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Vilabranca Apartments
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Reviews (701)
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All reviewssmall supermarket across the roadminibus servicetown centrecourtesy busfridge freezergreat apartmentsminute walkapartments are spaciousold townself cateringpools were cleanthe sofa bedgreat holidaymos beachsmaller poolwashing up liquidsatellite tv
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Reviewed 24 May 2014

My Mum and I stayed at Vilabranca Apartments last week for a short visit. We both found our apartment, (401) ground floor rear block - overlooking the rear pool, to be bright clean and very spacious. Our only criticisms, which really didn't impede our stay, are that the apartment was only cleaned once during our four night stay - on the first day. Also that the bath towels were of poor quality. We found the staff to be helpful and friendly at all times.

As mentioned above our apartment was situated in the rear block and we preferred this pool area to the main block which accommodates the bar and restaurant. Our apartment enjoyed afternoon and evening sunshine so if you prefer morning sun request to be on the opposite side overlooking the pool - in our opinion apartments to be avoided are those overlooking the car parking areas.

Location is good in that it's in a very quiet area, well up out of the town - a 15 minute walk down into the town centre and a 20 minute walk back up - we both like walking so this was not an issue for us, though we can appreciate it might be for the less agile or indeed families with young children. We were advised a taxi fare from town averages €5. It's not a great location for a beach holiday unless you have a hire car. Praia de Ana (beach) is close enough although I personally felt it would not be a beach I'd enjoy spending the day on with young children. Praia de Mos - a car journey away looked lovely.

We didn't have a hire car which certainly made things more difficult getting around. In my opinion I think it would have been better to have hired a car. However, if that is not an option for you then the following may be of some assistance.

Out and about we enjoyed a trip to Silves, but be aware if you go by train it's a 4km walk along a main road to get to the town - we really didn't enjoy this. It might work better to go by bus. Be sure to get timetables from reception and plan the trip as there can be long gaps between afternoon services. Also bear in mind you may have to change buses in Portimao which could end up making the train the more appealing option. Allow 90 minutes to two hours in Silves. 'Follow Me' tours offer a weekly trip (Friday) to Silves and Monchique but you will need to be transferred by the 'Happy Time' tour rep to meet the first pick-up point in Portimao. Happy Time are a tour company, located on the sea front, just before the Marina footbridge and given the hassle we had getting to Silves we would suggest this is certainly well worth considering especially as you will get to see Monchique and Caldes too.

We took a 'Follow Me' tour to Loule Market on Saturday - if markets are your thing then you will enjoy this but it's an exhausting journey - 2.5 hours there and 2 hours back as Lagos is the first of many pick up's for what should only be a one hour journey at most. The gypsy market is full of the usual touristy tack whereas the old food market is exceptionally good and the very best place to buy food and traditional edible gifts.

On Sunday morning we took an early bus from just opposite the apartments to nearby Praia de Luz and attended mass in the lovely little chapel there. We then enjoyed a stroll along it's very pretty seafront and beach. Despite it's 'fame' Praia de Luz looked like a really lovely place to spend a quiet family holiday.

On returning to Lagos we took a boat trip (booked with Captain Max, a chap who's stand is right at the footbridge). Despite it being rather choppy we really enjoyed the opportunity to view the Lagos coastline from a different perspective. Good value for money at just €12.50 each for an hour - if there had been more than two of us on the boat it would have reduced to €10 each.

Eating out in Lagos is reasonably cheap with an abundance of eateries. Approx. €30 for two people to eat a main course each and a half bottle of wine. Our favourite by far was Cashina do Petisco - set well back from the main restaurant hub yet less than a five minute stroll - just ask for directions in a shop or on the street - it's located behind White's Bar. It's closed Sunday's and be there by 7pm unless you want to join the rather huge nightly queue! One restaurant we missed trying was Dom Sebastiao - by all accounts it's excellent.

All in all we enjoyed our first visit to Portugal and found it to be great value for money. We booked through cassidytravel.ie and got a great deal, far better than trying to do it independently!

