the finished result.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank queenie81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2013

Just returned from a weeks break, we was made aware of the soft opening hence the good deal we had by broadway travel and went with our eyes open to the fact that we expected certain elements of the hotel to still be in "working progess" The hotel staff was very friendly and location is great for a true relaxing break from it all, albeit we would recommend having a hire car.

Hotel rooms was of a good standard, we are veggies so buffet was our choice and offered enough choices and to a good standard. The hotel seemed to be improving on a day by day basis with items being finished and services enhanced etc.... gym is small but adequate although it could do with a water drink dispenser and towels, slightly disappointed about paying to enter
the spa pool.

My own view is that it currently lacks the finer points to be a true 5 star and would class this probably a 4 star deluxe, the hotel management seem to have taken on board points raised by the guests and taking appropriate action to implement suggestions where feasible, still had a great relaxing holiday for a bargain price, hotel still as a long way to go on the finer points to be the 5 star that they promote but good luck to them.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank peppersmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We are currently 7 days into a 10 day stay at a Vidamar 3 bedroom Villa.

Thought I'd get this uploaded as I know quite a few of you are keen to find out more about this resort. I hope I've not included too much info - sorry if it gets boring!!!

Prior to our stay we had been keeping a close eye on the reviews on TA and were aware of the soft opening till the end of May - however just before our departure date this changed on the Vidamar website to say several things would still not be ready. We enquired about this and were reassured that most things were open and that we weren't eligible for any discount on our €292 a night rate as this had already been discounted by 20%. Fair enough.

We arrived late to the resort and we were whisked to our villa in a golf buggy around midnight armed with a map of the complex, information about the entertainment and restaurant opening times. The complex has been bought by Vidamar after the CS group went bust. The villas are on a site just across from the main hotel building, are manned by security and are quiet and peaceful. We get the impression quite a few are privately owned. Location wise they are near a blue flag beach which is fantastic (note, on the Atlantic so a bit choppy) with a beach shack serving drinks, snacks and amazing seafood (check out OS Salgados reviews on TA). Walk ways from the hotel handily lead to the beach - stunning at sunset. An impressive nature reserve flanks the beach and golf course reviews from the husband so far are great, although the driving range is closed and it can get a little windy.

Back to the hotel, a little conference-esque but we aren't really bothered by this as we are only popping in and out. The main entrance is huge and airey and the two areas at the side (Gin bar and Nespresso) are ok if lacking a bit of atmosphere. Although to be fair the hotel is no where near even 20% full at the moment. A perfect Hendricks with cucumber G&T not surprisingly! Everything is kept fantastically clean.

The hotel pool area is really impressive, clean and huge with the chill out pool heated to bath like temperatures and the swim up bar fully functional. Loads of loungers, funky bean bags and round wicker outdoor sofas to lounge on. From what I can see the larger pool side snack bar is close to completion. You can see going to be a great spot. We don't plan on using the buffet restaurant but have heard its ok and the Sushi Restaurant has got fantastic reviews - we are going to try before we leave. The Portuguese restaurant, Sabo de Mar has an evening menu plus an all day menu. It's a great little place tucked away from the pool area and we enjoyed an evening meal there. We had high hopes for the fish rice main to share and the seafood starter but both contained only razor clams, cockles and prawns. I get the impression they are not ordering much fish in as they are quiet so expect this to change in high season. Lunch there was really busy over the weekend. Atmosphere wise think smart cover ups, menus on ipad like tablets, chilled glasses of wine, Caesar salads, toasties & sandwiches. Unfortunately we walked out after 30 minutes after no drink or food order was taken - a stark contrast to the service the previous night. Mamma Mia isn't open as yet and the kids club is currently a room in the hotel until the planned structure is fully built. There's no room service to the villas.

The gym is good and has cardio but no weights. The spa is impressive - although the picture on the web suggests loungers over looking out over the window to the sea-not the case, it's totally enclosed. it has a nice pool, two heat rooms an a jacuzzi (which has never been filled with water the whole time we were there). Decent spa treatment menu.

