We booked this hotel after reading the already great reviews on here. Booked it through Travel Republic and can't fault them really - we did have to wait an hour for our transfer to the hotel however we only paid for a coach transfer but got a private mini bus to the hotel just for us 2 and a taxi picked us up and another couple on the way back (45min transfer time max.)
Now on to the hotel, when we got to reception they greeted us both and were very friendly and checked in within 5 minutes and shown where our room was. I chose Room 176 before going and they managed to hold it for us, I just emailed them. Any room around the outside of the hotels will have a great view of the River and has a small terrace with table and chairs to sit out on.
The Room was basic but does the job, as you won't be in it much with all the sun outside! It had Air conditioning which worked very well, (you can not leave it on when you go out though as the key fob needs to be in the socket at the door), TV with English series on FOX such as CSI, Mentalist. Mini fridge, bath with overhead shower. Our bed and I think most were 2 singles put together with separate sheets, we didn't mind this.
The pool is very large (and reasonable temp once swimming) and a great place to relax. We had no trouble getting a sunbed any day during our 10day stay (and we didn't rise until 10!) They also had parasols you could use if necessary and also the grass around the pool had trees in case you needed the shade.
All Inclusive is a must I feel - Amazing value! I think it was around £100 more each to go all inclusive and I recommend. Drinks included were Pepsi, 7up, Fanta, beer, wine, local spirits including an almond liqueur which with coke tastes like Dr Pepper and of course Cocktail of the day! We made the most of this especially when it was the Pina Colada or Vila Gale night or day (similar to sex on the beach)
Food was fine for us and my girlfriend is quite picky! There was always something we liked and the salad bar was always available.
Breakfast - Scrabbled egg, sausage, bacon, beans, tomato, fried eggs. Croissants, bread, toast, jam, butter, cereals!
Lunch - First week, Inside buffet with chips, rice, chicken, pork, salad bar etc. However it changed on the last few days for us to be outside at the tapas bar which did a BBQ. This was also great but the flies and mosquitoes did start to become annoying once you had your food, so take spray.
Dinner - Buffet and always something we liked. Ranged from fish, chicken, pork, veel, sausages, pasta, rice, chips, potatoes, salad bar and desserts of ice cream, jelly, cake, fruits.
Extras! Ice creams from the pool bar include nestle smartie and strawberry and choc cornetto's! Can get snacks upto around 3pm of burgers, hotdogs, chips, and until 6pm sandwiches.
Grounds of the hotel are very good and well looked after. There is a church and a small museum you can view.
Things to do: Table Tennis fun and free - get the bats from reception
Reps - they did activities for the children and they do Aqua gym in the pool most days at 12.
Night ent: They had a few Bingo was fun, reptile show, bird show and quiz.
There is a company at reception that do bird tours, bike tour, kayak tours, etc we did the Dolphin tour but unfortunately didn't find any however got a tour round the islands for over 2 hours.
There is a dive centre and we saw people having training in the pool and you can do the PADI courses too.
Spa - My Girlfriend had a full body massage and said it was excellent and good value. I got to use the gym, pool, sauna, and jacuzzi while she had it free which is great! It is 11 euros usually.
The hotel did a free shuttle to its sister hotel in Tavira which was a few minutes from the centre, and if you asked the driver you could get dropped off at the shopping centre and we walked back to the hotel which is nice and takes about 25 mins.
The river at the hotel has a sort of beach around it which you could use and walk around, however the main beach is the Island beach which you need to purchase boat tickets for at reception it went around every hour until 6pm and is about £2each return. It is a lovely beach and would recommend going, the beach bar was very reasonable for beer and ice cream.
Overall I would recommend this hotel and will most likely go back again in the future but I like to travel to different destinations at the moment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa and approximately 4 km from the centre of Tavira and 3 km away from various restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and the public transport network. The nearest beach is just outside the hotel and just 400 m away you will find yourself in one of the best sandy beaches in the Algarve. The hotel was rebuilt in 2000 from an old tuna fish camp and has a total of 162 rooms of which 43 rooms with river view and 5 junior suites suitable for families. The hotel has a 24-hour reception, lovely lobby area, a currency exchange desk, a luggage room, a chapel, a museum and a game room. Among the common areas guests may enjoy the air-conditioned TV room, bar and restaurant where free Wi-Fi internet connection. Children are very welcome to this hotel being that they have their own Club full of activities and entertainment. Guests may park their cars in the parking lot and for an additional costs may use the laundry services and hotel safe. The pleasant rooms are equipped with air conditioning, electronic safety door look, direct telephone, LCD TV with Cable and Pay TV, Wi-Fi Connection and safe (for and additional cost), Minibar and 24 hour room service, private bathroom with telephone and hair dryer. The hotel Spa, Satsanga, is composed with a gym, an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, steam room/Turkish bath, Vichy shower massages and beauty treatments. The seasonal entertainment programme ensures that there is never a dull moment at the hotel. The hotel restaurant has a wide buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an a la carte menu offered at lunch and a set menu available at dinner. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vila Gale Albacora Tavira
- Vila Gale Albacora Hotel