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“Good but with some improvements needed”

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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #17 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Albufeira, Portugal
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good but with some improvements needed”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

This is the second week (of three) of our luxury hotels review tour in Portugal. We just checked in to the newly opened Vidamar Algarve Hotel at Vidamar Resorts outside Albufeira, a new five star.

We got half-board to really test the kitchen here. So far so good. The breakfast was just perfect, and the dinner buffet likewise. The hotel staff have solved all problems thrown at them within minutes and with a friendly stance.

Of course, with a newly opened hotel, there are improvements to be made:

- They served mozzarella and tomato baguette without tomato, and hoping everything was fine, when asked, they explained they had no tomatoes that day (always tell the customer first)
- No information about how to operate the difficult AC in the room, staff came to room and explained "you can not set temperature, but only the minutes" (this turned out to be wrong), AC faulty first did not work at all, then fan at high speed at all times, then works again (several interactions with staff in room trying to find a solution).
- No information about minibar unlock fee of 6 euros before and no price information for minibar items. When minibar opened one finds only two beers and some softdrinks (no spirits or wine).
- TV turns on automatically with only "white noice" every time we enter the room and place the key card in the holder.
- Failed to make the third bed while cleaning (however, this bed is hidden under a sofa). Fails to clean glasses, but puts them back in cupboard upsidedown (indicating they have been cleaned).
- The cleaning service is not concentrated to one time, but can go on at any time during the day, meaning you do not have access to your room in privacy during the day (e.g. at 5.30 pm they came back after the cleaning to change some bed linen, took off, and came back again to fix something else).
- The pool opens at 0900, which is late for a morning swim, and then it is often cleaned after opening.
- There is a sound in the night, all night, that sounds like your neighbour is taking a shower (water running in pipes). It is load enough to bother us, but not loud enough to warrant a complaint for now (right now we are happy the AC fan is not on full speed as it was before).

Some information of potential annoyances for others that does not bother us:
- 30-50% of the day, they play pop music in a speaker facing the hotel from the pool area, so you can not choose not to listen to this music. It has been quite load. We really like it, but if you do not like pop music most of the day when in your room with open balcony door or when relaxing at the pool, you have been warned! Of course, they also play music in relation to "Animacion", maybe one hour or so per day.
- The three pools are lit during night and the light changes very fast (different colours), so even without music at night you will get a bit of a disco at your resort or sea view balcony. We think it looks cool but also understand that some might have preferred colours to change slowly.

Kids view (Kid A): "The hotel gives a feeling of luxury, the staff are nice, and the food is great. The location is great - just a short private walk down to the beach. The pools have perfect temperature and there are separate pools for small kids. So far I have found no room for improvements."

Kids view (Kid B): I like that the water in the pool is not too salty. The breakfast lived up to my expectations with good juices and toast with Nutella. I like the modern design of the resort and the big poufs and round cosy beds around the pool area. I also like that they have many parasols so that one can have shadow. I did not like any of the three dishes we tried at the Sabor A Mar Restaurant (mainly seafood needed to "peel" yourself)

Father: The bed is of good quality, and so is the rest of the room. For me, the sea-view we got is important, and so is the proximity to the beach. I like that I feel that my daughters are safe to move around the resort on their own. The pool bar and the Gin bar have great selections of gin (this is always my first test of a five star hotel). In comparison with last weeks test of another hotel in Algarve, we feel that so far we get more value for the price paid. One thing I miss is beef instead or pork in the buffet, but maybe this is served on some days.

In summary, the staff provides an extremely good service, the location, facilities, breakfast, dinner buffet and rooms are great, but it seems like there are still some run-in problems to solve.

We will update this review with a complete review after the full stay, so stay tuned.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank frebjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013 via mobile

No way is this hotel 5 star for reasons listed below. Maybe if it were advertised as a 3 star I would have then given it top marks but advertising it as 5 when it's clearly not makes people feel like they are being ripped off!! Overall very clean and staff lovely but not enough of them not sure how this hotel will cope when it's at full capacity because when I went it was only half full and they struggled..

