My partner & I stayed here the first week in October, & had fab weather (26+ degrees every day !), which was a welcome bonus ! Our first time to Portugal.
The hotel check-in process was effcient, however, we had quite a wait due to there being several groups arriving & checking in at the same time.
We found our room to be very spacious, although a little dated, but we never spend much time in the room while on holiday, so this didn't matter to us.
We had a pool view, room number was 306, so handy to reach from reception, with a life near the room to get down to the bar / restaurant.
The room was cleaned daily, & the cleaners seemed friendly.
We were quite disappointed with the food available at this hotel, compared to the various other all inclusive hotels we have stayed in.
We are not the type of people who expect chips with everything, & we like to sample local dishes etc, but despite the nice presentation, we felt the food let the hotel down.
Breakfast was pretty much the same every day - cereals, fruit, cooked breakfast, toast / pastries etc, & continental breakfast, & was frequently topped up, & we found this to be the better meal of the day.
Lunch & evening mealtimes were quite repetitive, & the food was bland.....usually a cooked meat, a fish option, a potato option, one or two veg options (these alternated through the week), then either pasta or rice (but no sauce - except for twice when there was a bowl of cold sauce by the pasta).
Would have been better if they could have had meat in a sauce, or something, as just meat alone was quite dry & bland :o(
The main / hot meals were presented in silver-domed hot-plates, then the other food stations had bread, salads, cold meat, desserts, fruit etc, & self-serve ice-cream & drinks.
The bar staff were by far the friendliest of all the hotel staff (especially Carlos).
The usual soft drinks, local spirits, beer etc were on all inclusive, as were the cocktails, but these were the mass-produced stuff, so not as nice as those made fresh, but I understand they use these for speed of serving people (& probably 'cos they're cheap too !!)....I found the Strawberry Daiquiri to be the best :o)
Most staff were quite miserable, despite our best efforts to speak a little Portuguese, which we didn't like, though we were aware that it was at the end of the season, & they all seemed to work very long hours, so maybe this was why !? No excuse, but perhaps an explanation.
One staff member we have to mention is Helder who worked on reception - he was SO helpful, & told us all about where he came from in Portugal (the Alentejo region)....he gave us maps, & suggested places to visit etc, & also wrote down the names of some local sweets for us to find & try (doce fino - very nice !!). Unfortunately, we only saw him the once, so it was a pity we couldn't tell him we had visited the places he suggested & tried the doce fino etc.....
We used the hotel gym (it has running machine, cross-trainer, weight benches), & indoor swimming pool & jacuzzi, which were all empty due to the time of year, which was nice.
The hotel location was handy for the beach (approx. 5 min walk away), or the main promenade in Armacao de Pera.
We hired a car from Europcar (arranged before we went through HolidayAutos), but we would not recommend them...we asked for a hotel drop-off, but didn't get it, so wasted 1/2 a day waiting for the car which never came. After several calls to them, & arguing, we had to pay them to drop the car off at the hotel - despite our booking confirmation saying we had hotel drop-off at no charge !
This left a bad taste in our mouths, & is now being investigated with the booking agent to recover the charge.
We ventured to Monchique, Vilamoura, Portimao, Albufeira, Lagos, & would definately recommend a trip to Lagos or Albufeira for anyone wanting to venture out of the hotel.
If you hire a car, there is a garage at the hotel (think you have to pay to use it), or there's a big car park across the road which you can use.
All in all, a nice holiday, & we would definately return to Portugal, but unfortunately we wouldn't return to this hotel
- Also Known As:
- Vila Gale Nautico Hotel
- Vila Gale Nautico Armacao De Pera, Algarve, Portugal
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