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“Quiet, serene hotel for a relaxing break” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vila Gale Praia

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Vila Gale Praia
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Praia da Gale | Apartado 2204, Albufeira 8200-917, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 163 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tonbridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Quiet, serene hotel for a relaxing break”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

We stayed at the Vila Gale Praia hotel in Sept 2012. On arriving it feels like you're in the middle of nowhere - I've been to Portugal many times but always to busier areas, so it felt a bit isolated, but the hotel was nice and welcoming.

Rooms are fine, a bit tired and basic, but a HUGE comfy bed. We had a garden view, which wasn't anything to shout about. Rooms on the other side had a much nicer pool view, but less private.

The pool itself was lovely - clean, a good size and the gardens were well maintained. There are tennis courts, and a bar just inside the hotel, and although the staff were friendly, the bar was sometimes unmanned for ages which was a little annoying. The hotel was quiet though, so maybe it's better in peak season. The hotel restaurant food is nice, but lacked atmosphere, and was definitely overpriced. External restaurants were much better.

The hotel had a lounge with big tv, books, games etc, and a pool table. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great so we had to make use of this at times. We didn't have spa treatments, but we used the loungers inside the jacuzzi room on a particularly miserable day. It overlooks the pool which is nice (if it's sunny).

Nearby there isn't much around aside from 3 restaurants and the beach. The beach is a typical Algarve beach - pretty, nice sand, stretches for miles. Didnt have a car, so often walked for ages along the beach, stopping at the remote beach bars for a beer. The restaurants near the hotel serve fish, fish and more fish, but all freshly caught daily catches and a great variety. One of the restaurants has a cliff top bar, with beanbag cushions on the floor / little stools and chilled beach club music to enjoy the sunset to. Think cafe del mar, but on a much much smaller, less hedonistic scale....

Overall, it was a nice hotel, quiet and serene and great for a relaxing break. We enjoyed it. There's not enough to do there to warrant another visit, but I'd use the hotel chain again based on our experience.

Room Tip: Hire a car if you want to be less restricted and isolated
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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381 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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English first
Matlock, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

Stayed here for 5 nights in May and it was amazing! My friend and I were looking for a relaxing sunshine break to get away from the madness of our jobs and we found it here! 2 mins walk from a lovely sandy beach, when the tide's out you can walk for miles, 5 mins walk from a fab supermarket for wine and nibbles and 10-15 mins from a few restaurants. This was perfect for everything we wanted. The reception staff are really friendly and helped us with loads from where to go to eat to renting some bikes for a day. The breakfast was great, loads of choice, and friendly staff topping up the coffee! I'd definately recommend paying the bit extra for a balcony with pool view. Spa, gym and pool table are nice free extras at the hotel. If you're after nightlife/bars this isn't the place for you, as it's a way away from Albuferia. And hold on to your beach towel as they ran out a few times!
The sunsets are amazing on the beach. San domingoes was our favourite restaurant nearby :)
I wish we didn't have to come home!

Room Tip: Pick a pool facing room with a balcony.... and don't go with someone who snores ;) !!!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

I have just got back from a 5 night holiday at this hotel - Staff were great - really friendly. The breakfasts were great. Our room was lovely. Loved the little touches. Only issue we had was that the laundry took a while to arrive on some days - but this was pretty quickly rectified. Loved the view from the balcony. The hotel was quiet and relaxing. Gale itself was friendly and quiet (in May when we went!) The guy on reception ( didn't get his name) was really helpful too :)

I want to go back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

We are into our 3rd day of a weeks stay at the Vila Gale Praia and its fantastic. A 40 room boutique spa hotel just down the coast from Albufeira.Hotels are chosen for location and then facilities but what really make a hotel are its staff. The staff here are first class, the best We have experienced in Europe possibly the world.The hotel is perfect for a relaxing break, no shortage of sunbeds a wonderful free spa ( treatments are extra and reasonably) priced.)Gale is very quiet and secluded mainly residential area. There are a few good restsurants nearby including Potugals only 2 Michelin starred restaurant just across the road (listed In the worlds top 50) Hotel provides 3 daily free shuttles into Albufeira for those wsnting a bit more excitment. All in all a fabulous Hotel

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for 7 nights. We were looking for a place to chill out and found the hotel to be exactly what we were looking. From the time of our arrival until our departure we found the staff to be very pleasant and courteous.

