We read the various reviews on Tripadvisor prior to booking and discounted any "family " views as it says it's in a nature reserve and away from the maintown so it didn't sound really suitable for families. The views we relied on were couples who liked nature and we were not disappointed (we loved seeing the many birds that were around the hotel and on the journey into Tavira and in the town). Our last holiday 6 months previously was to Australia so we were constantly on the move as travelling that far you don't want to waste time chilling out! Our week at this hotel was total relaxation and we enjoyed it enormously. We didn't hire a car and the location is a quite far out of the town (10 minutes drive, one hour casual strolling), but the free bus provided by the hotel to the town was perfectly adequate and it you needed to get into/out of town when a bus was not available the cost was about 5 euros so within everyone's budget. The main pool and restaurant were both closed for maintenance during our stay and we were not aware that they were going to be before we arrived, but maintenance has to be done at some time and it didn't spoil our enjoyment. The rooms were clean and well serviced each day, the breakfast had more than enough choice to please everyone (I'm vegetarian and my husband diabetic and we found it perfectly sufficient). We ate our main meal out most days but on the last evening ate a la carte in the restaurant which was a delicious meal and no more expensive than eating out back in the UK at a "nice" restaurant. We had read a review that said the layout of the rooms was like a holiday camp - obviously those people have never stayed at Butlins (which we're not knocking having fond memories of holidays there as a child) - but we found it rather quaint with its little church and "school" and the layout of the standard rooms within the grounds (we had chosen a river view room so were in the main block). We used the hotel's boat to get to the beach (thoroughly recommended, cost only 2 euros per person each day or 10 euros each per week - standard charge of none hotel journey 6 euros each) where there were a number of restaurants open even in March and the most wonderful beach you could hope for. Again (to negate any of the complaints we've read) you had to time your journey right but that was easy to do given that the hotel give you a timetable and you can work out how long you'll want to be there (it's a beach with bars/restaurants, what can be difficult to work out!). Tavira itself was a wonderful little town with loads of character and so many restaurants that you're spoilt for choice (avoid the fish restaurants by the harbour - they tout for business and are more expensive than the ones in the main part of the town 5 minutes walk away). The one tiny complaint we had with the hotel was regards the reception/restaurant staff who seemed rather brusque in manner unlike the bar staff/roomstaff , who were always pleasant and friendly, however they were always helpful they just didn't seem very welcoming, but maybe that's a general demeanour that we were not used to and it wouldn't put us off recommending this hotel. We travelled to Faro one day going by train having obtained a timetable from tourist information (he wasn't very helpful preferring to continue his conversation with a lady friend so that we felt we had disturbed him!) and set off in plenty of time to catch the train. The journey was fine, the trains very clean (serviced each time they came into the main station - British Rail take note!) and we saw what the city had to offer without doing a guided tour at a very reasonable rate 9 euros return for the two of us. We've been to the Algarve twice before both times going west of Faro but we enjoyed our time east far better and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Tavira and Hotel Vila Gale Albacora to any adult travellers be they groups, singles or couples.
- Also Known As:
- Vila Gale Albacora Tavira
- Vila Gale Albacora Hotel
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