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“Outstanding”

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Vilabranca Apartments
Ranked #13 of 52 Hotels in Lagos
Certificate of Excellence
Selby
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Our stay at Vilabranca cannot be faulted. Our apartment was large, clean, bright and very well equipped, especially in the kitchen. The complex has two pools, both of which are clean and well maintained. The bar serves tasty snacks, excellent coffee, and you can buy internet time on two available computers. The rooms have large TVs which show a range of channels including the BBC if you want to catch up with home news. At all times the superb attitude of the staff meant that we wanted for nothing; a minor problem with our room was fixed within minutes, not hours. They also run a shuttle service to and from both town and beach (Porte de Mos). The beach is fabulous - literally a mile of golden sand - but (and this is a big BUT) the sea is bloody cold. Some hardy souls took the plunge, but it's the Atlantic and not the Med. Daytime temperatures never dipped below 28 degrees and often reached the high thirties. Night-time temperatures were cooler which meant no need for air-con in the bedroom and made sleeping all the more pleasant. Vilabranca is quiet, and it's unlikely you'll be disturbed.

The hotel's location is also excellent. Just outside the main entrance is a well-stocked supermarket and the bus stop for travel into Lagos (which is definitively pronounced 'Lahgosh'). The bus is Line 2, and it's a circular route serving several beaches and the town centre. The timetables are a little fanciful, but you'll get used to them coming early or late. Reception staff will give you a copy of the timetable for free. Tickets are 1.20 to anywhere. Just by the bus stop there is O Penguim restaurant and bar - both beer and food are excellent. A little way down the hill is the China Palace restaurant where a good set meal for two costs 25 Euro (you can have a full 'soup to nuts' meal for two at 50 Euro if you fancy splashing out.)

The walk into town takes around 15 minutes, all downhill. I recommend a bus or taxi back. Lagos comes alive at night after 8pm when all the streets leading away from the market square are bustling with tourists, street performers, tat shops (my wife's principal raison d'etre) and more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. The best pub we found was Kuinns Bar (Google Kuinns Bar Lagos) where the drink is good, the music excellent, and - how retro-civilised - you can enjoy a smoke indoors while you sup your ale.

If you are culture-hounds like us, you'll find the Algarve a little sparse. Very little of the old Algarve remains after much of the region was flattened in the 1755 earthquake. There's a nice castle at Silves (we went by train from the station behind the Lagos Marina), Portimao might well be the alternative Portugese word for "closed", although I accept we might have gone on a quiet day, easily reachable by bus from the station opposite the Marina footbridge. To satisfy our craving for history and culture, we decamped for four days to visit Evora and Lisbon (see my separate review of Dom Fernando Hotel, Evora).

All tolled our Portuguese adventure was a great one. The people are friendly (and not only when you are spending money), the weather was fabulous, and above all else our accommodation at Vilabranca was a delight to come home to. 'Muito obrigados' to all who work there.

Room Tip: Ask for a west facing room - you'll get the sun in the evening on the balcony.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank alanbrown489
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Birmingham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2012

We stayed at Vilabranca in July 2012, there was a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids, also one of the adults has walking difficluties.
Before we went we had to be 100% sure this was the right accomadation and I have to say the commnuication from the hotel was excellent, even offering a shoping service for us as we were arriving late!. This was a big winner for us and really sold the apaprtments.
Ok so to the holiday.......................
We arrived at around 10pm after our flight had been delayed. I wont talk about the fllight on here but lets say Monarch will be receivng a letter soon getting my thoughts on that!.
We had booked a private tax transfer that cost around 100.00GBP, which was good value, takes around 1 hour. We used faroairporttransfers.com who were very good. Be aware if you use the toll road though it will cost you around 6 euro's more each way, but it is quicker.
We checked in with no problems and were shown to our room (304) which was ground floor overlooking the pool, just as we had requested. We were around the yellow pool which was slighlty quieter thant the blue pool on the otherside. Pools were clean and very good for a coolling dip during the day.
The room was big, we had a 1 bed apt that included a kitchen area with microwave etc and we had a nice size terrace overlooking the pool. A[partment was well laid out and was very comfortable. It was due to be cleaned 3 times a week.
Next to reception you have a lounge/bar/restaurnt/terrace over looking the pool. We eat breakfast and dinner there a couple of times and the meals were well priced. (5 euro for an english breakfast). Drinks in the bar were also well priced.
Staff at the hotel and people in Lagos were excellent, really hepful and would always have a laugh and joke with you.
There are 2 supermarkets and an ATM machine nearby (2-3 mins walking).
The shuttlebus was also useful taking you down to Poro de mos beach, the centre of lagos and also retunting you back. There is a timetable set.
The resort of Lagos was a 20 minute walk or if you didnt go by shuttlebus it was 3.5 euros each way in a taxi and there was always a plantiful supply of them.
Lagos is a beautiful place, with lots of old style mediterannian buildings and lots of restaurants, we eat out there 5 of the 7 nights.
The marina is also worth going to. We booked two boat trips, one was the dolphin cruise which was great (days of adventure - 70 euros for 4 of us 2.5hr trip and we saw 4 dolphins at sea!) We also did a boat trip around the grottos and caves around the coast, which was 30 euros and good value.
Weather was excellent all week, late 20's early 30's.

