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“Beautiful Hotel but?”

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Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura
Ranked #19 of 36 Hotels in Vilamoura
Liverpool, England
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel but?”
Reviewed August 18, 2010

My wife and stayed at the Vila Sol hotel in August. The hotel is about ten minutes by bus from Villamoura and a taxi was about ten Euros, all taxis are metered. We arrived at 11 o’clock at night and booked in. With some brief instructions we were told to find our own way to our garden room 1703. This was a difficult task as it was at night, dark and the room was a good way away from the hotel.
The complex is very big and we had a great deal of difficulty finding it as the room numbers on the notice boards only gave the first two numbers which was confusing. We managed to stop a passing member of staff who showed us to our room. I felt that we should have been escorted to our room when we booked in.
The room was not I would class as five star, I felt it was somewhat small and a little basic. The bathroom was certainly five star, with two basins, two showers and a bath and a bidet and toilet, with marble tiling, really lovely. The bath was very deep and older people may find it difficult and dangerous getting out as the there was no mat on the floor except a small towel to stand on.
The towels were changed daily but the toiletries were in adequate, the bottles must have been the smallest we have ever found, not enough for two people. The beds were very comfortable with plenty of soft pillows.
The air conditioning was not effective in that particular room and there was not full length mirror but the lighting was good with plenty of lamps.
The cleaning of the rooms was variable each day, some days it was not cleaned until nearly five o’clock and there was a thick layer of dust under the bed! Some days it was made immaculate but other days it was not.
There is a free hotel mini bus service which went at set times to the marina and then to the beach. This needs to be booked at the reception.
The beautiful hotel, its grounds, facilities, swimming pools with plenty of sun beds, golf course etc were certainly five star but the best thing about the Vila Sol hotel were the staff, they were extremely, cheerful, polite and courteous at all times. Room service was excellent but the bars at the hotel did seem to close early. The prices for drinks and food are fair and are clearly price listed.
The area around Vila Sol could do with some shops, bars, restaurants and a better taxi service or some form of public transport. It is quiet a very quiet location but very beautiful and green.
Although I have criticised aspects of the hotel we did have wonderful and enjoyable holiday at the Vila Sol, just the little things let it down as a five star hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Bryyan55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

Travelled here on a golfing holiday last September. It was a great base location for our golfing adventure in the Algarve. Stayed in one of the apartments and I could not fault it.


The breakfast was very appetising and the golf on site was great. I played every day on my seven day trip and the driving range was perfect for sorting out the kinks in my swing.

The pool was fine as was the food in their restaurant Tratorria.

Car rental is a must.

  • Stayed September 2009
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2 Thank Martynrosney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2010

We stayed in a private apartment however the resort itself was very quiet, spotlessly clean and very well maintained. Reception staff spoke good english and very helpful. Wasnt sure why they'd charge to use the hotel pool when other pools on the resort were free - maybe its just an exclusive area?

Didnt eat at the hotel restaurant as it seemed expensive 30E+ for a simple main but the other restaurant and english bar on site were flawless. Trattatoria and Olivers had excellent food and superb top quality staff, the Deli was also delicious and all well priced for food and drink so try these first. Supermarket on site was well stocked however if you prefer 'english' food then drive to Almancil.

Unless you hire a car, you have to taxi everywhere. Which is easy to do if you wish to get out of the resort, but very difficult to get back on an evening. (20E return trip to Marina, with tips included). It appears the taxi firms prefer telephone bookings to flagging them down on a street but you could still wait an hour as taxis are in short supply.

If you venture to the Marina, try the Steak House and the Scandinavian restaurant - both have a great choice of spectacular food. Definitely worth a visit!

Loule gypsy market is a poor trip out but Loule town itself has a great indoor market and is very traditional. Its approximately a 15/20min drive from Vila Sol (40E round trip in taxi).

Quartiera has a lovely beach but is otherwise a dump. We didnt like this place at all.

