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“Lovely week in fabulous location with great food”
Review of Vila Gale Marina

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Vila Gale Marina
Ranked #14 of 36 Hotels in Vilamoura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 August 2009

We have just returned from a week at this hotel and I do not recognise many of the recent comments as relating to this hotel. The hotel is in a fantastic location - just minutes from the marina and the beach but we did not suffer from noise at all. My daughter is nine and joined in with the hotel run kids club (especially the lunches for 5E which were great value) even though most of the children there were Portuguese. Entertainment was low key (pool volleyball, poolside 'killer' pool competitions, bingo etc) but was never intrusive and no-one was forced to take part. The Portuguese theme night was a must see!
We stayed half board and the food was really excellent - theme nights, fresh fish, local dishes and lovely desserts. Always plenty of choice even for a fussy 9 year old! It is true that queues developed after 9.30 for breakfast but I don't think anyone had to wait very long. Service was quick and friendly. we didn't usually eat lunch as breakfast was so good, but the poolside food was very good - we didn't hear any complaints.
It is fair to say that the rooms are not as spacious as you would expect from a 4* hotel and the camp bed was just about O.K. for a nine year old but not really adequate for an older child. Also our room felt a little tired - the shower was not exactly powerful. We did notice the reserving of sunbeds, but if you had a towel down by 9am you would get one. Also we managed to move around the pool during the day to follow the sun without any problems. Overall I would say this is a very good 3+* hotel rather than a 4* but stay half board and it becomes great value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank fussytraveller100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 August 2009

I have read many of these reviews and thought I would have my say. I have also been to this hotel many times. As for me, I save up and take the family to 5 star whenever possible so I have seen both fantastic luxury at one end and downright grubby at the other. In my opinion, this is the perfect hotel for large golfing parties but not for families. Whatever anyone says, it is a budget hotel and not up to UK 4 star standard. I am going again in 2 weeks for 4 days with 15 mates and it is the perfect hotel. We are on the marina, the accommodation is fine but not special (what do 16 lads need??), you can walk to the beach in 2 minutes and the restaurants in the marina are excellent. There is also a free shuttle bus to all of the local golf clubs which is brilliant (although this is organised by the town council, not the hotel). I disagree with the marina being overly 'commercialised'. It is really gorgeous and the people very friendly.

I would happily go every year with my mates but would agree it is not ideal for a family.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank zactye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2009

Have just returned from the Vila Gale with my family. My review is an honest one. This hotel has a 4* rating but is barely worthy of 3*. First the one plus point is that the view is amazing if you have a high room. The best way to describe this hotel is think Travel lodge Premier Inn, it is very basic. It is nigh on impossible to get a sunbed after 9am, as everyone has already laid their towels at 7.30am. Basically there are not enough sun loungers to cater for the guests. The drinks are extortionate a coke 3 euros, kids slush puppie 3 euros, 5* prices at a 3* Hotel. The pool area is tiny, beds very close together. Breakfast again is very basic with rather abrupt staff! The Marina is very nice, but again I was surprised as I thought that Portugal would be more upmarket, it is quite tacky and commercialised. Basically I found it very much a Brits abroad holiday! II would not recommend this Hotel at all, do not be fooled by the clever photography.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank ASTI8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2009

We stayed for two weeks from Aug 6th to Aug 20th.

I had read several reviews and could not make up my mind if I was looking forward to this holiday or not!

I sent several emails to request a high floor as I had read these gave the best views. Finally, the day before we departed I received an email to say they had received my emails and could not promise a room on a high floor.
On arrival we were given a room on the 5th floor and were told that this was the highest floor that was large enough to accommodate the extra bed (for our 13 year old daughter). I do not know if this is true, our room was called a 'junior suite' and I assumed they were on all floors.
When we got to our room the extra bed (a fold up camp bed with a very thin mattress) was placed in the hallway of the room - opposite the bathroom door. Our daughter hated this as she felt like she was sleeping in the corridor! And for this we paid full price for her!
We moved the rugs around, moved all of the furniture and managed to squeeze the bed into the space next to our bed and the balcony doors. I found this hard to believe this was a 'junior suite'.
Once the rugs and furniture was moved there was bits of dirt and dust everywhere. We called down to reception, told them what we had done (which was fine with them) and requested a cleaner. The cleaner came up straight away and cleaned the dirt on the floor and the places that had been dusted around.
I know a lot of people have written that the hotel is ever so clean, but I must be so fussy, as the chambermaid, although a lovely lady, only dusted around things and wiped a sponge around the sink every day. If the light caught some of the dressing table you could see dust lines. Which I eventually cleaned. One day when I was on the balcony, she managed to 'make' the beds and clean the room and bathroom in less than 2 minutes.
The bathroom had an awful smell to it which seemed to be coming from the extractor fan.
We had to ask for more hangers twice as we were given 6 hangers for three of us. Eventually, we managed to get an extra 12 which is reasonable for the amount of clothes 3 people need for two weeks. In addition to the hanging space, there were 3 slim drawers. Not enough storage for 3.

