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“Great hotel but avoid restaurants”

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Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 36 Hotels in Vilamoura
Certificate of Excellence
Slough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great hotel but avoid restaurants”
Reviewed July 18, 2011

This would have been a five star rating if it was not for the restaurant experience.

We stayed in two apartments and generally enjoyed our stay. Some of the positives were:

- extremely friendly, helpful and cordial staff
- hotel effectively new, very clean
- the shuttle service to and from beach and to Marina worked very well for us, the service was always on time and we always managed to get a seat.
- we hired a car and this was helpful for exploring the surrounding area and shopping
- the apartments were spacious and well equipped
- excellent breakfast, fresh and big choice

We have not used the pools (seemed mostly occupied by small children). Used the gym couple of times, air quite stuffy but there are so many wonderful opportunities to do exercise outside, do beach runs and runs around the village.

We have also used the spa which was quite good (new) but staff was not always that friendly and the water was not hot but more lukewarm.

The reason why we gave the hotel only four out of five was the bad experience we have made with the restaurants.

Firstly, at Ruby, there was a huge stone (diameter one inch or 2.5cm) in my Portuguese rice. I never experienced a stone of that size in food, and last time this happened to me, I received a huge delivery of sample products by the producer. Here, the waiter apologised (it was not his fault) but there could have been a stronger response (eg free meal, drink etc).

We thought it was a one off but one of the following days, we made a reservation through reception at the other restaurant (where buffet costs 32+ euros). When we came to take our table, we found out that we were not even on the list and we were only offered a table inside (nobody else wants to sit inside in this fine weather). Apart from the offer of booking a table for the next day, there was again only a half hearted apology for the "miscommunicaton" by the head of restaurants. We then went to Guia, which is the worldwide piri piri HQ to have a nice dinner there at a fraction of the cost (the South American buffet they offered looked nothing like South American to me anyway).

I also have to report that my partner had diarrhoea one day after visiting the Ruby Hilton restaurant. We think it was related but cannot confirm for sure.

If you have to eat at the Ruby do so before 6.30pm because after that, the prices go up 50% based on a different, marginally varied menu (e.g. Foie gras burger where they run out of foie gras). My father complained of the toughness of the burger he said he had to drink two bottles of Orangina to somehow digest it.

The only other complaint we had was the sterility of the area. Vilamoura was designed in the drawing board in the sixties so no life or soul. Albufeira full of British chavs. There are a few nice villages about but not exactly lively either.

So - that was a lot of whinging. If a clean stress free beach holiday is what you are looking for, especially with kids, this is the place. But better eat outside, there is a regular shuttle bus to the marina.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John_Evans1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 1, 2011
Dear guest,

First of all I would like to personally thank you for commenting about our hotel on Tripadvisor. I can see from your review that you had good and less good experiences. I have shared your positive and negative comments with our team as we truly value the feedback and time you have taken to mention this.

Regarding your food and beverage experience in the hotel, I have thoroughly reviewed this with our Food and Beverage Manager to make sure we improve in the reservation taking process. As you can see from other positive comments on Tripadvisor about our restaurants, the issue at Rubi Bar with your rice dish was an isolated case and I do apologize that this happened.

I would also like to remind you that we have 6 swimming pools in the resort, including a romantic pool for adults and a heated covered pool.

Once again I thank you for your comments and I do hope that I have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the future,

Kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 18, 2011

We cannot fault this hotel... friendly staff, fresh rooms made everyday, beautiful pools with free towels, the bathrooms were stunning... and most of all the breakfasts were out of this world!! you could stock up for all day!! Tennis courts were free, close walk to the town, helpful knowledgeable staff and special thanks to a great restaurant manager who was particularly accommodating one breakfast after a slightly heavy night!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anilee999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 23, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for your positive feedback on your recent stay with us. All your comments have been passed on to the team and to our restaurant manager in particular.

Looking forward to your next visit to the Hilton Vilamoura!

Kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2011

Stayed here in a 2 bed apartment in 2010 and again this year. The hotel is excellent and the pool area very picturesque. The staff are friendly and attentive, particular mention must go to Hugo on the front desk.
Both apartments that we have had have been very clean and well equipped with balconies overlooking the adjoining golf course.
For those who enjoy relaxing by the pool on holiday, you have a good choice of pool areas, the loungers are comfortable and towels are provided. We stayed from 30 June to 14 July and noticed that for the last couple of days there was a queue forming before 9am when the pool areas open. Whilst we didn't have any issues getting beds for 5 of us, I wouldn't want to stay further into the season when it may be even busier. We didn't use the spa or gym facilities.
The hotel provide a courtesy bus service (that we didn't use) to/from the beach during the day and a courtesy bus service (that we did use) to the marina in the evening. There were sometimes queues for the service to the marina, however the hotel did put on an additional bus towards the end of our stay, which helped. There is no return service from the marina but the hotel is only around 25/30 minute walk from the marina and it's actually quite a pleasant walk back in the evening.
The only negative comment we have concerns the prices charged for food and drink at the hotel restaurants and bars. We normally head towards the marina to eat in the evening, but during the day like to lunch and have the occasional drink around the pool area. However, at €3.50 for a can of juice or €4 for a bottle of water (70 cents and 99 cents respectively in the supermarkets) this is prohibitive. Lunch was worse - €15 for a burger or club sandwich, €5 for a portion of fries. Whilst I would expect to pay a premium at such a resort, I cannot see how such inflated prices can be justified.
In summary, a lovely resort let down somewhat by unwarranted prices for food/drink.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank oicameron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 23, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for having commented and rated us on Tripadvisor. I am glad to read that you have enjoyed your 2 week holiday with us. All your comments have been shared with our management team. Also your kind words about our receptionist Hugo have been forwarded personally to him.
As you mentioned, we have a great choice of pools in our resort, that range, from a large outdoor pool, a romantic pool, childrens pool, and a covered pool, just to name a few.

