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“Great family holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vilabranca Apartments

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Vilabranca Apartments
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua Santa Casa da Misericordia | Torraltinha, Lagos 8600, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #13 of 49 Hotels in Lagos
Certificate of Excellence 2014
wolves
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great family holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

Great clean apartments, Lovely pool area, with no rush for towels, sunbeds excellent and always available. Pool needs to be heated a little, was very cold even in 36 degrees! overall a very good place to stay, may return in the future arrived home 24/08/2014. Shame tennis courts and kids play area were closed!!!! Not sure why as reception just told me not open which I knew!!!!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Dear wolvesfanWolves,

I would like to thank you for your review regarding your recent stay in Vilabranca. I'm very pleased to hear that you have found your stay enjoyable. Regarding the tennis court and playground it is a shame indeed. Unfortunately that property doesn't belong to us anymore and we were obliged to close these services. We don't advertise it. However we have alternatives only 2 minutes walking distance from here and many other activities, which we can inform our guests.

We hope to welcome you back again in the future for another enjoyable stay.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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491 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
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Stockport
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Arrived home yesterday from a weeks summer stay at the Vilabranca Apartments, had a lovely relaxing time and the weather was fantastic. We stayed in a 2 bed apt overlooking the pool, it was very spacious and very clean we had 3 visits from cleaners in a week (which in past resorts this is excellent), unfortunately I found the beds and pillows very hard and uncomfortable, the wardrobe doors were quite hard to close and noisy which when in an apt block the sound does echo (fortunately we were on the top floor so we didn't encounter this from above) apart from that the apartment was excellent. The pool area was nice and there was no rush to put your towels out early, there was plenty of beds still available at 11am. The bar and restaurant on site was excellent and the food was very good. Wifi is available at 1 euro for 2 hours which is a bonus, the town and beaches are around a 20 min walk down hill, there is a courtesy bus if you don't fancy walking back up the hill or get a taxi which we did frequently from the town for no more than 5 euros. Plenty of great bars and restaurants in the town Miam is very nice and also the Chinese restaurant on the walk down. The marina is lovely too with nice bars for a spot of lunch, the boat trip to the caves is a must. Sad to be home but will definitely return to Vilabranca in the future.

Room Tip: go for top floor rooms overlooking the pool
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
Dear Michelle H,

I like to thank you for your review on your recent stay in Vilabranca. We are pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us. Also we appreciate your comments and recommendations regarding the local area and restaurants as I am sure the future guests will surely appreciate. The beds were all renewed this year, so hence that they are still hard. We apologize for any discomfort.

We do hope to welcome you back again for another excellent stay.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

We stayed at Vilabranca for two weeks this summer. The complex was bright and clean. There were beautiful shrubs, flowers and trees around the area, very well maintained.Our apartment was bright and spacious.It had everything we needed. We had a nice sized balcony overlooking the pool.We only used the air con once and it was very good.
The two pools were large and very clean and there were two baby pools. The bar and lounge area were very comfortable, having access to the wii was an added bonus to our kids! The bar staff worked very hard and were so friendly, especially Rod!

We liked the 20/25 min walk into lagos, a bit of exercise was good for us! The Orangery bar and grill restaurant and Miam were lovely! We went to a tasty Chinese just down the road from the complex on the triangle. My husband and my son went on the three hour fishing trip and had a ball! The one hour trip to the grottos was also excellent. We went to the splash and slide waterpark, very clean and enjoyable!
We had a super two week holiday and were very sad to be going home. We would defintely recommend Vilabranca apartments!!!!

Room Tip: The apartments overlooking the swimming pool with no bar attached to it. Very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
Dear Maria C,

Thank you for your review on Vilabranca about your recent stay. I'm very pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us. Comments like yours motivates us to keep doing our good work to satisfy our guests. I will surely pass on your good comments on to the staff.

