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“Hotel good, surroundings not so much”
Review of Vila Gale Albacora

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Vila Gale Albacora
Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Hotel good, surroundings not so much”
Reviewed 11 September 2012

The hotel describes itself as being in a national park which it may be but looks very much like a wasteland.
The drive to the hotel is through salt flats and wasteland. The website describes it as a haven for birds and wildlife - not sure if this is seasonal but there were no sign of them in August.
Once you get to the hotel even though there is nothing else around parking is a struggle as people leave their cars there who aren't hotel guests to go to the beach.

The hotel itself is really nice - the rooms are of a good size and are clean and comfortable. The village feel is unusual and very welcoming, The breakfast has a large selection and the staff really friendly.
The only downside is that you have to pay to go to the beach at approx EUR5 a day for a couple, this would mount up if you were there for 2 weeks. I felt for a 4* hotel that advertises the great beach that really this should be free for guests.

The surroundings are not welcoming which is a shame as Tavira is a lovely town and the hotel is great but 1st impressions count and the drive up really lets it down.
I would urge you to look past that but for us while it was great for a weekend we have no desire to return for longer, Unfortunatly it is just too isolated and that part of Portugal doesn't compare to the likes of Villamoura.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sg123Surrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 12 September 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the hotel itself, the rooms, cleanliness, comfort , the feeling of welcoming, the breakfast and most of all, the friendliness of the staff. Is the signature of our hotels.

Your comments help us to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests, and regarding the things that you didn´t liked so much, we felt a little disapointed with situations that we are not direct responsibles, but yet, with responsibility to do something about it.

About the waste, unfortunately, during the month of August, there are thousands of persons in the area that don´t have the civism to preserve this protected area. That´s why, because of what happened this summer, we already achieved to close the access to the beach near the hotel that you had mentioned. With cooperation and decision of the Nature Park of Ria Formosa, City Hall and Maritim Authory this problem is solved for next summer (Parking, Waste and Protected area)

This local is one of the identified Hot-Spots for Birdwatching and we have plenty of visitants coming after September untill April/ May. August you only can see some Flamingos if you have lucky.

We also appreciated the review about the beach. It´s is really something in the Algarve... The acess is paid, because is a service provided by a partner company. We are analysing the possibility to include this trip in Room Rates with the supllier.

For last, Vilamoura and Tavira have an enormous diference. If you prefer Vilamoura, you will find two wonderful hotels from our company VILA GALÉ (MARINA and AMPALIUS).

On behalf of Vila Galé Group, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future in one of our Hotels in Vilamoura, and why not, in Albacora to see for yourself the improvements we (the City) have made. Please be free to contact me directly (bmartins@vilagale.pt ).

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2012

We were looking for somewhere relaxing with wildlife . This hotel provided just that - the salinas surrounding the road into the hotel are rich in wading birds with flamingo , spoonbill , avocet , black winged stilt and many more . Easily visible from the road and tracks going into the salinas take you even closer. The scrub area around the hotel and on the island had lots of juvenile chameleons and the insect life was rich . The hotel was very clean , well maintained and has a great pool area which is virtually empty in the morning . Food was excellent with a great buffet breakfast and a varied evening buffet . Take insect repellant and stock up on bottled water in the town - expensive to buy in the hotel . The hotel caters for families very well and is very wheel chair friendly - I noticed the on site dive school caters for impaired divers . Lovely staff .

Room Tip: Not really worth paying extra for a river view room ( had to stand on a chair to see the river !!)
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hylas_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 11 September 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place and the oportunity to relax with nature. We also appreciated the reviews about the food, cleanliness, maintenance and pool area.

This classified building and Museum (Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel, besides it´s location, also caters for families very well and is very wheel chair friendly. We have a recently opened dive school caters for impaired divers (Maximum Rate form DDI - Disable Divers International).

But the most most important, as other previews reviews, was the message to the hotel "lovely" staff.

This give us, more than anything else, the right motivation and confidence to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

We have just returned from this lovely well run hotel,we had a few issues but we spoke to the manager Bruno, and hopefully they will be resolved,they were a loose broken tile by the pool,and some cigarette butts that had been stubbed out by trees that surround the pool that had been there for 5 days,He is a great Guy ,he is always there to help if you find a problem,if you are going there soon and you do find a problem ,speak to Bruno while you are there and he will do his utmost to solve it,please don't wait till you get back then complain,we had the local dish ,Cataplana on his recommendation ,hope i have spelled that right,we had a great time while we where there .

