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“Not really a five star”

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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #16 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Our first experience of the hotel was excellent the reception staff were friendly and informative as was the bell boy who gave us a quick tour of the hotel before taking us to our room. The swimming pools were amazing although the kids pool was very very hot by late afternoon. The beach was beautiful acres of yellow warm sand lovely. The family room was fine. I have seen other reviews which mentioned that there is no separate bathroom in the rooms and this is a little odd. But as a family no problem for us. The rooms are spacious and even the sofa bed was very comfy. We had to ask a couple of times for our sofa bed to made up for my 2 and 4 year old at 9pm but it wasn't that big of a deal for us. What was a big deal was the service in the restaurants it was dismal. The restaurants did not open until 7pm (my kids normally go to bed at 7pm) so dinner started on a bad note. Add non existent service; we poured our own wine, had to walk to the bar to pay for our meal and to get servers attention; a number of starters were forgotten about. Dinner was a nightmare most nights. That said we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and by the end of it made sure to order promptly in the evening and eat quickly after that things went a bit more smoothly for us. I would NOT go back in high season. However I would go back again out of season. A hotel on the up perhaps.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Cate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 June 2014

Booked a half board (more on that later) package for a family of 4 adults and two children with Jet2 for one week.

RECEPTION
Large impressive reception area. The staff on reception dealt with us swiftly and friendly. Our suitcases were brought to our rooms by a member of staff who also showed us to our rooms explaining where things were situated as we went.

ROOMS

Rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable. Furniture is good with a large wardrobe as you enter floor to ceiling height. You probably need to be a six footer to reach the top shelves properly. In the wardrobe is a safe which is free. Also in the wardrobe is the tea/coffee facility which wasn't always replenished and reception had to be contacted. That said the housekeeper was quick to deliver the replacements. Also in the room is a large TV and a sofa bed plus bedside units. There was also a shower room and separate toilet bidet room both having obscured glass doors. These were not visible from the bed as there was a dividing wall on one side of which was the sink unit and hard wired hairdryer. My wife tells me the cord on the hairdryer could do with being a bit longer to make it easier to reach the mirror which was over the sink.
We had a room overlooking the golf course and it was a great view. The sea could also be seen from one end of the balcony. The wall of the balcony is glass and this greatly enhances the view as you can lie on the bed and look out and still have a great view through the glass wall.
There is no information book in the room which I find unusual.

BREAKFAST

The usual sort of breakfast you find in holiday hotels. Hot food including bacon, beans, eggs etc
Continental style.. hams, cheeses, breads, yogurts, fresh fruit, pastries. Also available freshly cooked pancakes and omelettes.
Everything was well laid out.
Everything eaten was very good.

DINNER

Now here is where I have a little gripe but it has nothing to do with the standard of food all of which was very good.
My only concern was that we had booked "half board" but as this was off season the half board option was in the Mamma Mia restaurant which is mentioned on the Jet2 website. This restaurant is an Italian restaurant which I don't mind but the menu is restricted to pasta,pizza or rissotto for your main meal. There are no meat and vegetable dishes on the menu.(You can get meat and salad as a starter). As I said I don't mind Italian food but eating the same thing for a week!!

OK it has to be said there are two other restaurants on site .. a fish restaurant and a Japanese restaurant. We tried both of these and once again the food was very good. If you don't like fish there are meat dishes available.

The hotel does give you a 15 euro credit for adults and a 7.50 euro credit for children to dine in these restaurants which is good but you do end up spending more in these restaurants and this is really my concern. I feel I should not have had any additional dining expenditure as I was on half board.
OK gripe over.
The staff at all restaurants were efficient and very friendly.

We also ate at the poolside bar which was only average. One thing the poolside bar does need is some screening as when we were eating it was windy and was blowing things about a bit. Some sort of screening around the dining area would help alleviate this..

POOLS

Three pools are available one of which is the largest I've seen at any hotel. There is also a small paddling pool and a heated chill out pool which is where everyone congregated. This pool was a perfect depth for my granddaughter to learn to swim. I have to say on occasions I felt the pool was too warm!! The area around the pool is plastic decking and can get hot. There are plenty of 'beds'around the pool. Pool towels can be exchanged by the pool.

BEACH
The beach is accessed by an elevated boarded walkway about 200mts away. The beach is sandy and does have lifeguards.
There are also boardwalks across the dunes and towards the golf course where there is a lagoon which has various birds there (I am told) if you are a twitcher.

GENERAL

The hotel was not very busy at all when we were there so I can not comment on how the hotel operates when it is full. It is a large hotel.

The hotel is pretty isolated although there is a mini market maybe 10 mins away.
A taxi to Albufeira cost around 15 euro for the six of us.

Overall an excellent hotel. The staff are a credit to the hotel.

