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“This is not exactly an Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vale do Lobo Resort

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Vale do Lobo Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Estrada Vale do Lobo, Almancil 8135-864, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Almancil
Lisbon, Portugal
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“This is not exactly an Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

This is not exactly an Hotel. Like it was said before, this is a kind of Resort village where different owners offer their properties to rent, using a common guest services.
We are a family of 5, with 3 young kids (8, 5 and 3) and we stayed in a standard 2 rooms apartment. The apartment is not a 5 star accommodation, but is perfectly set for a very nice family vacation week. We find everything we need to have occasionally meals in the apartment, it was clean, safe, and the room services were efficient. You can find different types of restaurants, inside the resort, supermarket, golf, tennis, good size swimming pool and an exceptional beach. Most of the apartments are not at a walking distance to the beach and restaurants, but there are 2 transportation vans you can call 24x7. I would definitely recommend a car (you have very other nice places around you can visit). You can find in the internet ways to rent directly to different property owners, at Vale do Lobo, in certain cases similar houses at cheaper prices. Doing that don’t forget to confirm if the price includes A/C and daily maid. Additionally you will not receive the resort card. In my opinion the main benefits are free access to the pool, 50% discount in the green fees and free use of internal circuit van. The total experience was very good.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
ValedoLoboAlgarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thank you for your review and comments about Vale do Lobo. It is possible to rent an apartment or villa through Vale do Lobo directly – this way a five star standard of accommodation and service is guaranteed. Vale do Lobo offer many attractive holiday packages and promotions while all holidays booked through the resort also benefit from a resort card complete with further discounts and benefits. Thank you again for your comments and we hope to welcome you back to the resort in the near future.
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72 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Madrid, Spain
1 review
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

About us
We are a family of german and spanish nationality with two children (6 and 9 years old). We stayed 10 days and booked our stay directly through the resort (no intermediaries). It was our first stay at Vale do Lobo Resort. We do not play golf, but tennis.

The Resort
It is called a Resort but actually you feel like being in a small village. It does not work like a classic hotel, you are rather renting an apartment or a house. Distances are relatively long. If you do not want to use your own car, you can call a bus service. Just call the reception and they tell you immediately how long the bus will approximately take to pick you up. Usually they would say between 5 and 10 minutes, in exceptional cases up to 20 minutes. These are rough estimates and sometimes they are right, but many times you will just have to put up with the fact that you will have to wait longer. If you want to use your own car, be aware that parking near the main center of the Resort where the pool and the majority of the restaurants are is subject to a charge. Do not park your car without paying because you will surely get a ticket.
Resort guests get a resort card. Obviously, there are four different resort cards with different levels of advantages. We got the orange ones which allowed for free internal shuttle service, free and unlimited use of tennis courts, free use of main swimming pool, 50% discount for golf, 10% discount for Spa, 50% discount for the Gym, 5% discount for the restaurants. At our arrival the receptionist told us that the 5% discount in the restaurants is subject to payment in cash. If you want to pay with a credit card, restaurants would not accept the discount. So this is actually not a real discount, if you bear in mind that the credit card company charges between 3 and 5% to the contractual company, i.e. restaurants save this commission when people pay cash. Nevertheless, there are restaurants (e.g. "Sandbanks") that give the discount even if you pay with credit card. Others like "Spikes", which is next to the reception and the golf club, do not.

Payment and Cancellation Policy
50% of the price has to be paid at the time you make the reservation. The other 50% has to be paid immediately at your arrival.
Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation 20 days before arrival date: 20% of total costs
Cancellation 14 days before arrival date: 50% of total costs
Cancellation 7 days before arrival date: 100% of total costs

This is not like in a hotel, where you usually pay when you leave and where you can even leave earlier if you want to without bearing the total costs. So be aware of this at the time you make the reservation. If it later on turns out that the Resort does not correspond to your expectations, you cannot do anything.

Our Villa
We rented a "linked villa" (it is linked with two or three (?) other villas) with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a small pool, for 617 Euros per night (which included a 10% discount for early booking). The Villa had 3 floors, one of them was a basement floor (cellar) equipped as a living room; the washing machine also was here. Actually, this floor was never used by us, except for washing our clothes. This basement had access to the garage. Interestingly, this garage was full of stuff like 4 golf bags, golf shoes and many cardboard boxes. Obviously, this villa is privately owned, all the stuff is left there and during their absence the owners rent out the house via the Resort. The ground floor was the entrance, living room and kitchen. The two bedrooms and bathrooms were on the first floor. The kitchen was fully equipped, but had no coffee machine. All in all, the furnishing was new and modern and we liked it. Our Villa was number 668-A. Attached you can find a few photos. We were lucky, because the terrace and pool of our villa were heading to the golf course, which was nice and quiet. Many other villas are heading directly to the street. It is not that there is a lot of traffic noise, but everyone on the street will see you swimming in your pool or sunbathing.
Since the Villa is linked to two other Villas, we heard our neighbors sometimes until three o`clock in the morning (even with our windows closed). We also had to listen to the beats of disco music almost every night, but we could not figure out where it came from.
There is air conditioning on every floor, but it is impossible to sleep while air conditioning is running, because it makes too much noise.
Another interesting point to mention is that we were only given one key.

