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“Good Location, Pity about the Staff!”
Review of Vila Gale Marina

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Vila Gale Marina
Ranked #14 of 36 Hotels in Vilamoura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 October 2013

The staff here provided no customer care. They were extremely rude and not helpful at all. On check in I had booked 2 rooms, one for myself and my husband and one for my patents. They only had me down for one booking and even when I provided the lady with both booking confirmations she questioned my bookings. During all of this she took both my passport and my mothers which I didn't query as this is the norm when checking in to a hotel outside of Ireland as they take a photocopy and are told you can collect it later. When I went back to collect both passports there were 3 staff behind the reception desk and I asked to collect my passport. All 3 of them shrugged their shoulders and said they had no passports and they don't keep any. I explained that the lady upon check-in didn't return either passport to me. Again I was told they didn't have them, I double checked with my mum and she didn't receive hers back either. Went back down and the staff were so rude and unhelpful. I explained once again that the lady definitely didn't return the passports to us, they has another look around and said no passport was there. After about 5 minutes of repeating myself they magically found both passports with our room numbers attached to them. Then the staff at reception had the cheek to actually give out to me as if it was my fault that the passports were left at reception. I felt like a school child. I have never come across such rude and unhelpful staff in my life and I will not be returning to the hotel again.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank sarah k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 October 2013

I should firstly explain that I did not personally meet the cost of staying three nights at this very good and well-appointed hotel. It was actually paid for by an estate agents who were looking for my custom. This fact has influenced my judgement and all my other hotel reviews have taken value for money strongly into account. I do not know exactly how much it would have cost me, but am aware from subsequent research that it is never going to be budget option by anyone's standards. Suffice to say that I needed to stay nearby in the Algarve again soon afterwards for a much longer period; decided to check in at what was by then far cheaper accommodation, but mostly regretted it because of the feeling of comfort I had taken from granted that was seriously lacking.

The location of the hotel could not really be much better. Vilamoura is a world class holiday resort and this establishment is at the heart of it, merely a few metres away from a magnificent marina and some splendid, albeit vastly over-priced restaurants. I believe that all the rooms face inwards and towards the impressively enclosed swimming pool. Mine was quite high up, central and had a pleasing outlook.

Air conditioning is essential in summer unless your room is facing north. Mine wasn't but the electrics functioned very well. I slept comfortably after an initial headache caused by a combination of dehydration and noisy neighbours. Never underestimate the importance of taking on extra fluid in these parts. A minus point in this respect is that the rooms had no tea/coffee making facilities or complementary water. I thought this was cheap and unworthy of the hotel, but from experience it isn't untypical in these parts. Regarding the noise, the hotel willingly changed my room after one night without fuss when I complained to them about it. It wasn't their fault in the slightest and the staff could not have done more to put the matter right.

I did not sample the evening dinner at the hotel and instead ate out, with varying results. Breakfast however in the restaurant could not really be faulted. There was no shortage of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals or cooked eggs and bacon etc. As a habitual early riser, I was pleased that breakfast could be taken very early. It seemed to me however that the only other residents doing so were groups of British golfers. Their noisy camaraderie and anecdotes became very boring quite quickly, but the restaurant is huge and so it's not difficult to find somewhere out of immediate earshot if needed.

Free Wi-Fi is confined to the reception area of the hotel, but was a welcome addition. I found the multi-lingual reception staff to be attentive and efficient. As I say, no complaints there whatsoever.

Overall, I was made to feel generally comfortable and could happily have spent a good deal longer at this hotel. I don't really understand the negativity in other reviews and can only assume that the reviewers concerned have not experienced the available alternatives. It's a cliché but true that you generally do get what you pay for. No doubt there are even better hotels available in the vicinity, but only at steep price tags. Good luck to you if you can afford them.

Room Tip: All rooms built to a similar high standard and have the same pool-facing aspect.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank MichaelShea2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

This is my 5th year at this hotel travelling with a group of friends needing a convenient base for the vast array of golf courses which surround Vilamoura. Quite frankly this place has gone downhill (though it didn't have that far to travel in the first place!). Lets be clear its probably 2 star at best. Beginning with the check in experience, you wouldn't believe the staff have ever checked anyone in, its ponderous, slow and without a hint of welcome let alone a smile. The rooms are dated, the bedding continues to be blankets and tired linen (not a duvet), there is bath with a hand held shower and they are still using tired old shower curtains!. Breakfast is a large buffet with something to satisfy most tastes though the ingredients at times appear cheap and simply there for quantity not quality. Breakfast is not an experience to linger over and enjoy, particularly as you are surrounded by large groups of loud male golfers. I can only scratch my head in amazement that anyone would consider having an evening meal in the hotel restaurant especially given the proximity to the marina and the plethora of good dining choices. The pool area struggles to get the sun, is drab and uninspiring with large numbers of loungers crammed into a tight area surrounding a small pool. If you are looking for a romantic break or a family holiday this surely is not for you as it works best for large groups of golfers on a budget looking for quantity and certainly not quality. Your well earned holiday will be disrupted at various times by these large groups of golfers behaving in boorish fashion appearing to have left common decency at home as they shout from one balcony to another or return noisily worse for wear at some ungodly hour in the morning forgetting that some of us actually want to sleep.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank iansroaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

The hotel is well situated, close to the marina and with excellent views across it.The bedroom and balcony were comfortable, spacious, well maintained and kept very clean. The rest of the offering from the hotel was mediocre at best. Reception staff did what was asked of them and public areas were OK and kept reasonably tidy.The buffet breakfast was as ordinary as any that I have encountered in a large hotel - an adequate supply of fresh fruit, a tasteless and limited cold buffet, an uninspired array of cooked food and slow table clearing. I was not tempted to try the evening fare or the nightly entertainment.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank JohnGP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