Room Tip: Golf course view rooms are good. If getting a sea view room I presume these are the top two floors a...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Chump57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CardosoJ, Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear Sir,
Thank you very much for your preference for our Hotel for your recent holiday and for the time to give your feeback on your holiday experience.
We appreciate all your comments and suggestions through your detailed and thorough view of the various aspects in the Hotel. We will certainly look into those specifics.
Regarding dinner, perhaps we were not clear enough explaining that during the absence of the Buffet, we had the Italian "Mamma Mia" for Pastas, Pizzas and Risottos as main courses and the Portuguese restaurant "Sabor a Mar" with a half board menu with two fish & 2 meat dishes as main courses. We apologise for not being clear enough to yourselves on this subject.
Once again, thank you for your comments and we look forward to welcoming you again in our Hotel in the near future.
Best wishes.
João Cardoso

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Reviewed 6 June 2014

Initially very impressive, grand reception with welcoming staff. We stayed in a self-catering villa/townhouse (3A-8) but although very large/ spacious and well stocked with large open spaces and all very clean - we had some issues (garage access door didn't work, door to our courtyard stuck and eventually meant you couldn't get in and washing machine very temperamental ). After a coupla days getting increasingly frustrated I complained to the very helpful Ops Director who moved us to another villa (3B-5) and this was fine (although the one hour changeover turned into 4 but these things happen we discovered!)

We didn't eat at the hotel (a local , well stocked supermarket , Oceana, is excellent - more a mini-mart than a supermarket. For everything try the Apolonia - 10 mins away, like Waitrose in quality and feel - and price) but speaking to several families heard their experiences were mixed. Despite being no more than a third full ( guess) the service was slow at best. Also if I'm being ultra picky the beach bar was good but a lot of staff standing around but no table service by the pool and didn't appear overly keen on collecting glasses/ coffee cups. Also the heated pool felt (to me) almost dangerously hot in the afternoon once the sun was high (esp for little ones)

All that said we as a family loved it! The setting is stunning, the townhouse very impressive with its own pool and ALOT of space inside. Daily cleaners very helpful and changed bed linen when little ones had overnight "accidents" !

The beach is amazing, pools very impressive and prices for drinks /ice creams not extortionate for a top-end hotel when they know you're a captive audience.

The local area is quiet but things to do (check out zoomarine, amazing!) and hotel staff very helpful with any issues we had and with booking local restaurants etc.

Overall very good indeed and any gripes were addressed. I will return and liked that you had x3 options for daily sunning (beach - clean and walkable, pool - lotsa beds and great pools and ow pool at the townhouse).

Room Tip: All the townhouses have a similar set up and didn't stay at the hotel. As with all ask. The beac...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Graeme M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CardosoJ, Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear Sir,
Thank you for choosing our Resort Villas for your recent holiday and for your time to detail your holiday experience in our Resort.
We appreciate all your comments and suggestions and we will certainly look into it in order to obviously improve the service and meet the Guest's expectations.
We hope to be at service in the near future and we look forward to welcoming you again in our Resort.
Again, thank you and best wishes.
João Cardoso

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Reviewed 18 May 2014

Went with sister and her kids..so family friendly, the kids pool is heated/choice of food just right..beach is a short walk and so clean ..cost wise is reasonable for 5* service ..cannot fault
we loved the bar at the side of the pool very glamorous...would go back..staff were very hospitable without being intrusive..5 stars!..

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank nybutler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CardosoJ, Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing our Resort for your recent stay and for your positive feedback on our services and facilities.
We work towards providing our Guests with a memorable experience, either as just a Couple or as a Family, and your positive feedback is an extra incentive for our team to continue and improve their performance and level of service, together with the variety of facilities our Hotel has to offer.
Again, thank you and we look forward to welcoming again in our Resort sometime in the near future.
Warm regards.

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Reviewed 17 May 2014

Smiling friendly welcome, wonderful views. New & Clean. wonderful food at surprisingly great prices for a 5*. right on the beach. variety of restanrants on site. fab swim up cocktail bar . heated children's pool. will be going again !! new Town houses great for families a few minutes walk from beach & hotel.

Room Tip: sea view / nature lagoon
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank sarah w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CardosoJ, Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for commenting your recent stay in our Resort. We appreciate your positive feedback and the kind word you've expressed.
We endeavour to provide our Guests with a holiday experience they've come to expect and your feedback is a motivation to keep up the good work and improve everytime.
Again thank you and we hope to welcoming you again in the near future.
Best wishes.

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Reviewed 24 October 2013

Wow. Where do I start with this beautiful place. Arrived on a quiet Friday afternoon, where we were swiftly checked in by reception.

