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“Lovely hotel, shame about the food on offer!”

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Turim Estrela do Vau Hotel
Ranked #34 of 75 Hotels in Portimao
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Lovely hotel, shame about the food on offer!”
Reviewed 4 June 2009

We stayed in a 2-bed, 2-bath apartment on a self-catering basis. The hotel was very quiet being October/November. The rooms were very spacious and modern and very well equipped, however we had several power cuts to our room when we attempted to use the oven & hob at the same time, BUT we were offered the apartment directly across the hall to cook in until the problem was rectified. There are 3 swimming pools inall, 2x huge adult pools and a pretty large sized pool for the children. Plenty of sun loungers around the pool, a large garden area as well as tennis court sand crazy golf to keep you occupied. For those wanting to keep up with the news etc, there is internet access via a few computers in the lobby (small fee payable) and a small news kiosk. Near the car park there is also a small mini-mart for basic essentials, however of course it is over-priced compared to the larger supermarkets. Praia do Vau beach is only a stone's throw across the way and the beach has a gentle slope to the water, very nice indeed. The only PITFALL we found, was the on-site restaurant. We only used it once during our whole stay, as the food on that particular night was terrible. The fresh fish (questionable) and vegetables we're totally overcooked and they had a limited amount on offer despite the menu offering allsorts (possibly due to the time of year?), even so it was still pretty abismal for the size of the hotel. The staff we're helpful but then again, we didn't request anything other than general enquiries. Overall a large hotel, very well set out in lovely grounds, nice rooms. Good value for money. Our only stipulation would be to go there on a SELF-CATERING basis and choose to eat outside of the hotel.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Carvoeiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2009

Just back from a family holiday at Estrela Do Vau and we had a great time.
We were very pleasantly suprised by the apartments. Impressive looking from the outside and the reception area / rotunda is beautiful. We had a huge 3 bed apartment (1 bed was ensuite) 3 balconies, huge kitchen with kettle, microwave, fridge, cooker, tea towels and every utensil we needed.

Location is excellent, quiet yet walkable distance to Praia de Rocha, Praia Do Vau and Alvor.
10 mins walk to 2 beautiful beaches
Huge appartments
Huge complex
Well equiped playground in a lovely setting
3 pools
Mini Golf
Tennis Couts
Loads of toilets and showers on the ground floor (excellent for check-out day)
3 mins walk from bus stops that will take you to Alvor, Portimao, Rocha etc for maximum of €1.40 per person. All buses excellent for pram access. (we had 2 prams, one single, 1 twin pram)
The mini club was great for little kids. We were really pleased with this as most are normally only for over 4 or 5 but this one accepted all of our children ( 4, 3 & 1) and they all loved it. Arts and crafts, toys and playing games.
Remote control air-con in every bedroom and sitting room

Kids club, salon, hotel bus all closed on weekends
Staff not particularly helpful / knowledgable (didn't know numbers of local buses for example)
Had a task finding a map of the local area to get our bearings, print one out before you go!
No proper information on how to get to the beach from reception or Rep (Thompson) which is so easy when you know how!
Bar was dead, entertainment was awful, barman very unfriendly and slow
Hotel "supermarket" was a complete rip off!! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING IN IT
A cheaper supermarket is 10 mins walk from hotel or it's 5 mins on the bus to the huge supermarket "Continente" which is right beside Aldi & Lidl too.
Hotel bus is at very bad times and off at weekends.
Taxis are metered and quite expensive in my opinion (they charge occupancy even for a baby) so it was about €4 for 2 adults and 2 kids before the taxi had even moved (you can add another €1.60 to that if you put anything in the boot) But as I said, buses are every 20mins and go everywhere so we only used a taxi 3 times.
Gym was closed (End of May)
Beds were very hard
Never ate in the restaurant, don't know anyone who did, we couldn't even find a menu for it.

