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“very relaxing”
Review of Vila Gale Albacora

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Vila Gale Albacora
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Tavira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We had a half-board week at Vila Gale Albacora in early October, as there were very few families with children at that time (just before the October school break). Great location, tasty food, and the continuous sunny weather was very welcome. The herb gardens and flowering bushes around the balcony areas were very pleasant on the nose and the eyes. One or two minor issues - the location in the old tuna fishing village out of town surrounded by salt marshes was wonderful and quiet, however I didn't sleep as well as I expected due to the uncomfortable mattress and the random plumbing noises during the night, although the pillows were great. If guests were arriving late or departing early the noise from the suitcases wheeled over cobbles was quite loud, and the piped music in the restaurant and lobby was an odd "new age" mix which didn't really do anything for me. Fortunately when the restaurant was busy the background music couldn't be heard! Variety and quality of food at the breakfast and dinner buffet was generally excellent, and I particularly enjoyed the local fish and fruit. We didn't actually use the spa this time as the weather was so good, but it looked well appointed. There was a shuttle bus which ran regularly between the Albacora and the sister hotel in Tavira town, and a boat from the hotel to the island - definitely worth visiting. Overall, we would certainly be happy to go back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dod9899
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 reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments! Your words talk from themselves....

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue our work to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

On behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back again 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.
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Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed here about 4 years ago, have never returned to anywhere ever before, but in need of a total chill out holiday due to a recent family bereavement we decided we would go back. It proved to be an excellent decision, as we were familiar with the area and the hotel so didn't feel the need to do any local exploring. The hotel was much the same as previously, ideal for a relaxing couples holiday, our favourite cocktails barman was still there and still offered a fantastic service. We could see the change in the service industry in Portugal since we last visited, in that the rooms were cleaned throughout the day rather than first thing which seemed to bother some people but really as long as it's cleaned each day does it matter when. It is remote to the point of there being NO bars, shops, restuarants, cafes within the immediate vicinity but that for us is its huge attraction, it is so peaceful. Unlike some reviewers we didn't feel the need for a car, the hotel bus takes you into town & back for free and if the returns are not late enough a taxi is cheap enough but the fact that you are in a nature resort there is so much to see walking near the wetlands and directly behind the hotel is a fabulous small beach again ideal for a relaxing walk. There is also a boat (small extra charge) that takes you to the adjacent island where there are many beach bars and restaurants. The rooms are a little dated in decor but we feel that is part of the hotel's charm rather than that being a negative point and they are cleaned to a high standard which is surely the important factor. Breakfasts are varied in choice (our first morning was a Sunday - don't be put off by the weekends as the hotel attracts many locals on short stay so it can be rather frantic) we ate many lunches from the bar, reasonable choice and price and we had dinner 3 nights choosing the buffet one evening which was ok, not fantastic but plenty of choice and decent quality, and a la carte a couple of times which was good quality food with classy presentaton for the same cost as you would expect to pay in the UK. Having returned a second time and not been disappointed we will not leave it 4 years before we visit again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank P-K1999
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 reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review and your kind comments, specially being a repeated guest.

Your feedback was specially important due to the fact you could see that we keep the same quality service during the years.

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.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

It was a disappointing experience, as I disliked everything about the room - except the view - even if the hotel grounds and location are good. But beware that you need a car to go to Tavira, as the hotel lies in a natural reserve, outside the city.

Positive points: we booked a room with view on river, which was its only saving grace. The hotel is a converted fishing village and inside the property there are still a church and the building used as a school for the fishermen’s children (at present used as a space for games and children’s activities). It is a lovely idea. The location is excellent, inside a natural reserve and saline. The hotel has its own boat transport to the beaches, which saves you a trek to Tavira (although will set you back of one Euro, compared to prices of Tavira’s boat service). I had a good massage at the spa, but the inside pool could be used only paying a steep fee.