Room:- We were given a room on 3rd Floor overlooking the Golf Course & nature reserve – it was beautiful & spotlessly clean. Beds were very comfortable although the pillows were a little too soft for my liking. Bathroom/Wash area was equally as beautiful – I think I may have to rate this shower as ‘The Best’ I ever had. Lovely fluffly slippers and Bathrobes were also present in the room – maybe standard in most 5* hotels not sure.Flatscreen TV in room had English speaking channels inc News, Sport, Films & Kids.The room has tea & coffee making facilites – which we didn’t use. I have been told they are not replenished so bring your own if you really want this.

Grounds: Well I can I do is echo what everyone else has said about the place. Beautiful Beautiful & then more Beautiful. Lush palms trees surround the 3 different pools. I have never seen a pool so big before. One of the pools was also heated. Pool Towels are supplied. There is a also a ‘swim up bar’ (this was closed during our stay) There is a covered walk way that will bring you to the beautiful Salgados Beach. I saw quite a few children riding their scooters or people riding bikes along the walkway so very safe. There is not much else around the surrounding areas of the hotel, so should you wish to get out and explore you would need a car. We took a cab to the Algarve shopping centre and this was e24 return (weekend taxi price). The sightseeing bus stops right outside the hotel so is also another option to use to get out of resort as this goes to both old town and the strip.

Food: We had halfboard option, and anyone who complained about food on previous reviews well…….the choice was amazing for Breakfast and Dinner and I found the food to be of good tempreture apart from the soup. We had a different choice every night – their was show cooking where they would cook meat/fish to order. For breakfast the chef would prepare freshly made omelettes or pancakes.

Services: The hotel has a coffee bar and Gin Bar. I had the opportunity to sample a cocktail for free after winning a card game, the Mojito was made perfectly. I didn’t use the Coffee Bar. The hotel also has a lovely spa onsite, where I got a treatement. Very relaxing and very professionally done. The prices are not too unreasonable either. Thier is a very very small shop at the Vidamar but it was closed whilst we were their. Their was only 1 other restaurant open (the Italian) but again we didn’t use it.

Summary: Great Hotel, Clean, spacious, as everyone has stated the staff really do deserve the highest praise all welcoming, helpful & speak good English if your Portuguese is not so great. Quite a few staff are also multi-linugal as I heard them converse in German, French & Spanish at times. We went out of season, but can tell this hotel must really be buzzing during the summer.

Suggestions: As many other have said, this Hotel really needs an information booklet about whats available locally – for instance at no point was we told about the little supermarket 10 minutes walk from the resort (walk past 2 roundabouts – then little way up on the left) sells everything you would need. We wasn’t told about any other activities that is available in local Albufeira. About the shopping centre, anywhere to eat locally (if not staying half board. Neither were we told about the tour bus stopping outside. So a little stand where they do leaflets and brochures would have been very helpful.
A hotel of this size would also benefit from a shuttle bus that takes customers into town and back.

These are merely suggestions and in no way did it affect our stay its just that they are 99.9999% perfect – so just a few improvments could make the resort truly 100% magnificent. I would return here in a heartbeat (if I could afford it :-)

Room Tip: Some Lower floor views may be partially obscured by Trees. Its seems as though you may get more sun...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank cantwaitformehol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

My wife and I visited the resort on 14th October, for a week. We drove to the hotel from Faro airport and on arrival, Ana at reception was very welcoming and helpful. Tito parked our car and showed us our room. He also gave us a quick tour of the main facilities at the hotel which we thought was very helpful.

The room is modern, spacious and very clean. We had tea and coffee facilities, a mini bar and a safe. I would have liked a desk/table rather than the large settee. The air conditioning was good and the views from the balcony was stunning. The bed was comfortable, lovely soft pillows and the room was cleaned daily.

We did not realize we were on half board and that was a good surprise. Breakfast was well stocked with very good variety. The quality was superb. There was freshly cooked omelette and pancakes, and the staff especially Colin and Eduardo, made it an enjoyable experience every morning.

The resort being so close to the beach is ideal. It also has the biggest pool I have ever seen at a resort. There are three pools in total. With the good weather we had nearly all week, relaxing by the pool with a cocktail or two was one of the highlights. Ahh, Miguel will appear from somewhere and ask you to play a game to win a free cocktail. Brilliant idea.

For dinner, I think the buffet system worked very well. The Sushi restaurant and Mama Mia Restaurants were also available at a discount for hotel guests. We did not use those. The choice of food was endless. The quality was superb and the staff were polite and very helpful. Marisa, Neuza and Pedro were always at hand. Pedro does excellent cocktails!!!!!!

Overall, the location of this resort is ideal. Away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist centres, good for quiet times, overlooking a golf course (and if you play all the better), and right next to the beach.

I am looking forward to my next visit already.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kwawelliott
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
#14 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: £75 - £314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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