The cleaning of the Villa was mediocre and left a lot to be desired. Although it was a big house, two cleaners only stayed about half an hour. Not every floor was cleaned daily. Towels were changed every day and if you ask for it, the bedlinen, too.
Neither the private pool on our terrace nor the terrace itself were cleaned daily, not even when we had a big bird dropping on our terrace; it stayed there during days (please also see attached photos). The bottom of the pool accumulated sand, leafs and petals. Another example were two used wine glasses that were put back into the cupboard without being cleaned. The beds were made half (please see photos attached).

Swimming Pool
There is a big swimming pool at the main center of the resort (where also the majority of the restaurants are). With the orange resort card entrance was free and we were also given one towel per person. There are showers, but guest obviously did not use it before going to swim, so that guests go for a swim with suntan lotion or even sand from the beach on their skin. We suspect that the pool is not cleaned every day, because the bottom of the pool was very sandy and the water sometimes looked rather murky.
Try to be at the pool early (before 11:00 am), if you want to get a sunshade and deck chairs. We and another family had one unpleasant experience with the site manager of the pool. One day we arrived rather late (approx. at 12:30) and there were only two free sun loungers/sun beds next to the champagne bar, but they had a "reserved" sign. Nevertheless, since nobody was there yet and we only wanted to stay half an hour anyway, we left our towels there. The site manager immediately told us that we had to leave because of the reservation. We responded that we only would stay about half an hour and that we would leave as soon as somebody arrived. Since he insisted, we asked him, at what time the reservation started, but he said that he did not know and that the guests could show up at any time. Finally, we left the pool, but commented this to the receptionist at the exit of the pool. Surprisingly, she told us that the reservation was made for a wedding that started at 4:00 pm. So, there would have been plenty of time for us to stay at the sun loungers without bothering anybody and I wonder why the use of the sun loungers was being prohibited the whole day long. What is even worse is that the site manager lied to us, because he knew perfectly the time of the reservation. The other family involved told us that in former years they even wanted to charge 100 Euros for the use of the two sun loungers/sunbeds. The site manager also told us that the price we are paying is only covering accommodation and no other services offered by the Resort. This is obviously nonsense but naturally, we felt like being treated very badly and commented this incident at the main reception. It turned out that Resort Management and Pool Management are two independent units. There is an agreement between Resort and Pool in order to allow Resort guests to use the pool, but the resort management does not act as a disciplinary superior.

Kids Club
We did not send our children to the Kids Club, because we never saw any children there.

Tennis Club
As remarked earlier, the Tennis Club is free of charge with the orange resort cards. It also has a gym which is free of charge with the orange resort cards, but it is small and only has a few machines that are rather old fashioned. There are no barbells. The Gym in the Spa area looks far better, but you have to pay for it.

Overall treatment
The overall treatment by the staff was mostly polite and friendly. The neighbors we had in front of us (an elderly couple who were the owners of the Villa), felt like bothered by our children. According to them, our children obviously made too much noise playing in the pool and they got shouted by the couple twice. We told this to one of the superiors of the reception (Sonia). Sonia offered us to change to a "Detached Villa" with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and pool (although we did not ask for it, because we liked our Villa). Nevertheless, this exchange would have been a bad one, because the furnishing was very old and old-fashioned and the view had nothing on the view we had from our own Villa. We told Sonia that we would have expected something equal or better, but not worse (above all because we did not ask for a change), although she had told us beforehand that the furnishing was not as modern as in our Villa. But actually we did not expect it to be that bad. There was no comparison to our Villa. Obviously, Sonia did not like that because during the following days she hided in the back office whenever she saw us passing by the reception. We only saw her again at our check out, but then she treated us so neutrally that I would call it unfriendly. No comments like e.g. "Was everything all right?" or "Did you enjoy your stay?" or "Thank you for staying at Vale do Lobo Resort". Just "Here is your receipt. Good bye".