Room Tip: Rear block overlooking pool - see review regarding morning/evening sun. The pool area here is really quiet and very relaxing. Avoid rooms overlooking car parking areas, we would not have liked this.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lncresse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Dear Lncresse,

Thank you very much for you review on Vilabranca. We are gratefull that you have taken your time to comment on your experience and also for the great sight seeing tips to other guests.
Hopefully we can welcome you back once again in Lagos and Vilabranca.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 11 May 2014

Lovely apartments. Very spacious, lovely decorated with all modern cons in the kitchen for self catering. Ground floor no 203 where we stayed had a huge terrace where we had our morning coffee and breakfast every day:-) One thing I would improve (but didn't bother us too much), woudl be reading lights next to the beds. Vilabranca has 2 pools (+kids splash pool), we only tried one which was clean though slightly cold (but it didn't matter as it was very hot in May). Staff have been smiling and very polite. The location is good, as it is about 15 minute walk to town, about 20 minute to the beach, it is in a quiet and very nice villa area (with few higher blocks a bit further). there is a small supermarket just opposite Vilabranca, with local (not tourist!) prices:-) We loved our mini break in Lagos & Vilabranca and will be going back next year!!

Room Tip: ground floors have nice big balconies/terraces (we stayed in 203)
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank ASotonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2014

Dear AnnaSotonUk,

Thank you very much for your comments on your stay in Vilabranca. We highly appreciate it and are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Regarding the reading light, we have now purchased for the apartments after some comments about the same. We apologize for the inconvience that may have caused. We do hope to welcome you back again to Vilabranca.

Kindest regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 10 May 2014 via mobile

We found vilabranca the ideal place for a break in the Algarve. All the staff were very welcoming and ready to help. A lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that guests have a quiet,relaxing and seemless stay. The young Portuguese chap at the bar (never got his name) provided an excellent service, was very engaging without being pushy and made us feel very welcome. Good guitar player too! The only thing I would suggest is that you have two euro coins avaliable for the pool table, a quiet beer and a game of pool with have been a nice treat in the evening. Thank you vilabranca and see you again soon hopefully. :-)

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Bruno O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2014

Dear Bruno,

Thank you very much for your wonderfull comment on Vilabranca. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We always try to ensure that our guests are satisfied. So again we thank you for your appreciation and hopefully we can welcome you back again. Rodrigo from the bar will play a song or two on his guitar. :-)

Kind regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 May 2014

Have just recently returned from Vilabranca and we were expecting a lot better according to TA reviews. Rooms are ok, good size with adequate kitchen equipment. Pool had not been cleaned when we first arrived and was only cleaned three days into our stay. No sunbeds or umbrella around the pool either. Vilabranca advertise that they have a shuttle bus to the beach, not when we were there and you do need it. Walk to beach is fine about 20 mins at a good pace. But coming back is all uphill, not suitable for the older tourist or young child and the same distance to the main shopping area, downhill going but coming back is tough. Why say they have a shuttle service and then not provide it. We did ask at reception and were told it was too early in the season. Bar was not open either during our stay. Why do they then take bookings for Easter.
Cleaning and emptying of rubbish bin etc by maids-only twice in our 7 night stay. Lights on balcony, just a bare bulb with wires showing -not safe. It was relatively quiet when we were there though I would say in high season the apartments would be extremely noisy. Staff are excellent, friendly and polite. We would go back though only when shuttle bus is running and perhaps when the apartments have had safety repairs carried out.

Room Tip: Apartments closer to front of complex and ones to the rear look neglected.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank meggie8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2014

Dear Meggie8,

Thank you for taking your time to write a comment on Vilabranca. We appreciate it and we like to listen to our customers in order for us to improve our services. I am sorry to hear that it wasn't all to your satisfactory. We have indeed a Shuttle Service and has been running every year during the season for many years, but due to some inconvienent circumstances we were not able to have it running at the time of your presence. Which of course is not an excuse. Hopefully we can make up for it the next time you are here. We look forward to welcome you back again.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 May 2014

We booked this accommodation via Thomas Cook as package holiday. I was very happy with my choice, location was great, accommodation was very clean and modern with air conditioning. Good value for money.
Beaches and small supermarket are close by, reception staff are friendly and helpfull , so we will definitelly come back next year.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MiaSE8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2014

Dear MiaSE8,

Thank you very much for taking your time in putting a nice comment on Tripadvisor. We highly appreciate it and do hope to welcome you back again to Vilabranca.

Kindest regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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