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Vidamar Resort Algarve
Ranked #15 of 153 Hotels in Albufeira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed in a 3 bedroom villa for 10 days in July.

The resort is a bit isolated although I expected that from the reports and thought it would not be a major issue with the 5* hotel close by with dining options.

VILLA

The villa was superb. Very spacious and private - beautifully decorated (albeit a little sparse). If I was to look for a fault - given we paid a substantial amount of money for our stay- I would say:

for a villa of its quality the showers were bog standard "over the bath" style - I would have thought they would be equipped with "walk in" showers. Also due to the style - they were DARK. No lighting at all and if you closed the shower curtain you were in total darkness. Speaking of shower curtains - it was a fitted on a plastic extendable plastic pole which you could probably get at B & Q for £1.99. Not exactly what you pay £7k for...but maybe I'm nit picking...

2 of the 3 en-suite bedroom extended on to terraces above the pool. Perfect for sunbathing - except there was NO balcony furniture at all. What are you supposed to do - stand?

Other very minor issues were - despite an adequately furnished kitchen - there were no cereal bowls and oddly, no tea spoons. Not exactly Armageddon but again - £7k and (with kids) no cereal bowl or teaspoons? Just odd.

The above didn't put me off the villa one bit but I must take issue with one other matter.

I know this is probably a "one-off" but I cannot review the resort without mentioning it.

The villa has a safe (which I always think essential) but after a few days it failed to operate and would not close. I contacted reception and some-one came to look at it - couldn't get it working and said he would have to call maintenance. With our valuables (inc a large amount of cash, ipads, and passports - (probably very safe in my used sock drawer) - we left for a day away in our hire car.

On return in the evening (several hours after we left) we found a key to our villa in the door!!!! - WHAT!!apparently left by "housekeeping" by mistake. Could have been an expensive mistake for us but thankfully nothing was stolen.

Once again - is this the security you can expect for £7k...?? (we left 4 days later and no-one had turned up to fix the safe)

THE HOTEL

We used the hotel only rarely. It looks superb and the staff were friendly and helpful.

The pool area is excellent and facilities look great.

And that was the contradiction. Everything LOOKED great but the fact is on one of only two visits to eat in the hotel (the buffet) I have to say it was terrible. Apart from a lack of hot dishes (any beef, fish or chicken trays were empty) the overall standard is what you'd expect in a 2* hotel not 5* . The waiters were clueless, ( we ordered 5 drinks and were served by 3 waiters several minutes apart - eh? maybe something new - drink by instalment? but we normally like to socialise which isn't easy when half the table have drinks and the other half are awkwardly looking at their feet) there seemed to be no-one in charge and the whole thing was just chaotic. We didn't go back.


Ok - it all sounds a bit petty and harsh but I write this on the strength of the cost of the holiday - I just expected a little bit more for the money we paid and I would be reluctant to pay the same again until they get it a bit better organised.

To finish on a more positive note - the failings of the hotel catering made us eat at a couple of local restaurants just outside the resort which were superb ( and inexpensive) Another plus is the golf course right beside the hotel. It is superb - very inexpensive - (none of which made me play any better) but I would happily return in the expectation that the teething troubles encountered this year are rectified (This is the first year its been opened and to be fair - some issues may have be expected)

I'd go again - in 18 months or so.

Victor.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mike899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 26, 2013

I have returned from the Vidamar Resort Algarve after a lovely relaxing holiday. I would not be put off by any negative reviews you may read. This hotel was clean, well organised, with friendly staff and... with a five minute walk to the beach you can't complain!

The hotel is grand, spacious, clean and modern. The rooms are absolutely lovely, a huge bed, a great power shower, towels changed daily and rooms also cleaned daily if you desire.

We were half board so had breakfast and dinner included. I found the range of food great there was so much variety, cooked breakfast, fresh fruit, cereals, a whole array of different breads, fresh pastries, tea, coffee, juices. Breakfast was excellent! You could also eat as much as you like so lunch was not always needed, however we often had lunch at the pool bar or at the indoor coffee bar- both lovely and offered a range of sandwiches, salads and cakes. Again with dinner, a huge range of food so it was hard to go hungry!

By the pool there were huge beanbags aswell as sunloungers so you could throw yourself into one of those and chill for the day in the sunshine. The pool was massive, we tried to measure and then asked the hotel staff who said 60m- a good workout!!

I really could go on about how nice this hotel was but I suggest if you are thinking about going then you should book and see for yourself. I loved my stay here at Vidamar.

Room Tip: Try to book sea view
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank FranHughes8990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

We have just spent two wonderful weeks at the excellent Vidamar hotel in Portugal.
The hotel is very modern, with clean cut lines.Excellent location pleasant walks to different beaches along the board walks
Rooms are spacious, clean, with plenty of storage space,and amazing shower, fresh towels daily.The location is superb surrounded by palm trees.swimming pools are a treat.
We were upgraded to a sea view room which was a lovely surprise, the view was amazing.We cannot fault the food such a choice and always hot and replenished.
The staff who work in every area were exceptional, so helpful, and dedicated in making this new hotel successful, by ensuring it's guests are well looked after. We must thank so much Anna Garcia, on reception for her help and understanding, the support she gave when we received sad news from home, and for answering the many questions.(COMMENDABLE)
The only negative we have ( we are not moaning oldies) lots of children at meal times which at times was a little noisy with them running about.
We will return to Vidamar again.
We wish the management and all the staff every success for the future and thank you.