Negative points:
• Everything in the room looked old and worn; as if it was never redecorated since the hotel opened more than 15 years ago (most likely). For instance: some tiles in our bathroom were cracked; the towel’s holder is cut in a marble slab (which looks cheap and very outdated); there is a plastic curtain in the bathtub (pet peeve of mine, as I hate plastic sticking to my wet skin); etc..
• The sliding door of the wardrobe did not slide (in need of oiling)
• Very late room cleaning. They do not start until early afternoon and our room was never tackled before 15:30 (sometimes after 16:30). Then it was done in a hurry (less than 10 minutes…). After 4 days of stay we ended up with 4 shampoos, as the cleaning personnel could not be bothered to replace the shower gel and left one shampoo after the other.
• We were provided with thin, low-quality towels and low quality toiletries, which were not replaced properly. Sheets were never changed during our 5-days stay.
• To use the safe one has to pay an extra 2.50 Euro per day for the lock. This sounds preposterous, considering that in almost all the hotel were we stayed we found safes with keypads.
• We had cheap plastic furniture for the terrace and the same type was used around the pool.
• Low-quality breakfast buffet (the orange juice tasted sour; the croissant selection was minimal; the homemade jams looked very unappetising; etc.....)
• Cracked tableware used for breakfast (as in the example)
• Sloppy room service. One afternoon we ordered a sandwich and the dish was delivered straight into my hands, as they do not seem to have trays.
• The minibar is empty and filled only on request.

Room Tip: River view - without the view you are missing out.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dierregi
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 reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your comments about your stay in our hotel, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the oportunity to relax with nature in Ria Formosa Nature Park and Tavira Island Beaches.

Your feedback is very important, helping us to improve our services. We will correct some issues that hapened durirng your stay. Our daily goal is improve our services and try to exceed the expectations of our guests.

I also would like to take advantage of this oportunity to clarify some of the things mentioned.

We try to put all information availbale for guests online (our website) and also we have the contributions of other guests in social networks (reviews, photos, etc..), so we try from the beginning during the search, reduce any gap between what is the information available online and what the guest will find on arrival. So we can meet their expectations about the hotel facilities. (Shuttle Bus, Boat, SPA, room decoration, safe deposit, distance from city centre, location, outdoor pictures, etc...).

We are an Eco-Hotel and we have a policy and procedures that are informed during the check-in with a leaflet. This document invites all guest to participate in our project (Towels and sheets on request. Of course that if any guest wants daily exchange or early room cleaning we will do without any problem. Just have to ask at the reception desk.

Regarding the toileries, towels and oudoor furniture (balconies and pool), I have to clarify that all of this are new, respecting the quality standards of Vila Galé Group.

The minibar on-request is a standard procedure in all hotels of the group and about our breakfast we really apologise if we didn´ met your expectations. We try to use good products for our guests and the (home made) jams nornally are well apreciated.

We hope that the service provided from our staff met your expectations and give us a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Please contact me directly next time to bmartins@vilagale.pt. I will remember !

Kind regards on behalf of Vila Galé Albacora staff

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.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Very picturesque facility in the converted fishing village, surrounted by salt flats and scrub/bush. Rooms are quite basic -definitely not 4 star. Good pool and area, restaurant and food OK, but very busy and lots of noisy kids. Be careful buying drinks at the pool bar 16 euros for a beer and a rum and coke! Boat service to the beaches you have to pay for, be sure to go to Tavira Island, great beach.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank ColinSmith2
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 reviewResponded October 8, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place (classified building and Museum - Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel and the oportunity to relax with nature in Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and Tavira Island Beaches. We also appreciated the reviews about the Restaurant and pool area.

Your feedback was important to help us to to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and improve our services.

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.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Just back from a week at the Vila Gale Albacora. Was our first time in Portugal, really enjoyed it. The hotel itsel is lovely. It is in a very quiet location, this might not be to everyones liking, but we found this very relaxing. The hotel itself is located in the middle of a nature reserve. The hotel runs a boat across to two different beaches, these are both worth a visit. They also run a free bus into the town of Tavira. Tavira is a small town, there is not a lot in it, but it is worth a visit, however do not waste your time trying to find the shopping centre, The Grand Plaza, this is not worth the effort! The rooms in the hotel are large and clean, it is worth paying extra for the river view. We went all inclusive and found this excellent value for money. A good way of seeing around the area is to hire bikes out - this is great fun and you can hire bikes on the hotel site. The staff are very friendly, Bruno, hotel manager, very efficient, very willing to help and make your staff more enjoyable. Overall this is a lovely hotel, very peaceful, tranquil location. The style of the hotel, an old tuna fishing village, makes it very unique. Would definitely highly recommend this hotel and will definitely be returning.

Room Tip: Definitely worth paying extra for river view
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank FatKiwi
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 reviewResponded October 8, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place and the oportunity to relax with nature and/ or in the beautiful beaches of Tavira Island. We also had appreciated the reviews about the bus, rooms, food and cleanliness.

