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“Sanctuary”

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Baluarte da Vila Apartments
Ranked #9 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Lagos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 15, 2009

Fantastic location - a really short walk from the bustling town centre, but really quiet itself. Our apartment was huge for two people, spread over three floors, with two bathrooms and three terraces. The pool was really lovely as were the grounds. And it is really close to some beautiful beaches. The only words of warning are - birds and wind! Be prepared to share the pool with huge seagulls. And the resort itself is quite breezy. Definitely recommend this for couples or families.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonLyonnaise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 84 of 154 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2009

Arrived after a long 2hr 30 min coach journey, was told the coach could not get up the narrow street, and we would have to walk to the villa, not a happy bunny!! Then we was greeted by isobel and escorted to heaven!!! The double entrance door opened and a huge hallway was upon us very cool and very boutique in style. Down the large glam staircase to our fab little apartment, really nice, leather sofa lush curtains, little flat screen tv, huge frigde freezer, then up the white staircase and round to our bedroom, twin beds sadly we couldnt push together as there was a concrete white bedside cabinet built into the wall, but we did a did a bit off manouvering and hey ho a large bed with a gap!! Ha. Great bathroom fat mirror shower and bath. Oh then i looked out the window and there was this long clean pool that stretched right around the villa and a little pool with walk in steps ,and a hot tub, all this over looking a sea view. Sun beds were plentiful and parasols the whole seven days. We stayed in the villa allday and walked down to the town every night. Food was varied and restaurants were everywhere, eating outdoors listening to a variety of music. casio keyboard man was annoying {Roll out the barrell 20 times a night!But all the other talented souls earnt there tips. A good 2 course curry and two drinks would set you back 38 euros, the fish is fresh and amazing around 10 euros, Shops are great lots to tease you stalls are out every night ,hair braiding ,portraits,jewellery ect, Then the walk back up that cobbled hill, god its a killer til day four when you manage to over come the breathlessness pounding heart and histeria through laughing how unfit you are, and no high heels ladies or gents good walking sandals and a oxygen tank is all youl need!! Seriously its everything a grown up wants peace quiet, and hustle and bustle in the night if you want it good food amazing town and harbour and the beach is just sandy and sea so blue, The weather is a dream no clouds just sunny sunshine in the 30s, Oh finally isabel sells 5 litres off water for 1 euro dont go shops like we did and end up with monkey arms,! Be kind a help her carry it shes very sweet and helpful.Oh and do your shopping right down the town opposite the harber much cheaper ad more choice there, and a cab is 4 euros up that hill book them at the villa, and shopping can be delivered too. And whoever moaned about the seagulls yes your right they do make a noise but you are by the sea and three birds are the least off your worries, the only worry i had was i dont want anyone to find this little gem and spoil my secret holiday hideaway. I didnt even want to read my book just lay and relax, so maybe il challenge my holiday expectations and buy a bookmark. Enjoy and dont tell anyone its our secret!!!!!!!! Check out the church at the bottom of the hill,WOW!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank bromleystoryteller13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2009

The apartments are fine and I would return. We had a one bedroom apartment with lots of space as we had a ground floor living room and small kitchen area (the fridge is great) and a wc, 1st floor with a bedroom (comfy beds but only singles) and bathroom and a roof terrace with a room we could store the cases.

The air con was really welcomed and worked well and was fairly quiet, there is also very good double glazing and some nice touches e.g. modern pictures, lovely curtains and flat screen tv.

In our apartment (105) the bathroom was in need of refurbishment with cracked tiles & some mould appearing on the ceiling and around the seals. Also in general the flat could be cleaner and I actually cleaned out e.g. the bathroom cupboard before I felt comfortable to use it and there were crumbs in the kitchen cupboard - this is something I do not normally feel the need to do on holiday!

Despite this I would return as it was very relaxing, there were always sunbeds round the lovely pool (bit cool but nice) even though it was school holidays and it is in a great location (we stayed at the Marina 2 years ago but prefered to be in the town).

The French Restaurant, Casa Do Pintor is only steps from the hotel and was wonderful, we ate really well throughout our 9 days (different place each night) but this was our favourite restaurant - we did not get there for lunch but that was great value - 13 Euros for 3 courses.

Lagos is a great location, enough to do without being over the top. I hope to return in a couple of years.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bob+Diane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

Studio well appointed with everything we needed for a super two weeks. Lagos is a great resort with just enough energy and not too overpowering. The apartments are 10 mins from town downhill - which is not so funny when coming back! It is ALWAYS uphill - there are lots of hills in Lagos!

The pool area is lovely, although the umbrellas are lacking - there were only three actually working when we were there (July). Loads of sunbeds and a wide open area, although sadly, the pool snack bar has been closed. Unfortunately, the problem was seagulls. Many had nested around the high walls surrounding the apartments, which meant lots of baby/young gulls and ever-vigilant parents. As you'd expect, they were very noisy, but it was the mess they made which I found more unpleasant. Despite the pool guy and caretaker's best efforts, it is impossible to keep clean with so many around the pool. I swam every day, but kept my mouth shut at all times!!! Some people might find the pool less than inviting, given the circumstances.....which is sad, as the sea, of course, is freezing!! Overall though, we didn't let it bother us too much - we very much enjoyed staying here.

