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“Great place to get away from it all and relax in the Sun!”
Review of Vila Gale Albacora

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Vila Gale Albacora
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Great place to get away from it all and relax in the Sun!”
Reviewed July 6, 2012

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.

Room Tip: 176 has a good view of the river and small terrace
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jbsmith13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your big and detailed review and your kind comments. Certainly the next to come will have much more information on arrival.

It´s also very gratifying for us to see that we reached your expectations in so many ways, giving us the (extra) motivation to be "Always close to you".

All comments really allow us to analyse guests feeddbacks, helping us to improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora Staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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English first
Chorley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

I booked this hotel purely on its visual appeal. I like places that are unique and not the standard concrete tower block. I was not disappointed. Everything about this hotel was unique. Each building had been converted into a high quality hotel from a disused fishing village.
The standard of the conversion was immaculate. Each room had satellite TV, fridge, and a bathroom with all the mod cons and hot water that lasted 24 hours a day (unlike some hotels)
The room was serviced daily and fresh towels always left. There was free soaps and shampoo too. The decor was traditional and was very clean. The bed was very comfortable. The grounds were landscaped to a high standard and were an absolute pleasure to be in.
The staff could not do enough to help. Every single minor query was solved instantly. I was particularly impressed that at 0140hrs on the second day my air conditioning failed and was making a loud noise. I was offered a new room straight away and moved straight in.
The breakfast was epic. The selection covering all tastes from cereals, to cooked and more continental was amazing and could cater for all.
Evening meals were a little pricey €22 for an all you can eat arrangement. If you had a healthy appetite then worth while but if your like me then one plate is enough was a bit pricey.
Hotel has free shuttle bus into town at periodical intervals in the day. Taxi is only €5 and major shopping centre is at the end of the hotels entrance road. There is a cinema which shows english films.
I would go back tomorrow and agree with many reviews on here that this hotel is paradise.

My only criticism is that with all the room facilities there is no Tea/coffee making facilities.
If your partial to a hot drink take a travel kettle. I did this and there was no issue.

Great hotel and staff .... Well worth a visit

Room Tip: Any room is great as they all have the same facilities
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the singularity of this classified building (Former Tuna fishing village) converted in an Eco-Hotel, and also the mention about the facilities, surroundings and food.

Regarding the Tea/coffee making facilities we will analyse this situation for 2013 season.

But the most most important for us was the review about the staff.

This allow us to continue highly motivated and try to exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012 via mobile

This was a different type of holiday for us. Usually we rent a villa and hire a car but this time we decided to go all inclusive and use the shuttle bus. We were not disappointed. From when we first arrived the staff were attentive without being annoying, the room was fine with nice big beds and we thought the food was excellent with plenty of choice every day. We took the boat to the lovely beach a couple of times and ate at one of the restaurants which was very nice. We did use the shuttle bus into Tavira a couple of times, the driver wasn't very friendly but he wasn't rude and got us there in one piece so no complaints. We also used the trains to visit Faro and Albufeira which was interesting and made a nice change. We didn't use the pool at all but it looked lovely and there were plenty of sunbeds available.
My husband didn't really want to go on holiday as he is a bit of a grump, but, after a couple of days he really relaxed and we are looking to return again next year. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and I cant recommend it highly enough.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Hershe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the staff, cleanliness, the boat and beach. Also the experience outside of hotel is very important, because help us to understand more the atractiveness of our destination.

That´s why it´s very important to read reviews from guests. This allow us to continue workink and try exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back .... next year.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barreiro, Portugal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Great hotel, great location! Excelent for families and with lots activities for kids. Excelent choice!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with GeoStar

Helpful?
3 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments.

This allow us to continue workink and try exceed the expectations of our guests.

For that, we will start with a new Eco-Activity for families, twice per week, dedicated to the Fauna of Ria Formosa Nature Park with a small surprise once per week ...

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2012

This is definitely a little hidden piece of paradise. On approach to the hotel you can be forgiven for thinking you're going the wrong way but once you walk in through what my husband described as a "secret garden" you enter one of the most relaxing destinations you wlll have ever been to. The cottages are delightful, modern and very very clean, with the only downfall being paper thin walls which can be forgiven when you think of the history of them. All the public areas are immaculate and extremely well maintained. We found ourselves sitting on the wonderful terrace downing a bottle or two of the local vino after a long day at the beach just listening to the birds tweeting and children playing. We were on a bed and breakfast basis and found breakfast each day to be fresh and varied and the only downside which one will often find with a buffet style is that it could have been hotter. What you really want to know is whether we'd go to the Vila Gale Albacora hotel again, that is a definite and when we checked out we re booked for September.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank dink069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
Dear Guest,

The reaction of our staff seeing this review was also "Wow"!

It was a "shot" of positive energy to continue doing what we do and try to exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you in september!

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esmoriz, Portugal
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

a excelent hotel in an old fishermen village in the middle of a natural reservation place. It's a mix of isolation and nearby civilization with very nice acessibilities to the main road that serves Algarve. You can enjoy a beach just outside the resort or take a boat to the nearby Tavira Island for a long beach with good tiny sand and great fish restaurants. The hotel has a nice pool, church (including some english cerimonies) and a "school" for kids to play under guidence of an employee. IMHO the only "problem" is the restaurant which doesn't have a good quality/price relation... although the breakfast is very varied and good quality.

Room Tip: if you like the feeling of nature, choose a river view. if you have loudy kids as i do, ask for a m...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CesarSilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the location in the middlle of RIA FORMOSA NATURE PARK and the history of this "Former Tuna Fishing Village", that was built in 1943 and where about 300 persons lived here dedicated to the Tuna fishing. This classified building is the only of it´s kind in Portugal.

Regarding the "problem" about good quality/price relation of the restaurant, we had recently changed our menus on the buffets and À La Carte and opened our FLOR-DE-SAL Grill & Tapas, with Mediterranean Tapas, fresh fish and grill.

This reviews are very important to continue workink and try exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again in the near future.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tavira, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Don't be put off by the drive through the salt pans to this Hotel, located on its own on the edge of the Ria Formosa national park. If you're a birdwatcher, you're in luck - flamingos, avocets, stilts, and so on. The Hotel facilities are excellent. Large, comfortable rooms, your own patio area, effective air-conditioning, and good food. Pleasant, friendly staff, and a beautiful pool - though I could have done without the occasional, noisy 'aquarobics' class, with accompanying ghetto-blaster. That, and the remote location drop this to 4 stars. The Hotel does have a minibus service int Tavira town, otherwise a 10 minute taxi ride will cost you about 7 Euros.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank micmac47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrupoVilaGale, General Manager at Vila Gale Albacora, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the Staff and hotel facilities.

It´s also very gratifying for us to see that more and more visitors like the experience to be in contact with birds and nature around us. The surrounding of this hotel, in the middlle of the RIA FORMOSA NATURE PARK, is one of the hotspots identified by SPEA and Algarve Tourism Board.

All comments really allow us to believe in our work and continue to try exceed the expectations of our guests.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora team, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again.

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
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 Vila Gale Albacora

Property: Vila Gale Albacora
Address: Estrada 4 Aguas | Vale do Olival, Tavira 8800-602, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Tavira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Tavira
#3 Spa Hotel in Tavira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Tavira
#4 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Albacora 4*
Number of rooms: 162
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

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