In a nutshell, certainly stay here for a quiet relaxing holiday but hire a car and venture out to explore other towns etc

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank keelybin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spain
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2010

Firstly, this hotel is not a Spa hotel, so I have no idea why it is called the Vila Sol SPA & Golf Resort. A spa to me, suggests a thermal circuit, with saunas etc, and this has none of these. It´s also a 20 minute walk. It seems to have been part of the original concept, and then at the end they realised how much money it would be to build. I should of known by the lack of photos of the spa on their website, that it was nothing to write home about- shame.

But all was not lost. The hotel is beautiful- tastefully decorated throughout, with art throughout the grounds. Our room in the garden suite was absolutely lovely, with really comfortable beds, and a well equipped, top quality bathroom. The only things that were missing, that I would expect in a 5 * hotel were free Wi-Fi, 24 hr room service, and a broad range of satellite channels- which were lacking. They had Sky Sports etc in the bar area, so I suspect this is a deliberate ploy to get you up to the main hotel.

The food was hit and miss. Breakfast was a well stocked buffet, with something for everybody. But the main buffet in the hotel in the evenings although broad, was lacking in quality. It seemed to get progressively worse as the week went on, with food from the previous nights appearing to be recycled. There was also a young dark haired girl working there, who was very rude, and constantly asked if we were finished- desperate to get off work-which you don´t expect paying such prices. At 32,50 per person it was too expensive. It should of at least included a glass of wine. I think around 20-25 would have been more reasonable.

We dined at the Olive restaurant a few times, but were not blown away by anything there. The service was generally slow, and you were left with the feeling they could do a whole lot better in such beautiful surroundings. Posh pretentions, but the most important factor- food and service was lacking. They do a meal deal, which includes a "Surprise desert" Just another way of tacking on a poor desert at the end, and charging more money.

The clubhouse next door was great, and we had some nice lunches overlooking the golf course in relative tranquillity- fish and chips was particularly good. They also have-in my opinion- the best member of staff working for them there, a lad called Danny, who had an apathy with customers, unlike some others in the hotel.

We also had lunches at the pool bar, which was good quality, albeit very expenisve- 4 Euros 50 for a bottle of water, which was ludicrous- totally taking advantage of the hotel´s remote location, where even the on site shop is a good 15-20 minute walk.

I would say it was generally a hotel for families, with a large amount of kids running about, which is fine. I suppose this clinentele changes throughout the year.
We went down to Vilamoura a few times- mainly to the beach, which although beautiful, doesn´t have many amenities there. In the end, we became really lazy, and just stayed at the hotel. You really need a car if you want to venture out, or rely on buses or taxis. I realise this was a family hotel, but I think the hotel could do with some sort of activity at night- everyone retires to their rooms really early, and there is no buzz at all in the main bar. I´m not saying I want a Benalmadena 24-7 party zone, but some sort of entertainent wouldn´t go a miss- considering it is an effort to go outside the hotel grounds.

All in all, we had a great time, but the hotel is not 5 *, probably a good 4 *. If I had paid the prices they originally listed, I would of been dissapointed, but overall we had a nice week- but it was too tempting to become very lazy there, and do nothing but sun worship and eat- as my stomach now testifies.

Be careful of all the extras adding up. And hunt for the best deal possible, because the difference in prices on different sites is staggering.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Pinky2283
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands, UK
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2010

We had our wedding reception here in June 2010 and we were very well treated by the staff (the staff make this hotel) and would recommend it as a wedding venue alone. It is not the best hotel in Vilamoura (we would rather stay at the Hilton near by) but they do have some very good offers on. The Hotel was built a few years ago(04) and in the winter (when the sun is not shining) it can look a little tired and would say it is a good 4* quality. But in the sun it is very relaxing, clean and bright. Wont be going back to stay but did have a great wedding experience her and would recommend for that alone. 6/10 !