Reason for only three stars
Although the Villa was nice and big and food in the restaurants was good, we think that for more than 600 Euros per night you could expect a better service and a better cleaning of your apartment. Above all, we think that the perceptions, opinions and comment of the clients should be taken seriously and be respected by the staff and the treatment should be accordingly. Payment and cancellation policy is another important reason for only three stars. Nowadays you have a right of return anywhere if you do not like what you bought, especially when there is no intermediary in between. Unfortunately, this is not the case at Vale do Lobo Resort.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ValedoLoboAlgarve, Marketing Department at Vale do Lobo Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thank you very much for your comprehensive review and constructive comments. We value all feedback from clients in Vale do Lobo and are constantly working to improve customer experiences. If you experience any problems while staying in the resort, please contact resort reception where you are assured of a dedicated and professional service.
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012 via mobile

A really posh area, fab houses, loads of restaurants, security on 24hrs ,built on lovely beach and only 15 mins from airport.
The 6 houses built on the beach are amazing wih own pools. Try booking these

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012 via mobile

We love this area and have really enjoyed the quality of the villa - fab food at Frango chicken and brill breakfast at sandbanks. We bought weekly passes for rotunda and were pleased to see it has returned to being a family friendly place - thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 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.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

We have just spent out 25th wedding anniversary in Vale Do Lobo for a week. We had a luxury apartment with roof top jacuzzi. We booked a golf and spa package. Golf was very well organised and the spa treatments were wonderful. Beautiful and spacious pool area with dozens of beds. Excellent choice of restaurants by the beach at the Praca and great champagne cocktail bar at the golf clubhouse/restaurant. All the staff within the resort from reception, the spa, pool, and courtesy bus drivers were extremely helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them to help with and they were all extremely friendly and polite. I cannot wait to go back again. I can also highly recommend the fine dining experience where a personal chef will cook for you in your apartment. This was a lovely treat.

Room Tip: WE stayed in Royal Golf area, 2nd floor apartments had their own roof terrace as well as balconies o...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

We recently stayed here for a short break in late March. We enjoyed every minute of our stay here from check in to check out. I was a little anxious when i viewed our apartment from the outside as it looked a little run down as it was one of the older properties, but i needn't have been as it was absolutely beautiful inside and had a lovely terrace and patio furniture. The only complaint that I'd have with the apartment is that the bed wasn't all that comfortable - other than that it had all mod cons. Although the main pool for the resort was closed for renovation during our visit the replacement at the tennis club was adequate and in any case the beach at the resort is beautiful. Due to the time of the year we stayed several of the restaurants near the beach were closed but those that were open, particularly Monty's served beautiful food at reasonable prices. Food at the resort dining area was nice too and generally there was a good buzz around here with the many golfers playing at the resort. I played both the Royal and Ocean course which were brilliant but HARRRRD! All the staff we encountered throughout our stay were very pleasant and helpful. with regard to wi-fi there is a charge of €10 per day to have it in your room (it's free in Monty's) and in any case the business centre is good. Gym and leisure facilities are top class (there is an additional charge to use these), and it's a great resort to go for a run around if you're feeling guilty and need to burn off excess calories- as I did! The bus shuttle service to and from the apartments is excellent also. Will definitely be back.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

We had a great holiday at the Vale do Lobo. We had booked an appartment but on arrival we were upgraded to a 1 bedroom villa with roof terrace, sun deck and jacuzzi overlooking the golf course which is more than we could ever have wished for! I have never stayed somewhere so spacious and luxurious! The beach was quite far from our Villa so we had to order one of the Vale do Lobo minibuses to take us there and pick us up. The beach quite busy but nice and the water is warm. The restaurants at the Vale do Lobo are great. We played tennis a few times although this did get booked up during the most popular times (early morning/evening) so a couple of times we tried to play in the midday heat which probably wasn't the best idea. The most disappointing things were the gym, which lacked any good equipment and the fact that the supermarket shop on the resort was quite expensive and did not have a very varied range of food so you were limited to what you could buy if you did not eat out at a restaurant. We went as a couple but I think the Vale do Lobo would be great for families with young kids as well as there are many different activities they can get involved with. We hired a car one day to explore the Algarve and took a couple of recommendations from the staff at reception as to where we should drive to and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the general area, it was very built up and touristy, so after that exploratory trip we stayed in the resort for the rest of the week which was much more relaxing and pleasant. I am sure there are nice places in the Algarve to visit but we just didn't find them. Therefore, if you are looking for a luxurious break, you like sports and beach activities, nice food and general luxury, I would recommend the Vale do Lobo but it is probably not the best place to get a real sense of Portugal.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Vale do Lobo Resort

Address: Estrada Vale do Lobo, Almancil 8135-864, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Almancil
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Almancil
#2 Spa Hotel in Almancil
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Almancil
#2 Luxury Hotel in Almancil
#3 Family Hotel in Almancil
#5 Romantic Hotel in Almancil
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Vale do Lobo Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vale do Lobo Golf & Beach Resort offers a unique concept in luxury living. 1,500 residential and holiday properties, makes it the largest luxury resort of its kind in Portugal with endless facilities and services in a unique location in the Algarve ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vale Do Lobo Hotel Almancil
Vale Lobo Hotel
Vale Do Lobo Resort Portugal/Algarve - Almancil

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