Bus No 7 takes you to Portimao, No 11 takes you to Rocha and No 7 to Alvor.
In Vau, Rocha, Portimao and Alvor there are good cheap restaurants / cafe's and bars everywhere, all child friendly.
Alvor town is beautiful, don't miss it!
Seafood is delicious everwhere ( I don't normally eat fish)
Portimao is great for cheap cheap shopping especially clothes, shoes, alcohol, linens etc
Some bargains to be had in Rocha too.

Overall we were very impressed with the hotel, their facilities for young children and the location was perfect and it's easy to get out and about.
I wouldn't describe the hotel as 4*, but a very good 3* (not 4* plush so probably not ideal for those who like to watch tv / spend a lot of time in the apartment on holidays)
The Algarve is beautiful and very very cheap. The people aren't as friendly as your usual holiday resort area but you get used to it!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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2 Thank Louise_M3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 29 March 2009

We usually have a very open mind when it comes to our accommodation. Usually, we make sure we book at least 4 T/Sun/Stars, but allocated on arrival, so we know its good, but surprised at where we get. However, Thomas Cook was offering a very good price, so we booked this named. It had some mixed reviews on here, and some good write ups elsewhere, so we were optimistic.

On arrival, we were impressed (lots of oohs and ahhs from the coach, compared to the previous places we had dropped off!), the entrance is grand, and the reception area/atrium lovely. Reception service was fantastic, rooms were all ready, despite our 'early' arrival.

Unfortunately, as mentioned the lift is tiny (although plentiful - scattered around), and the floor was torn/ripped, this was a slip/trip hazard. We preferred to use the stairs for the rest of our stay, except when carrying bits of shopping/luggage.

Our room was a decent size, and the wardrobe ample enough. TV is very small, not the usual standard, channels/reception iffy. Remote worked poorly.

Kitchen was bright, clean, but cramped. Appliances were oddly laid out. Fridge was very poor, the light didn't work, and the freezer bit was useless, ice creams got ruined. Dripping tap from the sink, and the sink blocked up during our second week.

Bathroom was tired/ropey, to put it politely, the toilet didn't flush well, the 'shower head' was slighly mouldy/aged, and the sink console/cabinet had various bits of damaged plywood. However, the maid service was fantastic, the rooms/beds were spotless, never met such pleasant staff.

On one occasion, we found the pool 'locked' out of use, which was a bit poor, but then no-one else was using it (perhaps why!). We also found gates locked through the gardens, which was worrying because it could be an emergency escape route?

Bar was very good, plenty of seats/tables/TV/pool table, staff very attentive. Didn't use the restaurant (and we didn't see/know anyone else who did!). Mini-market is uber-expensive (dearer than Waitrose/M&S). Lines/products very limited, but great selected of non-pricey ice creams. If you do want supplies, the Jardim do Vau market has better lines (including UK brands) but is more pricey! Recommend shopping (for those self-catering) is done at the (former Modelo area) which has Lidl, Aldi and Modelo, which is a 5min drive/10min bus ride/20 min walk.

We hoped to take advantage of the bicycle hire (brochure advertised) but it didn't exist. As we hadn't brought our own (or our driving licences), we ended up using local buses. There is a hotel courtesy bus, but the times aren't great, some people paid for tickets, others rode free, so we didn't bother much.

It is located well (next to Alto Golf), and mid-way between Rocha, Portimao/Modelo, and Alvor. Easy(ish) access to beaches at Vau, shortcut (not obvious) through Jardim do Vau complex. Taxis ordered from reception and local buses from the Rotunda Simon Bolivar are cheapish, easy to use. 7-Laranja/Orange, goes Portimao - Continente - Vau - Rot. Bolivar - Alvor Beach - Alvor Town, roughly every 30 min), 11-Roxa/Purple goes everywhere, local tour bus, Rot. Bolivar - Vau - Rocha - Portimao Marina - High School - Continente - Portimao - loop back.