Hope to see you once again in Vilabranca for another enjoyable stay.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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Sussex
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

We stayed at Vilabranca Apartments for 10 nights, returning home on 5 August 2014.
Our apartment was spacious,on two levels, with a large kitchen and bathroom. My wife and I had the upstairs bedroom whilst our two girls (aged 6 and 14) had a comfortable pull out bed in the lounge, The apartments were cleaned every other day.The lounge opened to a verandah with tables and chairs which we sat out on every day to have our breakfast. We mainly ate out but there was a toaster, an oven and a microwave available to cook with. The flat screen TV in the lounge could get BBC1 and Channel 4 from the UK. We were adjacent to a large swimming pool in two sections, a shallow pool for toddlers and a larger pool that was cool but very refreshing in the heat of the day. There were easily enough sunbeds around the pool for everyone, even for late starters, and plenty of parasols for those that preferred the shade. During our stay, there were many friendly Irish families at the complex, together with some English and Dutch guests. Wholesome and reasonable lunch snacks were available from the bar(sandwiches/toasties) for 2-3 euros; evening meals we found disappointing, with a limited selection and fairly pricey. Alcoholic drinks were reasonable cheap, large beer being 2.50 euros, but children's drinks were expensive, with a small can of lemonade being also 2.50 euros.Lagos town centre is a 20 minute walk away, downhill going there but uphill back. Staff from the aprtamnets will give you a lift into town (and back) for a reasonable 5 euros per trip; during the day, the trips into town ,and to the pictureseque local beaches, are free but only at set times. We went on two great trips - a 2 hour boat trip to the caves/grottos (15 euros each but discounts available) and a great day out to waterpark Slide and Splash, which cost about 100 euors for the 4 of us including transport. The trips can be booked at reception. We love karaoke and went to 4 different ones during our stay; one at the Vilabrancas (with rather limited song choice), one at the Lionheart bar in town (cheap beer at 1.80 euro before 10.30pm, karaoke Fri/Sat/Sun), one at the busy Bar Artista restaurant/bar (friendly English host, Sarah, good selection of songs and a good system, karaoke Wed/Sat) and the
small but perfectly formed Star Bar in the centre of town (English owned and run, very cheap beer at 1.50 euros, any song you want downloaded from t'internet, Sun night only). All in all we loved our stay at the Vilabrancas and want to go again soon!

Room Tip: ask for a room close to the pool.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
Dear BertieBingo,

Thank you very much for your review regarding your recent stay in Vilabranca. It is highly appreciated and we are pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us. Also we would like to thank you for the great outline of other points of interest and recommendations of what to do in the local area. I'm sure our future guests will appreciate it.

Hope to see you soon again.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

We travelled in May with family, there were 7 of us so booked a 2 bed and separate 1 bed apartment via travel republic and couldn't have been happier.

Fantastic mini market just outside the complex and within walking distance of restaurants although the onsite bar / restaurant was also very nice.

If you are heading into lagos town, I would recommend to drive or take as shuttle/taxi more so for the steep walk back.

All in all, we had a lovely week and would definitely return if we came back to portugal

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
Dear NicolaK,

Thank you so much for your fantastic review on Vilabranca. We are very pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us. We hope to welcome you back one day for another great stay.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We decided to book this apartment after reading some of the positive reviews. Unfortunately the result was not as good as we had hoped. My feedback is below – and I have given credit where due along with some suggestions for how the management could improve the experience for future guests.

OK the good points first :

The apartments are in an excellent location in a residential area away from the town centre. Upon arrival we were given a map with the walking route highlighted but I would recommend taking the opportunity to go direct into the town as you then get to see some of the attractions you would otherwise miss. The walk itself is about 15 minutes to the main street – downhill. Aim for the mini-golf. The return journey does involve a slight climb, but unless your party has elderly people or very young children the walk is a great way to see the town and also exercise after some nice meals.

There is a free courtesy bus to two of the local beaches and the town centre with fixed times during the day.

There are two excellent beaches - Dona Ana and Port Mos within easy walking distance – again if you are reasonably fit. The courtesy bus visits them.

We had a great balcony with a good open outlook – by virtue of the situation of our apartment.

There is an excellent mini-supermarket directly opposite the gates of Vilabranca. They bake bread, rolls and croissants through the day which are very nice. All the usual groceries and supplies are available at very reasonable prices. Especially the wine and beer ! We found it an inexpensive way to sometimes sit in our balcony with food purchased from here for a light lunch. The staff were always pleasant and spoke good English.

