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“Great place to stay... but you should know one thing...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vila Gale Albacora

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Vila Gale Albacora
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Quatro Aguas | Vale do Olival, Tavira 8800-901, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place to stay... but you should know one thing...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We have been staying at this hotel for several times: the location is great (quiet), staff is most friendly, the hotel is comfortable with nice swimmingpool and restaurant and it has an unique historical 'background' (small village where fishermen and their families lived who fished for the albacora tuna fish). The old, school, chapel and houses have been restored with good sense of cultural value. There is one thing you should know: because of the tide and the salt lakes, you frequently sense an intense smell of... mud. It can be so intense that you can not open your windows at that time.

Room Tip: Rooms in mail building have great (sea)view; rooms in the 'village area' have nice private g...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
bmcamartins, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, especially being a repeated guest. The mention of the singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the opportunity to relax with nature in Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and Tavira Island Beaches real help other guests to feel welcome to this resort.

We also appreciated the reviews, especially about the friendliness of the staff and facilities.

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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428 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

This is 21st century and hotel is well behind in time or just focused on older customers. You can feel old fashion feeling on every single corner. If you are young business man depending on internet, forget this place. Wifi is available only in reception and it;s much slower then mobile. Don't forget to rent a car if You are staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
bmcamartins, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your comments.

The singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the opportunity to relax with nature in very special location in the middle of Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and Tavira Island Beaches really are a distinctive characteristics of this hotel.

About the "old feeling", I can now say that we redecorated the hotel this year.

We also knew about the need for wifi conditions as also the quality of speed. I also inform you that form the beginning of this season we offer wifi internet in all property with a very acceptable speed.

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future and see the improvements that we made for 2013.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ilmenau
Level Contributor
76 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Tavira has 2 hotels of the Vila Gale brand: Vila Gale Tavira is near the city center, Vila Gale Albacora is a little outside of the city, in a nature resort. For guests that don't have an own (or rental) car, there is a shuttle bus to town taking about 10 minutes. It is going about every 2nd hour but not after 6 p.m. Since the hotel is divided from the city by a river, requiring a long way around, it takes about 30-40 minutes to the city by foot. (On the way, you come across a large shopping center with a supermarkt, fashion stores, a cinema and large food court, which is a good alternative for those looking for some budget eating).

Rooms are laid out in rows of single-storied buildings, with AC and refridgerator. The bedrooms have no window, just the patio door. Walls are relatively clairaudient and in the night we sometimes heard a loud noise from the roof, maybe from AC pipes.

Breakfast buffet was really good, with full English breakfast (hotel generally seems to be dominated by english guests), bread, very good and original jams, cheese and sausage, fruit, etc. We tried the dinner buffet once, found it good too, but certainly overpriced for our needs. Eating a la carte we easily got away with not much more than half the price.

Internet was only available in the lobby and at a cost. We didn't care as we had our own UMTS modem with us.

Since the main Tavira beach is on an island before the coast line, you can only get there by boat - the hotel has its own boat shuttle going several times a day.

The staff was always very friendly and helpful. All in all, we really enjoyed our stay in the hotel, and spent two very relaxed weeks there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the oportunity to relax with nature in Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and Tavira Island Beaches. The information provided by our guests help many others to understand this destination and resort.

We also appreciated the reviews about the Restaurant and specially about the friendliness of the staff.

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

I already can confirm that the wifi internet service is already free of charge in all public areas (inside and outside). In the rooms is an extra-fee.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

En route to a wedding in Seville we stayed here for two nights in early October. We were so pleased we returned a week later after the wedding and stayed another two nights. The amenities at the hotel were great as well as the weather in the Algarve this time of year. We thought the food was great and so was the service and attitude of all staff we encountered. We would definitely stay here the next time we are in the area

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, October 16, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the staff.