Vau has some good bar/restaurants, all next to each other in competition, Italian very good quality, but slightly dearer. Jacandara has a very pleasant owner, very helpful/knowledgeable on local area. Rocha has the usual 'strip' type places, but the quality improves variably along the prom - work on pedestrianisation is in progress - it has improved over the years, some of the ropey/dive places have hit the wall. Best of all are the Portuguese owned places along the new wooden beach prom, same good, affordable quality of those at Alvor, leading to the new Marina, with quality places, Pizza Hut, Piccolino Italiano (our favourite), plus some others, Recommended Fri/Sat nights.

Last comment, we have stayed at other similar priced/rated accommodation in the local area (Mar A Vista, Oceano Atlantico, Jardim do Vau), the others were much better!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Thank charleybop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 7 October 2008

Myself and my husband stayed for a week with our 2 children. While the pool was lovely and the apartment was very big and the staff very friendly I'm afraid the standards of cleanliness in the rooms left a lot to be desired. The rooms were never cleaned properly, beds might be made one day, not the next. Floors not swept or washed. We complained to reception who had a word with the staff. The next day it was cleaned properly but the following day it was back to the usual quick lick! With young kids this was a huge problem for me - especially when you had to compete for floor space with ants!

Location wise, 10 mins from a lovely little beach at Praia do Vau and about 20 minutes walk to Praia da Rocha. Food in restaurant was nice and a restaurant next door did a take away service too was was handy if you have wee ones in bed by 7.30!

Stayed September 2008
Thank AbiC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Portimao hotels

1 review
Reviewed 29 September 2008

My wife & I together with her parents and our 17 month old son stayed 1 week here between the 18th to 25th Sept. and had an enjoyable time. We both had separate 2bed apartments which were a good size and well equipped with large balconies. Having said that I would not stay here again nor to be honest be able to recommend to others. Some of the recent reviews (“Perfect Holiday!”) are well off the mark & very misleading.

the hotel is barely a 3star in my opinion, its dated and tired looking both inside and out, the hotel photos were taken some time ago. Also the lifts are tiny, 2 adults and a buggy max. Considering they claim to be a 4star the decor in the rooms is poor & the TV's are small - 10inch screen. The maids are in and out in 2-3 mins as the same 2 clean all the rooms. We accidentally smashed a glass on our 1st night & left it in the kitchen for the maids to clear but it was still there on departure & our apartment nor the balcony area were swept just mopped during our stay.

On the plus side The pool area is good and spacious and the food at the snack bar fine. The reception and bar staff I found were very friendly and spoke good english. English and Irish papers at the hotel shop however the onsite mini supermarket is very expensive.

For evening meals Alvor is by far the best. We tried a different restaurant every night and had a good meal. Plenty of good bars there also.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank besteverreview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 September 2008

Myself and my family are just back from a week in the estrella do vau apartments, I work in a travel agents so booked this for ourselves based on peoples recommendations and boy were they right !!!
I booked a 2 bedroomed apt, for 2 adts and 2 children....this was by far the biggest apt I have ever stayed in !! plenty of room of about 6-7 people but was great for us (had a baby in a baby walker who thought it was heaven !!!)
The apartments were brilliant, small pool for the toddlers, another for everyone, and then a deeper one for the better swimmers. We went probably at a quiet time so there was always plenty of beds.
As everyone else has said, the apts are a bit away from a town but it was only max €5 in a taxi, or you could walk...loved alvor, lovely restaurants and pubs
beach was only about 20 mins walk even with 2 buggies, going back was a big of a job, all up hill pushing a buggy each !!

overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these apts to any of my clients and I would definatley go back

  • Liked — the pool, rooms and apts
  • Disliked — bar staff, supermarket on-site very expensive
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank droghedatravelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nortnern Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2008