While we were there there was quite a few children ,they were well behaved though,i think there could be another bar that is for adults only,when you work with children all year,it would be nice to have another place for adults only, Rui the bar man is a really nice bloke,as are all the staff,we will be returning as soon as we can,thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday,and to Bruno for sorting things out.Wigan

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank william g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 27 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments about your experience in Vila Galé Albacora. Specially about the great time whilw you where here.

We also were very satisfied to know that our services achieved you expectations. It is a result of a teamwork.

About the other Bar, we will analyse the possibility to have another one open next year (outside)

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Excelent enviroment completely integrated at Formosa Natural Park, good restaurant & Bar, very quiet & perfect for Sea and Beach lovers - PS: acess to Terra Estreita beach is only by boat. Room was in perfect conditions and room service was very efficent.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RRMarques
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 9 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments about your experience in Vila Galé Albacora. Specially about the reference to the surroundings of the Ria Formosa Nature Park and the Beach. We really have both in the same place. Nature and Beach.

We also were very satisfied to know that our services achieved you expectations.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

I stayed at Vila Gale Albacora in July. If you are looking for a nice, relaxing holiday away from the crowds, this lovely hotel will be perfect for you. Rooms are very spacious, clean and comfortable. Based in the Natural Park of the Ria Formosa you are surranded by beautiful nature and far from any noise. The hotel even in the high season was't to busy and we never had to wait for any services. The breakfast there was excelent with a huge variety of food served for continental as well as English breakfast. The little touch that I really loved about the breakfast in the hotel was that they were serving champagne every morning :-) Service was very good as well, nice and friendly houskeeping and restaurant staff. Reception was friendly enough but struggeling a bit with their English and giving information about the local area and the services in the hotel.

The only disadvantage of the hotel is it's location. It is 10 mins drive away from any shops and restaurant, so there is no way to get anyway by foot. There is a boat to the beach on the island which you have to pay for. It costs €2.90 for a return ticket, which I thinl is a rip off and should be provided for free for the hotel guests. As well as the free mini bus for the nearby town of Tavira which runs every couple of hours and the last leaving from the hotel @ 5.30pm, so if you don't have a car with you leaves you with a taxi drive, which was approx. €6-7. Not that expensive but considering you have to pay it every night plus the extra cost of the boat to the beach, it might increase you spending money a bit.

All in all it was a very pleasent stay and I will return to the hotel again and recommend it to my friends.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Agatiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 17 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the friendliness and service of the staff, breakfast, the cleanliness and confort of the rooms.

About the location.. well, we would like to offer the best of the two worlds... but we are not so far away... Tavira centre (4km) and shopping (2km).

Including the boat in the rooms rates are an option to be analysed witgh our supllier for 2013 season.

But the most most important, is that you will return. Untill then, we will continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
portstewart
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Having read all previous reviews, my wife chose this lovely hotel as we were looking for a 5 day "beach break" in the sun near Tavira. Take the boat to Tavira Island and just chill out on the sun loungers (11 euro for the day - but worth it!!). Certainly not a "young and lively" hotel, the rooms are basic but very clean, lovely pool area and very attentive staff. Breakfast was excellent, we ate in Tavira in the evening (12 euro return in a taxi) - the hotel offers a shuttle bus, but only during the day. All in all, we had a perfect break.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank peeler-dealer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 10 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the Tavira Island Beach, the clealiness, breakfast and pool area of the hotel.

But the most most important, as other previews reviews, was the review about the staff.

This give us motivation and confidence to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2012

We booked this hotel after reading the already great reviews on here. Booked it through Travel Republic and can't fault them really - we did have to wait an hour for our transfer to the hotel however we only paid for a coach transfer but got a private mini bus to the hotel just for us 2 and a taxi picked us up and another couple on the way back (45min transfer time max.)

Now on to the hotel, when we got to reception they greeted us both and were very friendly and checked in within 5 minutes and shown where our room was. I chose Room 176 before going and they managed to hold it for us, I just emailed them. Any room around the outside of the hotels will have a great view of the River and has a small terrace with table and chairs to sit out on.

The Room was basic but does the job, as you won't be in it much with all the sun outside! It had Air conditioning which worked very well, (you can not leave it on when you go out though as the key fob needs to be in the socket at the door), TV with English series on FOX such as CSI, Mentalist. Mini fridge, bath with overhead shower. Our bed and I think most were 2 singles put together with separate sheets, we didn't mind this.

The pool is very large (and reasonable temp once swimming) and a great place to relax. We had no trouble getting a sunbed any day during our 10day stay (and we didn't rise until 10!) They also had parasols you could use if necessary and also the grass around the pool had trees in case you needed the shade.