I hope I've managed to convey some of the positive aspects as I do believe this resort has good potential. You are 15 minutes and 13 euro from albuferia one way in a taxi, we have managed without a car so far as most things are available at the small but perfectly formed Oceano supermarket which is an 8 -10 minute stroll away. Well stocked with pastries, chilled pasta, frozen pizza, fresh fruit and veg, cold meats and cheese with a great wine aisle. However they don't seem to have much in terms of chicken, beef etc for whipping up a proper meal should you want to.

The red tourist bus stops outside the hotel - "Citysightseeing Albufeira". A decent route and our 4 year old & Nanna have really enjoyed this!


Info about the villas & our personal experience:

The Villas are light and airey and a good living space. Quite minimalistic and modern. Only one plug socket in each bedroom, no chance of straightening hair etc near a mirror!! Childfriendly wise, we've got a 4 year old and it was ok for us. However it has sturdy glass enclosed staircases and freestanding 8 foot mirrors in the living room. Also no stickers on the glass patio doors that form a huge side of the living room onto the pool. Perhaps worth some consideration. Frustratingly no where to hang towels in bathroom or soap dishes. Baths are fine, standard showers.


When we arrived sadly our pool was filthy and full of algae - it took 2 days to be cleaned and filtered. As you can imagine this wasn't the best start to our holiday however we were suitably compensated for the lack of full facilities.

The kitchen feels like the poor relation in the villa and isn't well equipped. One big casserole pan, milk saucepan (small) and a half size frying pan. We are 3 adults and a child and managing to scrape by. The hob wasn't working and had to be fully replaced - I presume this was onto same checklist as the pool..........

No BBQ, teaspoons, cheese grater, veg peeler, jug - all requested but unable to provide. No cloths, washing up liquids, dishwashers tabs (available at Oceano) -the dishwasher needs salt and fluid, not our job!! Wooden spoon, plastic cups, cereal bowels (!) not provided but brought round when requested.

2 out of 3 air on units wouldn't work on arrival and simply required batteries. Again a lack of attention to detail - strange when we were literally the second set of people to ever stay in these villas under Vidamar. No hair dryer as listed but again brought by when we asked.

The villas are kept really clean with daily service, toiletries replaced daily and towels a plenty. You also get towel vouchers to exchange at the pool each day and these can be used beach or poolside. Villa beds firm but comfy.

We are currently on day 7 and now the villas pool is clean and fully functional it's a great spot to relax.

in summary, we feel it lacks the touches that make a 5 star resort but is an "ok" 4 star. The staff are a huge asset, however there's lots of fine tuning to be done, as Vidamar themselves admit. Thank you to Rui the Resorts Director for sorting out our issues so promptly during our stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank minxta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We booked this 3 night break a month ago and was aware it was new but didn't know it was only a soft opening.

However, arrived on Friday to a quiet resort 15 mins out of the town. Depends on what you are after, a busy town with lots of bars etc or do you want a relaxing get away? Relaxing get away is what this hotel is!

We checked in and was shown to our room by the lady on reception - nice touch. The rooms are large and modern. No complaints with the room and 5 star quality.

We were made aware that the Italian restaurant was not open yet which was a shame however the spa was now open.

We decided to eat in the buffet restaurant which was included in the half board deal. This was average and the food was warm not hot.

The breakfast was good, still warm but good choice.

Yesterday lunch time we decided to have lunch in the restaurant by the pool (ocean restaurant).... Shocking... We were shown to the tabs and waited an hour for the food. My steak baguette should have arrived with chips however these were missed from my plate and no one came back to us to ask if everything was ok. Plenty of guests were complaining - mainly English guests. Not sure why but it felt that the odd table with English guests were not getting a very good service. A couple waited an hour and left without eating because of the delay. When we left and paid, I did complain but the gentleman just said oh sorry about that ... No offer of a partial refund.. It felt like the staff hadn't really been trained on how to deal with complaints.

