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“Amazing 5 star accommodation, restaurant-quality food, great staff!”

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Vale da Lapa Resort & SPA
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Carvoeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing 5 star accommodation, restaurant-quality food, great staff!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

After returning from a recent 5-day, all-inclusive stay at Vale da Lapa, I would like to share my experiences of the hotel, accommodation, food, and service. On arrival, we were met in reception by two very friendly members of staff, and as our duplex apartment was on the far side of the complex, we were driven there with our cases by one of the reception staff, who also carried our luggage into the room, and showed us the accommodation on offer.
The two-storey apartment (basically a mini-villa), was of a very high standard, comprising a large, fully-fitted kitchen, downstairs w.c, spacious lounge and dining room, and downstairs secluded terrace area. Upstairs consisted of a large bedroom, separate dressing room/wardrobe area, and large luxury bathroom with separate bath, shower and bidet. There was also an additional upstairs terrace, and the quality of the fixtures and fittings was of a very high standard throughout, particularly the king-sized bed (very comfortable), sofas, and large wide-screen wall-mounted TV's in both the lounge and bedroom! The accommodation was very contemporary, giving the impression of a high-end luxury apartment. You couldn't fail to be impressed by the quality of all fixtures and fittings, and each window/patio door had electronically-controlled shutters for added privacy and security.
The complex itself consisted of around 70 duplex apartments and larger villas with pools, these were clearly built for sale as around a quarter of the properties had been sold (plans were available in the apartment, and the properties were for sale at prices between 400-900,000 euros (which give an impression of the kind of quality we are talking about)!
The complex itself was very pleasant, with large outdoor pool, small bar, restaurant with terrace, and indoor pool attached to the spa, with Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and treatments and massages available.
Use of spa facilities was complimentary for guests (don't forget your swim cap if you want to use indoor pool/Jacuzzi)! As all-inclusive guests, we enjoyed a buffet breakfast, and a la carte lunch and dinner (which was a pleasant change from the usual buffet-style all-inclusive dining experience). All food was of a very high quality, particularly the dinner menu (which was mainly presented in a nouvelle cuisine-style) , for example, wild venison, rump steak, fish of the day, pork and chicken dishes. Certainly a step up from any other all-inclusive hotels and a treat for fans of fine dining!
All drinks were of great quality, and the house red wine (JMF) was particularly good, and available free on the all-inclusive package!
The staff were also great, very attentive and friendly, particularly our main waiter, Ze-Miguel (contrary to an earlier review, we found him to be very pleasant, helpful and polite at all times-perhaps you caught him on an off-day)!
The location was quiet, around 6 euros taxi trip or half-hour walk to nearby Carvoeiro, which was a delightful, quiet fishing village with a nice beach, bars and restaurants.
To summarise, if you want a quiet break, with amazing accommodation, good food and drink, and friendly staff, do not hesitate to book a break at Vale da Lapa!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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727 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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notinghamshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

We went on the 5th and returned the 13th October. the hotel is 45 minutes away from the airport if you go direct. the accommodation is nice and contemporary/ quiet. we went all inclusive and there is only one menu which does not alter, and this is to feed you all week. you can have a starter , mains and deserts. if you don't like anything on the menu you are in trouble! I had to eat off the child's menu for so many days. one of he waiters 'ze miguel' can be very difficult in terms of customer service and being nice in general. the terms 'if your face doesn't fit' comes to mind. the rest of the staff are great and very helpful. breakfast is served until 10, but if you are any later than 9.15 then you may struggle to get hot/ cooked food. there is plenty of alternatives in terms of savouries and cereals. it is a self service buffet. we noticed if you ask for anything extra, you never got them. I asked 'ze' for vegetables twice on separate days but never got them. the carrots and other veg are frozen, like the ones from Iceland. there are free ice creams between 4.00-5.30pm but we didn't find this out until our last day. there is no information advertising this offer. there is no shortage of drinks, with a wide variety offered. we had slight damp in the bedroom as shown in the photos. everything is out of season, the free shuttle bus was not running to the only nearest small beach resort. there is no entertainment in the evenings. the nearest walkable beach is 1 hours walk away there and 1 hour walk back. there is no bus to this beach either. it is between 6-7 euros by taxi each way to caveoiro the small local town/resort/beach/bars/shops. the garden woke us up twice in the mornings around 9am but he makes a good job. the spa is very expensive and no one used it. you have to wear a swimming cap to go in the small swimming pool and Jacuzzi. the rooms are cleaned and towels changed every day. if you like it quiet, can manage on a repetitive menu and if you have the weather to stop by the pool all day then this hotel is ideal. however we will not be returning.

