My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights after a lot of running around Spain, and this was SO relaxing. The minute we pulled up, I could tell this was going to be a really nice hotel. The staff was very helpful, and the hotel definitely had the feel of a 5 star. We were staying here on hotel points, so it was free (which was also great). My husband is Hilton gold, so they gave us a number of really nice perks upon arrival. We got a free wireless internet code everyday, we got free access to the spa's facilities--pools, steam baths, saunas, etc (I believe otherwise this is a 35 Euro/person charge), access to a quieter pool outdoors, and free breakfast every morning in either the Hilton Honors guests' dining room or the regular breakfast room. They also originally gave us a nice room overlooking the garden with a porch. The problem with our room was that it was a non-smoking room, and whoever had been in it prior to us had not adhered to that rule. The smell was suffocating. I called downstairs, and immediately someone came up. They agreed about the smell and said they would see what they could do as the hotel was pretty much full. The person came back a short while later with a new key, and helped me move my luggage to the new room. The new room was an AMAZING. I kept asking if we were going to have to pay something extra for it because it was so nice! We had 1.5 bathrooms--the larger had a shower and then a hot tub with a tv over it, a living/dining room, the bedroom, a huge closet, a buttler's pantry with a sink, 2 sliding doors, and a deck that ran the length of the room with a little bump-out patio with seating (really relaxing at night), and a view over the golf course. The hotel staff really went above and beyond to make sure that we were happy. I cannot say enough about them. The service was definitely 5 star and my room was 6!
In general, I felt that our room was very clean (even the hot tub seemed to be cleaned well). However, I do have one negative comment that has to do with this. My husband witnessed the cleaning woman wipe out our used coffee cups with a dirty rag and then put them back on the tray for us to use again. That completely grossed me out (especially because I had used it the previous day). I would recommend not using them or cleaning them really well yourself because that's just disgusting. It's a very small thing overall, though, and it would definitely not deter from me rating the place at a 5+.
Food: The breakfast was really good. You could get eggs made to order, and just about anything else you could think of from french toast to pancakes to meats, cheese, yogurts, fruits, pastries, breads, potatos, cereals, juices, capuccinos, etc. We ate in each of the 2 breakfast rooms once because the regular room opened at 7am and the Hilton Honors one didn't open until 8. We found the selection to actually be better in the regular dining room, but the Honors one was quieter. (Would pick the regular one if I was picking.)
We ate lunch by the pool one day. This was the only thing I found disappointing during our stay. The options were lacking, the food was very pricey, and it had very little taste. The shrimp in the salad I ordered were microscopic. Also, we ordered iced tea and each got a can of nestea (not what I was expecting) which were 3.50 Euros each--a little pricey. We ate dinner in town both nights and ended up at a thai place called Thai. It was out of the touristy mess of the waterfront (where places try to force you to eat at their restaurants). We liked the food a lot, and the prices were pretty reasonable for a resort town. We walked around the waterfront for fun, but ended up buying an ice cream just so the restaurants would stop trying to get us to eat at their places.
Transportation: The hotel had free parking both in a garage underneath it, and outside along the hotel. We had our own car, so we drove into town at night (on-street parking and parking lots, but you MUST pay and put the ticket in your car window or risk being booted, we saw a car that way while we were there). Parking in town at night can be difficult and crowded. The hotel ran a shuttle from 7:30 until 9:30 which might be useful to utilize.
Also, at the beach, the hotel has their own chairs, umbrellas, towels, etc there which you could use for free, you just brought a card they gave at check-in to collect the towels. We drove there, but there was also a shuttle from the hotel that went there. The beach was really nice (the water was freezing, though).
Spa: This was probably the nicest hotel spa I've ever seen. They have a circuit of pools and jacuzzis, rain showers, a steam bath, dry sauna, aroma sauna, etc. It was so relaxing. We ended up going twice in the same day (was free for gold members when we were there, a really great perk). I definitely recommend spending some time here.
Golf & Location: The airport was only a 30 minute drive from the hotel, town was probably a 30 min walk, but we always just drove, and the beach wasn't much more than that. Most importantly for my husband, the place was SURROUNDED with great golf courses. He had trouble even picking where he wanted to play. He ended up playing at the course directly next to the hotel one day, and the Victoria course the other day (a 5 minute drive away). The courses all had an amazing off-season deal going on where any tee times after 11am were at a discounted rate AND included a free golf cart and clubs (he hadn't brought his on the trip). He said both course were very nice (the Victoria was definitely the nicer, though--they play a PGA event there). Another thing about the area we really liked was that English was very prevalent. From the locals to the huge amount of British people on vacation to the signs in restaurants, it had a very strong presence. He said everyone he golfed with had English as their first language. Also, in Portugal (unlike Spain) they subtitle their TV rather than dubbing it, so we had a lot more options of things to watch at night besides the news which was a very welcome change. I think overall, we would definitely return to Vilamoura (and the hotel) in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Treat yourself to a fabulous spa weekend, enjoy a fun-filled family holiday, or experience the perfect golfing break at the award-winning Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, one of the leading family-friendly Algarve hotels. This attractive, modern Algarve hotel is situated in five acres of glorious manicured gardens in the heart of the sun-kissed Algarve, Portugal. Set amid the lush greenery of some of Portugal's finest golf courses, the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa is replete with distinctive Moorish architecture, spectacular covered and outdoor pools and glorious cascading waterways. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Hotel Vilamoura
- Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort And Spa
- Hilton International Vilamoura
- Vilamoura Hilton
- Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa Portugal - Algarve