Excellent central location to beach, shops, supermarket & marina, whilst remaining quiet enough for a good nights sleep.
All rooms face on to hotel pool & a partial or full view of the marina. Rooms on the higher floors have a better Marina view. We did e-mail in advance to ask for a room of the 6th floor, or above, but were allocated a room on 2nd floor, so that doesn't always work. We did get the sun on our balcony from noon, which was great, as not all rooms get the sun.
Hotel was very busy, so there were no sun loungers available around the pool, unless you were out around 8.30 to 9.00am. We used the nearby beach, so wasn't an issue for us.
Rooms are clean & simply styled. I felt that there was not much clothes storage space. Wardrobe is big enough, but not many hangers & there was only 3 narrow drawers.
Safe was within the wardrobe. There is a daily charge to use a lock for the safe. If anything goes missing from it, however, the hotel does not accept liability. You can use the hotel reception safe, which is guaranteed. Don't knw how much they charge for that service.
Maid service every day. Room hoovered, beds made, bins emptied & bathroom cleaned. Linen & towels are not changed every day, but this may be done on an "as needed basis". Didn't feel that the bathroom was always cleaned very well. Complimentary toiletries consist of 2 soaps, 2 shampoos, 2 bath gels & a shower cap which are replaced as you use them.
There is an outside pool & jacuzzi, which are kept very clean & look lovely. There is a soft seating area outside too. Pol towels are available free of charge from the hotel. There is also a small indoor pool, jacuzzi, Turkish bath & small gymnasium which are also kept very clean. This indoor facility was free to use & we thought that it was excellent.
The hotel lobby & reception area has a nice feel about it. The reception staff were very helpful & all had excellent English. Within this area is a small shop selling newspapers, drinks, sweets & nic nacs. The hotel bar is also within this area. Lunch is serves here, or outside at the pool bar area. Costs of drinks & food compare to those of the eating places on the Marina. However, if you walk off the marina there are some very reasonably priced eating & drinking places.
There are 2 PC's available to use within reception & Wi-Fi is available in the reception & bar area for a charge, 2.50 euros for 30 mins & 3 euros for 1 hour. Wi-Fi is not available in the rooms, unless you have your own modem.
Breakfast is served from 6.00 AM - 10.00 AM. The range of food is very good & replenished frequently. I would recommend the earlier you have breakfast the better. The queues were horrendous from 9.30am onwards, as you have to wait to be seated the busier it becomes.
Evening meals were served from 7.00 - 10.00 PM. Again, you have to wait to be seated & herein lies the problem. A sign is put out in the middle of the entrance asking for you to wait to be seated. However, the staff at the restaurant reception point do not acknowledge or communicate with the guests when they arrive. So you are left standing, looking around at a restaurant which is not particularly busy & has plenty of empty tables wondering if anyone knows, or cares that you are there, meanwhile another queue of guests, at the same reception point, who are leaving are being attended to, before you, no matter when they join that queue. We felt very disappointed by this level of customer service & felt that it resulted from a lack of communication & organisation within the restaurant. A simple acknowledgment when you arrived would have been sufficient. The staff were all pleasant enough & worked very hard, however, the focus of their work was not the customer. Many times, once we were seated, we were not asked what we would like to drink until we had nearly finished our meal. Again poor customer service & lack of staff direction.
Looking at reviews of other hotels in Vilamoura, this seems to be a common complaint.
The food however, was excellent & replenished frequently.
The entertainment in the hotel seemed very popular with the guests. We did not stay in the hotel for the evenings, but there were many people who did & it seemed that they were enjoying themselves.
This hotel allows you to use the minibar in the room for your own food & drinks, which was excellent. There is no tea/coffee making facility in the room, so take your own travel kettle, although you can order room service.
There is no iron or ironing board either, so again take your own. There is a laundry service in the hotel if you need it, or a self service laundrette just off the Marina.
Take your own corkscrew too. Although I did notice someone taking their supermarket bought wine to the bar & asking them to open it for them, which they did. Excellent.
We were traveling with a bicycle, which we were able to keep in the room, which we also felt was excellent.
Overall, this hotel exceeded my expectations. I was very happy with the hotel & the staff. To improve the experience for hotel guests, however, I feel that the hotel management need to look at the workings of the dining room area. There was nothing wrong with the staff, they worked very hard & were very good, however, there needs to be more management of the staff & more communication initially when guests arrive.
Outside of the hotel, a great place to enjoy a snack, an ice-cream, or a cake & tea or coffee is Panito Moles. Ii is located along from the taxi rank, just a few steps up off of the Marina. The prices are very reasonable & you can enjoy a drink there too. they also serve a small range of meals.
The beaches in Vilamoura are great. Praia de Falesia is a longer walk to get to, but it is a bigger beach than Praia de Marina. You can take the small train to Praia de Falesia, which leaves from opposite Hotel Vila Gale Amphalius, which is only about 300m from Hotel Vila Gale Marina.
I would also recommend a visit to Quarteria, which is the next town to Vilamoura. You can walk along the beach front to Quarteria, which takes around 20 minutes. It is more of a working town with many shops, bars & restaurants & has some better prices than Vilamoura. Wouldn't recommend the walk in the evening though, after reading some reviews of other accommodations. Although during the day I felt perfectly safe & walked to Quarteria on my own many times.
Enjoy your holiday.
- 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