Other supermarkets are nearby – one is situated about a further minute past the above one. Another one is beside a roundabout about 5 minutes walk away. On one cool morning we walked about 10 minutes to a UK-sized supermarket which had a fantastic range of produce in it. Obviously if you shop there you will need to consider getting a taxi back with bags.

The apartments were very spacious – we had a two bedroom one with an open lounge dining area, a kitchen, entrance hall, two bathrooms, sitting balcony and airing balcony. Both bathrooms had tap-supplied showers and bidets.

The air conditioning is excellent – we had to turn it to a higher temperature several times as it was so cold !

Two good swimming pools. The main one nearest the reception is much deeper. The one in the other part was much nicer in our opinion, albeit there is no bar service over there. Neither are heated – and until warmed by the sun are very cold. I could see no evidence of broken chairs or parasols reported in other reviews – so looks like they have fixed them.

Reception staff were always very helpful and spoke good English. They took the time to print out bus timetables etc. when we asked about venturing further afield on local buses. These bus services are excellent – very good prices and clean, reliable, comfortable services – much better than the UK.

When you leave there is a room available for storing luggage, and a clean bathroom for changing.

And items that could be easily improved :

Breakfasts are only served from 10am. This really does limit what you can do in the morning. We had planned on using this service but decided on the first day to buy our fresh breads and supplies at the adjacent supermarket. I do not recall seeing anyone eating breakfast in bar area ( it is not a formal restaurant, more like a cafe ).

The general appearance of our apartment could be improved. I know the Portuguese economy has suffered recently – there is some evidence of abandoned apartments and construction sites near the beaches but for a small outlay the management could at least make these apartments more presentable. For example, a number of door handles in ours were faulty – the airing balcony one actually came off in your hand. The door banged continuously when it was windy because it would not lock. The kitchen light switch had exposed wiring. Taps dripped continuously – what a waste of resources considering the arid climate. The bathroom door and frame had rotten and damaged wood at the bottom. For a small outlay these could all be easily rectified. The walls themselves could also be repainted as they were stained and discoloured in places and you could see where previous light fittings had been.

There are two tennis courts at Vilbranca but they are closed. There appeared to be large weeds growing on them. This is a shame as they could easily be opened and rented to guests as an extra service and revenue stream.

A bar service at pool number 2 would be good.

In our kitchen we were unable to get the gas hob to work, and resorted to using the single electric ring once. It would be helpful if instructions for the gas could be provided – for safety.

Some things you may just have to live with :

Noise ! Our apartment was located on the first floor above the reception. The guests in the apartment above us were extremely inconsiderate. At 2am on the first night we arrived we were awoken by scraping furniture, laughter and loud voices that went on and on. Exasperated by this, we actually had to get dressed and go down to reception to see what could be done. The reception phoned them and asked them to be quieter, but this noise was repeated every night in our two week stay. Then after their late nights they were often up at the crack of dawn. Baths were even run in the middle of the night. You do expect some noise in a tiled apartment complex but when you have guests like these staying above you it really does spoil your holiday and it was very bad luck to have booked at the same time as such people. I ended up having to lie in bed at night listening to loud music in headphones to try and get to sleep. Normal earplugs could not cover up the noise from above. So if you are light sleepers or used to a detached house I would give serious thought to alternative accommodation. One of the other reviews calls their apartment block an “asylum” and when these noises occur and the strong winds whistle through the building I can see why. One night we were disturbed by what only can be called a demonic cackle from somewhere that made us very scary.

Smoking – the apartments allow smoking and on several occasions other guests were smoking in the stairs and nearby room. Coming from the smoke-free environment in the UK this was a bit annoying. I even saw an employee walk through the bar area whilst smoking.

English language TV channels are limited choice – mainly news. Then again why would you sit watching TV when you could be exploring Lagos.

Single beds – consider this if you are planning a romantic holiday.

Beds are hard and uncomfortable. Traditional sheets and blanket rather than a duvet were used. The pillows were solid hard blocks – in fact worst I have ever experienced.

Wifi – was only 12Euros for a week – much cheaper than I had seen on their website. However the service is not great – speeds are limited and service unreliable, despite the three wifi routers they have. It’s fine for reading emails or news stories but forget attempting to upload photos, or stream video. The cost is per device. On our last day I overheard someone complaining about the wifi and they were told it was “being fixed”.