Ill start with the negatives:-

To get wifi working with an I Phone is VERY long winded! Also you have to keep logging in and ask reception for a new password every 24 hrs which is a real pain..
6 euros to open & stock mini bar - the drinks are warm when they stock it just what you want after travelling several hours
10 euros for bowl of lettuce
Reception smelt of drains.. Not nice if you wanted a coffee after dinner at the gin bar as it wafted through
Buffet limited
Decor drab
The spa could only take cash
Slow service at pool bar
Slow check in
Italian still not open

Positives:-

Big comfortable beds
Nice shower
Pool beds
Nice pools / plenty of beds
Breakfast
Very clean
Maid service very good

Overall nice stay but wouldn't go back!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anonymous200
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 review, 24 July 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your preference in our new Hotel for your holiday last June and for sharing your thoughts on your experience.
Although reluctantly, we've decided to open the Hotel early May and offer a "soft opening" operation during May and June. We knew and advirtised it on our own website and to all our commercial partners that some facilities and services would not be available and others could have some restrictions. Because of this soft opening and to some how compensate any inconvenience, we've decided to launch a very special promotion, on half board basis, for these two months of soft opening.
Your comments are very much appreciated although most of them are a reflection of the Hotel not being totally ready during your stay. Therefore, we apologise for any inconvenience we may have caused you.
We know a Hotel, specially a brand new Hotel like ours, is an ongoing improvement process and we are aware we still need some fine tunning is certain services of the Hotel, and we thank you for the positive comments you have registered from your stay.
Best wishes. Joao Cardoso.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 July 2013

We loved our stay here. We had a fantastic room. The Vidamar is modern and sleek and everything is brand new. It's very easy to get to and in a nice location, not too crowded or noisy. Free wi-fi in the lobby. Amazing view from our room, and lovely little balcony. Excellent shower, very clean bathroom. Very welcoming staff, very patient as my husband attempted to use his poor grasp of both Spanish and Portuguese!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maryrosebery
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 review, 15 July 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind comments on your recent experience in our Hotel.
As I mentioned in a previous comment, we are aware that "the road to success is always under construction" and we also know that, as a new hotel, there is some fine tuning still to do, however, we work everyday to improve the level of service and the attention to detail for the enjoyment of our valued Guests, such as yourselves.
Again, your comments are very much appreciated and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future.
Warm wishes. Joao Cardoso
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2013

Just back from a 10 night stay in a 2 bedroom villa. The villa was superb, very spacious and light. Not sure if all the villas are in use as some pools did not contain water. The surrounding area is very quiet with lots of buildings that look the same, as previously mentioned, all part of the CS group i presume. Some buildings were shut down and some had just re-opened. The hotel was not at full capacity which suited us fine as you could always get a sunbed by the main pool area, which was huge!! I repeat what others have said here that the staff are a credit to this hotel and reception deserve a mention for being so helpful, also the cleaning ladies. The breakfast buffet was extremely good with lots of choice (only gripe being not enough coffee offered after the first cup - perhaps the pots could be left for guests to pour their own) The dinner buffet was okay but needed more choice i.e. maybe a chef show cooking meat/fish as I feel there was not enough hot choice (maybe because the hotel wasn't full). We found the lighting in the restaurant too bright at night both inside and out and so we only ate here a couple of times. The sushi restaurant was wonderful, had a set menu for 25 euros per head which included 4 courses tempura/sushi/noodles + dessert, excellent food. We ate at Sabore (the portugese restaurant) twice, the first time was good but the second time the service was not so good, very slow to get drinks and we were given the wrong food (watch out for mosquitoes here too). There is a nice ambience sitting outside this restaurant however, surrounded by trees watching the sunset with no bright lighting like the buffet! The Italian restaurant is nearly ready for those who are due to go soon. It would have been nice to have a pre-dinner drink outside but the gin bar only had indoor seating. Just as we were leaving however, they opened up the poolside bar in the evening which we thought was a good idea and the hotel seem to be doing more and more as the busy season arrives. We walked to Gale via the boardwalk which is a lovely 20 min walk. There is a trendy Ibiza-style bar overlooking the sea where we tried various different cocktails at 6 euros a time (same price as the hotel). We also ate quite a few times at Praia da Gale on the beach which did the most amazing fresh food and was great value for money. The restaurant on the beach near the hotel was good too. Didn't use the spa but looked lovely, my husband said that the gym was very small with no free weights and the running machine was out of order for most of our stay. To sum up the Vidamar - a lovely hotel with excellent staff in a quiet spot. Villa was excellent with a well stocked supermarket nearby. Beach was fantastic and didn't get that busy even at weekends. All in all we had a great holiday at the Vidamar.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SAHJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2013

The gorgeous birds eye view photo of this hotel led me to book it without reading any reviews. Risky but definately worth it. Stayed 1st to 5th July and enjoyed every second. The staff were brilliant and made the stay more relaxing. The Hotel is squeaky clean and has massive rooms with very comfortable huge beds. I wont say how many showers i took daily but i could have lived in the shower.