Room Tip: higher floor for the view.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank sbe799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

This is the second week (of three) of our luxury hotels review tour in Portugal. We just checked in to the newly opened Vidamar Algarve Hotel at Vidamar Resorts outside Albufeira, a new five star.

We got half-board to really test the kitchen here. So far so good. The breakfast was just perfect, and the dinner buffet likewise. The hotel staff have solved all problems thrown at them within minutes and with a friendly stance.

Of course, with a newly opened hotel, there are improvements to be made:

- They served mozzarella and tomato baguette without tomato, and hoping everything was fine, when asked, they explained they had no tomatoes that day (always tell the customer first)
- No information about how to operate the difficult AC in the room, staff came to room and explained "you can not set temperature, but only the minutes" (this turned out to be wrong), AC faulty first did not work at all, then fan at high speed at all times, then works again (several interactions with staff in room trying to find a solution).
- No information about minibar unlock fee of 6 euros before and no price information for minibar items. When minibar opened one finds only two beers and some softdrinks (no spirits or wine).
- TV turns on automatically with only "white noice" every time we enter the room and place the key card in the holder.
- Failed to make the third bed while cleaning (however, this bed is hidden under a sofa). Fails to clean glasses, but puts them back in cupboard upsidedown (indicating they have been cleaned).
- The cleaning service is not concentrated to one time, but can go on at any time during the day, meaning you do not have access to your room in privacy during the day (e.g. at 5.30 pm they came back after the cleaning to change some bed linen, took off, and came back again to fix something else).
- The pool opens at 0900, which is late for a morning swim, and then it is often cleaned after opening.
- There is a sound in the night, all night, that sounds like your neighbour is taking a shower (water running in pipes). It is load enough to bother us, but not loud enough to warrant a complaint for now (right now we are happy the AC fan is not on full speed as it was before).

Some information of potential annoyances for others that does not bother us:
- 30-50% of the day, they play pop music in a speaker facing the hotel from the pool area, so you can not choose not to listen to this music. It has been quite load. We really like it, but if you do not like pop music most of the day when in your room with open balcony door or when relaxing at the pool, you have been warned! Of course, they also play music in relation to "Animacion", maybe one hour or so per day.
- The three pools are lit during night and the light changes very fast (different colours), so even without music at night you will get a bit of a disco at your resort or sea view balcony. We think it looks cool but also understand that some might have preferred colours to change slowly.

Kids view (Kid A): "The hotel gives a feeling of luxury, the staff are nice, and the food is great. The location is great - just a short private walk down to the beach. The pools have perfect temperature and there are separate pools for small kids. So far I have found no room for improvements."

Kids view (Kid B): I like that the water in the pool is not too salty. The breakfast lived up to my expectations with good juices and toast with Nutella. I like the modern design of the resort and the big poufs and round cosy beds around the pool area. I also like that they have many parasols so that one can have shadow. I did not like any of the three dishes we tried at the Sabor A Mar Restaurant (mainly seafood needed to "peel" yourself)

Father: The bed is of good quality, and so is the rest of the room. For me, the sea-view we got is important, and so is the proximity to the beach. I like that I feel that my daughters are safe to move around the resort on their own. The pool bar and the Gin bar have great selections of gin (this is always my first test of a five star hotel). In comparison with last weeks test of another hotel in Algarve, we feel that so far we get more value for the price paid. One thing I miss is beef instead or pork in the buffet, but maybe this is served on some days.

In summary, the staff provides an extremely good service, the location, facilities, breakfast, dinner buffet and rooms are great, but it seems like there are still some run-in problems to solve.

We will update this review with a complete review after the full stay, so stay tuned.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank frebjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

No way is this hotel 5 star for reasons listed below. Maybe if it were advertised as a 3 star I would have then given it top marks but advertising it as 5 when it's clearly not makes people feel like they are being ripped off!! Overall very clean and staff lovely but not enough of them not sure how this hotel will cope when it's at full capacity because when I went it was only half full and they struggled..

