The hotel is unarguably lovely, it was just certain things that let it down and certain aspects that annoyed us.
Upon arrival we were certainly not welcomed with a drink like other people have stated in their reviews. We had begun our travels at 3am after only two hours sleep due to work commitments and travelling, I instantly highlighted how tired I was to the two on reception as they took our names.
We were told that they did not have 'A' booking for us (disaster) but they had two in our name so I thought great, we have no problem! Half an hour later, instead of taking us to one of our two rooms, the gentleman receptionist was still trying to figure out how this could of happened? By this time I was getting fed up and falling asleep, it wasn't my problem, I just wanted to get my head down. I walked to the bar to get myself a G&T whilst he trawled through their incredibly slow system to decipher the problem.
After 45 minutes, I had finished my incredibly expensive Gordons and still had no room. I was then asked if we had booked it on one site and then found it cheaper on another and booked it again, this I found very offensive as if I would be going to a 5 Star hotel and needing to save myself £20! In the end, we got a room at about 1pm, it was a 47 kilometre walk down a corridor, right on the end of the building and overlooking nothing whatsoever at the back of the hotel. There was some sort of crèche that was incredibly loud, the furniture above was moved every few minutes for 4 hours on the lovely marble floors and sleep was impossible!
We were asked to be moved which gratefully happened the next day, we were at the front now on the top floor overlooking the pool which was beautiful bar the weather and the tornado that ripped through the hotel and destroyed a very expensive on millionaires row behind our hotel a day later!
As it was a couple of weeks 'out of season' still we were informed that only one bar in the reception and the gourmet restaurant was open and nothing else. This was disappointing to say the least and restricted where we could go within the resort as the weather was so bad that we barely wanted to leave.
The pool was also a surprise, I have travelled extensively and stay in no less than a 4 star hotel for both business and pleasure. Never have I come across a 5 star hotel that the pool opens at 10am and closes at 7pm, the exact time frames that I wouldn't want to go for a dip, after breakfast and before dinner!
The food was nice in the gourmet restaurant but came with the price to match, the drinks were average 5 star prices, £6 for half a beer/cider and £13 for a Hendricks and Tonic. The bar staff were impeccable though, they made the effort to talk to you if sat alone, they knew what you were drinking and they were the highlight of my trip!
Vilamoura and the area in general was a complete dive in my opinion, 1990's hell hole full of tacky restaurants and a constant bombardment from staff in the restaurant to drag you in even though you tell them that you just walked out of the one next door with a full belly.
I told an Indian gent that I didn't want to eat in their restaurant as I am adverse to coriander and Indian food in general and as I walked away, he spat loudly in protest, I was far from rude, I just informed him that I didn't wish to eat there. All restaurants would plonk bread and olives on the table as if they were complimentary and then you would be presented with a £6 charge afterward for it, I hate that sort of thing and hate olives more!
I can safely say that I will never return to Portugal, it is a dump and over run with people from all nationalities trying to rip off tourists!
My advice would be to go to Puerto Banus if you want that sort of holiday but with a bit more class and sophistication, I once dated a Portugese girl and she was as nasty as the place itself!
Overall the staff were fantastic bar the guy on reception that day we checked in and the hotel is lovely, they just didn't quite get the important bits right and it left a sour taste!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Debuting Anantara’s authentic luxury in Europe, Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort offers a landmark of quiet prestige, along southern Portugal’s picturesque Algarve coast. Immerse in Vilamoura’s glamour from a tranquil retreat, overlooking the Oceanico Victoria golf course. Revealing a journey of local artistry, the hotel’s sculptures, artwork, paintings and installations create a contemporary Portuguese gallery. Signature luxuries embrace you in spacious rooms, indulgent suites and penthouse prestige. Relax on elegant terraces, refreshed by rolling golf greens and cerulean pools. Feel renewed by spa pampering that draws on healing Algarvian traditions, exploring a unique Ayurvedic philosophy that is exclusive in the region. Drift between five beautiful pools. World-class facilities welcome families with fun dining, creative clubs for kids and teens. Poolside Champagne cabanas refresh relaxation with decadence. Emotive fine dining fuses Portugal’s spice trading discoveries. Al fresco decks romanticise sundowners. Wine Guru journeys swirl stories of local heritage vines. Love and family celebrations are tailored impeccably with Dining by Design. Just moments from golf-side tranquillity, Vilamoura is an energising celebrity enclave of desirable boutiques and glittering nightlife. Sunshine glows on golden beaches. Vilamoura Marina is the place to see, be seen and embark on sailing voyages. The Algarve’s zest flourishes as you explore wineries, olive groves and luminous fleur de sel fields. Time spent at the golf club on our doorstep, and over 30 nearby courses, is seamlessly arranged by our Golf Guru. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tivoli Victoria Hotel Vilamoura
- Tivoli Victoria Vilamoura
- Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort Portugal