So we had arrived (5-night stay) unusually for us, after booking only hours before departure.
The preferred option of rooms (pool view with balcony) was not, unsurprisingly available as the hotel was absolutely full ++++. Clearly checking in is not officially possible until 2 pm although we fulfilled the paperwork on our arrival at 11.30 am with luggage store and towels (to use around/in the large centrally positioned pool) being freely offered with seating outside the outdoor bar by the pool.
We asked about a change of room to our preferred option and were easily accommodated the following day with even an option to choose from several different specific rooms. We noted that the balconies were of differing proportions and opted for one of the larger ones, as we like to sit out pre-dinner time and absorb the sun and views. Although there are very many (if not all) balcony rooms available only a tiny percentage were being used to enjoy the pool view that time of day (about 3 rooms in total).
All rooms were very similar layout (we viewed three, whether pool view or otherwise and were all most acceptable with a/c and the usual facilities (with the exception of tea/coffee making) although room service brought these elements (24 hour) - if you wish to wait 25 mins? Note that only one side of the hotel balconies is situated in the sun late afternoon/evening although (ask at reception for details) our 2nd room was 3049 and excellent for our purposes.
All reception and service staff personnel were attentive and friendly despite the size of the hotel and the obvious high season and we felt quite at home. Breakfast (the first morning) was fairly hectic and we queued for about 5 minutes to then be guided to our table. Although the place was heaving with guests, all options of food were available and continued to be so throughout - until the ‘closing time’ (10.30) and still late guests were accommodated and dishes were continuing to be refreshed even at that late time; impressive! All other mornings there was no such mayhem and the experience was un-rushed and first class. The (same) restaurant (in the evening) was used by us several times and the buffet (22 euros) was excellent with choices, quality and amounts extensive. Even a free bottle of (delicious) wine was included as a ‘tempter’ for the first visit.
The very old (Roman) town of Tavira was a delight with plenty of choice re eating establishments with prices, as anticipated lesser than the hotel (but not excessively) and a chance to purchase drinks at a substantially reduced price. High season and much to see with local produce / food / craft and there was varied (free) entertainment provided in the town square nightly.
I do suggest taking a 1.90 euro return ferry trip to the island (15 mins away and frequent departures/returns) if only to enjoy the trip rather that do as most seemed to do, and head for the camping site and beach (fairly long hot march). Varied meals and drinks are available on the island and add to the sense of being ‘elsewhere’.
Sauna & gym not engaged with (30 degrees). Mobility restricted guests should opt for room 1008 or close by (the nearest and first ground floor room off the large reception area) although there is a lift to each floor. There is a balcony to sit out with a view (of the gas station/new bridge) but it is quite acceptable and shaded from intense heat (+ a/c etc).
All in all an impressive and well run hotel but I did not see the Manager roaming around checking on guests and staff. Children were accommodated with their own ‘club’ activities, which seemed to run smoothly with satisfaction.
We normally choose a villa residence however this experience may make us think again and visit out of high season!?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the historical city of Tavira between this picturesque old town and Ria Fromosa. Here, guests will discover a good selection of shopping and entertainment venues. The fine sandy of the dune island, Ilha de Tavira, is easily reached by ferry and the hotel bus travels to the airport several times a day. The large, excellent golf courses of Quinta da Ria and Quinta da Cima are only 11 km away. Public transport departs from stops located directly in front of the hotel; Faro airport is approximately 30 km away. Built in 2002, this popular hotel offers a total of 268 rooms spread over 3 floors, of which 22 connecting rooms and 6 junior suites suitable for families. Amongst the facilities you will find a stylish reception area with 24-hour service and lifts, free Wi-Fi Internet connection in public areas, a currency exchange desk, a game room and a Kids Club. The hotel is equipped with wheelchair access ways and an air-conditioning. You may take advantage of a restaurant with non-smoking areas and highchairs for infants, two hotel bars, a gaming room, a garden and outdoor areas such as the playground for kids. For and additional cost you may use the hotel safe, the laundry service or the garage. All the rooms have been tastefully furnished and offer 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. There is an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers and parasols all around and a garden area. The hotel is equipped with a Health Club which is composed with indoor heated pool, a Jacuzzi, a steam room and a gym. There is also the possibility for our guests to have massages and beauty treatments. Guests may select their breakfast, lunch and dinner from a wide buffet. Lunch and dinner may be chosen a la carte. Special dietary requirements, as well as individual-specific menus, may be catered to and it is possible to book a half-board stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vila Gale Tavira Hotel Tavira
- Vila Gale Hotel Tavira
- Vila Gale Tavira Portugal - Algarve