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We had a half-board week at Vila Gale Albacora in early October, as there were very few families with children at that time (just before the October school break). Great location, tasty food, and the continuous sunny weather was very welcome. The herb gardens and flowering bushes around the balcony areas were very pleasant on the nose and the eyes. One or two minor issues - the location in the old tuna fishing village out of town surrounded by salt marshes was wonderful and quiet, however I didn't sleep as well as I expected due to the uncomfortable mattress and the random plumbing noises during the night, although the pillows were great. If guests were arriving late or departing early the noise from the suitcases wheeled over cobbles was quite loud, and the piped music in the restaurant and lobby was an odd "new age" mix which didn't really do anything for me. Fortunately when the restaurant was busy the background music couldn't be heard! Variety and quality of food at the breakfast and dinner buffet was generally excellent, and I particularly enjoyed the local fish and fruit. We didn't actually use the spa this time as the weather was so good, but it looked well appointed. There was a shuttle bus which ran regularly between the Albacora and the sister hotel in Tavira town, and a boat from the hotel to the island - definitely worth visiting. Overall, we would certainly be happy to go back.

  • Stayed October 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.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, October 16, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments! Your words talk from themselves....

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue our work to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed here about 4 years ago, have never returned to anywhere ever before, but in need of a total chill out holiday due to a recent family bereavement we decided we would go back. It proved to be an excellent decision, as we were familiar with the area and the hotel so didn't feel the need to do any local exploring. The hotel was much the same as previously, ideal for a relaxing couples holiday, our favourite cocktails barman was still there and still offered a fantastic service. We could see the change in the service industry in Portugal since we last visited, in that the rooms were cleaned throughout the day rather than first thing which seemed to bother some people but really as long as it's cleaned each day does it matter when. It is remote to the point of there being NO bars, shops, restuarants, cafes within the immediate vicinity but that for us is its huge attraction, it is so peaceful. Unlike some reviewers we didn't feel the need for a car, the hotel bus takes you into town & back for free and if the returns are not late enough a taxi is cheap enough but the fact that you are in a nature resort there is so much to see walking near the wetlands and directly behind the hotel is a fabulous small beach again ideal for a relaxing walk. There is also a boat (small extra charge) that takes you to the adjacent island where there are many beach bars and restaurants. The rooms are a little dated in decor but we feel that is part of the hotel's charm rather than that being a negative point and they are cleaned to a high standard which is surely the important factor. Breakfasts are varied in choice (our first morning was a Sunday - don't be put off by the weekends as the hotel attracts many locals on short stay so it can be rather frantic) we ate many lunches from the bar, reasonable choice and price and we had dinner 3 nights choosing the buffet one evening which was ok, not fantastic but plenty of choice and decent quality, and a la carte a couple of times which was good quality food with classy presentaton for the same cost as you would expect to pay in the UK. Having returned a second time and not been disappointed we will not leave it 4 years before we visit again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, October 16, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review and your kind comments, specially being a repeated guest.

Your feedback was specially important due to the fact you could see that we keep the same quality service during the years.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
192 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

It was a disappointing experience, as I disliked everything about the room - except the view - even if the hotel grounds and location are good. But beware that you need a car to go to Tavira, as the hotel lies in a natural reserve, outside the city.

Positive points: we booked a room with view on river, which was its only saving grace. The hotel is a converted fishing village and inside the property there are still a church and the building used as a school for the fishermen’s children (at present used as a space for games and children’s activities). It is a lovely idea. The location is excellent, inside a natural reserve and saline. The hotel has its own boat transport to the beaches, which saves you a trek to Tavira (although will set you back of one Euro, compared to prices of Tavira’s boat service). I had a good massage at the spa, but the inside pool could be used only paying a steep fee.