Myself and my boyfriend have just returned from a 2 week holiday at Estrela Do Vau. I was a little apprehensive about this hotel after reading mixed reviews but was very plesantly surprised. The hotel itself looks stunning from the outside, the pictures do not do it justice, both of us felt very smug getting off the airport transfer bus.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the very friendly and efficient reception staff. They all spoke very good English and were extremley helpful throughout our stay. This was definitely one aspect which made our holiday so enjoyable.
We were very surprised by our room. We booked a studio apartment and were expecting a small room with a pull out bed. What we were given was a large living room/kitchen, a double bedroom (with a huge wardrobe), a bathroom and a large balcony. The apartment was very nicely decorated with a classy mediterranean theme and it was extremley well equipt and clean. The air conditiioning system is brilliant, better than most hotels. Our room was cleaned every day and our towels were replaced regularly. We did not experience any noise problems, and enjoyed relaxing on our balcony which overlooked the nearby golf course and felt very private.
I was a bit worried about the location of the hotel, and being someone with a lot of energy, I was concerned that there wouldnt be much to do, this turned out to be an unnecessary concern. There is a very good gym, a hair and beauty salon, 2 tennis courts, 2 large pools and cazy golf all on site. We ended up spending quite a lot of time by the pool which was lovely. There are pleanty of sunloungers and both pools were very clean. There were always lilo's and inflatable rings lying around too. The pool bar is fantastic. There is a great selection on the menu, plenty of drinks and lots of ice cream...and frinedly service too.
The tennis courts cost 7.50 for 2 raquets for an hour. We played a couple of times in the early evening...which meant it wasnt too hot. The gym is well equipt and we had it to ourselves each time we used it. Unfortunately, I didnt get to the hair and beauty salon, but I heard a few people saying it was fantastic.
With the hotel being between two major towns, a taxi, or bus journey was necessary. However, I found this an enjoyable aspect to the holiday as it felt more special having to take the short journey for a night out. Taxi's cost between 5 and 6 euros to both Alvor and Praia da Rocha. The bus stop is only a 5 minute walk, and costs 1.70 each to any area en route. The reception staff ordered taxis on request, and they picked you up right outside reception.
I would strongly recomment visiting Alvor. My boyfriend and I fell in love with the small fishing town and often went there for dinner. If you walk to the harbour in Alvor, there are a vast array of beautiful restaurants, with the chefs barbequeing on the streets.The best restaurant is by far 'A Lota'...AMAZING!!!
We booked 3 excursions, ZooMarine (brilliant day out), 'Algarve By Night' (fantastic for couples) and the Gypsey Market (fun to experience).
There is a very pretty beach just a 10 to 15 minute walk from the hotel (short cut through Jardim De Vau hotel). We visited the beach twice, once taking out a pedalo which was great fun and cost only 12 euro. The second time, we decided to go snorkeling. This was an amazing experience and cost nothing (apart from the cost of the snorkle from the hotel shop amounting to 10euro).
I would recommend having a budget between 1000 and 1500 euros for this hoilday, based on 2 adults. The local supermarket Continente was well priced, but I would reccommend Lidle instead as it had the same food at half the price.
Overall I would say this is probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in on holiday and we have stayed in some lovely hotels! Perhaps not the most convenient if all you want to do is shop etc, but if you want to mix a little luxury with the odd outings, then this is an absolute must.

  • Liked — Fantastic facilities and cleanliness of the rooms, and hotel in general.
  • Disliked — Grouchy Barman
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1 Thank Cazmac88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turim Estrela do Vau Hotel

Property: Turim Estrela do Vau Hotel
Address: Praia do Vau | Sítio das Delgadas, Portimao 8500-820, Portugal (Formerly Apartamentos Estrela do Vau)
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Portimao
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Portimao
#10 Romantic Hotel in Portimao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Turim Estrela do Vau Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 174
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Also Known As:
Apartamentos Estrela Do Vau Portimão
Turim Estrela Do Vau Hotel Algarve/Portimao, Portugal

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