We booked our holiday with Thomas Cook for a 9 night break All Inclusive in Sept 2012.
On arrival at the hotel at 11 am, we were greeted warmly by the reception staff, explained in full about the hotel. Our room wasnt quite ready, so they offered to look after our cases. The room was soon ready though (by 12), giving us just enough time to enjoy a nice drink in the pool/snack bar.
The room was well equipped, of a good size, everything nice and clean with a good sized bathroom. We had a nice pool view room on the 5th floor. Noise from the entertainment was not an issue, seeing as soon after 11 pm it all stopped. Sheets and towels changed very regularly.
We had no major issues during our stay, but anything minor was handled extremely well and quickly by the hotel staff. Great service.
The pool and pool area were well kept. All clean and lots of good sunbeds. Towels available from the hotel for use around the pool and you could change these daily if you wanted. No need to ever reserve sunbeds - they outnumbered people while we were there. Even on our first afternoon we got good sunny sunbeds without any problem. Music was played sometimes around the pool, I personally like some music on and we always managed to read our books and nod off around the pool while the music was on. If you dont like music etc, then there were plenty of beds away from the music which would be lovely and quiet. So options for everyone. The Fun Team made an effort to run activities during the day, but the number of willing participants during our last few days did drop considerably and the hotel was getting quiet.
Breakfast - good choice of food available, hot cooked items, fruit, cereals, pastries etc. Hot items limited to 8 due to number of hot plates in the buffet set up, sometimes pancakes and fried eggs on top of those 8. Certainly the smallest buffet selection I have experienced in a hotel, but everything was well cooked and good quality.
Snack/pool bar did great snacks during the day. We had our lunch there all but one day, where we went in the main restaurant where selection was ok - lots of salads, bread, and again 8 hot items. If you are going out for a day - ask for a packed lunch - great little bag of goodies for a picnic on the beach etc.
Dinner - now I eat pretty much anything and everything. My partner is a vegetarian who cant eat nuts. So we represent a good wide array of customer! Because the buffet was small, you would have plain rice, a plain pasta, 2 veg, 1 potato and then 3 meat/fish options. These items seemed to be picked completely in isolation without consideration of customers being able to put them together to form a sensible meal! We had contacted the hotel twice prior to traveling, asking them about their vegetarian options and supplying a list of ideas.
Saying that, you certainly must ask (and this applies generally, and you cant complain on here unless you have asked yourself whilst at the hotel), we asked the staff one night for some sauce for the plain pasta, they happily took the plate of pasta away and added some sauce for us. Also in the mornings people were asking for fried eggs on those mornings when a plate of them werent on the buffet, and again they were happily cooking and providing these. I imagine though that children would struggle to find something to eat during dinner. Just some thought about kids and menu planning so that sensible combinations are available would improve the buffet.
Drinks - good selection included in the All Inclusive. Most of the "pre-made" cocktails were ok. But the mojitos were very poor - first cloudy mojitos I have seen!
Entertainment - good for kids with discos, karaoke, bingo etc, some live music every night - but wasnt really to our taste, but we still had a good time. We missed the parrot and reptile shows, which I imagine were good.
Staff - touched on this above, but all staff from reception, snack/pool bar, main bar, restaurant and Thomas Cook rep, were outstanding. I have not experienced such consistently good service and friendly staff in any other European hotel. Big credit to the staff and please Vila Gale keep looking after and rewarding these good people.
Location - perfect for walking into the town or to the beach.
Resort - again very clean, nice little shops and walks to be had. Great views of the beach and sea. Nice selection of small bars and restaurants.
Beach - perfect sandy beach.
I would consider this hotel a very good 3 star hotel. It is close to 4 stars but needs to improve its buffet and cocktails to obtain 4 stars from us!
Certainly would recommend this hotel to people. If you have special dietary needs - contact the hotel and again ask for things from the staff at dinner time if the buffet doesnt meet your needs. If we hear they have increased/improved the buffet then we would go back AI, otherwise we might look into B&B options.
Happy to provide any further info to anyone considering this hotel, including pictures.
We both had a fantastic break staying here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This attractive beach hotel is located in the centre of Armacao de Pera just a few meters away from the beach and less than 1 km away from an array of shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and public transports. Built in 1995 and renovated in 2003, the hotel has 233 modern rooms, where we feature 25 junior suites suitable for families. The hotel has a 24-hour reception with a safe, a lift and a newspaper stand. There is a kids' club and a playground available for children. An air-conditioned a la carte restaurant with a separate non-smoking area and highchairs for infants is also provided. Guests may park their cars either in the hotel car park, or in the garage. Room and laundry services as well as medical assistance complete the services on offer at this hotel. The modern rooms are equipped with air conditioning, electronic safety door look, direct telephone, LCD TV with Cable, private balcony, Wi-Fi Connection and safe (for and additional cost), Minibar and 24 hour room service, private bathroom with telephone and hair dryer. The hotel has a Health Club composed with indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, steam room / Turkish bath and Gym. In the outdoors guests will find a swimming pool for adults and children with sun loungers and parasols. The nearest golf course is approximately 8 km away. Guests are invited to take breakfast from a wide buffet. Lunch and dinner service may be choosen a la carte. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vila Gale Nautico Hotel
- Vila Gale Nautico Algarve/Armacao De Pera, Portugal