All Inclusive is a must I feel - Amazing value! I think it was around £100 more each to go all inclusive and I recommend. Drinks included were Pepsi, 7up, Fanta, beer, wine, local spirits including an almond liqueur which with coke tastes like Dr Pepper and of course Cocktail of the day! We made the most of this especially when it was the Pina Colada or Vila Gale night or day (similar to sex on the beach)

Food was fine for us and my girlfriend is quite picky! There was always something we liked and the salad bar was always available.

Breakfast - Scrabbled egg, sausage, bacon, beans, tomato, fried eggs. Croissants, bread, toast, jam, butter, cereals!

Lunch - First week, Inside buffet with chips, rice, chicken, pork, salad bar etc. However it changed on the last few days for us to be outside at the tapas bar which did a BBQ. This was also great but the flies and mosquitoes did start to become annoying once you had your food, so take spray.

Dinner - Buffet and always something we liked. Ranged from fish, chicken, pork, veel, sausages, pasta, rice, chips, potatoes, salad bar and desserts of ice cream, jelly, cake, fruits.

Extras! Ice creams from the pool bar include nestle smartie and strawberry and choc cornetto's! Can get snacks upto around 3pm of burgers, hotdogs, chips, and until 6pm sandwiches.

Grounds of the hotel are very good and well looked after. There is a church and a small museum you can view.

Things to do: Table Tennis fun and free - get the bats from reception
Reps - they did activities for the children and they do Aqua gym in the pool most days at 12.
Night ent: They had a few Bingo was fun, reptile show, bird show and quiz.
There is a company at reception that do bird tours, bike tour, kayak tours, etc we did the Dolphin tour but unfortunately didn't find any however got a tour round the islands for over 2 hours.
There is a dive centre and we saw people having training in the pool and you can do the PADI courses too.

Spa - My Girlfriend had a full body massage and said it was excellent and good value. I got to use the gym, pool, sauna, and jacuzzi while she had it free which is great! It is 11 euros usually.

The hotel did a free shuttle to its sister hotel in Tavira which was a few minutes from the centre, and if you asked the driver you could get dropped off at the shopping centre and we walked back to the hotel which is nice and takes about 25 mins.

The river at the hotel has a sort of beach around it which you could use and walk around, however the main beach is the Island beach which you need to purchase boat tickets for at reception it went around every hour until 6pm and is about £2each return. It is a lovely beach and would recommend going, the beach bar was very reasonable for beer and ice cream.

Overall I would recommend this hotel and will most likely go back again in the future but I like to travel to different destinations at the moment.

Room Tip: 176 has a good view of the river and small terrace
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jbsmith13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, 9 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your big and detailed review and your kind comments. Certainly the next to come will have much more information on arrival.

It´s also very gratifying for us to see that we reached your expectations in so many ways, giving us the (extra) motivation to be "Always close to you".

All comments really allow us to analyse guests feeddbacks, helping us to improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora Staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
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 Albacora

Property: Vila Gale Albacora
Address: Estrada 4 Aguas | Vale do Olival, Tavira 8800-602, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Tavira
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Tavira
#1 Spa Hotel in Tavira
#2 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Tavira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Albacora 4*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa and approximately 4 km from the centre of Tavira and 3 km away from various restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and the public transport network. The nearest beach is just outside the hotel and just 400 m away you will find yourself in one of the best sandy beaches in the Algarve. The hotel was rebuilt in 2000 from an old tuna fish camp and has a total of 162 rooms of which 43 rooms with river view and 5 junior suites suitable for families. The hotel has a 24-hour reception, lovely lobby area, a currency exchange desk, a luggage room, a chapel, a museum and a game room. Among the common areas guests may enjoy the air-conditioned TV room, bar and restaurant where free Wi-Fi internet connection. Children are very welcome to this hotel being that they have their own Club full of activities and entertainment. Guests may park their cars in the parking lot and for an additional costs may use the laundry services and hotel safe. The pleasant rooms are equipped with air conditioning, electronic safety door look, direct telephone, LCD TV with Cable and Pay TV, Wi-Fi Connection and safe (for and additional cost), Minibar and 24 hour room service, private bathroom with telephone and hair dryer. The hotel Spa, Satsanga, is composed with a gym, an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, steam room/Turkish bath, Vichy shower massages and beauty treatments. The seasonal entertainment programme ensures that there is never a dull moment at the hotel. The hotel restaurant has a wide buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an a la carte menu offered at lunch and a set menu available at dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Albacora Tavira, Portugal - Algarve
Vila Gale Albacora Hotel

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