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“Good but not amazing” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vila Gale Tavira

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Vila Gale Tavira
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good but not amazing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2009

This hotel was 4 star, by only just.

The pool was lovely, lot of sunbeds, and it is in a great location – the restaurants in the town are a short stroll away through some quaint residential streets.

The rooms were clean and spacious, but are not luxurious. As other people have said before, the beds are a little hard, but are no problem, but some of the pillows were ridiculously lumpy!! It was like sleeping with a your head on a small sack of well boiled potatoes!

However, on the whole we had a great time. We’re in our late 20’s and just wanted to relax by a nice pool and get lots of sunshine, and this hotel was perfect for that. Most people staying in the hotel were much older than us, but it means it is nice and quiet.

Tavira is a really nice small town – there are plenty of nice restaurants all of which are about 15 mins stroll away. We found most of the best ones to be across the river, so make sure you venture across one of the bridges.

That said, 2 amazing restaurant we found are not across the bridge! One is below the church on the top of the hill – look for the huge white clock face and head towards it. It is in a courtyard just across from there and is quite a modern place. It has an outdoor balcony with views across the whole town. The second it a 10 mins taxi journey away – it translates to ‘the steak on the stone’. Ask at the hotel reception and they will book it for you. Not expensive, just amazing steak brought to you on a sizzling stone that you can cook as much or as little as you like. Great food.

There are no horrible neon signs in Tavira, no all English breakfasts. There are plenty of tourists but all are like minded and are just looking for a quiet break.

All in all it is a nice hotel, and is a perfect base for relaxing holiday in Tavira. Despite one or two small grumbles it was a good place to stay and I’d go again.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 1672046_RA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (185)
Date | Rating
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
227 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2009

Spotless hotel in Tavia close to restaurants. We had a room facing south overlooking the town...glad we were`nt overlooking pool as it was interesting to see local life. No noise from next rooms but I used ear plugs in case. Air con could have been better but adequate. Pool brilliant, really big. Breakfast good and varied. Great to be able to walk to all the bars and restaurants. Loved this hotel and would go back as Tavira is really nice and food cheap.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VanessaBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2009

This is a 4-star hotel and the price reflects this. However, if you book early, you can get a very good deal just like we did and pay less than half of the full price.
This large complex has 3 floors full of bedrooms. On the ground floor the reception, a little newsagent shop, a business centre with internet access (you pay extra for this), an outside swimming pool and a large breakfast room. An underground car park is situated in the basement. Staff is professional and speak good English.
The rooms are excellent size with your own balcony, fully functioning air con (very important), good size bathroom, all very clean. Towels changed daily. TV with loads of satellite channels. Excellent breakfast with selection of fresh fruits, cereals, cold and hot buffet and typical home made Portuguese cakes, which change daily.
Swimming pool is a very good size and the best time is to go early in the morning because it can get very busy after breakfast and throughout the day.
The location is good for the town centre, everything is 5-min walking distance.
If you want to go to the beach however, you need to take a boat which takes about 20 mins to reach the island. Return ticket costs EUR 1.90. The boat stops just down the road from the hotel and leaves every hour / every half an hour depending on the demand. Be prepared for a lot of people not always queuing in a nice orderly fashion.... It is part of the fun, but it can get a bit frustrating if you travel every day.
Tavira has quite a few restaurants, we can highly recommend the locals’ favourite - Restaurante Bica in Rua Almirante Candido Dos Reis 24. The food is amazing and very fresh. For a coffee or an ice-cream you have to try Tavira Romana in the heart of Tavira town centre. Great for people watching.
Also, quite handy is a local supermarket just across the river Pingo Doce - you find everything you need in there. Overall we had a great time in Tavira and we might visit again in future.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blavvva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granada, Spain
Level Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2009

We have spent a week during August in this hotel. We have been here before and were happy with it. But we will look for other hotels in our next visit to Tavira. The hotel was croweded, as expected, but the reason of our disappointment came from the behaviour of some of the reception staff. Incredible, but they did not have internet available nearly the whole week. They never knew the name of the restaurants we asked them to book for and did not struggle much to look for them. The only time they "tried" to make a reservation, they said it was fully booked for the week. When we called the restaurant they have availability even for that night!!
The breakfast buffet was ok but we had lunch at the pool restaurant and the food was awful.
The rooms are nice and modern, although the air conditioning, indispensable at this time of the year, did not work properly and could not cool the room.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luisalanas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2009

I do not have a single complaint about this hotel and overall holiday, had a wonderful time. The hotel is clean, spacious and right near the river. The buffet breakfast which came with the booking was lovely with a nice wide selection. It's such a beautiful town and the food was wonderful. Overall I would most definately come back to Tavira and this hotel again.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yinx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarschot, Belgium
Level Contributor
42 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2009

We stayed in this hotel for one night on a round trip in Southern Portugal (as part of our honeymoon). Arriving by car, we had to park our car a bit further away. There were few parking spots close to the hotel, but all were taken. Since it was just a small walk away and the parking spot was free, we didn't mind at all.