Food was good and didnt struggle to find something everyday. The main pool is epic! Biggest in the Algarve form what ive heard. The beach is not too far away. Took walks there after evening meals. We had a late return flight and getting a late departure was no problem. Thank you everyone at Vidamar for a great week.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JeannetteM555
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 review, 8 July 2013
Dear Madam,
Thank you for posting your recent experience in our Hotel and for your kind comments which are very much appreciated.
Although being a brand new Hotel and knowing that "the road to success is always under construction", we feel we are improving our level of service by the day and that we have a friendly and available staff to help our Guests in any situation.
The Hotel has a fantastic location and offers excellent facilities, particularly outside in the extensive pool's and gardens' area.
Again thank you and we look forward to welcoming you again sometime in the future.
Warm wishes. João Cardoso.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2013

We stayed at this new resort 10th/17th June 2013 and the hotel was about 1/3 full. As the coach pulled up we saw building work to the right where the Italian Restaurant was not yet finished. This was a little bit daunting but we were not disturbed at any point by noise from it. It has an expected opening date of early July so could be ready now. The Hotel décor is minimalistic which gives it a very clean look but it really needs some art work etc, especially in the Reception which is more like a Clinic! Rooms were the same, very tasteful but bland. A shaving mirror is provided over the sink but this is totally inadequate for putting on make-up or drying your hair. There is a full length mirror by the wardrobes but the hairdryer does not reach that far, The room also needs a dressing table or sideboard. The only place to sit and write is on the balcony, also if you want a cup of tea or coffee you have to boil the kettle on the floor but be warned, once you have used the initial supply, it cost one euro per day to be restocked. The minibar also carries a set charge and has to be unlocked by Reception.
The food was very good, at breakfast there was a reasonable selection and drinks were included. There was also plenty of choice for Dinner but use a hot plate or else the meal is cold by the time you get to your table. All drinks are charged to your room, including water which is two and a half euros a litre bottle. I don't mind paying for wine etc but water!! We used the Seafood and Sushi Restaurants where you get a 15 euro voucher per person to go towards the meal. The food was very good in both, price wise the Seafood was reasonable but Sushi was a bit dear. We didn't use the Snack Bar by the pool but the menu looked good and plenty of others were eating there. Prices seem about the same as in town. Lovely loungers and parasols by the pool but best of all were the bean bags. Don't leave it to late and miss one, they are worth getting up early for. The beach also has loungers but they cost 12 euros a day for two and parasol. The hotel has three pools, a lovely crescent shaped one for toddlers which really is as warm/hot as bathwater. Next to that is a circular paddling pool then a very big oval shaped pool. They say this is the biggest hotel pool of its kind but it is very cold. Supermarkets. We used the Oceana, about 10 minutes walk right around the roundabout then straight up the hill, over another roundabout and a few metres on the left. A path leads down through some trees. Don't try and take a shortcut through the Vidamar carpark, its fenced off at the end and you can't get through. Snacks, drinks etc were a reasonable price although they didn't sell much in the way of cigarettes, however the hotel shop, which is hidden away behind the Gin Bar, did have some of the usual British brands and they were not expensive. They also had newspapers and a small selection of sweets. There is a hop on/hop off open topped red bus which runs from 10:15 am ( ish) until late afternoon. This does a round trip to Albufeira, 18 stops in all and from July runs every half hour. A 2 day pass cost us 13 euros each. Try to avoid Stop 1 as the driver usually has a 20 minute break here. A few minutes walk from Stop 16, down the escalators and up to the left there is live pan pipe music and market stalls selling good quality and cheap leather goods. If you stay in the resort, a stroll along the boardwalk, through the Nature Reserve and back along the beach takes about an hour. The first part goes over a lake which has turtles, fish and ducks. The kids enjoyed throwing bread to them. The entertainment was very poor, Rita, Miguel and Sol tried their best but they were given very little to work with. There is no focal point for the animation team apart from a room downstairs by the Spa which resembled a crèche. The evening entertainment, which was short and sweet, was held in a Meeting Room upstairs above Reception. There was a makeshift stage at one end with a Conference Table and Chairs at the other. Being in there made me feel like I was intruding on something. There is so much room a around the hotel I think they should build a small theatre or entertainments centre. There is also plenty of space for some children's play equipment as the facilities they have will not be enough when the hotel is full. As previously reported by other guests, we found the staff very helpful.

Room Tip: Lots of lovely trees but these restrict the view in ground floor rooms. For the best of the sun cho...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterford, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2013

Stayed at the the Vidamar resort villa's at the end of June. Still low season and fairly quiet. Staff were excellent, polite and very helpful. Restaurant(s) were very good value with excellent food, particularly the sushi restaurant (though the head chef was a little dour!). Facilities were 5 star and of high quality, cleaned every day by very diligent staff. Overall this was a very pleasant experience well worth the money and we were even upgraded to a bigger appt.
I highly recommend the Vidamar resort and would gladly go back there gain.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tony R
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

Property: 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
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#14 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Vidamar Resort Algarve 4.5*
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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