Once again thank you for sharing your experience and we hope to welcome you back to our hotel on your next trip to the Algarve.

Kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Erin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2011

We stayed here, 2 kids, one 16 and one 6 years old. Breakfast was massive and varied. The room was spotless and the staff would do everything possible to assist. The hotel was clean and tidy too. We enjoyed the private beach and made use of the courtesy transport that was timely and efficient.
Having Pinhal Golf Course next door was good value too.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RudolphHooker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 23, 2011
Dear guest,

I am very pleased to see read your kind comments about our hotel. I have shared this with the rest of my team.

Looking forward to personally welcoming you back to our resort in the near future.

Kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S. Wales
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2011

We spent three nights there and we were very pleased with the service, facilties, food and of course the spa.
It is in a good location, although you would probably need either your own transportation or at least a taxi to take you to the more lively parts of the area like the marina, but it is a quiet area, surrounded by golf courses, so a good area for golfers.
The only minor complaint we had was that some of the food appeared every single night so I suspect that if you spend a week of more there you may get bored with some of the food on offer.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Plmrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 23, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for your kind comments regarding your stay with us. As you mentioned, the Marina of Vilamoura is closely located to the hotel. We have a shuttle running to the Marina everyday and hiring a car for your stay is also recommended to see the nice surroundings of Vilamoura.
Regarding your comment on the dinner, I can let you know that we have a different theme buffet served every night in our Moscada restaurant.

Looking forward to welcoming you back soon to our hotel,

Kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2011

We stayed here early June with our two young children.
Our opinion:
Positives
Hotel is really beautiful and very well kept. Room really clean, we had two adjoining rooms, so loads of rooms. balcony really spacious.
Hotel staff very friendly.
breakfast excellent.
Pools excellent and no problem getting fresh dry towels.
bar lovely with great staff
lovely play area in paradise island for children

Negatives
Location - for us it was too far in the heat to walk with 2 buggies to the marina - (however, hotel do provide free bus shuttle every night to and from marina from 7-9pm and taxis never cost us more than 5 euro). -

restaurants - there is a lovely pool side restaurant and food in the bar (we used both those restaurants most days); so at night time, the only option for us to eat in the hotel was the buffet restaurant - (the bar food was still open, but having had lunch there most days, we wanted something different); i think for a 5 star hotel, there should be an a la carte restaurant open- we had no option but to go to marina most nights for dinner, it would have been nice to be able to relax in the hotel with the children.
on check-in, we were greeting by a very nice, friendly (trainee) receptionist- however we weren't given a map, told anything about the area- we asked was there a supermarket nearby and were told they didn't know. we found out later (from other guests), you can get map of the area from reception and there is a supermarket nearby. those little things would have made our first few days much easier.

so overall hotel is amazing and very well kept - for us, just a few negatives.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rosie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for having commented about your stay. We have taken note of both your positive and negative comments and I have shared them with my team. I am happy to hear that you and your children have enjoyed your stay with us. We try our best to please all of our guests including our youngest ones.
I hope that I can personally welcome you back to the Hilton Vilamoura on your next vacation.

With kind regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2011

I stayed there for two nights during a conference. The area is a gem in Algarve and a stay at the hotel was quite a self-sufficient package for a couple days of relaxation. The food was OK, but I agree that there should be some more restaurants added to the dinner choices. The pool was good too. We rented bike for 17Eur/day and rode them to Falesia beach, another great experience. There is a play ground for children as well, with a lot of gifts at a small shop. Overall, I guess it may not be the best choice for a conference considering the location, distance from major airports, facilities and relatively expensive internet, but must be ideal for relaxation; esp. couples and families. I had a chance to briefly explore some other hotels in the area, others were more affordable but none appeared to be in the same level of service or indulgence.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Glen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonVilamoura, Director of Operations at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for your good comments about our hotel and service on Tripadvisor. I have shared your comments with the team and I highly recommend you to come back to our hotel on a pleasure visit in the near future.

Best regards,

Lars Sammelius
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa

Property: Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa
Address: Rua da Torre d'Agua Lote 4.11.1B, Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125-615, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Quarteira > Vilamoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Vilamoura
#3 Romantic Hotel in Vilamoura
#4 Spa Hotel in Vilamoura
#4 Luxury Hotel in Vilamoura
#4 Family Hotel in Vilamoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Treat yourself to a fabulous spa weekend, enjoy a fun-filled family holiday, or experience the perfect golfing break at the award-winning Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa, one of the leading family-friendly Algarve hotels. This attractive, modern Algarve hotel is situated in five acres of glorious manicured gardens in the heart of the sun-kissed Algarve, Portugal. Set amid the lush greenery of some of Portugal's finest golf courses, the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa is replete with distinctive Moorish architecture, spectacular covered and outdoor pools and glorious cascading waterways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort And Spa
Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Hotel Vilamoura
Hilton International Vilamoura
Vilamoura Hilton
Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa Portugal - Algarve

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