The entertainment in the day is good but poor at night. You have two small bars which are nice enough and somewhere to go for a quiet drink. But please don't expect any massive nightlife.

The spa was nice and helped to replace the lack of sun ..,

Overall the hotel is full of quality in terms of furniture and the rooms. The outside area is large with lots of quality beds and decking area.. Lots of money spent!

However, the lack of staff and more importantly unskilled saff really does let the hotel down at the moment. However all the staff are very nice so please don't blame them.

I feel the owner should just spend a little bit more time on the staff training and better standard of food on an evening and the hotel will be a top class 5 star hotel.

Good break for a cheap price!

To guests who have booked and reading these reviews, you won't be disappointed...time to check out!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Shep99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

My Husband and I have just returned from a 7 night break away to this hotel and overall the hotel certainly met our needs well. We have no complaints and thank the staff in particular for our relaxing break. I booked the holiday through a travel agent before the hotel had opened and was reassured that the hotel was completed + a great deal. Then 2 weeks later the reviews came through and I have to say Initially I was worried. However, when we got there it wasn't as bad-the spa was open, but you have to pay 10 Euros each for 1 day of use. I wasn't happy about that! Upon leaving the toilets next to the pool and second pool bar where opening up. The swimming pools were lovely, but the main pool is not heated. There is plenty of sun loungers and seating next to the pool. There is a stunning boardwalk to the beach which is a 2 min walk. The beach itself is wonderful and fairly quiet as the whole complex is away from the main towns. We wanted to be in a peaceful part of Albuferia, and that is exactly what we got-no bustling touristy shops or other naff looking hotels. The resort is lovely with a beautiful lake area 2 mins away, which can have flamingos,but we sadly didn't see any! We also found a small supermarket shop about 8 min walk away which was handy to stock up on mineral water. You could opt to have the mini bar stocked for 6 euros which would give you 2 beers, 2 orange juices, 2 waters and 2 cokes. The room also did came with tea making facilites, but you have to pay to stock it with tea, coffee and milk. The room itself was wonderful and are similar to the photos shown on this website-we had a ocean view room which gave us great views of the palms trees and the ocean and partially of the pools.
The food in the evenings was ok, 4 star not 5 star, but got better on the 5th June onwards for some reason, we noticed a marked improvement! The bread variety and mains seemed to be better quality! One night we used our 15 euro credit (per person) in the Sushi Resturant, which was very good food, but I don't think you get much for your credit allowance so will end up paying extra.
Worth noting that the bathrooms are big with a had a great rainfall shower ( and also a sep lower shower head) but no bathtub.
There was some building work taking place whilst we were there, but the hotel are making efforts to minimise the noise and the views (but covering around it). It was away from us and didn't bother us at all.
Overall we got a good deal and we were happy with it. If we had waited until it was completely finished, we would have ended up paying three times as much and I'm sure more guests would have been there. We prefer being there when it's quieter with fewer guests.

Room Tip: Request a room on the 3rd or 4th floor, so you get great views level or above the palm trees. and r...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank rubina t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vidamar Resort Algarve

Address: Rua Boca da Alagoa, Lote 1-Fase 2 | Guia, Albufeira 8200-424, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#15 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £70 - £321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Vidamar Resort Algarve 5*
Number of rooms: 250
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5-Star beachfront Hotel enjoys a fabulous location: on Salgados beach sand dunes, alongside a golf course and nearby a nature reserve. The Vidamar Algarve Hotel Guests can experience the MAR laid-back experience with the lively VIDA family facilities. All hotel Guests stay on Half Board basis and can take advantage of the Dine Around concept, whereby you can sample a variety of cuisines at a selection of restaurants. This Hotel offers 250 double rooms and suites, with different views. Doubles rooms can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children 0-11yrs. The Aquatica Kids World is designed around children and their daily needs. From 3 to 11-year-olds, the emphasis is on fun in a safe, secure environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vidamar Resort Algarve Albufeira, Portugal

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