The common areas of the hotel were spotless, as was the pool area.

As I do not sleep in late, there was no problem for me to go down to the pool at 7am and place towels on the sunbeds, I had a nice chat with the pool cleaner each morning! By 8.30am most of the 'good' beds are taken. This comes as a shock when you first arrive. They have notices up everywhere to tell you not to reserve beds, but everyone does.

The pool has shade in each area every day. You worked around it. The area we liked was in shade until 11.30 each morning and that was good for us as we liked to read in the shade after breakfast.

We went B&B. There are so many restaurants in Vilamoura, you should not tie yourself down to hotel food when lots of restaurants are so close by. The breakfast room is quite large but some queues still form if get down at 9.30 or later. Breakfast is available until 10.30 which is fantastic if you like a late morning.
Breakfast is a lovely buffet, offering everything you could wish for. Dirty plates are removed immediately.

The staff are friendly and I cannot imagine why people would say they are rude.

We had lunch just once by the pool area which was a disaster as they got my daughter's order wrong the first time, the second time the chicken was raw, third time was ok but took a further 20 minutes - we decided a simple toasted sandwich in the marina for future lunches would be easier.

The drinks in the hotel were very expensive. I expected this.

The hotel is in a perfect location. The beach is close by as is the marina, which is gorgeous.

I will definitely be going to Vilamoura again, but will go to another hotel as this did not feel like a true 4 star hotel to me. A very good 3 star.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Leese25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2009

We had a lovely time at the Vila Gale Marina, though a little expensive! The third bed was a camp bed, not suitable for anyone over 8, however everything else was great! Good entertainment around the pool, nice room, great breakfast and fantastic company.

We were given towel cards on arrival, which we exchanged for clean pool towels each day and had the cards returned when we returned the towels.

I found the staff to be very helpful and approachable. My 11 year old daughter loved everything that was going on.

I think the indoor pool perhaps needs updating, though the pool staff did all they could to keep it clean.

The Marina was lovely with nice restaurants and also nice food in the square below.

Would I go back there - you bet I would!

1  Thank pollybam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2009

We stayed for 2 weeks 30th July - 13th August 2009.

Please ignore previous comments I think they must have stayed at the wrong hotel !!

The Vila Gale Marina Hotel was fantastic we couldn't fault it at all. Other comments on here do not do it justice. The hotel is very clean, the meals are lovely (we stayed B&B but did pay for a couple of evening buffets) the staff are very friendly and helped with any problems. Beach towels are provided daily and you had to pay 2 euro 50 each day for your room safe which we didnt have a problem with as some hotels charge for towels. The drinks are reasonably priced and the cocktails and sangria are a must. The entertainment varied for night to night and the parrot show is a must if you have small children. The pool and jacuzzi area are very clean and there are plenty of bed's to choose from. There are lots of lovely restaurants just over the road in the marina serving English and Portuguese food. Cataplana is a must for the seafood fans.

We can't fault our holiday and are considering going back in October in the school holidays it was fantastic !!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank JEC70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2009

I have recently returned from a 3 night stay at the Vila Gale Marina Hotel in Vilamoura and found it to be a bit of a 'mixed bag'.
Good points: Great location, right on the Marina and close to the beach. Good food - we stayed on a half board basis and found the variety and quality of the food to be great. Good value for money - compared to some of the other hotels we looked at in the area.
Bad points: Hotel is quite dated, rooms and communal areas are tired and in need of a refurbishment. Staff - We found them to be very impersonal and quite rude! I asked if the hotel had an iron I could borrow (which I thought was not an unreasonable request in a 4* hotel) and the receptionist just barked at me "No". Worst of all was the sunbathing situation which is ridiculous - the pool area is far too small for the amount of guests. There are signs up saying that sunbeds cannot be reserved but these are totally ignored and by 9am each morning that we stayed, every single bed had a towel or item of clothing on it. On the last day of our stay we even had to sneak into a neighbouring hotel to use their pool and sunbeds which was not ideal!. Unfortunately I don't think I could recommend this hotel to others because of the bad points I have mentioned, although the sunbed situation may not be as bad at different times in the year.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank jonesjabat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Family Hotel in Vilamoura
#12 Luxury Hotel in Vilamoura
#13 Romantic Hotel in Vilamoura
Price Range: £62 - £165 (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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