The lobby of the hotel is nice and spacious. We stayed here only one night, but I can imagine myself sitting here a lot during a longer stay. The room was modern and nice, also very well looked after. We got a free bottle of sparkling wine since this was our honeymoon.

We had dinner in the hotel (as we were staying on half board basis), which was buffet type. A lot of different dishes: no regional dishes (which wasn't an explicit pro or a con), but fo good quality. Also breakfast was buffet type with a broad selection. We didn't go to the pool. It was quite crowdy, but people seemed to be amusing theirselves.

The hotel is very close to the city centre, which is nice to visit, but not spectacular. If you are looking for a nice hotel, aren't looking for a lot of activities to do (or are willing to drive to it), but want to relax, enjoy the sun and some nice food, this seemed a great hotel for these goals.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank diabel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2009

I searched the internet for a quiet, not too touristy town, for my partner and I to spend our 30th birthdays, without our children. I couldn't have picked better than Tavira.

While there are a few restaurants in Tavira, you would have to really hunt to find somewhere that sells a full English fry up. There are a few gift shops, which you’d expect, but the town was blissfully peaceful and has not bowed down to tourism. The locals sit outside their houses on stools at night, talking with one another, watching the tourists choose a cafe or restaurant to eat in. The town is made up of a number of small cobbled streets which are surrounded by residential homes and the main roads are made up of shops and restaurants. Tavira is quite a lot bigger than most people expect and you can walk around for hours, if you venture out of the main area.

We used the train service to go to Faro for the day and made the most of our spending money in the large shopping centre there. The train service is reliable and cheap when compared to taxis and you are able to absorb more of the Portuguese atmosphere.

Although Portugal is a fantastic place, we were shocked by the cost of things. On Tavira Island (where the beach is) a can of Pepsi cost us 3 euros! In Tavira the average cost for a 2 course meal, with wine, was around 45 euros however you can find cheaper or more expensive restaurants. We found the quality of the food to be very high and enjoyed eating out every evening. The rooms at Vila Gale have small fridges and we stocked ours up with water and fizz from the local supermarket, where the Pepsi costs 45 cents!

Vila Gale Tavira looks exactly as you would expect from the description and pictures shown on the many holiday websites. They really haven’t shown the best bits in the pictures, it is all absolutely lovely. The hotel is well decorated and maintained, the furniture and facilities are clean and have been looked after. The staff were always in hand with friendly advice, support and are very customer focused. We used the spa for a massage and Jacuzzi which was wonderful.

The only downsides of Vila Gale were the bar prices, but then you can always have a drink elsewhere, and the fact that it is busy at the weekend. When I say busy, it is busy considering the hotel is usually extremely quiet during the week and at the weekend you may struggle to find a sun bed for an hour until one becomes free. (Not busy compared to many hotels really, but busy when you are used to the peace and quiet at the Vila Gale).

The hotel served breakfast, lunch and dinner. We stayed with breakfast included and the choice was fabulous, everything you could ask for! We choose not to stay full board because we like to eat in different places while on holiday but the food in the restaurant looked very nice.

The guests at the hotel were predominantly over 25, without children and many couples of all ages. There were some families staying there but I would not choose to stay there with my two children. This is because the place is so peaceful and it is noticed when you have children dive bombing into the pool. I would feel that I needed to hush my children because they would be disturbing people’s peace. There are more children friendly hotels around.

Tavira is not a place for people looking for a lively evening atmosphere, by 1am the town is quiet, apart from the odd bar that stays open until all their customers have finished up.

I absolutely loved this hotel and Tavira. I would definitely recommend this hotel and Tavira to my family and friends.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Samilou79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Tavira

Property: Vila Gale Tavira
Address: Rua 4 de Outubro, Tavira 8800-362, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Tavira
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Tavira
#6 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Tavira 4*
Number of rooms: 268
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

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