Room Tip: choose a 'low numbered room' up to number 10. as numbers 1-10 are closet to the bar/pool/res...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank francesca n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

This hotel is lovely very large suite,very clean,really friendly helpful staff. Dining room nice with self serving. Just one thing would have liked entertainment in the evening as the hotel is a distance from other bars.

Room Tip: All the rooms have a nice riverside view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank susan a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

Ok. The good first. The accommodation itself is fantastic - we had a stunning two story villa and I get the impression most of the accommodation is like this.

The staff friendly and if you are an awful lazy Brit like me you can rely on their language skills over yours. The restaurant staff were consistently excellent.

It's a good situation - taxis to Carvoiero are around 6 euros or you can take a 30-40 minute walk altho there is not much to see until you get to the town so is go for taxis (10 min wait once reception call for you). It's also well situated for other spots but we were there to relax so didn't venture much further other than one day trip to nearby Ferragudo (worth a visit)

The pool is nice and has a convenient and well stocked bar and didn't seem too busy the entire time we were here (mid September). I can imagine it being a bit more crowded in the height of summer.

The food was good and not extortionately priced. Lunch with drinks for 2 cost 30 euros and dinner closer to 50 (with drinks and tip)

The less good: the reception staff are a bit mixed, some are excellent, some less so - we had to ask 3 times for a corkscrew for our "self catering" room and the third time was only effective because I went to reception.

There is no wifi in the rooms (altho you can get a wired connection if you have a laptop) and the wifi by the pool is intermittent at best. In fairness I get the impression that this is as much due to local infrastructure and you need to stop checking those work emails anyway.

While the food is good the evening menu is a little limited of you are planning on spending all your time at the hotel (which we weren't but a lot of people seemed to be there on all inclusive deals).

Finally the hotel seems to own a grand total of 2 CDs, at least one of which should be entitled "Ill Judged Rearrangements of Popular Hits". My particular favourite was the reworking of the final countdown that sounded like it was performed by a Yorkshire colliery band. Amusing on first listen, less so on tenth.

Overall I would recommend and go back to this hotel but it's important to say we got a deal that worked out around £500 per person for a week.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Duggan78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

We stayed here for two weeks all inclusive, four adults and one 13 month old. From start to finish all of the staff were wonderful and provided excellent service. The accommodation is fantastic, and all I can say about those people who have had complaints is that they must live
in palaces at home. It may be a little out of the way and you probably will need a car, but if you want a relaxing holiday in a place where the staff will look after you, this is the place.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank WANDERBOY1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

Service was very slow ,in bar and food room we though we were going all inclusive but at lunch you could only have set meal 1soup meal sweet ,I waited 1hour for ice cream my husband loves soup but he could only have 1 so he had mine And other food was not good ,it's was in the end of no where only way to travel was by taxi train bus when he came never see one the smell was bad from dry up water beds we were counting the days to come home Bruno was the only good waiter who looked after us we thank him

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colleen191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