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank konakid77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2010

we have just returned from 12 nights at the Vila Sol. I was a little anxious,as some of the latest reviews had not been so good, however we were not disappointed. We had a garden room and it was ideal for my husband and our 2 year old. She loved running in and out of the garden and playing ball etc there. There was a very spacious patio area, with two chairs, a table and two sun loungers also. There is a big baby pool and a lovley big pool also. We loved having lunch and relaxing at the pool bar, but be aware the drinks are very expensive, especially the soft drinks. A can of coke cost 3,50 and orange juice 4 euros! However, the food was great, breakfast was fantastic, buffet wth everything you wanted, plus you could also get the chef to cook you omlettsor eggs / porridge etc while you waited. We ate in green pines restaurant two nights and it was beautiful, there is a different theme every night, tropical, mediterrean, portugese etc. I loved eating at the club house as it was a fab setting and very peaceful, however the menu is very limited, again having a theme night each night ranging from pasta night to steak night etc. It was lovely though and as I said the setting was beautiful and I loved eating outside.
I would recommend car hire,as it is a good 5 minutes car journey to Villamoura. Now we knew this on booking, but we couldn't be bothered with the car, however next we will book a car. The only minus was the taxi situation in Villamoura. It was a nightmare trying to get a taxi home and the queue at the taxi rank was endless. We never queued there, we were always lucky and waited by the entrance and flagged a taxi before they got into the town. Many people have to wait for over an hour which would be a pain, so for that reason alone a car is essential. The locals say that June and September are the best times to go to the Algarve as it isn't as busy. August is very busy as all the portugese holiday then aswell.
I booked a spa treatment and really enjoyed it. Yhe spa is a good 20 minutes walk from the hotel but the shuttle bus will drop you off and collect you, so that isn't a problem.
The palyground is very nice, a sandpit, and a nice slide and space to run around. Maybe it could do with a swing. The kids club is a good service also. As my little girl was only 2 I always stayed with her and coloured with her etc, however there was face painting and other stuff going on as well.
We played tennis twice and really enjoyed it - it is a nice court and costs ten euros an hour, which includes equipment.
Overall it was a great holiday and I loved the garden room. It made the holiday and the bathroom was very spacious. Next year I will book a suite but a garden room was perfect for us this year. The gym was perfect for what I needed and was open 24 hours a day. 3 treadmills, 3 cross trainers, a few bikes and weight stuff. A great holiday and will return

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Carinemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2010

Just back from a week at Vila Sol. Was a little concerned reading recent reviews but nothing to worry about. We had gone for a week of total relaxation. Had a garden suite which was lovely and really clean. The food was really excellent, breakfast - just what you would expect from 5 star. We had booked a half board deal direct with the hotel as we had no car and knew it was a long way from anywhere. I can get a bit bored of buffets but never got bored of theirs - it really was very good with the standard of food very high. We ate there for 5 nights and ate at L'Olive twice which is the a la carte restaurant at the golf club, only a couple of minutes walk away - now it really was good there! I would recommend it. The comments about some of the furnishings looking a bit tired are correct but the hotel know this I think. After talking to some locals and regulars it would appear that Marriot let things slip over the last 18months but it is now Portugese owned and it was clear that things were being done - they were sticking the tiles back on the pool!! On the whole - service was excellent, the pool bar do need to tighten up their act a little but the hotel seem aware of this as on a couple of days there were 'suits' wandering around 'directing operations!'. It was quite busy but probably as it was school holidays and I can understand how it must feel quiet out of high season. A car would be useful then. We had a fantastic week and came home feeling truly rested and very well fed! If you are looking for somewhere away from everything - this is for you. Enjoy!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Withers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura

Property: Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura
Address: | Morgadinhos, Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125-307, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira > Vilamoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Vilamoura
#14 Family Hotel in Vilamoura
#15 Luxury Hotel in Vilamoura
#15 Romantic Hotel in Vilamoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura 5*
Number of rooms: 189
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pestana Vila Sol is located 5 minutes from Vilamoura and a 10 minutes ride to Marina de Vilamoura and the beaches. It has a 27 hole golf course, extensive green areas, fountains and small lakes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Vila Sol Golf And Resort Hotel
Pestana Vila Sol Golf Hotel Vilamoura
Vila Sol Hotel
Vila Sol Resort
Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura Portugal - Algarve

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