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“Fab pool... Lovely hotel”

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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #17 of 152 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 August 2013

We are currently staying at the hotel with my husband and two children aged 3 and 6.

The rooms are large and very clean with soft towels and robes. The rainwater shower is lovely after a swim in the hotel pools. The pools are all fabulous, very very clean. The large 70m pool is wonderful for swimming, where as the children's pool is bath water warm, which is ideal for the children.

Yes it cost 6 euro to open the fridge but for that you also get included 2 beer, 2 coke, 1 apple juice, 2 water, peanuts and a small chocolate bar... So good value we asked for it to be refilled at 6 euro last night.

The hotel is full but there are not any delay of note for breakfast or evening meal... Then again we eat early. Plenty of sun loungers and bean bags for beside the pool.

3 times we have eaten at the other restuarents, Portuguese and also Japanese, very good value you get a credit of 15 euro per adult and 7.5 per child. Apart form drinks we have never spent more than an addition 10 euros for our family.

The buffet breakfast is exellent and evening buffet is what I would expect of buffet food. Some thing that suits everyone. There are items such as suckling pig and large crevettes togther with meat cooked to order from the grill. All very good for buffet food, plentiful and often replenished.

There is lots of children, but then again this is a 5star family hotel...not a 5 star business hotel. most of the families are Portuguese.

There are loads of staff who are very helpful, reading the previous reviews the organisation must of improved as this could not be faulted.

All the prices for drinks etc are very reasonable for this class of hotel.

My only negative comment for improvement would be to clean the balconies as well as the rooms as there are a few dead flies on there and have been for the last few days.

The hotel is remote but the hop on hop off bus stops about 50m away, a bit unpredictable on timings.

All in all we are having a fab time and would definitely recommend this for families who want a bit of luxury.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mrssjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 August 2013

We booked a very last minute break and decided to flaunt /partly ignore the previous reviews. I think the fact it was 57th / 157 in Albufeira is not hard to fathom .

This essentially a family holiday hotel trying to function as a 5*. If you’re looking for a lazy sun lounging holiday with the kids without too much hassle , then this spot is fine .

We booked a transfer thru yellowfish tranfers – absolutely fantastic . The first year that we’ve not booked our wheels and it was great not having the headache of car rental – they were tremendous !!

If you’re looking for pampering, tranquillity ,& sophistication – [surroundings and clientele] then look elsewhere.

The Great – very obliging friendly staff . Facilitated an early check in . Breakfast staff who arranged early breakfast 30 minutes before official opening . The hotel will provide a breakfast box if you have an early flight.

The Good – great saltwater pool around 50m by 25m – absolutely fantastic . Great lawn fringes for kids to play . Boardwalk to the beach – a very nice beach .
A Hot pool that the kids enjoyed to warm up . Breakfast buffet .

The average – Dinner as included on HB- Nothing wrong and perfectly edible but not quite 4*.Drinks reasonable and Lisbon Sauv Blanc good .

The Poor – inability to fine tune the aircon in the room . Poor pillows – the obligatory soft flimsy European pillows – if you have a dodgy neck take your own pillows. Noisy local kids – that on one eve ran thru the corridors at 23h30 – not hotels fault. Mosquitoes – take repellent

Other tips

1- Try Apolonia supermarket – like a waitrose- in adjacent village . We walked there 30 min with kids, Taxi back for E5.50
2- Red hop on hop bus – E39 for 2 days – ticket from hotel . Very hot and the driver takes a 20 min break at stop . It does a loop but not on the same route hence you cannot ‘ short circuit’ the loop , so to get back you have to do the whole loop.

Room Tip: Ask for sea facing rooms
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Ovonarx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

We stayed with our 2 kids (aged 6 and 9) for a week from 9 August. It was peak holiday time and the hotel was completely full. We usually do self catering and off-the-beaten-track holidays, but as we really needed a complete chill out we decided to try the half board resort holiday. We were pleasantly surprised! Here's a quick summary:

Rooms and facilities - excellent! Rooms were really comfortable, modern with a high quality finish, and clean. We had fantastic sleeps. The pools are great, and its fab to be so close to the beach.

Service - a few teething problems but overall they tried really hard.

Food - ok, eating on mass in a crowded self service restaurant is not our thing but being able to sit outside made it better. Breakfasts were fantastic, the dinners not so, but definitely seemed to improve massively towards the end. We tried the Portuguese restaurant one night at extra cost but it wasn't worth it, we were a bit disappointed with it. We also went into Albufeira one night - do not go there unless you want the Benidorm type experience.

Location - we were happy to be close to the beach and the golf course, we didn't need to venture further. The neighbouring golf course was great for us as a family - not too busy and quite relaxed.

For kids - they say there is a life guard, but unless the towel man doubled as one, or there was an under cover lifeguard, we didn't feel it was safe enough to let the kids swim without our supervision. Our kids weren't interested in the kids club - they felt the activities were for younger kids, and the sports were mainly in Portuguese. None of that mattered to us as we wanted to spend time with our kids.

Spa - treated myself to a pedicure which proved problematic, but was re-done two days later free of charge. The spa is lovely.