Let me start by saying that the staff at Vale Da Lapa, are very accommodating...They are very helpful and do there jobs extremely well...The resort is outstandingly, amazing...Our "Suite" was more like a mini villa. Beautifully designed workmanship, top marks...Although I am not sure if it is the economical state of Portugal, but we are very disappointed...We are still here with 2 days left and honestly I can not wait to leave...For a location that is at best 3 years old and rated 5 Star, it is very disappointing that the up keep or noticeability of the units are terrible and beyond me...Maybe we just got lucky(I am being sarcastic) to land in unit #21, but if you come here, do not take this one....I must have drove the people here insane with all the demands to get our place in an expectable state and still,it is not...I am writing this review @ 545 am local time, because the air conditioning unit, in our bedroom, which was not working and has been "fixed", is making a buzzing noise that is continuously getting louder, which goes off every 5 to 10 minutes and I have had it off for the last 2 days... I have already called reception & I have demanded to have a maintenance person here a.s.a.p.(which interprets to 9 am), just to shut off the fuse so that we can sleep during our last few nights...it was better when it was broken...
So let me re cap our stay... when we arrive, none of the telephone jacks worked in the unit, except for the one in the kitchen and that was only for 50% of the time, which meant, that the wired internet, yes you need a modem, that you can get from the front desk, did not work, either...Oh and if you are expecting to Skype, face time or use any other VOIP system, you can forget it, if it will work, it will not work very well....that also includes the free Wi-Fi in the reception area...they tell you about the inadequate issue with the internet when you get here.
So what does everyone want after a 4 hour drive to the Algarve, a shower, wouldn't you agree. Well after re visiting the shower issues, it is still leaking, making one think they have never used a modern shower, ever....plus the shower handle holder thingy me bob, was also broken and was replaced.. light bulbs are burned out. The reason we chose this resort that it has a full kitchen and if you are a self catering kind of family, then you would expect to have all the items that should come with the self catering unit, wouldn't you? Wrong....it did not & had to wait till Monday(because the supply hut) is closed on Sunday....although all the things finally came, not all the issues have been fixed....Just when I thought that we where being a pain....the reason being that it is our 26 year anniversary & my wife's birthday and I picked this place and also wanted everything to be Honky Dory, many more guests came in with similar complaints...Like I said we both think this place is an excellent resort, but I am not sure if the owners seem to care about its up keep...it seems the way they deal with issues is to take from Peter, to give to Paul and lets hope Mary does not get stuck holding the bag......Oh yes if you would like to have sun during the day do not ask for a unit whose terrace faces north, a.k.a. unit #21....BTW....in their welcoming package, they give you a sheet to fill out, with a review about your stay.....Well guess what we are going to say? And one last thing, we will be speaking to management, either here at the resort or via some other form of communications, as long as we do not use their internet to do so...enjoy you stay!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with the terrace faces south or you will never get sun. Make sure all your air condit...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank splitend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vale da Lapa Resort & SPA

Property: Vale da Lapa Resort & SPA
Address: Estrada das Sesmarias, Carvoeiro 8400-535, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Carvoeiro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Carvoeiro
#4 Luxury Hotel in Carvoeiro
#5 Romantic Hotel in Carvoeiro
#5 Family Hotel in Carvoeiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Vale da Lapa Resort & SPA 5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amid extensive landscaped gardens and manmade ponds, this 5-star resort offers luxurious villas with free wired internet. It boasts an on-site 9-hole putting green and, outdoor pools and a Spa. All apartments are situated in 2-storey duplex villas that feature modern and stylish decor. Each unit has a large living room and a bedroom with a high ceiling and balcony. There is also a full kitchen. At Vale Da Lapa, guests can enjoy the exclusive clubhouse featuring a design restaurant and bar with outdoor terrace. Guests can sample regional flavours and carefully selected local products. Agua Hotels Vale Da Lapa also boasts a jogging trail, 2 paddle tennis courts, and a multi-use astroturf pitch. Children can have fun at the play area and children's pool. Vale Da Lapa Hotel has a private entrance to the neighbouring tennis club and several golf courses can be found in its vicinity. Caneiros and Carvoeiro beaches are less than 5 km away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vale Da Lapa Resort & Spa Hotel Carvoeiro
Vale Da Lapa Resort And Spa
Vale Da Lapa Resort & SPA Carvoeiro, Portugal - Algarve

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