I looked at the reviews for this hotel before I booked but it would appear since I booked looking at the reviews that followed were not to good which I fully agree with. I always give an honest opinion when I have been to a hotel so thought it was only right I comment on this one. We arrived reception staff did not appear to be too friendly, we got our keys for the 5th floor, on opening the door we was met with a very dark room lite by small lamps, the size of the room was acceptable and clean. Please note for the ladies there was no plug in the room by a mirror where you could do your hair or make up they do provide a small hairdryer in the bathroom, which was useless and so wasn't able to use straighteners or curling tongs which I need for my hair as it is really wavy so had to just put my hair up all the time which is not what I wanted especially when going out.
We arrived on time for our evening meal, I was surprised by the small size of the buffet area and the food was only warm and not a lot of choice taking into consideration the size of the hotel. The position of the hotel is excellent for the harbour/marina. We returned after our evening out and settled down for the night, next thing Scottish guys next door was ranting and raving for hours on end it finished at 6am then they up banging doors and shouting again by 9am. We gave them the benefit of doubt for 1st night and the next two night were ok. They left then what happened next shocked me. More guys moved in room next door and every night for 3 nights they had prostitutes in their room the carry on was disgraceful they had no respect for other guests and you could here everything which I do not want to go into detail but please note prostitutes are standing outside the hotel each evening offering their services. Eventually we complained and the security removed them. I would never stay here again I was looking forward to a weeks long relaxing holiday and couldn't wait to get home.
Whilst Vilamoura itself is lovely it is mainly middle aged and older men here playing golf, and every bar or deck you go in there are televisions everywhere with football or golf on I didn't mind it occasionally but you couldn't get away from it.
I would not recommend or stay at this hotel again I could only recommend it for a group of men I am sure they would thoroughly enjoy themselves especially if they went for the extra services.
Vilamoura itself was beautiful the beach was lovely and plenty of restaurants and bars.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank nicky11069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, General Manager at Vila Gale Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear Guest,

We regret not being able to meet your expectations during your stay in our Hotel.
The feedback from our customers is very important for the continuous improvement of our services and products.
Regarding your comment about prostitutes at the hotel, we hereby informing you that we DON'T have prostitutes "working" in our hotel and do not promote nor accept this "extra service" (as you wrote). If prostitutes are on the promenade in Vilamoura, where the hotel is located, we can not forbid from offering their services to our customers, is the Police work, but never in our hotel!

Kind Regards,

Margarida Antunes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

Great location for golfers and boat lovers. Breakfast excellent served from 6.00 for early risers, staff friendly and helpful. So many great restaurants within minutes didn't have dinner in hotel
Reception on checking in we're extremely efficient and on every other occasion pleasant and helpful. Definately worth a visit

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Drew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, General Manager at Vila Gale Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear Guest,

It's also with a big smile that we receive your satisfactory review about your stay in our Hotel.

Therefore, hope to see you soon,
Kind regards,

Margarida Antunes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

We had stayed here several years ago and knew it was pretty basic but things have really deteriorated.
We arrived at 8pm,the greeting at reception was barely civil and there was nobody available to assist us with our luggage which we had to take to our room on the third floor, golf bags and suitcases.
The foyer had an overwhelming smell of old school dinners the boiled cabbage type!!!!!
Our room was truly awful with two extremely basic single beds and a disgusting aged bathroom ( yellowing shower curtain, dirty grout in tiles and postage stamp towels etc.
Suffice to say we checked out the next morning, we didn't even want to experience the breakfast, we should have stayed for four nights!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank jusie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, General Manager at Vila Gale Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review. We do regret that you did not find our hotel to your standard.

I do apologize for the staff behavior on your arrival and assure it does not happen again in the future.

Kind Regards,

Margarida Antunes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Marina

Address: Alameda Praia da Marina, Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125-408, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira > Vilamoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Vilamoura
#12 Luxury Hotel in Vilamoura
#12 Family Hotel in Vilamoura
#13 Romantic Hotel in Vilamoura
Price Range: £49 - £164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Marina 4*
Number of rooms: 243
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is located directly in the tourist centre of Vilamoura a mere 200 m from the beach and 50 m from the marina. It is right near all the shops, restaurants, bars and transportations in Vilamoura. The nearest airport is in Faro only 25 km away. The hotel was built in 1995 and renovated in 2002. It has a total of 243 rooms from which 44 standard rooms with ocean view and 14 suites suitable for families. The facilities are air-conditioned and include a lobby with a 24-hour reception, lifts, a coffee shop, a newspaper stand, a bar, a buffet or a la carte restaurant with a separate non-smoking area (children's highchairs available on request), a conference rooms, free Wi-Fi internet access in public areas, car park. For an additional cost guests may use the hotel safe, the laundry services and the garage. The rooms are attractive and decorated in a maritime style. They are equipped with air conditioning, electronic safety door look, direct telephone, safe, LCD TV with Cable and Pay TV, Wi-Fi Connection (for and additional cost), Minibar and 24 hour room service, private bathroom with telephone and hair dryer. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool with a pool bar, sun loungers and parasols. Guests may also enjoy the Health Club equipped with an indoor swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a steam room, a Gym and 2 tennis courts (part of a neighbouring hotel and available for an additional fee). There are deck chairs and parasols available on the sandy beach and an entertainment programme rounds off the hotel's offerings. A fine buffet is on offer on every meal of the day. Lunch and dinner may also be taken a la carte. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Marina Vilamoura, Portugal - Algarve
Vila Gale Marina Hotel

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