Our room was on the third floor and faced the pool. This was a good location and provided a view out over the bay from the balcony. The room itself was very clean. The only small drawback is that wi fi in the rooms is an additional charge. However, it is available free in all public areas, and that includes the seated area adjacent to the pool.

The beach is a few minutes walk. There are sunbeds a nd loungers avilable. However there are also numerous coves and dunes to find a place of privacy if required We walked along the beach on a number of occasions to the next town for a bite to eat before walking back. This took us around 4 hours.

There is a nice restaurant in the hotel itself. We only ate there once, but it was very good. There are a number of other restaurants nearby. For example within a few minutes there are three restaurants at the beach. We ate in one of these, the middle one, and it was also good. Further afield at about 10 minutes walk there is Mr Singhs, an excellent Indian restaurant, and about 25 minutes walk is JK's, which is also worth visiting. Albuferia, which can be reached via the hotels free shuttle, has dining option for every taste and budget. A taxi ride back to the hotel is around 13 Euro.

There are several small shops right next to the hotel, where newspapers etc can be purchased. There is also a small cafe.

Transfer to the hotel from Faro airport is around 55 euro. ( There is also a 20 percent surcharge on a Sunday). This can be arranged via the hotel.

Overall this is an excellent hotel if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday. However, if you want to be at the centre of bustling activities this is not the hotel to choose.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We staid at the Hotel for 6 nights April/ May, as a young married couple. Used yellowfish transfers from the airport, really smooth professional firm- highly recommended. As for the Vila Gale Praia, really nice location close to the beach, nice helpful staff, nice swimming pool, clean enough in public areas.

Rooms are big. We had a double room overlooking the pool. Really nice view and breathtaking sun set. Pillows are horrendous!!! Also bathroom lacks a proper vent.

However this is not a 4 star hotel! The cleaning staff comes in daily and changes towels. One of the days we had the surprise to find BLOOD stains on one of the new towels provided. It also had a few other big stains on it. Took it back to reception and got replaced. No apology provided by the staff...which says a lot. we suggested they revisit the contract with whoever does their laundry.

A few other minor incidents as an animal feather stuck to the bottom of one of the pastry at breakfast. Also needed a nidle and string and had to ask reception for one. None available in the room.

we used the hotel's restaurant for dinner once. Food average, far too expensive for quality provided, small portions and tasteless really. Also had to book dinner although restaurant had only 1 other couple eating there.

Internet is free in public areas, 5 euros per day in the room or 15 euros for 7 days.
Did not use the spa but did use the tennis courts. 20 euros for 1 hour (5 euros each for the rackets and 10 euros for the court).

All in all it's a nice place to spend a relaxing holiday but they need to pay a little attention to details. Had issues when running to maybe half capacity, just wondering how are things in full season?