This classified building and Museum (Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel, due to it´s location, have also a Multiecotourismactivities and a recently opened PADI Dive Centre.

Your feedback give us the right motivation and confidence to continue trying 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.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

The hotel describes itself as being in a national park which it may be but looks very much like a wasteland.
The drive to the hotel is through salt flats and wasteland. The website describes it as a haven for birds and wildlife - not sure if this is seasonal but there were no sign of them in August.
Once you get to the hotel even though there is nothing else around parking is a struggle as people leave their cars there who aren't hotel guests to go to the beach.

The hotel itself is really nice - the rooms are of a good size and are clean and comfortable. The village feel is unusual and very welcoming, The breakfast has a large selection and the staff really friendly.
The only downside is that you have to pay to go to the beach at approx EUR5 a day for a couple, this would mount up if you were there for 2 weeks. I felt for a 4* hotel that advertises the great beach that really this should be free for guests.

The surroundings are not welcoming which is a shame as Tavira is a lovely town and the hotel is great but 1st impressions count and the drive up really lets it down.
I would urge you to look past that but for us while it was great for a weekend we have no desire to return for longer, Unfortunatly it is just too isolated and that part of Portugal doesn't compare to the likes of Villamoura.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sg123Surrey
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 reviewResponded September 12, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the hotel itself, the rooms, cleanliness, comfort , the feeling of welcoming, the breakfast and most of all, the friendliness of the staff. Is the signature of our hotels.

Your comments help us to continue trying to exceed the expectations of our guests, and regarding the things that you didn´t liked so much, we felt a little disapointed with situations that we are not direct responsibles, but yet, with responsibility to do something about it.

About the waste, unfortunately, during the month of August, there are thousands of persons in the area that don´t have the civism to preserve this protected area. That´s why, because of what happened this summer, we already achieved to close the access to the beach near the hotel that you had mentioned. With cooperation and decision of the Nature Park of Ria Formosa, City Hall and Maritim Authory this problem is solved for next summer (Parking, Waste and Protected area)

This local is one of the identified Hot-Spots for Birdwatching and we have plenty of visitants coming after September untill April/ May. August you only can see some Flamingos if you have lucky.

We also appreciated the review about the beach. It´s is really something in the Algarve... The acess is paid, because is a service provided by a partner company. We are analysing the possibility to include this trip in Room Rates with the supllier.

For last, Vilamoura and Tavira have an enormous diference. If you prefer Vilamoura, you will find two wonderful hotels from our company VILA GALÉ (MARINA and AMPALIUS).

On behalf of Vila Galé Group, we hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future in one of our Hotels in Vilamoura, and why not, in Albacora to see for yourself the improvements we (the City) have made. Please be free to contact me directly (bmartins@vilagale.pt ).

Kind regards

Bruno Martins
General Manager
Hotel Vila Galé Albacora

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed September 8, 2012

We were looking for somewhere relaxing with wildlife . This hotel provided just that - the salinas surrounding the road into the hotel are rich in wading birds with flamingo , spoonbill , avocet , black winged stilt and many more . Easily visible from the road and tracks going into the salinas take you even closer. The scrub area around the hotel and on the island had lots of juvenile chameleons and the insect life was rich . The hotel was very clean , well maintained and has a great pool area which is virtually empty in the morning . Food was excellent with a great buffet breakfast and a varied evening buffet . Take insect repellant and stock up on bottled water in the town - expensive to buy in the hotel . The hotel caters for families very well and is very wheel chair friendly - I noticed the on site dive school caters for impaired divers . Lovely staff .

Room Tip: Not really worth paying extra for a river view room ( had to stand on a chair to see the river !!)
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hylas_10
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 reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and your kind comments, specially about the mention of the singularity of this place and the oportunity to relax with nature. We also appreciated the reviews about the food, cleanliness, maintenance and pool area.

This classified building and Museum (Former Tuna Fishing Village) converted in an Eco-Hotel, besides it´s location, also caters for families very well and is very wheel chair friendly. We have a recently opened dive school caters for impaired divers (Maximum Rate form DDI - Disable Divers International).

But the most most important, as other previews reviews, was the message to the hotel "lovely" staff.

This give us, more than anything else, the right motivation and confidence to continue trying 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.
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Additional Information about 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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Tavira
#4 Romantic Hotel in Tavira
Price Range: $77 - $229 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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