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“Excellent facilities but poor service level”

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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #15 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 September 2013

This is a brand new hotel with excellent location and facilities.
Also because of that some services are not yet at the expected level considering its a 5 stars hotel, namely:
- Gym not yet fully prepared
- Breakfast missing some foods (natural juices, chocolate for bread, lactose-free milk)
- Lack of toasted break in all the meals
- Wet wipes to clean hands when shellfish is available
- Frequent lack of fresh bottled water and ice creams in the outside bar
- Lack of lifeguard with constant control over the big pool in order to ensure safety and rules are complied

The pain point is the overall quality of the staff in terms of experience and preparation for the 5 star service. A lot of temporary workers are on duty and the managers seems not to have control over the day-to-day operations. Delays and mistakes cannot happen so often.

I hope these "issues" are overcome in the short term as the hotel as fantastic facilities to become a reference in the area.
Best hotel pool I ever saw!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms next to elevators and ask for a top floor room which has better view over the property.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CMorais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 September 2013

- Excellent location, excellent pools and just a 5 min walk to the beach.
- It has a superb hot water pool (outdoor)
- Did not like the buffet. Long waitings between 8pm and 9pm.
- Excellent for kids
- The rooms are very modern with a beautiful design

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Astrovenero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2013

My husband and two year old child have have just spent 7 nights in one of the two bedroom Vidamar town houses.

Pros: The house was architecturally stunning with a private pool. Everything was new and clean. Fully equipped kitchen. The beach, although not private, was really nice. The kids pool was fantastic.

Cons: Please note the town house does not get provided with room service, so don't even expect a bottle of water in your house upon arrival! After a whole day of travel with a small child a
welcome drink would have been great. We didn't have the energy to do a supermarket shop at that point in time! Then, the following morning when we awoke, we saw lots of ants in the whole
of the living room. I couldn't believe it. The reception staff didn't even apologise for this and sent some ant killer spray. I requested to change room which they agreed to do but said I would have to pay an additional 280 euros per night if I want to stay in a 'hotel-suite'. Unbelievable. We decided to stay put and not change town houses as the hassle of repacking and then unpacking everything was too much. I ended up spraying the living room with ant killer everyday!
Pillows were super soft and huge, not great if you're used to firm pillows. The bathrooms had horrible shower curtains. A glass screen would have looked smarter. The town houses were noisy in the sense you could hear the neighbours moving furniture or going up their stairs.
Food: awful. Worst food I have ever experienced on holiday. It completely ruined the whole trip. I booked my trip 2 months in advance and was told the mama Mia restaurant would definitely be open by the time we arrived. Well this was not true. Everything was based on pork/ham which we do not eat. The buffet was mainly cold salads with a poor selection of bland cooked food. Poor kids food; I have never been to a five star hotel which doesn't serve basics like pizza, fish fingers ect. Really really disappointed.
Service: poor. Staff were not friendly. Upon check-out please double check your bill. We were staying half board but they charged us for breakfast and didn't give us the discount for one of the evening meals!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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    • Location
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4  Thank Bushra K
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 9 September 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your comments about your recent stay in Vidamar Algarve Villas.
We appreciate your remarks, particularly the positive points, and we are sorry you feel dissapointed with some others.
Concerning the food quality and diversity of it, I must say I'm surprised with your remark as we have a lot more then just pork/ham; we have surely noticed that we have different meats everyday, both on the buffet inside and on the show cooking station outside on the terrace.
I am also very surprisid to read your remark about the kids' food as we have everynight a "kids' corner" on the buffet inside the restaurant, including fish fingers and other foods. Some nights, we add the pizzas to this special corner.
I'm sorry you've add some items charged into your invoice that were not supposed to happen, this is our first year in operation and we'll certainly look into this matters and procedures so that they don't happen again in the future.
The Mamma Mia restaurant was supposed to be available, however, due to technical problems, we were unable to open it; however, we've updated this and other information in our own official website.
Again thank you for your time and comments, we welcome them as they will certainly contribute to the improvement of our service.
Warm regards.
Joao Cardoso

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Just arrived back tonight from a 10 night stay in one of the Vidamar town houses. Our party consisted of a 78, 69, 36, 35, 6 year old and a 15 month old baby. We had a super time. The holiday was everything we thought it was going to be. I just wanted to mention a few points, I'll start with the positive: Salgodos beach is beautiful. Great facilities. A lovely beach snack bar/restaurant, toilets, a little stall selling buckets and spades etc and sun beds and shades (2 sunbeds and a shade €15 per day. The beach is really the best thing about the area. The villa was spotless, it was cleaned every day. The pool was fantastic, loved and enjoyed by us all. Free wifi was a bonus, especially for our little boy, although a bit of a pain that you had to keep entering the password details every 30 mins. The tv has quite a few English channels including Sky news, BBC Entertainment and Cartoon Network for the kids. Be careful if any children change channel, as my Mum was channel surfing and turned on a porn channel! Not good. The supermarket is about a 10 minute walk away. We found it stocked plenty of things to keep us going, including pizzas, fresh meat (go in the morning for this as it sells out), good selection of fruit and veg, drinks, English papers, bucket and spades, lilos and stamps, There is even a lovely bakery section. The supermarket is only small, but is very well stocked. We ate in the hotel restaurant 2 nights, we enjoyed it. There was a good selection to choose from, although I have to say it wasn't of the standard of a 5 star hotel. I would say that the hotel is a 4 star. The reception staff and porters were fantastic. They were very helpful. Our bags and us were buggied over to our villa, we were also allowed to have a late check out until 1pm, which was much appreciated. The gin bar, lacks atmospher, but drinks are served nicely and are very resonably priced.Some negative points: the villa was beautiful, but the layout wasn't fantastic and congusive to open plan family living. The kitchen is tucked away at the back of the villa, away from the living area. You felt isolated when you were cooking and had to carry the food along away if you were eating outside. The sound proofing wasn't great, you could hear connecting villas moving chairs etc. Lighting was very poor in the villa, especially in the living room and bathrooms. I was disappointed by the lack of power showers and the very cheap shower curtain. A glass screen would have been much better. My little boy and girl loved the parrot show, although I have to admit the shows were not what you would find at a five star, they were also staged in a very corporate function room. The outdoor snack bar, has a very limited choice of food and the service lets the rest of the hotel staff down. All in all a great holiday by a super beach. Villa overall was super, although lacking a few minor finishing touches which you would automatically find in a five star establishment.

Room Tip: If you have difficulty walking request a villa that is closest to the hotel.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank GerryNottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mrssjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank magsinpoland
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:
#8 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#13 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £97 - £256 (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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