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lancashire
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We stayed as a couple in April/May 2013 for 5 nights. Booking via alpharooms we had a good price for a 'standard' double, bed and breakfast.
We used yellowfish for a private transfer, highly recommended for a smooth start to your holiday.
Check in- welcomed with a lovely black tea and hot towels, most welcome after our journey, and everything was explained to us. Nice bowl of sweets available at all times too. I had asked for a higher floor and this was honoured, we did not have a pool view but we didn't pay for it so that was fine. On arrival (12ish) the room was not yet ready (check in from 2) but they stowed our bags and we set off exploring.
Area- the hotel is just a short walk from the beach, which is stunning, and has three beach bar/ restaurants all within 3/5 mins walk of the hotel. There are life guards on the beach and lots of loungers/unbrellas available for rent. I imagine it is busy in the high season but when we visited, sometimes we felt we were the only ones walking in the surf. Paradise. Next to the hotel is a small friendly shop and bar, selling all the bits and pieces you might need, and with Super Bock on draft, which we preferred to the estrella served in the hotel. (Much cheaper too). You can get your newspapers here, crisps, drinks and ice creams. Just a 5 min walk round the corner is a lovely supermarket, called 'apalonia', great for fresh bread, cheese, pâté etc.
Room- lovely room, well decorated in relaxing tones. Immaculately clean, housekeeping is excellent. Plenty of wardrobe space, but a bit light on draw space. Nice balcony which had full morning sun. Only two minor gripes, no iron in the room or available to borrow, and the room keys were some times a bit temperamental. Neither were a real issue though. Personally, the shampoo which was (amply) provided didn't suit my hair. €1.65 from the supermarket sorted that though, hardly a problem.
Beds were very comfortable. On arrival they were made up as twins, we just mentioned to reception on our way out for a walk that we would prefer a double and the next day it was made up as requested, no fuss no problem. Housekeeping were excellent. Friendly and helpful and keeping the place immaculate.
Grounds- well kept and lovely to lounge in. Yes, pool is cold but very refreshing. Loungers look a little worn in places but its just sun bleaching and they were lovely and comfortable. Pool towels, from reception, were in good condition and nice. Very low, subtle spa-type music which you almost don't know is there but helps with the calm, 'retreat' atmosphere which runs throughout the hotel.
Food- breakfast is very continental. Nice, but we chose to have breakfast at the beach restaurant twice during our stay but that was just for some variety and no reflection on the hotel. Lunches were great, we had burgers and club sandwiches, all very good and prices not too high, same for drinks. We ate in the restaurant at the hotel and had room service and couldn't fault the food or service at all. Occasionally we struggled to find a bar person when it was very quiet, but only once or twice. Highly recommend the sirloin steak, it was delicious and so well cooked.
Spa- located just by the pool and an oasis of calm and peace, steam room, sauna and large jacuzzi. Free access to hotel guests, lovely loungers when the sun went behind the odd cloud.
I had two treatments at the spa, a full body massage with green tea and a back and shoulder hot stone. Both were excellent. Highly recommended to start and finish a break when you are looking to de stress! Staff were excellent and knowledgable.
Staff- all friendly and efficient.
We used the free transport to albufeira. Drops you in old town, had a nice wander round for a couple of hours then got a taxi back, 10€
Overall, fabulous break, great hotel and lovely area. Did not want to leave. Well done Vila Gale.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Praia

Address: Praia da Gale | Apartado 2204, Albufeira 8200-917, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#3 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Praia 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This adult's only hotel is located in a peaceful Gale district of the city, close to the like-named sandy beach. It is about 8 km to the city centre of Albufeira that offers countless shopping and entertainment venues and that can easily be reached by making use of the public bus service that departs from a stop located just 150 m from the hotel. Faro international airport is located some 50 km away. Completely renovated in 2004, this 3 storey hotel has a total of 40 double rooms. Guests have access to a vast pool and garden complex, a spacious foyer with lifts and a 24-hour reception desk, a games room, a TV room, a newspaper stand, several shops, a cosy bar and an air-conditioned a la carte restaurant with a separate non-smoking area. Room and laundry services as well as medical assistance are on offer and guests may make use of the parking facilities. The tastefully decorated rooms come equipped with a bathroom with hairdryer, a telephone, LCD TV with cable, a hi-fi stereo system, a kitchenette, a minibar/fridge, a double bed, carpeting, air conditioning, central heating, a hire safe, a sitting area and a balcony or terrace. In the outdoor area there is a swimming pool, a snack bar and a sun terrace with parasols and sun loungers laid out ready for use. It is also possible to make use Satsanga Spa with mega Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room/Turkish bath, fitness room, a massage service and beauty treatments. The nearest golf course is approximately 1 km away. Guests may select their breakfast from a wide buffet; lunch and dinner may be chosen from a menu although the evening meal may alternatively be taken a la carte. Guests have the opportunity to book a half board stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Praia Hotel
Vila Gale Praia Albufeira, Portugal - Algarve

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