  • Stayed: July 2009
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Thank suespoonWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2009

The best aspect of the Porta da Vila apartments is the location. Literally a 5 minute stroll through narrow cobbled streets from the lovely chilled out old-town of Lagos (pedestrianised, plenty of restaurants with outdoor eating, shops, a few bars but don't come to Lagos expecting hectic night life, this is a chilled out place for relaxation). In the other direction you're just 10 mins walk from a fantastic clean secluded beach the size of 2 football pitches. The location of the apartments is very quiet, no traffic noise, being in amongst the cobbled streets f the old town. There are a few seagulls around who make a bit of a racket but it's not offensive and you get used to it. It's a reasonably steep walk to get up to the apartments from the town, so if you have serious mobility problems best to steer clear. But for anyone who can get about OK, even the elderly, it's fine.
The apartment block itself has probably about 20 apartments. When we were there (early June) there were four other couples maximum, so we pretty much had the lovely pool (and hot tub) to ourselves. There are loads of sunbeds around the pool.
In terms of the rooms, we had a 'one bedroom apartment' which supposedly can cater for 4 people (as opposed to the 'studio apartment' which is designed for 2). We were just a couple but were glad we went for the extra space (ie bedroom and living room separate) and would pay extra again for that. 4 adults would have been cramped, for 2 it was fine. Beds were singles and we had to push them together to make a double, the staff had no problem with that. We were informed that none of the rooms have double beds. All rooms appear to look over the pool, there is no pool bar but your apartment is so close that you can just keep food/drink in your fridge, it is so easy to go and get it. The rooms are not luxury but they are perfectly acceptable, the shower was decent, there was a modern TV with a few English freeview channels, a hob, microwave, fridge.
The staff (2 cleaners and Isabel who seems to be the manageress/owner) basically give you your key and let you get on with it, they are rarely around - yet the cleaning is done every day and done well. If you do manage to bump into them, ask for whatever you need (within reason obviously, we asked for some washing up liquid and a dishcloth and immediately were provided with them).
In all we would strongly recommend Porta da Vila to anyone who is looking for a peaceful relaxing base for their holiday in Lagos - unless you struggle to walk up slopes. Lagos itself is perfect for couples after a quiet getaway (all ages, there were plenty of 30 somethings as well as older people) and families (although to my eyes there did not seem a lot for small children to do locally). Friendly, great restaurants, a few bars if you want them, boat trips aplenty, a marina, beach. Easy to fill a week up doing things.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Axelariat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2008

Spent a week in the Porta Da Vila ,Lagos Portugal in August 2008. The apartments were as decribed on the website. Located just inside the old walled town , in fact the wall at the end of the pool area ,is the part of the ancient town walls.

The room was clean and modern , with an excellent view over the swiming pool and beyond to the marina and beach area. The pool area was small and not suitable for children, but clean , with a small bar area.

The apartments were well positioned ,with both beaches and restaurants within easy walking distance.

Lagos town itself is a beautiful place , with steet entertainment in the evenings and an abundance of good restaurants to satisfy all requirements.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank TorresN_Ireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

Hello, we have just returned from Porta De Villa Appartments, having stayed two full weeks there. Everything that previous reviewers have said, is totally true, but we would like to add a couple of comments.

Firstly, on arriving at Stanstead, at 3.30a.m we were notified that the flight was delayed by two hours. Afterwhich we were told that the transfer on the coach to the Villa would be a max of 2 hours.....it took a very long and laboured , 3.5 hours on the coach to reach our destination. All in all, we arrived at the villa at 3.P.M....

So, to be left at the end of a road, with no Rep, and no signs at all as to where we were meant to be, was frankly very dissmaying. After about 15 minutes of wandering around, Isabelle, the head woman at the Villas, came out onto the street and found us, thankfully.

However, when we eventually got to our apartment....it was AMAZING.....spotlessly clean and redecorated and on the 3rd floor we had our very own terrace which overlooked the town and the beach, breathtakingly beautiful and very, very quiet.

If you want a 'lie in' then forget it, the cleaner appears quite sporadically, every 2nd, every 3rd day, then not at all, and bangs very loudly on your door about 10a.m; if you are not up, then you dont get clean bed linen / bath towels etc.

The seagulls are very noisy, as previously noted, but to be honest, I agree, it's a lovely sound, which reminds you that you are on holiday!

The main strip of restaurants and shops is very overpriced, but as said in other reviews, just wander off the main street and you find wonderful, good quality, places for half the price.

If you want to swim, DO NOT get into the Villas 'swimming pool'..... it is absolutely freezing and to me, was the only thing, that would prevent me from booking into this resort again - chilly is ok, but this was exceptionally cold with no one, at all, willing to go in; theres a hot tub, but if the pool was heated, would have made a big difference.

We went on a couple of the arranged trips with the rep, which were ok, but to be honest the highlight was Lagos zoo...if you like flora n fauna, get the no.6 bus from the marina, for about 15 minutes, and spend the afternoon there....its unlike any european zoo, no cages, just like a wildlife park, paradise, but the reps dont 'push it' as there is no commission in it for them, but, well worth a visit, for ten euros.

The jeep safari was great, the guides are really funny and make it very enjoyable.

The Dolphin safari... we spent a whole hour sailing (very fast) out to sea, and then 10 minutes 'looking around' for the dolphins...we found them and they were lovele, but after 10 minutes we had to leave as apparently, the law says tourist boats can only spend 15 minutes with them.

I hope this doesnt sound too negative as overall, i think Porta de villa is an excellent place to stay, especially if you want a peacefull and laid back holiday.
We would definitly go again.
Regards.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank wemetvickypollard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baluarte da Vila Apartments

Address: Largo de Santa Maria da Graca 9, Lagos 8600-518, Portugal (Formerly Porta da Vila)
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Lagos
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Lagos
Price Range: $46 - $211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Baluarte da Vila Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
Porta Da Vila Apartments Hotel Lagos
Port Vila Apartments Lagos
Port Vila Apartments Hotel Lagos

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