Ill start with the negatives:-

To get wifi working with an I Phone is VERY long winded! Also you have to keep logging in and ask reception for a new password every 24 hrs which is a real pain..
6 euros to open & stock mini bar - the drinks are warm when they stock it just what you want after travelling several hours
10 euros for bowl of lettuce
Reception smelt of drains.. Not nice if you wanted a coffee after dinner at the gin bar as it wafted through
Buffet limited
Decor drab
The spa could only take cash
Slow service at pool bar
Slow check in
Italian still not open

Positives:-

Big comfortable beds
Nice shower
Pool beds
Nice pools / plenty of beds
Breakfast
Very clean
Maid service very good

Overall nice stay but wouldn't go back!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank Anonymous200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CardosoJ, General Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your preference in our new Hotel for your holiday last June and for sharing your thoughts on your experience.
Although reluctantly, we've decided to open the Hotel early May and offer a "soft opening" operation during May and June. We knew and advirtised it on our own website and to all our commercial partners that some facilities and services would not be available and others could have some restrictions. Because of this soft opening and to some how compensate any inconvenience, we've decided to launch a very special promotion, on half board basis, for these two months of soft opening.
Your comments are very much appreciated although most of them are a reflection of the Hotel not being totally ready during your stay. Therefore, we apologise for any inconvenience we may have caused you.
We know a Hotel, specially a brand new Hotel like ours, is an ongoing improvement process and we are aware we still need some fine tunning is certain services of the Hotel, and we thank you for the positive comments you have registered from your stay.
Best wishes. Joao Cardoso.

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Reviewed July 14, 2013

We loved our stay here. We had a fantastic room. The Vidamar is modern and sleek and everything is brand new. It's very easy to get to and in a nice location, not too crowded or noisy. Free wi-fi in the lobby. Amazing view from our room, and lovely little balcony. Excellent shower, very clean bathroom. Very welcoming staff, very patient as my husband attempted to use his poor grasp of both Spanish and Portuguese!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank maryrosebery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CardosoJ, General Manager at Vidamar Resort Algarve, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind comments on your recent experience in our Hotel.
As I mentioned in a previous comment, we are aware that "the road to success is always under construction" and we also know that, as a new hotel, there is some fine tuning still to do, however, we work everyday to improve the level of service and the attention to detail for the enjoyment of our valued Guests, such as yourselves.
Again, your comments are very much appreciated and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future.
Warm wishes. Joao Cardoso

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Just back from a 10 night stay in a 2 bedroom villa. The villa was superb, very spacious and light. Not sure if all the villas are in use as some pools did not contain water. The surrounding area is very quiet with lots of buildings that look the same, as previously mentioned, all part of the CS group i presume. Some buildings were shut down and some had just re-opened. The hotel was not at full capacity which suited us fine as you could always get a sunbed by the main pool area, which was huge!! I repeat what others have said here that the staff are a credit to this hotel and reception deserve a mention for being so helpful, also the cleaning ladies. The breakfast buffet was extremely good with lots of choice (only gripe being not enough coffee offered after the first cup - perhaps the pots could be left for guests to pour their own) The dinner buffet was okay but needed more choice i.e. maybe a chef show cooking meat/fish as I feel there was not enough hot choice (maybe because the hotel wasn't full). We found the lighting in the restaurant too bright at night both inside and out and so we only ate here a couple of times. The sushi restaurant was wonderful, had a set menu for 25 euros per head which included 4 courses tempura/sushi/noodles + dessert, excellent food. We ate at Sabore (the portugese restaurant) twice, the first time was good but the second time the service was not so good, very slow to get drinks and we were given the wrong food (watch out for mosquitoes here too). There is a nice ambience sitting outside this restaurant however, surrounded by trees watching the sunset with no bright lighting like the buffet! The Italian restaurant is nearly ready for those who are due to go soon. It would have been nice to have a pre-dinner drink outside but the gin bar only had indoor seating. Just as we were leaving however, they opened up the poolside bar in the evening which we thought was a good idea and the hotel seem to be doing more and more as the busy season arrives. We walked to Gale via the boardwalk which is a lovely 20 min walk. There is a trendy Ibiza-style bar overlooking the sea where we tried various different cocktails at 6 euros a time (same price as the hotel). We also ate quite a few times at Praia da Gale on the beach which did the most amazing fresh food and was great value for money. The restaurant on the beach near the hotel was good too. Didn't use the spa but looked lovely, my husband said that the gym was very small with no free weights and the running machine was out of order for most of our stay. To sum up the Vidamar - a lovely hotel with excellent staff in a quiet spot. Villa was excellent with a well stocked supermarket nearby. Beach was fantastic and didn't get that busy even at weekends. All in all we had a great holiday at the Vidamar.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank SAHJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vidamar Resort Algarve

Address: Rua Boca da Alagoa, Lote 1-Fase 2 | Guia, Albufeira 8200-424, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Albufeira
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Albufeira
#13 Luxury Hotel in Albufeira
Price Range: $113 - $631 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Vidamar Resort Algarve 5*
Number of rooms: 250
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5-Star beachfront Hotel enjoys a fabulous location: on Salgados beach sand dunes, alongside a golf course and nearby a nature reserve. The Vidamar Algarve Hotel Guests can experience the MAR laid-back experience with the lively VIDA family facilities. All hotel Guests stay on Half Board basis and can take advantage of the Dine Around concept, whereby you can sample a variety of cuisines at a selection of restaurants. This Hotel offers 250 double rooms and suites, with different views. Doubles rooms can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children 0-11yrs. The Aquatica Kids World is designed around children and their daily needs. From 3 to 11-year-olds, the emphasis is on fun in a safe, secure environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vidamar Resort Algarve Albufeira, Portugal

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