Negative points:
• Everything in the room looked old and worn; as if it was never redecorated since the hotel opened more than 15 years ago (most likely). For instance: some tiles in our bathroom were cracked; the towel’s holder is cut in a marble slab (which looks cheap and very outdated); there is a plastic curtain in the bathtub (pet peeve of mine, as I hate plastic sticking to my wet skin); etc..
• The sliding door of the wardrobe did not slide (in need of oiling)
• Very late room cleaning. They do not start until early afternoon and our room was never tackled before 15:30 (sometimes after 16:30). Then it was done in a hurry (less than 10 minutes…). After 4 days of stay we ended up with 4 shampoos, as the cleaning personnel could not be bothered to replace the shower gel and left one shampoo after the other.
• We were provided with thin, low-quality towels and low quality toiletries, which were not replaced properly. Sheets were never changed during our 5-days stay.
• To use the safe one has to pay an extra 2.50 Euro per day for the lock. This sounds preposterous, considering that in almost all the hotel were we stayed we found safes with keypads.
• We had cheap plastic furniture for the terrace and the same type was used around the pool.
• Low-quality breakfast buffet (the orange juice tasted sour; the croissant selection was minimal; the homemade jams looked very unappetising; etc.....)
• Cracked tableware used for breakfast (as in the example)
• Sloppy room service. One afternoon we ordered a sandwich and the dish was delivered straight into my hands, as they do not seem to have trays.
• The minibar is empty and filled only on request.

Room Tip: River view - without the view you are missing out.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your comments about your stay in our hotel, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the oportunity to relax with nature in Ria Formosa Nature Park and Tavira Island Beaches.

Your feedback is very important, helping us to improve our services. We will correct some issues that hapened durirng your stay. Our daily goal is improve our services and try to exceed the expectations of our guests.

I also would like to take advantage of this oportunity to clarify some of the things mentioned.

We try to put all information availbale for guests online (our website) and also we have the contributions of other guests in social networks (reviews, photos, etc..), so we try from the beginning during the search, reduce any gap between what is the information available online and what the guest will find on arrival. So we can meet their expectations about the hotel facilities. (Shuttle Bus, Boat, SPA, room decoration, safe deposit, distance from city centre, location, outdoor pictures, etc...).

We are an Eco-Hotel and we have a policy and procedures that are informed during the check-in with a leaflet. This document invites all guest to participate in our project (Towels and sheets on request. Of course that if any guest wants daily exchange or early room cleaning we will do without any problem. Just have to ask at the reception desk.

Regarding the toileries, towels and oudoor furniture (balconies and pool), I have to clarify that all of this are new, respecting the quality standards of Vila Galé Group.

The minibar on-request is a standard procedure in all hotels of the group and about our breakfast we really apologise if we didn´ met your expectations. We try to use good products for our guests and the (home made) jams nornally are well apreciated.

We hope that the service provided from our staff met your expectations and give us a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Please contact me directly next time to bmartins@vilagale.pt. I will remember !

Kind regards on behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Albacora

Address: Quatro Aguas | Vale do Olival, Tavira 8800-901, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Tavira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Tavira
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Tavira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Tavira
#5 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Albacora 4*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa and approximately 4 km from the centre of Tavira and 3 km away from various restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and the public transport network. The nearest beach is just outside the hotel and just 400 m away you will find yourself in one of the best sandy beaches in the Algarve. The hotel was rebuilt in 2000 from an old tuna fish camp and has a total of 162 rooms of which 43 rooms with river view and 5 junior suites suitable for families. The hotel has a 24-hour reception, lovely lobby area, a currency exchange desk, a luggage room, a chapel, a museum and a game room. Among the common areas guests may enjoy the air-conditioned TV room, bar and restaurant where free Wi-Fi internet connection. Children are very welcome to this hotel being that they have their own Club full of activities and entertainment. Guests may park their cars in the parking lot and for an additional costs may use the laundry services and hotel safe. The pleasant rooms are equipped with air conditioning, electronic safety door look, direct telephone, LCD TV with Cable and Pay TV, Wi-Fi Connection and safe (for and additional cost), Minibar and 24 hour room service, private bathroom with telephone and hair dryer. The hotel Spa, Satsanga, is composed with a gym, an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, steam room/Turkish bath, Vichy shower massages and beauty treatments. The seasonal entertainment programme ensures that there is never a dull moment at the hotel. The hotel restaurant has a wide buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an a la carte menu offered at lunch and a set menu available at dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Albacora Tavira
Vila Gale Albacora Hotel

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