Would we go again? It was a really great holiday, but I think we've had really great holidays that have been better value for money. If there was a special offer, or last minute deal, we might go again because it was really a wonderful place to relax.

Well done to the Vidamar and its army of hard working staff.

Room Tip: You can either have a room facing the pool/sea or out to the golf course/nature reserve. Definitely...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank magsinpoland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013

The location is very good, the pools are great and the kids club was really fun. On our 8th day, our
5-year olds refused the pool and opted for the kids club instead!
The buffet is a bit crowded but the queue was never more than a minute or two, continuously restocked, lots of variety and dishes hardly repeating - cheese table, at least a couple of beef dishes, fish (bacalhau sometimes), and cooked before you - crêpes and omelette at breakfast, grill and pasta at dinner.
Criticism for the mosquitoes at the hotel is a bit silly - there's a quite large spell going on in the Algarve this year - it's on the news, repellent running out, it's not the hotel's fault.
We never waited more than 2 minutes at the Nespresso bar, espresso is only 1.25 eur, drinks by the pool are reasonably priced.
Nevertheless the hotel has the charm of a warehouse - quality of individual items is high but everything is kind of oversized, e.g. reception is a huge cavernous hall, corridors look like from a hospital, ...
Overall great choice especially for families.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank stopover74
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 20 August 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing your recent experience in our Hotel and for your positive comments.
This is our first year of operation and we've already identified certain procedures that need to changed for next year in order to provide a better quality of service to all our Guests. These have to do with creating a more orderly service in the Ocean Buffet, have a second themed restaurant included in the Half Board basis, have more choice of restaurants at lunch time and have different service procedures in the current restaurants, create a differentiation of kids' entertainment programme according to age groups, have some other service procedures for the outdoor pools, etc. They are identifieed and will be in place in the future. A Hotel is very dinamic and we know we need to be on top of the daily service and the changing and demanding needs of our Guests.
Again thank you and we hope to be able to welcoming you again in our Hotel sometime in the near future.
Joao Cardoso

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2013

A brand new hotel open since last May 2013, modern lobby & rooms, a wonderfull terrace with 3 pools which one 50 meters x 25 meters!
You don't have to reserve your lounge chair & umbrella... this is a very good point!
Direct access to the the "Salgados beach" which is not one the top Algarvian beach but very nice anyway.
If you don't like children, don't stay there!!!
The common parts of the hotel & the rooms are very clean.The staff is warm & helpfull but the Food & Beverage service is poor!
Just one snack open for the lunch with a very poor menu à la carte with a very cheap presentation & food quality! If you try the Nespresso bar, you will wait at least 30 minutes ... The buffet at night is OK if you don't expect to eat good grilled meat or fish... This is definitly not a 5* standart buffet!
Last but not least: many mosquitos in the air that will keep you inside after the sunset!!

Room Tip: Take care with the 1st floor rooms with a pool & sea view just because of the mosquitos!!!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Patjeninks
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 23 August 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent experience in our Hotel.
The Algarve is mostly a family destination in July and August, it has always been and most probably always will be. Except for a couple of hotels, all hotels are geared towards families from all possible destinations. August is Algarve's pick month and is also know as beeing the month were generally the Portuguese families take their main holiday and drive down to the Algarve.
Salgados is indeed one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, it is about 7km long of natural clean sandy beach and even has a Nature Reserve next to it with many exotic birds. The Hotel has a flat direct access to the beach through a wooden walkway (about 200m long) wi«hich definitely a big plus.
Regarding the food outlets, we will have 3 outlets for lunch next year (the Portuguese 'Sabor a Mar', the Sunset pool snack-bar and the Italian Mamma Mia restaurant) and 4 outlets for dinner (the Ocean Buffet, the italian Mamma Mia, the japanese Koi Sushi and the Portuguese 'Sabor a Mar'). Booking a table will be compulsory and we will also have shifts in the Ocean Buffet restaurant. The Ocean Buffet will also have 2 showcooking stations and 2 or 3 buffet stations.
Mosquitos have been in great number this year in the Algarve (not just in Salgados), perhaps because it has been hotter than usual but obviously we can predict what's going to happen year. We'll certainly take measures to reduce this inconvenience (mosquito repellents, sprays, citronella plants, etc.) if the situation is the same as this year.
Again thank you and we hope to welcoming you again in the near future.
Joao Cardoso

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Reviewed 29 July 2013

We spent two weeks at this resort at the start of July. When we booked, we were aware that the hotel was new and having a 'soft opening.' I suppose I should start by saying we had a nice holiday, but definitely won't be returning.

We stayed in one of the villas that are located approximately 5 minutes walk from the main hotel complex. The two bedroom villa was spacious and the private pool in the garden was a real haven, particularly considering we have two young children (aged 1&2). Our one real criticism of the house is the fact that there is no barrier around the stairs that lead down to the basement car park. Our 20 month old fell down five feet onto a tiled floor and was lucky not to be badly injured. If you are going with very small children, this is dangerous and needs to taken into consideration.