Some tips :

Our booking was made direct on the internet and it seems that because of this our apartment was not cleaned to the same standard as others. It was not cleaned between the Wednesday of our first week and the Tuesday of the second week by which time it was starting to appear grim. I have attached a photo of our kitchen floor which we ended up wiping ourselves. Twice I had to ask for fresh towels to be supplied. Toilet paper ran out and had to be purchased. A few other reviews mention similar issues and the management respond saying that cleaning is “frequent” – in our case it certainly was not. On one occasion the towels were delivered to our door at 5pm when both showers were being used and I had to prevent a very disgruntled cleaner getting passed as she clearly did not understand my explanation of why she could not get the used towels. I have stayed in other European countries and not experienced this before – a real shame given the areas such as the pool were so clean. So my suggestion is clarify exactly what level of cleaning you will receive at the time of booking.

Pay careful attention to the timetable of the courtesy bus if you use it as we found the runs somewhat limiting if you wanted to have lunch at the apartment – when the 11am and 12noon runs would clash. The service does not run late at night. Taxis are very inexpensive – only 5 Euros from the town centre.

There is some limited evening entertainment – live music and karaoke. Again if you are of an independent nature you will probably want to spend your time in Lagos.

Our beds had rubber sheets under the fitted sheet – obviously to protect the mattress from accidents. Fair enough if you have kids but as an adult I found it a bit insulting – and uncomfortable – so I removed it myself and the maid kindly took it away.

Leave a welcome light on at night. Twice we left ours off by accident and found the floor to be covered with crawling caterpillar like insects. These did not appear when the apartment was lit.

Room Tip: Avoid sun facing rooms
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SMVilabranca, General Manager at Vilabranca Apartments, responded to this review, August 26, 2014
Dear Advisor167,

Thank you very much for your time to comment on your recent stay in Vilabranca. Your opinion is valuable to us and gives us an idea where to improve. The property has suffered from several exchange of ownership the past few years and although the new management company has started with investing and refurbishment of the property, there are some parts still to be done in due course. Some parts of the grounds belong to different owners like the tennis court and unfurtonately we are not able to rent it. However Vilabranca doesn't advertise in any brochure or website that it has a tennis court. We do have an alternative within walking distance. Which reception informs the guests when interested.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we do hope to welcome you back to Vilabranca in the future to show you our improvements.

Best regards,
Lai Liu
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lancashire
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

We have just returned home from a two week stay and I was sad to leave. We stayed in 20 vilabranca and it was a fab apartment/villa. It had two bedrooms,3 bathrooms, large lounge with table and a good sized outdoor area with bbq.The kitchen was well stocked with all the essentials like tea bags , salt,pepper and all the little things that cost a lot in him but only gets wasted at the end of the holiday.The pool area was fab near the restaurant and it never got really busy or overcrowded although on a few occasions the sunbeds were all being used but it didn't last long and some always become available.The staff at the bar/restaurant were fab especially with the kids and they always had time for a chat.They worked very hard and never seemed to have a day off!The food was good too and not to expensive. The complex was in a good area and we walked back from the town after midnight and always felt safe because there was always other people around. All in all it was a fantastic break and I am gutted to be back at work and I would definately consider returning. Oh and I forgot to mention the price was great for the accommodation and it was very homely too. Fantastic holiday !

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vilabranca Apartments

Address: Rua Santa Casa da Misericordia | Torraltinha, Lagos 8600, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Lagos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Lagos
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Lagos
#11 Romantic Hotel in Lagos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Vilabranca Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vilabranca offers a high standard of accommodation which feature a wide range of amenities within the complex. It is the ideal choice for families and those seeking a relaxing break close to Lagos. Clients can benefit from being away from the bustle of the resort, while remaining within comfortable walking distance of the centre of Lagos and Porto Do Mos Beach. Vilabranca has won many awards for its excellent service and friendly atmosphere. Lagos is a bustling old walled city, with great night life with fantastic restaurants, bars and shopping. You can spend hours pottering around the picturesque lanes. Lagos is very proud of its history and there is plenty of sightseeing from the ancient slave market to the 17th-century moated fortress overlooking the harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vilabranca Apartments Hotel Lagos
Vilabranca Lagos

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