So all in all a great holiday, apartments were excellent and the resort was superb.

We will definatley be back next year!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank whippy1710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2012

This is our second time staying at vilabranca. we had a fantastic time in Portugal and the apartment is very spacious, clean, comfortable and fully equipped. The staffs are also helpful and friendly.Will definitely stay here again. The location is very close to town and only 3.90 euros in taxi!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Anordin87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
46 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Our first impressions were really good. We arrived at about 1pm and although our apartment wasn't ready the friendly reception staff took our bags off us while we went to the on-site restaurant where the equally friendly staff served a very nice and very reasonably priced lunch plus a bottle of house white wine for only 8 Euros.
The site was clean with lots of greenery and our room when we got in an hour or so later was at first glance very nice too; well appointed, spacious and clean. It was on the ground floor overlooking the swimming pool, not the one by the bar (they have 2), and seemed to have everything we needed.
However, when you look below the surface things aren't quite as good as they seem. For instance the beds are hard, like sleeping on a pile of cardboard and covered with a loose uncomfortable rubber sheet. The pillows are thin and limp. There are no cushions on the wooden armed sofa and chairs so they're not comfortable for long. There are no mugs so you either buy some, as we did, or drink your tea and coffee out of small cups. There's no electric kettle so you have to boil the water on the hob. You have to pay for Wi-Fi. Our toilet bowl was only attached to the floor on one side so it rocked when you moved.
On the plus side, I can't single out any staff member for special praise as they were all wonderfully friendly and helpful with car hire, day trips (don't miss the dolphin safari, it is spectacular) etc.
Outside, the beach and old town are both about a 25 minute downhill walk away so, of course, it's uphill coming back and I suggest you either memorize the VB bus times or get a cab for about 4 euros. There are a couple of decent restaurants close to VB and we enjoyed meals at Pinguim across the road and Triangulo a little way towards town. Antonio's at the beach does a really good lunch but the best food we had was at Jotta 13 in the old town.
All in all, it's not awful but I wouldn't rush back.

Room Tip: The rooms are arranged on three sides of the swimming pool so how much sun you get on the balcony ca...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

I stayed at Vilabranca for two weeks last month with my boyfriend - we had a great holiday and will definitely be returning.

The manager is very friendly and accommodating - upon arrival we were greeted warmly and given an overview of the area, the best places to check out and the best ways to get around.

We had a one bedroom ground floor apartment with a well equipped kitchen including a cooker with four hobs, toaster, kettle, fridge freezer and microwave. The apartment was spacious and well maintained... the decor is nice but a little dated. For value for money though you really can't beat it. Vilabranca also has two nice swimming pool areas with plenty of sun loungers and parasols.

We had food once in the hotel's restaurant - it was nice but we chose to dine out most of the time. As other reviewers have said there are two small supermarkets just opposite the complex which was great for stocking up on fresh bread, milk, water etc.

We used the apartment's free shuttle service almost everyday for either heading to the beach or into the town centre in the evening. Porto Mos is a short walk away but it is steep on the way back. A taxi to and from Lagos town centre was four euros.

In short we'd highly recommend Vilabranca and look forward to returning soon.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank T-Pie25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
earby
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2012

just got back from algarve staying at vilabranca tidy modern apts upgraded online to 2 bedrooms we got also 2 bathrooms large fully equiped kitchen large lounge with english tv 3 balconies ,not recommended for infirm people due to being at top of hill 25 mins walk to imacculate beaches and beautiful town centre ,all in all for the money highley recommended one bad point you had to payfor wifi this is a rip off its free on the beach

Room Tip: upgrade if poss
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank keggy100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2012

The apartments are spacious, clean, comfortable and fully equiped. The location is within a 10-15 minute walk to the beach or the downtown area where all the bars and restaurants are located. I think Vilabranca apartments are a great choice for Lagos, good value for money.

Room Tip: The ground floor apartments have a very nice spacious terrace.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank solimanm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vilabranca Apartments

Property: Vilabranca Apartments
Address: Rua Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lagos | Torraltinha, Lagos 8600-621, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Lagos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Lagos
#7 Romantic Hotel in Lagos
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Lagos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Vilabranca Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vilabranca offers a high standard of accommodation which feature a wide range of amenities within the complex. It is the ideal choice for families and those seeking a relaxing break close to Lagos. Clients can benefit from being away from the bustle of the resort, while remaining within comfortable walking distance of the centre of Lagos and Porto Do Mos Beach. Vilabranca has won many awards for its excellent service and friendly atmosphere. Lagos is a bustling old walled city, with great night life with fantastic restaurants, bars and shopping. You can spend hours pottering around the picturesque lanes. Lagos is very proud of its history and there is plenty of sightseeing from the ancient slave market to the 17th-century moated fortress overlooking the harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vilabranca Apartments Hotel Lagos
Vilabranca Lagos

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