The hotel has three pools. The kids' paddling pool is grand, but the main pool is magnificent. It is huge and I can imagine spending days lounging at the side, as many of the other guests did. However, we had kids, and so most of our time was spent at the chill out pool, which is heated and comfortable. Our kids loved it, and there was a great atmosphere around it. It was closed for two days while we were there, but that really is no big deal, especially when the hotel is also within five minutes walking distance of a beautiful beach. However, they really need to get the food service by the pool sorted out. It was slow and inefficient. Oh, and the pool-side toilets were very poor. There were no anti-slip mats and the toilet seats were hanging off in two of the cubicles in the gents.

Our main gripe with Vidamar is that nobody seems to be paying attention to detail. This is supposed to be a five star resort, and comes no-where near that standard of service. I wouldn't blame individual staff members, who I found both polite and friendly. It just feels like a hotel without a manager, someone paying attention to detail. When we arrived after a 45 minute journey from the airport, at 8 in the evening, with two kids, nobody came out to help us with our bags. There were plenty of staff, just nobody directing operations. There was no system in place for entering and exiting the restaurant. I imagine that most guests, like us, we're half board, as there are no other restaurants in the vicinity. This meant the restaurant was always busy, but people entering and leaving had to give their room number and sign for drinks at the same little desk, which resulted in delays and confusion. The breakfast, incidentally, is decent, but the dinner buffet was not. Again, this is in the context of Vidamar selling itself as a 5 star resort. The buffet was ok, but a million miles from 5 star.

I feel I am being quite negative here, which is unfortunate, as we enjoyed the holiday. We definitely plan to revisit the Algarve, as it is a really beautiful place. We won't however, be returning to Vidamar. Not until they manage to hire a management team that wants to pay attention to the many, many little details that go into transforming average into great, potential into reality. And please, do the basics, and put an information pack about the hotel and area into every room and villa...

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Thane_of_Cawdor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We stayed in a 3 bedroom villa for 10 days in July.

The resort is a bit isolated although I expected that from the reports and thought it would not be a major issue with the 5* hotel close by with dining options.

VILLA

The villa was superb. Very spacious and private - beautifully decorated (albeit a little sparse). If I was to look for a fault - given we paid a substantial amount of money for our stay- I would say:

for a villa of its quality the showers were bog standard "over the bath" style - I would have thought they would be equipped with "walk in" showers. Also due to the style - they were DARK. No lighting at all and if you closed the shower curtain you were in total darkness. Speaking of shower curtains - it was a fitted on a plastic extendable plastic pole which you could probably get at B & Q for £1.99. Not exactly what you pay £7k for...but maybe I'm nit picking...

2 of the 3 en-suite bedroom extended on to terraces above the pool. Perfect for sunbathing - except there was NO balcony furniture at all. What are you supposed to do - stand?

Other very minor issues were - despite an adequately furnished kitchen - there were no cereal bowls and oddly, no tea spoons. Not exactly Armageddon but again - £7k and (with kids) no cereal bowl or teaspoons? Just odd.

The above didn't put me off the villa one bit but I must take issue with one other matter.

I know this is probably a "one-off" but I cannot review the resort without mentioning it.

The villa has a safe (which I always think essential) but after a few days it failed to operate and would not close. I contacted reception and some-one came to look at it - couldn't get it working and said he would have to call maintenance. With our valuables (inc a large amount of cash, ipads, and passports - (probably very safe in my used sock drawer) - we left for a day away in our hire car.

On return in the evening (several hours after we left) we found a key to our villa in the door!!!! - WHAT!!apparently left by "housekeeping" by mistake. Could have been an expensive mistake for us but thankfully nothing was stolen.

Once again - is this the security you can expect for £7k...?? (we left 4 days later and no-one had turned up to fix the safe)

THE HOTEL

We used the hotel only rarely. It looks superb and the staff were friendly and helpful.

The pool area is excellent and facilities look great.

And that was the contradiction. Everything LOOKED great but the fact is on one of only two visits to eat in the hotel (the buffet) I have to say it was terrible. Apart from a lack of hot dishes (any beef, fish or chicken trays were empty) the overall standard is what you'd expect in a 2* hotel not 5* . The waiters were clueless, ( we ordered 5 drinks and were served by 3 waiters several minutes apart - eh? maybe something new - drink by instalment? but we normally like to socialise which isn't easy when half the table have drinks and the other half are awkwardly looking at their feet) there seemed to be no-one in charge and the whole thing was just chaotic. We didn't go back.


Ok - it all sounds a bit petty and harsh but I write this on the strength of the cost of the holiday - I just expected a little bit more for the money we paid and I would be reluctant to pay the same again until they get it a bit better organised.

To finish on a more positive note - the failings of the hotel catering made us eat at a couple of local restaurants just outside the resort which were superb ( and inexpensive) Another plus is the golf course right beside the hotel. It is superb - very inexpensive - (none of which made me play any better) but I would happily return in the expectation that the teething troubles encountered this year are rectified (This is the first year its been opened and to be fair - some issues may have be expected)

I'd go again - in 18 months or so.

Victor.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mike899
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:
#10 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#15 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £79 - £461 (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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